October 2019 — Silver Chips Print

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silverchips A public forum for student expression since 1937 Montgomery Blair High School

October 10, 2019

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SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

VOL. 82 NO. 1

For climate coverage Climate strike - A3 Climate & class - C2 Climate activist - E1

CHRISTINA CHEN

DHHS FACILITY IN TAKOMA

UN PERIODO DE ALMUERZO

FINANCIAL LITERACY

Local development enters an agreement to house over 200 unaccompained

Una mirada a las opiniones de los estudiantes sobre este cambio.

Strengthening the financial education curriculum will better equip students

See page A2

See page B2

See page C2

Queens of the capitol

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By Abednego Togas Khushboo Rathore Staff Writer & Senior Writer

curves of her padded shorts. The music plays, and Citrine looks out over the crowded bar and begins to sing. She moves across the stage, not quite dancing, but finding her own movement in the music. Staring at the audience, she reaches out to them, her eyes finding each of their own, pulling

news A2

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By Adam Chazan Staff Writer

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makeup to perform as a heightened version of one’s personality. The artform can transcend, or simply expand, beyond the artist’s gender identity. There are no true requirements to be a drag queen. Generally, men dress as women,

see DRAG page D3

see MS BACH page A4

La Esquina Latina B1

The Brady Bunch(es) of Blair

FAST FOOD, QUICK WIT How powerful a consumer incentive is breakfastthemed absurdism?

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SELF-TRAINED CHAMP Blair senior takes her talent to new global heights

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Blair Flooding teacher the passes Mainstream away in July ennifer Bach, Blair social studies teacher and Mock Trial sponsor, passed away this summer on July 12. She was 39. Principal Renay Johnson announced her death in an email sent to the Blair community on July 14. The school did not release any additional information regarding the cause of death. Last school year, Bach taught three law-oriented elective classes and AP Psychology. She worked as a paralegal before she began her 13 year career in MCPS. Kevin Moose, who worked alongside Bach in the International Studies and Law Academy at Blair, remembered Bach for her energy and dedication to teaching. “Ms. Bach was really comfortable teaching any kid, anytime, anywhere,” Moose said. “I also know she was very precise in the classroom and really brought her legal expertise in, so she was always high-energy [and] outspoken.” Bach’s family held a memorial over the summer. Moose recalled a large turnout. “I was really impressed how many students showed up, who got the word in the middle of summer, who changed their plans, came back from vacation, stopped what they were doing,” he said. “It was a great testament to Ms. Bach, how many students came back.” Bach also sponsored Blair Mock Trial. Senior captain Alex Greenleaf said that she was an essential part of the club. “She was so on top of everything,” Greenleaf said. “She was able to let us know all of our timelines, she was so good at keeping these things straight and ready, and keep-

COURTESY OF CITRINE

our pairs of tights later, Citrine is finally ready to go on stage. Her bright red wig is set perfectly on her head, matching the vivid red that lines her lips. Hearing the first few beats of her song, she struts out wearing a magnificent, sleek dress that is draped to follow the

them into her performance. She sweeps through the crowd, not a hair out of place, makeup perfectly blended, dress falling elegantly around her. When she gets back to the stage, Citrine is heating up from layers of tights, but she is in her fantasy. She embodies a runway model heading off stage, endorphins running through her veins as she heads off stage. Hours later, she returns home and wipes the makeup off of her face, pulling the wig off of her head and stripping off her dress and hip pads. Citrine, a drag queen, expresses herself through her crimson wig, sleek fashion, and performance in the same way someone else would through other branches of performing arts. Drag is a form of artistic expression that employs costuming and

THE MORE THE MERRIER

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By Anika Seth Staff Writer

sk a room full of teenagers for their favorite TV show, and at least one of them will say The Office. Since joining Netflix, the hit mockumentary comedy series—first aired by NBC in 2005—has become the platform’s most popular show of all time. NBC announced on June 26 that The Office will be leaving Netflix for NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock, by 2021. This is part of a larger trend as a number of cable networks buy back exclusive rights to their shows. Fans all over the world are disheartened not only that beloved shows will be leaving platforms like Netflix, but also that cable networks are creating their own services. One fan took to Twitter to note that “the real bad thing about The Office leaving Netflix is the idea of NBC creating their own separate streaming platform. What a dreadful, dreadful future.” In the streaming market’s early days, there were three clear frontrunners: Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Gone was the era of flipping through channels, frustrated that a favorite show wasn’t on at that time. Users could instead stream any show at any time, completely changing how consumers interfaced with televised media. Now, networks are gaining appreciation for the power of convenience inherent in streaming services. Consider Breaking Bad, which aired on AMC for five seasons: Creator Vance Gilligan told Business Insider in 2013 that the Emmy-winning TV show wouldn’t have lasted beyond sea-

GABE WINSTON-BAILEY

son two if it hadn’t become available on Netflix. With this convenience, however, comes competition, especially as the line between streaming services and cable TV becomes increasingly blurred. As streaming platforms start creating renowned original shows and movies—Netflix matched HBO in Emmy Awards, with both at a whopping 23—cable networks are also creating their own streaming services. The Office is accompanied by other household names like Friends, set to join WarnerMedia’s new service (HBO Max), in a confirmed departure from Netflix. Other programs like Grey’s Anatomy, Jane the Virgin, Brooklyn 99, and Seinfeld may also leave the three main platforms (Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime) in the next decade as the owners change hands. Conflicts around licensing rights are convoluted. Often, shows are produced by one studio, distributed by a different net-

work, and sold to an independent streaming service. Take Friends, which NBC created, Warner Bros. Media aired, and Netflix currently makes available. It’s worth noting that Netflix may not be viewing these new services as competition. Online media analyst Dan Rayburn, one of the foremost authorities on streaming technology, explained that “Netflix has always [seen] their biggest competitor… as HBO… because HBO is creating original content.” He furthered that new platforms have different audiences: “Disney is targeting families. Disney will never create Orange Is The New Black. It’s too controversial.” In what may be an effort to counter Netflix, Disney announced a joint bundle package which will include all three of its streaming services—Dinsey Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus—for $12.99 a month, right on par with Netflix’s standard service fee. While packages like these may sound like good deals, their

see STREAMING page E2 features D1

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A2 News silverchips Montgomery Blair High School 51 University Boulevard East Silver Spring, MD 20901 Phone: (301) 649-2864 Winner of the 2015 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Winner of the 2018 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medal

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October 10, 2019

DHHS facility proposed in Takoma and D.C. Public controversy arises over potential child detention center By Teddy Beamer Charlie Wiebe

Columnist & Staff Writer In early August, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) hired a federal contractor to buy a space to house 242 detained migrant children. The contractor, Dynamic Service Solutions, chose a building at 6896 Laurel Street NW, Washington, D.C., as the location, about four miles from Blair. The shelter is expected to house unaccompanied migrant children from ages 12 to 17 as they await an adult sponsor or an asylum hearing. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser expressed opposition to the plan. “We have no intention of accepting a new federal facility, least of all one that detains and dehumanizes migrant children,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post. One week after the plans to create this shelter were revealed, Bowser passed emergency regulations that require the Child and Family Welfare Agency to deny licensing to any party planning to house more than 15 individuals, according to local news organization WJLA. Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart said that the regulations restricted the number of children that a single building could house. “It was technically an executive order to stop [the shelter] from moving forward,” Stewart said. “In D.C., there is a restriction on how many young people you can house in one facility and this far exceeds it.” The order will last until December. In addition to Bowser, Ward 4 D.C. City Council member Brandon Todd has published letters via Twitter to both Dynamic Service Solutions and Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development, stating his opposition to their plan. “I, along with an overwhelming majority of my constituents and neighbors, do not support this type of facility in our community,” Todd wrote in his letter. “I am asking you to reconsider and terminate this agreement.” Douglas Development, the company that currently owns the property, has not taken the property off their website, and has not released any statements in regards to their involvement with the issue. On Aug. 28, local religious and political leaders held a protest outside of the building. The event included speeches from community leaders, Native American drumming, and a praise band. According to event coordina-

tors, an estimated 600 people attended the protest, coming from Washington, D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland to speak out against the Trump administration’s treatment of detainees. “We’re here to make it clear that… the immigration policy right now of this administration is criminal… and amounts to concentration camps, and it amounts to the abuse of families, of nations, and of children,” Reverend Graylan Hagler said at the protest. Hagler was an organizer of the protest and is a member of local anti-cultural erasure activist group Don’t Mute D.C. “We do not want this to take place here in Washington, D.C. and Takoma,” he added. A major point of focus from speakers at the rally was that Jemal would profit from the proposed center. Protestors and Hagler also criticized Jemal for backing out of an agreement to open a new halfway house in D.C. “At 3400 New York Avenue, Douglas Jemal owned a building there that he

