October 2019 Issue

Page 1



The student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave St. Paul, MN 55105 Volume 47. Issue 2. October 22, 2019


PHOTOS: Nikolas Liepins RED, WHITE, AND BLUE. Trump supporters gather in Target Center, nearly filling a 19,256 person stadium, cheering as they listen to multiple speakers.

Trump rally highlights political tensions NIKOLAS LIEPINS CONTRIBUTOR

The Twin Cities surged with an energetic mix of support and outrage for President Donald Trump’s re-election rally held at Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis on Oct. 10 As thousands of people flooded the area surrounding Target Center, the divisive nature of politics became increasingly prevalent. While each side of the event was heavily united within their own views, the two groups segregated themselves: everyone against President Trump was located outside, while everyone in support of the President was located inside. Despite the segregation of political views, there were pockets of anti-Trump demonstrators inside the Rally who were quickly walked out of the building after revealing themselves. Contrarily, there were few visible pro-Trump demonstrators in the crowd of protesters outside.

During his rally, President Trump spoke in support of law enforcement, protecting the Second Amendment, and his claims to continue to decrease unemployment. He also took an obligatory jab at the press, leading the crowd to scream passionate “boos” towards the Press Pit located inside the arena. Trump also took time in his rally to speak against Representative Ilhan Omar, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, among other topics in his profanity-laced address. While the interior of Target Center echoed with the laughter and cheers of Trump supporters in the sea of “Keep America Great,” “Keep America Working,” and “TRUMP PENCE 2020” signs, the exterior raged with the boos, chants, and screams of anti-Trump protesters in the ocean of signs featuring comments on everything from impeachment to his treatment of women. Many protesters also came with whis-

Additional reporting by: Julia Baron

Trump speaks on issues such as impeachment, immigration, and military presence in the Middle East.

Protesters congregate outside of Target Center in opposition to Trump’s administration.




Interrogate assumptions and misinformation about food.

Humble bragging offers a poor substitute for confidence.

Coming out stories are often told and retold.


tles, commenting on the whistle blower complainants at the forefront of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Though the demonstrations stayed peaceful throughout most of the evening, they eventually transitioned to fire-starting violent protests, which required the riot-gear-donning law enforcement to respond with pepper spray and tear gas against protesters. The environment around Target Center was a bizarre mixture of the two extremes on the political spectrum. Although intended to be a peaceful environment for individuals to express their political opinions and beliefs, it quickly became a clear metaphor for the current, polarized political climate — it was apparent that neither side of the event was open to hearing any thoughts from the other.


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FEATURE pg. 10 @TheRubiconSPA



Roles students take in election process as varied as 2020 candidates EVELYN LILLEMOE


Much of the country seems to be entranced by the 2020 presidential race. “I’ve watched almost all the Democrat debates. I’ve been following Trump. He hasn’t been doing any debates. I’ve been following that and then I’ve kind of been following all the candidates just to see,” senior Will Rathmanner said. Students are no exception. Even though less than half of the student body will be able to vote in the 2020 election, the race is as important to students as anyone. One of the most common ways to keep up with the race is through watching debates. There have been four Democratic debates so far. But, senior Aidan Lanz has a more specific approach to how he looks at candidates. “I try and look at how they kind of go up against each other more than what they agree on, I guess,” Lanz said.

NEW CLASS TEACHES HISTORY AND CURRENT POLITICS US history teacher Aaron Shulow teaches Government and Citizenship, a class that takes a direct look at the election. Students learn how the U.S. government works and apply that knowledge to understanding the current political atmosphere. This focus on understanding the way the government works is crucial to a better understanding of the 2020 race. Rathmanner, a student in the class, has used what he has learned in the class to ask questions. “We’ve had a big focus on what the powers of the government are and what the government can legally do, and what the government has the power to do. And so I’ve kind of seen the election through that lens, and it’s been making me think, does the government have the power to do… X, Y, Z?” he said. The class has changed the way senior Anjali Tadavarthy views the election, as one of their class assignments is to closely follow a presidential candidate. “I’ve always been interested in politics, but I don’t think I knew as much as I thought I did. So by having that schedule [where] you have to check in on [your chosen candidate] every week, it’s like taught me a lot not only about politicians and how [candidates] work and travel and what they talk about, but also like the whole like fact of like the caucuses and the


Results from a poll sent to all students, grades 9-12 with 24% responding

FIRST DEBATE = 44% SECOND DEBATE = 32% THIRD DEBATE = 31% UP FOR DEBATE. About a third of the student body watched at least part of the first three Democratic debates.


campaigning and how you appeal to your base,” she said. Tadavarthy is following Amy Klobuchar’s campaign for the class. With everyone following a different candidate, students learn more about all the candidates. “We get candidate updates every Monday from everyone in the class,” Tadavarthy said, “So I think that I will probably follow [the election] more closely closer to the election and the primaries, especially since I am 18 and will be able to vote. It’s really important to make informed decisions.”

ISSUE BASED PLATFORMS INFLUENCE POLITICAL FAVORITES With a staggering 23 candidates, the diversity— in experience, identity, and policy—is glaring. Students reflect this diversity in the way they learn about the election, the issues they care about, and what they are looking for in the next president. Junior Hannah LorenzMeyer hopes to find a presidential candidate that has a plan to deal with climate change. “This campaign has been more focused on climate change than past presidential elections, but I think it needs to be...because it is so important. But I also think obviously, the big ones like health care and immigration are also important. But I think climate change is really important too,” Lorenz-Meyer said. Tadavarthy is just forming



what she will focus on this election. So early into the race, she acknowledges she doesn’t know everything, but she still has issues that are important to her.


Aidan Lanz

“As of now, I think it’s really important that we fix our gun control… I think human rights are a big issue and climate change is a big issue... but I know that I’m also not the most well informed voter at this point,” Narayan said. “I don’t live in the ‘real world’ yet. I’m still a high schooler. So I think that as the campaign goes on, I will look more into the issues and research more and come out, as a better informed voter.” One thing she is sure about is that she is looking for a candidate who has a focus on working with both sides of the political spectrum. Lanz has a similar hope: “I’m looking for sanity, and somebody who really has all of America’s interest in mind and who’s willing to work with both sides,” Lanz said. Rathmanner is focused on the economy and international affairs. “Most of all, I’m looking for an economic plan to sustain





IS THE FUTURE FEMALE? US students reported most interest in Democratic female presidential candidates, with Elizabeth Warren in the lead. POLL DATA: Evelyn Lillemoe INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN: Kathryn Campbell, Quinn Christensen

the growing economy that we have right now. Because right now, it’s pretty good. So I’m looking for a continuation of that economy. I’m looking for someone who will be tough on China, tough on Russia, and tough on North Korea, because I see those three powers as being kind of authoritarian and running a little unchecked. And so I want to see that handled. Even with Trump, I want to see that handled better than he currently has been doing,” Rathmanner said. Rathmanner identifies as a Republican and feels his opinions will be best represented by a Republican candidate. Still, he is keeping his options open. “Trump is probably going to get the candidacy and, as a Republican, he interests me. But on the Democrat side, I’d say my favorite candidates that I like to at least listen to are Andrew Yang, because he’s got an unorthodox plan... and I like Tulsi Gabbard as well. But I’m assuming that Trump will win the Republican nomination and as a Republican, that’s generally how I lean,” Rathmanner said.

LEARNING ABOUT PROCESS IS KEY TO VOTING SMART Sophomore Milo Zelle already has one candidate in mind. “I kind of got involved with [Andrew Yang’s] campaign over the summer,” Zelle said. Young people’s involvement in politics has been on the rise. Students at SPA are

undoubtedly following that trend. Lorenz-Meyer thinks that it’s good for young people to be aware of and involved in politics. “We’re going to be able to vote in the future. And I think it’s important to be informed as early as possible about the system. Because it’s kind of confusing. And especially year, [because] there’s a lot of candidates. So it’s good practice to see what you look for in a candidate. And also, even though we can’t vote, we can help inform other people who can vote,” Lorenz-Meyer said. Tadavarthy has similar thoughts. She feels education on politics is key. “Right now, it’s always like, ‘I’m Republican,’ ‘I’m a Democrat,’ ‘and that’s all I know.’ But what about everything else about the government? What about how we get elected? What about how they work together? What about, the structure of our government? If every person over 18 knew just a little bit more, I think would be in such a better place,” Tadavarthy said. Zelle sees that the impact of young people’s decisions today will change the world. “I think that more kids should get involved in politics and get involved in following the election. Even if you don’t have a candidate or you don’t really know what you believe yet, I think it’s still important to look at what’s happening in the world and to stay informed because the things that are happening now will continue to shape our country for many years to come,” Zelle said.



PHOTO REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION: SMUGMUG MINGLE. Seniors Nina Smetana performs with A Cappella club.

