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VIEWPOINTS

Spring 2016 Western Reserve Academy


Editor in Chief Katherine (Wren) Zandee, ‘16 Art Director & Illustrator Sandra Spurlock, ‘17 Staff Editors Emily Bowins, ‘16 Zanna Leciejewski, ‘17

Duncan Ostrom, ‘17 Chung Hwa Suh, ‘16

Additional Illustrators Sierra Gibbons, ‘16 Garrett Schooner, ‘19 Aeri Hong, ‘18 Lydia Steiner, ‘18 Alex King, ‘19 Kai Stewart, ‘17 Julia King, ‘19 Stephanie Sun, ‘16 Hannah Lee, ‘17 Megan Tam, ‘17 Kelsey McCracken, ‘16 Wema Wachira, ‘18 Hannah Saucier, ‘17 Huaixuan (Michael) Wang, ‘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 Sandra Spurlock. Journal layout and formatting by Diccon Ong.


VIEWPOI NTS Volume Twelve

Spring 2016


Table of Contents From the Editor Elect ................................................................................... 8 Zanna Leciejewski, ‘17

Articles: To AP or Not to AP ..................................................................................... 12 Adam Birch, ‘16 Field of Dreams ............................................................................................ 14 Emily Bowins, ‘16 Humble Pie ................................................................................................... 16 Haiyun Chen, ‘16 No Participation Ribbons in the Real World ........................................ 18 Elizabeth Downing, ‘17 Coming Home .............................................................................................. 21 Nnamdi Ezeoke, ‘17 Anything But Simple ................................................................................. 23 Harlequin Sky Gomez Fisher, ‘17 Swimming Towards Happiness ............................................................... 25 Caitlin Fogg, ‘16 Interview with Stan Jewell ....................................................................... 28 Makena Hayes, ‘17 Missing the Mark ........................................................................................ 33 Ladan Jaballas, ‘16 Unmasked ..................................................................................................... 35 Ladan Jaballas, ‘16 The Promethean Flame .............................................................................. 37 Noah Kontur, ‘17

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The China Puzzle: What is Behind the Firewall? .................................. 42 Duoduo (Darcy) Kuang, ‘17 Customer Complaint .................................................................................. 45 Zanna Leciejewski, ‘17 Trump’s New World Order ....................................................................... 48 Ying Ka Leung, ‘18 Luck Compensation .................................................................................... 53 Jason Lin, ‘18 Surrogate Mother ........................................................................................ 59 Annie McArn, ‘16 Turtle Lessons .............................................................................................. 61 Niraj Naik, ‘16 A Super History............................................................................................ 64 Elliot Ong, ‘17 The Breakfast Club Today ......................................................................... 70 Duncan Ostrom, ‘17 Through the Eyes of a Lamp ...................................................................... 72 Maria Paparella, ‘16 It’s Not Stupid If It’s a Love Story ............................................................ 75 Chung Hwa Suh, ‘16 Seeking Buddha ........................................................................................... 78 Yichen Wang, ‘16 Moving Parts ................................................................................................. 80 Taryn Washburn, ‘16 Are Humans Born to Run? ......................................................................... 84 Katie Weinzierl, ‘17 Food for the Soul .......................................................................................... 87 Yuki Yamasaki, ‘16

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Incomplete Justice ....................................................................................... 89 Lanruo (Lynn) Yang, ‘16 A Novel Romance ........................................................................................ 91 Lanruo (Lynn) Yang, ‘16 Odd Numbers ............................................................................................... 93 Lanruo (Lynn) Yang, ‘16 She Would Have Laughed ......................................................................... 95 Michael Zeleznik, ‘16

On Assignment: New Years ...................................................................................................... 100 Salma Nava, ‘16 January ........................................................................................................... 102 Yuki Yamasaki, ‘16 February ......................................................................................................... 104 Tim Lund, ‘16 March.............................................................................................................. 106 Sierra Gibbons, ‘16 April................................................................................................................ 109 Emily Cremer, ‘16 May ................................................................................................................. 111 Marcos Lopez, ‘16 June ................................................................................................................. 113 Lee Onysko, ‘16 July .................................................................................................................. 116 Veronica Zhu, ‘16 August ............................................................................................................ 119 Brooke Brown, ‘16

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September...................................................................................................... 121 Gustavo Kasmanas, ‘16 October ........................................................................................................... 123 Hannah Saucier, ‘16 November ...................................................................................................... 126 Sam LaFontaine, ‘16 December ....................................................................................................... 129 Joseph Wang, ‘16

History Writing Contest: First Place Winners, 2014-2015 American History Division: T-Shirts and Jeans: How Undershirts and Workpants Have Redressed America ................. 132 Roland Huang, ‘16 World History Division: The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Swept into Ethnic Violence ......................................................................... 159 Alice Wu, ‘17

Senior Speeches: 2015-16 Caitlin Fogg, ‘16 ............................................................................................ 174 September 9, 2015 Marin Valentine, ‘16 ..................................................................................... 177 September 21, 2015 Kelsey McCracken, ‘16 ................................................................................. 179 October 2, 2015 Brooke Brown, ‘16 ......................................................................................... 181 December 7, 2015

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Hannah Saucier, ‘16 ...................................................................................... 183 January 29, 2016 Yichen Wang, ‘16 .......................................................................................... 185 February 12, 2016 Michael Zeleznik, ‘16 .................................................................................... 188 February 15, 2016 Rachel Morris, ‘16 ......................................................................................... 191 February 19, 2016 Yuki Yamasaki, ‘16 ....................................................................................... 193 February 22, 2016 Cristen Barnett, ‘16 ....................................................................................... 196 February 26, 2016 Billy Walsh, ‘16 .............................................................................................. 198 February 29, 2016 Sydney Sutherland, ‘16 ................................................................................ 200 March 4, 2016 Niraj Naik, ‘16 ............................................................................................... 202 March 29, 2016 Madison Clark-Bruno, ‘16............................................................................ 204 April 1, 2016 Maria Paparella, ‘16 ...................................................................................... 207 April 4, 2016 Cecily White, ‘16 ........................................................................................... 209 April 11, 2016 Haiyun Chen, ‘16 .......................................................................................... 211 April 18, 2016 Mia Herring-Sampong, ‘16 .......................................................................... 214 April 25, 2016

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Gracie Morgan, ‘16 ........................................................................................ 217 April 29, 2016 Erin Dockery, ‘16 ........................................................................................... 219 May 2, 2016 Annie McArn, ‘16 .......................................................................................... 222 May 6, 2016 Samuel Becker, ‘16 ........................................................................................ 225 May 13, 2016 Shuni Zhu, ‘16 ............................................................................................... 227 May 16, 2016

Viewpoints Survey ................................................................................. 231 Artwork Credits ............................................................................................ 296

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FROM THE EDITOR ELECT Why do we write? Perhaps your answer is as simple as the literal definition: to put ink on a page. Perhaps you write for only for tests, in-class essays, or at a teacher’s urging. But, perhaps some of you write on the off chance that words on a page will mean something more: more than completing mere assignments for grades. For me, these pages hold that something more. They hold the truth. In non-fiction, truth has nowhere to hide. Instead, it lays untouched on the page for all to see, read, and learn from. The various truths in the following essays may be happy, sad, or simply informational. Some may be light, while others might hold a weight you may never feel. Don’t let this discourage you. After all, you are what make these collected writings so special. We put these words together, letter by letter, sentence by sentence, so that you might read our thoughts. Think of it as a superpower in some sense: you are reading our minds. I began editing for Viewpoints in my sophomore year—and completely by accident. Anna McMurchy ‘15, Editor in Chief at the time, promised me a cupcake at the Club Expo in exchange for taking a staff editing position. Considering this nothing more than a joke offer, I accepted. Later that year, I received unedited papers in my open mailbox. I realized then and there that Anna does not joke about Viewpoints. Although I admit that I joined accidentally, I stuck around on purpose. I have stayed for these pages, for you. In becoming an editor, I joined a wonderful community of people who deserve some thanks for their work in making this edition possible. First in line for thanks are my fellow staff editors, Chung Hwa, Emily, and Duncan, who wrote pieces themselves, begged friends and acquaintances for articles, and edited essays throughout the year in order to get this journal to where it is now. We shared numerous Friday nights at McDonald’s or Hershey’s, loaded with sugary treats (courtesy of Mr. Ong) and worked hard to bring this volume to life (often while fighting through food comas). Thanks are also due to our most talented Art Director, Sandra Spurlock, who “arts” better than anyone I know and who brought together an amazing assortment of artists to provide dozens of illustrations for you to enjoy. Thank you, Sandra, for your artistic genius, winning smile, and admirable persistence in seeking out

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submissions. And, of course, our gratitude goes out to Mr. Ong, who has worked tirelessly to keep this “club” alive. Whether editing student writing, formatting the final version of the journal, or offering to sell a kidney for more student submissions, he goes above and beyond the call of duty. Finally, I thank all of you who devoted the precious time and energy to write or illustrate for this twelfth edition. I feel honored to be a part of a group of students who clearly care about the quality of the work they do. Actually, there is one more person I need to thank. As you probably know, Wren Zandee was our Editor in Chief this year. Early on, she took the Viewpoints staff under her wing as a loving leader, guiding us through the many deadlines, keeping us on task, and making the whole process seem manageable, despite our various other school commitments. This should be her introduction. These should be her words. She certainly earned the right to this spot of honor. Even now, as I type these words, I wish they were hers. I wish she were still around to go downtown with the rest of us and enjoy another sugar-filled (and mostly unproductive) meeting. I wish she could have written these words to conclude her senior year and celebrate the time she spent so well on Viewpoints. I’m wishing for things, of course, I know I can’t have. I guess that’s what we often do. And yet, even as I wish these words were hers, I find some comfort in knowing that she is present in the following pages. Whether they are sharing humor, love, or other ideas and emotions, she helped leave the following words with us forever. We will all carry a piece of Wren with us, both in this journal and in our hearts. That’s the beauty of writing: the meaning stays in the words even when the author is gone. So turn the page, begin the journey, and remember.

Zanna Leciejewski, ‘17 Editor in Chief elect May 2016

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ARTICLES

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TO AP OR NOT TO AP Adam Birch Senior Akron, Ohio

AP classes at Reserve are almost as inevitable as Reserve Green or bad sit-down meals. They were created after World War II to (in addition to making high schoolers’ lives more difficult) prepare students for the rigorous coursework in college. Since 1955, the infamous College Board has run the program, and Reserve has taken part in the AP curriculum since then. Recently, however, the rumor mills have been churning up speculation that the school might abandon the AP curriculum and all of its woes. Yay! If such rumors come to fruition, we would be far from the first school to make such a move. Many of the country’s elite boarding schools, such as Phillips Exeter and Andover, have nearly or entirely abandoned the College Board and their absurdly priced $92 tests. The biggest problem with AP classes is that they often do not accomplish their mission: preparing students for college. An AP course is supposed to simulate a freshman level class at a typical university. If the student proves an understanding of the material up to this level, the student can use his or her AP score to earn college credit. In recent years, this has meant that students, assuming they earn an adequate score on a given exam, can potentially test out of the class in college. Sounds great, right? Well, it would be, if that were true. Many schools, however, don’t accept any AP science credits—so that AP chemistry or biology class you took was really just a résumé booster (more on that in a moment) rather than a real college class. So you took Math 52 and got a 5 on the AP exam? Awesome! It’s a shame that colleges will still make you take calculus as a freshman. (An exception to this basic rule is found in state schools, which usually accept most AP scores of 3 or higher.) Problem Number Two is that the so-called “standardized” curriculums aren’t that at all. Sure, each teacher may teach from the same book, and perhaps even the same material, but that doesn’t mean the rigor of the course is the same across all schools. Reserve might have a very strong AP Economics program compared to other schools, but another school might have a stellar AP Environmental Science program.

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This means that the high grade that one student earns in an AP class at one school might not translate to the same grade at a different school. A student at school X might have had to work incredibly hard in AP Euro to earn an 85%, whereas that same student at school Y might have flown through AP Euro, doing little work, and finished with a 95%. However, all that the colleges will see is the grade. This means that many students are simply drawn toward taking “easy” APs for the 1.1 weighting to boost their GPA, which helps in the all-important college admissions process. Furthermore, the AP curriculum is quite restrictive from a teacher’s perspective. The pressure of AP scores looming over their heads means that they teach to the test, rather than for students’ pure intellectual exploration. This is in no way the teacher’s fault; it’s simply another necessary evil associated with standardized classes. For example, I have heard the phrase “the AP looks for this” or “the AP graders will deduct points for that” many times. Accidentally rounding to just two decimal places on the BC Calculus exam instead of the required three will earn you a point deduction, but this has absolutely zero reflection on your understanding of calculus. Of course, teachers understandably want to see their students score as highly as possible on these exams, so they have to waste valuable class time nit-picking over such trivial errors so that we don’t make such mistakes in May. Non-AP advanced classes would solve most of these problems and open up doors to new opportunities for interesting classes that the school could offer in lieu of their By liberating our AP counterparts. At Andover, students can take classes such as curriculum from the Journalism, Brazilian Cultural straightjacket of the Studies, or Organic Chemistry. If Reserve followed suit, more College Board, teachers half-credit classes could be and students would be free offered, and the course catalog to learn what they want would diversify immensely. By liberating our curriculum from without a huge exam or the straightjacket of the College college placement lingering Board, teachers and students would be free to learn what they over their heads. want without a huge exam or college placement lingering over their heads. Whether AP classes are in their twilight hour or not is still up in the air, but their end could greatly improve the educational experience at WRA.

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FIELD OF DREAMS Emily Bowins Senior Stony Brook, New York

It felt as though I had spent all seven years of my life sitting in the jagged, prickly grass, searching. Nothing yet had come of my determination, and frustration gnawed at me. My brother challenged me to find one. “You can do anything if you try hard enough, Em.� He appeared bemused by my frustration, entranced by my focus. Just moments later, I felt its velvet leaves between my fingertips. Soon I had three four-leaf clovers gathered in a miniature mystical bouquet. I sprung up and skipped away to show off my bounty, offering my brother one perfect clover as a token of thanks for his encouragement. Fast-forward nine years. I awoke to the crash of thunder early into my night's sleep. Lightning eerily illuminated the walls of my room. One moment, loud thunder, rain and wind coursed through the air; the next, silence. I fell back into an uneasy slumber. The following morning, I sprinted through that same patch of clover-rich grass. This time, however, my focus was not on finding clovers. Rather I was worried about running late. Numerous early morning appointments on the last day before I was to head off for the start of my senior year at a new school meant a morning filled with chaos. Jumping into the car with my mother, we left behind the green grass of our front lawn not knowing it held another surprise. We returned several We returned several hours later, and walking hours later, and walking across the lawn I saw him, an innocent across the lawn I saw him, fledgling blown from his nest. an innocent fledgling Barely breathing, wings and neck at awkward angles, his blown from his nest. chances for survival seemed Barely breathing, wings slim. My mother told me just to and neck at awkward leave the bird where it lay and come into the house to finish angles, his chances for preparing for my departure, as survival seemed slim. she was sure the tiny bird would

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soon slip into a permanent slumber. I, however, was determined not to leave him in his hour of need. I neared his resting place, and he shifted as a sign of acknowledgement. I could feel his vulnerability deeply, as if it were me lying there, broken and alone. I saw his will to live and could not deny him a fighting chance. Numerous phone calls later, a nature rehabilitation center agreed to take him. While I held him delicately in my latex-clad hands, his demeanor shifted dramatically from a bird that could not hold up his own head, to one whose beak was gaping and voice chirping. The encouragement and love I gave that injured nestling allowed him happily to await his return to nature. Nothing occurs without a reason. Our experiences shape our destiny if only we remain open and allow them to. The sheer exhilaration I felt when I found my first four-leaf clover has never faded, nor has my sense of pride at helping shape that small bird's destiny. Ultimately, that tiny bird helped to shape mine as well, showing me how fulfilling it is to make a difference for another living being. I realize my destiny lies in an exploration of nature’s countless wonders. The legacy I hope to leave will be one shaped largely by consideration of and care for the smallest and most hopeless of life forms. This is my passion. Time has a peculiar way of changing things while, in some ways, changing nothing at all. I am now seventeen years old. I am unfolding, becoming more of who I am. While I am growing as a person, however, I am driven by unchanging core values—curiosity, love and compassion among them. My world is about to expand in unimaginable ways as I head off to college. The very lawn on which I began my journey is the lawn I now prepare to leave. I am eager to step out, build meaningful connections to the world around me—to touch the realm of nature and serve the animals that inhabit it, to give to them as much as they give to me.

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HUMBLE PIE Haiyun Chen Senior Shanghai, China “Will you make the apple pie, please?” asked Annie. During the Mid-Fall break of my senior year, I stayed at my roommate Annie’s house. As an international student, this was my first time staying with an American family. One afternoon, when Annie was preparing dinner, she asked me if I could do her a favor by making the dessert, apple pie. Wanting to express my gratitude for her family’s hospitality, and confident in my own cooking skills, I gladly accepted the mission. Ever since I grew tall enough to see over the edge of the stovetop, I have loved helping my grandma maneuver Chinese cabbage, pork chops, and various spices in her bubbling and sizzling pots and pans. My saliva flows when I see the rims of spring rolls turning into golden crisps and steamed buns swelling with a sweet scent. However, cooking at home does not involve the use of measuring cups or tablespoons. A tiny pinch of salt here, a dip of soy sauce there. The mixing of ingredients mingles I had always thought with sentimental flavors. Feelings, instead of American food was much measurements, control the easier to make than cooking. Living away from Chinese dishes. As long as home, I treasure the feeling of Chinese cuisine more than when I put in exactly the correct I was back in Shanghai. amount of an ingredient I had always thought American food was much easier recommended by the to make than Chinese dishes. recipe, much like As long as I put in exactly the completing a chemistry lab, correct amount of an ingredient recommended by the recipe, I would get a much like completing a satisfactory result. chemistry lab, I would get a satisfactory result. Despite the fact that I have only used an oven once (because most foods back home are stir-fried or steamed, instead of

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baked), I believed I could execute an apple pie with no problems. So I replied with an affirmative, “Yes!” After gathering the ingredients, I dove into the baking process and soon discovered the mistake of my initial assumptions. I jingled the cooking measurements like a chain of keys, but I didn’t really know where to start. “1/2 tablespoon of butter.” How do I measure butter with a tablespoon? The confusion I encountered over the recipe, and my unfamiliarity with western-cooking tools, dissipated my previous level of confidence. I accidentally dumped twice the amount of cinnamonsugar required into my apple filling. I simply hid my mistake. When the smell of mushy, cinnamon-y apples filled the house, I knew the pie was finished. I carefully pulled it out of the hot oven with gloves and set it on the table. Annie came over and praised my work on the lattice design of the top crust. Then she took a spoon, broke the side of the crust, and tasted the filling. I saw her face contort into a look combining surprise and physical discomfort. I immediately tasted the pie myself. Her face now made complete sense. Indeed, the pie was so sweet that Annie collapsed dramatically on a chair. I started to laugh to cover the embarrassment of my failure. But then Annie laughed with me as we were both clearly amused by the significant gap between expectation and reality. Recovering from our mutual laughter, I just had to take another bite of my humble pie.

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NO PARTICIPATION RIBBONS IN THE REAL WORLD Elizabeth Downing Junior West Lafayette, Indiana

Most people I know played in some sort of tee-ball or soccer league when they were younger. During my earlier years, I remember that the first-place team at the year-end tournament would receive a trophy, and everyone else would simply attend the picnic to celebrate. At the end of summer swim league, the best swimmer in each stroke, in the age group, would receive a medal, while the rest could strive toward that accomplishment the following year. I do not see this same thing happening today. Having a younger brother, I have been able to witness changes in the way we recognize performance. After he finished his season in swimming, everyone on my brother’s team was given a trophy. At the end of his weeklong summer camp, he and every other kid was presented with a certificate conferring a special individualized award just for them. Is this just meant as a confidence booster? Is this This past season, everyone practice properly conveying to on the swim team who children key values like hard work and striving to improve? I regularly showed up to have even seen this change come practice and swam in at to WRA as well. This past least one meet received a season, everyone on the swim team who regularly showed up varsity letter. Under such to practice and swam in at least a model, where is the one meet received a varsity genuine recognition of the letter. Under such a model, where is the genuine recognition actual outstanding of the actual outstanding accomplishments for the accomplishments for the true scoring members of varsity? true scoring members This model of inclusion is not of varsity? conducive to character development within the context of a sports team. In adolescent and youth sports, when everyone is given a participation ribbon or trophy,

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the award loses its value. If everyone is given a trophy at the end of a season regardless of level of performance, what happens to the incentive to become better at something? When everyone wins an award, those who have worked hardest, in some sense, go unrecognized. How would kids learn about a good work ethic and goal setting? I don’t believe that kids would. They would eventually become used to the “success” of just receiving yet another participation trophy and thus learn to settle for that level of effort and accomplishment. While this may not be true of all kids, I certainly can see many kids succumbing to the satisfaction of receiving participation ribbons. Even at a younger age, when a kid’s main focus isn’t necessarily to “give it your all,” parents and coaches should still want to encourage their kids to want to become better. I worry about the potential overconfidence of children who all receive an award at everything they do. These children may learn to settle for whatever level of achievement they are currently operating at. This would eventually lead to underachievement. Young people will learn to settle for less. Why wouldn’t they, if it becomes easier for them not to put in effort and still receive a trophy and be recognized for doing next to nothing. A New York Times article recently confirmed the notion that nonstop recognition causes children to underachieve. In what world do we want to teach kids to underachieve? Moreover, why should we assume that failing to win is such a bad thing for kids? How should we draw lines between mere “participants” and those kids who truly do excel in a sport? At WRA we have the MVP, MIP, and Spirit awards, but when everyone can easily letter in swimming what actually distinguishes the kids who earn a chance to go to Easterns, and maybe even advance to the finals, but aren’t given an end-of-season award? Sitting in the audience during the Winter Athletics Awards ceremony, you would have no way of knowing who these kids were based simply on the list of letter winners. Teams need a distinction between Varsity and JV athletes. If everyone can receive a varsity letter then the value of that letter comes into question. When everyone receives a trophy, will your trophy, that reads “Best 11-12Year-Old Breaststroker,” mean as much? No. Thus, the value to a child of receiving an award will necessarily decrease. Lastly, as young people who are learning and building character skills that we will use for the rest of our lives, we need to learn to lose. I know some of my proudest accomplishments have come as a result of my wanting to be on a team and making the cut when I hadn’t the previous year. My earlier failures motivated me to do better the next

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time around. Moreover, by always “winning,” children are given the false impression that they can win everything. Always winning isn’t how it works in the real world. Children should learn at a young age that this isn’t how it works. When applying to college or interviewing for a job, you don’t get what you want just by showing up. I don’t think we should create for young people a model of success that bears little resemblance to how things work in the real world. Articles Considered Pawlowski, A. “Should Young Athletes Get ‘Participation Trophies’?” TODAY.com. Today Show NBC, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 01 May 2016. Anne, Jenn. “Hell YES All the Little League Kids Should Get Trophies!” Trophies for All. Chicago Now, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 May 2016. Merryman, Ashley. “Losing Is Good for You.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 01 May 2016.

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COMING HOME Nnamdi Ezeoke Junior Las Vegas, Nevada

I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, to two Nigerian parents. When I was eleven, my parents made the decision to move back to Nigeria. While I felt that the move was temporary, my father had other ideas. After I finished the equivalent of my sophomore year of high school in Nigeria, I thought it went without saying that I would finish my secondary education in the country in which I had started out, but my father wanted me to stay in Nigeria for an additional two years and instead return to America when I finished and was 18. When these feelings became public it started something of a cold war between my father and me. For a few months, neither my dad nor I spoke on the subject, but the pressure on me began to increase. As the school year went on and my For a few months, neither classmates began to confirm their plans for the next year, I my dad nor I spoke on the was still undecided. After a bit subject, but the pressure on of time, the silence was finally broken and my father and I had me began to increase. . . . our first conversation laying out After a bit of time, the our differing positions on the silence was finally broken topic. This ended in an argument that delayed any and my father and I had additional talks for some time. our first conversation This actually had quite a laying out our differing negative impact on our relationship. It also became positions on the topic. This apparent that my dad had ended in an argument that begun to discuss the topic with his siblings and my mother. I delayed any additional often felt as if I was under heavy talks for some time. scrutiny. The one wildcard in this situation was my mother. Until about two months before my graduation I wasn't sure how she felt towards the

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situation. Then, she asked me if I had looked at any schools and if there were any I was interested in applying to. Throughout the next couple of weeks, we began to go through the high school application process, without the knowledge of my father. My mom also helped smooth things over between my father and me. She let me know when I should or should not bring up the whole school issue depending on his mood. Ever since the move when I was eleven years old, I hadn't felt quite right in my parent’s home country. Nigeria presented a completely different social dynamic. My experiences as a student seemed like a jigsaw puzzle, and I was the piece that didn't seem to fit anywhere. As a result, I had wanted to leave the country as soon as possible and readjust to an American lifestyle before college. My dad, however, more or less thought I wasn’t ready. He wanted time to further “groom me into a man.” This was the crux of our principal disagreement. The fact is that I had already been attending a boarding school since the age of twelve, and if I stayed in Nigeria I would continue to attend boarding school. However, if it was just a question of my having to attend a boarding school, then what did it matter if I stayed in Nigeria or found a boarding school back in the U.S.? During this past summer, my family and I went on vacation to my hometown, Las Vegas. My mother and I continued working on the American boarding school applications without my father’s knowledge, and he was not to happy when he eventually found this out. But on the night before we were due to return to Nigeria, my parents had a conversation and the following morning my mother told me that I wouldn’t be returning with my father and younger brothers. I am not quite sure just what they said to one another in that conversation, but whatever it was, I am very thankful for it. When I returned to Nigeria this past Christmas, my family held me in a different light. My brothers actually looked up to me, which I found a little disconcerting. My extended family showered me with compliments and congratulations. And even my father seemed happy enough to have me home in one piece and with a sound mind. More than that, however, he too seemed to look at me with respect in his eyes and pride in his heart.

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ANYTHING BUT SIMPLE Harlequin Sky Gomez Fisher Freshman Sebring, Ohio

You thought that you were plain. Ordinary. Boring. The world tried to simplify The complexities of your equation, And in their ignorance, They forgot to carry the 3 and didn’t know how To multiply the 4. The world wasn’t versed in your Arithmetic, As it is so much Easier To see beauty in the Obvious Than to search for the Freckle Above your lip. It’s faster to add 2+2 Than to square To the greatest common factor. And so the world tried to make you Simple. But to me, You are far more extraordinary Than the Pillars of Creation In a far-off Galaxy. You are a nebula Getting ready to explode, A speeding asteroid Chasing the stars That I’ve fallen in love with,

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And I am prepared For the amount of Math It will take to get there. You are a single Hydrogen Atom That created my universe With a Great Big Bang. Flooding the whole Of Time and Space With bright pink clouds And Streaks of Stardust. And when they say Your eyes are blue, I call bullshit. Your eyes are the snowflakes That melt on my nose. Your eyes are my Moon and my Stars And my Galaxy. You are not as Simple As they say you are. and my Stars And my Galaxy. You are not as Simple As they say you are.

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SWIMMING TOWARDS HAPPINESS Caitlin Fogg Senior Macedonia, Ohio

“You will never be able to join the swim team, because it requires a physical ability that someone of your size cannot achieve,” he said to me as we walked down the picturesque brick path. In the years leading up to this moment, his comment would have propelled me into a critical state of self-loathing; but the very moment his harsh words rippled through my core, I had already made the decision to change my life, for myself, my way. When several members of my family passed away suddenly, the battle with my weight no longer represented someone else’s gluttony. It became my daily battle. In three years, I had lost two greatgrandmothers, one grandmother, three great aunts, one great uncle, and my fourteen-year-old cousin, Derek. These losses had created At the age of ten I weighed a void. Although cliché, it one hundred and eighty seemed to me the emptiness could only be combatted with pounds, developed severe the instant gratification food asthma, and allowed my provided. Additionally, time health to deteriorate to the split between school and the hospital caused us all to resort point where my to eating a large quantity of fast pediatrician said to my food. In photos, my family’s collective waistlines began to mother, when he thought I expand exponentially. At the wasn’t listening, “I have age of ten I weighed one moms that come in here hundred and eighty pounds, developed severe asthma, and that weigh less than your allowed my health to deteriorate child.” After hearing this, I to the point where my began to seclude myself. pediatrician said to my mother, when he thought I wasn’t listening, “I have moms that come in here that weigh less than your

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child.” After hearing this, I began to seclude myself. My once active lifestyle transformed until I no longer recognized myself. A new lethargic and lackadaisical girl replaced the once happy, energetic one. Each pound gained increased the insulation, literally and figuratively, I put up between the outside world and me. When my neighbors, Hannah and Carly, extended invitations to play outside, I declined, instead opting to stay inside and read. Later on, I would come to view this choice as counterintuitive, because if I had had the confidence to go outside and play as a normal child my lifestyle might have become healthy again. My improved literacy, however, at least proved to be a key determinant in my admission into WRA. In a community that advertises an emphasis on excellence, integrity, and compassion, there are many moments when students at WRA fall short of the expectations set for them. I looked different. Differences, no matter the local traditions of tolerance and acceptance, are never wholly accepted. My weight was a persistent issue in my life and was only compounded in a community where many girls are extremely fit. I cried when a boy told me the football team made fun of my daily attempts to run a mile. Due to Reserve’s sports requirement, I lost some weight my freshman year, but I wallowed in self-hatred and did not know how to transition fully into a healthy lifestyle. Bingeing, purging, and body shaming all became routine practices. To myself, I was only a number: 256. That’s right, at fourteen I weighed 256 pounds, and I let that number define every other facet of my life. This interaction with my bully proved to be the catalyst for my journey to becoming a healthier, happier human being. The snowball was on the crest of a tall hill, and his comment sent it tumbling down. I joined the swim team that year, and I made it through the season, earning my first varsity letter. Although two-a-days were extremely difficult, my coaches reminded me that I had the capability to achieve more than I had ever imagined. Every time I struggled through a set, I reminded myself of every person who had ever told me I could not, everyone who had ever told me I was not worth the time, energy, and self-love each person owes themselves to be successful. With the help of Reserve’s fantastic coaching staff, I developed healthy eating habits and a robust daily fitness routine. I lost 20 pounds during my first season; more importantly, I learned all that mattered was my disposition, work ethic, and desire to want more for myself. As regards my future, resilience and tenacity are two new traits gained from my experience that I will take with me. For a long time, I

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focused on what others said about my body instead of focusing on my own health, academics, and achievement. This judgmental focus holds the capacity to ruin a person. In a world where women are not only quantified for their intelligence, but also for their appearance, I’ve learned to find a healthy balance of self-care. At the end of the day, no one cares about the negative noise people put into the world. Surreptitiously, all the negative noise had corrupted my ideas of what it meant to be a lovable, worthwhile person. The most important qualities that constitute a successful life are heart, confidence, acceptance, and strength; it is imperative to hold these qualities close, as their loss can cause a loss of purpose, desire, and ingenuity.

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INTERVIEW WITH STAN JEWELL Makena Hayes Junior Twinsburg, Ohio

I found Mr. Jewell through the Twinsburg VFW. He is 94 years old, and still living a relatively active life. In fact, he walked from his house to the local VFW building to meet me. All of his answers were recorded. Stan: I spent most of my career in the Navy as a submarine repairer. You ever seen a submarine before? Makena: No, I’ve never seen one before. Stan: [Laughs] Anyways, it’s like probably a lot of war stories; I joined, but I would of been drafted anyways. Anybody that could walk—and at my age—but anyway, I decided to join the Navy. So I ended up going to boot camp where you learn all the stuff. I don’t know if anything I tell ya is interesting or not. They sent me to school and I learned all about steam. Back then, aircraft carriers and everything was run by turbines, so I spent maybe, I don’t know, probably 10-15 weeks learning ‘bout steam and everything. Graduated. I guess I passed a few tests and got a promotion. And I ended up with all my knowledge about steam. I went into submarine repair, which have diesel engines. [Laughs] Makena: So did you have to relearn everything, then? Stan: Well, it was kind of . . . I’d been all in mechanical stuff and before the war I worked in a machine shop. It was building stuff for the war effort. That was before the war had started. But anyway, I ended up on the sub base there. It was, I guess, a good way to fight the war. I was in the war zone, but not being attacked daily at any time that I was there. I was at Pearl Harbor. Anyway, they just said, “Here ya are” and put me in with the guys, and they said, “We need you to do this” and I thought, well, the best way to learn is, I just volunteered for everything. Every time somebody needed something done, I just said, “I’ll try it.” But I was mechanically inclined enough, it wasn’t anything that, y’know, but, I don’t know. Just to tell you what we did, every sub went

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out for, oh, up to three months, maybe more. All these guys livin’ in this, y’know, and there’s a lot of them, and they, when you got out of your bunk, somebody else got in it, cuz there wasn’t enough beds. So, I forget what they call the warm beds thing or something. But I didn’t do any of that. I was up in the barracks. Had my own cot. It was interesting to me. When I went in, I decided, well, y’know, I could get killed. I could do what I . . . I’m just gonna’ go and take what comes and not worry about it. Which, kinda, helped me in a way. I was probably never in danger really. Anyways, after these fellas went out for their three months, they came back, and we did all the engines. Complete overhaul. They had a lot of their air compressors, and y’know, a lot a hydraulic stuff and everything, and we did all that or checked it all out. That was about it. The submarines did a lot of the work. In fact, [unfolding sheet of paper] 60% of the Japanese shipping losses were by submarines. Another sad thing is, one in five submariners were lost. One in five. Which is a higher percentage than any other branch of the service. They were a major factor. So I guess I was doing my part, but there wasn’t anything that, y’know, any big war stories to tell you. Makena: How old were you? Stan: Uh, 21. Makena: Was it a really difficult decision to leave your home and go to war? Stan: Well, no. It didn’t bother me any I guess, because I knew everybody else was going and doing something. And when you think about it, the war effort at home was fabulous. I mean, people worked long hours in factories building, and they built ships and submarines and everything else, and probably a quarter of the time it took ‘em, just ordinary working days and things. It wasn’t like now where you can talk to your husband and wife every day no matter where you are in the world. Y’know telephones weren’t even . . . but anyway, I left Twinsburg in September of ’42. The next time I got back was in July of 45. I was married at the time. So I didn’t see my wife for three years. Makena: So you’ve lived in Twinsburg your entire life? Stan: No, I just ended up in Twinsburg, with, y’know, got a war job at Cleveland. They make landing gear, but there are specialty ones for all kind of, and I ran the machine, and you couldn’t just get a leave. The Navy had what they called New Construction, like, if you’re on a ship, and they move you to another ship, maybe another base or something, you had a thirty-day leave in between. Well, I guess we were pretty well trained to work on subs, so they

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didn’t transfer us anywhere. We didn’t get any leaves! [Laughs] So that’s how that happened. So we came out in ’45, in the summer of ’45, if you hadn’t had a leave in two years, you could take a thirty-day leave and return to the same thing. A lot a the guys didn’t like the duty there, and they tried to get transferred, but they wouldn’t transfer any of ‘em. [Laughs] I guess we were trained and everything. Anyway, I got home kinda the last week in July of ’45, and they dropped the bomb while I was home. So the war was over. Y’know, they shut down the factories. It was really funny. Y’know, they didn’t need us anymore, except some, y’know, jobs they wanted people to stay, but not submarine repairers. But I ended up, I called in and said, “Well, I might as well stay home.” They said, “No, you gotta go back to California.” So I ended up going back to California, and I didn’t get out until October. Practically doing nothing. Except they put me in an office, and I was supposed to talk some of the grids, and y’know, that they wanted to keep. I was supposed to talk them into staying in the Navy. [Laughs] Which was kinda funny in a way. They didn’t want me, but they wanted me to talk to them. I don’t know if I ever convinced anybody to stay or not. But that was kinda more or less my career. Got any questions? Makena: While you were away, did you send letters to your family or people at home? Stan: Oh yeah. I think I got a letter from my wife every day. Although they didn’t get there every day, but she wrote one every day. They had what they called V-mail. They took your letter and they condensed it, course, they didn’t have any of the stuff they have now. They put it in some kind of a copy machine back then, I don’t know what it was, and condensed it in size. Course they read it all to make sure you weren’t tellin’ any war secrets about the Germans or Japs. I wasn’t quite as good at writing letters, but I wrote quite a few. Makena: So what kind of impact did the war have on your family or people you knew? Stan: Well, I was probably pretty lucky because none of my immediate family lost anybody in the war. Of course they were, y’know, they . . . people at home couldn’t get butter or things like that. Sometimes we got stuff that people at home couldn’t get. [Laughs] I guess cause we were in the service or something. Course, my wife had a job in a laboratory making penicillin, so she worked all that time in there. I don’t know, I think she missed me, maybe. [Laughs] Makena: What types of things did people do to help with the war effort while

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they were at home? Stan: Well, y’know, all the factories making stuff for y’know, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and I guess you got a day off or something once in a while. Before the war I was working in this factory, and I was working twelve hours a day. We didn’t really get much time off. We got weekends off or something. Like I said, it was really amazing the way people really got behind the war effort. You weren’t allowed to get sick or anything, I guess. Makena: What kind of places did you go to? Where were you deployed, and who were your submarines fighting against? Stan: They didn’t get near Japan for a while. They went out toward the Philippines and in there to begin with. Their job was to cut the supply lines. They were really just trying to sink the tankers and troop things that were supplying the Japanese on those islands. Sometimes there was a few well-known submarine commanders, or Captains, or whatever you want to call ‘em. They would really take chances and go closer to Japan and try to get ‘em as they come out from Japan. Makena: In your opinion, what caused the war? Stan: [Laughs] Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor. I’m sure it’s just like when they attacked New York, that stated some of the wars, almost. Everybody was upset. We were ready to get back at those Japs, y’know? Makena: battle?

How did soldiers interact with each other when they weren’t in

Stan: I really don’t have anything there . . . the subs came in every two to three week, when they came in they went over to, they took over a big hotel on the ocean, and they got two weeks there. I hope they pampered them. Makena: When you weren’t working on submarines, what would you do? Stan: Well, we would go ashore, and we could go, like my kid said, I showed them pictures of me in Oakiki in a bathing suit, and she said, “Oh, so that’s the way you spent the war!” I realized that I had it good. Really, I had it good. We worked hard. Long hours, but they were getting shot at every day. Once in a while, the islands, they were all blacked out. I really had it pretty easy, y’know, compared to someone who was, especially a guy down there in the

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submarine for three months in a space as big as this. [Stan gestures out toward the room we’re in]. Makena: Was it difficult to readjust to civilian lifestyle after the war? Stan: No. [Laughs] No, it was great. Compared to millions of guys, I had it pretty neat.

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MISSING THE MARK Ladan Jaballas Senior Stow, Ohio

Deep breath, then go. Align your feet on the white tape. Shoulders down. Don’t forget to smile. Show them what you’ve got. You will be okay no matter what. Just don’t screw up! The judge at the end of the table raised his arm. I let out a deep breath and raised my arms above my head. I squeezed out a smile towards the judge, as if smiling before the routine might add more points to my score. I quickly lowered my hands to my side and glared at the vault ahead of me, preparing for what was to come. I stood up on my toes, anticipating. Here we go. I leaned forward then took a step over the starting line. I accelerated towards the board like a rocket, ready for the jump. Each step was faster and faster, until the last few feet. Hit the board. Hit the board at the right spot. Don’t miss it! Don’t overstep! As the board approached, my steps became choppy, then they became strides, then back to choppy marches. My arms swung back and forth, cutting through the air like knives. Just do it! Don’t hesitate! I lifted off the last step. Jump! I flew through the air towards the end of the springboard. My arms started to rise over my head, preparing for the flip. My knees bent deeply on the board, hoping for it to create a bigger jump into the air. As I began to fly up, my body tensed. Shit. I belly-flopped onto the vault. The jewels of my black and blue leotard scraped across its surface. The palms of my hands hit the vault beside my head. My left cheek smacked on the brown, leathery obstacle. My toes were still stuck to the board as if my feet had never left it in the first place. Half my body was plastered on the vault. The other half of

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me was still trying to stand tall. I turned to look at my coach standing right next to me. I somehow knew how he would react. His face showed no emotion, as if he had expected this to happen. I looked to him for reassurance, but he gave none. He spoke no words. All he could do was roll his eyes, then covering them with his hand. He wiped his face, as if trying to wipe the red I quickly stood up and burn of anger from his skin. I knew he was mad, but I did not turned to the judges to my know how to fix it. Instead, my left. I stood at the top of own cheeks turned bright pink from embarrassment. I did my the lane, toes aligned with best to brush those feelings the edge of the blue mat. aside. Shoulders lowered and Just get up and finish. This is not the time to cry. stomach sucked in, I raised I quickly stood up and my arms quickly into the turned to the judges to my left. I air and smiled the most stood at the top of the lane, toes aligned with the edge of the fake smile I could to try to blue mat. Shoulders lowered hide the intense emotions I and stomach sucked in, I raised my arms quickly into the air and was feeling. I walked off smiled the most fake smile I the lane, head held high could to try to hide the intense and a blank stare on my emotions I was feeling. I walked off the lane, head held face. I took a big gulp, and high and a blank stare on my held back the tears that had face. I took a big gulp, and held back the tears that had been been piling up throughout piling up throughout my my gymnastics career. gymnastics career. Letting out a single tear would show weakness and make my image as a gymnast that much worse. I closed my eyes tight. I told you not to screw up.

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UNMASKED Ladan Jaballas Senior Stow, Ohio

At twelve years old, I knew exactly who I was. I loved the colors purple and black, admired the orange stripes of a tiger, enjoyed playing sports and lying on the beach, felt interested in the arts (especially photography), and wished for world peace. In seventh grade, for an art project, I created a plaster mask to represent me with all these things in mind. I spent countless hours constructing and painting that mask to perfectly detail who I was as a person. Solid gold lines separating each image proved I was sure about every aspect of my inner self and who I was. To finish it off, I placed the mask on a small easel to show off to the world how important the arts were to me. That plaster mask continues to reflect the child I was, and every time I look at it, that mask reminds me of how comfortable I was in my own skin. But now, I cannot say I am nearly so confident. Surely many of the As I grew up and learned images that cover that mask are still true, but some are not about the cruelty people nearly as prominent in my life often experience for trying as they once were. After being to be who they are, it made told so many times how unrealistic my dreams were, and me feel as though I needed how I needed to work toward to hide all these unique more realistic goals, I decided things about me. I closed that my ideas for establishing world peace and becoming a myself off from the people world-renowned artist were around me and did not let impossible. As I grew up and learned about the cruelty people anyone know the truth often experience for trying to be about who I was. who they are, it made me feel as though I needed to hide all these unique things about me. I closed myself off from the people around me and did not let anyone know the truth about who I was.

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My opinions and beliefs have shifted as I have learned more about the world. I no longer know if a beach is the best place to spend my time, or if world peace really is as great as it sounds or should sound. Now, I just do not know what to think or who to be. The question of who I am no longer has a simple answer like it did when I was in seventh grade. If I were to make a mask now, it would most likely show no real, concrete images at all. Rather, it would be an abstract piece of work made up of blurred lines and dramatic paint streaks. To create the blurred lines, I would smudge paint across the plaster mask as if to dirty a blank canvas. I would use those lines to show that who I am now is unclear even to me and that much of my life at the moment is unknown and all over the place. The dark streaks made by harsh paint swipes would represent my inner-self trying to scratch through the mask to be visible to the world. So, although I have grown up and changed, the child I once was is still there, hidden beneath a crazy mess of uncertainty.