“The immigration policy right now of this administration is criminal” - Rev. Graylan Hagler last active halfway house in D.C. for male prisoners to re-enter normal life and has been set to be replaced through a contract by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons with a non-profit organization named Core, according to The Washington Post. This is not not the first time that Jemal’s ethics have come into question. In 2007, he was found guilty of wire fraud for “sending false documents to lender Morgan Stanley to illegally obtain $430,000,” according to the Washington Exam-

website, she intends to create jobs through “community focused investment,” “supporting local businesses,” and “attracting quality retail to the county.” The building at 6896 Laurel St. NW. is four stories tall, 69,735 square feet, and was not intended to house young children. Officially, the land is listed under “office space.” The building’s description on the Douglas Development website says it has “classrooms, offices, library, cafeteria, kitchen and [a] chapel,” but only 50 rooms for administration and post-secondary student residence. Some protestors were incorrect in their identification of which organization was to manage the proposed facility. Many held signs protesting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the police. Both parties are unrelated to the housing in question. ICE housing facilities are primarily for detention—to hold individuals who have crossed the border illegally before their

TEDDY BEAMER

ON THE FRONT LAWN Protestors chant outside 6896 Laurel St. NW during the Aug. 28 rally against the building’s use as an unaccompanied child migrant center. agreed to rent to a halfway house iner. Jemal was sentenced to five relocation to other facilities or of returning citizens from prison months probation and was fined for deportation. The proposed DHHS shelter is for unaccompato come and restock their life,” $175,000. Jemal has also contributed nied minors, including some who Hagler said during his speech at the rally. “And then, mysteri- to local political campaigns, an- have been through ICE centers, ously, without announcement, other focus of speakers at the who do not have sponsors or are [he] reneged on the agreement, protest. In 2018, he contributed awaiting trial. ICE detention centers are basically jeopardizing returning $4,098 to State Attorney Angela citizens services in Washington, Alsobrook’s campaign for Prince the focus of stories of children George’s County Executive. Ac- separated from their parents and D.C.” Currently, Hope Village is the cording to Alsobrook’s campaign kept in inhumane conditions

as reported in multiple news sources. DHHS housing, though not the focus of recent scrutiny, has been identified as a source of abuse and terror, particularly towards youth. Lawyers in a continuing investigation of an ORR unaccompanied minor center in Homestead, Florida have found that the treatment of children was similar to prison or boot camp, according to the Miami Herald. The treatment of the children in Homestead has lead to a court case based on a violation of the Flores Agreement. The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement stems from a 1987 California suit Flores v. Reno. According to the National Center for Youth Law, the agreement says that the government may not detain unaccompanied minors for longer than 20 days and it requires that “children who remain in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive environment and mandates provision of information, treatment and services.” In 2008, Congress dictated through their Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that unaccompanied undocumented children must be “placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.” The abuse and crowding reported by Florida lawyers as occurring in federal migrant detention facilities likely violates these laws as evident through the treatment of children at the Homestead facility. No penalties for violation of the act have been dealt and background checks are only conducted on the potential sponsors of children. Gabrielle Medina-Tayac, activist, historian, and speaker at the Aug. 28 rally, expressed concerns about fitting almost 250 adolescents into a single home without any defense or aid, which she suspects can lead to misuse of power. “There’s been really high documentation of sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse in these facilites,” said Medina-Tayac. “That’s why we don’t have those 400 bed orphanages. You don’t do that with children anymore… These are young people and because their status is different, it doesn’t mean that their needs are any different than any other kids.” Tayac also expressed concern over the restrictive environment that the children are being held in. “It’s not like it’s a group home in the neighborhood and like the kids go to school,” she said. “ The kids can’t go out.” Under the DHHS “Unaccompanied Migrant Children Frequently Asked Questions” page, the “[Unaccompanied Alien Children] in ORR do not integrate into the local community.”

Montgomery County implements the CROWN Act By Khayla Robinson Staff Writer Montgomery County Council members Will Jawando and Nancy Navarro introduced the “Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” (CROWN) Act to Maryland’s County Council on Sept. 24. The bill aims to prohibit discrimination on the basis of natural hair or other protective styles such as twists, braids, or locks. The CROWN Act, first created by California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, received a 69-0 vote from the California State Senate on June 27. On July 3, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill, making California the first state to implement the act. New York became the second state to implement a version of the bill when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it on July 12. Jawando and Navarro expressed high hopes for the bill and the positive impact it could have on people, especially those of color. “This bill is another step forward for advancing racial equity in Montgomery County,” Navarro said. The bill will receive a public hearing on Oct. 15, and if approved by the Council, will receive another public hearing on Nov. 5. In an article on ABC’s Good

Morning America website, Mitchell wrote that hair discrimination has a negative impact on black people in the workforce. “The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness’ and the associated physical traits

hairstyles has affect- ed her mother, a doctor, in the workforce. “For years she would

SHASHI

ARNOLD to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment,” she wrote. “This perspective permeated the workplace, where professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms.” Sophomore Camille Wyatt explained how the idea of “professionalism” in relation to black

straighten her hair until she got into a much higher position, then she started wearing her hair natural,” Wyatt said. “She told me how her peers, who she works over, have definitely said stuff about her hair and… changing her looks, saying how she should look more ‘professional.’” Junior Kai Cook also ob-

served a shift in friendliness and how she was treated when her hair was straightened, compared to when it was natural. “The way people would act around me when I had it straightened… some people would be nicer,” Cook said. “Some people would invite me to things that they may have not invited me to with my hair out.” Hair discrimination does not only

occur in work environments. When she wore her hair out in school, Wyatt stated that the reactions from her peers was different than when it was styled it in other ways. “I definitely wore braids throughout middle school but then, early on, in elementary school and stuff, I would wear more of my natural hair,” Wyatt said. ”It’s an immediate different reaction… they’re like, ‘You look

different,’ or ‘So that’s what you really look like,’” Wyatt said. Whether or not the actions are outright discrimination, becoming aware of the differences in natural hair compared to western hair standards can affect how children and adults perceive themselves. In a letter written to the editor of The Washington Post, Jawando wrote that his daughter once questioned him about the appearance of her hair in comparison to someone else’s shown on TV. “I’ll never forget the first time one of my daughters asked me why her hair wasn’t straight like that of the girls on television,” Jawando said. “I told her she was beautiful the way she was created, and that I would fight to ensure that no one would force her, or her hair, to be otherwise,” Jawando wrote. While introducing the act, Navarro expressed its importance from her perspective. “As a mother of two amazing AfroLatina daughters, I know the struggles of a society that puts arbitrary constraints on one of the most personal expressions of culture and ethnicity—a person’s hairstyle,” Navarro said. “Montgomery County is a welcoming, diverse community, and our structures must be updated to better reflect who we are as a county.”


October 10, 2019

News A3

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Acting Chief Marcus Jones nominated as MoCo Police Chief If confirmed, Jones will fill a position that has been vacant since March By Anna Fisher Lopez Staff Writer County Executive Marc Elrich nominated acting police chief Marcus Jones to be Montgomery County’s permanent chief of police on Sept. 23. Jones will need to receive at least five votes from the nine Montgomery County Council members to be confirmed. Jones was recommended for the permanent position by the previous police chief, Thomas Manger. Although Jones submitted his name for consideration early in the selection process, which began in February, County Executive Elrich originally felt that other candidates were better suited for the position. “The County Executive was looking for a different type of leadership,” Caroline Sturgis, an assistant chief administrative officer with the county executive office involved with the search, said. The County Executive initially wanted to nominate someone who did not work for the Montgomery County Police Department. “Based on what we were hearing from the community, [the community] wanted to see

DELIA MORAN KEEPING WATCH A Montgomery County Police car stands in front of Montgomery Blair High School change within the department and [the County Executive] felt that that change would have been realized from going outside [the department],” Sturgis said. But after multiple finalists withdrew their names from consideration and the search continued for longer than expected,

the county executive office had to adjust their search parameters. “After going months throughout the process, and [through] some of the hurdles that we encountered throughout the process, a conversation was had with Chief Jones,” Sturgis said. The county executive office

is now sure that Jones will be a suitable candidate for the role, should he be confirmed by the County Council. “After having an in-depth conversation on what the expectations are, county executives feel confident that Chief Jones will be able to live up to them,” Sturgis said.