Upper school opening showcases student talent MELISSA NIE


Featuring an elaborate ice sculpture, live painting artists and more, the Upper School Grand Opening on Oct. 12 celebrated the official completion of the Upper School. “The construction of the Upper School represents an enormous achievement for the school. We now have state of the art facilities in virtually every department. We’ve got the best students, teachers and facilities,” Head of School Bryn Roberts said. Guests arrived at about 6:30 p.m., while student volunteers and faculty showed up an hour

or more before the event to set up their displays. Seniors Ashley Su and Celeste Parke-Reimer arrived at 5:30 p.m. to prepare for a live painting demonstration in the upper level of the Schilling Center. “I got my boards and papers ready, and me, Celeste and Mr. Lowman moved easels over to the Schilling Center, where we were gonna be standing for the rest of the night,” Su said. Su painted a picture of a woman looking away from the viewer against a blue backdrop, cherry blossoms blooming above her head. “I started with an idea of what I wanted to do, and then

I sketched it out. Before, I was really nervous and stressed because I wanted to show people something good, and I was scared I was going to mess up. After I got going, I started taking a more creative stand and started caring a little bit less. A couple of people stopped and asked a few questions... but most people just walked by and complimented it. I feel like it was less of a showcase and more of me getting time to do something I like,” she said. “I think that as a whole, it’s important to just showcase as many different types of work as we can,” Upper School Art teacher Stefanie Motta said.

Seniors Nina Smetana and Ananya Narayan, members of A Capella, performed songs for audiences six times throughout the night for each rotation. It was A Capella’s first performance with new ninth-grade members this year. “The first time was sort of nerve-wracking, but by the sixth performance we had done it so many times that we could probably sing our set list in our sleep. And at that point sleeping was exactly what we were ready to do,” Smetana said. Narayan found herself enjoying her role in the Grand Opening.



“It was a lot of fun to sing for everyone, and everyone had such a good time listening to us too,” she said. At the Poetry Out Loud station, juniors Gavin Kimmel, Nikolas Liepins and Upper School English teacher Philip de Sa e Silva shared their knowledge of poems with

guests through recitations and discussions. Kimmel said, “We talked about poetry with them and introduced them to what Poetry Out Loud was. We did recitations of our poems from last year, and it was kind of fun to revisit those. Then we took turns talking about poems that we wanted to do this year. So we recited them once and then talked about them and we opened it up to our guests to see if they had anything to say.” The input was helpful: “Some of the insights that people gave us were really, really cool,” Kimmel said, “because not only was it an outside perspective, but people had personal connections to the poems.” Over at the language department, Chinese students invited guests to play Mahjong, a traditional tile-based game, while the French students presented the work they did on Jean Giraudoux’s “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” the upcoming fall play. Senior Aidan Lanz was there as a French student: “We got to talk to some of the parents and donors about the projects we were working on in French and about the exchange we went on last year. They shared some of their stories too and we had a good time.” The night ended at 9 p.m. As students and guests alike trickled out through the Huss doors, senior Ananya Narayan offered her thoughts: “It was a great opportunity to show everything that the school has to offer.”

Preparation for PSAT causes stress among juniors JENNY RIES


Junior year is full of traditions. The eleventh grade at Saint Paul Academy has its own distinct rites of passage, such as Junior Retreat, gaining senior privileges in May, and finding out senior speech dates. It is also a time when many students take standardized tests. On Oct. 16, many juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT. This test is used as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, as well as a practice opportunity for the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). But the test, which each year is taken by the majority of the junior class on the same day, has been known to affect academic culture in the upper school. Because of its timing, the test may add to end-of quarter stress for many junior students. “I think there’s a lot of energy around it, frankly. And, you know, for better or worse, the PSAT day, the designated national day, tends to be right at the end of the first quarter. So, what’s unfortunate there is a lot of energy for students wrapping up tests and quizzes and such at the same time,” Mary

Hill, Director of College Counseling, said. Hill also pointed out that, at times, students add unnecessary stress to the PSAT experience. “I think, frankly, sometimes students make it bigger than it is. Meaning, it really is primarily practice, It’s there for students’ benefit to give them a test, an environment, in which to further gain some confidence and familiarity with testing before they go into doing their so-called ‘real’ tests. So it’s not some big hurdle or gateway… other than the, sort of, at-the-margins element of the National Merit process,” she said. The way that this energy plays out tends to be similar from year to year. On whether different years respond differently to the PSAT stress-wise, Hill said, “I think it’s pretty standard.” Junior Luka Shaker-Check said that he is not very stressed about the PSAT, as he is using it as practice first and foremost. “I guess [I am] a little bit [stressed], but not as much as I’d be stressed for the actual SAT or something like that,”

PSAT Student Summary St. Paul Academy Seniors


of the class of 2020 at SPA were recognized by National Merit

According to the Princeton Review


students are National Merit Semifinalists each year


3.5 million

of National Merit Semifinalists receive students take the PSAT scholarships each year


students receive Letters of Commendation each year

Shaker-Check said. “I am not going for National Merit, so… it’s sort of more of a gauging point of where I’m at.” Hill also noted that some students who plan to take the ACT may not consider taking the PSAT worth their while, but that this is not necessarily accurate. She said, “In recent years, with changes to both test formats, meaning the SAT and ACT, the test content is more similar than dissimilar. So there actually are some car-

ryover benefits of taking the PSAT for someone taking the ACT.” In recent years, some colleges have began to go test-optional, meaning that they no longer require standardized tests for admission. “I think people in my line of work really applaud the growth in the number of colleges that are now test optional...And that just simply is a reflection of the recognition that testing is not always the right way to


of the class of 2019 at SPA were recognized by National Merit

INFOGRAPHIC: Maren Ostrem capture a person’s abilities. Colleges that have gone test optional are really… walking the walk about saying ‘we want to provide students opportunities to show their strengths in ways that really reflect who they are,’ ” Hill said. While most juniors will take the PSAT, with the majority of them coming into contact with test-related stress, it remains up to them what weight they put in the PSAT.



club Stop fishing for compliments Outdoors leads way with MINI EDS:

Practice self love instead

EDITORIAL CARTOON: Adrienne Gaylord REELING IT IN. Fishing for compliments is a common method of searching for validation, but it’s unproductive. Self love should be emphasized rather than relying on others to feel confident. EDITORIAL


What is the appropriate response to “I look so ugly today?” How about “I did so bad on the math test, I only got a 90%?” Comparison and competition are familiar experiences, as is the desire to be seen as effortlessly successful in both social and academic environments. This desire often manifests itself as what’s become known as “fishing for compliments” or “humble bragging.” These tactics include saying ‘I’m not funny, no one laughs at my jokes’ or ‘I can squat like 70 pounds easy, I should be able to do more’ with the sole motivation of receiving compliments or bragging about yourself. Psychologists from a Harvard and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill study understand the humble brag as a way to appear

likable while still flexing accomplishments to others. The humble brag creates a feeling of dishonesty around compliments. The responses often aren’t genuine either, becoming just a way to placate an uncomfortable situation. ‘No, you look great’ or ‘70 pounds is a lot’ or a simple laugh are often the responses that these comments elicit. Not only does this create an uncomfortable situation for the friends, but it also forces them to expend energy to try and make the commenter feel better. It also can make the listener feel bad if they can’t relate to the person’s brag. The Harvard and UNC study found that people don’t respond positively to the insincerity of humble bragging. When presented with a direct brag and a humble brag, participants responded more positively to the direct brag. “People don’t like braggers,

PEOPLE DON’T RESPOND POSITIVELY TO THE INSINCERITY OF HUMBLE BRAGGING. but they at least see them as more sincere than humble braggers,” Psychological and Brain Sciences professor Susan Krauss Whitborne said. The issue is that the motivation of humble bragging is trying to receive a compliment. Whether it’s to make themselves feel better or have the other person validate how they already feel or to have someone else know how good their life is that a destination like New York might be boring, it’s not sincere. Instead of cultivating vulnerability by sharing how

you truly feel about yourself or an insecurity, it is merely about trying to gain something from the interaction. This strips meaning from the interaction, making it insincere and making the other person feel used. It is important to remember to withhold from humble brags surrounding academics just as much as appearance, personality or experience. As students begin receiving their ACT and SAT scores, the need to resist comparison increases. Saying ‘I did so bad on the ACT, I only got a 30’ is the same fishing for compliments that can make others feel bad. Not only if they got a lower score but also because it creates a power dynamic by putting someone in a position where they need to comfort you. This, too, is insincere because knowing you have a good score and humble bragging is only a superficial way to boost ego. Everybody experiences humble bragging in some way or another. In a survey by the Harvard and UNC researchers, 92% of participants had heard a humble brag over the course of a week. Outsourcing validation from other people won’t make you feel better about yourself in a meaningful way. The impacts of compliments solicited are short-lasting and possibly insincere. So is the confidence gained by bragging about an achievement. It is an easy pattern to fall into: basing self worth on other people’s perspectives. It’s hard to feel confident enough or find this self-validation overnight. Selflove takes time and effort. But other people’s opinions won’t work to achieve this. This is not to say you shouldn’t feel good when someone gives you a compliment, but don’t let it determine your self-worth. Make compliments meaningful and resist from trying to solicit them.

community engagement

The beginning of the school year has seen many new clubs emerging as well as old clubs returning. One club has been particularly active, with the Outdoors club having already held a photo competition and a hiking outing. Clubs are supposed to be about bringing the community together around common interests, but so far, this year, clubs have remained largely inactive. While the first quarter comes to an end, it is important that clubs follow Outdoors club’s example. Throughout the rest of the year, as students settle into their clubs for the year, don’t forget to engage with people outside of the club. By planning activities that the entire community can enjoy, and being ambitious, clubs can help unite the St. Paul Academy community.