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THE PROMETHEAN FLAME Noah Kontur Junior Northfield, Ohio

Humans are immensely powerful; there is no denying it. On the one hand, we are creators. From East Asia to East Egg we have staked our claims, marking our territory with monuments beyond imagination. The Eiffel Tower, the Forbidden City, the Empire State Building; our ambitions wander with the stars, and our creations follow in their wake. On the other hand, we are destroyers. Of all the species of the world, we are the only ones who destroy our own in huge numbers out of mere caprice. In respect to human nature, one is bound to pose the question: “Is creation worth the desolation?” A better question: “Would someone cease living for fear of dying?” Of course not. As humans, we have the unique power to change the world. However, we should treat this Promethean Flame with caution, protecting it from misuse—or, perhaps worse, no use at all. Within our minds, our passions, beliefs, and reason are always at war. They battle incessantly, competing for more control over the Flame. They differ in appearance but strive for the same goal: complete control over the body. Only reason, the most responsible of the combatants, is able to bear the Flame best. In the kingdom of the passions, impulse drives our actions. For just a small period of time our passions shut off our reason, indenturing us: eventually they will set us free, but only after we are scarred and humiliated. Similar to how lovesickness controls Orsino in the Twelfth Night, our passions gorge themselves at the expense of everything else. If we let passions take the Flame, they will burn everything, including us. Passion is not a good leader. Under the control of belief, the results are even worse. When the passions tire, they leave the individual guilty and willing to repent; beliefs, however, are much more stubborn. When we act solely upon established belief, not only do we make stupid decisions, we also make excuses and retain the same beliefs. How else could bloodletting have prevailed for so long? People believed it worked, and when it didn’t (that is to say, almost every single time),

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they attributed it to bad luck. An insidious poison, unquestioning belief will not only misuse the Flame once, but again, and again, and again. Belief, if given full reign over the body, is a tyrant. Reason is the best master. Unlike the passions, which act thoughtlessly, reason considers the consequences. Given a cause, passion would have us sacrifice anything to achieve it. Many have murdered because of passionate rage. If only the perpetrators had let reason prevail, they might not have been so quick to kill. While reason considers the whole body, passion considers only itself. As such, reason is a better Flame-bearer than Belief will never improve: passion. Similarly, reason is a better ruler than belief. Belief it thinks itself perfect will never improve: it thinks already. Reason, on the itself perfect already. Reason, on other hand, is always the other hand, is always tearing old convictions apart and tearing old convictions instituting new ones. While apart and instituting new reason isn’t afraid to adapt to the circumstances, beliefs are ones. While reason isn’t loath to change. Out with the afraid to adapt to the old and in with the new! As circumstances, beliefs are Nietzsche says, “Around the creators of new values revolves loath to change. the world. Silently it revolves.” That is not to say passion and belief should be entirely vanquished. As servants, they are essential. Without belief, how could we act on anything? For in every action is a grain of faith. When I jump into a pool on a hot day, I earnestly believe that the water will cool me down. If I didn’t think so, why would I jump into the water in the first place? The belief is not born of itself, however. Reason always controls it, and if there is any reason not to believe the water would cool me down, my beliefs would alter. They are the servants of reason, not the masters. Similarly with passions. Life would be dull without passions. There would be no motivations, no love, no hate. We would be robots. With reason controlling the passions, however, we can satisfy both our passions and the rest of our body. When angry, we can actually decide whether to act on the anger. When in love, we can deliberate over whether to pursue our beloved. With reason as king, passion and belief are wonderful helpers. Yet some people irrationally fear our ability to destroy. They claim that people are evil and should be silenced. They heap fault on our

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generation, glorifying a past that never even existed. “The idea that our species is improving is sheer pride,” they interpolate with a sneer. They despise the shining trophies of our achievement and latch onto the tarnish of our mistakes: they don’t understand that we can polish the tarnish and make our glories shine. They would rather kill the patient than provide treatment. They are so terrified of our faults that they call our successes hubris. To them, this hubris is terminal. But is it really? Is a small pinch of hubris even detrimental? Consider the precepts of our civilization today. Isn’t the value of hard work nothing but an act of hubris against the “gods” of circumstance? Yet without work, we accomplish nothing. Isn’t modern-day science—a field that boasts the ability of humans to solve problems—a kind of intellectual hubris over the unknown—perhaps even the notion of the unknowable? Yet with every small step we take against the mystical “gods” of our ignorance, we take a huge leap for mankind. Every action to better our lives is a rebellion against these “gods.” We are Shelley’s Modern Prometheus, and we have no reason to be ashamed. For hubris is the prerequisite for progress and greatness. Hubris is initial. Hubris is initial, for how could the Egyptians have built the Great Pyramids of Giza but for their belief that they could emulate the splendor of their gods? Hubris is initial, for how else could Aristotle, one of the ancient world’s most notable philosophers, have ever posited that people could use logic to overcome their ignorance and learn for themselves? Hubris is initial, for how else could Martin Luther have stressed an individual interpretation of the Bible? Hubris is initial, for otherwise how could revolutionary scientists like Kepler and Galileo have disproved the accepted science through human observation? Hubris is initial, for without it how could writers like Locke and Rousseau have stressed the importance of the individual as if it superseded gods and sovereignties? Finally, how could you take a test, feeling fully confident and fully prepared, if a little speck of hubris isn’t allowed entrance? Every action requires confidence: hubris is the beginning of creation. And yet the ascetics continue to repeat: “Hubris is terminal, Hubris is terminal.” Progress is challenged, creativity halted, all in pious obeisance to some ineffable “oversoul.” A while back, I talked to a teacher about using nature to our benefit. The teacher claimed that humans aren’t responsible enough to tamper with nature and that it should be left alone. I do not at all advocate for the destruction of nature, wherein lies our protection from various catastrophes—that would be self-defeating—I only scoff at the suggestion that we should

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cease from utilizing our environment just because we “can’t handle the responsibility.” By that syllogism, every government on earth should shut down tomorrow and let their citizens rot, because humans don’t have the responsibility to manage such a complex system. Like the firefighters from Fahrenheit 451, those who live in fear will never stop until every reminder of man’s progress, every triumph over circumstance, is condemned and burned. It is all too often that we fear the wrong thing. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Not hubris, not destruction, but fear. For it is fear that feeds the passions and radicalizes beliefs, easily toppling reason from its throne. For fear of failure, many have lost an opportunity to succeed; out of envy for others, they would call this opportunism hubris. For fear of inflicting pain, the soldier fails to deliver the coup de grace; in doing so, he unwittingly inflicts more pain than he could possibly imagine. Fear is the wind gust to the Promethean Flame: it shuts down our spirit and extinguishes our will. Only through courage can anyone carry forth the Flame. Carry forth the Flame, for generations of visionaries have died for your benefit. Push the boundaries of your little world, for freedom is the paramount of human achievement. Do not fear what lies ahead, for through discipline you can control your destiny. And even if misfortune has you cornered, “never, never, never give up.” You are your own god, and you need not hold your allegiance to anybody. Carry There comes a time in forth the Flame, for you won’t all our lives when we have another chance at this can’t hold the Flame any game we call life. Carry forth your Promethean Flame, Faut de longer. The earth calls us mieux. back to itself, and we In the end, can you cannot decline the control the Flame? Maybe for a little while. But not forever. invitation. So we pass Watch as it outgrows you, like the baton on and on, the bird leaping from the nest, flying away into the sunset. hoping that our successors There comes a time in all our will treat our inventions lives when we can’t hold the with as much love and care Flame any longer. The earth calls us back to itself, and we as we once did. cannot decline the invitation. So we pass the baton on and on, hoping that our successors will treat our

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inventions with as much love and care as we once did. And with every passing era in human existence, the Promethean Flame surges forth, bestowing life upon some, snatching it away from others. With full confidence, we can rest easy knowing that in bringing our spirit up, we have made reason its king. With full confidence, we can believe that history will teach our descendants what we have learned through painful experience, and that when they learn our lessons, they will attend to a bright future.

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THE CHINA PUZZLE: WHAT IS BEHIND THE FIREWALL? Duoduo (Darcy) Kuang Junior Changsha, Hunan, China

The democratization of China is of immense importance, not only due to its puzzling nature but also due to fact that China represents roughly one-fifth of the world’s population. Whenever issues regarding the democratization of China pop up, it always becomes puzzling to analyze them. How did China’s authoritarian regime stay so unaffected while the third wave of democratization swept through the rest of Asia in 1970s? Why were none of the Chinese regimes of the past one hundred years a true democracy while China seemed almost to exhaust all other forms of government? Can China possibly become democratic under the reign of the Communist Party of China (CPC)? Before answering any of these questions, it is important to recognize the fundamental difference between democracy and democratization. The first term refers to the system of government in which all the people are involved in making decisions about its affairs, while the latter denotes the With the advent of the transition to a more inclusive Internet, especially Weibo political regime. While it is undeniable that the CPC is based (a Chinese microblogging on centralism, the international website), serving as a community has not yet reached consensus on whether China has platform for information initiated a genuine process of (some of it uncensored) to democratization. Such an issue spread, Chinese netizens is extremely controversial due to the fact that historical factors and have been demanding Confucian ideology still play a transparency from the significant role in the decisionmaking process of the government more fiercely Communist government. than ever before. However, the public generally overlooks or even ignores such complexities and jumps right to the pessimistic judgment that not only does democracy not exist in China

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but that any indications of progress toward democracy are a myth. With the advent of the Internet, especially Weibo (a Chinese microblogging website), serving as a platform for information (some of it uncensored) to spread, Chinese netizens have been demanding transparency from the government more fiercely than ever before. The 2015 Tianjin explosion serves as a perfect illustration of such progress. On August 12, 2015, a series of severe explosions occurred at a storage container in the Port of Tianjin, a port city that is only 146 kilometers away from the capital, Beijing. More than one hundred people died in this accident and seven hundred more were injured. If such accident had happened ten years earlier, the CPC would have been capable of burying this event without the risk of any public criticism or protest. By contrast, hostile citizen reaction to the Tianjin explosion clearly demonstrated that the CPC could no longer utilize its suppression of information as a tool to control its civilians. Weibo users immediately posted videos of the explosion, making it nearly impossible for the government to conceal its responsibility for the mishandling of toxic chemicals. These same users also posed questions that the government simply could not ignore. Some Weibo users had posts showing that, Feng Zhi, the owner of Rui Hai (the company whose mishandling of these dangerous chemical directly led to this tragedy) shared the same last name with Shenghua Zhi, the ex-Vice Mayor of the city of Tianjin. Millions of posts were circulated on Weibo suggesting that such a “coincidence� as this indicated that Shenghua Zhi may have illegally utilized his political power to grant Feng Zhi, possibly one of his relatives, the license to handle hazardous chemicals. While the investigation of this incident is still ongoing, we now see netizens advocating for stricter regulations regarding the handling of hazardous chemicals. Journalists and On top of the fact that more reporters are, likewise, posing sensitive (and even aggressive) of its citizens have been questions to government calling for greater truth and officials at press conferences. And residents who live close to transparency in governance, the site of the explosion China has voluntarily taken continue to protest outside of some positive steps towards government buildings. On top of the fact that improved human rights. more of its citizens have been calling for greater truth and transparency in governance, China has voluntarily taken some positive steps towards improved human rights.

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In 2013, the CPC officially announced plans to abolish “re-education” through the labor system, a practice that has been in place since 1957. This system forces people who have committed minor offenses, or who are found guilty of being religious or political dissidents, to work in labor camps without first being tried in a court. Human Rights Watch, a humanitarian group that conducts research on human rights abuses, has accused the CPC of violating international law. The Chinese Ministry of Justice has, itself, admitted that the system violates portions of the Chinese constitution. Gongyi Wang, Vice-Director of the Institute of Justice Research, affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, has stated that this practice contradicts several items in the constitution, the Criminal Procedure Law, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a United Nations human rights treaty China signed in 1998. Clearly, the abolishment of this practice, which in essence resembles political and religious persecution, indicates that China has came a long way in its recognition of human rights, and it will continue to proceed along these lines. In many respects, the democratization of China can be expected to be very different from other countries over the same thing. For one thing, the current middle-class of China is unlikely to be the vanguard of the democratization process due to its heavy dependence on the state and its fear of political instability. This leaves the rest of China alone to answer the recurring question: Who will lead the China’s democratization? In 2014, more than 500 million Chinese international students studied abroad in countries including, but not limited to, the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Australia, and Korea—all of which are highly democratic countries. One impact of this is that China has never had a generation so accepting of new ideas, so aware of world events, and so adventurous. Could they possibly be the generation to drive and accelerate the democratization process? The only way to find out is to wait and see.

Editor’s note: An earlier, abridged version of this article first appeared in the Reserve Record. September 2015, Vol. CII, No. 1.

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CUSTOMER COMPLAINT Zanna Leciejewski Junior Hudson, Ohio

The golden arches. The haven of young and old, natives and travelers. With questionable meat and addictive fries, McDonald’s is my kind of place. Maybe it’s yours as well. Regardless, in the summer before my junior year, I lived the dream by working there. Working at this fast-food chain was a kind of rite of passage for me, as both my brother and sister had also worked there. Thus, I guess I always knew that one day I would likely be a McDonald’s employee myself. However, I was not really prepared for the lessons I would soon learn there. Walking in on my first day, with a blaring red shirt and new black work shoes, I inhaled that wonderful smell of grease. I walked behind the counter—my dream since a child—and saw for myself where all the magic happened. That day, I spent four hours dunking fries in boiling oil and salting them, feeling like the most special girl in the world. As the summer wore on, I spent most of my days behind the cash register, taking orders and handing out food for our “dine-in” customers. Before holding this job, I had always assumed that the customers in Hudson must be wonderful people. After all, Hudson is such a picturesque town. But this theory was repeatedly proven wrong. One such time was when a disgruntled customer started arguing with me about the store’s policy on sauce cups. I kindly explained that an extra cup of sauce would cost a quarter. He looked at me with pure rage and proceeded to scream about how “only a month ago McDonald’s never did this!” and that he “could go to any other McDonald’s and not be charged a cent for this!” Fear took over, as no one had ever spoken to me this way before. As a sixteen-year-old girl, I had never expected a fully-grown man to be yelling at me in public. Slowly backing away from the counter, I silently prayed that a manager would step forward to intercede. Never had I thought that someone might be this mad about having to spend an extra quarter, especially at an otherwise cheap place like McDonald’s. At this point, all the customers were looking at our

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faces: his red with anger, mine flush with fear. Just as I was feeling the urge to dive under the counter, a manager finally overheard our exchange and rushed over. This manager, who my siblings had secretly nicknamed This manager, who my “Mean Judy,” was (as you siblings had secretly might have guessed from such a nicknamed “Mean Judy,” moniker) not always the nicest person. She had the tendency to was (as you might have yell about anything that “pissed guessed from such a her off” in the store, which often felt like just about everything. moniker) not always the Now, as she faced this enraged nicest person. She had the man, I held my breath, fearful of tendency to yell about the ensuing confrontation. Her dark eyes met his squarely, as anything that “pissed her she slowly exhaled. Looking at off” in the store, which her, then at him, then back often felt like just about again, I almost believed she might be about to reason with everything. him quietly. That’s when the shouting started. Pointing back at me, she screeched, “How dare you disrespect an employee! If that’s how you think you can behave in here, then we do not want your business. Leave!” Now this man, stunned both by her outburst and order to leave, fumbled his way through a compliantly parting crowd of equally shocked customers and proceeded out the door. As he left, Judy looked at me and, to my amazement, looked quite bemused. A small smile played upon her lips that seemed to say, “this happens more than you would believe.” Dumbfounded, I nodded, scared but appreciative, and brought the next customer to my register. As Judy saw me finish putting this man’s order on the tray, she took the sauce cup from the counter, the very one the other man had screamed about having to pay a quarter for only minutes before, and placed it on the customer’s tray. Looking up at him, she said, “For you. Because you’re a hell of a lot more deserving than that other guy.” Several people in the lobby laughed uneasily as she turned and walked way from the counter. There are so many more experiences with angry customers, angry managers, and angry machines that I faced over the course of that summer, but this incident stands out most for me. I realized that with

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this type of job, where personal interactions with strangers are occurring throughout the day, not everyone would always be at their friendliest. Still, I never thought I would have to stand up for myself or to say the kind of words that Judy said to that man. But now, I understand what it means to defend myself against someone who just sees me for the uniform I wear, and not the person I am beneath the clothes. And although you may never work at a McDonald’s, the lesson still holds true: never let anyone make you feel inferior. [And should you ever be the person on the other side of the counter, I beg that you just pay the quarter. McDonald’s is not the place where anyone needs to feel superior.]

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TRUMP’S NEW WORLD ORDER Ying Ka Leung Sophomore Hong Kong

And so as Donald Trump steamrolls through the Republican primaries, his sheer momentum unimpeded by the futile efforts of the feckless GOP elite, the standard response of the sane American is to laugh. “Oh, he can’t possibly win,” was the refrain during the first few months. “Oh, that’s the end of his candidacy,” many reassured themselves whenever he seemed to make a particularly egregious gaff on the campaign trail. And still today, there is an air of triviality surrounding any mention of Trump is part of a virulent Donald Trump, his idiosyncratic mannerisms forming the butt of strain of right-wing many a political joke at dinner populism, ranging from the parties around the country. There is insufficient Tea Party to the French discourse taking place, however, National Front, which as to the origins and threatens the economic and consequences of what Trump’s quixotic political campaign has political stability of Western revealed so far, partly because democracies. It is a strain he sounds more like a reality TV that combines reactionary star than a professional politician, and partly because politics, bigotry, and the the odds are still stacked against foreign policy errors of the him (as betting markets and match-up polls, alike, past. It is only prudent that indicate)—but this is still an we all take a much closer issue. Trump is part of a look at Trump, given virulent strain of right-wing America’s current hegemony populism, ranging from the Tea Party to the French National in world affairs. Front, which threatens the economic and political stability of Western democracies. It is a strain that combines reactionary politics, bigotry, and the foreign policy errors

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of the past. It is only prudent that we all take a much closer look at Trump, given America’s current hegemony in world affairs. Much of the liberal internationalist order, from an economic standpoint—the E.U. and the WTO, for instance—has pushed for outsourcing and globalization to lower production costs and provide some semblance of economic stability for developing nations. Consumers, most of them at least, win. Corporations win. Developing governments, despite increasing income inequality, win. The losers of this new arrangement, of course, are members of the working classes of the first-world deindustrialized countries who have failed to adjust to their nations’ new service-based, commercial economies. Apparent to any political junkie, it is this working class that Trump has had considerable success in exploiting, by itself a convincing explanation for his Rust Belt strength. So explains the rise of Trump. Of course, it is not the first time in history that a populist has capitalized on economic turmoil, cultural insecurity, and social despair to try to monopolize the political spotlight. And central to Trump’s campaign are his bizarre promises, incomprehensible policies, voodoo economics, and rampant scapegoating. Trump promises to pay off the entirety of the U.S. national debt, which is currently running at $19 trillion and counting, in just eight years—an impossible prospect considering the financial impact of forcing through a $3 trillion budget surplus and then coupling this outlandish claim with a set of proposed tax breaks. His foreign policy highlights include a promise to eliminate the U.S. trade deficit in short order, to use “U.S. economic power to force China into reining in North Korea,” and suggesting that the U.S. military pull out of South Korea. Furthering his campaign goals, he brews a concoction of outrageous lies, feeding the narrative of ongoing American economic demise. “Unemployment may be at 42%,” he claims. Of course, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that it’s currently at about 5%. “I heard last quarter that our GDP was below zero.” It’s actually at a healthy $18 trillion. (Note: GDP can’t be negative.) A video of Moroccan refugees fleeing into a Spanish enclave, distributed by the Trump campaign, was purported to be showing the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump then asserts that President Obama has somehow degraded U.S. military capabilities. He proceeds to recount a cherry-picked list of aging technologies, such as the B-52 bomber, and neglects to mention the more advanced weaponry—railguns, the B-2 bomber, and the Zumwalt-class destroyer. The U.S. military remains, by far, the largest and most advanced in the

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world despite its slight spending cuts—and those cuts were largely caused by budget sequestration (a result of the 2012 ATRA) and Congressional dysfunction. (Another note: Obama isn’t in Congress.) There appears an almost limitless supply of Trump’s incomprehensible promises and his bleak depictions of the future role of the United States on the world stage, but this mélange of exaggerations and outright falsehoods play directly to his voting base—the working class that, in their own minds, have gotten the raw end of the deal from the globalist world order. And so, this marginalized group, with an unparalleled hatred of the D.C. establishment, views Trump as their knight in shining armor—kicking out all the illegals, getting our jobs back, bombing the (expletive-deleted) out of ISIS, and so on—or as his oft-repeated, iconic campaign mantra asserts, he will “Make America Great Again.” To more thoughtful Americans, the world operates in far more complicated ways. From what little analysts have been able to extract from Trump’s iconoclastic bombast, one notices a crude but recurring theme of protectionism. This mainly stems from arguments regarding the trade deficit and the outsourcing of manufacturing. Jobs that have remained in the United States have seen stagnant incomes. While it is true that globalization is a depressing force on lower and middle-class incomes in economically developed countries, thus increasing wealth inequality, calling for protectionism is an exercise in reactionary politics. Democrats can point to decreased collective bargaining power and weak social safety nets in the United States as reasons for the increasingly shoddy financial situation for the working class (compared to Denmark, Germany and Canada, for example, where this is less of an issue). But the Republicans have only illogical protectionism and ugly scapegoating to offer, and hence the current conflict between the free-market libertarian wing and Trump’s populist wing of the Republican Party. There’s been an obsessive focus by the Trump campaign on illegal Mexican immigration, for instance, despite the fact that Pew Research finds that more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering and that illegal immigration rates are basically stagnant. But such protectionism is hardly feasible, to say the least. The United States will always find it difficult to compete with wages in countries with lower costs of living. Forcing companies to hire U.S. workers will simply result in higher costs that drive up inflation and potentially weaken the U.S. dollar, offsetting the increase in purchasing power that occurs from this decrease in unemployment. Presumably, the U.S. would have to reverse its decades-old push for economic

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liberalization, cushioning itself with massive import quotas and tariffs. Companies might simply opt to relocate. At the end of the day, it is naïve to expect the United States and other developed nations to compete in an arena where they operate at a comparative disadvantage—due to higher labor costs—and still force whatever is left of the private sector to participate in a new, suboptimal markets with artificially increased costs of production. The point, of course, is that Trump’s candidacy is far from a trivial matter. He justifies his lack of experience in foreign affairs with his support for an unpredictable policymaking process. His antiglobalism threatens to dismantle the institutions that are now The point, of course, is that central to the global economy— Trump’s candidacy is far organizations and companies from a trivial matter. . . . that provide cash flow to developing nations so that they His anti-globalism are less reliant on foreign aid threatens to dismantle the and are more militarily stable in institutions that are now the long run. Central to his latest “America First” doctrine is central to the global the foolish idea that the United economy—organizations States alone dictates global events and that global events and companies that have little impact upon the provide cash flow to United States. That is simply developing nations so that not the case. The U.S.’s massive stake in the global economy they are less reliant on means that what is good for the foreign aid and are more world is good for the U.S. After militarily stable in all, what Trump’s supporters ultimately fail to understand is the long run. that economics is not a zero-sum game—nation-building means that governments have the necessary apparatus to employ the use of force and develop infrastructure independently—not that resources are squandered. But in place of real substance or formal policy statements, we see a modern brand of Caesarism, fueled by xenophobia and spread via social media—a cult of personality with a penchant for violent social expression. Come November, voters should take note and consider that the United States’ special relationship with the world is one that should remain relatively stable—and while Donald’s chances in the general

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election are doubtful, it would be somewhat risky to dismiss him with a smirk and a shrug, for he poses an existential threat to the West’s current economic unity. That is no laughing matter.

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LUCK COMPENSATION Jason Lin Junior Taipei, Taiwan

Can you keep a secret? I’m typically not very enthusiastic about advertising my fatal flaws, but I believe that you, the reader, can benefit from what I have to say. To be perfectly honest, I have a horrible work ethic. My brain is rather shortsighted, and I can’t My brain is rather comprehend long-term consequences, so I tend to focus shortsighted, and I can’t on immediate satisfaction. comprehend long-term Therefore, in my life, procrastination is king, and consequences, so I tend to video games are its claim to the focus on immediate throne. I am prone to spending satisfaction. Therefore, in hours on end clicking away at virtual enemies on my computer my life, procrastination is screen, conveniently ignoring the king, and video games are yet-to-be-started five-page essay its claim to the throne. due in less than four hours. But I wasn’t always this lazy. You see, when I was in middle school, I used to weigh my daily decisions by asking myself the simple question, “What could go wrong?” Being a pessimist, however, I had a knack for predicting potential failure in almost every scenario I could imagine. To overcome my imagined fears, I went to great lengths to avoid witnessing them come true. I chose my friends carefully, fearing my potential humiliation. I arrived five minutes early to everything, fearing others’ potential irritation. I obeyed all orders, commands, and requests directed at me, desperate to evade anyone’s potential wrath. In other words, I was a responsible student, following an unvarying schedule day after day to maintain order and tranquility in my life. It felt good to be proactive, anticipating problems before they came to fruition. On a more basic level, it felt good to lead a relatively stress-free life. However, a stress-free life can hardly be considered enjoyable by

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itself. Beyond attending classes and doing homework, I had, rather ironically, no life. Upon completing my official school duties, I spent my free time in front of a computer screen. Playing video games gave me a release from the monotony of my scripted behavior while in school. Sure, I enjoyed the slow process of ruining my eyesight while I could, but upon juxtaposing the two differing aspects of my waking hours, I felt as if I was living a lie. I spent the first twelve hours of my day being a model student only to squander the remainder with a complete disregard for any responsibility. I could not decide who I really was: the goody two shoes or the gamer guy. At the tender age of thirteen, I was having an identity crisis. It was during this identity crisis that I received my acceptance letter to Reserve. Despite my initial misgivings about abruptly transitioning away from my former school, I realized that the new environment would provide me with an opportunity to reinvent myself without seriously hurting my public image, since I would be unknown in Ohio. After careful consideration, I decided that my best course of action would be to quit gaming once and for all. My workload would be too heavy and my free time too limited, even on weekends. Gaming, I reasoned, would keep me in my room and prevent me from taking advantage of the boarding school life. Both my parents had done their utmost to emphasize the degree to which their own high school experiences had defined the rest of their lives, and I wasn’t about to let them down by wasting mine. In contrast to my fantastic vision of success, however, “success” proved to be a miserable experience. Nonstop studying took its toll on my resolve. Without a way to expel the stress from my body, I grew wearier in mind and began to see everything as a chore. Although I vowed to participate in as many social events as possible, I soon discovered that few truly appealed to me. I lacked the conversation skills necessary to fully enjoy social activities. Another serious problem was the effect that sleep had on my state of mind. Despite regaining my energy every morning, sleep did not bring me satisfaction. When I woke up, I would be in exactly the same depressed state of mind I had been in the night before, only a little less tired. For me, sleeping was a necessity, not a luxury. During this period of all-work-and-no-play, my pessimism kept me in check. If I felt myself slipping, I reminded myself that once I started gaming, I wouldn’t be able to stop. I envisioned horrific scenes of failure, disappointment, isolation, addiction, expulsion—and those were only the direct consequences. With each passing day, as classes became

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more difficult, sports became more intense, my sleep cycle gave up, and my fatigue compounded, the voice inside my head reassured me that I was doing exactly what a successful high school freshman should be doing. By late October, I was forced to conclude that a life without video games was simply unsustainable. On a Monday night, I reinstalled all of my games and went on a six-hour gaming binge. (Yes, this was in Wood House!) It’s hard to describe the satisfaction and exhilaration I felt at being able to release months of pent-up stress in such a short time span. For a while, I could forget about all my homework, my tests, and my public image. It was the closest I had come to “Hakuna Matata” in a very, very long time. When I finally came to at 8:10am the next morning, I found that I didn’t particularly Having realized that care about the biology quiz I playing video games was supposed to study for or revitalized me, I started to the twenty pages I had to read from The Odyssey. Despite only devote more and more of having slept for six hours, my my time to leisure instead brain was fully functional and of work. But what began as letting my imagination run wild. My zombie-like work a relapse into my old habits had vanished overnight. behavior soon developed For the first time in eight weeks, I felt alive. into something far worse. Having realized that A taste of the forbidden playing video games revitalized fruit had driven me over me, I started to devote more and more of my time to leisure the edge, and after weeks instead of work. But what began of withdrawal I found as a relapse into my old myself addicted to gaming. behavior soon developed into something far worse. A taste of My identity had reversed the forbidden fruit had driven itself, and school was no me over the edge, and after weeks of withdrawal I found longer a serious concern. myself addicted to gaming. My identity had reversed itself, and school was no longer a serious concern. Naturally, the constant gaming prevented me from performing at my full potential in the classroom. I didn’t study for tests, considering it wasted time. I arrived to my first classes five minutes late, since I often

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needed to finish homework in the mornings. I saw deadlines as flexible and commitments as optional. In other words, I was an irresponsible student, approaching life with a devil-may-care attitude. My train of thought constantly derailed during classes, and my imagination constantly conjured up fantasies of aliens, guns, and magic during lectures. As you might expect, this led to complications when I needed to balance grades with gaming. However, I soon began to notice a trend in the consequences of my behavior. With every slip-up I made, I would miraculously avoid trouble due to some coincidence. If I forgot to complete homework, the teacher would not assess me. If I felt particularly exhausted from lack of sleep, sports practice would be cut short that afternoon. If I got stuck when writing an in-class essay, a passing student in the hallway would say something that provided inspiration for my next sentence. Initially, I didn’t think much of it, but after surviving two consecutive weeks while playing games for four hours each night, I realized that something was wrong. Not only was I getting away with everything, but several of my tasks would line up in a way that made it easy to complete all of them simultaneously. For example, say that I needed to print out an essay, talk to my biology teacher, and study for a test before first period. The natural course of events would be as follows: 1. Go to breakfast and grab a sandwich, which they usually don’t serve, then eat it while walking. 2. Bump into my biology teacher on the way to the library and talk to her. 3. Sit down at a computer to print out my essay, and overhear two students memorizing terms for the test. 4. Collect the paper, and notice my long-lost eraser on the counter by the printer. 5. Leave the library at 8:21. 6. Arrive at my first class three minutes late, only to find out that the teacher is also late. 7. Turn in the essay and take the test, which turns out to be way easier than I imagined. I’m serious, this kind of stuff happened on a daily basis. Heck, that’s not even the most extreme thing that has happened to me. I once missed a airline flight, and that event somehow culminated in me submitting an English paper two weeks after its due date without penalty, learning how to solve a 4x4 Rubik’s Cube, buying my nowfavorite album on iTunes, signing up for AP Government next year, and writing this article. I call this phenomenon “luck compensation:” when

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the universe readjusts itself after realizing that you didn’t live up to its expectations. It’s one thing to get lucky; it’s another to repeatedly find yourself in the perfect situation to fix your problems. Thus, I was reborn into a blend of contradictions. I was lazy and happy-go-lucky, yet seemed to waltz through life while dealing with more responsibility. That’s right: for the last three years, I have survived in this school through sheer dumb luck. I admit, there is no scientific proof that luck compensation is a real thing, but I’m pretty sure that I would have been suspended for delinquency at some point had my life not played out exactly as it has. There is, of course, the possibility that luck compensation is just a placebo effect. Maybe I’m Am I inadvertently causing actually developing more efficient study habits and a teachers to get sick so I can keener sense of detail, and complete my homework misattributing my success to some random coincidence. without penalty? Am I Maybe my “luck” makes inadvertently causing a schoolwork seem easier, which prefect to forget to check explains why I learn more quickly. Maybe my “luck” people in so I don’t have to draws my attention towards go downstairs? Am I aspects of life I previously inadvertently causing it to ignored, which explains why I conveniently notice things that snow in April so I don’t end up helping me. I can’t have to run outside? Is the seriously be rolling the dice and landing a seven every single fabric of society unraveling time, can I? because I want to play Well, maybe I can, and video games? I admit my if so, I’m the luckiest person alive. But if that’s true, then this belief in luck compensation phenomenon is literally causing is evidence that I am selfthe universe to deviate from its standard behavior just because of centered, but there really me. Am I inadvertently causing isn’t an explanation, teachers to get sick so I can besides the religious complete my homework without penalty? Am I approach. inadvertently causing a prefect to forget to check people in so I don’t have to go downstairs? Am I

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inadvertently causing it to snow in April so I don’t have to run outside? Is the fabric of society unraveling because I want to play video games? I admit my belief in luck compensation is evidence that I am self-centered, but there really isn’t an explanation, besides the religious approach. But if I ignore the perplexing question of how luck compensation operates, I find that my Reserve experience is, roughly speaking, more enjoyable. True, I have had to work during my breakfast and lunch times, as well as give up my A-effort ratings, but I have discovered that I enjoy living life in the fast lane. Every day brings new and exciting challenges to overcome, which I deal with in surprisingly spectacular fashion. I spend thirty hours each week playing video games, which boosts my confidence and recklessness, and, ironically, allows me to catch a break from the intensive and demanding life that it creates for me. I’m an optimist, constantly expecting my life to take a turn for the better in the darkest of times. I’m skirting a dangerous line by gambling upon happenings beyond my control, but I cannot bring myself to quit. I’m impulsive, relaxed, and relatively unconcerned about the long run—quite the opposite from my pre-teen years. The only problem is, I can’t go back. Because when my luck runs out, and the world comes crashing down upon me—and, I suspect, it will—I know that I will have no one to blame but myself.

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SURROGATE MOTHER Annie McArn Senior Bay Village, Ohio

I slap my alarm off my desk as it yells at me to get out from under my cool sheets into the damp morning air. The rain last night soaked everything in gray paint. Sitting up, I glance around my bluewalled room expecting to see my mom’s warm smile as she opens the curtains, but she is not here. I remember. She is a dozen miles down the road at St. John’s Hospital. Take a deep breath, I tell myself, but I cannot. Standing up from the edge of my bed, I know I have to face the day even though she is sick. I take a deep breath. As I pull on my favorite shirt, I brace myself for the emotional day ahead. The moment I leave my room, I step out of my shoes into my mom’s. The house is dead silent. Opening the refrigerator, I search for my lunch, but neither my older brother’s nor mine has been made. Of course not, Mom normally makes them. I fight the urge to head back to bed as I shuffle to the pantry to grab two brown paper lunch bags. Once they are finished, I set them at my chair and my brother’s chair. Out of the corner of my eye I see the fluorescent numbers flash 7:00. I lumber upstairs, open my brother’s door and poke him awake. He mutters something about sleeping for five more minutes. When I poke him again, he rolls over, muttering that he will get up as soon as I leave. I turn to the door down the hall. There lies my dad, twisted among the sheets and blankets, with pillows piled where my mom normally sleeps. Crossing the room at the bottom of the vast bed, I bend over and kiss his forehead to wake him up. Slowly, his red-rimmed eyes open. I watch him until he acknowledges our unspoken understanding and starts to untangle himself. In the hall, my brother emerges from his room and heads to the shower looking as exhausted as Dad. Saying good-bye, I run down the stairs and grab my lunch in its glorious brown paper bag. It is lunchtime before I notice the voicemail Dad left for me. My

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hands shake as I press the code. “Hey, Annie.” Dad’s voice pauses and then continues, “They say Mom’s going to be okay. I love you, and I’ll see you when I get home.” I sigh, letting go of the breath I had been holding. No more brown paper bags, red rimmed eyes, or robotic alarm clocks because she is going to be okay. Knowing how close I was to losing my mom made me realize how important family is to me, and we have grown closer since that memorable time. Even though we still argue and disagree, love never falls far behind. In those few Knowing how close I days, when no one knew what was to losing my mom was happening, I first realized I am capable of being indepenmade me realize how dent, responsible, and selfimportant family is to me, motivated. When it matters most, I am able to rise to the and we have grown closer occasion. These fundamental since that memorable time. lessons enabled me to strive as a Even though we still argue boarding school student and take pride in my ability to step and disagree, love never up to a challenge. Since then, I falls far behind. have been confronted by rigorous academic work, high expectations from coaches, and an active lifestyle that pulls in many directions. But these demanding responsibilities I manage each day build my confidence and character for all that I will encounter now and in the future.

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TURTLE LESSONS Niraj Naik Senior Twinsburg, Ohio

When I was fourteen, I was offered a job at a local daycare looking after young campers. I was young and had little experience babysitting children, but I figured I could handle it. The pay was decent and the hours flexible, which were two things I figured you could not guarantee with any other kind of summer work. I held a firm belief that all experiences are beneficial in some way, and so, without any reservations, I immediately accepted the position. Within the first day of my employment, I started to question my instincts. My supervisor instructed me to assemble some Norwegian playground equipment for the campers. I spent hours in the sweltering heat trying to force together finicky pipes and blocks. I had no idea what I was doing, even after reading a manual, and when I finally managed to complete the contraption, I had no idea how to use it. I ended up leaving the device out in the sand, figuring that some camper would find a way to put it to good use. At the end of that first day, dripping in sweat, I said goodbye to my supervisor and got back into my dad’s car already dreading my return for a second round of this At the end of that first day, daycare/prison. While I had thought that assembling the dripping in sweat, I said Norwegian playground equipgoodbye to my supervisor ment was an unpleasant and got back into my dad’s challenge, I was in for an even ruder awakening. I learned on car already dreading my day two that the rest of my time return for a second round at the daycare was to be spent cleaning up after these young of this daycare/prison. children. This particular daycare, for reasons still unknown to me, had bought lots of unorthodox European toys and art supplies for the kids to play with, and much of this stuff was very messy. Whether it was some form of paint, sand, or glitter (or a

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substance I am still convinced was boogers), I found myself constantly cleaning up messes. I knew that I had signed up for this job, and that I needed to follow through on my commitment, but I couldn’t help but lament the fact I had essentially ruined my summer. While I was still coming to grips with the countless number of messes I was going to be cleaning up over the next couple of months, another surprising thing caught my attention. I figured the kids would be relatively well behaved and would not cause me so much stress. Little did I realize that every child between the age of four and eleven seemed set on making my life a living hell. After just two weeks at the daycare, I had seen every kid cry. I had also wiped up my fair share of pee, poop and even blood. The kids, who seemed only focused on their action figures, didn’t bat an eye as I cleaned up their arts and crafts. With this terrible opening, I remember telling my dad I was planning to quit the following week. When I returned for the third week, I told my supervisor I didn’t think I could spend my whole summer this way. I wanted to enjoy myself a little. I gave her the standard two-week notice and went back to the play area feeling a great deal of relief. Back at my chores, I learned a young girl named Sophia had just joined the daycare. She had recently turned four, and her parents were worried she was still not trained to use the bathroom properly. I wanted to cry. How much more poop was I going to have to clean up now? One of my other duties at the daycare—one I really didn’t mind at all—was keeping the pet turtle fed. His name was Harry, and every time I got ready to feed him the kids would crowd around me eager to see him slowly rise and move towards his food. Sophia still couldn’t speak too well, but I distinctly remember the look on her face the first time she saw me drop a food pellet into the cage. Her mouth opened wide, exposing a couple of baby teeth, and she produced the biggest, most innocent smile. Her eyes widened and she started to laugh and cheer as Harry moved towards his food. I couldn’t imagine that magnitude of excitement, and I wondered what it must be like to make such a powerful discovery. The next day, I returned to the daycare less upset about having to clean up glitter and boogers and more curious about how Sophia would spend her afternoon. When I entered the play area, Sophia was still napping. One of the other counselors complained that Sophia would not wake up, and so I headed into the nap room and tried to nudge her along. She slowly opened her eyes and stretched out her tiny arms, her face scrunched up in a scowl. She stood up after a minute,

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clutching her blanket, and walked straight from her napping mat to the turtle cage. Harry was still asleep, and she looked up at me, apparently waiting for me to feed him. She seemed a bit impatient. I quietly chuckled to myself and grabbed a leaf of lettuce. I broke off a piece and placed it in Sophia’s small pink fingers. I lifted her up onto a stool and helped her drop the piece of lettuce into the cage. It fell right on Harry’s head, and he immediately snapped it up. Once again, Sophia began to convulse in joy as the turtle came to life. She started jumping up and down in triumph. I smiled, and lifted her off the stool, watching as she went off to play with some Norwegian toys. Over the next two Over the next two weeks, weeks, I would wake Sophia up from her nap every day, we I would wake Sophia up would feed the turtle, and then I from her nap every day, we would watch her play with toys would feed the turtle, and or do some arts and crafts. I felt victorious. Somehow, I had then I would watch her play changed this horrible job with toys or do some arts experience into something more meaningful. I suddenly wanted and crafts. I felt victorious. to help all the kids learn how Somehow, I had changed this wonderful it was to be alive. horrible job experience into But alas, I had already given my something more meaningful. two-week notice. On my very last day, I I suddenly wanted to help all remember cleaning up after the kids learn how wonderful most of the kids had left. Sophia was still playing with it was to be alive. some wooden blocks, waiting for her parents to arrive and take her home. When they came to the door, she grabbed her book bag and lunchbox and got ready to leave. Her parents, knowing I would not be returning, told her to say goodbye to me. It did not really register with Sophia, however, that she would never see me again. Still, she happily waved goodbye to me and walked out the door with her parents, telling them all about her day. I was bummed because I knew that she would likely never remember me. She would not remember how we dropped lettuce into the turtle’s cage each day. It kind of broke my heart. But part of me believed that as she grew older, she would at least remember that feeling of exhilaration when discovering, for the first time, something as simple as a turtle. And that was enough for me.

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A SUPER HISTORY Elliot Ong Junior Hudson, Ohio

Since as far back as 1837, mystical beings we have dubbed “superheroes” have been popular with people of all ages. We admire each superhero for something different, whether it be a unique mental ability, or special physical trait, or even just the way they see the world. No two are the same. Superhero styles can range anywhere from those with strict moral codes, to those with demented views of justice, making one thing certain: masked vigilantes don’t always follow the Boy Scout attitude best represented by fan-favorite, Superman. So, why do we like them? What is it about these caped crusaders that we just can’t get enough of them? To answer those questions, we must go back in time. In 1837, Spring-heeled Jack was reportedly seen for the first time—but not in any book or brightly-colored illustration. No, Springheeled Jack was seen leaping across London’s rooftops in his black robe, black helmet, and white garments, bearing a close resemblance to the later, world-famous, Batman. However, ol’ Spring-heel was more villain than hero. In fact, of his first two public sightings, one was a report of a woman who was immobilized and attacked by a man who had dropped on her from above and fled soon after. The other was a report that a laughing black figure had dropped in front of a gentleman’s carriage, causing the driver to lose control and injure himself. The figure proceeded to leap to safety on top of a nine-foot wall. While the tales of this mysterious figure were most likely a fraud, the rumors caught the attention of people all over England. Curiosity lit the fire of his popularity. Who was he? Where was he from? How could he do what people claimed he could do? Thus began the public’s fascination with superheroes. But that alone cannot possibly be why we love superheroes. While curiosity may have lit the fire, it could not have fueled it for the next 180 years. Soon, alter egos and origin stories would be written that would begin to satisfy our curiosity about these wonders of the world. So stories were born to fill the void of curiosity. Although many stories of heroes were written before his creation in 1936 (like John Carter, The

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Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon, Tarzan, etc.), the Phantom is said to be the world’s first real superhero. Sporting the classic superhero look of the skin-tight costume, the Phantom has helped shaped superheroes down to the present time. Ever wonder why you can never see the pupils of a hero’s eyes? Well, Lee Falk, creator of The Phantom, drew inspiration from Greek busts, which apparently had no pupils because they had originally been painted on and had faded over time. From his costume, to his crime fighting, to his alter ego, and even his eyes, the Phantom helped shaped future comic book heroes and greatly influenced the most famous superhero in history, Superman. Superman started the Golden Age of superheroes with his 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. The Golden Age is the period in comics between 1938 and somewhere in the 1950s, where comic book popularity grew, and many superheroes made their first appearance. DC Comics, All-American Publications, and Timely Comics (the predecessor In many instances, these of Marvel Comics) are credited characters and their exploits with the creation of most of our served the interests of favorite heroes of the Golden political propaganda. During Age. During this period, the five most famous superheroes— World War Two, DC Comics Superman, Batman, Captain heroes were seen fighting the Marvel, Wonder Woman, and Captain America—were each Axis Powers. The very created and became immensely famous cover of Captain popular, though often for very America Comics #1 shows our different reasons. In many instances, these patriotic hero punching Nazi characters and their exploits leader, Adolf Hitler, across served the interests of political propaganda. During World the face. There are also War Two, DC Comics heroes covers that show Superman were seen fighting the Axis lifting a German tank in the Powers. The very famous cover of Captain America Comics #1 air (Action Comics #59) or shows our patriotic hero taking down fighter planes punching Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, across the face. There are (Action Comics #63). also covers that show Superman lifting a German tank in the air (Action Comics #59) or taking down fighter planes (Action Comics #63). Captain Marvel, who was owned by

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Fawcett Comics but would later be revived by DC Comics (and who is set to have his own movie debut in 2019), was perhaps the most popular of the Golden Age comic book heroes. All of this, however, didn’t last too long, as a shift in focus to horror comic characters, such as The Spirit, who would soon be doling out justice in notably harsher ways, brought about a steady decline in comic book sales. By the mid 1950s, Captain Marvel and the rest of his superhero buddies had largely fallen off the radar. In 1953, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency was created because of an uptick in youth crime. Fredric Wertham, in his influential book, Seduction of the Innocent, proposed the idea that comic books had been causing irrational and violent behavior in readers. This led to some wider public condemnation of the characters and plots of the then bestselling comics. It would seem that the time was right for a return to characters fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. And the wait wouldn’t be long. After the creation of the Comics Code Authority by the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers, the Silver Age of comics was born. In the readers’ letter column section of Justice League of America #42, a fan from Westport Connecticut by the name of Scott Taylor, wrote, “If you guys keep bringing back the heroes from the Golden Age, people 20 years from now will be calling this decade the Silver Sixties,” thus coining the term. The start of the Silver Age was marked by DC Comics’s Showcase #4 which saw the first appearance of the modern-day Flash. The challenge that comic book creators had to overcome was the general shortage of heroes. The only three superheroes still published under their original titles were Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Soon, however, DC would take over Captain Marvel and bring him out of retirement. With the success of Showcase #4, other superheroes soon started joining the ranks, such as Green Lantern, the Atom, and Hawkman. Improved artistic and creative prowess also took center stage from 1956 to 1970. Comic book writers such as Gardner Fox, John Broome, and, of course, Marvel legend Stan Lee, brought about the aforementioned Boy Scout ideology. Silver Age heroes like the Flash and the Fantastic Four were praised because of their positive influences on children. From 1956 to the 1970s, the popularity of these new heroes seemed to be based, as much as anything, on their stellar morals and positive attitudes. Marvel Comics seized upon the momentum brought about by DC’s revival by the development of its own more intricate storylines and interesting characters in their comics, giving people a whole new reason to fall in

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love with the genre again. The Fantastic Four were created in response to the DC supersquad, The Justice League of America, and they were meant to show that superheroes were once normal people themselves and that anyone and everyone should be able to relate to them. Marvel repeatedly used this strategy when it came to their Silver Age creations. Their most famous superhero, Spider-Man, was just an average high schooler who, after being bit by a radioactive spider, took on superhuman powers. SpiderMan was created in 1962 as part of this new era of comics. The X-men were also created so that students had something they could read and relate to. Even the Hulk’s power was made to represent the potential— both good and bad—of the anger that resides within each of us. In fact, it was Marvel’s far more complex stories and nuanced and relatable characters that eventually brought about the Bronze Age of comics. In a serialized nomenclature clearly borrowed from the gold, silver, and bronze medals of Olympic Games fame, the Bronze Age of comic books ran from roughly 1970 to 1985. It is distinguished from its predecessors by more mature themes. It contains many of the same traits as the Silver Age, however, after the Comics Code Authority revised their rules in 1971, harsher criminal violence, and the corruption of government officials became fair play, bringing about an age of darker-themed comics. For example, Batman, as we know him today, would not exist if Gotham had not been able to become a corrupt, crimeridden gutter of a city. The Bronze Age also had a lot in common with the Gold Age insomuch as they both dealt with real-world contemporary issues. Only now, the issues were more along the lines of poverty or pollution. The Bronze Age saw the birth of many modern superheroes. Marvel writer Jack Kirby, after breaking his Silver Age partnership with Stan Lee, started working for DC Comics. His main mission, which failed all-together, was to make Superman a more interesting character, taking kryptonite—Superman’s biggest weakness—out of play and dialing back some of the powers of this alien from planet Krypton. This is when superheroes started to find their more modern personalities. What were they fighting against? How would they fight it? While most of these heroes were still fighting crime or injustice, a few heroes, like Batman, struggled with larger moral questions. Batman, for instance, is constantly confronting his “no killing” rule as he is tested by psychotic mass murderers. His moral code is called into question in almost every single comic in which he appears nowadays, and that’s one of the reasons we love him and find him so fascinating. Batman forever battles an internal dark side we all know we have as well, but he is

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always able to come out on top and overpower the voice inside his head that tells him to break the rules. Bringing comic books out of the Bronze Age, was an unlikely ragtag band of anti-establishment superheroes. With far more mature themes and obvious subversive political overtones, Alan Moore’s Watchmen was first published in 1986. Watchmen tells a tension-laden story of superheroes the world has long forgotten who employ ethically questionable methods in their attempts to stop the threat of a nuclear apocalypse. This book gave new life to the entire genre. This was a “graphic novel” and not a mere comic book meant mainly for adolescent boys. For the very first time, people came to regard such works as serious literature. Time listed Watchmen as one of Top 100 works of English fiction in the 20th Century. The Watchmen, Batman, and other darker comic book characters brought about the final comic book era, the Modern Age. Dark themes and psychological torment pervade contemporary comic books. We may not see it as much in their movie adaptations, but they are definitely there. Dark themes and Superheroes now fight more psychological torment than just crime. They struggled against society itself and battle pervade contemporary with overarching ideas of right comic books. We may not and wrong. In other words, they fight the same battles we see it as much in their movie do. The conflicts modern adaptations, but they are superheroes face are definitely there. representative of what we ourselves combat, in our own Superheroes now fight way, everyday. That’s why we more than just crime. can relate to them. That’s why They struggled against we love them. We are able to see in our superheroes and what society itself and battle with they are going through, what overarching ideas of right we ourselves go through in far more mundane ways. Every and wrong. In other words, comic book issue, TV episode, they fight the same or movie we see about a battles we do. superhero reveals something essential about the world in which live, something that most of us can relate. The Modern Age of comics, in some sense, brought our super heroes a bit back down to earth.