Multiple county council members, including Will Jawando, Tom Hucker, and Hans Reimer, have voiced support for Jones’ nomination. After past nominees received criticism from County Council members, the county executive wanted to make sure they selected a candidate whom the County Council would confirm. “We were doing our background and vetting process internally to see… who we were confident would receive a majority of the votes from the Council,” Sturgis said. Jones’ nomination came after two previously selected finalists withdrew their names from consideration. The two finalists before Jones were Tonya Chapman, a former police chief in Portsmouth, Virginia, and Antonio DeVaul, the current Takoma Park police chief. DeVaul withdrew his name from consideration in mid-July, wanting to remain in his current position. “Calls and emails I received from residents distraught about me leaving Takoma Park really hit home for me,” he said in a Facebook post. This left Chapman as the only remaining finalist. Elrich submitted Chapman’s

name to the County Council for informal consideration but she withdrew her name in late August for “personal reasons,” as she cites in her letter of withdrawal. Before Chapman stepped away, many media outlets published stories regarding Chapman’s resignation from her past position as the chief of the Portsmouth Police Department. “There were a number of media reports, articles written about the process as well as the candidate,” Sturgis said. Sturgis said the County Council submitted some questions that contributed to the delay in the process. “There were questions that were asked by the Council and some of them just could not be answered,” said Sturgis. “Several members [of the County Council] just were not ready to make a decision until questions could be answered.” The county executive office eventually realized that Chapman did not have the support needed to ensure her confirmation. “After going through that process and submitting a name over to [the] council for reviews, we realized that we did not have enough votes on the Council to have that individual approved for the permanent position,” Sturgis said.

Blair students protest to advocate for climate action Thousands assemble on capitol hill to fight for environmental change By Kathryn LaLonde Staff Writer An estimated 10,000 people, many of them students, participated in a Washington D.C. Climate Strike on Sept. 20. They joined approximately four million people striking globally in the largest mobilization for climate justice in history. Some students participating went directly to the march that morning, but others from Montgomery County walked out of school and congregated at the Silver Spring Metro Station for a pre-march rally. They joined more protestors at John Marshall Park in Washington, D.C., and people gathered and formed a chanting crowd holding signs and massive puppets which depicted CEOs of fossil fuel companies. As the park filled up, protestors prepared to march down

Pennsylvania Ave. and attend a rally on Capitol Hill. Elizabeth Levien, a Blair science teacher, attended the march to strike alongside her students. She said climate change is the most pressing issue of our time.

“I have to be here. I want to support my students and this is the biggest issue ever to confront humanity,” she said. “I think we have a responsibility for students to know what kind of changes are taking place and the rate at which they’re happening. It shouldn’t

on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the climate crisis. The rally on Capitol Hill began around noon and was hosted by speakers who emphasized the

urgency of climate action and who also had personal connections to the movement. Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, a Blair senior, was the first speaker of the afternoon. She said she joined the strike to represent her indigenous

be presented as a belief. [Climate change] is a fact and it’s our re-

sponsibility, not just in science classrooms.” Climate change has become a more urgent issue in recent years. This summer, a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stated that July 2019 was the hottest month on record for the planet. The Intergovernmental Panel

BOBBY PADMORE NO PLANET B Students sport signs at the Climate Strike.

heritage and advocate for climate action because she doesn’t feel enough is being done to fight the crisis. “I felt like we needed to… strike from our schools and really call out the government for not doing anything,” she said. “The second reason why I decided to strike was because I am indigenous… we are really connected with our land and our land suffers a lot because of climate change and I feel like communities of color are hit the hardest by climate change.” Medina-Tayac’s position on climate action was shared by other speakers and attendees, including Representative Jamie Raskin who said that youth are an important part of changing policy. “The young people are absolutely there and are in the forefront of it,” Raskin said. “It’s a test of neuroplasticity; can we get the grownups to adjust their minds to the future?”

Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker has worked on several pieces of environmental legislation, including bills to protect county drinking water and expand parks. “We need solar panels on all of our schools; I’ve met with the school system and the superintendent about that,” he said. “We need to convert to more efficient school buildings and we need to create pathways for jobs for young people in the new renewable energy industry.” Despite the feeling of success at the strike from participants, Medina-Tayac said that she hopes more Blair students show up in the future.“I know that there were thousands of people at the strike, but not that many Blair students,” she said. “Everyone had every right to be outraged about [the gun control movement] but we should be just as outraged and just as active about the climate issue.”

Up & Coming October 11

October 16

¡Fiesta Blair!: Voces Unidas 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

College Readiness Day

October 26

November 11

MCPS Cheerleading County Championship

First Marking Period Ends

Student and Teacher Awards & Honors Gina Bonazelli won an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Betselet Shifferraw earned the award of excellence from the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Michelle Elie, Blair English teacher, was recognized as an Extraordinary Educator by Bethesda Magazine. Gabe Worthington, Esrom Weldegiorgis, Mira Diamond-Berman, and Leah Kannan won top-25 awards and led the senior teams to third place finishes at the 2019 DCXC Invite

Daphne Amir, Aarthi J. Arun, Marie Brodsky, Simon L. Chervenak, Caroline L. Danielski, Liam O. DeVoe, Rachel S. Dey, Lintaro P. Donovan, Hemakshi M. Gordy, Jason A. Hsu, Andrew Hu, Evan Z. Hu, Josephine M. James-Le, Hannah J. Kim, Joey D. Kim, Abigail L. Koehler, June P. Lee, Katherine Lei, Adam Leva, Daniel R. Levy, Bryan T. Li, Kelley Li, Amanda S. Liu, Tarun N. Mattikalli, Yael C. Pinsky, Jennifer Ren, Jesse H. Silverberg, Emmy T. Song, Michelle Tang, Carter M. Wilson, Victoria W. Xin, Ambrose Y. Yang, Karen J. Yang, Justin Y. Zhan, Shawn H. Zhao, and Ivvone Zhou are all semi finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship competition.


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A4 News

New changes introduced to Advanced Placement tests

Newsbriefs MCPS outlines plan to expand IB program The MCPS Board of Education passed a resolution to expand access to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at its Sept. 10 meeting. The new plan will create three new regional IB models at John F. Kennedy, Springbrook, and Watkins Mill. The resolution will take effect for the 2020-21 school year. Currently, eight high schools in Montgomery County have an IB program, but Richard Montgomery is the only one that allows students from around the county to apply. The other seven high schools only allow students that are zoned for that high school to participate in the program. The expansion will apply the Richard Montgomery model to John F. Kennedy, Springbrook, and Watkins Mill, and is expected to increase the number of available spots in the county’s IB programs. Richard Montgomery’s IB program will remain as a regional model. The IB expansion is part of the first phase of MCPS’s plan to better prepare high school students for college and careers. In a memorandum from Superintendent Jack Smith to the Board of Education, Smith wrote that “[MCPS] has developed a long-term strategic plan for high school programs and options, building on our strategic efforts to expand access to enriched and accelerated instruction.”

Vaping deaths bring new regulation At least 15 people have died of vaping related illnesses in the United States as of publication. The federal government, as well as many state governments, have started to introduce measures to ban e-cigarettes as a result of increasing concern over their health effects. The first death linked to vaping was reported in August, and the number has continued to rise steadily since. The Trump administration announced plans to start removing e-cigarette products from the market in early September during a meeting with top health officials. Michigan became the first state to announce a flavored vape ban on Sept. 4. The ban went into effect on Oct. 2. New York quickly followed suit. Massachusetts and California legislatures are already considering similar measures. Maryland passed a bill to raise the buying age of tobacco from 18 to 21 in September and plans to introduce legislation to ban flavored e-cigarettes in January. Following the growing movement against vaping, Walmart announced it would stop selling flavored e-cigarettes in all of its locations in mid September. The chain will discontinue the products after their remaining inventory is sold.