Construction is over, the fight for accessibility is not With construction entirely finished across the Randolph Campus, things are functional, and pristine. However, not all students are able to fully enjoy the St. Paul Academy facilities. Students who are not able to use stairs have no way of reaching the athletic hallway, as their is still no elevator or ramp going below the main floor. This is unacceptable, as the SPA campus should be open and accessible for all. Not having an elevator or ramp to the athletic hallway means that students with injuries or disabilities can’t use the locker rooms, the weight rooms, or utilize the school’s trainer, without a struggle, making them far less likely to use these resources.


Quinn Christensen Evelyn Lillemoe Lucy Benson Julia Baron, Charlie Johnson Maren Ostrem Meagan Massie Lizzie Kristal Sharee Roman Jenny Ries Salah Abdulkarim, Tommy Stolpestad Eloise Duncan Adrienne Gaylord


Melissa Nie Noah Raaum Lynn Reynolds Bobby Verhey Liv Larsen, Elizabeth Trevathan Tana Ososki, Lara Cayci Annika Rock, Elle Chen Lucia Granja, Zekiah Juliusson Sam Hanson Martha Sanchez, Will Schavee Henry Burkhardt



Megan Erickson



Coaches need more mental health training CHARLIE JOHNSON

their sports which can cause stress. This stress can creep its St. Paul Academy coach- way into more than just athletic es should be given the same events. Arguments can start up, emotional training as teachers. teams can fall out of sync, and According to Upper School players can feel discouraged. Athletic Director Dawn Wick- This can cause social and emostrum, 82% of SPA students tional stress. When times are are involved in one or more tough, players need a familiar sports. Balancing school and a face to look to for advice. That’s social life puts enough stress on where coaches come into play. athletes. After school practices They are there to improve evare seen by many athletes as a ery athlete physically and have way to decompress and spend the tools to do so, but coaches time playing sports that they also need to have the proper enjoy to escape the culture of tools to support athletes menstress that looms over being tally and emotionally. While a high-schooler. But do our training for teachers includes coaches have the proper skills learning how to motivate stuto guide our student athletes dents and how to communicate effectively, coaches do not on and off the field? Practices are focused gener- receive this training - instead, ally on skill development and they are left to draw on their games are a time to showcase experience as a former player. Many coaches have what is those skills. Most time is spent called an “open-door policy,” on the practice field. Student meaning they tell each player athletes devote many hours to THE RUBICON

that they are there if the player needs someone to talk to. Though this encourages strong relationships between players and coaches, the coaches are not properly trained in how to deal with issues like these.

WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH, PLAYERS NEED A FAMILIAR FACE TO LOOK TO FOR ADVICE. THAT’S WHERE COACHES COME INTO PLAY. When not dealt with properly, these issues can affect more than the team’s games and record. When coaches are not trained to be emotionally available, they can become distant and feel removed from players

ILLUSTRATION: Adrienne Gaylord Coaches are integral to students emotional and physical health. lives. This lack of training can cause coaches to be unaware of what their actions are causing their team to feel. Sports are an integral part of many students’ lives here at SPA and coaches are an ev-

eryday part of this. To become successful on and off the field, students need to build strong relationships with their coaches, and this starts by emotionally training our team leaders.

Fast fashion production detrimental to environment JULIA BARON THE RUBICON


of articles of clothing made each year aren’t sold.

According to Quintas


of global climate change is produced by fast fashion.

According to the Wall Street Journal

INFOGRAPHIC: Maren Ostrem Fashion production is a major factor in global climate change.

In the midst of a climate crisis, a topic often overlooked by climate activists is fast fashion. Fast fashion, or the overproduction of cheap retail clothing meant for minimal use and fueled by rapid consumerism, is a leading source in the climate epidemic. According to the World Bank, the fashion industry contributes 20% to the global annual water pollution. Not only does fast fashion lead to an increase in waste produced annually through quick-changing trends that oblige the consumption of new resources, but the production of this clothing is also extorting both the resources and people needed to produce it. With fewer labor laws, restrictions on manufacturing, and lower minimum wages, much of US-consumed clothing is produced in offshore factories. According to a 2016 study reported by Worldbank, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India are the leading textile and clothing exporters. Although this huge production of goods

minimum wages, and less environmental restrictions to produce cheaper clothing for their consumers. Students cannot turn a blind eye to these violations, and must address their role in this exploitation. Fast fashion also contributes in high numbers to the annual waste, as companies in the fashion industry are required to estimate how much of each article of clothing they will sell. According to The World Bank, 20% of the 100 billion articles of clothing produced each year, are left unsold. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2015 10.5 million tons of textiles, most containing synthetic fabric, were disposed of at landfills, and according to the New York Times, 80% of textile waste is either disposed of in landfills or incinerated. Because synthetic fabric isn’t biodegradable, and 60% of fabric fibers are synthetic this is putting an enormous toll on landfills, because it will never degrade. Fast fashion and the exploitation of people and resources is an epidemic that entails immediate attention.

While not everyone can afford to buy from companies that are conscious of environmental concerns, and human rights issues, it needs to be something that is more widely discussed, and people need to be attentive to the brands that they’re buying. According to The Good Trade, companies that support the ethical and sustainable production of clothing consist of brands such as Everlane, Reformation, Able, Outdoor Voices, and Thought Clothing. While these brands can be more expensive, the clothing is made using higher quality materials. Additionally, if people buy from these brands, eventually they will become more mainstream and they will become more affordable as they gain revenue, meaning that more people will be able to purchase clothing from them. There are also cheaper alternatives to this practice, while still maintaining an environmental and ethical conscious. Thrift shopping is a great option. Overall, people need to address fast fashion’s effect on both people, and the environment, and find more sustainable products to buy.

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EDITORIALS articulate the collective



in historically poorer counties, has, in ways, helped these economies and individuals within those countries, this is a questionable benefit when weighed against the environmental consequences and human rights violations.


Fast fashion companies are using factories in some of the countries with the highest workers’ rights violations. The workers in these countries are also receiving extremely low pay, which explains why companies want to have their factories there. Companies are taking advantage of pay differences to exploit the vulnerable people in countries with lower

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Want to start a movement? That’s what protest is for

PHOTO: Evelyn Lillemoe PROTEST. Student protesters fill the St. Paul capital during a Climate Strike. Utilizing one’s First Ammendment right to peacefully protest is the cornerstone of democracy in the US. TOMMY STOLPESTAD THE RUBICON

Picture this: hundreds of students, all from varying backgrounds, gathered in front of the Minnesota State Capital in Saint Paul. Whether they came from Minneapolis or Woodbury, they are all there for one reason. They came to protest the little progress that has been made to combat climate change. With creative posters and the desire to make a difference, these students used their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, driving legislative change for the betterment of our planet. The freedom to peacefully assemble and protest is not something to be overlooked. “Congress shall make no law

STUDENTS SHOULD SEE THESE EXAMPLES OF POSITIVE CHANGE FROM YOUTH ACTIVISM AND... STAND FOR SOMETHING THEY BELIEVE IN. respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This small part of the First Amendment about peaceful assembly plays a vital role in American democracy today. The ability that citizens have to get together and protest for something they believe in is a right often taken for granted. Throughout history, this amendment has played a vital role in bridging the gap between the people and the government. The right to peacefully assemble has allowed for lawmakers to listen to the people and determine which problems truly matter the most to constituents. Whether it has been for labor unions or civil rights, it is safe to say that the nation would not be the same if the people did not speak truth to power.

The U.S. is unique in the sense that the government prioritizes the people’s right to speak freely and peacefully assemble under the protection of the law. There is little debate that the First Amendment plays a significant role in the everyday life of American society, but with the issues facing the nation and the rest of the world today, it becomes clear how crucial it is as a pathway to change. With movements like March for our Lives, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and Global Climate Strike, getting legislatures to make positive change would be difficult. Most of these movements gain serious momentum due to the number of people that protest and show support for the cause.

Students need to see these examples of positive change — be these examples of positive change — and keep using their First Amendment right to stand for what they believe in. As citizens, never overlook this ability to peacefully assemble and support those who stand up for issues they care about. For students looking to send a message to state or federal legislation about important topics in the world today, don’t be afraid to speak out. Want to organize a rally? Do it. Want to lead a march to the capital? Do it. These rights that are bound by the Constitution for all citizens of the U.S. can be and should be used to their fullest. Don’t disregard or take First Amendment rights for granted.


general environment, publicly coming out can make someone’s life much harder. Neither of these things are arguments against coming out. Rather, they are in defense of those who choose not to. Ultimately, even if someone is in a completely safe and accepting environment, they may just not want to come out. Sexual orientation and gender identity are deeply personal and are unique experiences for every individual. Whether or not someone is out publicly doesn’t change the validity of their identity. So happy National Coming Out Day to those who are out, to those who might be coming out for the first time today. And happy National Coming Out Day to those who aren’t out, to those who won’t come out for a very long time, to those who don’t know when they’ll ever want to publicly come out. Your identity is valid and real, regardless of who knows.