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Superheroes were born out of our curiosity. Soon, that small spark grew into a flame, and the Golden Age of comics produced cartoon characters who protected us from our real-life enemies. After a brief post-WWII lull, new Silver Age heroes helped us grow up, taught us how to act and behave, and provided us with sound moral examples to try to emulate. But we hungered for more. The Bronze Age comics told more intricate stories of seemingly normal people who were given great powers—and the associated responsibility—in order to fight for what they believed in. And those beliefs were soon tested in the Modern Age, as our favorite heroes, who we had grown to love, stood up to enemies far more powerful than them, just like we do everyday. And that is why we love superheroes, and that is why they will likely never die.

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB TODAY Duncan Ostrom Junior Alpharetta, Georgia

The Breakfast Club is widely regarded as a classic movie of the 1980s. The popular film tells the story of five seemingly very different high school teens thrown together for a full Saturday detention as punishment for various rule infractions. At first, the biggest punishment seems not so much the lost free time the detention entails but the misery of having to put up with a bunch of strangers with whom they each feel they have nothing in common. It might seem like the world of 1985 is far behind us and that nothing from that era could possibly apply to our lives today, but The Breakfast Club defies this notion. The movie ends with an unforgettable quote: “You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms. The most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Each character in the movie arrives for his or her Saturday penance having been unofficially assigned one of these labels by their teachers and peers alike. Before really getting to know one another, these labels were their sole identifiers. As they discover over the course of a long Saturday of forced contact and interaction, however, they are so much more than their identifiers have allowed others to easily see. In fact, all of us are more than our identifiers. No one can fully comprehend what another person is going through in his or her life, and yet we continue to apply stereotypes to others based on what we superficially think we see or know. Labeling and categorizing is something humans have done for millennia: we categorize anything and everything—including the people around us. As early as middle school, cliques emerge, as “like minds” converge and “disparate minds” judge. The geeks, the jocks, the nerds, the theater kids and cool kids are just a few examples of such groups. No matter how hard you try, the second you hear one of these titles, a particular image comes to mind—and not always a positive or accurate one. A study in 2013 concluded that our overall impression of someone is dictated by our first seven seconds of conversation. When we see

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someone sitting with a certain group, that impression helps shape our subsequent view of them, whether we want it to or not. But stereotyped traits are just a small part of a much larger and more complex total human being. There are, for instance, incredibly smart jocks, and attractive nerds, compassionate cool kids, and athletic actors and singers. Under the But stereotyped traits are highly visible layer of our outer personalities, every person has just a small part of a much an inner being that they more larger and more complex carefully guard from the rest of the world. It wasn’t until the total human being. There kids in the Breakfast Club had are, for instance, incredibly spent some quality together that smart jocks, and attractive they began to discover each other’s hidden sides. nerds, compassionate cool If a random group of kids, and athletic actors kids were to be thrown together today, with only their and singers. Under the preconceived notions of what highly visible layer of our the others in the group were outer personalities, every like, would the results be the same as they were in 1985? I person has an inner being argue that history would repeat that they more carefully itself. These people would guard from the rest of the discover many flaws in their initial perceptions and likely world. learn quite a bit about themselves in the process. In the end, we are all human. We have feelings that can be hurt, hearts that can be broken, worlds that can be torn apart. Everyone lives their own life and no one else’s. So see me as you want to see me: a nerd, a queer, a role model, a secret rule breaker, a drama king, or hot stuff. But like everyone else, I am so much more than anyone will ever know.

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THROUGH THE EYES OF A LAMP Maria Paparella Senior Akron, Ohio

You may not believe this, but moving from a very nice $1 million house in a posh suburb to a 700-square foot Section 8 apartment in a drug-infested and high crime neighborhood is the best move I ever made. Well, it is actually the third move I have made: the first It all started with a young being the move from a girl who lived with me at manufacturing plant to a retail the fancy house. She was store, and the second involving the trip from that store to a fancy all alone. No brothers, no house in the sisters, and no pets until suburbs. Nonetheless, I hope she was almost twelve the love and appreciation I feel from my current owner stays years old. . . . No matter with me forever. how many times she How did I get here, you ask? Let me shed a little light asked, which she did every on that for you. (After all, that’s chance she got—birthdays, what I do best.) It all started Christmas, report card with a young girl who lived with me at the fancy house. She time, Easter, and other was all alone. No brothers, no random times throughout sisters, and no pets until she was almost twelve years old. I the year—she just could watched her play mainly by not convince her parents herself, although she had many to deliver up a imaginary friends. Her parents were very nice and provided her permanent playmate. with everything she ever needed—except for a sibling. No matter how many times she asked, which she did every chance she got—birthdays, Christmas, report card time, Easter, and other random times throughout the year—she just could not convince her parents to deliver up a permanent playmate.

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The little girl never gave up hope, however, that she would one day realize the fulfillment she sought. She even went online to check out Summit County Children’s Services (“SCCS�) and read about all of the foster kids in search of a permanent home. I know how those kids feel, just waiting and waiting for the ultimate placement in a home where you are appreciated and hope to stay forever. The foster kids put their profiles online, and the little girl soon locked onto what she thought was the perfect choice for a sibling. Her name was Heaven. She liked the same sports and other activities as the little girl, and their birthdays just so happened to be days apart. She begged her parents to adopt Heaven. Even though no adoption came (in fact, she never even met Heaven), the little girl tracked Heaven online for the next ten years. Last summer the now older girl realized that she would only have this secret access to Heaven for about one year more. This is because that is when Heaven was to turn eighteen years old, when she would be emancipated from the state supported foster care system and turned out to live on her own. It became obvious that there was an injustice about to happen. The girl was going to turn eighteen years old herself and then go off to a fancy college with all the financial, logistical and emotional support from her parents and friends. Heaven, by contrast, was destined to be pushed into a small apartment to live entirely on her own, hoping to get a job that would pay enough to support her. The girl was outraged. She could not let this happen to Heaven. So she went to SCCS to find out how she could help and perhaps more positively affect the lives of Heaven and others like her. What she found was that SCCS has no ability to secure, inventory, and redistribute furniture to emancipated kids living on their own. The girl, whose mother owned a furniture store, told SCCS that she could provide the furniture. SCCS was skeptical that this seventeen year old could possibly establish an organization designed to fill a gap that had existed in the system since foster care began, but they gave her the chance. Tasked with developing a business plan, incorporating, and filing the proper paperwork for securing 501(c)3 status from the IRS, she did just that. Then she hosted a launch party with her parents, where more than 100 people attended. She made this tear-jerking speech about her story as a little girl in search of a sibling, and the furniture donations began pouring in. She arranged to store the furniture in a warehouse, established an inventory system, and worked with SCCS to establish an official process by which applications for furniture could be made and approved by SCCS and then passed on to the girl who would, in turn,

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rent a U-Haul truck and arrange for delivery of the furniture to the new homes of these kids now living on their own. The first delivery took place on Saturday, January 31. The recipient’s name was Caprice. She had just turned eighteen two weeks earlier and had lived in this small Section 8 apartment ever since with no furniture other than an air mattress in the bedroom. By the time the delivery was complete, By the time the delivery Caprice’s face hurt. She smiled non-stop throughout the entire was complete, Caprice’s hour-long delivery. Her face hurt. She smiled nonapartment was beautiful, stop throughout the entire outfitted with a brand new queen bed, a dresser, a dinette hour-long delivery. with four chairs, a used brown sofa and floral matching chair, and a side table with none other than me perched on top. Caprice caressed me as she put me gently on the side table, placed my shade perfectly on top and plugged me in. When she flipped my on-switch, a beam of light shot across the room and shone on the other girl, who now realized that fulfilling the lives of these emancipated kids was much more fulfilling than having her own brother or sister to fill in the hole she had felt in her own life. Seeing the appreciation and feeling the hope coming from Caprice was more fulfilling than the girl could have ever hoped for. She has now made many more deliveries, and with each delivery she hands the recipient a package of light bulbs, symbolizing the ray of light she hopes will be shed on their lives in return for the ray of hope they have definitely shed on her own. I hope other lamps like me get to see what I have seen and feel the same sense of family that I am feeling in my new home.

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IT’S NOT STUPID IF IT’S A LOVE STORY Chung Hwa Suh Senior Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

2004: I transferred to a Korean school after living in California for the past six years. I was a stranger to my home country, with too-tan skin and too-highlighted hair (all I needed was a crop top and a bellybutton piercing to really drive the “Cali Girl” point home). On the first day of my new school, the most presumptuous of my peers called me an alien. I smiled, because I recognized the word and registered the comment as a compliment (my fascination with aliens started when I was three). But when I found myself swinging alone during recess, I finally understood that I was not an extraordinary, otherworldly creature but rather a strange, unwanted presence. My mind screamed, Oh my god, I’m going to die alone! I launched myself to the bathroom, where I pinched my arm to keep myself from breaking down and sobbing. When class resumed, a feast’s worth of rice cakes sat on the front table. What now? I only understood fragments of my teacher’s explanation. Based on the cheers of my classmates, however, I deducted that we were indeed having a feast. My reasoning wasn’t quite acute enough for me to figure out just why; yet, I cheered along with everyone else regardless. Now, this feast presented a problem. Until 8th grade, I was an extremely picky eater, and in second grade, rice cakes were still a part of my “no-no list.” Alas, the teacher told us that if we ate all the cakes we would win a prize. If I get a prize, all my classmates will love me! It made perfect sense: I would earn their respect through eating and obtaining this mysterious prize, my medal of victory. I recorded this revelation in my notebook, highlighting the beautiful symbolism of it all with elaborate smiley faces. Determined as ever, I swallowed my inhibitions and quickly shoved an entire cake into my mouth. Sadly, it turned out that I could not swallow my inhibitions, let alone the disgustingly cloying cake. I panicked. It was time for Plan B. I would stealthily throw away each individual cake under my desk at varying velocities so as to minimize any chance of attracting unwanted attention. I smirked at my own

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cleverness: I was like a sly snake, too smart for the system. The system was my bitch. Soon enough, my plate was completely empty. Success! I strutted up to the teacher and showed her my plate. She smiled, and gave me a pink pencil. This was actually somewhat disappointing, but suddenly, all of my 42 classmates cheered uproariously. I had received the seal of approval! My heart exploded: it was love at first sight, the first taste of acceptance. But of course, because a great love story cannot exist without conflict. The silly girl with ugly bangs (the one who sat two rows in front of me and always flirted A single bead of sweat with that one, kind-of-cute, boy) screamed: she had stepped on a trickled down my forehead rice cake. A single bead of as I watched my classmates sweat trickled down my forehead as I watched my push apart their desks. classmates push apart their Once they did, the error in desks. Once they did, the error my meticulously thoughtin my meticulously thought-out plan was plain for everyone to out plan was plain for see: the rice cakes formed a everyone to see: the rice perfect line that came to a cakes formed a perfect line grinding halt at my seat. I had forgotten to throw any cakes that came to a grinding halt behind me! All of my new at my seat. I had forgotten friends turned, looks of admiration gone: I had betrayed to throw any cakes their trust, and our love was behind me! now corrupt. My survival instincts kicked in, that is to say the only one I knew how to use at the time: crying. Histrionics had always come to my rescue before, so surely they would save me now, right? I soon realized that there was an age limit on that tactic when my teacher dismissed everyone and sat me down on the floor, smacking my palms with a ruler. “Why did you go to such a fuss? It’s just a stupid prize,” she said. At the time, I just sniffled and apologized, too illiterate and too defeated to attempt any other answer. But now, I believe I would reply that the prize was anything but stupid. A “stupid prize” is a goal we only pursue for the sake of the pursuit, something that we long for

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without knowing where our longing comes from. But there are other goals that can be so intrinsic to our core nature that it becomes a part of the truth. And these are the real prizes in life, the things that make up our identity. So this is my truth, dearest teacher: camaraderie is the love of my life, one that is worth “such a fuss.� At eight years old, I wasn’t too young to recognize friendship, to look it in the eye and fall head over heels in pure infatuation. I owe it to my altruistic, all-too-hopeful second grade self to give my love story a happy ending; after all, we are only what we believe.

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SEEKING BUDDHA Yichen Wang Senior Shanghai, China

“Religious Preference” asks the Common Application. I initially choose “None” but then scroll down . . . to “Buddhism.” But my heart clenches; it won't let me click it. I lean back in my rocking chair and close my eyes, hoping the pause will spark an epiphany about my “true belief.” My mother's faith in Buddhism has triggered a great number of conflicts with my father, who detests Buddhism and sees it as mere superstition. Eventually, their differing opinions about religion led to a divorce. Thus, my own feelings towards Buddhism have always been a bit ambivalent. On the one hand, I can agree with my mother about some of Buddhism’s better ideas and noble values. On the other hand, I can also see the point behind my father's criticisms against subserviently believing in Buddhist doctrines without question, which he tended to regard as a lack of independent thinking. With these contradictory thoughts competing inside my head (and which I wanted to further I traveled to Tibet last explore in order to better summer. On the majestic understand my parents), I traveled to Tibet last summer. Tibetan Plateau stood the On the majestic Tibetan Plateau guru's abbey. For ten days, stood the guru's abbey. For ten days, the secluded abbey the secluded abbey separated me from the Internet, separated me from the electricity, and even any Internet, electricity, and mirrors. Yet this temporary isolation from the outside world even any mirrors. Yet this granted me the chance to temporary isolation from confront my inner soul. During the outside world granted the first lecture I attended in the temple, I put a question to the me the chance to confront guru in response to his teaching: my inner soul. “Buddhist tenets forbid us from

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clinging onto anything.” I rose from the cross-legged crowd, afraid but firm, “But my mother reads no books and listens to no music other than that related to Buddhism. Isn't this an attachment toward . . . Buddhism? Why does Buddhism allow this?” I queried. The guru laughed and responded, “Yes, this is an attachment. But don't question Buddhism because of the contradiction you see in your mother. This is her way of pursuing her religion, my child. It is not your Buddhism.” It is not my Buddhism? My brows knotted, trying hard to visualize my own understanding of Buddhist tenets. To my surprise, all the images that appeared had my mother's figure in them. Feeling more puzzled than ever, I decided to try to understand Buddhism through readings and my own observations. In a quiet attic, I read through some scriptures covering topics that intrigued me personally instead of the ones my mother had recommended. I took time to interact with some young monks: discussing what I read, doing some domestic chores, dancing on the mountaintop with them during their leisure time. I found they were truly happy from the inside out, feeling free from this complicated world. Gradually, my own understanding of Buddhism began to take shape. I found myself increasingly appreciative of the many aspects of the faith: valuing spiritual life more than material life; encouraging people to cherish and economize human resources (waste squanders limited blessings); and focusing concern on the community and collective well-being over the individual self. I was finding my own Buddhism. Buddhism is not my religion, as I don't believe in reincarnation or the divinity of the guru. Rather, I take it as my code of conduct since it is essential for me to believe that serving people makes me my happiest self. Thus, Buddhism is no longer a question of yes or no. My aim is a healthy and edifying spiritual life that is oriented toward caring for others rather than egotism in my daily life. By upholding certain tenets of Buddhism as my fundamental attitude toward life, I hope to become a wise and kind woman. My eyes open. I wake up from my reverie. On the rocking chair, I keep scrolling . . . to “other.” My heart is now at peace.

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MOVING PARTS Taryn Washburn Senior Aurora, Ohio

Moving Parts One So, I was born with this thing called symbrachydactyly. It’s basically a birth defect where I’m missing some or all of the bones in my hands, and no one’s really sure how it’s caused or what to do about it. Personally, I’m lucky to still have a complete working right hand, but my left hand has crooked joints, a muscle that won’t ever straighten out and that permanently bends my ring finger at a right angle, and two “nubbins” (that’s actually the scientific name for the little, boneless bundles of flesh that would be my index and middle finger were it not for the condition). Yes, they have fingernails. Yes, I paint them. When I was three years old, I overdosed. It was an accident, if that helps make it better. I had a cold at the time, and my babysitter decided it was a good idea to trust me when I told her the brown prescription bottle under the sink was my medicine. She didn’t bother to read the label. It was freaking Promethazine (which, apart from being a cough suppressant, is also a narcotic: Codeine). However, my babysitter did take the time to read the dosage on the bottle to make sure she didn’t give me too much, which was nice of her. So, according to the label, she gave me the appropriate adult dosage of codeine cough syrup: what every kid needs to get over a cold! I ended up puking for the next twelve hours. When my parents got back, they called poison control, but the guy on the other end of the phone pretty much just shrugged his shoulders and said to wait it out. So my parents sat me on the couch with a tarp and a trash can and told me to watch Emeril until I felt better. I was as happy as could be—what

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kid wouldn’t be, watching their favorite cooking show while simultaneously puking their guts out? My parents just chalked it up to the mental effects of the codeine. The same year as my overdose, my mother and I were in BJ’s. As we went to get a shopping cart, I saw a man with a prosthetic leg. He sauntered in, his clear plastic calf glinting under the fluorescent warehouse lights. I could see the blue wires that transmitted signals to his nerves through the plastic casing, and for the first time I saw the light. There was hope. I asked, “Mom, could I have fake fingers like that someday?” She told me I could, but I didn’t need them because I was beautiful just the way I was. I didn’t give a shit about that. Missing two fingers and losing the functionality of a third is a pain Sometimes, it just comes in the ass. I can’t lift boxes. I can’t hold things tightly. I can down to self-esteem. I only type with my thumb on my don’t want the first thing left hand. I can’t even hold a pen, let alone write with it, even people notice about me to messily, with my left hand. I be my deformed hand. can’t hold a book. I can grab a Because whether they care water bottle, and that’s about it. Sometimes, it just comes about it or not, it’s not down to self-esteem. I don’t normal. It looks wrong. want the first thing people There’s no helping it. notice about me to be my deformed hand. Because We’re all just slightly whether they care about it or repulsed when we see birth not, it’s not normal. It looks wrong. There’s no helping it. defects. It’s not anyone’s We’re all just slightly repulsed fault; it’s just the way when we see birth defects. It’s things are. We don’t want not anyone’s fault; it’s just the way things are. We don’t want to be touched by the to be touched by the strange, strange, crooked, deformed crooked, deformed hand of hand of someone with a someone with a birth defect. “Defect” itself is a negative birth defect. word. When a product is defective, we send it back to the manufacturer and demand a new one.

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No matter what, there’s always the underlying desire, faint and immoral, to do the very same thing when a fucked-up baby pops into the world. Send it back to the manufacturer and crank out another one in working condition. I also have this friend who’s really into technology. We were sitting together after dinner a few weeks ago, and I had been showing him how I could twist my “nubbins” all the way around. He grabbed my hand and wobbled the stubby fingers around a little bit, back and forth, curiously. “Have you ever thought about getting prosthetics?” he asked, casually. “Because you could probably get them for cheap, if you volunteer for a research study. Hand prosthetics are big right now, and companies need volunteers for new technology. I can send you a link, if you want.” As I grew older, I slowly came to realize just what had happened to me on that fateful night with Emeril. I realized how scared my parents must have been. I wondered where my actual medicine had been, and if it really was in a brown bottle like the Promethazine or if I just liked the way the bottle turned amber when I held it up to the light. I also developed an ungodly fear of vomiting. And, by extension, all things medical. The year after the overdose, I had hernia surgery; a cocktail of anesthesia and disturbed intestines from the procedure led to my inability to eat for a day or so. I learned that the hard way. Surgery and throwing up. Somehow, the two have Last summer, the nurses always been connected in my made fun of me when I mind. Medical procedures and passed out in the waiting losing my lunch. Scalpels and puking. Needles and nausea. room after having a It’s gotten to the point where I tetanus shot. In my semican’t even go get a physical without having to prepare conscious state, I heard a myself mentally for a week kid nearby ask, “Mom, will beforehand. Last summer, the that happen to me if nurses made fun of me when I passed out in the waiting room I get a shot?” after having a tetanus shot. In

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my semi-conscious state, I heard a kid nearby ask, “Mom, will that happen to me if I get a shot?” So, naturally, as any surgery-fearing human would do, I jumped on the opportunity to research prosthetic fingers after my friend brought it to my attention. The funky thing about prosthetics is that they’re designed for amputees. People who get them have already been to a doctor, already been in contact with professionals in the field, and don’t need to do much when it comes to getting their prosthetic selected and fitted. Their doctor does that all for them. They have direct access. Not a ton of research is required. As a result, there’s not a lot about prosthetics online—not experimental ones, at any rate. It was a week before I stumbled across the X-Finger. Terrible name, I know, but pretty cool technology, all kidding aside. No surgery is required. They just strap it on, and a small lever at the base of the finger is pressed down when whatever is left of the amputated finger moves, and it curls the rest of the mechanism. No electrodes or wires. It’s all mechanical, in every sense of the word. I would need a prescription for them, but the company works directly with doctors to pretty much convince them to write the scripts. After all, they want customers to purchase their product. The company is in Florida, and we’re going down there for spring break. There are some other things to deal with beforehand— contacting them, finding a prosthetist, getting the prescription—all that jazz. But hopefully, by the time we head down there, it will all be in order and we can visit for a fitting. No surgery necessary. Then, I’ll be able to walk into BJ’s and inspire some kid to become part robot instead of scaring them half to death by losing consciousness in the middle of a waiting room. I guess it all comes full circle.

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ARE HUMANS BORN TO RUN? Katie Weinzierl Junior Hudson, Ohio

The question, “Are humans born to run?” has a simple answer with a more complicated explanation. My simple answer is, yes and no. While I believe it can be argued that humans are born to run, the contrary opinion is defensible as well. Humans have roamed the earth for tens of thousands of years. We have evolved from roaming hunters and gatherers with little by way of modern sensibilities—such as a preoccupation with personal hygiene—to more sophisticated beings living in societies of far greater complexity surrounded by a During these prehistoric world of technological times, running was innovations of their own unlikely considered a sport creation. Of course, as our world has evolved, the food we or arena for friendly once had to hunt and scavenge competition. Running was, for is now conveniently available to us at the local instead, an occasional grocery store. necessity and instinctively Yes, humans were born kicked in when the need to to run. The key word in that sentence being “were.” Early outrun prey or other humans were not really the predators arose. In this principal prey for any sense, humans were born monstrous creatures living in the depths of the forest or to run. Running was a wandering the broad savannas. requirement for selfInstead, they were generally considered predators preservation. Humans themselves. Humans had to needed to run. They hunt for food and beat out other depended on it for survival predators in order to attain enough calories to sustain in the wilderness. themselves and the other

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members of their groups with whom they traveled. Early humans were highly nomadic. They never stayed long in any one place and were constantly on the move. During these pre-historic times, running was unlikely considered a sport or arena for friendly competition. Running was, instead, an occasional necessity and instinctively kicked in when the need to outrun prey or other predators arose. In this sense, humans were born to run. Running was a requirement for self-preservation. Humans needed to run. They depended on it for survival in the wilderness. But, as our world has evolved and become more technologically driven, running for survival has, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist. The second half of my simple answer to our opening question, therefore, is that humans are not born to run. Humans have developed into the most intelligent creatures on the planet, driven more by the competition for status and power than the basic need to survive. Today, more often than not, humans use running only as relatively convenient form of exercise. Running does not require a gym membership or much by way of specialized equipment. Running also requires relatively little skill, and one hardly needs perfect form to engage meaningfully in this activity. Running, or so society thinks, provides a simple solution to the growing problem of adult obesity. If done at a good pace over an adequate distance, running can make almost anyone “fit.� But that is our problem. Originally, running was required for survival. Today, rarely is anyone found sprinting to the grocery store because the last package of chicken in a 20-mile radius is about to be purchased by a rival consumer. In the modern era, humans use running as easy way to exercise, and many people indulge in it. Though not true of everyone, many run only because they think it good for them—not for the fun of it. As I explained before, running is the easiest and simplest form of exercise, for all ages. We never used to have to make up a reason for running. We ran because we had to. Indeed, in general, staying in shape was something that simply happened as a result of living a lifestyle that necessitated a pretty high degree of physical activity from everyone. Today, out modern lifestyles have many of us more sedentary. We have to carve time out of our days to be active and battle our expanding waistlines. But running really our best remedy for this? If so, why is that so many people are plagued by some form of injury due to running? Why do running shoe companies keep improving the technology imbedded in their product? If humans were truly designed to run, we would not need expensive products help us to enjoy engagement in a simple task without the risk of serious injury.

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Humans were born to run, but we may have ruined that for ourselves. As modernity has transformed how most of us live, we have had to invent new ways to keep our physical forms more in line with our ancient ancestors. We have become obsessed with exercise. Many have turned to running, leading to an increase in the number of injuries and an advance in the technology associated with that “sport.” Running used to be a means of survival, but it has become a form of “torture” and may even be guilty of having destroyed the enjoyment of exercise for many. Humans were born to run during our early existence as a species. But as time has gone on and humans have evolved into what we are today, and as a result we no longer are born to run. We are now born to sit on the couch, stare at a screen all day, or work at our desks until we can’t take it any longer.

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FOOD FOR THE SOUL Yuki Yamasaki Senior Grosse Points Shores, Michigan

Imagine the sound of wind through pine trees. Wooden cabins. Light blue polos. Blue lanyards. Subdued summer heat. A lake as serene as you can imagine. Thick red sweaters. Knickers. Corduroys. Questionable food. Now imagine the sound of classical music drifting through the air. Mahler, Now imagine the sound Mozart, and Brahms all emanating from tiny little huts of classical music drifting nestled in the woods. Chopin through the air. Mahler, peacefully flows from the room on your right, a cello hums out Mozart, and Brahms all Bach from your left, and a emanating from tiny little French horn mournfully calls huts nestled in the woods. out from somewhere in the back. The best part, however, Chopin peacefully flows comes when you look inside. from the room on your As you pass by the practice right, a cello hums out rooms, filled with beautiful music, you catch glimpses of the Bach from your left, and a people playing. None of them French horn mournfully are over eighteen. They’re just kids. Some of them are eight, calls out from somewhere ten years old. This is my home. in the back. Interlochen. I was only ten when I spent my first summer there, but I was immediately spellbound by what I saw. A band nerd, through and through, I loved being at arts camp. I loved being surrounded by people who loved music just as much as I did and could play just as well as I could. Most could play even better. Kids came from all over: California, Texas, Arizona, Peru, Hungary, Japan, and China. I made friends with visual artists, dancers, writers, and actors. There were five bands, six orchestras, and four choirs. The teachers were all college professors. The counselors were college kids. Everyone was talented, driven but

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also kind. We grew, we changed, made relationships, and lost relationships, all in a flurried six weeks. We became better artists and better people. Together, we were transformed from mere kids into serious musicians. Together, we made art. My favorite moments, however, were not during my band years but my choir years. I remember performing in the biggest choir we had, about 120-strong. A full orchestra accompanied us in our main concert hall, Kresge, which seated four thousand people. All two hundred people on stage worked in perfect harmony. Shadow vowels, final consonants, dynamics, and accents, all the little details were handled masterfully by an ensemble where every single person knew exactly what they were doing. The results were incredible. It was so different from my choir at home, where most kids were there only because they had to be. For the first time, I felt like I was contributing to something great, something important. I wanted to just sit back and enjoy the music, to drink it all in. That day, I was jealous of the audience. Regrettably, classical music has been become a smaller and smaller part of my life in the years since I stopped going to camp. I ceased taking private lessons and gave up on pursuing a professional career in music. My other passion, marine biology, calls out to me now just as strongly as music once did, and I guess all the talk about job security and supporting myself have succeeded in swaying me over the years. But no matter what, I’ll never stop singing. I will always keep music in my life, whether it is in an a cappella group, in a choir, or just singing in the shower. For me, it is the purest form of self-expression, an outlet for emotions that you go to at your highest highs, your lowest lows, and everything in between. I have never been happier than when I was on that stage with that choir. For me, it was and is the best food for the soul.

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INCOMPLETE JUSTICE Lanruo (Lynn) Yang Senior Beijing, China

“What is the rate of representation in the Chinese criminal court system?” asked the British prosecutor sitting off to my left, taking a break from preparing for his upcoming trial. “Super low,” I responded, excited that he’d asked about one of my favorite topics. Then I stumbled, struggling to explain to someone— for whom the rule of law has been a norm since the Magna Charter was written in 1215—the difficulties Chinese people are faced by a 39-year-old legal system, established only after generally skeptical of the the end of the Cultural new legal system. I can’t Revolution, that was attempting count the number of family to override 5000 years of tradition. friends who have tried to Chinese people are dissuade me from generally skeptical of the new legal system. I can’t count the becoming a lawyer number of family friends who because they feel the have tried to dissuade me from law is irrelevant. Even I, becoming a lawyer because they feel the law is irrelevant. Even I, who have dreamed of who have dreamed of being a being a lawyer since I was lawyer since I was twelve, didn’t twelve, didn’t truly truly comprehend the value of the right to counsel until my comprehend the value of internship at a Beijing law firm the right to counsel until last year. I’ll never forget my first my internship at a Beijing impression of the Supreme law firm last year. Court. The word “injustice” was painted in red all over the street outside. Once inside, all the bulletproof windows, double-reinforced doors, and weary-eyed security personnel confused me until a court clerk explained that forty-three people had

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tried to commit suicide inside the court in 2013. Although it was tempting to blame the judges, I gradually concluded that they were not the villains. They followed the law. They even convinced a hospital to build an emergency ward right across the street in case of further suicide attempts. These tragedies happen because the Chinese legal system is incomplete. The court takes care of evidence and law, but often ignores the human element in the process. Imagine a farmer from an underdeveloped area of China whose land has been appropriated by a real estate company. He has tried for years to access a judge to hear his plight without any understanding of the justice system or a shred of evidence to support his case. His despair is caused not by mistrials, but by the helplessness of trudging through an alien system all alone. Standing in the Supreme Court, I finally realized why I want to be a lawyer. The point of the right to counsel is not merely to help prevent unfair outcomes, but also to make sure that people feel there is someone on their side. No one should feel defeated by ignorance, or entirely alone in a courtroom. The right to representation is currently written into China’s Criminal Procedure Law, but is often not put into practice. With more than 60% of the population living on less than five dollars per day, China simply cannot support universal legal aid. Having interned in law firms, I realize that universal representation can’t rely on altruism alone: practical measures, especially economic incentives that encourage law practitioners to protect the right to counsel, have to be implemented. Tax cuts could be created for lawyers who volunteer at independent legal aid organizations, and law firms could be required to take a minimum percentage of pro bono cases. More education is also paramount since every right is alienable if it’s unknown. I am convinced that the 9-year compulsory education for Chinese children should include basic legal knowledge. Considering how many clients I’ve met who know nothing about what lawyers do, I also believe that legislation should be passed that places the burden of responsibility on police and prosecutors to assure that defendants not only know their right to counsel, but also fully understand its benefits. My ultimate answer to that British prosecutor’s question was that more than 70% of criminal defendants go to trial without legal representation, a heartbreaking statistic. I may not be able to affect Chinese legislation, but as a lawyer willing to volunteer my time, I believe I can still help a lot of people. One more pro bono case might mean one more life saved and one less family broken. Maybe I can’t save the whole world, but I can save someone’s world.

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A NOVEL ROMANCE Lanruo (Lynn) Yang Senior Beijing, China

I disagree with almost every idea that romance novels present. First, we seldom—if ever—know exactly who the love of our life is before the end of our lives. However, despite all my There are no magical omens like golden beams of light, slow logical objections to motion cameras, or choirs of romance novels . . . I just angels to indicate that any can’t stop reading them! particular person is to be our destiny. Secondly, as a feminist No one who knows me and a realist, I strongly object to well would believe that I the idea that once the right man can sit in front of my screen or woman appears, all our problems in life are solved. for hours devouring them, Love is great, don’t get me but it’s true. I’m not even wrong, but it is not, in fact, omnipotent. We are responsible talking about classic novels for our own happiness in life, of romance like Pride and and we have to fix our own Prejudice or charming problems. A “true love” just won’t do that, no matter what stories of modern love like the fairy tales say. Third, real The Fault in Our Stars. relationships take a great deal of I am referring to cheesy, time, and constant effort, to develop and maintain. Love overly dramatic Harlequinmay be a natural instinct, but types, totally stuffed with we still need to learn how to be good to and for each other. No the fallacies I just couple is perfectly compatible mentioned above. all the time. In fact, we value our relationships partly because of the effort we put into them and the mistakes we painstakingly learn to fix. However, despite all my logical objections to romance novels . . .

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I just can’t stop reading them! No one who knows me well would believe that I can sit in front of my screen for hours devouring them, but it’s true. I’m not even talking about classic novels of romance like Pride and Prejudice or charming stories of modern love like The Fault in Our Stars. I am referring to cheesy, overly dramatic Harlequin-types, totally stuffed with the fallacies I just mentioned above. So, how can I, one who claims to be an intellectual, a feminist, and a pragmatist, choose to read such junk over something like Man’s Search for Meaning or Anna Karenina? I suppose it’s because even in the most fluffy, ridiculous, cliché-filled plots, I can still always find some piece of profundity, something that speaks to the human experience. When I read about a main character telling herself, “He’s just a friend!” over and over, I realize how hard we sometimes work to deceive ourselves. In fact, romance novels have taught me one of the most surprising truths: We can be just as afraid of happiness as unhappiness, if it’s not what we’re used to. I guess romance novels are kind of like life: There are a few diamond insights hidden within all the banality, and sometimes, they shine even brighter by contrast. They’re also helpful tools for selfanalysis. When I find myself hoping that the “bad boy” becomes for the heroine the most caring person imaginable, I secretly know that I’m not as logical as I’d like to think. And finally, I like to read romance novels because, even to a rational, practical and independent person, a little impractical romance can be nice. Our lives and loves may be much more complex and meaningful than anything in a cheesy romance novel, but now and then, that kind of real-life gravity can become tiring. Though happily-everafter would definitely bore me in large doses, every now and then, it’s kind of fun to imagine!

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ODD NUMBERS Lanruo (Lynn) Yang Senior Beijing, China

There is nothing inherently odd about odd numbers. Granted, they behave differently in number theory compared to even numbers; however, “different” does not necessarily translate to “odd,” which in addition to meaning the opposite of even also carries a negative connotation of “strange” and “anomalous.” The oddity we see in things that cannot be neatly paired off speaks more about our own psychology than about odd numbers themselves. We seem to prefer even numbers because they fit neatly into our processing system. An experiment by Dan King and Chris Janiszewski showed that people like even numbers more than odd numbers. Our brains seem to prefer working with twos and dividing things into two groups. We prefer to view the world in dichotomies, favoring the absolute simplicity of right or wrong, true or false. We love the sense of reassurance and ease provided by standing on the right side of the dichotomy, as opposed to all the effort needed to sort through a multitude of possibilities. There might be an evolutionary explanation for our There might be an preference for even numbers. evolutionary explanation Natural selection seems to favor for our preference for even symmetry—the quality of being composed of pairs of identical numbers. Natural selection items facing each other across an seems to favor symmetry— axis. Usually, a healthy human the quality of being body is built in almost perfect symmetry. Human genes come composed of pairs of in pairs, and monosomy or identical items facing each trisomy causes severe genetic disorders, if not outright death. other across an axis. The “fittest” seem to be the even, not the odd. The evolutionary argument can be taken even further: whereas even-numbered groups can be divided into couples that form

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stable relationships, odd groups always result in one person left over, unable to mate. It’s not a coincidence we call him the “third wheel” or the “odd man out.” In the evolutionary equation of love, it seems that even = happily-ever-after, odd = childless solitude. In my opinion, we dislike odd numbers because they cannot be divided by two without remainders or decimals. They aren’t “neat.” Yet we know that this lack of neatness is a part of life. We see odd numbers in life just as often as we see even numbers. Indeed, people tend to make up odd numbers instead of even numbers for statistics they don’t remember, because odd numbers sound less neat and therefore more realistic. Surprisingly, according to research by Terence Hines, odd numbers are actually more memorable than even numbers, because human brains spend more time processing them. With the exception of hyperthymestics, most people are hard-wired to ignore or forget the mundane, but remember the abnormal. As a result, we may be less fond of odd numbers, but we are more apt to notice and remember them. Numbers like 7 and 13 are deemed powerful—because they’re not “nice.” The three witches that spell out the fate of Macbeth, Voldemort’s seven Horcruxes, and the 13th Disciple who betrays Jesus—these digits jump out to us, because they are odd numbers. Odd numbers may be odd, but they don’t have to be uncouth. A pair-based mentality might have been an evolutionary advantage on Noah’s ark, but in today’s complex world, it prevents us from moving forward. Almost all the technology and ideology we take for granted now were once considered “odd.” If we always label things outside the norm negatively, then we will be permanently afflicted with mental agoraphobia, a severe handicap in the rapidly changing and heterogeneous world we live in today. Let’s not forget that “odd,” in addition to “strange,” has another synonym: extraordinary.

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SHE WOULD HAVE LAUGHED Michael Zeleznik Senior Hudson, Ohio

I cannot properly portray Vicki “Señorita” Mitchell’s spirit to the fullest extent by relaying her personality and stories about her on paper. I can say, however, that she impacted me like no one ever has or ever will. I spent all of my freshman and sophomore years under her instruction in Spanish I and II. For two years, I would always look up at the clock each period before Spanish in sheer anticipation of what was to come that day. I could not wait to hear what crazy conversations we would start or what bizarre phrase she would yell at someone who had annoyed her. Anytime anyone would chew gum during class, Señorita would invariably notice, and she would yell, “¿¡Por qué tienes chicle [gum] en tu boca [mouth]?!” Other times, she would write the zaniest practice sentences on the board to help us understand some new grammatical tool. When we learned to incorporate the subjunctive mood to express doubt, one sentence read, in translation, “When Tommy arrives, we can begin to walk to the beach.” This requires the subjunctive because “Tommy could get hit by a bus,” she explained. My favorite memory of Señorita came one day after I had casually placed my winter coat over the heater in the classroom, and she picked it up and flung it out the window into the foot-high, midFebruary snow. Knowing her sense of humor, I asked her if she was really so mad at me that she would heave my jacket so forcefully into the cold. I knew the answer before I asked the question, but I wanted to hear her say it anyway. “I just wanted to keep the streak alive,” she told me. She was referring to her annual habit of tossing at least one article of clothing out of the building mid-class. I heard her response and fell over laughing. Getting to know Señorita well over those first two years of my high school career helped solidify her status in my mind as the one person I will thank some day in an acceptance speech. She taught me that one can love something and contribute to it, but no one ever has to change themselves in order to fit the mold.

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I wasn’t lucky enough to have Señorita for Spanish III, but I still saw her regularly around campus and frequently spoke to her. Then, suddenly, she was gone. On a cold winter Monday of my junior year, I noticed she was nowhere to be found. I asked around about her until someone from across the room in one of my classes shouted, "She's gone, man! They fired her over the weekend!” What had she done to lose her job? I heard a bunch of different rumored explanations: she had not paid her taxes; she verbally abused someone; she left for personal reasons. In the end, I’m not sure What had she done to I ever learned the truth. She lose her job? I heard a was simply gone, and I would bunch of different rumored never see her again. I just had to accept it. I had always imagined explanations: she had not I would say goodbye to Señorita paid her taxes; she verbally with a great giant hug while abused someone; she left for donning a cap and gown and personal reasons. In the end, grasping a diploma in my right hand. Instead, she was as good I’m not sure I ever learned as dead. Although it is terrible to say, in some ways that would the truth. She was simply have been easier in some ways. gone, and I would At least if she had actually died never see her again. the faculty and Head of School would have had to acknowledge I just had to accept it. her absence. Barely a month later, my Spanish III teacher, Señora DelVillar, was also dismissed from her position. Again, the move was sudden, and once again it came without explanation. To top it all off, two other longtime Spanish teachers each retired the year before, resulting in a complete overhaul of the Spanish department in one year. It gave me an idea. The spring exams were coming up at the end of May, but I could not concentrate on studying. The school talent show was going to take place the weekend beforehand, and I wanted to try my hand at set of stand-up comedy. I wrote a bunch of filler material to lengthen the set, such as saying “Tonight I will do stand-up,” then looking down at my feet, and saying, “So far, so good.” But somehow I knew that the only joke I really had to tell was by far the riskiest one to make, and I looked myself in the mirror for a long while before deciding to go through with it.

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The night of the show, I walked on the stage with a touch of anxiety that happily melted away after the first few minutes. Somehow, the people thought I was funny. I had earned their respect, so I went through with it before I could stop myself. “But you know something?” I told the audience, “I wasn’t even planning on doing this set. I was going to have all my friends from the Spanish department come on down, you know, Geno, Señor, DelVillar, Señorita, we were ALL going to get onstage. . . . ” At this point, my words were drowned out by nervous laughter and a couple gasps. I paused to let it sink in. Then I knew that I was, indeed, going to finish this joke. Once the crowd got over their initial surprise, I continued. “And we were going to sing a song in Spanish. But then . . . I don’t know what happened, but . . . uh . . . they all stood me up, I guess!” The room exploded, not with shock or groans, but laughter and applause. For me, that joke served as my way of making sense out of losing the one teacher I will tell my kids about. I will never get to thank Señorita for everything she taught me in and out of the classroom. I will never get to hug her at graduation. I will never know where she is or how she is doing in life, but I can at least keep her spirit with me while I am still in high school. After all, I based my decision to tell that joke on whether or not she would have laughed at it.

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ON SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: “CALENDAR KALEIDOSCOPE”

MR. GILBERT’S ENGLISH IV CLASS

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NEW YEAR Salma Nava Senior Chicago, Illinois

As the glamorous and blinged-out ball is just minutes from being dropped and the New Year is about to strut in, my family, all four generations, come together to ring in the year with age-old traditions and wives’ tales. We arrange ourselves My great-grandmother within earshot of the grand commands my aunts to bring matriarch, who stands at just less than five feet tall. My greatout the grapes. With her soft, grandmother commands my sage voice she explains that aunts to bring out the grapes. one must eat twelve grapes in With her soft, sage voice she explains that one must eat order to bring good fortune twelve grapes in order to bring good fortune for the New Year. for the New Year. A grape A grape equals a wish, and equals a wish, and there is to there is to be a wish for every be a wish for every month. month. As cups are being distributed, my cousins all As cups are being fabricate resolutions with the distributed, my cousins all same mantra of “New Year, fabricate resolutions with the New Me,” but most of these are likely to last a hot two weeks same mantra of “New Year, before they relapse into their old New Me,” but most of these habits and vices. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. are likely to last a hot two I am just here for the weeks before they relapse juicy grapes and quirky into their old habits and traditions that people follow on this day. As I stuff my face with vices. I am not a fan of New ripe and round grapes, realizing Year’s resolutions. that I am ending the year and beginning the next one on the same note, my gears are grinding and my mind is wondering why would we start off the year with old

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superstitions if it’s a new year and, by extension, a new you? Why does eating grapes determine your fortune? If having a good year is going to be as easy as eating some grapes then is it really worth living? A year without struggle is not memorable. It is not even living. But before I plunge too deeply into my cynical and complex thoughts, my great-grandmother hushes us all and commences our new year with another old wives’ tale. She asserts that if you want to travel a lot in the upcoming year you must walk around the block with a suitcase. And before I know it, my aunts have a suitcase within arms’ reach and they are ready to brave the frigid and frozen Chicago tundra. As I reach for more grapes, the evidence of how these ridiculous folktales drive people towards molding their year simply astounds me. After an unappreciated eye roll, as a result of seeing a couple of my aunts treading through the snow and salt with their suitcases in tow, I start a GoFundMe account to raise money to travel to Poland in the summer. Am I taking the easy way out? Is the meaning of these traditions something to which I am oblivious. Or, perhaps, am I, like any other millennial, too lazy to pursue a thing unless it’s capable of being achieved by the touch of my fingertips. I pop another grape into my mouth because the stress of actually believing superstitions is eating away at me. Why have these stories survived for so long? Do humans truly believe we can control our futures with some fruit and a stroll around the snowy neighborhood? Do we really want to be in total control of a thing as large as our futures? Finally, the clock strikes twelve. On the television, I see people spontaneously kissing the stranger next to them. Confetti is thrown upon the crowd from all directions. Laughter, tears, hugs and all-around love are being shown not only in Times Square but also in my Greatgrandmother’s house. After the wishes of a good New Year to all of my relatives, there is an overall sense of acceptance of whatever life decides to throw our way. I am surprised, since their previous actions suggested that they would only accept what they wanted. No matter how fast we eat those grapes before the old year comes to a close, and no matter how many times we walk around the block with a suitcase, these things do not guarantee a phenomenal year. With this nugget of wisdom, my family and I understand that certain things are beyond our control, even though it is hard to admit that sometimes. So we carry on dancing and singing, wishing and hoping, because it has always been in the spirit of the holiday.