Whitman student assaulted with frying pan A Walt Whitman student was arrested for attacking a 15-yearold classmate with a frying pan at Walt Whitman on Sept. 16. The perpetrator, identified as 19-yearold Prince Cutchember, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree assault. The victim was treated at the school and then released to his parents. The motive behind the attack remains unclear. Whitman’s student news site, The Black and White, reported that “sources say the attacker was not provoked today in any way.” Students were held in their fourth period classes during a lockdown and told to ignore all bells while police investigated the incident. Many Whitman students were distressed over the incident given recent events of gun violence in schools nationwide. According to The Black and White, students feared there was a shooter in the school, as no reason was initially cited for the lockdown. About 30 minutes after the attack, a fire alarm went off, and the entire school was evacuated. The fire alarm, however, was not related to the attack. Whitman Principal Robert Dodd issued a statement to the Whitman community about the attack and the fire alarm, calling them “two separate incidents.” Newsbriefs compiled by Rekha Leonard

October 10, 2019

Modifications include new classroom tools, late fees and earlier registration for AP By Emilie Vigliotta Staff Writer The College Board now requires students to register for Advanced Placement (AP) tests in November, while in previous years, they could wait until March to decide. This change was announced by the College Board in a February 2019 press release. Many teachers have expressed concern that the early deadline may negatively affect students who are taking AP courses. “I think the biggest issue is going to be with seniors. I even told [College Board] that,” AP Economics teacher, Brian Hinkle, said. “What happens with seniors who take AP classes and then decide, I don’t like the class or my school doesn’t accept [the credit]?” The College Board has also added a $40 fee for cancellation or late registration. While low-income students may receive subsidies for the exam price, they are responsible for paying the extra cost. “I’m very concerned, especially for a student who begins to realize that they’re prepared to take the test [after the registration deadline], and they want to take the test, but they’re going to have to pay a penalty,” AP World Modern and Art History teacher Rondai Ravilious said. Approximately 180,000 students signed up for AP tests last November in a pilot program for

early registration, and the College Board reported an increase in the number of exams taken. The College Board found that students who register early are more motivated to do well. “[They] are more engaged and persistent when they encounter topics that are initially difficult for them,” Trevor Packer, senior vice president of the AP Program, said in a College Board press release. Since early registration was enacted, registration rates and exam attendance have increased for low-income students and other groups that are traditionally underrepresented in AP classes. “Even as we celebrate the success of AP, we are alert to the inequities that can undermine student success,” David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, said in a press release from early this past February. According to pilot program data, this November deadline led to a 14.2 percent increase in the number of minority students registering. Overall, there was a 7.7 percent increase in the total number of students taking an exam. Along with these modifications to the registration process, the College Board has provided teachers with new classroom tools. These materials allow students across schools to have access to the same curriculum. “For teachers, there is a site where they share lesson plans from all

COLLEGE BOARD

over the world,” Ravilious said. The College Board online classroom provides year-long course materials to prepare students for the AP exam, allowing teachers to plan classes, create assignments and design customized practice exams. Students that register for the exam will have access to study guides for each unit

EMILIE VIGLIOTTA

and a dashboard that tracks their progress. This content is specifically designed to prepare for the AP exam, as the curriculum simulates and familiarizes students with college testing. “They made it more centered towards what happens in college,” Hinkle said. “In other words, some cur-

riculum, not a whole lot in Econ, changed to be more about college.” Exams will still be administered in the first two full weeks of May, and exam fees and reductions have remained unchanged. The College Board promises that scores will be reported on their usual timelines.

Jennifer Bach, social studies teacher, dies at 39 from BACH page A1

COURTESY OF MBHS SILVERLOGUE

MS. gan

BACH IN teaching at

THE Blair

2018 YEARBOOK in the 2013-2014

She beschoolyear.

-ing us on track, and we’re really scrambling to keep everything up now [that she’s gone].” Junior Julia Borum, a student from Bach’s Justice, Law, and Society elective, said that Bach was her favorite teacher. “She was basically someone who saw eye to eye [with her students] and didn’t act like she was above anyone,” Borum said. “She would go out of her way to make sure that she was on the same level as you.” Borum said that Bach was always available for advice and guidance. “You can feel very lost in high school. It’s really hard when you don’t know what you’re doing. She would talk to you about anything, literally anything.” Junior Nolan Wick, a member of the International Studies

and Law Academy, was also in Bach’s Justice, Law, and Society

“She wanted to make sure we weren’t just working, but having fun at the same time.” - Nolan Wick class. He says Bach was passionate about teaching and her class had a positive environment. “She seemed happy to be there. She seemed like she was doing what she wanted to do and she had a passion for what she was doing,” Wick said. “She wanted to make sure we weren’t just working, but

having fun at the same time.” When a teacher or member of the community dies, it is Principal Johnson’s responsibility to inform the MCPS Central Office and to discuss the details that will be released with the family of the deceased. Johnson said that in the event of a teacher’s death, she informs the department head who is then expected to pass the information along to the teacher’s colleagues. “I do a special call to the department chair, in this case Mr. Culver, just to say, ‘this is what happened: we’ve lost one of your teachers. We want to make sure that [the colleagues] hear it from a person on the phone, not just receive a letter like nobody told them,’” she said. The school offered grief counseling over the summer for students and teachers that were affected.

MCPS opens doors to more substitute teachers MCPS loosens application requirements to increase number of substitutes By Anika Seth Staff Writer The MCPS Board of Education passed a new set of requirements for substitute teachers on July 11. As of this school year, applicants to substitute positions are expected to have either an associate’s degree or 60 college credits. This is a departure from the past requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree. According to Bethesda Magazine, despite the school system’s pool of over 3,000 substitute teachers, the school system came up short last school year by about 120 unfilled positions each day. At Blair, these challenges are exacerbated by the student body’s size—in the 2017-18 school year, 3,083 students were enrolled. “Anything that impacts any other school, we feel it more,” Adriana Burgos-Ojeda, the 11th grade assistant principal, said. “That’s definitely been afforded to subs as well.” When these positions are left open, teachers, paraeducators, and administrators are expected to step in. At Blair, the responsibility is often also shared by department heads, according to Burgos-Ojeda. The school board hopes to reduce how often these measures need to be taken through the

looser requirements. “Adjusting the qualifications required of substitute teachers may result in larger substitute teaching pools and enable MCPS to better meet the demand for substitute teach-

teaching certificate at community college. “I think it’s a good thing to get more people into the school system… because people might not otherwise be able to get involved

maintain that higher standard,” he said. “I can kind of see both sides of it.” Discussion on substitute application reform began after a parent comment during a meet-

SHASHI ARNOLD

ers in our schools,” wrote Superintendent Jack Smith in a memo to fellow board members. Eric Esch, a long-term Blair mathematics substitute, explained that another potential benefit of the changes is helping prospective teachers working towards an associate’s degree or a

in teaching,” he said. Esch contrasted this view with the idea of a balance between standards that enable a diverse application pool and standards that enable an experienced application pool. “You might argue that the candidates that you get are more experienced if you

ing between the Board of Education and families of Paint Branch High School’s feeder schools (the Northeast Consortium). At their March meeting, the Board then requested a comparison of MCPS requirements and those of other Maryland counties. MCPS was the only district found

to require a bachelor’s degree. As a state, there is a relatively loose requirement to apply to be a substitute: Candidates only need to have graduated high school. However, additional requirements vary among the different Maryland counties. Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties require substitute teachers to have at least 48 college credits, while Charles County only requires that substitutes be older than 18. MCPS has now adopted an approach similar to Prince George’s, Frederick, and Howard counties, all of which also mandate an associate’s degree or 60 college credits. The substitute application reform process is far from over. Human Resources Associate Superintendent Lancelotti Dempsey told The Sentinel that, due to an intricate online application system, a simple application error like forgetting to check a box could mean that MCPS never receives a potential applicant’s file. To remedy this, Smith told The Sentinel that MCPS is working on improving the online application to make it more efficient and simple for applicants to fill out. These changes are confirmed to take place, though not in the immediate future.


silverchips

10 de octubre de 2019

La Esquina Latina B1

La Esquina Latina

Silver Chips el 10 de octubre de 2019

¡Celebración cultural! Por Yenmis Quiñones Escritora El Mes de la Herencia Hispana se celebra en los Estados Unidos se celebra del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre. Este año Blair lo celebra con actividades como el torneo de fútbol, la excursión a la obra de teatro Judge Torres, un taller cultural sobre los dialectos indígenas en muchos países latinoamericanos y lo más esperado del mes es la Fiesta Blair. El evento se titula Voces Unidas, donde habrá una representación de la unidad de la comunidad hispana en estos tiempos difíciles. Las encargadas de los preparativos de este año son la Sra. Young, coordinadora de estudiantes latinos, la Sra. Burgos, administradora del grado 11 y la Sra. Carrillo, la administradora del programa ESOL. Ellas están trabajando en hacer este mes memorable para los estudiantes latinos y hacerlos sentir bienvenidos en la comunidad de Blair.