Expression of LGBTQ identity not up for debate QUINN CHRISTENSEN EDITOR IN CHIEF

ILLUSTRATION: Quinn Christensen Whether students are out or not, their identities are valid. The choice to not come out could be for fear of physical safety, mental health, or just general comfort.

While the annual celebration of National Coming Out Day brings wonderful visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, it can also bring unspoken pressure to publicly declare an identity. However, there are several valid reasons to remain discreet regarding an LGBTQ+ identity. First and foremost, there are many situations in which it may be unsafe to be open about identifying as LGBTQ+. Depending on location or a family’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights, physical safety may be a concern. According to a 2018 national survey conducted by the Human Rights campaign, three in 10 teenagers who identity as LGBTQ+ report having been physically threatened because of their identity, and 11% even report having been sexually attacked

because of their LGBTQ+ identity. Physical safety must always be the first priority. However, even when physical safety isn’t a concern, coming out may put emotional and mental safety or even just comfort in jeopardy. The Human Rights campaign also reported that only 27% of LBTQ+ teens polled said that they felt they could “definitely” be themselves at school. Again, depending on family, location, and













ILLUSTRATION: Meagan Massie IT JUST MAKES SENSE. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, 39% of students with learning differences receive extra support at school.

School isn’t a one size fits all experience Understanding + solutions = success for those who learn differently MAREN OSTREM THE RUBICON

“Before I came to SPA, I had an [Individualized Education Program]... Like, for example, I didn’t have to worry too much about due dates. I could have quizzes with less questions, homework was decreased. I could sit by friends because I have anxiety as well,” 9th grader Morgan Riley said. Riley was diagnosed with high-functioning autism when she was seven years old. Highfunctioning autism is a term used to define someone on the autism spectrum that does not have an intellectual disability. The Center for Disease Control reported in 2018 that 1 in every 59 adolescents has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. This began a spiral of different learning plans as Riley moved from school to school. Senior Sophia Heegaard had a similar experience. “My sister has ADHD and dysgraphia… So my parents just decided to get me tested when she was tested,” Heegaard said. “So that was like second grade and that’s when I found I had dyslexia.” As of 2017, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues such as ADHD and dyslexia, according to Understood, a website with the goal to educate and inform people on learning and attention differences. Although the administration at past schools and SPA

have been supportive, many peers, Riley said, have been rude or downright discriminatory towards her. “There are a ton of stereotypes about people on the autism spectrum... and people with Down syndrome, people with ADHD. A lot of people will call it a mental illness. But that’s not what it is… I’m not not smart,” Riley said.


From micro-aggressions to name-calling, Riley has had negative experiences with peers who judge her based on her learning difference rather than her personality. “[Slurs are] used as a substitute for words like stupid or dumb,” she said. “But these are more not nice words, because it’s taking an entire group of people who a lot of them are really smart, and then taking that and putting it into the context of something silly or nonsensical.” While Heegaard has not experience the same rudeness from peers, she has felt shame about her learning difference.

“When I was younger I used to be super embarrassed about it, and to even say that I had it, but I think it’s a lot more common than you realize,” Heegaard said. Riley has noticed that apart from blatant discrimination, there are many people who don’t even realize that they treat non-neurotypical people differently. “There’s a term for being discriminatory towards people with disabilities, ableism. There’s the kind of ableism that’s intentional. And then there’s unintentional discrimination in the people who do this. They’re not intentionally doing anything wrong; they have the right ideas in mind,” Riley said. The Center of Learning and Teaching at SPA attempts to bridge academic success and social navigation for students living with learning differences by providing resources for students and their families. Before students receive support from the Center of Learning and Teaching, however, they are required to undergo assessment by a psychologist. “We ask the families to give us that documentation that they get from the evaluation report. We look at what the psychologist made for recommendations, and we look at how our program works and which accommodations can we offer. So for example, we can typically offer extended time if a student qualifies for it, and if

that’s what the psychologist has recommended,” Karen Rassmussen, Director of the Center of Learning and Teaching, said. The CLT supports each student differently depending on their diagnoses and personal preferences. “Not every student who has a diagnosis or gets an evaluation necessarily needs extended time. It depends on the child and on the diagnosis: we might do something in terms of spelling accommodations, or use of a computer [for assessments]. So we have very specific things that we can allow and that the program supports… it’s not a one size fits all,” she said. Heegaard has found success with SPA’s programming for learning differences. “SPA’s been super accommodating; they have a tutor that I work with and I get extra time,” Heegaard said. Learning differences can come with a series of challenges for students, ranging from social pressure to academic hardship. Heegaard recommends getting tested if they feel they may have a learning difference. “It’s super beneficial if you do get tested and find that you have a learning disability because then you know how to act, and you know when to get help and you should get help. It’s completely fine. And it can be super helpful,” she said.

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Meagan Massie “I started to realize like it just took me longer to read some articles in class.. but SPA is super accommodating,” senior Sophia Heegaard said.

IBID PHOTO: Leona Barocas “We’re all kids, we’re all here at this school, we have differences, but we also have similarities and we need to embrace them,” 9th grader Morgan Riley said.




Anti-dieting movements squash misconceptions in media SHAREE ROMAN THE RUBICON

Super foods. Health foods. Junk foods. Fat free. Low calorie. Putting food in categories mislabels it as good or bad. This is magnified by social media and societal pressure, a dominant but fleeting trend of what constitutes a healthy diet arises, leading to teens having a love hate relationship with diet culture. Diet culture propagates ideas that equate health and moral virtue. Some ideas might include “eat a salad; it’s good for you” or “if you eat that donut, you will regret it.” Sophomore Griffin Moore expands on the societal pressure to look a certain way. “Sort of nearing the end of eighth grade and in the be-

ginning of 9th grade I started thinking ‘is this how I need to look?’ ‘Is this what other people are doing?’ I didn’t get the whole I need to be absolutely ripped message. But I got you can’t have extra fat,” he said. Moore’s feeling that he couldn’t have any extra fat is an idea often promoted by social media websites to sell products like muscle milk or gold standard protein powder. Organizations and thousands of individuals are leading a backlash to diet culture, encouraging individuals to embrace positive body image. People who encourage the idea of body acceptance are against weight loss supplements or restricting the intake of certain foods because it degrades self esteem and aren’t functionally real.


Senior Issy Weber shares this belief. “Magic apps or supplements just don’t work. People should attempt to live a balanced lifestyle and this is different for everybody,” she said. Senior Anna Snider explained that diet culture impacts everyone. She believes it should change. “If we reduce how much we’re talking about food and

bodies and diet, then people wouldn’t feel so much societal pressure to lose weight,” she said. “It is so unnecessary that we’re just talking about it in hallways. Talking about weight and diet reinforces the idea that there is something to solve or fix about the body.” Instagram has recently put an age ban on viewing the Flat Tummy Page. The Flat Tummy, a skinny body promoter whose motto is “cleanse & debloat, or cut the cals” was thought to have images that caused young individuals to feel they needed to have a flat tummy. On Instagram, the #diet has 61.5 M posts while #bodyacceptance has earned 345K posts. Though its slowly gaining followers, suggesting that more and more people are supporting body acceptance.

Hand in hand with the idea of dismantling dieting, is the body acceptance movement. “Body acceptance is about breaking down all the stereotypes and beauty standards. The body acceptance movement is for everyone as we try to feel better about our bodies and change the culture of beauty,” Snider said. While the body acceptance movement encourages people to love their body no matter the shape or size, the intuitive eating movement encourages people to eat what they need to fulfill their body’s desires. The combined beliefs of these two movements would theoretically lead to a person who is comfortable with the amount they eat and what they look like.

What dieting myths do students believe? True

Unsaturated fats can be helpful to one’s health.

It’s possible to lose 25 pounds healthily in a month.

LGBTQ people are more likely to have eating disorders.

FALSE. In order to complete this, one would have to consume only liquids which would result in a lack of basic nutrients.

TRUE. Non-binary people are statistically more likely to develop an eating disorder than people who identify with other genders.

False INFOGRAPHIC: Lizzie Kristal Answers from a quiz sent to all students, grades 9-12 with 31% responding Information courtesy of NBC News, Harvard Medical School, and National Eating Disorders Association

TRUE. Unsaturated fats are a nutrient for a healthy diet and have been linked to many health benefits.



Nutrition and mental health experts call for balanced diets and mindsets MEAGAN MASSIE THE RUBICON

“How to lose 25 pounds in a month” or “Get your bikini body before summer starts” are common phrases that are plastered on billboards or next to smiling models on the front of magazines. They glorify “dieting” but what does it really mean to be on a diet? By definition, a diet is simply the kind of food that a person habitually eats. However, that definition is not what most of society would say it is. Dieting has been branded through methods of weight loss, something potentially detrimental to teen health.

MISINFORMATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA Dietitian Katy Dieperink currently works with Defining You Fitness and Pilates, but she used to work as a registered dietitian and has a Masters in Public Health. “There is so much misinformation about health and nutrition flooding the market it is difficult to say what is most harmful. One of the easiest traps to fall into is the misconception of crediting or blaming a single food for causing or preventing a certain disease or condition,” she said. There are a variety of places that unhealthy dieting messages come from. Media outlets and Hollywood can start these habits young. “I think dieting and needing to fit into small sizes stems from the modeling industry and Disney movies. There are different ideals in movies that aren’t conceivable,” sophomore Clara Garner said. Dieting can be difficult when there is misinterpreted information in the media and through magazine gossip chains. “I see dieting as taking it to such an extreme in the media. Like there are very small por-

tions and they want you to look like [stars] on TV with a slim physique. I think it was just something that started over time and it might change later or there might be a new way,” junior Senai Assefa said. Dieperink said that trendy diet marketing “...often leads to the belief of a particular food being a magical bullet (e.g. kale) and can singularly be eaten to improve health, despite being consumed in what may be an overall poor diet. Conversely, certain foods get labeled as forbidden and are avoided at all costs. A well-rounded diet that supports a healthy body mass index is the best method to prevent excess weight gain and prevent chronic disease,” Dieperink said.

MISCONCEPTIONS AND EATING DISORDERS One major health concern that stems, in part, from dieting misinformation for adolescents is a rise in eating disorders. A common misconception is that people with eating disorders are always thin, but eating disorders come for every shape and size. “Body image and dieting is very enmeshed. We have ways of making our food and exercise choices feel related to ‘health’ and sometimes they are. However, the idea of healthy living can be used to mask some very very unhealthy habits,” Upper School Counselor Susanna Short said. “Ads that promote the idea that everyone needs to look the same, that there is only one type of beauty: which is typically white and cisgender, and thin waists and unrealistically large breasts and behinds. It ignores the beauty of all kinds of diversity.” Diets look very different from person to person because of differences in culture, ethnicity, religion, and more. Some people can’t eat certain things because they have food sensitivities or allergies which

complicates diet even more. “The reasons vary but typically people start a diet in order to train for a sport, lose weight, or in response to negative peer/ family comments,” Short said.


There is a common stereotype that any body is malleable and able to be shaped accordingly, but that is not the case. According to Yale Department of Psychology scholar, Kelly D. Brownell, “Research has shown that biological variables, particularly genetics, are influential in the regulation of body weight and shape. Hence, there are limits to how much a person can change.” There is no body that is more worthy than the other. There are healthy ways of dieting, but there are also very detrimental ways of dieting that can lead to severe mental illness.

consult a professional dietitian or nutritionist to make sure the body gets essential nutrients while achieving goals. “A varied diet is key. Exercise and being active on a daily basis is extremely important. Not only does it help with weight management, modest strength exercises can help with balance, agility and the prevention of injuries,” Dieperink said. Being thin does not necessarily mean that one is healthy in the same way that being fat does not necessarily mean that one is unhealthy. “Drastic methods such as temporary starvation, liquid diets or unsustainable ‘cleansing’

should be avoided. A shift in eating habits to increase health or obtain weight loss should not be painful. A practical suggestion for someone wanting to begin eating more healthfully is to stop eating foods with labels. If you are spending your time reading labels, you are eating the wrong foods. Try and eat more at home, plan your meals, make a grocery list to avoid impulse shopping,” Dieperink said. She added that “Modifications to an individual’s diet should be sustainable and looked upon as healthy additions, not as subtractions.”

CULTURAL BELIEF AND FOOD RESTRICTIONS According to author of The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine, S. Dindyal, “Foods and nutrition may also be affected by culture, with respect to different beliefs within the culture. Religion plays one of the most influential roles in the choices and subsequent selection of foods consumed in certain societies. For example, in the Hindu and Buddhist religions the consumption of both pork and beef is frowned upon.”

DIETARY CHANGES AND NUTRITIONISTS If done correctly, dieting can be a healthy decision in one’s life. There are a variety of ways to go about it, but it is best to




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Diet culture shapes opinions “I think eating disorders are disguised as diets, and poor body image is disguised as goals for many young people.” -Cayenne Ramirez

“Dieting can be really healthy as long as you know what you’re doing.” -Dante Gilbert

“For younger girls... it can result in a lot of unhealthy decisions and unhealthy lifestyles that can really damage them.” -Erin Magnuson

“I don’t struggle with eating or weight so I don’t care for it [dieting].” -Jasper Weissbach

“While [dieting] can be a valid and effective means of losing weight... cutting out whole food groups or eating less than necessary is really detrimental.” -Isabel Toghramadjian

“People overestimate different effects of specific diet plans, but whatever people choose, they should keep their well-being in mind.” -Aidan Lanz

“Dieting can be healthy. But I don’t think it should be something people feel obligated to do.” -Ellie Hoppe





Every day, queer people are assumed to be straight and cis by the strangers that fill the spaces they live within. Every year thousands of people take steps to come out of the closet and wear their truth. More young people than ever are challenging gender and sexuality binaries. Generation Z is

rising up to speak out against the statutes and limitations that society has placed on individuals for generations. Oct. 11 marked National Coming Out day, a human rights event designed to tear down cisnormativity and heteronormativity, and coming out stories mark that progress.

Sampsell-Jones learns how to start the conversation “I remember it very well. It was May 31, 2018...the day before pride month [began]. I was running around the house. I wanted to make a pride shirt with fabric markers, but I couldn’t find any white t-shirts, so I had my mom help me find one, and she was like ‘why do you need this’, and that was just kinda how it happened. So I was just explaining to her real quick in my hurry to get a white shirt. I was like: ‘I’m bi’,” 9th grader Evie Sampsell-

Jones said. Sampsell-Jones came out to her friends, then to her family. In sixth grade she figured out her sexuality after having a crush. She told her close friends, many of whom happened to be queer as well. “It was easy to come out to my friends, but it was a harder to come out to my parents. I knew they were gonna be supportive; I just didn’t know how to have that conversation,” Sampsell-Jones said.


Evie Sampsell-Jones

She found coming out to family a longer process and less predictable. Her family has been generally supportive and nonchalant. Sometimes her grandparents forget and she finds herself coming out to them multiple times a year.

The process didn’t go how she might have pictured it: there wasn’t a dramatic sit-down on the couch followed by a touching and heartfelt conversation, but she wouldn’t change it. “I think it was the right place at the right time,” she said.

Jones embraces evolving self-discovery Sophomore Jayden Jones came out to their friends and family twice: once for their gender and once for their sexuality, and repeating the process didn’t make it easier. When Jones first came out as bisexual, it was difficult to get over the stigma that came with that identity. Sometimes bisexuals are criticized for ‘not making up their minds’ or are considered to just be looking for attention. Jones lost a lot of good friends in that process. Coming out to their family wasn’t much easier; it was an ongoing process. They were THE RUBICON PHOTOS: ADRIENNE GAYLORD

riding in the car one day with their mom when she offhandedly said something along the lines of ‘when you marry a man.’ Jones casually questioned the statement. At that point their mom got it and had a fairly subdued reaction. She didn’t bring it up in conversation. Their dad was not enthused. At school, Jones was slowly figuring out more and more about their identity. They were confronting the fact that their sexuality was only one out of plenty of parts of their identity at odds with society. “[The most difficult part was] accepting myself. Because I came out to other people before I came out to myself. It hadn’t set in my heart,” Jones said.

They had known for years, and perhaps were presenting as more feminine to quench something in their mind. When they came out as bi they felt more freedom to present as more butch, but it still wasn’t right. Eventually they realized they didn’t identify as female, and that they weren’t going to try to suppress it any longer. They came out to their friends as trans.


“Oh my God, it was a time. So we sat down at lunch here at the good ol’ SPA, and we were just talking about life... and I said something very stereotypically masculine. And I was like ‘yeah, and it’s because I’m a guy’ and they both looked at me like I was crazy, and I was like ‘oh, I forgot to tell you, I’m trans’,” Jones said. Their friends were generally supportive, and although the process continues to present challenges, they have a stronger connection with themselves. They hadn’t yet planned a formal coming out to their parents, but the universe decided it was going to take care of that for them. Jones received an email home from school one day. In the email they were referred to as Jayden with they/ them pronouns, and when

their mom read it she thought it was sent to the wrong family. “They sent it to the right parent,” Jones said under their breath. Then it was out. Their mom was fairly relaxed, but their dad was less understanding. Jones never imagined school policy would take that step for them. The SPA inclusion policy was written to foster understanding in the SPA community, yet it was found to have unintended consequences leading to an inverse output. Within the school environment Jones had already began their transition, and luckily the school offered it’s support in a small doses. Their deadname had been corrected in some, yet not all day to day documentation, and pronouns were increasingly brought into conversation. A little macabre humor might be found in the ill-attempt of good will. “It’s never going to be easy. No part of it. No matter how accepting people are, and no matter how much support you get, it’s always going to be hard. Because you’re telling the world who you are, and thats difficult,” Still, don’t succumb to pressure. “You are in control,” Jones said. “Whatever you’re going through, it’s your journey. You say how and when and where and if.”

LGBTQ GLOSSARY Just a few definitions... gay: emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to someone who identifies as the same gender. lesbian: a woman who is attracted to other women. bisexual: attraction to multiple genders. transgender: used to describe someone whose gender identity is different than what is expected based on the sex that was assigned to them at birth. non-binary: used to describe someone who identifies outside the gender binary. INFORMATION COURTESY OF: THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN



It’s not a tarantula

Kristal tries spider motorcycling

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: DYLAN TAN STEPHENSON Dylan Tan Stephenson adopted his dog Biscuit from the Humane Society afer Biscuit had been left on the street.