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JANUARY Yuki Yamasaki Senior Grosse Points Shores, Michigan

In my head, January has never been a season. He is a fine, welldressed man. When he walks down the sidewalk, he does so with his head down, impervious to the snow and the wind. Not a speck of snow sticks to his dark suit, his blue tie, or his black leather shoes. A spot of navy blue against a bright white canvas. His skin is pale and taught. High cheekbones. A strong jawline and shiny white teeth grace a face that would make any woman swoon. But, alas, few ever bother to look anymore. He wanders in and out of the lines of students struggling through the drifts like clumsy children, almost comical in their blundering movements. But he does not laugh. Unlike them he does not It is sad to see him like this. stumble; he does not stomp. He steps smoothly, almost waltzing We used to be such good through the snow. The only friends! He helped us make thing that betrays his presence is an almost imperceptible squeak, forts to fight our sisters and like Styrofoam, of his heels brothers in faraway lands, delicately imprinting their mark and gave us snowmen and on the snow. However, the sound is lost in the howling snow angels for company. wind, and his footprints are We played football and gone—erased immediately by soccer with him, and ran the waterfall of snow. It is sad to see him like this. We used to gleefully into the middle of be such good friends! He any untouched field until helped us make forts to fight our sisters and brothers in every one was crisscrossed faraway lands, and gave us with our footprints. He even snowmen and snow angels for busted us out of school a few company. We played football and soccer with him, and ran days each year. We used to gleefully into the middle of any be glad to see him come. untouched field until every one

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was crisscrossed with our footprints. He even busted us out of school a few days each year. We used to be glad to see him come. But where is that field now? It is perfectly flat. Immaculate. Empty. January is lonely nowadays because we’re always “too busy” or “too old.” We dread his coming every year—what with the snow, the cold, the dreary weeks where he drives away the sun. Year after year, he overstays his welcome. Thus he wanders—loved by few and hated by many—searching the endless sea of faces for some spark of affection. Too often we forget how he sparkles on sunny winter mornings, stepping out into air bracing and clean. He brings us together in front of warm, blazing fires and awes us on those calm, clear nights. He has always looked longingly at the other months. May is lively and playful, flirting with the summer months. July is lean and tan, carefree and cool. He always gets the girls. September is lazy and contented, always walking around in his flannels colored with fantastic reds, oranges, and yellows. And April, Oh April! With the sun in her eyes and flowers in her hair, it’s always almost summer for her. The child of two seasons, she has both winter’s bitter coldness and summer’s inviting breeze. Slim and pale like him, she wanders through the fields littered with winter’s remains, aimless and beautiful. She takes March’s reluctant hand and drags her brother toward the warmth. January has always wanted to talk to April, but has never had the nerve. She is always surrounded by other months, talking and laughing, because she can get along with both her siblings from the summer and those from the winter. She’s a middleman. You see, months get their personalities not only from their outer appearances, but from the people within them. Like mayors of a town, they mirror their constituents. January used to be happy when we were kids but has been forgotten as we have gotten older. He wanders through the wasteland, searching the sea of faces for some spark of affection. I miss January.

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FEBRUARY Timothy Lund Senior Hudson, Ohio

Top Three Reasons Why February is the WORST (YOU WON’T BELIEVE NUMBER 3!)

February, definitively the worst month, is wrought with lies and deceit, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Back when Julius Caesar set up the Julian calendar, he had to account for Leap Year and decided to take those three days from February, just because even back then people recognized that February is the aboveground pool of months. From the first day to the twenty-eighth, February is an irremovable stain on the year. My birthday, the horrible weather, and President’s Day are, in my opinion, the worst parts of February. 1. My Birthday When I was younger, I loved my birthday. I got cool presents that weren’t clothes! Between first and second grade, however, I had two horrible birthday parties that ruined the entire celebration for me. In first grade, due to a scheduling conflict, my birthday party was held on February 20 rather than on my actual birthday, which is February 22. As it happens, one of the invitees to my party was actually born on February 20. When the rented magician called for the birthday boy as a volunteer, said invitee jumped up and left me helpless on the floor. Sigh. In second grade, as a redo, my parents offered to take my friends and me to a movie. Second-grade me chose The Shaggy Dog, perhaps the worst movie of all time. This movie has a 4.4 out of 10 rating on IMDb, but I would say it deserves something more like a -10 out of 10. Tim Allen turning into a dog has haunted me ever since, and every time my birthday comes around it’s all I can think about. (As a side note, my birthday, February 22 can be written as 2/22―which, simplified, is 222—a number that, when multiplied by three, comes to 666. Coincidence? I think not.)

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2. The Weather February is notorious for crappy weather, which perfectly mirrors the mood of the month. As warmer weather approaches, snow turns to a wintry mix, and this wintry mix eventually turns to rain. The ice on the roads turns to slush, and the white snow turns an unsightly brown. Even on a blue-skied, sunny day (which almost never happens) February weather is still ugly. There are literally no good parts of February weather. For me, walking to school is one of the worst parts of February. The brutal wind whips my face. I come close to slipping at least five times each way, and by the end of the trip my shoes are soaking wet. February, much like its weather, whips you in the face a couple times, almost makes you fall down, and leaves you with an all-around bad feeling. 3. Presidents Day Presidents’ Day . . . ah, how I hate you. For most of my life, I’ve had an extreme hatred for Presidents Day. Presidents Day is one of the biggest lies in American history. The holiday celebrates the birth of George Washington and falls on the third Monday of each February. Yet, Washington’s birthday did not occur on the third Monday of February. Instead, it occurred on February 22 . . . my birthday! For eighteen years, I’ve been deprived of a free day on my birthday due to this wandering false holiday. Presidents Day holds a special place in the recesses of my heart, reserved for the few other things I detest as much as this false holiday.

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MARCH Sierra Gibbons Senior Atwater, Ohio

Last year my father purchased seven goats for a farm he was starting on our newly bought property from the year before. My father painstakingly put up an entire fence around the eleven-acre property, putting in wood posts every six feet and creating three sections across the land. The amount of time he spent on this project was excruciatingly long, and when we finally had the pole barn built on our land, my father decided to leave our cozy home and “live” in the non-livable barn. I admit I was mad that my father decided to leave our home in order to take care of the animals, but now I realize how selfish and blind I was. When our house was finally finished being built in February of 2016, we were able to reunite with my father. March had arrived, and we were all excited because the female goats and sheep were expected to give birth to their young. My mother ran into my room at 4 o’clock in the morning screaming something about Lady having her babies. When we all walked into the barn we were greeted with the sight of Lady lying with her kids. From what we could see she had twin males, one was amber brown with a tan head, and the other was pure white. When we went to the other side of the pen, we found a female kid who had the cutest tan curls, cuddling up to her mother’s back. We were all ecstatic, and my father had me stay home to watch the young ones since they were the first set, and I was the only other person who had the knowledge to take care of goats. I had read a 100-page book about how to raise meat goats, but I was still nervous. It is critical not to get one’s scent on the newborns because then the mother will reject them. In this situation though, Lady was more likely to reject one of the three due to it being difficult to feed three kids with only two teats. I sat in the cage with them for maybe two hours that morning and just quietly observed them. I noticed that the only female still had yet to stand up so I grabbed a pair of gloves and slowly wrapped my hands around her torso and gently lifted her up in the air to make sure she was capable of using her legs somewhat. Thankfully, she attempted to stand up. Unfortunately, I had to help her stay up under her mother so that

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she could feed, since newborns typically need to eat every two-to-four hours. After another week or so, my mother called me during school and told me that one of the kids was not doing very well. When my father and I arrived home we grabbed some artificial goat milk and ran into the pole barn only to find Lady’s female kid lying weakly on the floor. We hurried to give it milk, but she refused to After another week or so, swallow. At some point, she my mother called me during began to drown due to us school and told me that one forcing too much milk down her throat, and my father attempted of the kids was not doing to push it out of her lungs. After very well. When my father multiple pushes we realized that and I arrived home we she would not make it, and my father picked her up and grabbed some artificial goat soothingly stroked her while she milk and ran into the pole died in his arms. It was heart breaking. We both sat there in barn only to find Lady’s complete silence. female kid lying weakly on Then I cried. I cried the floor. We hurried to give because it was unfair how this kid was just brought into this it milk, but she refused to world only to be taken out of it swallow. At some point, she so soon. I cried because it was our own stupid mistake. We began to drown due to us should have prepared more for forcing too much milk down the situation, researching more her throat, and my father thoroughly, asking other goat owners what to do when a attempted to push it out of certain situation arises. The her lungs. After multiple worst thing I had thought could pushes we realized that she happen to the kids was that they might be born in an unnatural would not make it, and my position in the stomach, making father picked her up and it difficult for the mother to give soothingly stroked her while birth. I had been wrong. As we walked away, I could hear she died in his arms. Lady’s screams as she frantically paced around the pen trying to find her lost baby. I glanced at my father, who looked more than distraught. I had never seen him like that.

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When spring break finally came my father and I were still scarred by the event that had recently occurred. My father needed to go on a lacrosse trip with my brother, so I had to take full responsibility for the animals while he was gone. I never truly knew how much my father did for the animals until he left that day. I woke up at 7 o’clock every morning to feed the chickens and then the goats and sheep. After that, I put the big dogs in their cage and feed them at 7:30. I had to check on them every two hours (since now the little kids were out with their parents), and I had to make sure the little ones were still feeding off their moms. The cows were watered and fed at 10:30am and medication was given to the goats and sheep at around 8:00 pm. The day before my father was to return home it was a particularly windy day, and I had to move the guard dogs down in the bottom field with our two Highland cows. As I opened the gate to let them through, I put the chain around the opened gate and walked down on the other side of the fence to fill up the cows’ water. As I sat and waited, I looked over at the gate and saw goats run into the front fields. I was confused, until I saw all the goats and sheep coming into the middle field where the cows were. I suddenly found myself bolting off the tote and jumping over the gate to try and stop the rest of the animals from getting into the middle field. Unfortunately, I was only able to get Lady and two other kids back into the front fields before I closed the gate, because the cows were charging forward. One of our cows, Freya, is very aggressive, and I had always been afraid of her. When I saw her start to charge at one of the kids I found myself jumping in front of her and screaming “DON’T YOU TOUCH THEM! DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THEM!” I had never stood up to anything or anyone like that in my life. Freya stopped in her tracks and stared at me. I angrily glared back at her, and she finally decided to back off. I slowly approached the kid that had been charged and picked him up. I started to cry really hard and promised him that I would protect him with my life and that I would never let anything like that happen again. One by one, I slowly picked up the remaining kids and put them into the front fields with Lady and the other two kids. March had shown me a lot about myself and allowed for me to get out of my comfort zone and find a confidence within myself I never knew was there.

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APRIL Emily Cremer Senior Hudson, Ohio

It was raining on April 13, 2015 at 5:00am when I was awakened by the embrace of my older sister. I had slept in her room that night, instead of my own, because she was leaving to go to the airport the next morning. She told me she loved me and then walked down the stairs to say goodbye to our parents. I lay in her bed listening to the thumping of the wheels of her suitcase go down the staircase. Turning my head toward the window, I stared out glumly, watching until I saw my dad's car pull out of our driveway. It drove away, rolling out of my vision. It was then the realization hit me that it would be two years and three months until I saw my sister, Katy, again. I felt isolated and alone. A year before, Katy had applied to be in the Peace Corps, where she would be assigned somewhere in the world to help make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate. At the time, I did not think anything of the situation because I knew the application process was very long, and it was very difficult to be accepted into the Peace Corps. When word of the Peace Corps’ decision finally arrived, Katy learned she had not been accepted into the program in Tanzania, where she had originally wanted to work. When I heard the news that she was denied, I was sorry for her because becoming a member of the Peace Corps and helping people was something she had long been very passionate about. Although Katy loved sports, friends, and school, she had planned on being a part of the Peace Corps throughout her entire college career. Another part of me, however, was glad that I would now not have to say goodbye. Then to our collective surprise, Katy was offered the same position a day later, but to serve in Namibia instead of Tanzania. I, myself, went from sadness to excitement. Katy only took a few days to accept the position and started making a list of the items she would need for her journey. The following April, Katy would be living in a village teaching its residents about AIDS, STDs, and malaria. Ever since I can remember, I have looked up to my big sister. Katy was everything I wanted to be as a person. She was pretty, smart, kind, athletic, generous, artistic, and more. We have always been very

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close, even though Katy is seven years older than me. Our It may sound odd, but Katy relationship became stronger as and I seemed closer after I became older and more she left for college than mature. It may sound odd, but Katy and I seemed closer after when she lived at home. she left for college than when Prior to that time, I saw her she lived at home. Prior to that time, I saw her everyday, so I everyday, so I did not see a did not see a reason to tell her reason to tell her every every detail about my life. But detail about my life. But now that she is in Namibia, I find myself telling Katy now that she is in Namibia, everything that happens in my I find myself telling Katy life. I do this because I do not everything that happens want her to think she is missing anything while she is away, and in my life. it helps me believe that she is with me through my life’s up and downs. Not seeing my sister for so long is only half the struggle. The other half pertains to the fact that I do not know if she is okay unless we are talking online. Just a few months after she settled into her new home in Namibia, a priest was beaten and robbed at gunpoint in the health clinic where Katy worked and lived. Luckily, she was not harmed, and a day later she left the village and transferred to another health clinic. Reflecting back on that rainy morning in April, I have such mixed emotions. It is a year later now, and there is not a day that goes by that I do not wonder what she is doing or if she happy or safe. But I know she is doing great things, and I can only hope to achieve as much as she has. April is the beginning of spring and is usually thought of as a sunny time when the flowers start to bloom. But just as often it can be rainy, cold, and gray. The weather inconsistencies are much like my emotions this past year. Some days are sunny while others seem to be filled with rain. I have been so much more independent over the last year, but at the same time I feel more isolated. I am closer than ever emotionally with my sister, though the physical distance between us has never been so great. Growing up continues to be an exhilarating journey, but at the same time it is frightening to go through these changes.

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MAY Marcos Lopez Senior Roselle Park, NJ

I have never heard anybody say they hate the month of May. It is the conclusion of spring and the blossoming of summer. It is the perfect month for a student at Reserve, especially a senior. May is the last month of the school year. We will soon have to leave the nest and separate from our high school home. Even I, Marcos Lopez, get emotional about this subject. I will have to leave all my friends, which is more difficult than what people prepared me for. I will likely never see most of them again and only keep in regular contact with a handful of them at best. My last days at Reserve are flying by very fast. I have already come to terms with the fact that I will never again play Dance has unquestionably on the football field or spar on the wrestling mat with my been one of the most brothers. Soon enough, I will important parts of my dance on the KFAC stage for the Reserve experience. Under very last time. I have taken part in all of these activities since I the guidance of Emily was a freshman and have Barth, I have progressed enjoyed every moment of them. immeasurably as a dancer. Dance has unquestionably been one of the most After working and learning important parts of my Reserve from Mrs. Barth for several experience. Under the guidance of Emily Barth, I have years, she has become more progressed immeasurably as a than just a teacher to me; dancer. After working and she is also a mother and a learning from Mrs. Barth for several years, she has become close companion. more than just a teacher to me; she is also a mother and a close companion. She has been there for me inside and outside of the classroom. I have put in countless hours practicing my technique and shape for dance. Without Mrs. Barth and

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the WRA Dance Program, I would have never found out I had a serious passion for dance. Most of my cherished memories from Reserve come from my history in dance. It has led to many of my closest friendships. Tech Week is by far the happiest week of the school year for me. This is the final week before the performance when all the dance classes meet to rehearse every single night. We finally get our pieces put together and polish up our two-hour program of moving art. Dancing in my last WRA spring performance is something I am looking forward to with powerful and mixed emotions. In the midst of all the sadness over this series of final moments there is a bright light. This bright light is college: a fresh start and the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Although I have not chosen where I will be “studying� next year, I have no doubt that I will have many fun experiences. College is the thing every teenager in America dreams about. Many people say it is the best four years of your life. However, before I get ahead of myself, let me not forget my senior spring. For most kids, this is the happiest one will be during your entire four years at Reserve. My spring can actually be a bit hectic. In the chaos of juggling my dance performance, prom, Commencement, and classes I no longer care about, I have to remember to have fun and let loose. I, for one, tend to get a little too distracted during the spring. With parietals and longer days, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of liberation and a sense of impending adventure. This final month of my high school career not only brings the sun and it’s warmth, but it will also provide a much-anticipated taste of freedom and a sense of joy.

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JUNE Lee Onysko Senior Gates Mills, Ohio

Last June, I experienced two different goodbyes: one that I enjoyed and one that I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed as much as I did. Halfway through the month, I attended the Rising Star program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I was ecstatic: not just for the prospect of pursuing art as a career but for the fact that I would be spending five weeks seven hundred and forty-one miles away from frigid Ohio. I loved home, but Savannah let me shed the layers of sweaters I required in Ohio, and Rising Star gave me the opportunity to do something I had never had the chance to do before—be out and proud of my real name, Lee. I was able to face people and say “Hi, my name is Lee!” If they used “she” when referring to me, I could say, “Actually I’m agender. I use they/them pronouns,” and a majority of them would listen, because hey, it’s art school. The first person I met at SCAD I met in front of my parents. I can’t even remember what her name was, but she was sweet, The first person I met at clueless, and utterly Baptist. SCAD I met in front of my Let’s call her Lily. I introduced parents. I can’t even my parents then introduced myself as Neva. We talked a remember what her little and discovered that we name was, but she was were in the same classes before sweet, clueless, and parting ways. Classes began the next day, but Lily and I didn’t utterly Baptist. have many chances to catch up until lunch a week later. That was a bad meeting. The two of us were sitting in SCAD’s dining hall chatting about something unimportant, when somehow homosexuality came up. That was when I received my first dose of “southern hospitality.” Lily, being the pure flower she was, instantly launched into a tirade about “The Gays” that could be heard three tables away. There I was wearing a backpack adorned with buttons of gay pride, visibly wearing a binder to

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flatten out my chest, with as butch of an attitude as I could muster, all in the hopes of communicating one thing: I am most definitely gay. Apparently that message hadn’t gotten through to Lily. She continued babbling on about how homosexuality was a sin and all homosexuals were going to hell if they didn’t accept her lord and savior Jesus Christ. Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. Somehow I had been thrown smack into the middle of a sermon, the substance of which, as far as she was concerned, I was agreeing. A few minutes into her lecture, my true “savior” arrived, a chubby girl with big glasses and short black hair highlighted by a puff of green at the front. Her name was Lauren Scheide, and she sat down with us just as Lily was really getting into her speech. At that point, I was trying (and failing) not to laugh while Lily rambled on, none the wiser. Lauren, possibly deciding to take pity on me, attempted (and failed) to redirect the conversation to something less homophobic. I finally excused myself to get a glass of water, and Lauren trailed behind me. As I pressed the dispense button on the machine, she cautiously asked, “Gay?” I replied, “Very.” By the end of lunch, Lily had decided she was going to use neither my name nor my preferred pronouns. I had decided that I would do everything in my power to avoid her, and Lauren had come to the conclusion that she was fully supportive of my being agender, though it was a gender she had just discovered existed. The problem now was that I had four weeks of classes left with Lily, and she was my artistic and teacher-pleasing equal in all of them. This made it difficult for me—subtly or not so subtly—to try to be better than her. When people ask what drives me to work so hard, “spite” is generally not the best answer. After my second meeting with Lily, however, I was determined to outdo her. I worked harder to prove that being agender and pansexual didn’t mean that I had no future like she thought. Fortunately, spite wasn’t my only motivator. I was equally driven by my desire to become an agender role model in a world where I saw none. Finally, I was driven by the constructive criticism of Lauren. Lauren was my “straight-best friend.” She supported not only my identity, but also my progress as an artist. Five weeks later all my hard work paid off. I left the program among those with the highest marks and a scholarship to SCAD’s online campus. On my final night in Savannah I said goodbye to both Lily and Lauren. Lily left me with what boiled down to be an earnest “I hope you’ll join me in church one day” to which I responded “Nah man.” Lauren and I, however, exchanged the longest drawn out goodbye

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possible, full of hugs, wishes for luck in the future, and plenty of gay jokes.

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JULY Shuni (Veronica) Zhu Senior JingJiang, China

It was July. Half the earth was made warm under the sun. The cicadas chorus sang in their old oak trees. Miniskirts and sunglasses were scattered across the grass fields. I celebrated July in my own way, stuffing some of life’s necessities into a backpack and traveling into the wild. It was July. A month that accumulates all the excitement that kids have for summer and then melts it into long-lasting memories. As I age, some of those memories becomes blurry, yet there is one that always stays vivid and clear. It was July. Falling in love at first sight with nature in the grassland. Becoming addicted to heart-palpitating moments in a rubber raft. Enjoying an exhilarating afternoon withstanding an unexpected hailstorm. I fell in love with nature that July: the month I travelled to the Tibetan Plateau. It was my first rafting trip, yet it ignited my passion for outdoor activities. As soon as the boat was pushed away from the shore, I could hear my heart starting to beat, fiercely. The boat was being pulled into the rapids; every crewmember tightened themselves up. As long as the boat is in the stream, there is a possibility of it flipping over at any time. The captain shouted, “Keep paddling! Paddling! Paddling!” My arms were exhausted from paddling against the powerful current. My palms burned from the strain, though I was freezing and completely soaked. Unexpectedly, the rapids pushed the fore and threw our boat into the air. My body floated for a few seconds, and the weightlessness granted me a moment of excitement. In those seconds, I truly sensed the power of nature. Interacting with water gifted me with an openness to learn from the wild, to communicate with silent living things, and to be enriched by my surroundings. Throughout those adventurous days, my limits were pushed farther and farther. I was given an opportunity to journey alone for an entire afternoon through a deep valley during one of these hiking trips. This solo challenge was meant to give us the chance to be away from our typical environment of hustling cities and to meditate quietly. However,

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for me, it was another story. The valley was completely silent. My mind flirted with thoughts of encountering bears or wolves, so I climbed on top of a rock for an open view. Soon clouds completely engulfed the sky. A sudden cloudburst struck a chill into the marrow of my bones, and I wrapped myself tighter with the few layers I had on. The beating of the falling rain became increasingly crisp and intense. For the first time in my life, alone in a silent valley, I experienced hail. I curled up on that rock for warmth, debating whether to give up this solo challenge. Then, for several seconds, one thought crossed my mind: Giving up would prove nothing. Standing up, I armed myself with tenacity and imagined myself as a rock, patient and tough. I can’t recall exactly when the sun came out, but I knew I had survived my first hailstorm. Before even departing for the trip, along with a lot of other advice, I was given the name of something I was told would become an “intriguing friend� of mine. Curiosity filled my mind when I first heard of it. Having been raised in a city, I had never encountered this thing before. I am referring, of course, As soon as I arrived, the to yak dung. Yes, yak dung. As soon as I arrived, the overwhelming amount of overwhelming amount of yak yak dung scattered over dung scattered over the grassland astonished me. I tried the grassland astonished to walk cautiously among the me. I tried to walk patties, but there were too many cautiously among the of them, which I suppose made our eventual union inevitable. patties, but there were too At first, I refused to approach it, many of them, which I for I had assumed the dung was suppose made our eventual still fresh and wet, but as soon as had the courage to take a union inevitable. closer look, my preconceptions were demolished. The dry patties did not smell; instead, they were dried and shaped. Native farmers treasure every piece of yak dung. They consider it to be a symbol of both luck and wealth. They dry it under the sun and above their sacred soil because they believe it is a gift from nature. One day, as I was catching my breath during a hike, out of curiosity, I pillowed a stack of dry dung patties under my head and sank into the grass. I fell asleep on them, surrounded by the smell of fresh grass. They were warm, radiating back the heat of the glorious sun. As I melted into nature, into this place, I spotted rare glimpses of a few snow

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leopards and a hovering Himalayan griffon on the horizon. I attributed my luck of seeing such rare creatures to my yak dung pillow. Yak dung, being the most special and lasting memory from the trip, ties me forever to that piece of land, and I made a promise to return. It was July. It was a season for experience, a season for love, and a season that I will never forget. It was July. Anything could happen in July, but only things that are great.

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AUGUST Brooke Brown Senior Painesville, Ohio

For as long as I can remember, August has been a month that has provided fresh starts. It has always meant the beginning of a new school year. August 2011 was an especially exciting time, as it was the start of my high school career, my first month at Western Reserve Academy. Attending Western Reserve Academy meant that I had to organize my own time, learn how to study, live independently, and manage my cerebral palsy (CP). I had to participate in sports every day, make new friends, and live in a dorm. The start of my high school experience allowed me to grow as an individual. Learning how to manage my time was a challenge in the beginning, as I had never had to do this while attending public school because the work was easy. My homework back then just scratched the surface of basic concepts and ideas and could be completed with little effort. In my first year at WRA, by contrast, I was drowning because homework took longer than I actually had time to spend completing it. Running out of time was a constant hurdle every evening. My past experience had taught me that it was okay to procrastinate. In fact, during my first year of high school I still procrastinated as much, if not more, than I had in middle school. As a result, my grades were pretty poor the entire year. I eventually learned that my efforts to complete my homework would require an extensive amount of time. That August my teachers provided me with a fresh start by showing me how to study and keep my work organized. However, I was still that kid constantly losing her papers and turning things in late or half-completed. I was also taught how to analyze books more effectively through annotation. My ego became pretty severely deflated during those first few months as I slowly rid myself of my know-it-all mentality. I came to discover that my old habits of studying were not the only way and, perhaps, had not been the best. My evenings became full of help sessions. The August of my freshman year was the beginning of my learning to plan out my work so I that could better budget my time.

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During that first month, I was adjusting to many things such as living independently and managing my CP. As a result of my CP, I had always felt like the odd kid that no one knew what to do with or wanted to be around. I was surprised when I came to WRA; people were so helpful and wanted to hold conversations with me. I thought I was going to have a hard time being accepted by the community because I walked so differently. After all, that was what my other school experiences had all been like. However, I found that this new community embraced me, and Reserve taught me how to become an active member of society while managing my cerebral palsy. Navigating the campus was another difficult task, as my cerebral palsy made it tiring for me to walk around. I had many scrapes and bruises from repetitive falls around campus. My mild cerebral palsy made walking around a challenge. I learned that it would take fifteen minutes to walk comfortably to class each morning. By the time I made it to my first class I had expended so much energy that the classrooms seemed like they had the heat cranked up. I also remember feeling like I barely ate because I was burning off so many calories. August of my first year was the roughest time I had ever had in my life because I went from having the constant support of adults to being, in large measure, on my own. I also had to participate in sports for the first time. While intimidating, it proved fun because I felt like a part of the school because everyone else was participating in sports as well. I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that the entire community treated me with respect. I felt more at ease at the start of my freshman year in both academics and sports because I was new alongside all the other incoming freshman. I was slowly making new friends. I learned that I could be a respected member of a community who could contribute new ideas and enjoy the social atmosphere. By the end of August I had learned to care for myself and to take responsibility for my own learning. I was no longer dependent upon someone else to take care of me. I also learned how to be engaged in class. I learned how to question, reason, and explore instead of just being told to read the information in front of me. I cannot believe how much I grew up in that first month of school, all because I was forced to take care of myself and manage my own time. I had been thrown into the world of my peers with little adult interference. I began to understand what it was like to live as an independent teenager. The August of my freshman year was an eye-opener to what the real world is truly all about.

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SEPTEMBER Gustavo Kasmanas Senior Sao Paulo, Brazil

In September 2011, I had just returned to Sao Paulo from a month in China. Everything was going back to normal: soccer practices, school, good food, etc. I was back to my routine. But that first Thursday back in Brazil I noticed that something was wrong. I wasn’t feeling well. The pain in my stomach was like a needle going in, and it was getting worse and worse. I couldn’t sleep. The next day, my mom took me to the hospital. I had appendicitis (an inflammation of the appendix), and the doctor concluded that I had to have a surgery as soon as possible, because more than my appendix had suppurated. The doctor tried to keep me calm by saying that the surgery would take no more than 30 minutes and I would have to stay in the hospital just for two days. I woke up after the surgery feeling tired and weak. As expected, I was put in a room with my parents, but then they told me that the surgery had taken two hours, and the doctor found a situation completely different from what he had anticipated: I had a really bad infection that wasn’t only focused on my appendix. I needed to stay in the hospital for two weeks and take really aggressive antibiotics. The fourteen days in the hospital after losing my appendix were terrible. I couldn’t drink I hadn’t wanted my water. I didn’t eat for five days, and it took me a week to walk grandpa to come to visit or take showers by myself. I me at the hospital because I needed medications even to knew he would be shocked sleep. Losing my appendix caused me a lot of pain, but it if he saw me with all the wasn’t my biggest loss of tubes and wires that were September of 2011. While I was around me. I regretted that hospitalized my grandpa got really sick and passed away. I decision for a long time. hadn’t wanted my grandpa to come to visit me at the hospital because I knew he would be shocked if he saw me with all the tubes and wires that were around me. I regretted

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that decision for a long time. I felt like I had missed my last chance to see him. But looking back now, I’m glad our last memories weren’t at a hospital. I remember him in the moments when he picked me up from school and instead of dropping me straight off at my house took me to get ice cream; or when I snuck off to a friend’s house and he would call my parents to say I was with him. Because I was in the hospital and still feeling really weak the doctors didn’t let me go to my grandpa’s funeral. My mom said she would stay with me the whole day so my dad could have the chance to see his dad alone one last time, but I asked to be by myself. For some reason I didn’t cry. I passed the whole day thinking about the memories my grandpa and I had made together, and once I felt done with that I just asked to take my meds early. I guess that being in the hospital didn’t let me fully feel what had happened. An appendix isn’t that big, but by the time I left the hospital a huge part of me was gone, and I hadn’t had the chance to say goodbye. To show her gratitude that I was finally healthy, my mom decided to go to church and light a candle. It was September 20th. Now, every year on this date, she goes to the same church and performs the same ritual. There hasn’t been a single year that September has gone by without the September of 2011 being remembered.

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OCTOBER Hannah Saucier Senior Streetsboro, Ohio

You can tell a lot about a person by how they celebrate a holiday. For instance, on Easter, do they go to church or spend the day searching for bunny-laid eggs? On Christmas there may either be the late-night search for Santa and his reindeer or waking up and reading the Nativity story in the Bible. Veterans Day finds some people honoring the graves of veterans while others simply enjoy a free day off from school or work. On Independence Day some will watch fireworks, others will march in parades and/or proudly display their patriotism, while some will simply gather with family and friends for a backyard barbeque. Everyone has their own individual interpretation of the holidays and their associated rituals and this can reveal a great deal about them. In October, most kids get excited about one thing: Halloween. This time of candy, crazy but corny and predictable costumes (cat-girl, ghost, witch, nerd, police officer, nurse, all ring a bell), and kids knocking on doors at 4pm on what is no longer October 31st but now a neighborhood-decided date. Competitive costume parades invade the schools, and “Halloweekends” make their appearance at amusement parks across the country. It’s all pretty fun, or so I’ve heard, since I’ve never participated in any of that. For me, October was only known for its wrapping up of the soccer season. My family collectively decided to not partake in Halloween traditions. My family is Evangelical Christian and believes that Halloween is the Devil’s holiday. I understand that this seems like a stretch, and a huge jump from candy collecting, but that is how my family perceives it. Running around in costumes intending to scare others; dressing as demons and zombies; decorating houses with ghosts, skeletons, and other inhabitants of Hell or damned locations always seemed to scream of satanic worship. It was the exact opposite of God’s love, and it appeared to celebrate, even praise, that which Christ saved us from when He died on the cross for our sins. As a middle schooler, I perceived it as people worshipping Hell instead of thanking God for saving us from eternal damnation and suffering. People seemed to prefer Hell over everyday life. They didn’t seem to be embracing the

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opportunity that God gave us to go to Heaven. I don’t hate Halloween but that is how I understood Halloween when I was growing up. Nor am I saying that all Christians hate Halloween either. I don’t hate Hanukkah just because I’m not Jewish, for instance. To protest, or rather remove me from, the negative influences of Halloween celebrations, my parents kept me home from school on Halloween. We would turn off the lights in the house and play a Disney movie or a board game in the basement until the end of the designated trick or treating time. I never really made the connection that we didn’t have game nights any other day of the year. Why would I have reason to question my parents’ actions? I did not even really know just what “trick-or-treating” entailed until one night I answered the doorbell and opened the door to a little girl in a princess costume asking I did not even really know for candy. I was confused and, since I was only eleven at the just what “trick-ortime, had no idea what to do treating” entailed until one when my mom told me to shut night I answered the the door. I did as I was told only to have my mom reopen it doorbell and opened the to give the little girl candy (an door to a little girl in a assortments of breathe mints princess costume asking for and Hershey bars which had been intended for our lunches!). candy. I was confused and, That night, my mom finally told since I was only eleven at me about Halloween and explained why a little girl the time, had no idea what would be asking us for candy to do when my mom told dressed in a princess costume. me to shut the door. I did This incident sparked the long journey I would have to endure as I was told only to have before I decided just what my mom reopen it to give Halloween meant to me. the little girl candy (an It never occurred to me that I would stand out at school assortments of breathe when I got older because I mints and Hershey bars didn’t celebrate Halloween. After all, it was the best day of which had been intended the [school] year to some, and as for our lunches!). a preteen, we all needed as many of those as possible. I did not think I should be embarrassed by

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my religious views because that was part of who I am, and I should be proud of who I am, right? But, once I started attending WRA, my parents could no longer pull me out of school, and I was thus thrust into the Halloween world without any previous experience beyond a lone princess asking me for candy. I simply wanted a dress-down day. The first time I ever dressed up in costume I didn’t consider it a violation of my beliefs since I didn’t wholeheartedly engage in any other Halloween traditions. I wore a striped top and told people that I was a mime—thus immediately failing at my role. It felt wrong, however, because although I technically was not doing anything against my deeply held beliefs, I felt like I was definitely operating in a gray area. The next year, I fully committed to the role of a human-sized Angry Bird, and I participated in the school parade. This time, I really felt as though I had gone too far, and it just wasn’t who I was. I don’t want to walk around life avoiding things because I am Christian; I want to be involved but bring who I am into the mix. I can’t avoid everything I don’t like, but at the same time I don’t want to change my personality. So I made a compromise my junior year at WRA. I decided to partake in Halloween activities, but I would integrate Jesus into them. I dressed as a Bible, a life-sized cardboard Bible, fabricated by me, to transport my backpack inside. Bible verses were attached to the outside, and on the back I wrote “From God, Special Delivery to: the World.” I understood it would make me stand out way more than if I hadn’t participated at all, but I thought at least one person would find it funny. A girl dressed as a Bible makes for a pretty good laugh, honestly. This compromise allowed me to be in the world but simultaneously represent someone out of this world, to honor my parents and myself. This past year, I kept to the same theme of inanimate Biblical objects and transformed myself into Noah’s Ark, collecting stuffed animals from numerous people in the Cartwright dorm. This evolution of Hannah Sauce on Halloween demonstrates how I am evolving as a person and discovering what is important to me.

Because of Halloween, I am

learning about myself as a person and coming to discover that being myself is the best thing I can be.

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NOVEMBER Sam LaFountaine Senior Hudson, Ohio

I do not remember November 7, 1997, but I do know that I received my first present ever on that day.

While waiting for my

delivery, my father stopped at the local dollar store and purchased a furry, blue football with white laces that was to be mine. When I was born it only took a few minutes before the ball was next to me, both of us in my father's arms. I remember growing up and firmly believing I was born to play football. I would play football every morning before the school bus came, at recess, and after school, until the moon and the darkness would push me and all the other neighborhood boys inside for the night. Everyday, I would wear to school the same navy blue, #54, Tedy Bruschi jersey. (I had nine of them.) Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I wore a football on mine, literally.

What further

escalated my somewhat unhealthy obsession was the social success and local glory that I observed seemed to come with a football career in my hometown of Madison, Connecticut. On Friday nights throughout September, October, and especially November, you could find the entire town of 18,000 in one place, watching one group of young men: the Daniel Hand Tigers High School Football Team. The pageantry and emotion surrounding every home game, as well as the palpable pride oozing from the stands for the town's finest young men representing our community, was highly inspirational to a single-minded youth like me. However, due to a great many twists and turns throughout my young life, I never actually experienced any of that for myself. In fact, I quit football altogether. I began to play ice hockey in both the fall and winter, and in the spring and summer I played baseball. Until November 4th of 2013 those two sports consumed my every thought. Indeed, every fiber of my being was somehow tied to those sports. Until, that is, that early November day I first found myself on the campus of Western Reserve Academy. It was a rainy day. I remember

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immediately feeling out of place. I was wearing a tie and blazer for the first time in my life, and I felt a high sense of intrusion and misplacement being surrounded by driven young adults in a culture focused on academic ambition and rigor.

This was something I had never

experienced before. I knew I was in for a lifestyle adjustment and great deal of shock. Early the next year, I arrived on campus fresh from a life developed by more than a decade spent in my old beloved hometown. Everything was different now, and

I

knew

changes

were

I knew I would have to

coming. I knew I would have to

adapt and alter my

adapt and alter my mindset in

mindset in order to survive

order to survive at Reserve, but this did not happen in quite the way I had originally thought. I

at Reserve, but this did not happen in quite the way I

came in thinking my greatest

had originally thought. I

struggles would come through

came in thinking my

my core subjects, new social

greatest struggles would

settings, and trying to fit in athletically.

While all of these

things did prove daunting, I

come through my core subjects, new social

found that my deepest and

settings, and trying to fit in

darkest troubles came via my

athletically. While all of

attempts

towards

creative

expression. My first exposure to the creative arts really did not come

until,

by

chance,

I

these things did prove daunting, I found that my deepest and darkest

stumbled into a choir classroom

troubles came via my

as a shy and rather unconfident,

attempts towards creative

ninth-grade remember

boy.

I

still

walking

in

and

expression.

meeting Ms. Karam. After introducing myself and explaining how I had come to matriculate at Reserve, she asked, “So what do you sing?” Confused, I asked if she could elaborate. She said, “Well, how about we just put you as a bass.” Again, I was lost. I had no experience whatsoever with choir, or how one is arranged by vocal ranges, and so I

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replied, “Do you mean like the guitar? I thought this was a singing class?”

Laughter.

Great.

I had immediately established myself as

belonging on the bottom of the musical and artistic totem pole. On the upside, because of that introduction, from that point on I did not have to act like an imposter, always worried about being found out—as I had shamefully become accustomed to doing in my academic career. Nonetheless,

day-by-day,

I

became

increasingly

enthralled

and

captivated by the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and especially Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna.” I became deeply attached to “O Fortuna.” As I began to learn how to sing, (somewhat), I began to grow more comfortable in belting out the song's lyrics in any place of solitude I found myself. And as I began to become more comfortable in the choir room, I also became more comfortable in my own skin. I was learning how to sing (kind of), fitting into an academically driven crowd, and learning the value of personal growth. I, in turn, for the first time gained an understanding of who I truly was. Carl Orff based his composition of “O Fortuna” off a poem from the 13th Century. The poem deals with Fortuna, a goddess of fortune and fate. In it, the narrator complains of “enslave[ment]” to fate and how it “strikes down the strong man.” Now I believe in this message there is some similarity to my own early years in life. I think back to those years and remember thinking, childishly, I had been born to be an athlete, more specifically, a football player. I mean I was born holding a football—literally holding my fate, as I had thought for so many years. Now I began to understand that throughout my entire youth maybe I, too, like the narrator of “O Fortuna,” had been “enslaved” to my own preconceived idea of fate. But art, and more specifically this experience with choir, gave me a new present by opening me up to the idea that there is more than one way to connect to the crowd.

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DECEMBER Tianshuang (Joseph) Wang Senior Hangzhou, China

Every year on Christmas morning, I wake up with my hands under the pillow, already searching for my gift from Santa. No matter how widely I look, however, I am never successful. Did Santa misplace my gift? No, I search every possible corner of my room, including bathroom drawers and the old closet. Had I given Santa the wrong address? No, 397 Tianmushan Road is, indeed, our home address. Did I misbehave this year? Yes, I finally admit to myself. I remember the number of windows I had broken, the number of pair of glasses that I had lost, and the number of times my mother had to ask me to clean my room. I pledge to myself that I will create less trouble, treat people better, and study harder, all in the hope of receiving my dream gift next year. I know it is childish to I know it is childish to believe in something like the Santa Claus, but for me the real believe in something like problem wasn’t one of not the Santa Claus, but for me knowing the dark secret that one’s parents are, in fact, Santa. the real problem wasn’t Rather, it was the far more one of not knowing the troubling reality that my parents dark secret that one’s (like most other Chinese families) do not celebrate parents are, in fact, Santa. Christmas at all. Rather, it was the far more I only even knew about Santa because I went to an troubling reality that my international school where all parents (like most other my classmates were westerners Chinese families) do not from England, Germany, or the U.S. Through listening to their celebrate Christmas at all. exciting stories about Christmas, I learned that I could write down wishes and send them to Santa and then receive a gift from him when I woke up in the morning.

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Although never successful, I nevertheless kept searching for these gifts every Christmas morning. This “Santa dream,” even though just a fantasy, became a main motivator and wish for my future until the one day my older brother told me the hard truth and shattered this treasured childhood wish forever. On Christmas morning, 2004, as my parents were driving to the grocery store, I saw a local toy store from the back of the car. I finally had the nerve to question them directly, “How come all my classmates have gifts from Santa, and I got nothing?” “There is no Santa Claus!” belted out my brother from beside me. “All the gifts are bought by their parents while the kids are sleeping!” My brother’s outburst was delivered with such stark frankness that it exploded my Christmas dream forever. It was in that very moment that I grew up, realizing how each Christmas gift was just one of a million things that parents sacrificed for their children behind the scenes. There are no free gifts in this world. Happiness has to be earned through hard work, and every gift from “Santa” is actually bought with the money that parents have earned through countless hours of devotion, daily pressure, and unseen sacrifice. Nowadays, no matter the culture, whether you are Christian or Hinduism, December is the month when people return home to reunite with their families and their loved ones. In many countries, December is dark and cold, but home is always filled with light, warmth, and sincere joy. It is also a month that reminds people how home is a place where sacrifice does not require reciprocation. As I grow up, I am starting to realize the importance of hope and perseverance. Just like my undelivered Christmas gifts, there are always some unfilled dreams and little regrets that are eventually carried over to the next year. And as happy holidays quickly fly by, people will rush back to work to undertake new challenges, and those past dreams will soon be forgotten. Yes, although time will wash away almost any dreams and memories, it is important to hold onto things that we are truly passionate about because passion stimulates energy that will bring us closer to success. My Christmas gift may never have arrived, but it was through my determination to earn a gift from Santa that I fought my way through childhood. And perhaps this is the bittersweet part of December. It is a month of conclusion. People tend to look back at the past year with mixed feelings of satisfaction and regret. But at the same time, people will anticipate the New Year with determination and aspirations.

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HISTORY WRITING CONTEST

FIRST PLACE WINNERS 2014-2015 131


2015 AMERICAN HISTORY CONTEST – FIRST PLACE Roland Huang Class of 2016 Hudson, Ohio

T-Shirts and Jeans: How Undershirts and Workpants Have Redressed America You wear clothes every day. In the civilized world, it has become as much of a necessity as oxygen, food, or water. But have you ever stopped and wondered why exactly are you wearing a piece of thinlayered T-shaped cloth, or some rough blue pants? How did they come into fashion? What was the story behind it? “Who cares?” You might ask. “They’re just clothes.” Yes, they are clothes, but there are not just clothes. The complexity of the importance of clothes, or fashion, can be seen through its ability to both lead and reflect important social changes. This is particularly the case for the American fashion icons—blue jeans and T-shirts. Over the years, the T-shirt has freed America’s top half. Jeans have freed the bottom. Together, they have combined to move Americans towards the much more liberal values of today. T-Shirt Background & Development On a somewhat hot day in August 1975, a small column was published on the 39th page of the New York Times. The article was so insignificant, at least to the editor’s eyes, that it was cut in two, with the second half continued on page 51. However, under this unassuming guise, lay a very important question that people have been puzzling over for decades. In the newspaper article, the columnist Marilyn Bender called the T-shirt fad “inexplicable,” concluding “no one appears to understand it.”1 It was short but intriguing. No one seems to know where T-shirts actually originated from, why they were so popular among both younger and older consumers, or how blue jeans and T-shirt became such iconic images within the world of American dress.

1

Bender, Marylin. “The T-Shirt Fad: It’s Inexplicable: No one Appears to Understand It.” New York Times (New York City, NY), August 14, 1975, 39.