OZ

Escritor: ¿Qué es el Centro de universidades y carreras? Salazar: “Es un centro a donde pueden venir todos los estudiantes de Blair y pueden preguntar ... para las aplicaciones a universidades y colegios, también, si necesitan un trabajo le podemos ayudar buscar un tra-

La Srta. Salazar, de herencia guatemalteca, salvadoreña y colombiana, está comenzando su primer año como coordinadora del Centro de universidades y carreras de la escuela localizada en la sala 121. Ella ayuda a muchos estudiantes con el proceso de solicitud a la universidad. Aunque ella se graduό con un GPA de 1.0, su perseverancia y sacrificio al esforzarse en sus estudios universitarios tuvo sus recompensas. Ahora, la Srta. Salazar está terminando su maestría en la Universidad de Johns Hopkins, una de las escuelas más prestigiosas de la nación. Además de esto, ella es trilingüe ya que sabe dominar el inglés, el español y el francés. Sin duda, la Srta. Salazar trae muchos conocimientos para poner en práctica en Blair.

sé como, mil estudiantes latinos acá en Blair y es importante reconocerlos. Es importante crear ese sentido de comunidad y de orgullo. En estos tiempos políticos muchas veces hay mucha, vergüenza el ser latino. Con todas las dificultades que tenemos con inmigración y con esta situación política, hay tanto odio que para mi es importante recordar que esta es una cultura espectacular.” El espectáculo está dirigido por un grupo diverso de maestros y estudiantes los cuales se han encargado de hacer que ese sea un evento memorable. Los estudiantes crearon las coreografías de los bailes ellos mismos. Se han reunido durante el almuerzo y después de la escuela de lunes a viernes. Renata, una estudiante del grado once, está encargada del sonido del espectáculo nos indica que“los retos de planificar para un evento tan grande como Fiesta Blair es que necesitamos suficiente tiempo para hacer los diferentes componentes del espectáculo, armar el escenario, diseñar la música y las luces para todas esas cosas necesitamos saber antes de tiempo, porque el Mes de la Herencia Hispana es en septiembre y un poco en octubre y el colegio empieza en septiembre y no tenemos mucho tiempo para prepararnos entonces eso es siempre un reto.” El Mes de la Herencia Hispana es un aliento de esperanza para la comunidad hispanohablante, especialmente en estos tiempos de discordia étnica, racial, y política difíciles. Es muy importante ser orgullosos de nuestras culturas y costumbres. Esa es la meta de la celebración de fiesta Blair. El Mes de la Herencia Hispana enfatiza la importancia de mantenerse unidos como comunidad hispana y de nunca olvidar nuestras raíces. M ATA REN

Por Tony González Calderón Escritor

Fiesta Blair tomará lugar el 11 de octubre a las 6:30 de la tarde. Este año el evento contará con actividades para todos los gustos. La Sra. Young, nos contó sobre los planes el evento, “Los retos de planear cualquier evento, sobretodo en una escuela como Blair es por una parte la publicidad, porque si uno planea un evento y nadie se entera por supuesto es como no planear nada y además no sabemos qué tipo de cosas le gustaría a los estudiantes. A lo mejor algo que a mi me parece fabuloso, a un estudiante de de escuela secundaria quizás no le gusta. Como tenemos muchos estudiantes de varios países y con experiencias diferentes debemos incluir un poco de todo”. Fiesta Blair incluirá música, poesía, bailes, comida, y un número musical entre otras actividades. Este es el segundo año de Fiesta Blair, el propósito de la celebración es unir a los estudiantes y miembros de la facultad latina con sus culturas e identidad. Durante una entrevista la Sra. Burgos, otra coordinadora del evento, recalcó la importancia de celebrar la cultura hispana y la diversidad de cada país de latinoamérica.” Tenemos, n o

LUCY MARTIN

FIESTA BLAIR Estudiantes se preparan para representar con orgullo la cultura latina.

Conozca a la señorita Salazar

La nueva coordinadora del Centro de universidades y carreras bajo, o si necesitan información para el FAFSA o becas, yo, y los voluntarios que vienen aquí ayudan a todos los estudiantes”. Escritor: ¿Cómo se mira un día típico en el Centro de universidades y carreras? Salazar: “En la mañana, vengo [y] abro el centro. Algunas veces tengo unos estudiantes que vienen, si tienen una cita conmigo nos sentamos aquí a hablar. Me preguntan cosas como ‘¿Qué puedo hacer para comenzar el proceso para ir a la escuela?’, o ‘¿Qué hago después de Blair?’. Entonces… nosotros hablamos un poco si están interesados en la escuela, ya saben, le ayudó con la aplicación. También comenzamos aplicaciones para el FAFSA y también vemos que becas tiene la escuela o también si ellos están interesados en otras becas… Después viene el horario [del almuerzo]... y aquí vienen... como más de 20 estudiantes aquí en el centro. También ayudamos con… [ensayos] para la escuela o para el colegio, entonces vienen aquí también. Después, también tenemos reuniones con los consejeros aquí para hablar sobre cómo podemos ayudar a los estudiantes”. Escritor: ¿Qué es el FASA?

que traigan información, si lo tiene, de los… [impuestos] de sus padres… si viven con sus padres. Cuando aplicamos es para ayudar a los estudiantes que tengan dinero para que cuando apliquen. Por ejemplo, Montgomery College tienen toda esa información ya y la escuela también le dice si califica para otras cosas”.

EDSON ORELLANA

CARMEN SALAZAR Pueden encontrarla en el salón 121. Salazar: “El FAFSA es una aplicación que los estudiantes pueden hacer para tener dinero

para la escuela o para la universidad. Entonces, lo que nosotros pedimos para los estudiantes es

Escritor: ¿Cómo puede el Centro de universidades y carreras ayudar a los estudiantes latinos e hispanohablantes? Salazar: “Yo sé que difícil es a saber lo que vamos hacer después de la escuela cuando termine. Entonces, lo que yo puede decir… es que yo estoy aquí para ayudarle yo se que algunas veces es bien difícil a ver lo que pueden hacer después pero también tienen que saber que hay opciones… Algunas veces cuando me vienen a hablar aquí los estudiantes me dicen, ‘Sra. Salazar no tengo papeles’, esta bien hay opciones también… no tiene que tener timidez para decirme eso. Yo digo vamos a explorar más opciones”. Escritor: ¿Habrán talleres de trabajo en el Centro de carreras y universidades? Salazar: “Sí, algunos talleres de trabajo ayudarán a crear una

cuenta de Naviance y el Common App. Durantes los años en la secundaria [te] ayudarán… [con] las universidades y carreras preferidas”.

Escritor: ¿Quiénes ayudan con el trabajo de ayudar a los estudiantes? Salazar: “En total hay 11 voluntarios y usualmente hay dos a tres voluntarios por día… . Estos ayudan a facilitar cómo buscar becas, escribir los ensayos para escuelas preferidas, o cómo completar el formulario FAFSA”.

Durante la entrevista la señora Salazar también mencionó que ella entiende lo difícil que puede ser para algunos estudiantes el ir a la universidad por cuestión del estatus legal. Sin embargo, ella asegura que extiende su mano para ayudar y averiguar las opciones que cada estudiante tiene. En el Centro de universidades y carreras hay muchos recursos para los estudiantes, solamente se trata de acercarse y pedir ayuda. En las palabras de la Srta. Salazar, “Vengan, por favor vengan, este lugar es para ustedes. Si solamente quieren venir a conversar o venir a sentarse y hacer deberes durante el almuerzo, está perfectamente bien conmigo”.


silverchips

B2 La Esquina Latina

10 de octubre de 2019

ESTHER TANG Y EDSON ORELLANA

Por Cecilia Clemens Vargas Lugo y Ivania Valladares Escritoras Por primera vez los estudiantes y la facultad de Blair tienen solamente un periodo de almuerzo y para la mayoría esto ha sido un cambio positivo. Esta innovación en el horario escolar ha causado que los maestros estén más disponibles para ofrecer apoyo académico y que la escuela ofrezca muchos entretenimientos nuevos para el placer de los estudiantes. A Wendy Peña, una estudiante del grado doce, le parece muy bien que la escuela esté ofreciendo estos entretenimientos porque, “durante una hora que tenemos podemos hacer muchas actividades como ver las películas que hay”. El hecho que la administración ofrezca actividades, como deportes y películas, ayuda a que los estudiantes no se sientan muy estresados. Jonathan Coreas, otro estudiante del grado doce, dice que, “aunque solo es un lunch, todo los alumnos alcanzan a agarrar su lunch”...