Rescue pets heal hearts of owners MEAGAN MASSIE THE RUBICON

When 9th grader Dylan Tan Stephenson saw a puppy at the Animal Humane Society who had previously been abused and left on the street, he knew that he wanted to give the dog a forever home. “We first met Biscuit when he was nonchalantly following our dad on a walk. We got him cleaned up--he had an incredibly matted down tail, full of burrs--and adopted him. I knew instantly that he was a great addition to our family. Even my grandmother, who just a year prior was terrified of dogs, started playing with him. Everyday with Biscuit has been a joy,” Tan Stephenson said. In the United States, there are over 70 million abandoned animals. But thanks to the consistent work of animal rescue and animal advocates, lives are saved every day.


Sophomore Ellie Murphy’s family adopted from Secondhand Hounds: “We got Luna… when I was in 3rd grade. After years of me and my brother bothering my parents to get a dog, they finally caved in… we looked through the website and found Luna and thought she would be a good fit for our family.” “I was also nervous because... the place we got her from said she had anxiety from being in an abusive household before,” Murphy said. It wasn’t always easy in the early days Murphy said. “My

mom decided to take her on a walk and somehow she got loose from her leash and ran away. My mom was frantic for a while because [Luna] had only seen our house once and probably wouldn’t know where it was, so obviously my Mom thought Luna was gone forever. But when she came home, Luna was sitting on our lawn, and that’s when my Mom was like ‘Okay we picked the right dog’,” Murphy said. That was one of many ways Luna has surprised Murphy over the years. She said that since she named Luna, she was sure to be the favorite but, “She likes my brother the best and it haunts me to this day.” Visitors and volunteers are welcome at shelters. AHS fosters a community based on the emotional well being of their animals by encouraging people to play and interact with the animals so the dogs and cats feel loved and wanted. Senior Arie Walker frequently visits an AHS shelter near her home because she wishes she could adopt a dog. The most important thing to Walker is making sure the dogs know that they’re loved. “When I’m there, I get to visit and play with the dogs,” Walker said. “They offer volunteering which I would like to do because everyone in the building seems like they really care about their animals. I really like to just be in that environment.” AHS has four shelters across the Twin Cities. In 2018 alone, there were 19,486 animals adopted and even more are expected to be adopted this year. For more information and locations Animal Humane Society and Secondhand Hounds, visit their websites. For those who have adopted, it’s the right choice. “Before you get an animal, you should look at your options of adopting,” Tan Stephenson said. “It’s a great thing to do because those dogs in the pound and shelters come from very bad situations.”

THE RUBICON PHOTO: ELOISE DUNCAN REV IT UP. Kristal races around a parking lot in a spider with help of Motorcycle Safety Foundation Ridercoach Jed Duncan LIZZIE KRISTAL THE RUBICON

When my friend first mentioned riding a “spider,” I thought she meant riding an eight-legged bug. Luckily, I was wrong. A spider is a three-wheeled motorcycle, an alternative to a motorcycle for clumsy people like me. Boots that support the ankle, thin gloves, long pants, and of course a helmet are all necessary to take a lesson. After agreeing to borrow a helmet and gloves, I proceeded to drive in a car to the school. I asked Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach Jed Duncan about what the laws were for someone under 18 to ride a spider with a driver’s license. “If you’re under 18 in Minnesota, you have to go to [motorcycle] school, just like if you’re under 18 in Minnesota and you want to drive,” Duncan said. After going to school, I would then take a permit, written, and skills test in order to get a class M license which would allow me to legally drive motorcycles. This only applies though if I already have my driver’s license, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to receive the license. Since I’m only planning on driving one in a parking lot with an instructor, I wouldn’t need a license. Upon arrival, I see the spider parked in the lot. It’s blue and a lot bigger than I had imagined. It looks like something out of The Terminator. I get to try and control something that looks as

THE FEELING OF GOING THAT FAST ON A VEHICLE WITH NO WALLS AND NOTHING SECURING ME IN PLACE OTHER THAN MY HANDS IS VASTLY DIFFERENT THAN A CAR. IT WAS THRILLING. if it could take over the world? It can’t be that hard. In order to get it out of its spot in the corner, Duncan has to turn it on and reverse it to a spot that I can test it out. When he turns it on, “We Will Rock You” by Queen blasts from the radio I didn’t know it had. Duncan then proceeds to whip it around the parking lot a few times while jamming to the song. Now that looks fun. I squish the helmet over my hair and cheeks and approach the vehicle. I’m instructed to hop on, and I get a small tour of its buttons and functions. To my dismay, it has seat and handle warmers, a lot more gadgets than I imagined. “This costs more than your car,” Duncan said. To start, I have to slowly move it forward an inch, take my hand off the accelerator, and then brake. I do that a few

times until I feel confident about my mastery of going one mph. It isn’t as scary as I had anticipated since it’s nearly impossible to tip over going as slow as I am. Next, I go a little bit faster down the stretch of the lot. Okay, that’s not too bad either. Lastly, I go in circles around the lot. After a few laps, my maximum speed reaches 15mph, which I’m decently proud of. Before leaving, I get the opportunity to sit in back and have Duncan drive for a bit. The first thing that he does is rapidly accelerate in the lot. My hands squeeze my handlebars next to me, and he brakes. Hard. Even though my grip is the strongest I can make it, my body still is still flung forward a bit. He does that a few more times, then he goes onto the surrounding roads. On the quiet one, he even sped up to 60mph. The feeling of going that fast on a vehicle with no walls and nothing securing me in place other than my hands is vastly different than a car. It was thrilling. Once we get back to the lot, I take my helmet off to reveal the nest my hair has become due to the wind. Luckily this experience was much better than riding a giant tarantula. Not only did it push me out of my comfort zone of sticking to a Subaru, but it also gave me some inspiration to maybe get the class M on my driver’s license over the summer. The idea of getting to ride a spider every day is legendary.




Rice uses mixed mediums as form of self reflection

his ideas and messages. “I love doing stuff myself, so like pigmenting my own paints and using canvas in new ways,” Rice said. As Rice has developed a personal favored style, he also has a developed an intention behind his work. This idea is especially represented in his most recent pieces.


PERSONAL. “My art at this point is more of a personal reflection on myself... it’s not necessarily made for an audience,” senior Noah Rice said.

THE RUBICON PHOTOS: LIZZIE KRISTAL DISPLAY. “I like to think that when people see it, to some extent, they can feel the intention that was behind it and the process,” Rice said. LIZZIE KRISTAL THE RUBICON

Senior Noah Rice’s artwork acts as a unique combination of two and three dimensions He explores a new domain of artistic expression with his style of artwork. He manages to combine uses of different

media to express himself in his most recent art. “It’s kind of a mixture between drawing and painting, and also I try to add little sculptural elements to it… I like textures and I think you can convey a lot more feeling through texture rather than just a flat media piece,” Rice said.

His discovery of the style began two years ago when he first took Beginning Painting.. “We started mixing sand into our paints. I just loved how I could build up layers, which you can’t essentially do when you’re just using pencils and charcoal,” Rice said. His intentions of the layered

art isn’t like a lot of other art which is meant to please an audience. “My art at this point is more of a personal reflection on myself, and it’s not necessarily made for an audience, per say. I like to think that when people see it, to some extent, they can feel the intention that was behind it and the process,” Rice said. Rice’s process is his favorite part of creating art. It’s when he’s able to think creatively about how he wants to convey


Noah Rice

“My favorite piece might be my newest one. This year I’m focusing on this idea of identity behind my pieces and how we talk about identity. I made one before it, and the newer one was a jump off from the last one and it has pushed me in new ways,” Rice said.

October sweetened as national cookie month MAREN OSTREM THE RUBICON

Everybody loves a good cookie. Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, sugar cookie, or gingerbread. They’re the perfect treat to bring to advisory, or to just have around the house. To celebrate October being National Cookie Month, students shared their favorite cookie recipes. For Senior Kate Thomas baking has been a part of her life since she was a kid. “I started baking because I thought it was fun. It was something my parents would do with me. Then I learned about the chemistry, and that made it more cool.” While Thomas’s favorite recipes change and shift, one of her current favorites are Chocolate Quakes. “[They’re] one of the ones that have stayed pretty consistent because they’re something everybody likes,” Thomas said. While the preparation may seem simple, the outcome is both delicious, and unique to look at. “It’s a little ball of chocolate, and then you just roll it in powder sugar. It kind of looks like a planet surface… It just looks really cool.”



Chocolate Quakes:

BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:

Adapted from “Got Milk? The Cookie Book” by Peggy Cullen by The New York Times

“Crazy For Crust“ Blog

THE RUBICON PHOTOS: MAREN OSTREM Junior Luka Shaker-Check bonds with his mom through baking. “I like to bake because I bake with my Mom often and it is a nice thing that we do together. I also enjoy the knowledge that I can make quality food,” Shaker-Check said.