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When the business suit evolved into its present form at the end of the 19th century, many regarded it as the singular garment that all gentlemen should wear: a kind of uniform. There were rather precise specifications for the accepted design of such suits: dark colors (mainly navy blue, black or grey), trouser length, shirt collar styles, width of lapels, the cut of the jackets, etc.2 How did these “rules” come to be? We don’t really appear to have an answer. What we do know is that these rules allowed the business suit to serve as an indicator of social class, as the better educated had a broader knowledge of these rules and could afford to pay the more skilled tailors to apply these rules specifically to their clothes.3 By the mid-to-late 1980s, however, the regular use of business suits had dwindled down to a rather narrow group of upper-middle class occupations, including law, finance, business management, sales, and politics. In the United States today, perhaps the most conservative attitude towards professional dress can be found in investment banking, especially on Wall Street, where the business suit is still regarded as emblematic of a man’s dedication to his job.4 The early 1990s saw a significant decline in the once-ubiquitous business suit. European businessmen started to dress less formally, and their American counterparts, especially those on the West Coast, took their lead.5 Men working in technology firms (such as those in the Silicon Valley) started by taking off their ties, then their blazers were set aside, and eventually they even changed out of their formal trousers. Businessmen from across the country (with the notable exception of the aforementioned Wall Street bankers, who refused even to take their ties off) soon followed suit, so to speak. This dress-down fashion trend among American professionals continues today, to one degree or another, whether one is a salesman in the Motor City, an investor visiting a construction site in Kentucky, or a college professor at Duke University. Another example of this change can be seen in two Life magazine photographs. In 1951, a dozen of America’s leading painters did a photo shoot with Life, and all twelve were wearing business suits. Another such shoot in 1993, finds only one of the twelve leading American painters sporting a business suit.6 Crane, Diana. Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. N.p.: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, 173. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid, 174. 5 Ibid, 175. 6 Ibid, 175-176. 2

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The business suit appears to be losing its appeal and giving way to something that has short sleeves and a round neck. These garments are very thin. Some are baggy, while others are tightly fitted. Some have solid colors, while others have patterns, images or words printed on them. The new garment’s shape resembles the letter T. With the immense popularity the T-shirt is enjoying today in the world, it is extremely hard to imagine that no one would have even dreamt of wearing such a garment publically until as recently as the late 1940s. For centuries, the T-shirt has been used as undershirts in Europe.7 They were of a type of utilitarian clothing that was definitely not designed to be seen by others—loosely fitted, haphazardly sewn, and designed principally to prevent human sweat from reaching and ruining far more expensive outer layers of clothes. Over the course of a few hundred years, the only real improvement made to such shirts came with the invention of machines that made them more efficient and inexpensive to produce. As American soldiers came home from the First World War, they brought back some of these T-shirts. Once discovered being worn by their French counterparts, the very comfortable and thin shirts soon became the Navy’s designated undershirts. And what then? Was that how the T-shirts caught on? Is this when it became the shirt one couldn’t live without? No. Before that happened, men actually started getting rid of their T-shirts. After the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable, removed his shirt to reveal a bare chest in a famous scene with Claudette Colbert in the 1934 film It Happened One Night, American men abandoned the wearing of undershirts in droves almost overnight, so much so that undershirt sales were scuttled, declining by 75%, according to the devastated B.V.D.8 At the time of the film’s release, wearing a T-shirt as an undershirt was somewhat popular in America; however, Gable’s example changed that trend rather dramatically. Given his immense popularity and attractiveness, wearing a T-shirt suddenly became an anachronism, a sign of old-fashioned tastes and even unattractiveness. And, of course, in the midst of the Great Depression, people didn’t really complain about having to buy one less

Ibid, 177. The Associated press. “Clark Gable Dies in Hollywood Of Heart Ailment at Age of 59.” New York Times (New York City, NY), November 17, 1960, late city edition, 37. 7 8

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article of clothing. Gable said later, “I didn’t know what I was doing to the undershirt people, that was just the way I lived. I hadn’t worn an undershirt since I started to school. They made me feel hemmed in and smothered. I still felt that way when I joined the Air Force in World War Two and I had to put on a T-shirt. I felt swathed in fabric, like a mummy.”9 The T-shirt industry really struggled for a few years. But then World War II arrived, and suddenly millions of soldiers became heroes while wearing T-shirts. This instantly transformed T-shirts into symbols of heroism, bravery, and manhood. People started buying T-shirts again. However, sales didn’t increase all that dramatically. The T-shirt simply became a bit popular for a time, and then died back down again as a fashion statement. Jeans Background & Development Men’s lower-body clothing has undergone a more sophisticated development than its upper-body counterparts. From the Middle Ages up until the 17th Century, men, like Shakespeare, wore trunk hosen and stockings. Later, trousers became the appropriate leg wear for men. Tsar Peter the Great, in an attempt to modernize Russia, issued a decree in 1701 that all his countrymen, other than peasants and clergymen, had to wear trousers.10 When trousers were first introduced, an aphorism arose asserting “He who has pants, has freedom.” This originally European peasant garment was a revolutionary thing for the world, and suggested many kinds of freedom, including convenience and mobility for the wearer.11 Later, the modern trouser increased in length (from knee-length to ankle-length), was open at the ankle (rather than fastened), and loosened in its fitting, which symbolized comfort over formality.12 These new pants also drew attention to parts of the body that older garments had been specifically designed to conceal. When the first pants without front buttons appeared in America in the 1830s, Mormon leader Brigham Young called them “fornication pants.”13 Such trousers still exist; though they are not in fashion any more. Instead, Ibid. Cengage Learning Inc. “Edicts and Decrees.” Cengage. Accessed April 1, 2015. http://college.cengage.com/history/primary_sources/world/edicts_and_decrees.htm. 11 Sullivan, James. Jeans. N.p.: Gotham Books, 2006, 9. 12 “Trousers.” In Wikipedia. Last modified April 1, 2015. Accessed April 1, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trousers. 13 Sullivan. Jeans, 10. 9

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some blue-dyed, rough-looking pants, called jeans, have become the most popular pants in the land. When Levi Strauss, a German immigrant of German Jewish descent, traveled to San Francisco in 1853, drawn like so many others by the Gold Rush then underway, he didn’t exactly come to mine for gold (at least not directly). However, he did notice a problem that had been bothering local prospectors—their pants were far from what one would call rugged. The men’s pants were easily ripped and torn in the rough and tumble activity of mining. In 1871, a customer of Strauss’s dry goods business, a Latvian immigrant named Jacob Davis, invented a pair of improved work pants, using a material called denim, and he and Strauss went into business together to mass produce these new pants, patenting their design in 1873. In 1886, Strauss sewed a leather label on his jeans, which showed his jeans trying (unsuccessfully, so it seemed) to be pulled apart by two horses. This showed the main marketable characteristic of jeans—their strength. This symbol continues to be employed today. (Just go check the pair likely hanging in your own wardrobe.) Despite their success, the two men died not knowing that they had invented something that would eventually come to dominate both American and world fashion for more than six decades (and counting).14 The spreading popularity of blue jeans at the beginning of the 20th Century had as much to do with what they symbolized in the eyes of the Americans, particularly those from the East. Affluent Easterners would often take trips to the great American West to relax and to enjoy the “Cowboy Experience.” Although their experiences no doubt varied (some guests expecting a more luxurious holiday, with others fully embracing the lower standards of personal hygiene and rough living conditions), guest (or “dude”) ranches really tried to make their visitors embrace Western culture.15 Jeans thus became a representation of the relaxation of refined eastern standards, and a symbol of the wild, untamed spirit of the wearer. “It was the kind of clothing that represented the American West, and it was this cachet and this sort of magical thing,” says Lynn Downey, archivist and historian at Levi Levi & Strauss Co. “History and Heritage.” Levi’s. Accessed April 14, 2015. http://us.levi.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=18816896. 15 “Guest Ranch.” In Wikipedia. Last modified March 9, 2015. Accessed April 1, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guest_ranch. 14

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Strauss & Co. 16 “They found really early on that it was the denim version that would sell,” says Paul Trynka, author of “Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks.”17 Denim was more comfortable, softening with age, and its indigo dye gave it a unique character. “Why did it sell?” asks Trynka. “Because the denim changed as it aged and the way it wore reflected people’s lives.” The guests brought these pants back to the cities or large towns they came from. With these dude ranches growing exponentially due to the invention of the automobile, jeans started to spread across America.18 Fewer jeans were made during World War Two, but overseas American soldiers, who sometimes wore them when they were off-duty, introduced denim waist overalls to the world. 19 American soldiers became moving advertisements for these new pants. Many European soldiers were interested in these new pants, and American soldiers could often make some extra cash by selling their pants to their European counterparts at an inflated price. At the time, the “jeans culture” wasn’t yet fully accepted by all Americans. An American colonel banned men in his regiment from wearing denim at all and claimed that these pants did not represent America’s culture and values—a sentiment with which most of his young soldiers strongly disagreed. Boys who grew up in Japan in the 1950s were surrounded by American soldiers in jeans, and once they had some spending money they would ask these soldiers to sell them a pair. This widespread popularity allowed Levi Strauss & Co. to start selling their product outside of the American West soon after the war. Jeans were becoming so popular that rival companies, like Wrangler and Lee, began to compete with Levi for a share of this new market.20 Hollywood’s Influence on Fashion & Society So by the time we got to the 1940s, both T-shirts and jeans had gained some modest amount of popularity in different ways. However, they were still not very widely accepted. T-shirts were still considered Levi & Strauss Co. “History and Heritage.” Trynka, Paul, and Graham Marsh. Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks: A History of the World’s Most Legendary Fabric. Edited by June Marsh. Revised ed. N.p.: Aurum Press, 2005. 18 “Guest Ranch”. 19 New Internationalist. “The History of Jeans.” Global Issues for Learners of English. Last modified September 25, 1999. Accessed April 14, 2015. http://newint.org/easier-english/Garment/jhistory.html. 20 Ibid. 16 17

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“undershirts,” while jeans still viewed by most Americans as “working pants.” One little town in the sunshine state of California, Hollywood, was going to revolutionize American fashion, with their most famous actors pushing the trends. “The most successful celebrities are products,” wrote the cultural critic George W. S. Trow.21 Tom Mix, “The King of the Cowboys”, was the star of many Western movies throughout the first three decades of the 20th Century. He was Hollywood’s first megastar, and he helped define the genre for all actors in Western films who followed. His influence extended beyond his own generation. When a badly injured football player, Marion Morrison, dropped out of USC, Mix helped him to find a job moving props in the Fox studios. A few years later, he started his career and was given a new screen name: John Wayne. Wayne would come to further define cowboy culture with his calm voice, swaggering walk, and bear-like build.22 Director Raoul Walsh was the one who first noticed him, bringing him to the big screen and giving him his “strong, tough, powerful, and yet quite common” new name.23 This “dude” with the common name went on to become a monumental figure within Hollywood during the next three decades, and his popularity could not be separated from his standard outfit: cowboy hat, shirt with rolled sleeves, and those never-ripping blue jeans. 24 His films were also successful because of the concept of a common man living in poverty (in some films) has fitted in well with the basic concept of social mobility, the “American Dream.” Even today, almost four decades after his death in 1979, John Wayne remains amongst the top five recognized American film stars of all-time.25 John Wayne played a myriad of western characters, popularized western fashion, and popularized a free and independent spirit that will likely live on forever. In 1946, a strong man with a thick barrel chest strolled onto the red carpet and went on to win an Oscar for best supporting actor. With a heavily lidded gaze that suggested a mild contempt for the establishment, Robert Mitchum had earned a reputation as a loose

Sullivan, James. Jeans, 4. Bogdanovich, Peter. “Playing John Wayne.” New York Times (New York, NY), March 30, 2014. 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 21 22

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cannon and was one of Hollywood’s “bad boys.”26 Unlike John Wayne, and most other actors of his time, Mitchum didn’t form a connection between fashion and perceived personality traits through his films. He created it through his private actions. Due to his popularity, Mitchum was invited by the mayor of Los Angeles to City Hall to address a group of students on the subject of juvenile delinquency—presumably, how to avoid it.27 Mitchum never made it there. He was arrested with three others for possession of narcotics and smoking marijuana. In 1948, smoking “tea” was still considered a very serious crime and an inscrutable act to many Americans.28 As Mitchum and his friends were photographed by the LAPD, they were wearing the all-denim uniform that is the standard issue of the country jails across California. When asked by the press what he thought of his new uniform, he replied, “I’m sorry if my new look doesn’t appeal to you.” 29 As soon as his picture in full denim hit the newspapers the next day, a long-lasting link between Hollywood’s bad boys (or bad boys in general) and denim was formed. The look of denim in general, and jeans in particular, started to appeal to many young people, due to its connotations of rebelliousness. In the American prison system of the 1940s, the stereotypical orange jumpsuits of today did not yet exist. Instead, the prisoners wore the cost-efficient and durable denim clothes that were ideally suited to their life in prison. Denim clothes were also worn in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. 30 Even today, denim clothes are still worn by prisoners in some parts of the country, rather than the jailbird stripes or orange jumpsuits. On Hollywood’s screens, the Western genre featured an increasing number of rough characters in jeans and denim jackets, which added to their increasing popularity among teenagers and infamy among adults.31 People around in the 1960s undoubtedly have a fond memory of James Dean, a handsome young actor who played several roles in films that played upon a resentful youth culture aimed against overly controlling parents. Before dying in a car crash at just twentyfour years of age, Dean ensured his fame through the 1955 movie, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he played an antisocial teenager who hates his Sullivan, James. Jeans, 81. Ibid. 28 Ibid. 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid, 83. 31 Ibid, 82. 26 27

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parents’ traditional lifestyle and old-fashioned values. A complicated character, his disgust of his parents’ example was meant to serve as a reflection of the dysfunctional American family of the time.32 The film’s most famous and lasting image is of Dean wearing a red windbreaker over the increasingly iconic fashion pieces of a T-shirt and jeans. The actors playing the gang members in the film were advised and taught by Frank Mozzola, a real-life youth gang leader who worked on the film as a technical advisor. Mozzola instructed that the actors go through more than four hundred pairs of Levi’s jeans (scuffed up deliberately by the wardrobe department) and white T-shirts, in order to look “thuggish.”33 Unlike Dean, who did not expect his acting would bring fame to jeans, Marlon Brando more fully understood the message jeans were capable of sending from the very beginning. His own rebelliousness had been on display ever since his early high school days in suburban Illinois, where he once came to formal party hosted by adults in a pair of ripped jeans and a white dress shirt with the collar completely torn off.34 His affection towards jeans and rebelliousness was second to none during his time. Brando’s first major acting opportunity came when Tennessee Williams asked him to play the starring role in his Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. (The play would later win a Pulitzer Prize and be made into a film, in which Brando once again starred). Brando’s T-shirt, which was still considered an undershirt, and thus and scandalous, was died faintly red and ripped at the shoulders. He also wore tight jeans, which were so carefully tailored to him that after he first put them on, he shouted, “This is it! This is what I’ve always wanted!” just like a little child opening his Christmas present.35 Marlon Brando gave jeans an aura of true danger in the movie The Wild One (1953). In the film he played Johnny Strabler, the head of a bike gang and the ultimate bad boy. When asked what he is rebelling against, he replies, “Whaddya got?”36 “If you were a 15-year-old boy in 1953 you wanted to be Marlon Brando,” said Lynn Downey. “Hollywood costume designers Ibid, 91. Ibid, 92-93. 34 Ibid, 87. 35 Ibid, 88. 36 Gunn, Tim. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet. N.p.: Simon and Schuster, 2012, 27. 32 33

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put all the bad boys in denim.”37 The Wild One was so stark in its depiction of youth rebellion that it was banned in Britain.38 Stephen Watts, a New York Times columnist, wrote that during an early screening of the movie in Britain, “so many motorcyclists arrived to see [it] that the neighboring streets looked as if Cambridge were suffering an invasion comparable with that which is the subject of the film itself.” 39 Throughout the film, the contrast between the quiet, polite and humble townspeople and the boorish guests provided a huge cultural clash theme. A British censor said, “the film could be a most harmful influence on teen-age people in this country.”40 They indicated that their goal was to “cut ruthlessly or refuse certificates to films in which sadism and brutality were unnecessarily exploited.” 41 Such films of rebellion were certainly catching on but were not yet widely accepted. The new era of teenage-led fashion that was reflected in the Hollywood movies of this era received a lot of filtering and criticism overseas. In this unprecedented era, American films suffered a good deal of suppression from the British censors. Along with The Wild One, they banned five other American films. 42 Despite this, dressed in leather and the trademark Levi’s 501, Brando and his gang provided the best unpaid-for publicity that jeans could possibly get. Blue jeans were most widely accepted as signifying the virtues of physical labor and ruggedness. During the 1960s, various groups around America adopted jeans: motorcycle gangs, artists, T-shirts have also been a longpainters, hippies, working-class people, lasting working-class garment. etc. According to historians Shelly Foot Men who did work for this and Claudia B. Kidwell, for the middle country, including steelworkers, class, jeans became “an icon for American farmers, sailors, etc., often stripped down during the course values of individualism and honesty.” 43 of their work, wearing only their More connotations, such as freedom, Hegarty, Stephanie. “How Jeans Conquered the World.” BBC News. Last modified February 28, 2012. Accessed March 8, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17101768. 38 New York Times (New York, NY). “Britain Bans Brando Film.” January 20, 1955, 34. 39 Watts, Stephen. “Brando’s Fans Resent ‘Wild One’ Ban.” New York Times (New York, NY), May 22, 1955, 129. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 Ibid. 43 Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 176. 37

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classlessness, and quality, were made for jeans. Fashion & Hollywood’s Impact on Women A pearl of a woman made men of all ages fall deeply in love during the 1950s and the 1960s. Appearing in a Tshirt and a pair of rolled-up jeans in the 1952 drama, Clash by Night, Marilyn Monroe flirted with her boyfriend, jamming her thumbs in the front pockets of her jeans as she dared him to A shot of Marilyn lifting weights in the get physical with her. “Just let me see gym. There are so many unprecedented any man try,” she taunts. Later, in the things happening in this picture: women film’s most famous scene, they run working out and lifting weights, sports bras, and of course, tight jeans. onto the beach after a swim, and her boyfriend picks her up by the ankles, forcing her to stand on her hands. Laughing, she pulls her jeans up over her bikini bottom, and the two race barefoot into an open-air barroom nearby. 44 Blue jeans were a recurring costume during her short life, from 1954’s River of No Return (alongside Robert Mitchum), to The Misfits in 1961, partnering with Clark Gable. In a New York Times article, Bosley Crowther commented on the amount of attention from the audience that were directed toward Marilyn Monroe, rather than the film itself. “[T]he audience’s attention is directed to Miss Monroe through frequent and liberal posing of her in full and significant views.” 45 “It’s a toss-up whether the scenery or the adornment of Marilyn Monroe is the feature of greater attraction.”46 Marilyn Monroe helped establish a link between fashion and sexual freedom. Her popularity, borne from being widely-known as a major sex symbol of the era, made everything she wore a thing of interest for the public. Her sexiness was represented through her tight jeans, which had become somewhat of a trend in the early 1950s for females. Women have come a long way in acquiring some gender equity, especially in terms of fashion. Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, clearly states that “Women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, for all that do so are abominations unto the Lord Sullivan. Jeans, 94. Crowther, Bosley. “The Screen: Four New Films Arrive—Marilyn Monroe vs. Scenery at Roxy.” New York Times (New York, NY), May 1, 1954, 13. 46 Ibid. 44 45

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thy God.”47 If you were a woman in seventeenth-century England, you could be hanged for wearing men’s clothing. American designer, Anne Fogarty, even wrote a book called “Wife-Dressing,” where she emphasized that an American woman was never properly dressed without her girdle.48 However, women’s fashion had started to change, as early as 1918, when Levi Strauss & Co. started producing denim pants for women. With the company’s heavy emphasis on the word “freedom” in its advertisement, jeans received widespread popularity amongst women. 49 Six million mothers and daughters joined the workforce during WWII due to the depletion of the male workforce as a result of wartime conscription.50 In this new setting for them, women had to wear “manly” work clothes, such as rough pants and bluecollared shirts with rolled sleeves. The idea of a woman working in such industrial circumstances really revolutionized the status of women in society and strict gender-based dress codes started to soften. After the war, most women went from the factories back to looking after the kids and housekeeping, but continued to dress not so much to attract attention but for comfort just like how they did before the war—wearing “wifely” clothes.51 However, their exposure to working environments had encouraged them to pursue their freedom and gender equality. The change was happening slowly. The female models seen on the covers of many magazines, such as Twiggy, inspired women to wear colorful, new-fashioned clothing with styles carefully designed by professional designers.52 The original idea of “designer” jeans grew out of the late 1960s, when men and women started promoting the idea of cross gender appearances. Men grew their hair out while women slipped into men’s jeans. Since women usually have larger hips than men, they quickly found out that the outline of their bottoms, regardless of size, were clearly identified when they wore the tight male jeans. This trend started catching on, and by the end of the 1970s, denim manufacturers started developing jeans for women, called the “designer” jeans, that were tailor-made and fit women’s bodies nice and tight.

Levi & Strauss Co. “History and Heritage.” “Fashion Timeline: 1950 to 1960.” Vintage Fashion Guild. Last modified April 2, 2012. Accessed April 2, 2015. http://vintagefashionguild.org/fashion-timeline/1950-to-1960/. 49 Levi & Strauss Co. “History and Heritage.” 50 Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 123. 51 “Fashion Timeline: 1950 to 1960.” 52 “Fashion Timeline: 1960 to 1970.” Vintage Fashion Guild. Last modified August 30, 2010. Accessed April 2, 2015. http://vintagefashionguild.org/fashion-timeline/1960-to-1970/. 47 48

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Teenagers vs. Older People As the 1960s started, the younger generation became wealthy and acted as a powerful class of consumers who demanded that the society make changes to match their youthful spirits. The 1960s saw the children from the Baby Boom generation slowly entering their latter adolescence and early adulthood. Their outlook on life was, in many ways, fundamentally differently than that of older people at the time, who had lived through at least one, if not two, global war. They had grown up in a period of peace and thus had unprecedented amounts of free time to think about politics and society. Young men aligned themselves with the workingmen and soldiers by wearing T-shirts and jeans, rather than the older generation of men still in their suit and ties.53 The younger generation at this time seemed to want to move away from the old, strict, and (from their point of view) rotten American value: the dress code, the daily work routines, the conservative attitudes towards sex and social behavior, etc. The new teenage fashions had received some political support, too. The ever-popular, then-senator, John. F. Kennedy was photographed wearing a T-shirt at home. In JFK’s case, since everything this handsome politician and his stylish wife, Jacqueline, wore would almost definitely lead to a fashion trend, the T-shirt culture was popularized tremendously. 54 However, not all presidents were trendy in their younger days. “I was a fat band boy who didn’t wear cool jeans,” wrote former president Bill Clinton of his 1950s childhood.55 The early 1960s saw many young people starting truly to dictate fashion. Until then, it was high profile designers from Paris who did just that; and now, it seemed like fashion was being dictated by these young, rebellious teenagers who wore undershirts and working-class pants around, due in part to the series of Hollywood films, already mentioned, that provided a popularity boost for these garments.56 More accurately, young people were starting to make an anti-fashion statement of rebellion against their parents’ generation and in kinship with the country’s lower classes. The generation of actors from the early 1950s to the late 1960s represented something new. They were complicated and

Gunn. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, 27. Ibid, 27. 55 Sullivan. Jeans, 96. 56 “1960s in Fashion.” In Wikipedia. Last modified March 27, 2015. Accessed March 28, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960s_in_fashion#Additional_fads_and_trends. 53 54

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wry, encouraging teenagers to remain true to their complicated natures, to be themselves. The cultural gap between generations was widening. The relief that came with the first post-war decade evolved into a sense of entitlement. Cars were more readily available to more and more teenagers and young adults, and were no longer just luxuries for the wealthiest Americans. This presented youngsters with an unprecedented mobility that loosened the grip of their parents. For the first time, money earned from after-school jobs was not simply all handed over to mom and dad. Instead, much of it was being spent on whatever the kids wanted. Through their increased mobility and greater financial resources, kids were able to meet others and share their rebellious ideas and influence others by, for example, wearing the cool jeans. Adults didn’t like where this is going. “Are Teenagers Taking Over?” asked Cosmopolitan magazine. Even if they were not, for the first time, they became a force in fashion. James Sullivan, author of Jeans: A Cultural History of An American Icon, called the teenage rebelliousness and protests of the 1950s “aimless”.57 He indicated that teenagers were just doing that because they had nothing better to do with their lives. The teenagers, of course, begged to differ, saying that they were pushing for an abolishment of the old rules in order to attain more freedom. In his book, Sullivan quoted an Italian magazine that claimed “America’s teen-agers make up, as we shall see, the most pitiless, irreducible, indestructible dictatorship in the world.”58 The Baby Boom generation had significantly influenced the clothing industry, shifting their focus from work wear to fashion representing free spirits, by spending an estimated $3.5 billion (approximately $26 billion in 2015 dollars) on casual clothes in 1965.59 Fearing that they might lose all control of their students, many schools began banning jeans. Denim was banned from schools across America because of the negative connotations this item of clothing carried with it. School officials feared that simply wearing these “rebel uniforms” would provoke students to fight against their authority. The schools in Buffalo, New York, made an instructional film featuring a high school couple wearing dungarees: the girl in ankle bracelets and drop earrings, and the boy in a black jacket and unbuttoned shirt. The film’s narrator instructs that, “[t]hese students are portraying what we consider bad taste in school attire and behavior.”60 Famous designer Tommy Hilfiger once wore a T-shirt to school in the Sullivan. Jeans, 111. Ibid, 96. 59 Ibid, 97. 60 Ibid, 112. 57 58

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early 1960s and, as he later recalled in his biography All-American, “They took one look at me and said, ‘You’ve got an undershirt on. Go home.’”61 These bans, of course, only added to the cachet of such garments and served to strengthen their embrace by teenagers. During the social revolutions of the 20th Century, jeans have also become one of the symbols for African Americans in the South. During the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement, northern college students would often trade their chinos, loafers and collared shirts for T-shirts and jeans to support the men and women whose rights they were hoping to advance. They were “powerfully affected by the most impoverished and disenfranchised Negros,” wrote Todd Gitlin in his definitive history, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.62 In 1967, a massive three-day concert in Monterey, California capped off a tremendous period of social unrest and one of the biggest social-changing revolutions that has ever happened on American soil. In that same “Summer of Love,” a bit further north, in San Francisco, a few hundred thousand young people gathered in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and exchanged their ideas and complaints about politics, the economy, and society in general. Teenagers in T-shirts and jeans were seen on every street corner, and set the tone for American teenage fashion over the next few decades. Among those wearing T-shirts and jeans were such famous musicians as Janice Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and The Who.63 Five things were free in the Summer of Love: free love, free food, free drugs, a free clinic, and a free store. A Dionysian mini-world sprang up like a field of fresh grass after a spring rain, setting a dividing line between before and after in American culture. The lure of that dramatic scenery of ecstasy, etherealism, and utopianism, was almost impossible to resist for teenagers and people in their early twenties.64 The spark of teenage fashion had proven to be an unstoppable force for the adults and institutions that had tried to put out its flame. Towards the end of the 1960s, universities like Northwestern, Princeton, and Georgetown relaxed their traditional dress codes of suit and tie, as more and more students claimed that the banning of T-shirts and jeans was infringing upon their First Amendment right of freedom of Hilfiger, Tommy. All American. N.p.: Universe Publication, 1997. Sullivan. Jeans, 112. 63 Weller, Sheila. “Suddenly That Summer.” Vanity Fair Culture, July 2012. Accessed April 2, 2015. http://www.vanityfair.com/unchanged/2012/07/lsd-drugs-summer-of-love-sixties. 64 “Summer of Love.” The Official 60’s Site. Last modified June 7, 2011. Accessed April 2, 2015. http://www.the60sofficialsite.com/Summer_of_Love.html. 61 62

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expression.65 It was quite amazing for all concerned to have so much ado about a piece of cloth and a pair of pants. The 1960s ended, but the wheels of history rolled on. T-shirts and jeans kept on getting more popular as more baby boomer “grownups” (teenagers back in the 1950s and 1960s) started to accept them; and they eventually came to dominate the population. Words on T-Shirts . . . Oh No! New Invention! Rebellious! Unlike jeans, the T-shirt has the ability to have things easily printed on them. Technical developments in the early 1960s, such as stronger and more flexible plastisol ink, plastic transfers, and various spray paints led to the use of colored designs and mass production of printed T-shirts, or “slogan shirts.” Printing words or pictures on shirts identifies the wearer with a company, a sports team, or an idea. The first documented slogan shirt arrived in 1948 when Republican presidential candidate, Thomas Dewey, made a shirt to use in his campaign against Harry S. Truman that read “Dew-it with Dewey.” 66 By the time Davy Crockett and Mickey Mouse characters were being printed on children’s garments in the 1950s, slogan shirts had clearly established their place in society.67 The first “band tee” was worn by the one-and-only Elvis Presley in 1956. His fame and popularity proved to be another big boost to T-shirt culture. Many other bands soon followed: The Beatles in 1963, the Monkees in 1967, and the Rolling Stones in 1971, just to name a few. “The Tongue” by the Rolling Stones was one of the most famous T-shirt designs.68 The designer John Pasche said that the inspiration behind the tongue was to represent Mick Jagger’s (Rolling Stones’ lead singer) mouth and, by extension, the band’s antiauthoritarian attitude, and sex appeal. 69 T-shirts themselves are symbols of sexual liberation for women, where their breasts and bras (if they wear Sullivan. Jeans, 111. Gunn. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, 29. 67 Ibid. 68 Ibid. 69 “John Pasche.” In Wikipedia. Last modified February 16, 2015. Accessed March 28, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pasche. 65 66

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one) can be clearly outlined and sometimes seen. A garment able to reveal such things arguably started the trend toward public displays of sexually charged images on clothing. “The Smiley” was, without a doubt, invented by Forrest Gump, who wanted to print his face on a T-shirt but didn’t have a camera. As luck would have it, his face was splashed by mud. As he wiped his face on a yellow T-shirt, a perfect smiling face was left there, and an icon was born. Believe it or not, the apocryphal previous paragraph actually presents a not-uncommon misconception among younger people today. The smiley face is, indeed, so famous an image that it immediately went on the list of inventions and events that were supposedly connected to the fictional life of Forrest Gump in the eponymous award-winning film of 1994—along with the Watergate scandal, the first Chinese-USA ping pong gam, and the founding of Apple, just to name a few. However, in reality, the iconic smiling face was invented by the Worcester Mutual Insurance Company in 1963, to raise employee morale after a series of mergers and acquisitions.70 French journalist, Franklin Loufrani, put the Smiley on a T-shirt in 1973 and formed the company Smiley. Today, the company earns more than $130 million a year and is one of the top 100 licensed companies in the world.71 Some other famous T-shirt designs include the famous “Silence = Death” T-shirt, designed by AIDS activists in 1987, and the “I <3 NY” Tshirt in 1976, which remain popular even today.72 Some people don’t understand why people wear shirts with brand names on them. They call it “unpaid advertising” for global corporations selling clothes, food, drinks, music, etc.73 Since the 1970s, young people printed brand names, such as Coca-Cola, Zenith, or Converse, on their T-shirts. Many older people did not understand the purpose of this at all. Orion P. Burkhardt Jr., the Vice President of Marketing for the brewery division of Anheuser Busch, Inc. once said, “I wish I knew the bottom line of psychological motivation for wanting to display somebody’s label. It runs contradictory to what a person would

Stamp, Jimmy. “Who Really Invented the Smiley Face?” Smithsonian. Last modified March 13, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2015. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/artsculture/who-really-invented-the-smiley-face-2058483/?no-ist. 71 Ibid. 72 Gunn. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, 29. 73 Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 177. 70

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normally want to do, advertise for you.” 74 These people proudly represented the brand, and wanted to be identified along with the brand. At the time, like every other new idea, having logos of companies printed on your shirt seemed unbelievably stupid.75 New York Times columnist Marilyn Bender reported that the $4 Coors T-shirts were the most popular amongst the teenagers during the late 1970s. It was unprecedented for them to dabble on the thin line of committing a crime that easily—displaying signs of alcohol without actually drinking and risk getting in trouble with the law. The teenagers loved it.76 One of the most significant aspects of the T-shirt is that it can be used as tools for social and political expression, especially when fighting against repressive government regimes. The non-democratic “People’s Republic” of China has been under the iron control of the Communist Party for over sixty years. The amount of personal freedom in Che Guevara’s image has been China has increased over time, but it is still around since the 1960s, limited. In 1991, a young Chinese artist symbolizing struggle, resistance to authority, ideology, equality designed T-shirts with funny statements printed on them. However, in the view of the and rebellion. It has been as recognizable as the McDonalds’ Chinese government, the statements had arch or the Nike swoosh. huge political implications and were considered as being anti-communist. The artist was thus arrested and the T-shirt banned and confiscated, although it had already sold widely.77 This incident demonstrates the T-shirt’s ability to be used as a tool for political expression. The banned and confiscated, yet well-loved, T-shirts acted as a seedling planted in the soil of revolution in China, and who knows? Maybe one day we will see that seedling burst through the soil and get its fair share of sunlight. Old-school designers, such as Spanish designer Balenciaga, think that fashion is dead. By the end of the 1960s, driven by the new fashion designers’ dogma—less is more—fashion was discernibly exposing skin, as well as body part outlines, like never before. The older standard items of clothing once so common—such as hats, gloves, and shiny black dress shoes—were all out the window by then.78 Bender, “The T-Shirt Fad: It’s Inexplicable: No one Appears to Understand It.” Ibid. 76 Ibid. 77 Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 178. 78 “Fashion Timeline: 1960 to 1970.” 74 75

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Sexual Connotations in Jeans In 1981, a Calvin Klein’s jeans ad featuring15-year-old supermodel Brooke Shields shocked America with the young girl uttering the line, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”79 Brooke Shields was only part of Calvin Klein’s huge campaign on their special, tight, high quality and highly expensive jeans. Some critics suggested that this was a form of child pornography. A New York Times critic suggested that since the message of the advertisement was easily misunderstood, the company should have ceased running this ad. Shields had helped set up a sexual connection between herself and jeans, thus improving the jean’s popularity via direct visual influences to both male and female.80 As the semi-nude and “pornographic” content in jean ads started becoming more and more popular in the 1980s, TV stations started banning them, including major ones in Los Angeles and Chicago. A great deal of criticism started being voiced. An observer for Advertising Age called the ads “Pantiless jailbait” and claimed that “There’s no more shock value to exploit and no more dignity to lose.” 81 Heiress Gloria Vanderbilt However, these ads had helped Klein gain a launches her designer denim large amount of publicity and become a jeans. Never one to miss a beat, Saturday Night Live comedian standout in the competitive designer jeans Gilda Radner later jokes, “She’s market. Klein’s personal income for 1981 was taken her good family name and about $8.5 million. ($22 million in 2015 put it on the asses of America.” dollars.) Klein’s advertising pushed the sexual issues in society to a new level. After running a series of almost-nudity ads, the media furiously asked Calvin Klein why he was doing this, to which he responded, nonplussed, “I like sex. What’s bad about sex?”82 Long before young Nathaniel Hawthorne could identify the letter A in his alphabet class, people have been asking this same Hackett, Robert. “A Brief History of Blue Jeans.” Fortune. Last modified September 18, 2014. Accessed March 8, 2015. http://fortune.com/2014/09/18/brief-history-of-blue-jeans/. 80 Elliott, Stuart. “Calvin Klein to Withdraw Child Jean Ads.” New York Times (New York, NY), August 28, 1995. 81 Sullivan. Jeans, 170. 82 Ibid, 166. 79

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question. Some say that we should embrace sex, since it is part of our reproduction process and nudity should be nothing worth to be concerned about. Others have strict religious objections against publicly displaying sexually suggestive material. Sexual suggestion had been used in commercials for various products long before Calvin Klein’s seemingly unacceptable approach. Throughout the years underdressed women have appeared in ads for products ranging from alcohol to cars and tobacco, not to mention obvious items such as cosmetics and lingerie. 83 This is what Klein had based his arguments on: soft pornography has long existed in the field of advertising and so his ads shouldn’t be overly criticized, and certainly not banned. 1980s – Today Despite their long-lasting fame and wide acceptance, the popularity of jeans started to fall into a spiral by the late 1980s.84 A new generation of teenagers emerged and promoted Hip Hop fashion, ironically seeking new identities with clothing different from their parents (who wore jeans to differ from their parents). The sales of jeans dramatically dropped as other types of apparel, such as cargo pants, sweat pants and chinos, gained popularity.85 About 20 years ago, T-shirts and jeans were still not commonly accepted, and 20 years later they are now on the verge of falling out of fashion altogether. With fashion change comes experiments and failures, but people kept on Famous actor, then musical producer, Will Smith, in hiptrying: Big sunglasses, sneakers with fat laces, hop style clothing big chains around the neck, big stud earrings for guys, etc. The 1980s produced a saying, “Go big or go home,” and clearly no one wants to “go home.”86 Fashion trends today are very varied and unpredictable. Clement Piganeau, a French importer of clothes manufactured by Ibid. Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 176. 85 Ibid. 86 Kimtinachris. “The Decades of Hip Hop Fashion – the 80’s and Early 90’s.” The 5th Element Mag. Last modified September 18, 2013. Accessed April 5, 2015. http://the5thelementmag.com/2013/09/18/the-decades-of-hip-hop-fashion-the-80s-early90s/. 83 84

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companies such as Go West, Timberland, and Redskins, said, “We make our living from a myth.”87 However, given its glorious history of either reflecting trends at the time or having heavy impacts on society, we have no doubt that in the future, fashion will continue to be a catalyst of social change. Unlike a century ago, the rich and the poor participate in the same stylistic world today. Heavily influenced by images from popular culture and the entertainment media, fashion trends are leaning more and more heavily towards leisure clothes today. Sure, if you have a Gucci belt, an Armani suit or a Rolex watch, you can still demonstrate your wealth or class, but when it comes to leisure clothes, there isn’t any major difference between a designer’s Time Magazine named T-shirt which has a sophisticated, computerLevi’s 501 jeans the “Fashion Item of the generated pattern on it and costs $1000, or a dollar tee 20th Century.” The with a star on it, bought down the street. The field of jeans beat the mini skirt and the classic LBD. play in fashion between the rich and the poor has been largely leveled. The famous Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani, has said he likes the T-shirt because it blurs the social hierarchy, and under its white cotton, the rich and the poor are indistinguishable. We can see that fashion has played a role in reducing the gap between socioeconomic classes, and this is an irreversible trend—the wealthy are always going to be outnumbered by the poor and the middle-class population, who ultimately set or alter fashion trends in favor of themselves. One can reasonably wear a T-shirt of almost any size. You can wear a medium for a tight fit, but wearing a double-XL isn’t too bad either. As a matter of fact, wearing an XL T-shirt became a sort of uniform for hip-hop fans in the 1990s. Eminem performed The Real Slim Shady at the 2000 Video Music Awards wearing an extremely loose white T-shirt with about a dozen or so young men doing the same, driving home the lyric in the song: “And there’s a million of us just like me.”88 It’s not until we show up at a formal occasion where everyone is wearing a full suit that we notice we might be a little bit under-dressed. Famous designer Tim Gunn wrote in his book Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, “T-shirts and jeans started off as an undershirt and blue-collar working clothes, and now they are ubiquitous across all cabinets and wardrobes.

87 88

Crane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas, 178. Gunn. Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, 33.

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It is basically acceptable everywhere—going to work, sports, theatre, and even weddings (I’ve seen one before, trust me). This is America’s victory, but quite a pity at the same time for the lost culture.”89 Collin Bruno, author of The T-shirt Book, says that T-shirts carry emotions, maybe memories from a time in college or perhaps a holiday with a lover. People go to sleep in their favorite T-shirt, like a safety blanket.90 In 2014, Levi’s Stadium opened as the new home for the San Francisco 49ers, and blue jeans came full circle in its birthplace—from Gold Rush to pass rush. Over the last sixty years, jeans have been ubiquitous throughout every youth movement. America invented the concept of teenagers in the late 1950s, and it’s no coincidence that the enduring characteristics of blue jeans—rebellious, individualism, and freedom—can be traced back to around the same period. Every subsequent celebrity or movement has claimed the blue jeans for itself: from Mitchum to Wayne to Brando; from the Marlboro Man to Calvin Klein; from the Social Revolution to the early hip-hop era. The first generation to popularize jeans, the kids who grow up as part of the Baby Boom after WWII, are now approaching retirement. Whether they first wore jeans as a social or political statement, or were simply being caught up in the trend, they are still wearing their jeans today. Sullivan said that blue jeans contain all our multitudes—young and old, rural and urban, labor and leisure, high life and low.91 Jeans are seen everywhere, on our TV and movie screens, in the offices of successful IT firms, within our prison walls, on our college campuses, and in our military. They have been worn by actors, protestors, students, cleaning ladies and presidents. They are everywhere. Anthropologist Danny Miller, author of Blue Jeans, went on a tour of several countries—from the Philippines to Turkey, India to Brazil. During his trip, he stopped at random points and counted the first one hundred people to walk by, and at each of the stops he found that almost half of the first hundred were wearing jeans. Why do people wear jeans? Ask any group of people why they wear jeans and you will get a range of answers. For some, jeans are comfortable, durable, and easy to care for. People who grew up wearing them will tell you jeans were the only pants they were taught to wear, having grown up with everyone around wearing them. For others, they look good and represent the perfect fashion choice between formal Ibid. Collin, Bruno, and Charlotte Brunel. The T-Shirt Book. N.p.: Assouline Publishing, 2002. 91 Sullivan. Jeans, 5. 89 90

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trousers and casual sweatpants. It appears that jeans mean different things to different people. Does this explain their wide popularity? Sullivan seems to have his own answer: “Jeans are worn by young and old, radical and conservative. The real point is their classlessness.”92 Whether T-shirts or jeans are produced in rough fashion so as to be tough as the concrete on our sidewalks, or they are burnished as smoothly as a silk kimono gown, they all seem to have that “American” feel.93 They may be cut and sewn in China, Korea, Vietnam, using materials from Mexico, Italy, or India and synthetic indigo dye from Germany or Brazil, yet wherever their origins, blue jeans embody almost two centuries’ worth of American ideas and culture. We’ll likely to be wearing them long after the business suit has been relegated to the dustbin of fashion history. T-shirt and jeans have both reflected and influenced social values over time in countless ways. Young people wear jeans and slogan shirts to show their rebelliousness and resentment of the old-fashioned way of living, while Hollywood and people like Calvin Klein keep on pushing the sexual boundaries, just to name a few. As history rolls on, maybe one day T-shirts and jeans will be replaced by some other garment—perhaps superhero capes. However, their unprecedented impact on society as fashion items will continue to live on.

92 93

Ibid. Ibid, 3.

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2015 WORLD HISTORY CONTEST – FIRST PLACE Alice Wu Class of 2017 Hudson, Ohio

The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Swept into Ethnic Violence During the Siege of Sarajevo, a local commented of his neighbors in the same basement shelter, “This gentleman is a Serb. So is this one. I am a Jew, he is a Croat and this lady here is a Muslim. So what is this nonsense about an ethnic war?” (Burns A3). The Bosnian War of 1992 is often portrayed as a clash between disparate nationalities with historical enmities for each other. However, the violent war did not result from Bosnia’s “age old ethnic conflicts,” as many believe (Rogel 4). BosniaHerzegovina was a country with fairly harmonious relations amongst its people prior to the Bosnian war. In the years before the breakup of Yugoslavia, political parties promoted nationalism to gain support, amplifying divides between ethnic groups. Most Bosnians did not wish to be involved in the chauvinist movements and violence; however, increased tensions soon forced the entire state into a bloody civil war. Violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 1992 conflict, especially against Muslims, was not caused by prior internal discord and ethnic rivalries, but rather by nationalist demagogues purposely playing upon people’s fears through propaganda to secure political power. Bosnia-Herzegovina has, throughout history, been a multinational state with little ethnic strife. The Kingdom of Bosnia rose in the 14th century (Ali and Lifeshultz 373), inhabited mainly by South Slavs who migrated from Croatia and Serbia (Rogel 3). Under Ottoman rule a century later, many converted to Islam, forming a significant Muslim population. These groups, as they shared a common ancestry, did not identify ethnically as Croats, Serbs, and Muslims—also called Bosniaks— until the 18th century Enlightenment (4). By that time, Bosnians had developed their own customs and traditions; Serbs and Croats in Bosnia embodied a culture distinct from their motherlands (Ali and Lifeshultz 374). The three nationalities remained loyal to their ethnic communities but were united politically, socially, and linguistically (Burg and Shoup 17). Differences among them were subtle, with religion as the main distinguishing factor. While ruling over Bosnia, both the Ottoman and

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Austro-Hungarian empires were tolerant and just, creating no ethnic rivalries in the population (Rogel 45). Ethnic groups in Bosnia had harmonious relationships and no preexisting discord for most of the state’s existence. The only major ethnic violence occurred during World War II, when extremist groups spread nationalist fervor. Bosnia was incorporated into the First Yugoslavia, which included Croatia and Serbia. Influenced by the occupying Nazis, Ante Pavelic—leader of Croatia—and his fascist Ustashe government initiated a “cleansing” of Yugoslavia in which the minority, especially Serbs, were forced to convert to Catholicism, expelled, or massacred (Haskin 23-4). Serb deaths surpassed half a million, accounting for fifty percent of all Yugoslav casualties during the war (Rogel 48). In retaliation, Serb Chetniks established concentration camps to murder non-Serb civilians (Haskin 30). Some locals participated in the killings, not to achieve ethnic purity, but to “settle personal disputes with their neighbors and to steal from them” (Bergholz 682-3). Their motives were based upon individual profit, rather than nationalistic hatred. However, many, including Croats and Serbs, supported Tito’s Partisan forces, which fought against the ultranationalists for multicultural unity (Rogel 48). Tito’s forces prevailed, and Bosnia was incorporated into a united Yugoslavia. Though political nationalism was prevalent in World War II’s violence, most Bosnians were not involved in it because of ethnic conflict. The insignificance of factional divides was evidenced in the harmonious postwar interethnic relations. Bosnians praised their neighbors for aiding them during the war; most blamed nationalist groups, not the common people, for the atrocities committed (Bergholz 685). After the war, Muslims generously contributed to the rebuilding of Serb churches, and Serbs donated towards mosques as well (686). Even after the violence, ethnic groups returned to stable relationships, especially under the reign of Tito. Tito was determined to eradicate nationalism in politics: in 1971, he ordered government forces to oust the Croat leaders who promoted ethnic pride (Rogel 15). Under “Brotherhood and Unity”, the Communists conquered ethnic polarization by assuring nationalities their voice would be protected in the new Yugoslavia (Burg and Shoup 40). Muslims, Croats, and Serbs were guaranteed representation in government, economic, and military manners in proportion to their population (Haskin 12). Because the Communists eliminated fear of oppression in minorities, ethnic divides eroded substantially. By 1981, 7.9 percent of Bosnians identified as

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“Yugoslav” rather than by a nationality (Burg and Shoup 42). Intermarriage also became increasingly common, especially in cities, comprising 15.3 percent of all marriages; more than half of all Bosnians were closely related to someone of another ethnicity (42). The resilience of Bosnian society demonstrated the strong multiculturalism of the republic. Tito’s post-war rule mollified ethnic differences, decreasing the presence of nationality in people’s lives. However, nationalism soon regained traction after Tito’s death, especially in Serbia. Nationalism became more appealing as Communism, which had united Yugoslavia for half a century, lost influence. Previously, Communism had defined the people as a whole; its decline “left a vacuum, and a population in search of a new identity” (Armatta). Seizing this opportunity, Serb politicians reintroduced nationalist concepts to gain popularity. They revived the “Greater Serbia” ideology as a justification for their surreptitious political takeover of Yugoslavia. The goal of “Greater Serbia”, first proposed in 1844, was to unite all Serbs under a single state; it was further bolstered by the Serbs’ World War I victory (Rogel 5, 8). Serb nationalists viewed Yugoslavia as an extension of Serbia, an Entente power that rightfully deserved the land. They hoped to keep autonomous regions like Kosovo while redrawing their republic’s borders to include all Serbs of Yugoslavia, fulfilling the “Greater Serbia” dream and enlarging their territory (15). To accomplish this, Serb politicians utilized nationalism to instigate unrest. In the 1980s, ethnic tensions rose in Kosovo between the Serbs, who made up ten percent of the region’s population, and the Albanians—the other ninety percent—who wanted a republic independent from Serbian control (19). Though the Albanians were the majority, the land of Kosovo was traditionally sacred to the Serbs: it was the site of the Serb defeat, glorified by cultural tales, to the invading Ottoman Turks in 1389. Serb nationalists in the 1980s and 90s juxtaposed the heroic loss at this battle to the Kosovan Serb minority’s struggle at that time (Rogel 49-50). They pointed out the mass exodus of Serbs out of Kosovo as proof that they were being oppressed by the Albanians, sparking Serb outrage in other parts of Yugoslavia (49). Portraying Serbs as the “age-old victim”, these demagogues vowed to reverse history and become the victor instead (50). Serbia’s newfound ethnic pride soon escalated as nationalists gained power and popularity. The emphasis on Serb identity reopened ethnic rifts, and politicians applied ample amounts of propaganda to force nationalism into people’s lives. A Serbian emblem, with “Only Unity Saves the Serbs” in Cyrillic upon it, was widespread (Trebincevic 28). Recreating