Luis Ortega, otro estudiante del grado once, está a favor con respecto a tener un solo almuerzo y comenta que “así más estudiantes pueden estar divirtiéndose durante el almuerzo y pueden estar más entretenidos”. Aunque la escuela Blair tiene más de 3.000 estudiantes, la administración ha podido organizar la hora de almuerzo en una manera que evita que muchas personas estén en un mismo sitio. Por ejemplo, este año se están presentando películas en el auditorio. También hay partidos de fútbol cada día en el estadio y se ofrecen una variedad de deportes en el gimnasio. Además, se han brindado talleres de arte. Durante el verano, la administración sacó algunos casilleros en todos los pisos para crear espacio adicional. En el lugar de los casilleros ahora hay mesas y lugares para comprar comida. El objetivo de estos cambios y entretenimientos es que los estudiantes se dispersen por toda la escuela. Para muchos estudiantes, el entretenimiento que les interesa

más son las películas. Peña dice que lo que más le atrae son las películas porque, “ahí puedo distraerme y es más calmado por que no hay mucho sonido”. Yocely Aguilar, quien está en el noveno grado, es otra estudiante que está de acuerdo con respecto a las películas, porque en sus otras escuelas nunca han tenido este tipo de actividad. Un cambio muy importante este año es que los maestros están requeridos a estar disponibles durante el almuerzo para proveer apoyo académico durante 90 minutos por semana. Sin embargo, algunos estudiantes sienten que eso no les afecta. Coreas comenta, que él tiene que buscar “un momento donde ellos [los maestros] tienen tiempo para poder ir a hacer mis cosas con ellos. No solo necesariamente el lunch si no cuando ellos tienen su tiempo libre”. Peña también está de acuerdo, y dice que el hecho que los maestros estén disponibles no le ha sido un gran cambio para ella. Aún así, a algunos estudian-

tes no les gusta el nuevo horario. Wanner Godoy, un estudiante del décimo grado, dice al respecto “no, no me gusta”. Por ahora, tampoco está interesado en los entretenimientos. Jerson Vicente, un estudiante del décimo grado dice que “No está bien para mi porque hay mucha gente ahí y cuando va ser invierno.. no va [a] haber espacio para nadie para sentarse”. Aunque por ahora hay suficiente espacio para los estudiantes durante el almuerzo, no se sabe que va pasar cuando cambie el clima. Para la facultad de Blair este cambio de horario no ha causado ningún problema. De hecho han desaparecidos varios problemas. Comenta Ericka Pastor, una guardia de seguridad, “Tenemos menos estudiantes que...no asisten a sus clases”. Ella añade que este problema fue una de las razones por que la administración decidió tener un periodo de almuerzo singular y esto demuestra que el horario nuevo está ayudando. Ahora es más difícil para que un estudiante falte

a una clase. La Sra. Barrera, quien está a cargo del departamento de idiomas, dice que ella siente que ahora puede ayudar a todos sus estudiantes. Antes ella no podía proveer apoyo académico a todos, pero con el nuevo horario ella está más disponible para los que necesitan asistencia. Barrera dice que ella se “...sentía muy culpable el año pasado. Por ejemplo, decirle a mis estudiantes no durante ese almuerzo no estoy disponible y a otros estudiantes decirles o si durante ese almuerzo estoy disponible. Creo de que no había igualdad en ese aspecto”. Ahora ella y muchos maestros pueden ayudar a todos sus estudiantes con este nuevo horario. Para el departamento de mantenimiento, el horario nuevo ha ayudado con el aseo de la escuela. Maritza Santeliz, una empleada de mantenimiento que ha trabajado en Blair por trece años, dice que, “ahora tengo más tiempo para poder limpiar… porque… antes no teníamos el tiem-

po suficiente”. El nuevo horario ha podido ayudar a la escuela en una manera que la mayoría de la gente no piensa frecuentemente en, la limpieza. La Sra. Burgos, vice directora de estudiantes del décimo grado, piensa que este horario nuevo, “nos está yendo mejor de lo esperado”. Ella también piensa que socialmente es mejor para los estudiantes y añade que con el horario anterior, “teníamos muchos estudiantes con la preocupación de, si tengo el almuerzo del periodo cinco, tengo el almuerzo del periodo seis no se donde estan mis amistades, se sentían solos… ya no tienen ese problema por que todos estamos juntos y creo que así socialmente se sienten más relajados”. En todo caso aunque a un estudiante no le guste el nuevo horario ya no se tiene que preocuparse de pasar el almuerzo sin amigos. No se sabe si este horario funcionará para todo el año escolar, pero por ahora este cambio ha recibido muchos comentarios positivos.

Visite la página D1 para leer el artículo sobre los programas de apoyo a inmigrantes

El periodo de inovación

Promueve la iniciativa “Be Well 365” Por Renata Muñoz Editora Este año, las escuelas públicas del condado están implementando programas para promover el bienestar de los estudiantes. Estos programas son parte de la iniciativa “Be Well 365”. Por primera vez, Blair inició el periodo de innovación lo cual servirá para poner en práctica esta iniciativa. Los estudiantes tendrán este periodo cada dos semanas después de su primera clase del día en el periodo de “homeroom” por treinta minutos. Durante los treinta minutos, los maestros tendrán lecciones acerca de seis temas que el condado ha escogido enfatizar: establecer conexiones entre los estudiantes, la salud mental y emocional, la salud física y el bienestar, el trauma, las prácticas de justicia restaurativa, el carácter y la empatía. Esto significa que los periodos de innovación también tendrán lecciones de PBSL (lecciones de seguridad personal), lo cual se enfocará en temas como las señales de suicidio y el consentimiento. La señora Soriano, quien ayuda crear las lecciones del periodo de innovación comenta, “Las lecciones no serán hechas de un forma en que estaríamos forzando a los estudiantes y profesores a tener conversaciones incómodas. Tampoco tiene la intención de

reemplazar conversaciones personales... será más para asegurar que todos somos conscientes del apoyo que ofrece la escuela y que hay varios adultos [en] que los estudiantes pueden confiar”. Sin embargo, en las primeras lecciones para los periodos de innovación se tratará de estable-

“La

iniciativa `Be

Well 365´ se ha puesto en marcha porque un individuo, no solo es impactado por su educación”. -Soriano, Makeyda Jefa del Departamento de consejería

cer una relación entre los alumnos y profesores, después se enseñarán los temas más delicados. Soriano dice, “Primero vamos a enfocarnos en crear relaciones…

[con el profesor y] los estudiantes en tu clase, para que sea más que el periodo de ‘homeroom’, casi otro ambiente donde puedes ir… [y] tener otro adulto [con] quien [puedas] hablar”. Uno de los propósitos de “Be Well 365” y los programas como el periodo de innovación es reconocer que todos tenemos desafíos para enfrentar. Soriano añade, “La iniciativa `Be Well 365´ se ha puesto en marcha porque como un individuo, tú no solo eres impactado por tu educación… tal vez juegas un deporte, o tal vez tienes otras cosas afuera de la escuela… ese es el enfoque, que no es solo sobre mi educación, también es sobre mi salud mental, también es sobre mi salud física, también es sobre mi crecimiento de carácter, empatía, compasión, todas esas cosas”. Una razón por la cual MCPS inició “Be Well 365” es por que se ha visto un incremento de estudiantes que necesitan apoyo emocional. Según las estadísticas de MCPS, durante el año escolar del 2017-2018, hubieron más de 116,000 visitas a consejeros por razones sociales, emocionales, y psicológicas. Estos consejeros han pasado más de 42,000 horas apoyando a la salud mental de los estudiantes. MCPS y Blair han puesto en práctica esta iniciativa durante el periodo de innovación con el objetivo de promover la importancia emocional y social de los estudiantes.


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Op/Ed C1

Should corporations take responsibility over social issues? NO

-CVS

“[Yes]... when a social issue comes up... it shouldn’t be just on the government to change things.”

Tadeusz Mrozek Junior

“[No]...[it] disrupts from the trust of their buyers who might think differently.”

SHASHI ARNOLD

Naja Jimenez Freshman

ESTHER TANG

“Yes because big corporations have a bigger influence on the public... they make an impact on society, and they have the funding for it.”