Shaker-Check’s favorite cookie to bake is a special chocolate chip cookie that includes the unique step of chilling the cookie dough. “I like this

recipe because it makes a soft chocolate chip cookie and I really like soft cookies, the recipe also very changeable so I can

experiment with the cookie… I have fond memories making these cookies with my mom.”



J. Selby’s does the impossible Vegetarian restaurant brings imitations of meaty classics to the table

THE RUBICON PHOTO: ADRIENNE GAYLORD NO MEAT, NO PROBLEM. J. Selby’s has partnered with Greener Fields Together, an organization dedicated to improving sustainability in the food industry. ADRIENNE GAYLORD ILLUSTRATOR

Bacon, buffalo chicken, burgers, and beets? At local restaurant J. Selby’s vegans can enjoy all these eats. With menu items such as Philly cheesesteaks, J. Selby’s isn’t your run-of-the-mill vegan eatery. Everything inside its doors is meat-free, dairy-free, and cruelty-free; “comfort food” adopts more meaning. Although the

high prices may not be so easy to dig into, menu prices include tip, and you know you’re paying for everything that went into your food. Restaurant founder Matt Clayton states his goals on the J. Selby’s website. He wants to not only provide the public with great tasting, accessible plant-based food, but to stress social conscience over profit and add value to the commu-

nity. J Selby’s has been doing good in that department. They’re partnered with Greener Fields Together, an organization dedicated to improving sustainability in the food industry, to increase eco-consciousness within their farm to table process. They also show support to the people within their community, including their staff members and local regulars, through blog posts on their website. J. Selby’s is located on Selby Ave. and Victoria St, only 3.3 miles away from school. They also have a food truck that visits local events, on occasion. The space is inviting. As you walk by the floor-to-ceiling windows, you can see the exposed brick walls surrounding the patrons enjoying their meals. Inside, you approach the counter, make audible sounds of awe as you read the somehow meat-free items on the menu,

and quickly place your order. You take your number and sit down. The space feels open and inviting, with windows that let a warm light stream in as they display Selby Avenue. Some of the decor feels a tad off, such as the disconcerting color clash between the aquamarine tile wall and the bright grass green of the logo, and the small paintings barely visible on the wall, but the green cushioned booth seats make it all excusable. Then the food arrives. J. Selby’s ability to create a meat-free burger that looks exactly like a beef burger is astonishing. The plate looks like what you would expect from any bar-and-grill you might order at alternatively, which feels like such a vegan accomplishment as one looks at it. But when you bite into it, it doesn’t have the greasy aftertaste found in most meat. It’s a little short and sweet. It doesn’t taste ex-

actly like chicken or pork, but it doesn’t catch you off guard. The ingredients taste fresh and have flavor. The cheese-free cheesecake was perfect if you don’t typically like how cheesy cheesecake tastes. The richness found in most cheesecakes was missing. If that’s your favorite part of cheesecake you might be surprised, but give it a chance. Even if you’re not vegan or lactose-free it was delicious with raspberries, and didn’t taste fake. None of the food needed to apologize for lacking it’s typical ingredients. The dishes stood for themselves. Whether you’re a person with dietary restrictions who wants some comfort food, or you’re just looking for something new, try stopping in at J. Selby’s.

Clothing stores try on body positivity ELOISE DUNCAN THE RUBICON

In the past decade, a spotlight has been put on body representation and positivity in clothing marketing and ideals. A push for more body inclusivity in marketing stemmed from the realization that the majority of stores only represented one body type, and a more active desire for that to change. Sophomore Esther Allen thinks that it is important for brands to make everyone feel beautiful. In order to do this, she thinks, a wider range of body types needs to be represented in stores. “Not everybody looks the same or has the same beauty standard, and the standard of beauty that society has set is unrealistic for everyone. Understanding that everyone is beautiful in their own way and that everyone is unique is really important. Including everybody in clothing is not only better for a business, but also better for society as a whole,” she said. Some stores, such as Aerie, have taken desire for more body representation and turned it into a defining part of their brand. Aerie models represent bodies of all shapes and sizes, and has been a leader in the push for more inclusive representation in marketing. Aerie employee Shawna Dewing thinks that Aerie’s body positive morals are important in making people more confident in their body, and shows that

every body is unique and perfect in its own way. “It is important to acknowledge that, yes, we may all have different insecurities but that they don’t matter, and focusing on a positive body outlook is more important. Aerie doesn’t retouch any of the photos shown online or in store, and so it really embraces all of our imperfections and teaches people to love and accept them. Aerie shows that they’re real and that everybody has them but is still perfect,” Dewing said.


Nathan Mann

Another brand that preaches body positivity and inclusivity is SavagexFenty, created by global superstar Rihanna. Her runway showcases a mixture of all body types, rather than just one. This was done to illustrate “women being celebrated in all forms and all body types and all races and cultures,” Rihanna said backstage in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s a shame that women have to feel insecure or self-conscious about how their bodies look,” she said.

On the other hand, some stores, such as Victoria’s Secret, have received backlash for their brand’s relationship with inclusive body representation. They have been under fire from the media for only including tall and stick-thin models in their advertisements and campaigns. Their former chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, who recently left the brand, faced criticism after his comments about including plus-sized and transgender models in the infamous Victoria Secret Fashion Show. In 2018, Razek said: “The show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.” “We attempted to do a television special for plus sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it. Still don’t,” he later said. The differences in brand ideals between Aerie and Victoria’s Secret are apparent by looking at their websites. The Victoria’s Secret website exclusively features tall, thin models,, showcasing only one body type. In contrast, the Aerie website has pictures of all shapes and sizes, which represents a much larger group of people. Despite the recent change in marketing among fashion retailers to be more size inclusive, there is little push for a more body inclusive market for clothing brands that target male-identifying custom-

THE RUBICON PHOTO: ELOISE DUNCAN GROWTH. Aerie has prioritized body positivity and representation in their marketing campaigns. ers. “For women, lots of clothing brands portray only really thin models, and for men, a lot of brands portray guys who are really ripped, rather than a lot of body shapes and sizes. There isn’t a lot of body representation and variety in stores in general, but especially for stores marketing for male-identifying people, there is very little,” junior Senai Assefa said. Sophomore Nathan Mann agrees. He acknowledges the importance of body representation in marketing for all stores, but sees the discrepancy in male-targeting brands. “For a clothing store to promote body positivity and inclusivity is making sure that one specific body isn’t only focused on, even if the body is the societal ideal body type, and especially because one body type

isn’t realistic for everyone. In general, it is important to make sure that marketing appeals to a larger range of people. . . For male clothing brands, it’s a lot more focused towards different styles and cuts versus just different sizes. At least from what I know about women’s clothing brands, I would say that there are more different sizes and representation of different body types. I would definitely say that there has been more push towards body inclusivity in women’s clothing stores than in men’s clothing stores,” Mann said. Although representation and body positivity is becoming increasingly popular and more widespread, these ideals are still lacking with regard to brands targeting male-identifying customers.



Fans buy raffle tickets, hoping to win a basket.

The JV team played first. Junior Karla Garcia jumps to block the ball.

THE RUBICON PHOTOS: QUINN CHRISTENSEN TEAMWORK. Varsity volleyball players break to celebrate a successful play and congratulate each other. The night was a success, as the teams raised more money than they have any other year.

Dig Pink raises funds for cancer QUINN CHRISTENSEN EDITOR IN CHIEF

The annual Dig Pink volleyball match took place on Oct. 8, raising $2,350 off of the website alone. The money will go to the Side-Out Foundation, a charity that raises funds for breast cancer awareness and research. “Dig Pink is to raise as much money as possible for the Side-Out foundation. They have funds for breast cancer research, and we want to help as many people as possible,” varsity co-captain and senior Kathleen Bishop said. Although both the JV and varsity teams lost their matches

this year, they succeeded in raising thousands. “Last year, our goal was $2,000, and we were able to get that, we raised around $2,600, which was really great. This year our goal was $3,000 and as of right now we have $2,400 so we’re on our way to get here,” Bishop said. One of the major ways that Dig Pink raises money is through the raffle that takes place at the event. Fans bought raffle tickets as they came in, and winners were drawn between matches. “[The raffle] is going awesome, we have so many great people who were able to do-

nate which really makes our event, and we had so many people who donated gifts for the raffle and so many people have donated to get raffle tickets, so we’re really thankful,” Bishop said. For many players, Dig Pink carries a personal connection. “Dig Pink is important to me because many of my family members have been affected by breast cancer. It is really important to spread awareness,” Garcia said. The annual tradition is also important to varsity player and senior Sydney Therien’s family. “My family has had a lot of unfortunate history with

breast cancer. The summer over my freshman year, my mom was diagnosed, and she actually had to get a double mastectomy, which was rough for our family… There was just this point in my life when I had three relatives suffering from breast cancer at the same time… so part of why I play so hard today is for my grandma, and my mom, and my aunt,” Therien said. Support from classmates and other fans helps to make Dig Pink special. “It’s really great when people come out and support not only the team but a great cause,” Garcia said.

The varsity team cheers as the lineup is announced.

Seniors Audrey Egly, Arie Walker, and Sydney Therien get ready to play defense.

Players congratulate each other after an exciting moment.