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their own nationalist movement, Croat leaders adopted such ideologies like a “Greater Croatia” and former Ustashe symbols (Rogel 50). These images, which carried memories from the traumatic World War II era, only further fed Serb anger. Soon, nationalism spread like wildfire; posters, rallies, and politics dominated the public sphere (Trebincevic 28). All Yugoslavians were socially categorized by ethnicity, regardless of whether or not they wished to be (28). Once the nationalist campaign began, all of Bosnia was forced to go along. As Lucic observes, “people who once defined themselves through their profession or class affiliation were forced to become members of the Serb, Croat or Bosniak people, based on their names or religious affiliation (44). Politicians fed rising national fervor, which later paved the way for them to expand their influence. One of the leaders who took advantage of renewed national pride was Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia. In 1987 Milosevic, a Communist, arrived at Kosovo to quell the ethnic tension between Serbs and Albanians (“Enter Nationalism”). However, Milosevic instead instructed Kosovo Serbs to riot, sparking Albanian police action, and for the Serbs to claim that they were harassed by the Albanians (“Enter Nationalism”). According to footage in BBC’s “Enter Nationalism,” Milosevic then announced in front of the Serbian crowd that they “will not be beaten again.” Serb media blew up the statement, replaying it on national news (“Enter Nationalism”). In this way, Milosevic attained his aim of fame through inciting nationalism in the audience. He was hailed as a popular hero, rising quickly through the ranks; by the end of 1987 he had full control of the Serbian Communist party (Rogel 19). Milosevic filled the parliaments of Kosovo and Vojvodina with those loyal to him to ensure their cooperation with Serbia (20). With the autonomous regions securely under his control, Milosevic turned his attention to Bosnia. Bosnia-Herzegovina was the middle ground of Croat and Serb ambitions. In World War II, both the ultranationalist Ustasha and Chetniks saw Bosnia as potential territory to expand their states (Rogel 29). The Serb-controlled Yugoslavia claimed Bosnia after World War I, but in 1941 the Independent State of Croatia annexed the state, fueling a disagreement of ownership (Burg and Shoup 20). In 1939, the Croats and Serbs agreed to split up Bosnia according to the ethnic divide, without consideration for Muslims in the area (Ali and Lifeschultz 378). After the war in 1945, Tito settled the Serb-Croat dispute over Bosnia by granting it a republic status (Burg and Shoup 20). From then on, it served as a political and geographic buffer between the two belligerent groups; however, during the 1990s, Bosnia was not strong enough to counter

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them (Rogel 30). In September 1991, Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman, the president of Croatia, secretly agreed to again divide Bosnia between their two states along ethnic lines (31). With this prearrangement, Milosevic could easily invade Bosnia to expand his territory and power. Meanwhile, the economy was suffering, and financial reforms fostered the growth of nationalism. In the decline of the Cold War, the West, no longer needing allies to threaten the Soviet Union, cut off economic aid for Yugoslavia and imposed financial reforms that pushed the country further into chaos (Rogel 14). This economic restructuring removed the equal political representation of nationalities and unions; decreasing wages, layoffs, and rampant nepotism increased dependence on ethnic communities for financial security (Haskin 12). By 1987, unemployment in Bosnia had reached 30 percent (11). In 1989, inflation was increasing at a rate of two hundred percent each month (Rogel 17). The struggling population looked to nationalist leaders to solve its plight. Milosevic seized advantage of the ethnic polarization, convincing Serbs that the economic collapse was the fault of treacherous Croats and Muslims who wanted independence from the Serb-dominated Yugoslavia (Haskin 18). Fear from the fiscal crisis convinced many to side with Milosevic. Other nationalists used similar techniques to gain popularity for the upcoming elections. Thus these politicians used the faltering economy for their own profit. With economic insecurities blamed on others, Milosevic then played on Bosnian Serb fears of becoming an oppressed minority. Through exaggerating the importance and distinction between ethnicities, he successfully depicted the other groups in a negative light. From the end of Ottoman rule, Serbs in Bosnia were the majority at 44.4 percent until the latter half of the twentieth century, when their numbers fell below that of Muslims’ (Burg and Shoup 20). However, though nationalists claimed otherwise, Serbs’ status as a minority was not a threat to their political representation, as Bosnia was the only Yugoslav republic with no overwhelming majority. In 1991, Bosnia’s population of 4,364,574 was 43.7 Muslim, 31.4 percent Serb, and 17.3 percent Croat (Rogel 29). The three were physically, historically, and culturally similar, with religion as the main distinguishing factor. Yet during the halfcentury Communist rule, most of the population, especially Muslims, no longer were very religious (30). In his memoir The Bosnia List, Bosniak Kenan Trebincevic recalls that “I’d entered a mosque only once . . . I didn’t fast for Ramadan or pray to Allah. . . . Nobody I knew wore burkas or followed conservative Islam (81).” To turn Bosnian Serbs against their neighbors in this multicultural, secure atmosphere,

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Milosevic and Karadzic, a former psychiatrist, masterfully promoted an illusion of danger. They often compared current Muslims and Croats to the historical Serb enemies, the Ottomans and the Ustashe, reminding them of these historical conflicts which, at that time, held little significance to the population (Rogel 49, 52). Politicians’ propaganda instilled fear in Serbs that their neighbors could turn upon them at any moment. The elections of 1990 were dominated by ethnic politics. The Yugoslav republics each held separate elections that year. Communists lost power, replaced in parliament by nationalist groups (Rogel 30). In Serbia, Milosevic was, as expected, elected president. In Croatia, Franjo Tudjman won through an extremely nationalistic campaign reaching out to the Croat population outside of Croatia, particularly in BosniaHerzegovina (21). In Bosnia, three nationalist parties—the (Muslim) Party of Democratic Action , the Serbian Democratic Party , and the Croatian Democratic Party—won parliament seats in approximate proportion to the ethnic population they represented (30). Alija Izetbegovic, a Muslim who had once been jailed under the Communists for spreading pro-Islam ideas, was elected president (Burg and Shoup 67). He supported the view that Bosnia-Herzegovina was a historically stable state even before being incorporated into Yugoslavia, therefore its people were uniquely Bosnian (71). However, Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian Democratic Party leader, believed Bosnia to be an area with man-made borders defining a population with disparate groups that could not coexist (71). Many Bosnians did not approve of nationalist politics but still voted for their ethnic party. In her essay “From the Heart of the Heart of the Former Yugoslavia,” Ljiljana Smajlovic proposes that citizens “simply acted out of fear that even if they withheld their vote from a Karadzic, their Muslim neighbor would still give his vote to an Izetbegovic” (qtd. in Burg and Shoup 57). In other words, the nationalists’ success in the elections was due to Bosnians’ concern of losing representation. The growing unease from a wasted economy and political nationalism heightened ethnic tensions and insecurities. At this time, Yugoslavia was on the brink of dissolution, jeopardizing Serb power. The Yugoslav capital was Belgrade, in Serbia, so the Serbs had traditionally dominated the county and treated it as a “Greater Serbia.” Since Tito’s death, however, political power had shifted to the individual republics rather than across Yugoslavia as a whole (Rogel 18). Each of these republics began forming their own army, separate from the Yugoslav People’s army, the JNA, which was

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controlled by Milosevic (23-4). In June 1991, after Slovenia and Croatia declared independence, Bosnia was left with a choice: remain in Yugoslavia, as part of Milosevic’s Greater Serbia regime, or secede and fight Serbia’s JNA (26-7). Karadzic warned that if Bosnia left Yugoslavia, Serbs within the republic would declare independence from Bosnia to rejoin Serbia (Burg and Shoup 104), and “the streets will run with blood” (Ali and Lifschultz 371). Despite his threat, Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its secession on April 6, 1992, with the support of many Bosnian Serbs (371). The independence of Bosnia was a huge loss in Greater Serbian land and population, but it also gave Milosevic an excuse to attack the republic in the name of Yugoslav unity. He commanded the JNA and Serbian irregulars to invade eastern Bosnia (Burg and Shoup 120). This army captured territory, assaulted civilians, and ignited a tragic conflict to preserve Milosevic’s Yugoslavia. Thus, Yugoslavia’s death allowed Milosevic the chance to spark the Bosnian War. Soon the war became largest conflict and ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since World War II. Serb ethnic cleansing had been employed earlier during the Croatian War (1991-1995) to Serbianize Croat territories, and Karadzic adopted this practice to use against Bosnian Muslims (Rogel 33). Military forces specialized in killing, raping, and torturing Muslim civilians while destroying or confiscating homes, mosques, and entire towns (33). An estimated 8,000 were slaughtered at Srebrenica alone, though the U.N. designated it a “safe area”(“Bosnian Genocide”). Milosevic supported the ethnic cleansing, and provided paramilitaries to shell mostly-Muslim areas (Lucic 31-2). Though eventually all three groups perpetrated ethnic cleansing against each others’ civilians, the Serb executions of Muslims were by far the most severe. By 1995, over 80,000 Muslims had been killed in this campaign (“Bosnian Genocide”). The conflict had escalated into atrocities against civilians, especially Muslims. However, Serb leaders had to convince their people to allow these heinous acts of violence. Milosevic exploited information to maintain Serb approval of his actions. He promoted and dismissed those in media as he wished, and he controlled the distribution of newspapers as well as Serbian television (Armatta). The news, censored by Milosevic, told horrific stories of the massacres that Muslims—portrayed as terrorists or mujahedin—perpetrated against Serbian fighters while omitting any Serb offenses (Lewis 57). Because of the incessant propaganda, Bosnian Serbs still saw themselves as the victims of violence, though they inflicted far more damage during the war (Watson and Norland 33). Karadzic convinced many that the war was initiated

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by Muslims. He asserted that Serbs would never wantonly kill—though by that time 3,500 children in Sarajevo had been murdered from his siege of the city (57). Soldiers were deceived by Milosevic’s claim that they were fighting for Yugoslav unity against the secession of the Bosniaks (Trebincevic 198). Throughout the era, the population was swayed by politicians’ false words. Civilians were also manipulated into believing that ethnic cleansing was necessary. Serbs, brainwashed by propaganda, were afraid that if they did not eliminate the threat of Muslims and Croats first, the other two groups would commit genocide against them (Lucic 47). Thus, many remained impassive bystanders to the decimations. Ethnic cleansing was almost always instigated by outsiders, not locals (Burg and Shoup 174). Serbian forces specializing in this process terrorized Muslims and Croats, then compelled local Bosnian Serbs to participate (Rogel 33). These troops even forced local Bosnian Serbs to shoot their neighbors; those who refused were killed, and after many such instances, Serbs automatically complied to partake in these massacres out of fear (Lewis 57, 58). After an area had been “cleansed”, Serbs would turn against their remaining Muslim neighbors and cover up or continue the abuses against them (Burg and Shoup 174). They were told Muslims would retaliate harshly if they regained control, so locals tried to drive them out (174). Even soldiers did not kill for hatred, but for safety. As one soldier explained, he fought only because he worried for his and his family’s lives if he disobeyed Serb forces (Trebincevic 199). With fear, Bosnian Serb leaders convinced their people to tolerate the killings. Yet these murders were mostly for political reasons, not because of ethnic hatred. Differences between nationalities were magnified to disguise demagogues’ ambitions as a people’s war. Bosnian Serb forces specifically targeted educated Muslim professionals, eliminating any future possible political or military rivalries (Lewis 56). At the Hague tribunal, it was noted that in the Prijedor area, most of the important political leaders of non-Serb parties had been executed (Burg and Shoup 153). But the main purpose of Serb ethnic cleansing was to secure territory gains through creating an ethnically “pure” population (Burg and Shoup 175). Bosnia did not have a clear majority, and any ethnic communities were concentrated in small pockets scattered throughout the republic (“Ethnic Cleansing”). Karadzic and his forces hoped to unite the Serb pockets into a territory untainted by other ethnicities. They argued that a merged ethnic population would be easier to defend and less likely to face oppression than if they were spread out

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(Weidmann 1179-80). However, to achieve an exclusively Serb land, other ethnicities had to be removed. The goal of ethnic cleansing was not to decimate an entire group—genocide—but to expel them through making remaining in the area unbearable (“Bosnian Genocide”). The murders of civilian Muslim and Croats were examples to coerce the rest of the non-Serb population into exodus (Sudetic A1). Furthermore, rape was utilized to impregnate women and humiliate men, since the children took on the father’s (Serb) ethnicity (Trebincevic 152). “Rape camps” were established, and over fifty thousand women were assaulted (152). After other ethnic groups were either driven out or terrified into submission, Bosnian Serbs could successfully lay claim to their forciblytaken land. They ensured that Muslims were completely expelled, destroying Bosniak homes, schools, and religious buildings (Ali and Lifschultz 368). With nothing left in their homeland, Muslims were unlikely to ever return and threaten Serb dominance in the area (368). Ethnic tensions were merely used as an excuse for a bloody method of procuring territory and power. This was not a people’s war; citizens did not wish to fight for ethnic purity. On the day of Bosnia’s independence, citizens of different ethnicities congregated in front of the Parliament building and demanded that the nationalist parties work together (Ali and Lifschultz 371). Locals cherished the traditional Bosnian multiculturalism. On March 6, 1992, Sarajevo’s population held a mass protest for peace. Karadzic’s order to suppress the demonstration was rejected by the army, “just as it had turned down the offer of the Milosevic forces to take power in Yugoslavia in March 1991” (Burg and Shoup 118). During the war, in the siege of Sarajevo, Serb and Croat soldiers fought against the invading Serbs, with local Serbs making up almost one-third of the Bosnian army (372). One Serb soldier reflected, “Ninety percent of Yugoslavians didn’t want this war. Look at us now. Nobody has anything except the politicians” (Trebincevic 199). Most of the population desired harmony, not the ethnic conflict which benefited nationalists only. During the war, citizens helped others regardless of ethnicity. The memoir The Bosnia List recounts many instances of neighbors aiding Muslims trapped by Serb forces, from bringing them food during starvation to protecting them from capture into the concentration camps (117, 167). Trebincevic recalls the support of Serb strangers as he and his family escaped Bosnia: A soldier came out of a cabin. I was petrified as he stepped onto the bus’s first step. . . . We waited for someone to give us up. But

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the other riders kept quiet. . . . Until the bus was on its way. . . . We’d made it! My mother smiled and relaxed her shoulders. My father let out a loud sigh of relief. The bus driver let go of the steering wheel, looked at us in the mirror, and clapped his hands. Everyone on the bus applauded, grinned, or nodded their heads. I gathered that the other Serb passengers had been afraid to show they were on our side before armed soldiers, but now we knew they’d been secretly rooting for us all along (174, 177). Even strangers aided victims of the war, with no discrimination between nationalities. The common people did not wish for an ethnic conflict. Some local Serbs did participate in the atrocities; however, it was for personal gain, not ethnic rivalry. Like in World War II, citizens turned against their neighbors out of greed, seizing opportunities to accumulate wealth. Local paramilitaries specializing in plundering were paid three hundred fifty U.S. dollars’ worth of looted goods each time they forced people off properties (Sudetic). Serb soldiers searching for a living upgrade took over abandoned Muslim houses (Sudetic). Civilians also took advantage of looting homes. Trebincevic, a Bosniak, described of his Serb neighbor Petra during the war: She’d enter without knocking, sizing up our furniture, light fixtures, Mom’s electric iron and other household appliances, the artwork on our walls. Mom gave her whatever she asked for so she wouldn’t turn us in. It was a sick dance I hated. One night Petra wore Mom’s denim skirt as they sat drinking Turkish coffee...”You won’t be needing that rug soon. I may as well have it before someone else,” Petra said (89). Later, Trebincevic describes all the loot a Serb soldier, Daca, had collected: “I was stunned to see haphazard stacks of television sets, VCRs, stereos, typewriters, tables, lamps, chairs. . . . So many Muslim homes robbed. If Petra’s apartment was like the corner store, Daca had a whole mall stuffed in here” (126). Ironically, Daca was later beaten and robbed of her pillaged goods by other Serb looters (196). The prevalence of Serb looting, even from each other, illustrates that local violence was not for “Greater Serbia”; rather, it stemmed from a broken economy. Serb soldiers harassed Muslims for valuables, illustrating that money was the motive for many troops. Although violence did occur in communities, the aggressors were not driven by ethnic hatred, but by chances to profit from the war.

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If the conflict was not caused by ethnic discrimination, then why did Muslims suffer such glaringly harsher losses? The answer lies in the firm Bosniak belief in multiculturalism. Izetbegovic naively failed to adequately prepare for war because he did not anticipate that a tolerant Yugoslav society could erupt into civil war (Ali and Lifschultz 375). Many Bosniaks thought the same way, believing the JNA would never attack Bosnia as it did to Croatia (Lucic 45). In the Siege of Sarajevo, Izetbegovic even offered protection to Serb women and children, who constituted almost 20 percent of the city’s population, as a gesture of the government’s support of multiculturalism (Watson and Norland 33). Furthermore, Bosnian Muslims were not as nationalistic as their Serb and Croat counterparts. When Bosnian Serb and Croat leaders urged their population to emigrate out of Bosnian-government controlled areas, they complied (Burg and Shoup 172). By contrast, Bosniaks were not warned by their leaders to leave Serb-majority towns (172). Because so many Muslims remained, Serbs had to perpetrate even more ethnic cleansing practices to either drive off or murder the non-Serb population to create their “pure” territory. Muslims were more susceptible to the violence because of their faith in a united Bosnia. Additionally, Muslims may have been a scapegoat for the struggling economy. In 1986 the Serbian Academy of Sciences published a memorandum declaring that the economic hardship was a result of Tito’s deliberate plan to oppress the Serbian economy and favor others, especially the multicultural Bosnia (Rogel 18). Milosevic expanded upon this myth, blaming Muslims for the crisis. Generally, Bosniaks inhabited urban areas more often, and the countryside was dominated by Serbs (Burg and Shoup 26). Because they were city-dwellers, Muslims were on average more educated and economically better off than those in rural areas, even when fiscal catastrophes plagued the country (Trebincevic 275). The disparity in financial incomes may have influenced Serbs to turn upon their Bosniak neighbors and loot homes. Economic troubles made Muslims an easy target for nationalists to attack. The Bosnian War was not caused by prior ethnic discord, as nationalists suggested, but through ambitious politicians who wished to solidify their influence and territorial gains. Previously, Bosnia’s multiculturalism was only interrupted by World War II, after which ethnic relations quickly recovered. In the late 20th century, nationalists regained power with the decline of communism and Yugoslavia’s economy. Propaganda playing upon their fears convinced many Bosnians to blindly trust their leaders. The people, who had little preexisting internal conflicts, were convinced to tolerate the “necessary”

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elimination of other ethnicities, especially of Bosniak Muslims. All were caught up in the ethnic wildfire in which most did not wish to participate. This was a politiciansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; war, not one of the people. Nationalists employed ethnic disparities to justify their violent attempt to annex territory; leaders like Milosevic and Karadzic secured their gains through manipulating and subduing their people. Despite the propaganda and violence forced upon them, many Bosnians nevertheless remained dedicated to an integrated society. As one civilian, Iso Papo, concluded, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They try to say that what is going on here is a war between Serbs and Muslims and Croats, but it is not true. It is a war between terrorist killers and ordinary peopleâ&#x20AC;? (Burns A3).

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Works Cited

Ali, Rabia, and Lawrence Lifschultz. “Why Bosnia?” Third World Quarterly 15.3 (1994): 367-401. JSTOR. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. Armatta, Judith. “Milosevic’s Propaganda War.” Global Policy Forum. N.p., 27 Feb. 2003. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. Bergholz, Max. “Sudden Nationhood: The Microdynamics of Intercommunal Relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina after World War II.” American Historical Review 118.3 (2013): 679-707. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. “Bosnian Genocide.” History.com. A&E Networks, 2009. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. Burg, Steven L., and Paul S. Shoup. The War in Bosnia Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1999. Print. Burns, John F. “Underground in Sarajevo, the Ethnic Groups Share the Terror and the Hope.” New York Times [New York] 10 June 1992: A3. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. “Enter Nationalism.” The Death of Yugoslavia. BBC. 1995. Youtube. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. Haskin, Jeanne M. Bosnia and Beyond: The Quiet Revolution That Wouldn’t Go Quietly. New York: Algora, 2006. ebrary. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. Lewis, Anthony. “War Crimes.” The Republic 20 Mar. 1995: n. pag. Rpt. in The Black Book of Bosnia: The Consequences of Appeasement. Ed. Nader Mousavizadeh. New York: BasicBooks, 1996. 55-64. Print. Lucic, Iva. “Bystanders in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Conflict in the 1990s.” Politicka Misao: Croatian Political Science Review 50.5 (2013): 29-53. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. Rogel, Carole. The Breakup of Yugoslavia and the War in Bosnia. Westport: Greenwood, 1998. Print. Sudetic, Chuck. “In Bosnia Again, a Grim ‘Ethnic Cleansing’: In Bosnia, Once Again, Grim Reports of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Murder, Rape, Bombings, All to Force Former Neighbors Out.” New York Times [New York] 17 Feb. 1994: A1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 7 Jan. 2015.

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Trebincevic, Kenan, and Susan Shapiro. The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return. New York: Penguin, 2014. Print. Watson, Russell, and Rod Nordland. “Sarajevo on the Spot.” Newsweek 18 Dec. 1995: 32-34. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. Weidmann, Nils B. “Violence “from above” or “from below”? The Role of Ethnicity in Bosnia’s Civil War.” Journal of Politics 73.4 (2011): 1178-90. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.

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SENIOR SPEECHES

MORNING MEETINGS WRA CHAPEL 2015 - 2016 173


SEPTEMBER 9, 2015 Caitlin Fogg Senior Macedonia, Ohio

They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that is truly the case, my village was, and is, filled with abundant love, laughter, character, and happiness. I grew up in a full house, with my three amazing siblings. But the closest thing to my heart and my identity is the love and lives of my grandparents, great aunts and uncles. I could tell you about their lives and stories, and I promise you each story is filled with bittersweet memories, because the sweetest people mentored me, taught me, and showed me the true joy that lies within the human condition. Amidst the sadness and despair in the world, my family had the blessing of experiencing a love unparalleled and pure. The bitter part of their stories lie in the truth that life is finite. I learned early on that death is not the be-all and end-all; that it was my duty to carry on each individual legacy. Each person lives, loves, and departs from this earth. The loving in-between, as it was taught to me, is the root of all happiness and fulfillment. Life is about love, for family, friends, and strangers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a principle they taught me, and you can never convince me otherwise that any earthly thing can surpass the power of pure, unadulterated love. I want to challenge you. Before the day is done, call someone that means the world to you and let them know just that. We are afforded moments with the people who will shape our lives. With busy schedules, we get bogged down in the day-to-day and forget to see the bigger picture. I learned this lesson dozens of times throughout my formative years, but I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really prepared to learn it again my junior year. (Not because of Mr. Ongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s APUSH class, although no one is really ever prepared for that either.) My best friend on this earth was my Papa, my grandfather. We did everything together for as long as I can remember. Trips to local bookstores or art galleries were woven into lessons about humility, selflessness, and education; and if I was a particularly good pupil, I got a snicker doodle and hot chocolate out of the deal. I could have committed murder and gotten away with it in his eyes. I was lucky to

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have a loving and giving person in my corner, fighting for me everyday, telling me to do whatever I wanted, to follow my heart, to trust my gut, to do it my way. I talked to him every morning and every evening, and each Sunday, after church, we met for dinner. These Sunday dinners were filled with laughter, frustration, and advice. No topic was left untouched, making these meals the most memorable part of my relationship with my Papa. The winter of junior year was pretty tough for me academically, and I found myself overwhelmed with my work at Reserve. I had to miss a Sunday dinner, but I thought we had more to come, I promised him I would be there the following Sunday and that I would spend time with him during mid-winter break. The following Saturday, January 24, 2015, seemed like a normal day. I went to the OMEA contest with Ms. Karam. Papa had to miss the contest because he wasn’t feeling well, so I went to his house afterwards to check on him. After his assurances that he was all right, I left in a rush because I had to put together Senior Night for the swim team. And, of course, it was a Saturday, so we would be having dinner the following day. Papa would always be there. I called him on the phone at 11 to let him know how things had turned out and how my day had ended. I told him that I loved him. I told him I would see him soon. I was the last person to speak to Papa. You will never know when your Sunday dinner is not going to happen. My Papa was seventy-five and healthy. A larger-than-life person, whose personality could fill any room, he truly loved people, and made a difference in the lives of everyone he encountered. I am proud to call him my role model. I woke up at 6:30 the following morning to my brother, Thomas, handing me his cell phone saying mom had something to tell me. After talking to her and hearing the news, I promised myself it was all just a nightmare, and I went back to sleep. A few hours later, nothing had changed. My Papa’s death is something I still deal with daily. I still always feel as though there is someone I’m forgetting to call. The hardest adjustment has been the loneliness. I never really realized the extent of our conversations, until I found myself wanting to call him, to ask his advice, to tell him about my day. I am saddened by the reality that he will not be there for important future milestones: graduation, college, marriage, my first child. There are times when I’m not sure how I’m going to make it, how I will possibly thrive without my biggest cheerleader. Thankfully, I have amazing friends who always answer when I call, who call me just to say hey, because they know that’s what Papa did. Nobody can ever replace him, and they know that. But they keep me positive, keep me laughing, and help me

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heal. Blanca has let me cry to her; Gracie has provided needed distractions; Abby has flooded me with joy and positivity; Yuki keeps me singing, Danny keeps me dancing, Katie and Grace open their homes to me; and Niraj listens whenever the world gets a little too heavy. When I have needed them the most, when my world has been at its darkest, each one of my friends has dropped what they were doing for me. So I want to take a moment to express my love and gratitude to them for being my light through all of my years at Reserve. I couldn’t ask for a better family. Call your mom. Tell that boy that you love him. Tell your best friend that you are sorry when you argue. You will not be able to turn back the clock or get any moments back. There's no such thing as making up for lost time. Remember that your family and parents love you with a love so pure and unconditional, and you will not find that anywhere else on this earth no matter how long far you wander. I don’t regret my relationship with my Papa. However, I guarantee if I could do that day, week, or month over again, I would have hugged him a little tighter, told him that he gave me everything I needed to succeed, expressed my eternal gratitude for his boundless love, and I guarantee I wouldn’t have missed our Sunday dinner. Although my village has changed, and I am no longer a child, I turn to the memories and the example of the quintessential people that went before me. I know I always will. This I believe: By some stroke of serendipity, people come into our lives to teach us, to change us. The only way to fulfill our purpose on this earth is to look at every situation as an opportunity to change someone’s life and to be open for change in ours as well—even if it’s only for a moment.

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SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 Marin Valentine Senior Hudson, Ohio

This I used to believe: There is no such thing as a bad day. Before high school I never really had much to stress about. I had been going to school with the same people since kindergarten, so the stress of making new friends did not affect me much. Schoolwork was not challenging and getting good grades was not a huge worry. Everyday was the same routine: go to school, hang out with friends, possibly learn something new, take the bus home, do homework, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. Some days there would be a field hockey game or an ice skating practice mixed in, but other than that my life did not stray much from this schedule. I used to believe that if you had a bad day it was your own fault, that life was easy enough to manipulate towards all parts good and no parts bad. But as I grew up, I started to see the world through more realistic eyes. Some days are truly and completely and terrible. There is no getting around it. Missing class, getting into a fight with your friend, skipping lunch to study for a quiz and then going on to fail that quiz, messing up every drill during sports practice, sacrificing sleep to finish homework etc. etc. can easily make for a bad day. But that is okay. Why is it okay? It is not because you need the bad days to appreciate the good ones. It is not because the bad days make you stronger. It is not because you learn from the bad days. While all of these things are true about bad days, it should not be the reason you are okay. You are okay for one plain and simple reason: You are not your bad days. You and the bad days are not synonymous. When you look back at your life, it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be made up of days on a whole, good or bad. Your life should be viewed as a combination of the small things. It should be the late nights at the library. It should be the compliments you got on your shirt. It should be eating dinner with your parents or watching TV with your brother. It should be the bus rides with the field hockey team. It should be the jokes between classmates and the walks around campus. It should be the phone calls with an old friend or a lunch with a new one. It should be all the small

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things that make your cheeks hurt from smiling too hard. It is a bad day, not a bad life. I know this sounds cliché, but it's a cliché for a reason. In a community like ours, it is important to remember that life is bigger than the stresses of high school. For most of you it may seem odd, or even hypocritical, that I, Marin Valentine, am telling you to not worry, stress, or panic. I am very good at those things, and I do them quite often. But that is why I am up here. I want to make sure you figure out now what took me almost all of high school to figure out. Whether you have more bad days than good, or more good days than bad, it really doesn’t matter. You are not a combination of days. You are not 24 hours lined up in a row. You are not a sum of increments of time. You are feelings, smiles, hellos, goodbyes, laughs, tears, late nights, early mornings, sunsets and sunrises. You are made up of people you know and things you have seen. You are not one bad day. You are not 365 bad days. So this I believe now: Embrace your bad days. Go to sleep and then wake up. Continue collecting memories and expanding your life’s story. Keep looking for small moments that will make you grow. We all have bad days: do not let them control you. With that said, be kind to others. Help them. Bad days are a whole lot easier to get through with a hand to hold. And remember the people who do this for you. They are important. This I believe: You are okay.

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OCTOBER 2, 2015 Kelsey McCracken Senior Ottawa Hills, Ohio

Last year, I came in as a new junior, making this my third high school. Anyone who’s a new junior knows this struggle—coming into a group of people who have been with each other since their freshman year. Needless to say, I spent countless lunches held up in my room too afraid to go down to the dining hall and face the social anxiety. My freshman year, I attended a public school. Look at me now, then add about 80 pounds and the effects of being surrounded by mean girls. That was my freshman year. In the end, it didn’t turn out to be the place that I belonged. I mean, sure, I had some friends there that meant the world to me, but (as in so many cases) the bad outweighed the good. Throughout the year I struggled with a lot of personal issues. These issues led to one of the most important summers of my life. June 16, 2013, I was picked up at two in the morning to start one of the most amazing adventures I have ever experienced. I flew to Utah in order to go to a wilderness experience called Aspiro. I spent nine weeks there discovering who I am. After this, I thought that my experience was over, and I would have to face another year at Ottawa Hills. At that point I almost wanted to, but much to my surprise I didn’t even return home after these nine weeks. Instead I flew up to Montana. I landed in the Kalispell Airport late on August 21st. My mother, little brother, and little sister walked me to the doors of my new boarding school, Chrysalis. There was a time in my life that I didn’t see the point of therapy. I didn’t think that it would do anything for me. However, I was put into a therapeutic boarding school. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I spent eleven months working through my major anxiety and depression issues. I was learning to accept myself for who I am. I was recovering from the immense amount of self-hate I had. Just as I was feeling as though I finally belonged somewhere, my mother decided that she wanted me to have a normal junior year. On June 24, 2014, I was flown back to Ohio. I hadn’t seen my very flat Ohio in almost a year. I was extremely excited and extremely

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worried at the same time. I hadn’t been home in a long time, and if I was going back into the same environment as last time I was worried that all my problems would come back. Then I found out I was coming here. I only got about two weeks in my own house before I was driven to yet another boarding school. I came into this school with an optimistic mindset. I told myself that I would go to all the meals and make friends right away. I mean that’s what my last boarding school had taught me, right? Well, I came in as a new junior and only made one friend. I found myself isolating more and more and never leaving my comfort zone. My worst fears had come true. I sank back into my worst habits. I began to think that this was going to be worse than my first high school. It remained this way up until softball season. I started managing softball with Neva and Sesugh. They might not know it, but they are the reason that I have friends here today. They held out their hands when no one else did. They introduced me to people that had the same interests as me. This is how I became friends with Taryn, Sash, Nick, Makena and so many more. I began to feel like I belonged again. I enjoyed the little things: my talks with Sesugh during practice, eating fries in Taryn and Neva’s room late at night, going to Wood House and watching Braydn and Sash play foosball. So this I believe: I believe that the small things count. I believe that just one or two people holding out their hand to offer some help can make all the difference. It can move you from sitting in your room, all alone, eating ramen to sitting at a table laughing and talking with a group of good friends. I believe the small things can change someone’s life.

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DECEMBER 7, 2015 Brooke Brown Senior Painesville, Ohio

Rejection sounds like such a nasty word. It is a word and an emotion that we all have to experience in our lives. It starts in preschool when you might have a toy taken away or someone does not want to play with you. Elementary school through middle school is the same way, but it can be even more hurtful. Emotions are raw, and we are just starting to figure out who and what we are. My first rejection from the world was when I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Whether it is that I walk differently or I wear braces on my legs to help me walk better, I am different from the rest of the world. The worst moments were in public school, because I had to have an adult around me constantly. I did not make a single friend at school until the last part of fifth grade. I got lucky: she had just moved to town and decided to take the time to get to know me. The only other friend I met was when I was four years old and taking private swim lessons. When I was younger, I would hear kids say stuff like “Why does she get to skip the line?” or “Why does she walk like that?” If you have a question about me, just ask it, because I was constantly annoyed by the kids who didn’t do so. It was not just the kids who rejected me but also the adults. My doctors were preparing my parents for the worst. This may not sound like a rejection, but it was. The doctors said I might never walk, talk, sit up, etc. While that might have become a reality, they automatically put me in the category of other disabled kids. My 8th-grade aide put me into such a category because I had to hold her arm when walking anywhere. It was so far the worst year of my life. I came home everyday after school and cried for two hours. My only friend at school was lost amongst a sea of other kids. I had no one I could talk to at school. The kids there did not include me in anything unless they had to. I was a loner. I knew after 8th grade that I had to transfer out of there. I knew Reserve was the only place I could go. I was not going to stay at any school that made me feel so different. I needed to feel accepted and respected in life. I wanted to be among smart kids who wanted to learn.

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Reserve has embraced me for who I am and has allowed me to find purpose in life. So, this I believe: We are not going to get everything we want in life, but that is okay. Without rejection we could not learn or have success. Most importantly, we would not be separate individuals with our individual characteristics and talents.

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JANUARY 29, 2016 Hannah Saucier Senior Streetsboro, Ohio

This I Believe: Confidence is believing in who you are and having faith in what you believe. Confidence, by definition, is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. Believing that you are enough. Believing that who you are is valuable. I struggle with self-confidence. I am okay with presenting school projects, or leading, or giving a devotional at church, but when I have to be who I am or present my beliefs, I’m terrified. I worry about how others perceive me instead of concentrating on how I view myself. I attempt to draw my strength and motivation from others, instead of generating my own self-esteem. Like a moth to the fire, I am drawn to other people’s expectations of me. What I never seem to remember is that while, yes, I need to be considerate of others, respect their opinions, be caring and be willing to step out of my comfort zone, most importantly I need to take care of myself and put my perspective of myself first. No, I’m not suggesting that you should be selfish. I am asking you to please take care of others: Love fearlessly, show compassion, wow people with your affection, and love each other. Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Love others. Love your parents. Love yourself. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” That means that at the end of the day you should question whether or not you did anything to harm the beautiful thing that you are. Discover something that helps bring out the best in you, and become a better person a little bit each day. Talking about Christianity, or how Jesus loves me, may make me seem“uncool” or “lame” or “weird” or a “Jesus Freak,” but worrying about that stops me from doing what I desire to do most—to show love. There are a lot of days when I don’t feel wonderful, but loving others and caring about others relieves that pain and self-pity. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When I am afraid or nervous, I rely on what I believe is right, and who I believe in, and that is God. I am not a perfect person, and not a perfect Christian, but I don’t need to be perfect at anything. I just have to be me, saying, “This is who

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I am, and I am proud of how I was raised by my parents, and I am proud of the steps I decide to take, as long as they take me forward and accurately portray who I am and honors what I believe in.” You are all beautiful souls and have the right to believe in yourselves. You all have more than enough strength to fight and conquer any battle. I genuinely care about you all and want you to succeed. God to gives me the strength and courage to trust in love and how it conquers all things. God is my perfect example of love. I want to show you the love that God has shown me through the people he has placed in my life. Let me return the favor. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example in faith, in conduct, in speech, and in love.”

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FEBRUARY 12, 2016 Yichen Wang Senior Shanghai, China

Hello, I’m Yichen Wang. Today, I want to talk about my experience at Reserve as an international student. The reason I choose this topic is because I have been talking with many international students about their lives here because of my Compass project. Essentially, I am planning to create a website and an Admissions Office booklet to help international students transition into life at an American boarding school. During these interviews, I have come to realize that cultural differences are troubling many of us in different ways. So, I wanted to share my story with you. Why should you care? Because you are all caring people . . . and, because I think there might be some misunderstandings between international and domestic students. The fact is that at least I really want us to know more about each other—our different ways of thinking. International students represent 26% of the entire WRA student population. So we’d better understand each other in some way. Here is my confession as a Chinese student: First, let’s be frank here. Most Chinese students have a difficult time blending in because we tend to operate within our own little bubble and speak Chinese all day long! But do you know how hard I actually try to fit in? Do you know how self-conscious I get when I am in that bubble in front of all of you? Let me describe the struggle of . . . the lunch table! So much of the time I sit with my Chinese friends, right? But while I am sitting there, I am actually, as I said before, very self-conscious. I think about what the Americans are thinking about me. Perhaps they think I’m nerdy, or stereotypically Chinese, or just basically uncool. But sometimes, when I want to sit down with Americans, I am afraid that they will think I’m weird if I just suddenly sit down at their table. So as you can see, I’m not happy either way, which is very sad indeed. It would truly make my day if I just had a very fun and

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comfortable lunch with some American friends. Other embarrassing rationales of mine are that I am afraid to introduce myself because some Americans might not know how to properly pronounce my name. And I get super nervous when someone says “excuse me/ sorry/ I didn’t understand . . .” because I’ll be thinking to myself, Do I have a bad accent? or What did I say wrong? So as you can perhaps understand, in order to avoid mistakes, I just don’t speak that often anymore. You are probably thinking that I’m crazy and that I care too much about what other people think. I agree with you. But I just can’t get over it. It’s just so frustrating. Because of our humble upbringing and rather conservative culture, it is really hard for most of us to step outside of our comfort zones. And now, I have a joke. What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea. You see, when I first heard this joke at the beginning of my sophomore year, I laughed. But I didn’t understand it. I got the word play, but I didn’t think it was funny at all. So, I laughed just to fit in. Well now, I actually think this is one of the best jokes I have ever heard. So you can see just how big the transition as an international student needs to be, even just to understand what’s funny. When I was a freshman I was always thinking about how I should make friends with more Americans. Should I be funny? Should I agree with them more? Should I have stronger opinions so they would respect me? Does being smart mean I’m not fun? But now, I don’t care that much because, guess what?—I’m a senior! Not really. It’s because I now realize how stupid it is to worry about people not accepting you because of who you are. In order to have friends, one should at least have that kind of confidence. And this is exactly the reason why I am here. As awkward as those moments may sound, at least they are real. Those insecurities are what makes me, me. If I had my freshman year to do all over again, I would use the time I spent doubting myself to reach out, to really understand the people around me. I asked some Americans about this during my recent interviews, and they all replied that they absolutely didn’t care when an international student messed up a word or two. Rather, they are intimidated when we are all sitting at a table and start speaking together in a language they don’t understand at all. So please don’t be afraid to reach out, make mistakes, or be awkward. It’s not going be awkward unless you think it is. Don’t give up when you can’t immediately feel a sense of belonging. It will come,

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once you really get to know them. We are all human beings and have our insecurities. You have no reason to be afraid. I really believe if I had been more confident and reached out more, my experience at Reserve would have been much fuller and complete. In the end, this is the reason why we are here, to learn about America, its people, and its educational system. WRA is 26% international students. The other 74% are American students. But together we add up to 100% of Reserve. Without each other, every one of us is incomplete. I am now very glad that I made this speech so that you know a little bit more about me. And, hopefully, you will now understand the other international students a little bit better as well.

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FEBRUARY 15, 2016 Michael Zeleznik Senior Hudson, Ohio

Hello everyone. I am Mike, and I’m here to enlighten the masses with some deep philosophical observations of the human condition. Nah, I’m just kidding! I’m just telling some stories. Now, often times during these senior speeches, the speaker will go up to the podium and share tales of when they were younger, typically from their freshman or sophomore year. Well, I certainly have a story to share. In fact, I have a couple. I’ll start with the lesser-known one. I missed my first ever homework assignment at Reserve. I discovered this when I walked into my first period English class. Since class started at 8:30 AM, I had thought “Wow! I am gonna get so much sleep!” Of course, everything went downhill once I found out that we had a summer reading project due right then and there. I had Ms. Maseelall, and I asked her what exactly the project was, and she said, “Well, you should have received an e-mail about it.” And for no good reason, I was dumbfounded. I looked so clueless. I essentially had to say, “Well, I didn’t know I was supposed to check my e-mail. I didn’t think that’d be such a big deal.” So with that as my first impression, I then had to scramble an essay together. (I had actually read over the summer; I had read a Sherlock Holmes collection.) It took me quite a while to do. By the time I had finished the paper, I had stayed up until the ungodly hour of . . . wait for it . . . 10:30 PM! I looked up at the clock and all I could think was, “Man! I sure hope it’s not like this every night. I’ll go insane!” So, my point with that whole spiel is that I wasn’t too prepared to come here. It wasn’t enough that I had gone to open-field soccer practices to get to know people. I mean, I told Federico Silva that my name was Mike and he said, “Oh, you mean like Magic Mike?” That, of course, took on a life of its own, and it actually came back to hurt me during the preseason. Some of you may know this story. It was the first preseason for us freshmen, and we were all scared to deeuuth [inside joke]. We had just done the twelve-minute run, and we walked back to the practice fields and began the pre-

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afternoon warm-up jog. Suddenly, we came to a halt at the corner of the far field, which is the furthest geometric point from any of the coaches. The captain then yelled, “Alright circle up!” at the top of his voice. Then, he and the other seniors told all the tall people to stand on the same side of the so-called “stretch circle” and block the coaches’ view of the inside. He looked around the stretching group and said, “Let’s get Magic Mike in here,” pointing to me. He had clearly made up his mind to pick the kid with the nickname “Magic Mike” long before he organized all this. “And, uh . . . Kid-With-The-Green-Socks, get in here, too!” The moment I heard my name, I knew I was in for something bad. Sure enough, the captain next announced, “Alright, we’re gonna have a death match. First person to pin their opponent to the ground wins.” As I made eye contact with the Kid-With-The-Green-Socks, all I could think about was the chaos that would ensue if one of us was to break something. One of us could get into serious trouble, and I did not want to be disciplined after merely one day as a WRA student. Green Socks may or may not have been thinking the same thing, but that did not stop him from reacting to the command of “Go!” by charging me and pinning me in no more than five seconds. For the duration of the week, I had to explain to everyone who asked—and there were many who did— why I had frozen up. The half-truth I gave them was, “I’m a pacifist,” and I repeated those three words until I was blue in the face (and maybe a little red, too). So why am I telling you this? Well, I’m certainly not telling this to you because institutionalized hazing makes a great story down the road. I’m telling you this because not everything you do will start off great. You will not always hit the ground running the first time you meet someone or try something, but don’t let that discourage you. You go to a school that forces you out of your comfort zone, and I could just regurgitate that same message, but I say it’s more important that you take something out of everything you do. For me, I met a lot of my friends through C-squad soccer and through English I. I believe that those endeavors have helped shape me into who I am today. I used to be afraid of public performance, but (after the Shakespeare monologue assignment from Ms. Maseelall) it’s one of the most fun things I’ve gotten to do at Reserve. I used to hate running with a fiery passion, but after my experiences with soccer I hate it with only a lukewarm passion. So, if you and your best friend end up on opposite sides of the room in history class, take the opportunity to get to know the people actually sitting next to you. If you get bored and your phone isn’t keeping you entertained, there are clubs, a newspaper, a

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library, a fitness center, faculty kids, faculty dogs, Chipotle, Dave’s, Jimmy Johns, Frisbee throwing, movie runs, dances, open Green Keys, sit-down meals, concerts, plays, musicals, LAN parties, and much, much more available to you. The more you explore now, the more you’ll be accustomed to exploring everything else in life. And if not for the sake of your future, explore for the sake of the memories to be made. Even after three years, people still occasionally come up to me and ask, “Hey, Mike, you remember when you were in that death match in soccer . . . and you let Niraj destroy you?” Because at the end of the day, this I believe . . . oh, wait, they’re not called “This I Believe” speeches anymore, are they? Right. They’re “Senior Speeches” now. Okay. Because at the end of the day . . . Senior. Don’t just step out your comfort zone. Expand it.

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FEBRUARY 19, 2016 Rachel Morris Senior Hudson, Ohio

When you plan to spend four weeks in a foreign country without your family, you’re bound to be nervous. Before I travelled to France through the ELISA program, I had my worries. Would my host family be nice? Would I like the food? (In case you don’t know, I’m a notoriously picky eater.) What I didn’t worry about was speaking French. After three years of classroom French, I felt confidant I would be able to converse with my host family in their native language. As it turned out, the most difficult part of my stay in France was not adjusting to life away from home, as I had anticipated, but instead it was speaking French. If I’m to be honest, I spoke more English than French with my host family for the first week. Although my host sister is two years younger than I am, she was more comfortable with English than I was with French. So we fell into the habit of communicating in English. As I fell asleep each night, I felt a nagging guilt: I was here in France, so why wasn’t I speaking French? This guilt alone, though, was not enough for me to take the initiative and start speaking French. Then, one day as I was dressing for school, I couldn’t find my purse containing my credit card and the copy of my passport. This was nothing to freak out about immediately, yet it bothered me all throughout the school day. Upon arriving home, I conducted a more thorough search of my room. Still nothing. By this point, I was beginning to panic a little. I knew I’d have to ask my host family for help, but English would not suffice. I needed to explain my predicament in French. Gathering the family in the kitchen, I attempted to describe my problem. I described the purse as une poche brune avec des fleurs (a brown pocket with flowers). Not a perfect description, by any means, but it was enough for them to understand. Luckily, my host mother found my purse trapped behind my dresser. But this interaction was more important than simply finding my purse. My French had worked! Losing my purse was the turning point of my trip. After being forced to communicate in French with my host family, I gained the

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confidence to converse in French throughout the remainder of my stay. As it turned out, it wasn’t that I couldn’t speak French. I was just afraid to make a fool out of myself by speaking incorrectly. Yet as the incident with my purse revealed, an immersion experience isn’t necessarily about showing how well you can speak a language. Instead, you learn how to use what you know to convey your ideas. And at first, you probably won’t know the correct words to express yourself perfectly; you just have to make it work. By the third week, I’d become comfortable with my host family and was figuring out how to express myself in French. One night after a light dinner of cheeses and vegetables, I spent the evening chatting with my host mom in French. Our topics ranged from driving (I’d just received my temps) to my parents’ jobs. It certainly wasn’t easy, and I definitely made mistakes, but I learned to brush off insignificant mistakes. What was important was that she understood me. We communicated. Spending time in a foreign country humbled me: I realized how much I didn’t know. Yet on the flip side, that means I still have a lot to learn. In the beginning, communication is about using what you know to describe what you don’t. You have to work through the initial discomfort and awkwardness to become comfortable. Certainly, I wasn’t fluent after my time in France, but my experiences inspire me to become fluent and comfortable with the language. So here’s what I want to leave you with. Your endeavors may not always be comfortable or easy, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Not only do you gain valuable experience through persevering past your initial fears, you gain confidence in yourself to face your fears in the future. In opening yourself up to mistakes, you also open yourself up to learning.