Cooper Dalby Sophomore

CLARK ZHANG

McMillon announced on Sept. 3 that they will no longer sell handgun ammunition and will prohibit customers from carrying guns in-store. Sacrificing approximately $400 million in revenue, Walmart is responding to the recent increase in mass shootings across the nation. The media praised Walmart for advocating gun safety legislation from Congress and taking action by changing their own gun policies. The company’s changes have set an example for other companies to take responsibility in making America safer and have led to an overall increase in their stocks, despite the immediate profit loss. Companies like Walmart, that take a stand on social issues, encourage other firms to make a difference with their own policies, therefore strengthening the support of social movements. Two days after Walmart released its statement banning firearms, CVS followed suit. “We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores,” they wrote in a statement. The voice of a social movement has forced competing companies to stand together and use their power to improve the safety of individuals. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, along with Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created 1% for the Planet, an organization with a mission to help fund solutions for the world’s problems through environmental organizations. Corporations including Klean Kanteen, New Belgium Brewing, and Honest Tea have followed Patagonia’s example in donating one percent of their proceeds to environmental causes, joining together to counteract global warming for the well-being of all humans and animals. Since the beginning of 1% for the Planet, Patagonia has donated nearly $225 million to nonprofit organizations focusing on six main topics: climate, food,

Nahan Tsegaye Freshman

CLARK ZHANG

“We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers... do not bring firearms into our stores.”

land, pollution, water, and wildlife. And Walmart hopes that decreased accessibility to ammunition for handguns and assaultrifles will change the status quo of violence and improve safety. It often only takes one to make a statement. Large companies have the ability to change perspectives through advertisements, events, donations, and products that reach billions of people each day. Proctor and Gamble’s, the parent company of Gillete, owns nearly 50 percent of the shave market with a platform that spans across nearly all demographics. Gillete spoke out against harassment in a January TV advertisement, asking men to hold other men accountable under their ‘Be the Best Men You Can Be’ campaign. As of publication, the ad has reached over 32.5 million views on YouTube, causing people across the globe to consider a personal responsibility over prevention of harassment towards women. The idea of corporate activism is often met with concern that companies only take a stance on social issues because of publicity and pressure from customers, without contributing to a solution. According to Aline Charkoudian-Rodgers, President of Young Democrats Club and a climate activist, empty words about issues are unhelpful for social movements. “If you’re just talking about it and not actually doing anything… then it’s not worth all the discussion that you have created because you’re not changing anything,” Charkoudian-Rodgers said. While some corporations fall into this pattern, many companies have followed through on their social activism campaigns, fighting against issues like climate change and suicide. In the past year, HP has stopped all deforestation for paper, two years ahead of their scheduled goal. Macy’s, too, teamed up with The Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide among the LGBTQ+ community. Although companies often choose to make changes over time, these efforts eventually add up to significant benefits to individuals and society. Junior Will Thorne agrees that corporations’ commentary on social issues is beneficial, despite cases in which the initial motivation is profit. “I think that things need to be said sometimes just because they need to be said,” Thorne stated. When companies use their platforms to bring attention to social issues, they inspire public mobilization and impactful action. Moreover, backlash from customers discourages corporations from making empty promises. In 2017, Pepsi released an ad to promote global peace and unity in which Kendall Jenner participates in a protest and interacts with a friendly police officer. One day after its release, Pepsi pulled the ad following accusations of trivializing police brutality and the fight for racial equality in the Black Lives Matter movement in order to sell product. In today’s society, corporations cannot put on a false display of support for social issues without facing public image repercussions. Therefore most companies speaking out on social problems are contributing to the cause through their actions and advertisements, benefiting groups invested in the movement. It is about time that large corporations use their resources for good. The 2017 Cone Communications Corporate Social Responsibility Study concluded that 78 percent of Americans expect corporations to address social issues. At this point in history, businesses must be held accountable for contributing to society in more ways than economic growth. With the voices and actions of corporations worldwide, Earth will become a cleaner, safer, better place.

By Clark Zhang Staff Writer

Profits interfere with social consciousness.

CLARK ZHANG

In 1949, Quaker Oats partnered with the Fernald State School to test the effects of radioactive milk and oatmeal on mentally disabled boys and orphans. The company aimed to increase sales and compete with other hot cereals by demonstrating the health benefits of oatmeal. After conducting human testing without consent, Quaker Oats survived a 1995 lawsuit with an inconsequential $1.85 million settlement, demonstrating that corporations have not always been held to high standards. Today, many liberal youth condemn corporations for displaying insensitivity toward issues like climate change, gun regulation, LGBTQ+ rights, and racism. But with the recent rise in political awareness and social activism, companies have begun taking necessary responsibility over social issues in order to improve safety and equality for their employees, customers, and allies. In response to the El Paso shooting at a Walmart store last month, Walmart CEO Doug

ESTHER TANG

ESTHER TANG

YES Companies are obligated to support social issues. By Abby Brier Staff Writer

“[Yes]... they have a lot of money and they can affect change socially.”

As the corporate responsibility movement spreads across the business world, almost every company boasts its “global responsibility reports,” which are yearly summaries of a company’s laudable actions and policy. However, despite the faces they flaunt to the public, they still act unethically. In one case, tobacco giant Phillip Morris created the “Charitable Giving Program,” in which the company “supports initiatives that improve living conditions in places our employees work and reside” while actively promoting tobacco chewing and its proven chronic health detriments. Furthermore, Starbucks, whose website states, “We have always believed Starbucks can— and should—have a positive social impact on the communities we serve,” invested several million dollars into a campaign for better workplace environments. Despite their “best” efforts, they received last place in ethical rating of coffee chains by the Ethical Consumer magazine. The magazine accused Starbucks of union-busting, Guantanamo Bay supplying, and serving genetically-engineered growth hormone in US milk. Starbucks and Phillip Morris are responding to the increasing pressure for companies to take stances on social issues and improve their own practices. Instead of changing, however, companies use corporate social responsibility to boost their profits and seldom care about the social issues they are addressing. Companies run “socially conscious” campaigns, seemingly spreading awareness, while covering up the dirty details behind catchy campaign slogan. Companies are the fundamental capitalist machine; their purpose is to spend as little as possible and maximize their returns. Therefore, companies try to make the most public difference possible while minimizing their actual effects. Most companies have engaged in some form of an environmental initiative to reduce their carbon footprint, but their impacts are minimal. “Starbucks going from the straws to plastic lids probably has way less of a difference than having more sustainable practices for where they buy their coffee beans,” junior Talia Nesin said. The Brazilian labor ministry reported that employees at Starbucks coffee plantations work 17-hour shifts, have dead rats in their food, and have no sanitation system. Instead of spending millions on paper straws, companies could improve their production line, pay their workers more, and invest in green technology. If companies actually wanted to help the environment, the consumer would not even notice a difference in the company’s product. Fixing Starbucks’ farming practices would not affect the taste of the coffee. Instead, Starbucks chooses to cater to the turtles. Companies stamp on green leaf logos, symbolizing green practices, to promote their product. These green campaigns portray false solutions to existential issues, desensitizing the public to the reality of problem. “It’s just to make people feel like they are doing good, without actually having to change themselves,” Nesin said. While tons of greenhouse gases are still being released into the atmosphere, consumers are content with their reduced straw waste. These campaigns attract the public to the companies, but real change is far from each campaign’s true focus. Often times, companies are blatantly hypocritical. “There have been companies that have ran pride stuff and… fired a guy for being gay,” Nesin said. Companies like Goldman Sachs

flew rainbow flags, ran a progay campaign, then alledgedly discriminated and fired their vice president over his sexual orientation. Companies are too tunnel-visioned on maximizing their profits to care about the issues they are addressing. “If people that work at your company are being mistreated… [then] you actually have to make an effort to treat your workers well,” junior Maya Hofstetter said. Especially with climate change, fully committing to a substantial initiative is incredibly expensive—on the scale of billions of dollars—making it nearly impossible to do without cutting corners elsewhere. In 2008, while Walmart was tiling their roofs with solar panels to reduce carbon emissions, requests among its Chinese suppliers were ignored, causing workers’ pay to be cut and safety to be overlooked. Eventually, due to a lack of funding, instead of properly disposing of a highly toxic byproduct of the solar panel manufacturing, the Chinese suppliers began dumping waste into rivers and fields of the Henan province. In fact, it will never be profitable for companies to stop climate change. Though it will always be profitable to make the public think that companies are making an effort, it will never be profitable for companies to align themselves with their efforts. Companies that sacrifice their cheap fossil fuels for alternative energy will be long gone before the posterity enjoys the fruit of the sacrifices. “An efficient market, then, may ignore the interest of later generations except insofar as people for purely altruistic reasons are willing to put those interests before their own,” said Mark Sagoff, former Professor of Philosophy at George Mason University. Historically, companies have never had better environmental practices unless it was profitable.