Advocacy leads to some changes in women’s soccer pay JULIA BARON THE RUBICON

“Equal pay, equal pay equal pay,” a stadium full of fans chanted following the historic US women’s national soccer team win versus the Netherlands in the final of the 2019 World Cup in Lyon France this past summer. Undercutting what were chants of celebration following the win were shouts of advocacy for the female players to have equal treatment compared to their male counterparts. Fans and players were calling for equal resources, equal promotion, and most of all equal pay as them men’s team. A few months before the start of the 2019 World Cup in France, all 28 rostered players on the US Women’s National Team filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation under the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act. The women argued that despite playing and winning more games, they are paid significantly less than the US Men’s National Team. In contrast to the men’s team, the women’s team receives high-

er television ratings, with the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final ranking as America’s most watched soccer game, men’s or women’s, ever. Fans of the team quickly jumped on board with these demands for better treatment, and took to both the stands and social media, calling for action from U.S. soccer and Fédération Internationale de Football Association. These spurts of advocacy for the players made their way back to Minnesota, mainly in the form of social media. On platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more were posts calling out FIFA and US soccer for their discriminatory treatment of the women’s team. “I think it’s unfair that US Soccer and people aren’t paying the woman as much money [as the men] when they are generating more revenue for FIFA and US Soccer,” sophomore and soccer player Maddie Fisher said. Minnesotan fans also mirrored the protests after the World Cup when the USWNT came to Allianz Field in St.

Paul on their victory tour. After a 3-0 victory against Portugal, fans first celebrated and then protested, chanting in similar ways as fans did in France. But did this local and international advocacy lead to any tangible benefit for the players? The short answer is yes; some change has been made. But the team is still far from being treated the same as the men’s team.



Maddie Fisher This backlash from fans has lead to FIFA and US soccer committing to expanding their programs and their treatment of the women’s teams. FIFA has announced that they plan to extend the number of wom-

THE RUBICON PHOTO: JULIA BARON Fans cheer for their country in the 2019 Women’s World Cup Finals in France. en’s teams from 24 to 32 for the 2023 World Cup to match the number of teams in the men’s tournament. They have also agreed to double the total prize money awarded, from $30 million to $60 million. Although this action is moving in the direction of equality for the women, it is still far from matching the men’s earnings. The men’s tournament in 2018 had a total prize purse of $400 million, a number that is esti-

mated to rise to $440 million for the next tournament in Qatar in 2020. “I think [the advocacy] put a lot of pressure on the administration. While the World Cup was popular, now that women’s soccer has kind of died down, I don’t think there is much focus on it, and I don’t think they’re going to do much about it,” junior Lath Akpa said.


Work hard, play(off) harder



Fall teams close season with playoffs ELOISE DUNCAN THE RUBICON

Spartan teams are ready to show off what they’ve got as they dive into the all-important playoffs that will decide their season outcome.


SPARKS Swim and Dive moves into playoffs after a loss on senior night Oct. 10. Still, captain Lauren Dieperink feels confident in the season so far, both in the team and in herself. “[This season] is going a lot better than last season. My times are faster, so I’m happy. [...] I am hoping to make all-conference, which I normally do. To make all-conference, I have to finish top three in all of my events. [The team] is trying to break a few conference records, like the 100 free record and the record for the 200 medley relay, which I think is totally possible,” Dieperink said. Conference is Oct. 26 at St. Catherine University.

“During the season, our team has developed strong perseverance and maintained a fighting attitude. I’m so excited to go and show that at sections. I know Concordia is going to be a tough opponent for us in sections, but I think we have grown a lot and are ready to show what we got. I am really excited to see how far we can go,” she said.



Boys varsity soccer has had to push through some tough situations in the past season, a major one being their main goalkeeper being injured at the start of the season. Despite all this, they ended the regular season with a record of 9-9-0. Senior Duncan Fleming stepped up and played goalkeeper this season, and had high hopes for playoffs, even though the team was eliminated in the first round Oct. 12 v. Academy of Holy Angels. Before the game, Fleming said, “I am looking forward to playoffs, and I hope we do big things. I hope I can perform well enough so that the team feels confident enough playing with me as goalie.”


The varsity volleyball team ends their regular season later than other teams, and played their first section playoffs game on Oct. 21. Their section includes some tough competitors like Concordia Academy and Academy of Holy Angels. For 9th grader Riley Erben, this season has been one of learning and proving her strength and determination, especially as a starter on the varsity team. She wants to show determination coming into section playoffs.


Boys and girls cross country has their section meet Oct. 24 at Battle Creek Regional Park, and then, for those individuals who qualify, the state meet is Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College. 9th grader Becca Richman hopes that their team bonding and hard work pays off and leads them to success at their section meet. “Our team has gotten really close and we are only getting closer. That’ll really help us to get through the hard workouts and practices and meets. I am looking forward to bonding a lot,” Richman said. “I am hoping to get a lot faster and honor the work that I have been doing in practice, and I hope that the whole team can improve on their times so that we can end up getting times that are closer together, so we get fewer points in meets and do better.” Richman explained how runners qualify: “you have to be in the top two teams in your section, or you have to be in the top ten people in your section. Our team is looking towards that in trying to be either second or first in our section, and I think we have a good chance of that if we continue to put in the work.”

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Ann Zukoski GVS goalkeeper and 9th grader Lindsay Browne dives to save a ball.


As the girls varsity tennis season looks ahead to sections with a 8-8-0 regular season record, sophomore Emily Gisser is eager to experience and play the tough teams and players in their section, and is ready to put in her all, despite what the end result may be. “Our section is really competitive; the top ten girls in state are in our section. So if we end up playing Blake, who has won a lot in the past years, we will play the top five girls in the state. Even if we don’t come away with a win, it is still a really good experience. Hopefully we will get into the second round and play Blake, and see what happens,” she said. “I’m excited.”

SMB Wolfpack

RUBICONLINE PHOTO: Zekiah Juliusson WATER BREAK. Players for the SMB Wolfpack grab some water from the sideline after a timeout is called.

Boys Varsity Soccer

Swim & Dive

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Jenny Ries STRETCH IT OUT. The swim and dive team stretch out before practice.

Varsity Tennis


Coming into the season with a state championship title under their belt, the SMB Wolfpack is anticipating yet another state win. Undefeated so far, sophomore Judah Thomas is confident in their abilities to play well and go far. “We are going to win the state championship. That’s it,” he said.

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Charlie Johnson THAT’S THE HALF. Boys varsity soccer heads off the field for halftime.

Girls Varsity Soccer

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Lucy Benson GET HYPED. The varsity tennis team huddles up to prepare for their match.


GIRLS VARSITY SOCCER The girls varsity soccer team were eliminated in their first playoff game, ending the regular season record of 5-11. 9th grade goalkeeper Lindsay Browne noticed the team’s growth. Before their playoff loss, Browne said, “I am excited to see how our team does. I hope we win our first game and get to go further; our coach is really hyping it up and is really excited, which is making us more excited. Blake and Breck are going to be really good competition, or Visitation. We have definitely improved a lot since our first game.” Richman summed up the feelings of most athletic teams pretty well: “I am feeling good

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Jane Lagos TAKE YOUR SPACE. Girls varsity soccer player sophomore Mia Hofmann, moves the ball down the field. about this season. Our team has gotten really close and we are only getting closer. That’ll really help us to get through the hard workouts and practices and meets. I am looking forward to bonding a lot. I think we have a good chance of winning if we continue to put in the work.”

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Quinn Christensen HUDDLE UP. The varsity volleyball team huddles before the Dig Pink game.

Cross Country

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Adrienne Gaylord LISTEN UP. The track team gathers and listens as the coaches give instructions.


Fun for all souls



Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at MN Zoo offers spooky fall outing

AROUND THE WORLD. Over 5000 designed pumpkins decorate the Minnesota Zoo’s 2nd annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in an awe-inspiring spooky experience. JENNY RIES


Orange lighting. Halloween music. A cold wind rustling the leaves. A sign for the tiger’s lair. A slight smell of… wild animal. Walking down the path to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Minnesota Zoo is an unpredictable experience. It is hard to know what to expect while walking down a darkened path through the zoo. Before each entry time, the organizers have a line of people wait outside of the gates of the Spectacular. Then,

the spectators take a long walk through the zoo, where they are put in the Halloween spirit by spooky music, before being let into the pumpkin-viewing area. This area involves over 5000 intricate jack-o-lanterns, carved in line with the year’s theme, Around the World (last year’s was “A Walk In Time”). This meant everything from a portrait of Bob Marley, to the likeness of a flamingo. The pumpkins featured are designed and carved by Passion For Pumpkins, a Massachusettsbased company that organizes similar spectaculars in various locations in the U.S.

The event features various creative designs, ranging from classic Jack-O-Lantern faces to turtles.

The proceeds from the JackO-Lantern Spectacular go to the Minnesota Zoo’s outreach programs. The Spectacular was first opened last year, and was an immediate hit. This year, the Spectacular’s organizers are expecting an even better turnout. The 2nd annual Jack-OLantern Spectacular will run from Oct. 1 through Nov. 3 at the Minnesota Zoo. Admission for the Spectacular costs $18 for adults and $16 for children and senior citizens. Tickets can only be bought online at the MN Zoo website.


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