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FEBRUARY 22, 2016 Yuki Yamasaki Senior Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan

Who do you think I am? No, really, who do you think I am? Just another senior? A swimmer? A choir nerd? A normal nerd? An Asian? Nah, you probably don’t think of me as Asian, you probably think of me as white. And while I do admit I’m probably one of the whitest Asians you know (a “Twinkie” or a “Banana,” as our friends like to call us), there is one aspect of my life where I do fit my stereotype. School is my number one priority. Some of you may mistakenly think that the lowest grade I’ve ever gotten is a 4.5 and that I cry every time I get below a 5.5, but that’s not true. My first sophomore year, I made some hard 1s—in core classes, too, like chemistry and math. I wish I could show you that report card—or maybe slip it under the “Table of Shame” in the WRAp. And before you ask, no, my parents didn’t disown me. They didn’t throw me out of the house. They didn’t even take away my phone. In fact, it was probably because my parents were so nice about my poor performance that I failed out in the first place. Let me explain. Growing up, my two older sisters were always the ones who yelled at me about my grades and kept me on track academically. One of them went to Tufts and went on to medical school, and the other one was her high school valedictorian and went to the Honors College at University of Michigan. Big shoes to fill. Any of you with smart siblings know what I’m talking about. My parents were actually the opposite of your stereotypical tiger mom and dad, and were instead very nice and forgiving about my grades. I distinctly remember in middle school coming to my dad practically crying because I got 50 or 60% on some test and my dad taking one look at it and just laughing at me. He just smiled and said, “It’s okay, just try harder next time.” My sophomore year I began developing some, hmmm . . . let’s just say, bad academic habits, namely faking sick in order to miss tests I hadn’t studied for with the aim of retaking them later. Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that many you have done this at some point. I’m looking at you, day students. You know what I’m talking

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about. It’s the night before a test; you’ve got a bunch of other work to do; or (if you’re like me) you get sidetracked by YouTube, and it’s all downhill from there. You wake up the next morning and say, “I’ll just fake sick, study all day, and take the test tomorrow. No harm done.” Now before you all start pulling Ferris Buellers left and right, let me tell you, this is a bad idea. What that particular movie doesn’t tell you is that you get screwed in all of your other classes because you missed class time. It’s not worth it. If you do it once, you’ll probably do it again. It becomes a pattern, especially if you have nice parents like mine, or if you don’t have siblings to call you out on it anymore because they’ve gone off to college. For me, it started out as just one day for one test, but days became weeks, weeks became months, and soon my whole sophomore year was gone. My problem was that on my “days off” I wouldn’t study at all. I would just binge on YouTube all day. It wasn't that I didn't care about school; on the contrary, my distress for my bad grades drove the cycle even further, because videos provided a release from my feelings of self-loathing. My response to bad grades wasn’t working harder it was running away. Staring at that screen, I didn’t have to feel shame or disappointment or fear. I didn’t have to feel anything. When I did go to school, I just couldn’t bear the humiliation of facing my peers and teachers, because everyone knew. Who’s “sick” for an entire year? I remember walking into school one day, passing our equivalent of the WRAp, and all the Seniors applauding because they hadn’t seen me in school for a week. Throughout all of this, my parents were paralyzed. They had no idea how to fix me. All my parents could do was say, “It’s okay. We love you. Just try your best and move on.” Totally unhelpful! They didn’t take away my phone, discipline me, or do much of what you might call “parenting.” I started seeing a psychologist for depression halfway through that year, and by its end, I pulled myself back together somewhat. But by that time it was too late. I remember sitting in the Dean’s Office when they told me I wasn’t going to pass my sophomore year, and thinking to myself, in total shock, “Wow, what happened? Where did my year go?” I’d thought about getting out of the house for a while, and when my parents asked me where I wanted to go to school next, I jumped at the chance to go to a boarding school. I applied to two boarding schools, went to the one that accepted me, and found that boarding, slowly but surely was exactly the cure I needed. Being around people all the time keeps me in check, keeps me focused, and off of YouTube. I’m also too

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scared to try and fake out the school nurse. I love sharing my story because it’s kind of a coping mechanism. It reminds me of where I’ve been, who I used to be, and who I am now. The similarities. The differences. I’m still a YouTube addict. I still binge out on occasion. My old roommates, Charles or Dan, can attest to that. I’m broken, in some ways, and I haven’t been able to fix myself quite yet. But a wise advisor once told me that that’s okay, that I have to be okay with a healthy dose of dysfunctionality. On the flipside I’m also a better student, a harder worker, a better person. I’m more active, I’m healthier, I go to a better school, I’ve got better friends, and most of all I’m happier. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m exactly who I should be. I’m telling you this not because I want your pity or your admiration, but because I want you to think before you immediately write someone off as just another nerdy Asian, or another rich white girl, or even just someone you dislike. There’s more to everyone than you think. So, give people the benefit of the doubt. I used to be really shy. I got bullied in middle school. I used to be a band nerd. My sister never let me sing in the household because she didn’t like my singing voice. I failed out of sophomore year. Everyone has a story, so you should listen to them, and if you’re brave enough, you should tell your own. Everyone’s got scars too, because you don’t get to this point in life without getting your knees scraped up along the way. Look, I can’t change the past. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get that year of my life back. But I don’t know if I would want to even if I could. That year shaped me into who I am today. Without that year, I never would’ve recognized my problems with Internet addiction, and I never would have come here, to this school, to meet all of these wonderful people who have become like my family in the past three years. So this I believe: We’re all broken inside. Everyone in this room, from the oldest teacher to the youngest freshman, every jock and every nerd carries their own scars with them every day. But the beautiful thing about growing up is that you realize that everyone’s broken, not just you. We’re all on that island of misfit toys together.

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FEBRUARY 26, 2016 Cristen Barnett Senior Brecksville, Ohio

Jay Bilas was one of College basketball’s most renowned players during the ‘80s, a four-year starter at Duke under acclaimed Coach Mike Krzyzewski, famously known as “Coach K.” Bilas had to learn and now understands the mental toughness necessary for success, on and off the court. In Bilas’s book, Toughness, he examines the difficulties of attaining mental toughness under the hardest circumstances and what is crucial to have in order to advance your personal toughness. After reading this book, I took a deeper look into my mental toughness. The last chapter of the book, “Defining Toughness in College Hoops,” is what made me fully understand that toughness is being able to beat your opponent without physically touching them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t be aggressive. It’s necessary to be aggressive in sports. The point I want to make to you, the point that Jay Bilas made to me through his book, is that we are capable of being tough, not just aggressive, both on the field and off. Now, I know nothing about high school or college basketball, and if you witnessed my freshman season of JV basketball you would know that I don’t really know how to play basketball either—though I’m great at filling up water cups. But, if you’ve ever watched basketball or any athletic contest, I’m sure you understand that those players are not fragile. However, a whole other component of athletic games is to be found in what viewers can’t see: the thoughts inside each player’s head. Athletes experience emotions at different levels while on the sports field, the same way people might be experiencing difficult things in their lives and may not even show it on his or her face. I am sure we can all relate to this somehow, we’ve all had to play sports, and we’ve all dealt with difficult things in our lives. Another key point that Bilas talks about in his book is that no player wins or loses alone, an idea Bilas credits to Coach K, as he said this multiple times to his Duke players while Bilas was on the squad. The gist of what Coach K meant is that no player on a court or field is ever in the game alone, and the team works together, as do the parts of a cell, for example, to achieve the team’s main goal.

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Whether it is a game-winning shot or an unmarked member of the opposing team scoring crucial points, the team must take responsibility as a whole. No single player has the weight of the world on his or her shoulders, and this is the idea I have struggled with as an athlete. Learning to be tough was something that did not come easily to me, and I still don’t think I am 100% tough, because it’s a learning process. For a long time out on the sports field, I struggled with doubting myself, and these thoughts in my head would bug me out during games. In times when I would be running with the ball down the field, or receiving a pass, before I would shoot the ball I would think, “If I miss this, that is just another failed opportunity for my team to score, all because of me.” So I would take the shot and, of course, I would miss because of the negative thoughts I let control me. There was a point in time during my high school career when I realized that to be successful in sports, or in life, I needed to be confident in myself and what I was doing. I needed to understand that the weight of the world is not on my shoulders and my teammates would always be there to support me on and off the field. This was a part of being tough, learning that it was okay to not have everything together all the time, and it was okay to make mistakes. It sounds ironic that being tough could result in saying it’s okay to be vulnerable, but I believe being honest with yourself is another component of toughness. This realization transferred into my life off the sports field as well when I understood if I break down mentally it is okay to put my worries aside and let others help me get back up. Being tough is hard work but learning to be tough, that’s even harder. The learning never stops when it comes to being tough because even when I’m out on the sports field and I tell myself I’m not going to let a certain opposing player get to me, sometimes I fail. Although this process of learning to be tough has made me a stronger athlete, I know that the feeling of being affected by the actions of others will not stop here on the sports field. It will continue into college and throughout the rest of my life. There will be moments when it will be hard to remain mentally tough. This journey is hard, but we are all capable of being tough. We are the only ones who can push ourselves to do the work and push ourselves to every new moment.

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FEBRUARY 29, 2016 Billy Walsh Senior Tallmadge, Ohio

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. As kids, my siblings and I were no strangers to this popular idiom. After every tiny cough, small knee scrape, or light headache, we would look to our mom for a sympathetic smile or a concerned glance, but she would simply respond with “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It was her nicest way of reminding my siblings and me of our strength, since, just as often, she also said things like “You’ll get over it,” or “It's too far from your heart, you’ll be fine.” As a kid though, it didn't matter how strong I was because I couldn't see beyond the pain I was currently in. As my precognitive skills have grown, so have the hardships I have had to endure. My time at Reserve has, frankly, been the worst time in my entire life. I have been pushed to the brink and stared into the abyss. Just two weeks ago, I injured my hand in a wrestling match. I iced it, popped a few ibuprofens and foolishly wrestled three more matches. When I returned home the next day, my parents almost immediately decided to take me to the emergency room. My mom and I went to get x-rays. When the doctor showed us the images, my heart dropped. Wrestling has been such a large and important part of my life. I have dedicated so much time and energy to this sport. This past season I did not meet expectations on any level, so all I had left to save my senior year was a return trip to the national tournament. Then the doctor said my season was over. I pleaded with her, explaining that I could handle the pain and how I had wrestled three matches after the initial injury. She explained that any further stress could damage my hand beyond repair. I realized how doomed I was, let out a deep sigh, then looked at my mom and said “Guess it’s good I went to Nationals last year, huh?” She looked at me with the sympathetic eyes of a mother and said “Yeah, and hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” On the way home she asked me how I felt, knowing how I had practically just lost everything. I said, “I’m alright. I guess I’m an assistant coach now. It’ll be good experience for when I start coaching my own team.” In the wake of the loss of my favorite thing and more, I have

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used what I believe to be lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important lesson. Perseverance. At my lowest lows I was fighting off thoughts of giving up on everything: school, family, friends and my future. I had trouble seeing the worth in anything. But every low ends in time. The sun eventually comes up. I wish I had never done some of the things I have done and had never met some of the people I have met. But the reality is that I can't change the past. So this I believe: The world is going keep turning with or without you, so you might as well jump on board. More often than not, life is going knock you downâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and it will happen sooner rather than later. You have to get up and keep moving while still remembering what put you on the ground in the first place. I believe that regrets are good because that is really how you learn to not repeat your mistakes. I also believe that like respect, forgiveness is earned. And above all else, this I believe: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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MARCH 4, 2016 Sydney Sutherland Senior Hudson, Ohio

Things break. Hearts and trust. Hopes and dreams. Waves and dawn. No matter how hard humans try to perfect the product, everything is breakable. Scientists have worked hard to create unbreakable glass. It has been tempered, hardened and perfected. But it's also impossible. Glass can break from defects, improper installation or hitting it in the just right spot. As humans we spend a lot of energy trying ourselves to be unbreakable. We build walls and emotional barriers to protect ourselves from being vulnerable. But no matter how hard we try, everyone is going to break at some point. Sometimes, like a glass, we are going to shatter. The act of breaking isn't what really matters, however. It is going to happen regardless. The act of putting things back together is the real challenge. While at Reserve, I have experienced a lot of breaking. Most notably was during rehearsals for the Addams Family. The cast and crew was not entirely surprised when I slammed the glass chalice into the large wooden table. However, everyone was surprised when that glass chalice shattered into a thousand pieces. The next day, I proceeded to break the metal replacement chalice in half. That moment showed me that the show must go on even when things break. Twice. That night, I joined the ranks of Jim Morrison and broke on through to the other side. The side of knowing it's okay to break. It's okay to shatter. Everyone breaks at some point. Hearts are broken due to break ups. We feel less then we should because of acne breakouts. Occasionally, some may wonder why bother picking up the pieces, if it will just break again? No matter how many times things break, or how badly they break, someone—friends, family, teachers or peers—will always be there to help pick up the pieces. And if the pieces are far beyond mendable, it doesn’t mean you have failed. It simply means you have to start anew. Accepting that things break and shatter gives us the strength to

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break molds, break from the norm, and break glass ceilings. So this I believe: Breaking and shattering are inevitable. As Mick Jagger and Keith Richard wrote in their iconic song, “I’ve been battered / What does it matter? / I’m a shattered.”

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MARCH 29, 2016 Niraj Naik Senior Twinsburg, Ohio

I have to say I am very honored to be able to give my speech on our first spring day at WRA. Today, I want to talk about a time in my life when I learned the most about myself. A time when I was scared, and I had little control. As most of you might have guessed, that was when Chipotle introduced Sofritas to their menu. Okay, you got me. It’s not actually Chipotle. My hardest time at WRA actually came in the fall of my junior year. When I was in fifth grade, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. Although it went into remission once, it grew back in the spring of my freshman year. For two years, she underwent different treatments to fight the disease, but last year, unfortunately, she lost her battle. When I was younger, it was always hard for me to watch her go through treatment. When we would go out in public, I dreaded the inevitable stares in our direction. I hated how we would get special treatment when people saw the scar on her head. I just wanted people to look at us normally. For the longest time, I thought that the worst part was watching her suffer, but when she passed, I realized I was wrong. When I lost my mom, the grief did not come all at once. I would notice it quietly throughout my day. I would check my phone thinking I would see a missed call from her. I’d see her favorite candy, raspberry gummy candies, and I’d think about her. The worst it ever got was when I wanted to ask her a question, not anything important, the name of an acquaintance, and I realized that I couldn’t just call her up and ask her like I had done a hundred times before. I realized that if I ever needed to talk to her again, if I wanted to ask her for advice, or tell her about my day, or ask her to come visit me, that I couldn’t. I think about that permanence every day. My mom was the kind of person that talked to everyone she knew. She worked in a bank, and every time we went out, we would see one of her customers. She would greet them like family, embracing them in her arms and asking them about their families. She knew our garbage man, our mailman, even the lady at Heinen’s who makes stir-fry. My

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mom loved people. She showed me that spending time with others and making personal relationships is the most valuable thing we have in our lives. Seniors, there are exactly sixty days left until graduation. Sixty days. And then we will split off, going in our own directions. We may not see each other again for months, even years. This I believe: Relationships are temporary. They will end. But right now you have the luxury of being with the people you care about. If you care about someone, you should tell him or her. If you can spend time with your friends, you should. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tried the Sofritas option at Chipotle, what are you waiting for? Sixty days. You have to make them count.

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APRIL 1, 2016 Madison Clark-Bruno Senior Akron, Ohio

If you were to ask me when someone becomes mature, I would say it’s when you’ve found your, what I call, “Internal Compass.” The dictionary defines internal compass as “the hypothesized mechanism that allows organisms to orient themselves so as to proceed in the proper direction during long-distance movements such as migration.” Taking that definition, and applying it to the question of maturity, I define “proper direction” as finding the path that is most fitting and most progressive to me (or the person in question), to my state of mind and body. This concept might not make sense if just reading the black and white version, so I’m going to try to put it in terms that are relatable, understandable, and colorful. If you know me at all, you know I love TV series and movies. And I know that most of you love laying back, chilling, watching Netflix, but for you to understand this analogy I need you to understand that, yes, I love to Netflix just like you guys, but more importantly I need Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, basic cable, premium cable, and pretty much any program that broadcasts movies or TV shows, because that is a large component of my life. I mean, about 87% of all the information I know is from TV shows or movies, and I am dead serious when I say that. So please believe me, and try to get the gist of how much I enjoy and partake in these pastimes. Freshman year, when the Internet used to turn off at 11pm (yes, that was a thing), I begged my dad to please add the hotspot option to our cell phone plan, explaining that I never could get any of my homework done in time and how big an injustice Reserve was enforcing, all because I was sick and tired of being cut mid-episode from the Internet shutting down. And my dad, being the trusting and caring father he is, added the hotspot onto our plan. In those following days, I went around talking about the numerous episodes I had watched the past night. People were always amazed as to how I could find the time to watch all of those episodes before 11 o’clock. All this paparazzi made me feel really cool. I rode the highlife until one day, sophomore year,

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when someone murmured in the background of the crowd about how watching more than five episodes in one sitting doesn’t make you cool; it actually just represents how little of a life you have. I remember sitting there, staring in the mirror and telling myself, I have a life and that kid was just a mad hater, but as time when on I started convincing myself that maybe I didn’t have a life and that I needed to start restricting myself to two or three episodes, max, a night. And, for a while, I stuck with it. That is, until one night when I was watching the worst show on the planet, Secret Life of an American Teenager. I started the night a couple of episodes away from finishing the fourth season, and by the time I closed my laptop I had watched eight episodes in a row! I lay there saying to myself, “Way to go, Madison. Way to prove to the people you have no life.” But as I kept thinking about it, I realized I wasn’t actually mad at myself. I didn’t regret using that time to watch those eight episodes because, if I’m being honest, I truly believe that for me watching eight episodes in one sitting was a great way to spend my time. It made me happy and didn’t fully impair me from waking up for school the next morning. This conflict with myself was my way of turning my internal compass towards a direction that led to a path that would lead to a beautiful walk. To me, being mature is making decisions that make you happy and help you find yourself—even if it blurs the line that your parents, or school, or even society puts down separating bad and good. Binge TV watching gave me an escape from my stresses and challenges and let me live through my favorite characters. This episode is one of many that adjusted my internal compass. I had some unfortunate events earlier in my life that forced me to start making decisions on my own at a very young age. So by no means am I saying, “Forget the system. Live in anarchy!” I will only let my binge watching continue as long as it doesn’t affect my ability to play varsity sports, participate in plays on and off the stage, and maintain honors grades. Also, if it adversely affects anybody else’s learning, growing, or living in general. Some people, even at twenty-five, or thirty, or even fifty-five years old, are not ready and haven't even started adjusting their internal compass. All I’m trying to say in this circumstance is that when the time is right you should start embracing decisions independently and start crafting a life that you deem fit for where you want to go and who you want to be. Find your own internal compass. Because if I kept letting people's standards and words and rules stop the movement on my compass (and keep restricting me to three episodes a night), I would not be the person you see standing here today. I would also know

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substantially less useless information.

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APRIL 4, 2016 Maria Paparella Senior Akron, Ohio

I want to start by asking you all a favor. Imagine you are turning eighteen years old. You are probably still in high school. You were put into foster care at a young age and have bounced from foster family to foster family ever since. You don't have any connection to your biological family. Now all of the sudden, and for no reason besides your having turned eighteen, you are pushed out of the foster care system. You no longer have a family to live with, and you have to get a job to support yourself. You move into an apartment all by yourself that has absolutely nothing in it except maybe a pillow and blanket that you use for your bed. This is a situation many young adults who graduate from foster care find themselves in. These kids have no family or financial support once they turn eighteen. It doesn't matter whether or not they are in high school. Most of them will graduate high school with a full-time job in an attempt to support themselves, but they do not have the ability to continue their education. This produces an ongoing cycle and potential downward spiral that is very difficult for them to escape because this is what they are used to. I have found a way to ease the pain of their transition a little. Once each of these emancipated youths (the young adults who graduate from foster care) in Summit County find somewhere to live on their own, I get to go in and furnish their apartments with sofas, lamps, dinette sets, beds, dresser, pots, pans, etc. You can tell from the smiles on their faces, and the hugs you get when you deliver the furniture, that you are giving them way more than just a place to sleep or a pan to cook in. You are giving them something to come home to. You are making the place they live into a home. You are giving them something to be proud of. And my goal in all of this is not necessarily to give them a sofa or chair, but it's to change the outlook they have on life when they no longer have support and to encourage them to take this opportunity and run with it. Just because they have had a tough start to life doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean they cannot have a great end. The little relationships I have formed with these kids has led me to better understand all aspects and possibilities of life and

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has transformed my beliefs about what true leadership is. Over Mid-winter Break the Morgan Leaders traveled to Washington, DC. While we were there, we met many different successful Reserve alumni and learned about their views of leadership. While they were all very good, one in particular stuck with me. Menna Demesy’s interpretation of leadership was shared with us through a TED talk. A man named Drew Dudley gave this TED talk, and it was centered around a story. The short version of this story is that Drew was working at a college and was trying to help the freshman feel comfortable in their new environment. He went up to this one girl and looked at her, and then at the boy next to her, and he gave the boy a lollipop but then told the boy to give the lollipop to the girl. She accepted it. What neither the boy nor Drew know about this whole transaction was that before it happened the girl was about to drop out of school and this little incident completely changed her mind. This small event gave her the strength to stick it out. A few years later she saw Drew again and told him about how he had impacted her life—not just by keeping her in college, but also by introducing her to her husband, the boy who had given her the lollipop! So the point that I drew out from this story is similar to what I have found by helping the young adults being emancipated from foster care. Namely, that the impact you make in someone's life may not be something that you can imagine or even ever know. You never know what situation a person may be in. By extending a hand, however, and doing a nice deed, you may change a person’s life. This power to change lives is my view of leadership. It is something that I challenge each of you to find. So this I believe: Everyone has their own interpretation of leadership, but for me it's about making a difference in someone’s life that could change the path they are on for the better. So, make your own lollipop moment—whether it's something huge or just picking up a book someone dropped. You never know what your act of kindness could do for someone else.

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APRIL 11, 2016 Cecily White Senior Holland, Ohio

I’m eighteen years old, so obviously, I’ve made a lot of stupid mistakes in my life. Every time I do, I think that it will be my last. But then I go ahead and do something stupid, or mean, or unhealthy, and it makes me aware all over again of how much learning is still ahead of me. I’m not afraid to admit this because I know every one of you has made mistakes and can understand what I am describing. Maybe you have done something you think is unforgivable, like stealing money from your parents or cheating on your boyfriend or girlfriend. Each of us has a list of things we are not proud to share. One time I really humiliated myself while playing on my eighthgrade basketball team. I was a very moody 14-year-old, and when I got on the court this trait was in full display. I fumed at the referees and had hissy fits with my coaches. I sometimes just sat down on the court and had to be persuaded to move so the game could continue. (It was a pretty tolerant league.) The last straw came one day when our team was losing so badly, and I was playing so poorly against an opponent about a foot taller than me, that I grabbed the ball, punched her in the face, and stormed off the court. It was not my finest hour. But it was my last basketball game. The reason I’m sharing this mistake—and the disgrace that followed—is to remind myself that when someone messes up, he or she could probably use a friend. That final game was really embarrassing. But what really stands out for me is how my teammates and friends tried to accept and comfort me. They may have all been a little concerned that they would be my next victim, but most of them rallied around me and forgave me. They helped me accept my regret and demonstrated the power of compassion. I try to remember that experience, and how my friends didn’t judge me, whenever I realize that I have yet again made an unwise choice. I try to think about it when I see others make mistakes as well. I reflect on Paul McCartney’s words about tolerance for others, “Let It Be,” and try not to judge myself, or others, too harshly. We all wake up in the

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morning the same way. We all put on Reserve Green the same way. And we all make mistakes. At the end of the day, whether we are playing basketball or doing anything else, who we are is defined not by our mistakes. It is defined by how we learn from them. This lesson seems to repeat itself but never loses meaning. And remember: You are not inferior or superior to anyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you simply just are.

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APRIL 18, 2016 Haiyun Chen Senior Shanghai, China

Good morning! My name is Haiyun Chen. Instead of elaborating on how I find “peace” in the so-called “turbulence of youth”, mentioned recently by Dr. Dyer, I have a much more important task to accomplish here at the podium. On this very special occasion, I would like to reveal the truth of a troubling issue that has been bothering many faculty and classmates since the first day I arrived on campus—that is the pronunciation of my name. If you are a Chinese student, or anyone who knows Chinese, please help out the friends around you, bearing with me through this portion of my speech. Ok, so let me introduce myself again. My name is Haiyun Chen. “Wait” “Huh . . . ?” “I’m sorry, could you say that again please?” “Oh, sure. HAI-YUN Chen.” At this point, you may still not get my name. And that’s okay. “Hai,” pronounced with a fall and rise in tone—like the fall and rise of the tide. “Hai” means ocean or sea. And “yun” is a rising tone. “Yun” means cloud, a fluffy big white cloud. Here is why the pronunciation is difficult. The Mandarin vowel sound ü does not exist in the English language. To make the basic ü sound, make a continuous "ee" sound. As you make the sound, round your lips into the position they would need to be in to make an "oo" sound. Now you try! “eeee and then oooo” Now put “n” at the end to get “eeee—oooo—nn” “yun.” Many people ask me why I don’t just pick a western name so that my life will be easier. I do have one. (This is the moment many of you have been waiting for!) It’s Helen. But, I choose not to go by it. My purpose here is not only to teach you how to pronounce my name. I want to tell a story relating to my name and share an idea that I found

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interesting. I understand that explaining my name every time I encounter someone new is a tedious job. I have struggled to persist in my decision because I don’t want to create difficulties for others. Gradually, however, I have found out that the process of teaching others the pronunciation of my name has given me more of an avenue to let others learn about me. It has also led me to opportunities that I would never have imagined if I hadn’t taken the risk of troubling others. Last summer, when my parents were encouraging me to find research opportunities at various universities, I whimsically chose to explore the marketing sector behind the fashion industry. Feeling proudly rebellious, I emailed several agencies and companies and eventually found a chance to intern at Lilly Pulitzer. I was so thrilled to receive my first Skype interview and had a very serious, real businesslike conversation with a lady in HR. However, towards the end of my interview, when she tried to address me directly, I realized that all this time I have been only communicating with her through emails so she didn’t know how to pronounce my name. As I explained to her the tricky pronunciation, step-by-step, our talk became lighter. Kendall, a mother of three beautiful children and a lover of the beach. Haiyun, a Chinese international student studying in Hudson, Ohio. Connections were made. Opportunities were created. After that, I had two more interviews, and I made sure to correct their pronunciation of my name before moving on to the rest of the conversation. The staff at Lilly Pulitzer might easily have forgotten about me if I had not done so. Two weeks later, I received an email congratulating me on being the first high school intern at Lilly Pulitzer. Ultimately, my US visa renewal was delayed for a month, and in the end I did not attend the internship. My dream evaporated into dust and drifted away with a waft of air. Retaining the goal of learning about marketing, I was lucky to find another chance back home. This time, the pronunciation of my name wasn’t an issue any more. But, I still tried to leave people with a lasting impression of my personality. Eventually, at a cosmetics company, I was able to find my interest in cross-border ecommerce. Summing it up, there are two messages I would like to leave you with. First, don’t be afraid to call someone by his or her name, even if you are unsure about the correct pronunciation. And secondly, this I believe: If you have the chance, take a chance. If there is a risk, don’t be

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afraid of taking the risk, as it may bring you reward. Risk and reward are like two sides of a piece of paper in that they always come together. Sometimes you will be rewarded with a career opportunity or a new door in your life will be opened by taking the risk of spending a minute to explain your name.

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APRIL 25, 2016 Mia Herring-Sampong Senior Cincinnati, Ohio

When I was four years old I drowned. Well, nearly. My mom, my sister, Laurel, and I were all staying at this inn in Dublin, Ohio. It was one of those random trips that my mom would take us on when she needed a break from my Grandma, with whom we lived with at the time. Anyway, we headed to the pool of the hotel (which is a gracious name for the place), and I decided that being a big girl, I should be able to go into the pool without my floaties. So, I asked my mom if I could take my floaties off—as they were prohibiting me from embracing my true Aquarius nature—and she agreed under the parameters that I stay in the shallow end of the pool. Of course, the first thing I did was wander into the area labeled “7 feet.” Soon, my feet couldn’t find the bottom, and I began to panic. I tried to yell out, but as I gasped for air I ended up swallowing more and more water. The worst part was that my mom and sister didn’t even notice what was going on. Mom was reading a Good Housekeeping magazine and Laurel was playing her purple Game Boy Advance. I was close to giving up on trying to signal my mom when, finally, she saw me and yelled to my sister to save me. Neither of us were good swimmers (I obviously wasn’t), but my sister was good enough to rescue me and make sure I was okay. When I think of my childhood, I think of this memory. I think of one of the scariest moments of my life, thus far, and momentarily let it define me. However, there’s another childhood story I’d like to share. It is the one where I popped my elbow out of its socket. (I had a fantastic childhood, I know). Once again, I was four years old and as sassy, and double-jointed as ever. My family was shopping at Borders, my favorite bookstore, and I wasn’t quite ready to leave when my mother was. I was searching for a book on computers, and in yanking my hand away from my mom's in an attempt to stand my ground and demand just 5 more minutes, POP! My elbow joint was yanked out of its socket. On the drive to the hospital, my mom was yelling at me, and my older sister was crying about how I had once again ruined her Saturday. (This was the third time I had given myself nursemaid's elbow, as they call it). Once

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we arrived at the hospital, the doctors were so used to seeing me there that they fixed my arm right in the hallway. But the part I remember most is the Popsicle. Every time after the doctor popped my elbow back into socket, he gave me a Popsicle. Medically, it was a test—a test to see whether my elbow was healed and working well enough for me to reach and grab the treat. But in Mia’s four-year-old brain, it was a reward. It meant, You know what Mia? You messed up today. You made your mom mad, and you dealt with pain because of it. But, now you get a popsicle! Whenever I retold this story, I always made the last part the most important: “And then . . . you get a popsicle!” It even became a catchphrase of sorts in our household. It meant that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Now right now you might not think my speech is making any cohesive sense, but I promise you, it will shortly. Usually when people ask me about when I was a kid, I tell them about how I had a TV with a dial on it. (You had to get up to change the channel—there wasn’t a remote). I remember how I had no cable and so waited until Saturday mornings every week to watch kids programming—and, if I overslept, it was the worst feeling in the world. And I tell them about what it was like not having a daddy to take me to a program called Donuts for Dads, where fathers would escort their daughters and sons to breakfast before school. But then, I remember that I have the most loving single-mother, who walks everyday with a sense of strength and peace that I hope to know one day. And no, I might not have had cable, but Family Feud was low-key lit. (And I was probably so skinny when I was little because I had to get up and change the channel all the time!) And then I read my second-grade journal, and I realize how little of an impact television even had on me as a seven-year-old girl. This entry is dated 9/19/05: This weekend was wonderful. On Saturday I went to camp Butterworth, it was really fun! We learned old girl scout songs like Little red wagon, Tarzan, Miss princess pat, and a Moose-song. After that we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores out of them. After that we went on a hike and lots of other crazy things. And it was all girl scouts, so we got to see lots of other troops. On Saturday I went to Build-a-Bear for my friend Dina’s birthday party, it was fun. I got a collector’s bear, it has candy corn all around it. There were sixteen kids there just for her party. I named my bear Style because everybody else

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who got my bear named their bear something that had to do with candy corns so I named mine Style. Love, Mia Do you see? Children have this special gift. They have the power of seeing everything with a sparkly sheen on it. Everything is new and has some sort of undiscovered magic to it. The sad thing is, this magic seems to fade with age. As I’ve gotten older, when I recall my childhood memories, I put my faded, angsty teenager filter on each snapshot instead of remembering the event in all its true original glory. Whenever I see myself putting a negative twist on something that I could just as easily put a positive spin on, I give myself a little slap in the face. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. My senior year is now coming to an end. Never have I heard the questions, “What are you going to major in?” or “What do you want to do after college?” more than I have in these past few months. Now, however, I believe I am able to give everyone an answer. This I believe: I hope that when I grow up, I’m just like a kid. I want to see the world with bright eyes, attack problems with determination, and see both adversity and diversity as a blessing and not a curse. I hope that I continue to view the world in bright Technicolor and that it never fades to black and white. And, most of all, I hope the same for each and every one of you. And then, of course, I hope we all get popsicles!

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APRIL 29, 2016 Gracie Morgan Senior Hudson, Ohio

Good morning. Let me tell you my story. When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with a rare liver condition called Wilson’s disease. I was young and did not know what chronic or genetic meant. I just knew I wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate. Through elementary and middle school, my parents tried to tell me how to handle my illness. They talked to doctors and advised me when to take medicine, and I tried to listen. But I did not understand the consequences of skipping doses or messing up the timing . . . so that’s what I did. When I took the pills, they immediately made me nauseous, so why should I swallow them? Until high school, I felt fine. My life was colorful and easy. I had few responsibilities. Then Reserve. I went into it unprepared. My sophomore year was miserable. I made unhealthy decisions. I did not surround myself with supportive friends, and I was very sick. Toxic levels of copper built up in my liver and began spilling into my system. And still, I could not grasp the idea that taking my medicine was a matter of life and death. Well, then I got a new doctor who delivered a shocking wake-up call. I was not okay. I asked him if any of his patients had died from my disease. He looked me in the eye, responding that a majority of them had. Terrified about my future, I finally began heeding my doctor’s orders. My fear forced me to develop some self-control. I knew I needed to detox my system to feel stable again. It seemed simple; if I swallowed my new pills and followed a strict diet, my problems would disappear, right? Well, soon I would realize this wasn’t enough. Physically treating my disease was only half the battle. I had a long way to go on my journey to health and happiness. I kept my illness to myself. I didn't tell anyone how sick I was. I thought no one cared. I didn’t want people to pity me or think I was weak. I was supposed to be the cheerful girl without a care in the world. Everything changed my junior year. I transitioned to healthier habits by taking my medication, being honest with myself and others

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and, above all else, becoming close friends with some trustworthy and compassionate people. So when senior year knocked—banged—on my door, I was as prepared as I could be. With senior year came a new set of obstacles. Some were physical: a second serious concussion, a broken hand, a broken nose, and painful stomach ulcers from my bottled-up stress. Others were psychological: I lost my uncle and then my grandfather. Five months ago, this all culminated in a diagnosis of depression and anxiety disorders. Suddenly, life felt as bleak as it had two years earlier. But this time, I did not spiral out of control. I was resilient. I embraced my treatments. I sought the help of doctors and psychiatrists, but most importantly, I let others in. I realized having a liver disease was not something to be ashamed of. Also, mental health is just as important as physical health. Once I understood this, I opened up to my friends and family. I knew I could not fight my battles alone. I would not be standing here at Reserve today if I hadn’t learned to seek the support of my friends and family—the people who brought light into my darkness, who showed me they cared. I sat down with my parents and told them I was constantly sad and disinterested. I had a candid conversation with my friends about the loneliness and pain I felt. My advisor assisted in my exhausting transition back to school. These heroes aided in the final half of my struggle. Having a chronic illness is challenging. I had to grow up earlier than I otherwise would have. I developed mental health disorders as a result. But I now have the skills to combat these conditions. It is fitting I am sharing my story with you today—my 18th birthday—because now I am legally an adult. The repercussions of my actions fall on me. And I'm okay with that. Through my hardships, I have learned what it takes to take care of myself. It is up to me to keep up with my medicine, ask for help, and continue my growth. So this I believe: We all have stories, and we all face challenges. I believe the only way to overcome adversity is by swallowing your pride and reaching out to others. I believe in all of you. Finally, I believe in myself.

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MAY 2, 2016 Erin Dockery Senior South Euclid, Ohio

Hello. If you don’t know me that’s probably because I was in my room studying, or you sleep through Morning Meetings. And if you’ve seen me on the sidewalk, and I haven’t said “hello,” it’s probably because I am profoundly incapable of strolling. You know that slowwalk thing that groups of three do to clog the sidewalk? Yeah, that’s not me. When I’m twenty minutes early to class, my gait resembles something of a suburban mom speed-walking; and if I’m five minutes early, I’m at a half trot, trying to appear like I’m not running. One could say I have a fear of being late. But because I’m so early, and because very few other people are crazy enough to come to class twenty minutes before 8:20am, I have time to think. In the solitude, my thoughts fill the room: Life, trees, humanity, destruction, success, college, College and Prospect. What if I were a tree? Two bees, he and me, death? Destruction, Like falling asleep, suffering, hot cup of tea, busy, say hi, do, don’t, bye, slavery, If I am me and he is he, is there a we? You know that squirrel from Ice Age? That’s my brain: Nuts. But it is in these moments of quiet, as students trickle by, that I question everything. The questioning occurs daily, but realizations are more subtle and infrequent. It was on a Tuesday morning, steamed by tea, when I chose to believe that all people are wholeheartedly good. Naïve? Yes. But in this I had to believe. Side note: For those of you who had the great privilege of knowing me as a freshmen, you probably also know about my antisocial tendencies. Freshmen year, I looked forward to Friday nights for the sole purpose of finishing all my weekend homework in one evening and having the terrible bedtime of 9:35pm. Yes, my first time at a Friday night Green Key was my sophomore year; my first school dance was, again, sophomore year; my first movie run, junior year; my first 3 Palms’ pizza, junior year; my first detention . . . well, that hasn’t happened yet— although I’ve gone a few times voluntarily—but none of this is helping

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to prove the coolness of introverts. It’s all about fear, my quietness. A fear that I will not be liked, that I am annoying, unpopular, the third wheel. That if I don’t do my homework, I will fail, not graduate, and basically cease to exist. Although irrational, I admit, it seems that the most controlling fears are irrational in nature. And when I look into my history, I also see sources of antisocialness. In eighth grade, with the onset of acne and body weight, I started to believe that I was ugly and that no one would want to hang out with me. So, I used studying as an excuse to blockade myself. And I quickly learned that if you say no to going out enough times, eventually people will stop asking. But it’s not completely about fear or the memories of low selfesteem. I have an old soul, meaning that I enjoy activities usually enjoyed by 65 year olds—such as waking up at 7am on a Saturday to read the newspaper while sipping Earl Grey. I believe in old-fashioned hard work and chalkboards. Simply stated, the quiet moments in life fuel me, which brings me back to that Tuesday when I chose to believe that people are wholeheartedly good. Thankfully, over the years, I’ve learned to let loose a little. I have learned the value of friendship, the wisdom of teachers, and the necessity of fun. And to treasure learning and not just the highly esteemed 7. Essentially, in the exodus from Erin World, I found a life enriched by extremely talented musicians, singers, writers, actors, comedians, dancers, peacekeepers, world changers, athletes, and great human beings. There is a reason for humanity and not just a human. Personal experiences, the news, human nature and sin try to prove daily that I am completely insane for believing in the good intentions of humanity, but in this I need to believe. Because I would never exist my head, my world, my safe places, if it weren’t for the awesomeness of others: those friends who teach me how to chill, make me laugh, bring me up, and restore my faith. So, to those teachers and coaches who encourage me to be the best that I can be both inside and outside of the classroom and who care more about me as a person than my latest failure on paper; to my family who loves me; to those quiet acts of kindness: holding a door, saying hello, or writing a thank-you note, simply for the cause of kindness . . . I thank you. Despite the evil in the world, I choose to look at people through a pure lens. I choose to believe that meanness stems from a bad day, sorrow, or suffering. So, this is my advice: introverts, be yourselves. Take those necessary quiet moments, but don’t let the fear control you. The world

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needs your ideas. Don’t slip into silence. And to the extroverts, don’t be afraid to be loud. The world needs your zest for life, your enthusiasm. And for those unbound by categorizes, don’t make yourself fit. In this I believe: because of each one of you, being you, and those who helped me along the way, you are the reason I can stand here today, and for that I am eternally grateful.

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MAY 6, 2016 Annie McArn Senior Bay Village, Ohio

Being a klutz has taught me many things. But, this statement goes beyond the many times I haven’t tied my shoes and have tripped going up the stairs or the two games, both against Gilmour, when I tripped while walking backward. (And, no, the ball was nowhere near me.) My klutziness goes beyond slipping on the ice while walking to class, or jumping awkwardly between bunk beds, or repeatedly running into doors because, as every Reserve student knows, a word or a statement rarely has just one meaning. Now, I could go on listing the stupid and clumsy things I’ve done, but there is one moment in particular where, looking back on it now, I believe I benefitted from being a klutz. At nine year olds, I had the world at my fingertips. I was allowed to go to the city pool alone and rollerblade, or ride my bike or scooter almost anywhere I wanted to, as long as I was with friends. Like most nine year olds in 2007, I opted to ride my scooter everywhere (in the grass, on the street, on the sidewalk, and in my basement). And, for whatever reason, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to try to balance a gallon of milk on the handlebars and ride as fast as I could home from the store. For those of you who cannot see where I’m going with this, I’ll give you a hint: scooters have handlebars that connect to the front wheel, making them really easy to turn . . . even if you don’t want them to. So there I was on my red Razor scooter, with my purple butterfly helmet, crocs, and a milk jug hanging in its bag on my handlebars. I was all set to make the long journey (of a block-and-a-half) back to my home in record time. However, I only made it about four houses from the store before the weight of the milk suddenly twisted the front wheel, causing me to flip over the handlebars headfirst. When I lifted myself off the pavement, the whole left side of my face was raw and bleeding. Luckily, I had crashed in front of a family friend’s house, and she took me inside and helped me make sure I still had all ten fingers and toes, two eyes and ears, and a functioning mouth and nose before giving me a cookie

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and sending me on my way home, this time walking next to my scooter. As much as I’d like to say that this was the first and last time I tried to carry anything on the handlebars of my scooter, it wasn’t. Some of you, especially the teachers, are probably wondering why my parents were willing to allow me to ride my scooter with a gallon of milk—or if they even knew about it. Well, I can assure you, they knew. And let’s get one thing clear: I was wearing my helmet, like I’d been told time and time again, and it likely saved my life. At the time, I saw it as a reasonable, if somewhat incomprehensible, request on my parent’s part. As long as I was wearing my helmet, they knew I’d be safe, so I was allowed to do stupid things like carrying a milk jug while riding my scooter. Sure, after flipping over my handlebars, I learned it’s not the best idea to ride a scooter with a gallon of milk. But more importantly, I learned the value of a helmet. My parents knew something that I have only recently come to understand: there are generally legitimate reasons behind these small parental requests and rules, like wearing a helmet, even if we don’t always understand them at first. My parents let me fail with the milk jug incident (I think we can all agree that landing face-first on the concrete is in no way a “win”), but I thank them for that. It’s because they let me scrape my elbows, knees, hands, and face—and be scared senseless by the mysterious being that tripped me up and flipped me over—that I came to understand fully the reasoning behind their simple request for my safety. So, I’m a klutz, and I’m pretty proud of it. It means I am capable of figuring out for myself what works and what doesn’t. Through my many clumsy acts, I’ve learned to understand the importance of details in the bigger picture, like wearing my helmet. I’m glad that my parents were the type of people who refused to tell me the answer to the math problem I had spent hours struggling over or explain exactly why I had to wear my helmet. There are adults who would have willingly done both, but that only fixes a superficial problem, for a short amount of time, and it leaves the questions of how and why lingering in the air for much longer. Even if we were provided the answers to such questions, we would eventually be cut off from their source at some point and shoved into a world where the answers to all our questions aren’t simply handed to us and, in order to get anywhere, we have to figure things out for ourselves. As daunting as it may seem, there have been generations who have come before us who have gone out and made the world a better place because they refused to accept the answers given to them as

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handouts. And, even though AP Econ might not be my strongest subject (in fact, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of my weakest), I did learn something there this year: There is no such thing as a free lunch. This means that every action we take, and every decision we make, no matter how minor it may seem at the time, has some sort of cost to it. If my parents had told me not to ride my scooter with a gallon of milk on the handlebars, I probably would have listened to them, but at the cost of never truly learning the importance of that little piece of foam and plastic that saved my life. So this I believe: there is no such thing as a free lunch. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t accept the easy answers now just because they seem convenient. Somewhere down the line, the corners you cut just may cost you much more than the time you saved by not figuring it out on your own.

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MAY 13, 2016 Samuel Becker Senior Fairfax, Virginia

As I sat down and started writing this speech, I thought about what would be worth telling all of you sitting here today. What can I offer to you that is actually worth your time? And as I sat there and thought about it, I decided I would talk about something that I wish someone had told me, long before I started high school. And that thing is about what makes somebody “cool.” Now this speech may offer more to those of you who still have a lot of time here left at Reserve, but I do think that everyone can take something from what I say here today. So, I ask that you just bear with me—and maybe keep the amount of phones dropped on the ground to around three or four. You know, for the majority of my life I have wanted to be cool. From a young age, I aspired to be the popular football player, with lots of friends and the prettiest girlfriend. And for the longest time, I thought I was the coolest guy around. But what I didn’t know was that my idea of “cool” was so far-fetched and arrogant, that for the most part I came off as looking really dumb. I would often think less of those around me who weren’t athletes or who took school seriously, as if my way of thinking was so superior that anyone who wasn’t like me wasn’t worth my time. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when I walked around this campus, letter jacket on and head held high, acting like I owned the place. And, wow, did it ever get worse at the start of this year. Senior year, prefect, captain of a football team looking to go undefeated, I had the pretty girl and loads of friends by my side. I was at the peak of coolness, or so I thought. Then, little by little, life began to show me just how uncool I really was. We lost the first football game of the year, but that didn’t really get me down. I mean c’mon, I’m Sam Becker! One little thing won’t ruin me, I thought to myself. And then I got dumped, and what should have been a wake-up call to my cockiness, just got brushed off like it was no fault of my own. Even after all that, nothing was going to ruin this year for me. I had been waiting since I was a little kid to be the “King of the School,” surely all the bad things

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were out of the way already right? Wrong. One day this past fall—a day that for the longest time I wished I could have taken back—life finally taught me a lesson that I needed to learn. I am certain all of you know what I am talking about, so I will not go into detail about it here. But, long story short, it ended with a threeday suspension and a long road ahead of me in which I needed to do some serious self-reflection. Now, I really, really, don’t want this portion of the speech to make it sound as though I fought some heroic inner battle in which I overcame some great obstacle to become this awesome person. Because that is so far from the truth. I haven’t risen from the ashes of my former self to become this newfound righteous man. Instead, I’m really just becoming the guy I should have been all along. I was an egotistical teenage boy, and the only obstacle I needed to overcome was my own arrogant ways. And looking back now, as cheesy as it may sound, I owe so much to my ill-advised actions, because without them I would probably still be that cocky kid living a lie that everyone else around him could see. Enough about all that though. The lesson that I really want to stick with all of you—the lesson that I wish I had learned a long time ago—isn’t about overcoming mistakes or learning how to change yourself for the better. No, the lesson I really want you all to take away is about how to be cool. Because after all that has happened, I finally learned what being “cool” really means. Being cool isn’t about being a popular athlete. It’s about having passion and working hard at whatever you choose to do. It’s not about how many friends you have, but instead, how many people you make a positive impact on, so that they would consider you a friend. And no, it’s not even about dating the prettiest girl or most attractive guy. It’s about having someone trust you enough to make you a significant part of their life and then being there for them even when no one else is. Being “cool” just means being a really nice person. And even now, at this point in my life, I still find myself striving to be cool. But not the misguided version I aspired to be for so long. Instead, I aspire to be the type of person that makes everyone around me happier and better off for having gotten the chance to know me. So without further delay, This I Believe: All of you in this Chapel should challenge yourself to be a nice person, to treat friends and strangers with respect and find something you have a passion for. Because, trust me, at the end of the day, it’s the cool thing to do.

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MAY 16, 2016 Shuni (Veronica) Zhu Senior JingJiang, China

I am not here this morning to talk about my name—though, indeed, there are some issues with my name—just not with its pronunciation. It all started with Mrs. Barth, who insisted on asking me my real name even after I tried pretending that “Veronica” was the only name I had. She was the first one around Reserve to start calling me Shuni. It is a relatively simple name, actually, especially when compared to some other foreign names that contain random letters joined together in odd combinations that are almost impossible for western tongues to pronounce properly. To be honest, I always get that millions-of-antscrawling-inside-of-my-body feeling whenever a teacher or a peer calls me Shuni. And yet, at the same time, goose bumps rise on my skin when I see other people making their “Who is that?” face when someone uses my real name. It can be difficult having two names. I am often the one being accidentally excluded from group emails. More often than not, emails that are meant for me end up in other people’s inboxes. “Oh man, I sometimes wish I could have one, and only one, name.” Since it has come up, let me tell you a bit more about my name. Now that I am approaching the end of my high school career, I guess I can confess that my “I wish I could” worry about my two names is, indeed, a significant one. Ultimately, though I use both names at Reserve, I have formed a special connection to the people here who call me Shuni. They have made an effort to realize that this girl has a birth name and have learned to use it. Just to put everyone’s mind at ease, however, I have no major preference between the two names. I am happy to respond to either. So please don’t freak out if you have decided to go with just Veronica. I came to Reserve as a “half-freshman,” which means I joined the Class of 2016 after Christmas break. It was a real struggle for me to transition to a new school in a new country, but the most outrageously difficult task for me was getting through my first few weeks of dance class. The right rear corner of the dance room was instantly my favorite

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place to be—a space right behind someone who could completely cover me from being seen in the mirror. It was the perfect spot for me to stand and hide. I was not a confident dancer in class. I had started out as a hip-hop dancer when I was young. Other forms of dance were less familiar to me. In fact, when I first arrived here I displayed a decent amount of disgust with French ballet terms and generally gave Mrs. Barth a blank stare whenever she demonstrated a classical dance technique in class. (“Oh man, how I wish I could have taken ballet classes when I was young. Look at how pretty all those ballerinas are!”) This “I wish I could” worry turned out to be surprisingly inspiring and most unexpected. The more I was concerned about my lacking ballet skills, the more time and attention I put into improving them. All my current YouTube channel subscriptions and recommendations are related to ballet performances. My favorite bedroom wall decorations are Degas’s ballerina portraits. My sophomore Modern World History research paper was about Ballet Russ, a legendary royal ballet company. And that is where my story today really begins. If you have heard of “amateur art” before, that’s what I’m aiming for. Yes, I have limited physical abilities when it comes to performing elegant ballet moves, but one’s passion for things can be crazily motivating and can send one down an adventurous path. And that is what I did. I decided to go down an unknown path. I started to organize a Russian ballet performance on my own. “Oh man, part of me wishes I could have given more thought to this before I got in too deep.” But this last “I wish I could” worry was quickly relieved by the great community of friends and fellow-dancers that soon surrounded me. Although I began my project pretty unprepared for all the challenges that were to come, along the way I received great support and advice from experienced faculty and classmates. Still, it wasn’t always easy. After the very first rehearsal with my dancers I thought to myself, “Oh man, oh man, I wish I could be a native English speaker. I wish . . . I wish . . . .” I have heard people say that numbers are one of the hardest things to avoid saying in your mother language. I think this may be true. I really struggled with numbers for the counts of the dances. I would sometimes unconsciously throw in a few Chinese numbers when I counted out loud during rehearsals. I am guessing most of the dancers just considered it my nonsense mumbling. I don’t think they realized that I was counting for them. At least I hope they didn’t! But we all know that Reserve is such a tolerant community,

228


considering the high ratio of international students here. My fellow dancers lessened my “I wish I could” worries with their constant cooperation and patience, and sometimes the language barrier between us tied us closer together as they worked to understand me (and occasionally playfully teased me). There have been so many “Oh man, I wish I could” moments, and I have found my way out of some of them, but I am still trying to figure out the rest of them. My successful record of resolving many of my worries has granted me the courage to never get too concerned about the ones I have still not resolved. People say that one of the happiest moments in life is when you can find the courage to let go of those things you can’t change. But I say that the happiest moments in life are when you take the things that you think you can’t change and decide to embrace them and make them better anyway. Over the past several months, thirty-three lovely dancers and I have found that attempting to mimic a Russian ballet is not an easy thing to pull off. “Oh man we wish we could have more professional trainings, a more significant auditorium, more luxurious handmade costumes . . . oh man, we wish we could . . . .” However, we have done our best with what we have, and we hope you will all come to KFAC this Friday at 8 p.m. to see us take the stage and see how we have done with what we have. Don’t miss it. I’m sure none of you will want to have your own, “Oh man, I wish I had gone to that performance” moment. After all, we will have one, and only one, show.

229


230


VIEWPOINTS SURVEY: SPRING 2016 KEY Day Student

Boarding Student

Faculty/Staff

Male

Female

Non-binary

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

T

TOTAL

231


< As a Citizen of the World > To which major political party/category do you either belong or most closely associate yourself? Democrat 32%

32%

21%

50%

60% 31%

36%

♂ 40% ♀ 34% %

37%

T 37%

Republican 33%

16%

31%

13%

28%

Independent 4%

5% 3%

14% 5%

3%

Libertarian 5%

6% 2%

5% 5%

♂ 22% ♀ 23% 2 22% T 22% 2 2 0% ♂ 2 5% ♀ 8% 2 7% T 6% 2 % 13% ♂ 7% ♀ 3% 7 13% 5% % T 0%

17%

1%

Other 2%

6% 7%

0%

0% 3%

6%

♂ 4% %

1%

♀ 3%

T 3%

Undecided 25% 36%

232

36%

38%

5% 44%

26%

♂ 23% ♀ 28% %

19%

T 26%


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. 14%

10%

10%

13%

35% 16%

11%

♂ 20% ♀ 13% %

12%

T 17%

I’m quite interested in political issues, and I try to read a news source whenever I have the time. 33%

26%

26%

48% 17%

38% 35%

♂ 32% ♀ 33% %

37%

T 33%

I’m somewhat interested in political issues, but I only know about what I hear around campus or at home. 42%

41%

36%

38%

12% 48%

39%

♂ 32% ♀ 39% %

41%

T 35%

I don’t care about, nor do I pay much attention to, political issues at all. 10%

22%

28%

13%

5% 16%

14%

♂ 15% ♀ 13% %

10%

T 14%

I would prefer to keep my answer to this question private. 2%

1% 0%

0%

0% 3%

1%

♂ 0% %

0%

♀ 2%

T 1% 233


What is your principal source for news and information on current events? Print Newspaper(s) 4%

1% 2%

6% 3%

0% 3%

♂ 4% %

1%

♀ 2%

T 3%

Print magazine(s)/Journal(s) (e.g. Time The Atlantic, The New Yorker, etc.) 2%

3% 2%

2% 6%

0% 1%

♂ 2% %

1%

♀ 3%

T 2%

Online publications 31%

33%

25%

13%

52% 33%

33%

♂ 41% ♀ 32% %

37%

T 36%

TV/Radio 16% 18%

234

5%

25%

34% 6%

10%

♂ 10% ♀ 18% %

6%

T 15%


Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 32%

43%

38%

38%

5% 33%

35%

♂ 29% ♀ 34% %

47%

T 32%

Family, friends, teachers 15%

12%

13%

13%

2% 17%

17%

♂ 11% ♀ 11% %

7%

T 11%

None of the above 1%

2% 3%

13%

0% 2%

1%

♂ 1% %

0%

♀ 1%

T 1%

235


How often do you engage in a conversation that covers politics or current events? Very often, at least 2 or 3 times a week 28%

16%

11%

38%

49% 28%

18%

♂ 30% ♀ 22% %

26%

T 27%

Regularly, once a week or so 28%

31%

23%

38%

28% 23%

33%

♂ 30% ♀ 28% %

38%

T 29%

Occasionally, once every few weeks 28%

32%

28%

13%

14% 36%

40%

♂ 27% ♀ 28% %

18%

T 27%

Only very rarely 11%

13%

25%

13%

8% 9%

6%

♂ 7% %

10%

♀ 15%

T 11%

Almost never 5%

8% 13%

236

0%

2% 3%

3%

♂ 5% %

7%

♀ 6%

T 5%


Which of the following statements best matches how you feel Barack Obama has performed as President of the United States? I believe that, overall, he has done a very good job. He has left the country in a better position than it was in eight years ago when he first entered office. 25%

41%

21%

45% 41%

63% 38%

♂ 37% ♀ 34% %

35%

T 36%

His performance has been a bit above average. I think most of his decision making has been sound, though there are a few things he did while in office that I do not fully support. 36%

26%

28%

29% 28%

13% 32%

♂ 35% ♀ 25% %

32%

T 30%

On balance, I feel he has failed to lead our country in a better direction. 20%

11%

18%

0%

18% 11%

18%

♂ 15% ♀ 18% %

13%

T 16%

I think he will go down in history as one of our worst presidents. 6%

2% 3%

0%

6% 3%

6%

♂ 2% %

3%

♀ 6%

T 4%

Unsure / no opinion 13% 30%

20%

25%

2% 17%

7%

♂ 11% ♀ 16% %

16%

T 14%

237


Which of the following best matches your opinion about the Senate’s responsibility to vote on President Obama’s most recent Supreme Court Justice nominee? I believe the Senate has a right to delay any consideration of the President’s nominee since Obama is in the last year of his presidency. 12%

9%

10%

0%

12% 5%

11%

♂ 15% ♀ 7% %

15%

T 11%

I believe they have a constitutional responsibility to vote on the nominee. 38%

39%

34%

63%

78% 36%

32%

♂ 51% ♀ 41% %

51%

T 46%

Unsure / no opinion 50% 56%

238

52%

9% 59%

38% 57%

♂ 34% ♀ 53% %

34%

T 43%


Which candidate would you most support in the 2016 Presidential Election? Hillary Clinton 18%

14%

13%

38%

49% 13%

15%

♂ 18% ♀ 27% %

22%

T 22%

Ted Cruz 3%

1% 3%

3% 2%

0% 3%

♂ 1% %

1%

♀ 4%

T 2%

John Kasich 27%

18%

34%

13%

11% 13%

19%

♂ 20% ♀ 20% %

22%

T 20%

Bernie Sanders 26%

41%

28%

38%

15% 41%

33%

♂ 38% ♀ 22% %

34%

T 30%

Donald Trump 4%

6% 2%

0%

8% 6%

6%

♂ 7% %

6%

♀ 4%

T 5%

None of the above 23% 20%

20%

13%

14% 27%

24%

♂ 17% ♀ 23% %

15%

T 20%

239


Do you trust politicians and the political establishment? Yes, I feel that the vast majority of people who run for public office have dedicated their lives to public service and are, for the most part, ethical and noncorrupt. 3%

2% 3%

0%

5% 5%

0%

♂ 3% %

3%

♀ 3%

T 3%

I think it’s a mixed bag. Some people who run for public office act ethically and seek what’s best for the public, but some succumb to the temptation of using the power of their office for their own good. 71%

60%

62%

38%

55% 59%

71%

♂ 63% ♀ 64% %

66%

T 63%

I basically believe in the old adage that power and money corrupt. Money has been so infused into modern politics that it has become almost impossible to be elected into public office without massive amounts of funding, turning politicians into fundraisers rather than protectors of the common man. 17%

21%

16%

50%

40% 20%

19%

♂ 26% ♀ 20% %

21%

T 23%

Unsure / no opinion 9%

17% 18%

240

13%

0% 16%

10%

♂ 8% %

10%

♀ 13%

T 11%


Do you believe that climate change is occurring and is largely the result of human activity? Yes. 69%

77%

70%

78% 81%

88% 68%

♂ 77% ♀ 70% %

74%

T 74%

Maybe 20%

17%

20%

9% 14%

13% 22%

♂ 15% ♀ 18% %

18%

T 17%

No 8%

3% 5%

0%

11% 3%

6%

♂ 5% %

7%

♀ 8%

T 6%

No opinion 3%

3% 5%

0%

2% 2%

4%

♂ 2% %

1%

♀ 4%

T 3%

241


Should transgender people be allowed to utilize the restrooms of the gender with which they identify? Yes 70%

53%

46%

61% 63%

100% 63%

♂ 52% ♀ 68% %

69%

T 61%

No 18%

28%

33%

28% 17%

0% 25%

♂ 32% ♀ 17% %

18%

T 24%

Unsure / no opinion 12% 21%

242

19%

0%

11% 19%

13%

♂ 16% ♀ 15% %

13%

T 15%


What is your opinion regarding the use of Native American images and names for sports teams (e.g. Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, etc.)? All such names and mascots should be removed from these sports teams as they are potentially offensive and insensitively appropriate Native American culture. 9%

8% 7%

25%

23% 8%

8%

♂ 10% ♀ 13% %

12%

T 12%

Native Americans should decide for themselves whether or not they find certain names and mascots offensive and their decisions should be adhered to. 42%

39%

46%

38%

26% 42%

39%

♂ 38% ♀ 36% %

34%

T 37%

Certain names and mascots may be considered offensive by some groups, but there are longstanding traditions surrounding many of and these teams and changing them would do damage to the brand and upset the fanbase. 23%

17%

13%

0%

12% 19%

18%

♂ 21% ♀ 17% %

29%

T 18%

These names and mascots are not offensive and, if anything, are celebrations of Native American culture. 16%

20%

18%

0%

18% 16%

22%

♂ 20% ♀ 18% %

16%

T 18%

Unsure / no opinion 10% 16%

16%

38%

20% 16%

13%

♂ 12% ♀ 16% %

9%

T 15%

243


Should businesses be able to deny service to customers based on religious beliefs? Yes 17%

17%

20%

11% 19%

13%

♂ 24% ♀ 7% % 715% 15%

T

14%

No 78%

72%

72%

83% 67%

88% 79%

♂ 70% ♀ 83% %

79%

T 76%

Unsure / no opinion 6%

11% 8%

244

0%

6% 14%

7%

♂ 7% %

6%

♀ 10%

T 8%


Which of the following statements best matches your own stance on the issue of abortion? I am pro-life. I believe that life begins at conception and thus abortion should be made illegal regardless of the circumstances. 8%

6% 10%

8% 8%

0% 8%

♂ 6% 0 3% %

♀ 9%

T 7%

I am pro-life and believe abortions should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother. 20%

17%

15%

0%

14% 16%

19%

♂ 18% ♀ 18% %

24%

T 18%

I am pro-choice, but I believe legal abortions should only be performed in the first two trimesters. 23%

25%

25%

13%

49% 41%

18%

♂ 27% ♀ 32% %

15%

T 29%

I am pro-choice, as I believe a woman should have full control over her body. 42%

48%

43%

88%

28% 31%

49%

♂ 44% ♀ 37% %

56%

T 42%

Unsure / no opinion 7%

4% 8%

0%

2% 5%

6%

♂ 4% %

3%

♀ 5%

T 5%

245


The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. There is a movement afoot to have it raised to $15/hour. Which of the following best matches your views on such a proposal? I support such a plan. It is long overdue, the minimum wage should be a living wage. 23%

19%

28%

50%

20% 25%

14%

♂ 22% ♀ 17% %

16%

T 20%

I support raising the minimum wage, but a jump to $15 may be too much to do all at once. Businesses should be given more time to adjust their costs. 34%

45%

30%

25%

52% 36%

51%

♂ 37% ♀ 49% %

41%

T 42%

I would be against this plan. I believe such a wage hike would simply result in either a major increase in unemployment and/or corresponding price increases that would negate any improvements in the standard of living. 23%

16%

18%

13%

18% 23%

14%

♂ 22% ♀ 16% %

21%

T 19%

I do not support any plan to raise the minimum wage because most jobs that pay this wage are designed primarily for young workers who get such jobs to gain experience and do not need to support a family on their earnings. 13%

8%

11%

0%

8% 6%

10%

♂ 13% ♀ 7% %

13%

T 10%

Unsure / no opinion 8%

12% 13%

246

13%

2% 9%

11%

♂ 7% %

9%

♀ 11%

T 9%


Should the US military allow women to serve in combat roles? Yes 96%

85%

84%

100%

91% 94%

90%

♂ 88% ♀ 91% %

91%

T 90%

No 3%

8% 11%

0%

8% 2%

4%

♂ 7% %

6%

♀ 5%

T 6%

Unsure / no opinion 1%

8% 5%

0%

2% 5%

6%

♂ 4% %

3%

♀ 4%

T 4%

247


Should employers be required, by law, to pay men and women identical wages for the same jobs? Yes 88%

82%

74%

94% 88%

100% 90%

♂ 77% ♀ 96% %

87%

T 87%

No 8%

12% 16%

6% 8%

0% 6%

♂ 16% ♀ 3% %

12%

T 9%

Unsure / no opinion 3%

6% 10%

248

0%

0% 5%

4%

♂ 6% %

1%

♀ 2%

T 4%


Do you feel US energy companies should continue to employ hydraulic fracking in order to exact oil and natural gas? Yes 20%

17%

15%

29% 16%

0% 21%

♂ 26% ♀ 16% %

22%

T 21%

No 35%

35%

30%

52% 30%

25% 39%

♂ 38% ♀ 40% %

41%

T 38%

Unsure / no opinion 45% 56%

48%

75%

18% 55%

40%

♂ 36% ♀ 44% %

37%

T 41%

249


Should a state-issued photo ID be required in order to cast a vote? Yes 57%

59%

49%

25%

57% 48%

67%

♂ 57% ♀ 60% %

66%

T 58%

No 21%

23%

26%

25%

37% 31%

18%

♂ 28% ♀ 22% %

13%

T 25%

Unsure / no opinion 23% 25%

250

18%

50%

6% 20%

15%

♂ 15% ♀ 18% %

21%

T 17%


Should Apple and/or other smartphone companies be required to unlock the phones of people apprehended as suspected terrorists? Yes 36%

41%

51%

51% 28%

13% 46%

♂ 34% ♀ 50% %

29%

T 41%

No 43%

43%

33%

34% 50%

50% 35%

♂ 54% ♀ 28% %

54%

T 41%

Unsure / no opinion 21% 16%

17%

38%

15% 22%

19%

♂ 13% ♀ 22% %

16%

T 18%

251


Should states be able to display the Confederate flag on government/public property? Yes 18%

24%

23%

12% 22%

0% 21%

♂ 24% ♀ 16% %

21%

T 20%

No 63%

54%

54%

69% 52%

88% 67%

♂ 61% ♀ 59% %

60%

T 61%

Unsure / no opinion 18% 23%

252

21%

13%

18% 27%

13%

♂ 15% ♀ 25% %

19%

T 20%


Which of the following statements best describes your views about gay marriage? It should be legal everywhere in the United States 81%

79%

70%

82% 88%

88% 81%

♂ 77% ♀ 82% %

78%

T 80%

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 same-sex couples. 13%

11%

16%

13%

12% 10%

10%

♂ 13% ♀ 10% %

11%

T 12%

There should be no legal recognition by any state of either marriage or civil union between two people of the same sex. 4%

4% 7%

0%

3% 0%

7%

♂ 4% %

3%

♀ 4%

T 4%

Unsure / no opinion 3%

6% 7%

0%

3% 1%

3%

♂ 5% %

%8

♀ 4%

T 4%

253


< 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 2%

0% 2%

0%

0% 0%

1%

♂ 1% %

0%

♀ 1%

T 1%

Between 8 and 9 3%

8% 7%

0%

0% 6%

3%

♂ 4% %

7%

♀ 5%

T 5%

Between 7 and 8 33%

28%

31%

34% 34%

13% 25%

♂ 36% ♀ 27% %

31%

T 31%

Between 6 and 7 35%

43%

43%

38%

45% 31%

43%

♂ 40% ♀ 42% %

41%

T 41%

Between 5 and 6 20%

17%

13%

50%

22% 22%

21%

♂ 16% ♀ 20% %

18%

T 19%

Fewer than 5 7%

4% 5%

254

0%

0% 6%

7%

♂ 3% %

3%

♀ 6%

T 4%


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 8%

4% 2%

13%

12% 8%

7%

♂ 5% %

6%

♀ 8%

T 7%

Between 6 and 10 15%

11%

20%

13%

28% 11%

13%

♂ 11% ♀ 21% %

9%

T 16%

Between 3 and 5 18%

20%

13%

38%

31% 23%

22%

♂ 20% ♀ 22% %

16%

T 21%

1 or 2 33%

34%

30%

13%

20% 38%

26%

♂ 33% ♀ 30% %

41%

T 31%

None 28% 36%

30%

25%

9% 20%

32%

♂ 30% ♀ 20% %

28%

T 25%

255


How many books did you read last summer (not counting any required reading)? More than 10 12%

8%

18%

13%

12% 8%

6%

♂ 9% %

9%

♀ 12%

T 10%

Between 6 and 10 16%

10%

11%

13%

26% 19%

15%

♂ 12% ♀ 20% %

6%

T 15%

Between 3 and 5 27%

28%

21%

38%

37% 36%

28%

♂ 26% ♀ 32% %

24%

T 29%

1 or 2 28%

27%

25%

13%

23% 23%

31%

♂ 27% ♀ 26% %

29%

T 26%

None 18% 25%

256

27%

25%

2% 14%

21%

♂ 27% ♀ 10% %

32%

T 19%


Which was typically your favorite day of the week this past school year? Sunday 5%

8% 5%

22% 8%

25% 6%

♂ 5% %

7%

♀ 13%

T 9%

Monday 1%

1% 2%

3% 0%

0% 1%

♂ 1% %

0%

♀ 2%

T 1%

Tuesday 12%

6%

8%

13%

12% 17%

4%

♂ 7% %

4%

♀ 11%

T 9%

Wednesday 6%

6% 7%

0%

6% 5%

7%

♂ 3% %

4%

♀ 9%

T 6%

257


Thursday 5%

6% 7%

25%

5% 2%

6%

♂ 4% %

9%

♀ 6%

T 5%

Friday 22%

23%

25%

0%

22% 20%

17%

♂ 22% ♀ 23% %

28%

T 22%

Saturday 48%

50%

44%

25%

29% 48%

58%

♂ 56% ♀ 35% %

46%

T 45%

Unsure / no opinion 2%

1% 3%

258

13%

2% 0%

1%

♂ 2% %

1%

♀ 1%

T 2%


Which dormitory do you feel is the best one in which to live? The Athenaeum 13%

3%

18%

0%

11% 3%

6%

♂ 5% %

3%

♀ 11%

T 8%

Bicknell House 25%

25%

25%

8% 17%

25% 29%

♂ 35% ♀ 7% %

28%

T 22%

Cartwright House 13%

15%

10%

0%

9% 14%

14%

♂ 1% %

18%

♀ 27%

T 13%

Culter House 9%

17% 7%

13%

5% 28%

13%

♂ 8% %

7%

♀ 16%

T 12%

Ellsworth 2nd 2%

8% 5%

0%

5% 8%

1%

♂ 1% %

7%

♀ 9%

T 5%

259


Ellsworth 3rd 2%

3% 7%

13%

0% 0%

1%

♂ 3% %

3%

♀ 1%

T 2%

Hobart Hall 1%

2% 2%

0%

0% 3%

1%

♂ 2% %

0%

♀ 0%

T 1%

Long House 7%

10% 3%

9% 6%

25% 6%

♂ 9% %

18%

♀ 7%

T 8%

North Hall 6%

10% 2%

0%

3% 5%

14%

♂ 12% ♀ 3% %

12%

T 7%

Wood House 3%

3% 3%

0%

3% 3%

3%

♂ 5% %

1%

♀ 1%

T 3%

Unsure / no opinion 22% 20%

260

3%

25%

48% 13%

13%

♂ 18% ♀ %19 %

3%

T 19%


Do you eat breakfast on school days? Almost always 42%

41%

39%

13%

46% 39%

39%

♂ 41% ♀ 45% %

47%

T 42%

More often than not 8%

10% 11%

12% 13%

25% 3%

♂ 8% %

12%

♀ 11%

T 10%

Occasionally 18%

13%

15%

13%

5% 13%

18%

♂ 14% ♀ 13% %

16%

T 13%

Not very often 13%

10%

16%

13%

9% 11%

7%

♂ 12% ♀ 9% %

10%

T 11%

Almost never 19% 18%

26%

38%

28% 25%

33%

♂ 26% ♀ 22% %

15%

T 24%

261


How do you feel, generally speaking, about sit-down meals? They are my most enjoyable dining experience, and I would like to see us have more of them. 5%

4% 0%

0%

11% 8%

4%

♂ 6% %

6%

♀ 6%

T 6%

I like that we have them, but I wouldn’t want to have any more than our currently scheduled three a week. 44%

46%

30%

25%

38% 42%

50%

♂ 43% ♀ 46% %

56%

T 44%

I feel that they tend to be our least pleasant meals, and I would prefer not to have them excpet on very rare occasions like Vespers and Grandparents Day. 36%

27%

54%

25%

18% 30%

22%

♂ 31% ♀ 26% %

21%

T 28%

I would not not mind if they disappeared altogether. 13%

21%

15%

50%

8% 17%

22%

♂ 18% ♀ 11% %

15%

T 15%

Unsure / no opinion 3%

2% 2%

262

0%

25% 3%

1%

♂ 2% %

3%

♀ 11%

T 7%


Have you been in the new Center for Technology, Innovation & Creativity (CTIC, aka “Maker Space”) located in KFAC? Yes 88%

83%

92%

66% 80%

75% 83%

♂ 85% ♀ 78% %

85%

T 81%

No 13%

17%

8%

25%

34% 20%

17%

♂ 15% ♀ 22% %

15%

T 19%

Have you produced anything in the new CTIC? Yes 46%

46%

67%

63%

8% 36%

32%

♂ 48% ♀ 27% %

50%

T 38%

No 54% 33%

54%

38%

92% 64%

68%

♂ 52% ♀ 73% %

50%

T 62%

263


What was Yuki’s greatest character portrayal this year? Yuki as God 23%

30%

15%

50%

18% 28%

44%

♂ 25% ♀ 24% %

18%

T 25%

Yuki as Oberon, King of Fairies 23%

21%

31%

13%

% 17%

15%

♂ 21% ♀ 22% %

26%

T 21%

Yuki as Yuki 35%

30%

38%

0%

37% 34%

26%

♂ 31% ♀ 37% %

31%

T 33%

What the heck are you even talking about?! 19% 16%

264

19%

38%

29% 20%

14%

♂ 23% ♀ 18% %

25%

T 21%


[The remaining questions in this section of the survey were asked only of WRA 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%

48%

39%

14% 45%

50%

♂ 54% ♀ 43% %

56%

T 48%

No 42%

57%

41%

51%

44%

39%

♂ 38% ♀ 45% %

34%

T 42%

I would like to plead the 5th! 10% 10%

29%

11% 11%

11%

♂ 8% %

10%

♀ 12%

T11%

265


How much TV or online entertainment (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc.) do you typically watch each week while school is in session? More than 10 hours 8%

14%

17% 15%

13%

11%

♂ 15% ♀ 9% %

12%

T 12%

8-10 hours 5%

7% 5%

0% 8%

1%

♂ 7% %

10%

♀ 5%

T 6%

6-8 hours 15%

14%

5%

10%

3%

11%

♂ 9% %

13%

♀ 10%

T 9%

4-6 hours 18% 15%

266

0%

17% 17%

17%

♂ 15% ♀ 20% %

19%

T 17%


2-4 hours 26%

43%

23%

20%

30%

25%

♂ 22% ♀ 25% %

22%

T 24%

1-2 hours 17%

0%

15%

18%

11%

18%

♂ 17% ♀ 16% %

16%

T 16%

Less than an hour 9%

14%

11% 11%

14%

13%

♂ 10% ♀ 10% %

3%

T 10%

None 3%

14%

6% 7%

5%

4%

♂ 4% %

4%

♀ 5%

T 5%

267


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. 63%

86%

54%

80%

59%

51%

♂ 59% ♀ 56% %

44%

T 58%

I have never used any banned substance (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.) on campus, but I have off campus. 20%

0%

21%

10%

22%

32%

♂ 19% ♀ 24% %

18%

T 21%

I have used a banned substance on campus but have never been caught. 17%

14%

20%

8%

13%

17%

♂ 19% ♀ 18% %

35%

T 18%

I have used a banned substance on campus and have been caught. 0% 2%

268

0%

5% 6%

0%

♂ 3% %

3%

♀ 2%

T 3%


Have you at any time during the current academic year (2015-2016) violated the school’s policy regarding academic honesty (i.e. cheated on a homework assignment, quiz, test, paper, etc.)? No. 78%

71%

73%

80%

73%

81%

♂ 71% ♀ 80% %

66%

T 75%

Yes, and I got away with it. 23%

25%

18%

29% 27%

18%

♂ 27% ♀ 20% %

32%

T 24%

Yes, but I was caught. 0%

0%

2% 2%

0%

1%

♂ 2% %

1%

♀ 0%

T 1%

269


Have you ever violated the school’s transportation policy (i.e. “Transpo”)? (In other words, if you are a day student have 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 38%

57%

52%

15%

44%

50%

♂ 41% ♀ 50% %

71%

T 46%

No 62%

43%

48%

85%

56%

50%

♂ 59% ♀ 50% %

29%

T 54%

Do you believe that Reserve’s prefects, generally speaking, model what an ideal WRA student should be? Yes 42%

14%

37%

41%

28%

47%

♂ 38% ♀ 42% %

40%

T 39%

No 30%

43%

46%

28%

41%

36%

♂ 43% ♀ 34% %

49%

T 38%

Unsure 28% 31%

270

43%

17% 31%

17%

♂ 19% ♀ 25% %

12%

T 22%


Do you know who the Morgan Leaders are and what they do?? Yes and yes. 53%

0%

31%

38%

28%

53%

♂ 41% ♀ 43% %

44%

T 41%

I know who they are but not what they do. 33%

43%

40%

46%

39%

28%

♂ 32% ♀ 42% %

37%

T 37%

I don’t know who they are. As for what they do, presumably they are secretly in control of the school. 4%

14%

8% 3%

14%

3%

♂ 7% %

6%

♀ 6%

T 6%

I’ve heard of them . . . but no clue really. 6%

29%

16% 5%

16%

15%

♂ 15% ♀ 7% %

9%

T 11%

Who are these “Morgan Leaders” to whom you refer? 3%

14%

5% 8%

3%

1%

♂ 5% %

4%

♀ 2%

T 4% 271


Do you obey the school’s dress code? Every day, and it’s annoying that others do not. 33%

29%

41%

14% 28%

28%

♂ 44% ♀ 16% %

26%

T 31%

Generally speaking, but I do let things slip from time to time. 54%

61%

51%

71% 59%

58%

♂ 46% ♀ 70% %

63%

T 58%

Rarely, I think the dress code is unreasonable. 7%

14%

6% 5%

6%

11%

♂ 7% %

3%

♀ 6%

T 6%

Never. But I look good enough—so chill! 7% 3%

272

0%

3% 6%

3%

♂ 3% %

7%

♀ 7%

T 5%


Which academic activity do you find the most personally rewarding and enjoyable? Studying literature and writing about it 18%

14%

7%

29% 17%

24%

♂ 9% %

16%

♀ 24%

T 16%

Learning a foreign language 10%

11%

18%

14% 6%

11%

♂ 9% %

7%

♀ 12%

T 11%

Historical inquiry 17%

14%

14%

5%

22%

13%

♂ 18% ♀ 12% %

21%

T 15%

Mathematics 18% 16%

14%

15% 13%

21%

♂ 20% ♀ 12% %

15%

T 16%

273


Scientific inquiry and experimentation 21%

14%

30%

31%

25%

18%

♂ 29% ♀ 23% %

29%

T 26%

Did you say “enjoyable,” . . . really? 13%

0%

10%

20%

13%

6%

♂ 13% ♀ 11% %

9%

T 11%

Unsure / no opinion 4% 3%

274

14%

6% 5%

8%

♂ 4% %

3%

♀ 6%

T 5%


Which best describes you? I am the first person in my family ever to attend WRA. 53%

71%

77%

62%

70%

65%

♂ 63% ♀ 69% %

66%

T 66%

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). 4%

0%

3% 3%

5%

3%

♂ 5% %

3%

♀ 2%

T 3%

Neither / None of my parents attended WRA, but I do have a sibling (or siblings) who preceded me here. 26%

14%

10%

25%

16%

17%

♂ 21% ♀ 14% %

13%

T 17%

I had a parent who attended WRA, but I am their first/only child to also attend. 9%

0%

7% 7%

6%

8%

♂ 7% %

10%

♀ 9%

T 8%

I had a parent who attended WRA, and I also had a sibling here before me. 8%

3% 3%

14% 3%

7%

♂ 4% %

7%

♀ 7%

T 5% 275


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. 54%

43%

48%

14% 47%

57%

♂ 49% ♀ 49% %

40%

T 48%

I wanted to come to school here, and it is okay here. 33%

71%

36%

34%

33%

32%

♂ 37% ♀ 30% %

38%

T 34%

I wanted to come to WRA, but now I wish I’d chosen a different school. 5%

0%

6% 5%

5%

6%

♂ 4% %

6%

♀ 7%

T 5%

I did not want to come to WRA, but I have actually come to like it here. 7%

14%

13% 8%

13%

6%

♂ 8% %

15%

♀ 12%

T 10%

I did not want to attend WRA and still do not want to be here . . . blame my parents! 2% 5%

276

0%

3% 3%

0%

♂ 3% %

1%

♀ 2%

T 2%


Do you feel as though your WRA education is preparing (or has prepared) you well for college or university success? Yes 57%

59%

33%

43% 41%

72%

♂ 57% ♀ 61% %

82%

T 58%

No 2%

5% 3%

0% 8%

0%

♂ 5% %

3%

♀ 2%

T 3%

Too early to say 40%

43%

32%

64%

47%

25%

♂ 37% ♀ 34% %

12%

T 36%

Not sure 2%

14%

3% 0%

5%

3%

♂ 1% %

3%

♀ 3%

T 3%

277


< As a Private Individual > Which of the following best describes your religious beliefs and/or practices? Catholic 29%

18%

23%

0%

22% 22%

26%

♂ 20% ♀ 27% %

21%

T 23%

Protestant 12%

%

12%

8%

0%

18% 8%

18%

♂ 10% ♀ 16% %

12%

T 13%

Jewish 3%

2% 5%

0%

3% 0%

1%

♂ 3% %

4%

♀ 3%

T 3%

Muslim 2%

2% 3%

278

0%

0% 0%

1%

♂ 2% %

3%

♀ 1%

T 2%


Hindu 2%

3% 3%

0%

0% 2%

0%

♂ 3% %

4%

♀ 1%

T 2%

Buddhist 1%

3% 2%

0% 3%

0% 1%

♂ 0% %

1%

♀ 3%

T 2%

Spritual, but not currently a practicing member of any formal religion or denomination 12%

17%

11%

28% 11%

38% 18%

♂ 15% ♀ 19% %

18%

T 17%

Atheist / Agnostic 33%

32%

31%

63%

22% 44%

25%

♂ 36% ♀ 23% %

31%

T 30%

Other 8%

11% 13%

0%

8% 11%

8%

♂ 11% ♀ 8% %

6%

T 9%

279


Which of the following best describes your typical eating habits?? Omnivore 33%

41%

38%

25%

52% 27%

38%

♂ 45% ♀ 36% %

47%

T 40%

Flexitarian 6%

4% 5%

13%

15% 6%

4%

♂ 4% %

4%

♀ 10%

T 7%

Pescetarian 1%

1% 0%

0%

2% 3%

0%

♂ 1% %

1%

♀ 2%

T 1%

Vegetarian 4%

3% 2%

280

0%

5% 5%

8%

♂ 2% %

0%

♀ 6%

T 4%


Vegan 0%

1% 0%

0%

0% 2%

0%

♂ 1% %

1%

♀ 1%

T 1%

Paleo 0%

1% 0%

0%

2% 0%

0%

♂ 0% %

1%

♀ 1%

T 1%

I will eat anything that put in front of me. Om nom nom. 54%

41%

52%

50%

22% 53%

46%

♂ 46% ♀ 38% %

38%

T 42%

Unsure 3%

6% 3%

13%

3% 5%

4%

♂ 2% %

6%

♀ 6%

T 4%

281


Which of the following colors most appeals to you? Red 10%

7%

5%

0%

2% 8%

13%

♂ 12% ♀ 2% %

7%

T 7%

Blue 40%

32%

39%

50%

45% 30%

38%

♂ 40% ♀ 34% %

37%

T 38%

Yellow 1%

7% 2%

0%

6% 3%

6%

♂ 2% %

6%

♀ 7%

T 5%

Green 14%

9%

15%

0%

20% 11%

15%

♂ 17% ♀ 9% %

4%

T 13%

Orange 4%

3% 2%

282

0%

6% 8%

0%

♂ 5% %

4%

♀ 3%

T 4%


Purple 9%

8% 7%

0%

8% 8%

7%

♂ 4% %

12%

♀ 13%

T 8%

Pink 8%

7% 10%

0%

5% 5%

10%

♂ 2% %

6%

♀ 13%

T 7%

Black 8%

15% 13%

5% 14%

25% 7%

♂ 9% %

13%

♀ 11%

T 10%

White 3%

6% 2%

0%

3% 9%

1%

♂ 4% %

4%

♀ 4%

T 4%

None of the above / no opinion 3%

7% 7%

25%

2% 5%

4%

♂ 4% %

6%

♀ 4%

T 5%

283


How would you rate your own looks on a scale of 1 (hideous) to 10 (drop-dead gorgeous)? 10 10%

14%

11%

0%

2% 14%

10%

♂ 15% ♀ 5% %

13%

T 10%

8-9 18%

25%

18%

0%

11% 19%

21%

♂ 22% ♀ 18% %

28%

T 19%

6-7 47%

37%

51%

50%

66% 36%

46%

♂ 41% ♀ 51% %

34%

T 46%

4-5 22%

17%

15%

38%

18% 17%

24%

♂ 16% ♀ 21% %

19%

T 19%

1-3 4%

8% 5%

284

13%

3% 14%

0%

♂ 5% %

6%

♀ 5%

T 5%


Are you currently in a relationship? Yes 23%

32%

20%

50%

85% 20%

33%

♂ 34% ♀ 44% %

38%

T 39%

No 77%

68%

80%

50%

15% 80%

67%

♂ 66% ♀ 56% %

62%

T 61%

Do you currently have a secret crush? Yes 61%

55%

59%

38%

17% 64%

53%

♂ 52% ♀ 48% %

56%

T 50%

No 39% 41%

45%

63%

83% 36%

47%

♂ 48% ♀ 52% %

44%

T 50%

285


Would you rather . . . ? Find true love 51%

47%

46%

25%

52% 52%

47%

♂ 43% ♀ 57% %

50%

T 49%

Find $10 million 44%

52%

52%

75%

32% 45%

47%

♂ 49% ♀ 39% %

49%

T 45%

Unsure / no opinion 5%

1% 2%

286

0%

15% 3%

6%

♂ 7% %

1%

♀ 4%

T 5%


Pick your power . . . Ability to read people’s minds 54%

54%

49%

50%

38% 61%

56%

♂ 50% ♀ 52% %

50%

T 51%

Ability to become invisible 45%

43%

51%

50%

55% 36%

44%

♂ 47% ♀ 46% %

46%

T 46%

Unsure / no opinion 1%

3% 0%

0%

6% 3%

0%

♂ 3% %

4%

♀ 3%

T 3%

287


Have you ever had to stay overnight in a hospital (not counting when you were born)? Yes 33%

54%

39%

74% 52%

38% 42%

♂ 49% ♀ 52% %

44%

T 50%

No 68%

46%

61%

26% 48%

63% 58%

♂ 51% ♀ 48% %

56%

T 50%

Do you, regularly or occasionally, use corrective lenses to see properly? Yes 38%

54%

44%

75%

78% 39%

53%

♂ 51% ♀ 54% %

50%

T 53%

No 62% 56%

288

46%

25%

22% 61%

47%

♂ 49% ♀ 46% %

50%

T 47%


What is your favorite season? Winter 12%

13%

23%

0%

3% 9%

11%

♂ 16% ♀ 6% %

7%

T 11%

Spring 20%

23%

18%

25%

22% 14%

25%

♂ 21% ♀ 22% %

28%

T 22%

Summer 33%

30%

33%

25%

35% 31%

33%

♂ 33% ♀ 32% %

29%

T 32%

Fall 33%

29%

25%

50%

38% 38%

28%

♂ 27% ♀ 37% %

34%

T 32%

Unsure / no opinion 2%

5% 2%

0%

2% 8%

3%

♂ 3% %

1%

♀ 3%

T 3% 289


If the decision had been yours to make, to which nominated movie would you have given the “Best Picture” Academy Award for 2016? The Big Short 8%

6% 7%

6% 9%

0% 6%

♂ 9% %

7%

♀ 6%

T 7%

Bridge of Spies 3%

3% 0%

0%

9% 3%

1%

♂ 4% %

6%

♀ 4%

T 4%

Brooklyn 3%

0% 0%

0%

0% 2%

1%

♂ 0% %

1%

♀ 2%

T 1%

Mad Max: Fury Road 10%

9%

2%

13%

3% 13%

7%

♂ 12% ♀ 4% %

16%

T 8%

The Martian 18% 23%

290

15%

13%

8% 20%

10%

♂ 20% ♀ 10% %

15%

T 15%


The Revenant 15%

17%

16%

13%

9% 11%

24%

♂ 16% ♀ 13% % 1 12% T315%

Room 3%

1% 2%

3% 2%

0% 0%

♂ 1% %

3%

♀ 3%

T 2%

Spotlight 3%

1% 3%

0%

9% 0%

0%

♂ 2% %

4%

♀ 5%

T 3%

I would have selected one that was not nominated 18%

21%

23%

13%

14% 16%

24%

♂ 15% ♀ 22% %

15%

T 18%

Unsure / no opinion 21% 25%

28%

50%

38% 25%

28%

♂ 23% ♀ 30% %

21%

T 27%

291


Do you think Earth has ever been visited by alien beings? Yes 45%

45%

51%

38%

23% 48%

42%

♂ 38% ♀ 43% %

40%

T 41%

No 41%

37%

39%

38%

52% 23%

46%

♂ 46% ♀ 37% %

46%

T 42%

Unsure / no opinion 14% 10%

292

18%

25%

25% 28%

13%

♂ 15% ♀ 20% %

15%

T 18%


Do you believe in ghosts? Yes 38%

38%

36%

25%

37% 31%

38%

♂ 24% ♀ 53% %

46%

T 38%

No 52%

52%

57%

25%

46% 56%

51%

♂ 66% ♀ 36% %

43%

T 51%

Unsure / no opinion 11% 7%

10%

50%

17% 13%

11%

♂ 10% ♀ 11% %

12%

T 12%

293


“I am . . . “ Right-handed 79%

87%

74%

75%

86% 89%

93%

♂ 83% ♀ 85% %

76%

T 84%

Left-handed 13%

6%

13%

13%

9% 6%

1%

♂ 11% ♀ 8% %

18%

T 9%

Ambidextrous 8%

7% 13%

294

13%

5% 5%

6%

♂ 6% %

6%

♀ 7%

T 7%


The

Viewpoints Survey was conducted online via Survey Monkey

from Monday, May 2 to Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The following demographic information is provided to help put the results into some context. Total number of surveys completed: 330 Surveys started but not completed: 49 Total respondent breakdown (completed surveys only): Students: 265 (80%) (F46%=; M=51%; Nb=3%) Day Students: 120 (45%) (F=47%; M=51%; Nb-3%) Boarding Students: 145 (55%) (F-46%; M=52%; Nb=3%) Faculty/Staff: 65 (20%) (F=55%; M=43%; Nb=2%) Female: 158 (48%) Male: 164 (50%) Non-binary: 8 (2%) Composition of student respondents: Freshmen: 61 (23%) (F=43%; M=54%; Nb=3%) Sophomores: 64 (19%) (F=48%; M=52%; Nb=0%) Juniors: 72 (27%) (F=46%; M=51%; Nb=3%) Seniors: 68 (25%) (F=47%; M=49%; Nb-4%) Live in Ohio and are U.S. citizens: 158 (60%) Live in Ohio but are not U.S. citizens: 7 (3%) Live in the U.S., outside of Ohio, and are U.S. citizens: 46 (17%) Live in the U.S., outside of Ohio, but are not U.S. citizens: 1 (0%) Live outside of U.S. but are U.S. citizens: 6 (2%) Live outside of U.S. and are not U.S. citizens: 47 (18%)

All questions required an answer in order to move on with the survey. The forty-nine surveys started but not completed were not included in the tallying of results. 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.

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ARTWORK CREDITS SIERRA GIBBONS, '16: Page 98 AERI HONG, '18: Page 47 ALEX KING, '19: Page 235 JULIA KING, '19: Pages 74, 274, 295 HANNAH LEE, '17: Pages 11, 20 KELSEY MCCRACKEN, '16: Page 94 HANNAH SAUCIER, '16: Page 118 GARRETT SCHOONER, '19: Page 269 SANDRA SPURLOCK, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;17: Pages 9, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 32, 34, 36, 41, 60, 69, 71, 77, 79, 83, 86, 88, 92, 97, 99, 103, 105, 122, 128, 131, 158, 172, 176, 178, 180, 182, 184, 187, 190, 192, 195, 199, 201, 206, 208, 210, 216, 221, 229, 230, 231, 242, 247, 250, 252, 286, 287, 292, 293, 295 LYDIA STEINER, '18: Pages 115, 265 KAI STEWART, '17: Pages 213, 218, 224, 238, 244 STEPHANIE SUN, '16: Pages 7, 203 MEGAN TAM, '17: Pages 1, 52, 58 WEMA WACHIRA, '18: Page 23 MICHAEL WANG, '17: Pages 112, 248, 249, 251, 294

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

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Viewpoints Spring 2016  

Viewpoints Spring 2016  

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