“It’s just to make people feel like they are doing good, without actually having to change themselves.” -Talia Nesin Junior

When the 1990 Clean Air Act was passed to cap emissions of sulfur dioxide, emissions only fell after low-sulfur coal costs fell by half. For companies to change their practices, they must perceive that the change has sufficient economic value, and “this economic value, in turn, will depend on how many allowances political authorities may create,” said Sagoff. Relying on companies to change their own practices is futile. True change will only come if profits are the main incentive. Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences winner Milton Friedman wrote in his famous editorial “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits,” “In practice, the doctrine of social responsibility is frequently a cloak for actions that are justified on other grounds rather than a reason for those actions.” Making money is not inherently unethical, but it is if it portrays false solutions, especially if hidden behind the “cloak” of corporate social responsibility.


silverchips

C2 Op/Ed

October 10, 2019

A take on the fake

‘Fake’ fans are an easy target for the music community to gatekeep

the “fake” outgroup. “When people form a group and they become tightly knit, they form a cohesive bond. That’s part of being human. When other people try to infiltrate that group… they’ll exclude others,” he said. “They begin to ‘otherize,’ so to speak, other groups.” Tyler, the Creator fans exemplify the relations between real and fake fans. Many became real fans with the release of Bastard in 2009, when he made dark and grotesque music. As he matured and began to refine his sound, namely with his widely acclaimed

2017 album Flower Boy, different demographics also became fans. Many considered Flower Boy his best album, but some of the “real” fans felt threatened by the mainstream recognition Tyler, the Creator was getting. As Smith said, this ingroup began to gatekeep as others tried to “infiltrate” their community. Junior Declan Johnsen, a Tyler, the Creator fan, discussed how some older fans interact with newer ones. To him, some of the older fans felt threatened by the incoming ones. “I don’t think I’ve seen an old fan that’s disliked Flower Boy, but I feel like most people don’t like how more people are liking him simply because they used to be a smaller community,” he said. “Now that more people are listening to him, they feel that they’re not as special anymore… because people are listening to his newer works.” No one benefits from gatekeeping fans. Real fans should be happy that other people appreciate their favorite artists; instead, their insider status feels threatened by them. Some may be worried that with a larger audience to satisfy, an artist will lose their authenticity as they begin to pander. However, that is the decision of the artist themselves, and blaming the fans will not push the artist back to their old ways. “Fake” fans are as legitimate as any other fan that exists and should not be a target of “real” fans. By excluding the outgroup, the ingroup only stops people from taking pleasure in the things they like.

SPEAKING OUT Student protestors from wards the capital during the Global Climate effects of climate change are the time and time again, people of least equipped to recover from it. color and low-income communi“As the Earth warms, there is ties suffer and lack the means to going to be changes in local rain- recuperate. “For a long time, a lot of clifall, and water-scarce regions are likely to be more affected,” McK- mate activists only focused on inzie said. “There would be rising the environmental factors, so, instances of flooding and coastal animals and sea levels,” Medinaerosion, where a lot of property Tayac said. “There is no mention owners don’t have the means to of, one, the people of color who modify their homes to withstand are fighting [climate change], and, the increasing coastal impact of two, the people who are being affected by it, right now, which are climate change.” In the United States, specifi- mainly people of color.” Historically, the focus on cally, the poorest residents in the Gulf states are currently exposed climate activism has been overto rising sea levels and a dispro- whelmingly white. In a study from portionate threat from coastal January 2018, Dorcerta Taylor flooding. This past summer, Hur- of the University of Michigan ricane Dorian caused devastation analyzed the racial diversity in that highlights the vulnerability the small percentage of American of certain communities, showing environmental organizations that that those with the fewest means released their data. On average, were most affected. Even after the percentage of nonwhite workthe government issued evacuation ers at environmental organizawarnings in the Bahamas, many tions remain low. More than 85 low-income families were unable percent of staff members and 80 percent of board members were to afford to leave. Climate change is inextricably white. tied to racism, poverty and inDespite these organizations equality. When Superstorm San- being overwhelmingly white, acdy hit in 2012, for example, half tivists of color have been spearof the New York City residents heading the movement long beliving in public housing were dis- fore its mainstream popularity. placed. Failing to address the is- “The environmental movement sue of climate justice means that, has been portrayed as a very white

Blair march toMarch on Sept. 20. movement in the past, which doesn’t make any sense, because the people who have been fighting it the longest are brown and black people,” Medina-Tayac said. “I think people are just starting to really uplift the voices of the people who have been left unrecognized, which are activists of color.” The disproportionate effects of climate change highlights the necessity of diversity in the environmental movement. Activists of color have been spoken over for far too long. The conversation about climate change needs to be inclusive. “There is not enough being done,” Medina-Tayac said. “Youth and activists of color are actually forming their own organizations… There were no spaces that really put emphasis on climate justice, so they created their own.” Activists of color are working to promote climate justice and youth-led climate organizations are working to engage with a younger and more diverse audience. With the imminent threat of climate change, these impending consequences will disproportionately affect vulnerable communities across the planet. The future of environmental activism relies on climate justice.

By Ishaan Shrestha Staff Writer

ASHLEY THOMMANA

No taxation without education

Why the financial education system needs to be revitalized By Ashley Thommana Staff Writer For many of us, high school is the last sanctuary of our childhood. After graduation, we are thrust into the complexities of adulthood, higher education, and careers. The looming responsibilities of the future include finances. Maryland is one of several states to include financial education requirements in high schools. However, despite the implementation of financial education across the United States, a study in the Management Study journal found a mere 0.1 percent increase in overall beneficial fiscal habits. This dire statistic begs the question: Should financial literacy education be required in high schools? The short answer is yes. However, the financial education curriculum should be improved to focus on the interactive application of concepts. Students in Montgomery County should receive annual financial literacy in their required classes. While not all Blair students have this opportunity, senior Lintaro Donovan took a financial literacy unit in his AP Calculus class. He believed that the unit skipped over direct application. “I want to interact with the material. I want to practice filling out [and] balancing my checkbook… saving up… [and] looking at financial documents,” he said. A study in the Journal of Business & Economics Research noted that this form of learning, called experiential learning, leads to better understanding of concepts. A hands-on curriculum that emphasizes both theoretical and practical knowledge will ensure that students are equipped to make well-informed financial decisions. Additionally, senior Bianca Sauro noted that financial literacy

education should be available because it relates to and reinforces what is taught in other classes. “A lot of the math courses that we take right now are very important and very applicable, but students don’t always know how to apply that knowledge … in their real life, ” she explained. Many Blair students favor an optional class because they don’t want to be forced to take a course dedicated solely to the topic. “Some people have different needs and desires and I don’t feel like people should be forced to do something that they will then drag down because they don’t care about it,” explained sophomore Ethan Shoham. But an optional course defeats the purpose of financial literacy education, which is to prepare

“I want to interact with the material... I want to practice filling out [and] balancing my checkbook... saving up” - Lintaro Donovan all students, according to Peter Cirincione, an AP National, State, and Local Government and Comparative Government teacher. “Students should be equipped with at least the vocabulary to understand these systems they are going to encounter and be forced to reckon with, [which] have lasting and potentially very negative consequences for those who fail to understand them,” he said. Junior Yamarie Sarr, who believes personal finance education is a must, pointed out that some required classes don’t necessarily relate to the future careers of all students. Financial literacy is a universal skill, which is why it must be taught. A National Capability Study

by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRNA) found that, in 2018, two-thirds of Americans could not pass a basic financial literacy test, further demonstrating the need for financial literacy education. Donovan emphasized the importance of financial education, despite imperfections in the current curriculum. “I think that it is a vital life skill, and without it, I don’t think that I’d be prepared for adult life,” he said. “I thought [the financial literacy unit] was so invaluable because that was the first time I had been exposed to vital things … credit card bills, bill overdrafts and how to prevent these problems.” Donovan was taught financial literacy in his AP Calculus class, but all Blair students learn about personal finances for only a few weeks in their government classes during sophomore year. According to Cirincione, most government teachers use Everfi, an online interactive module to teach skills such as understanding credit and insurance. While Everfi is a great resource, it lacks the hands-on aspect of experiential learning. While the state sets expectations in financial literacy at different checkpoints, “local leaders may choose the approach to implementation and determine how best to provide students with instruction across the learning levels,” according to the Maryland State Department of Education. This flexibility has resulted in a loosely defined financial education curriculum in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Instead, MCPS should implement an experiential learning based unit taught annually in required classes. The consistency of annual financial education and the focus on interactive, experiential learning will prepare high school students as they graduate into adulthood and face its responsibilities.

When those with the least are impacted the most

Changing the conversation about climate change By Emilie Vigliotta Staff Writer As the direct effects of climate change become more clear, a growing concern for the future is revitalizing the environmental movement. The California forest fires dominated the news for days, sea levels are rising, and glaciers are melting, while climate activism is growing more prominent than ever before. Unfortunately, this rise in attention tends to ignore a crucial issue: climate justice. The climate justice movement is meant to frame global warming as a universal issue as climate change disproportionately affects impoverished areas and communities of color. In other words, those with the least are impacted the most. Although activists from these communities have been fighting the issue the longest, their voices have been overlooked. Now, with youth leaders tak-

ing charge of the environmental movement, more focus is being directed towards climate justice. Understanding the origins of climate change is critical. Developed nations are primarily responsible; these vulnerable communities have contributed the least to climate change, but are victim to its devastating effects. “We really need to understand the land that we’re trying to protect and understand how it has changed, what has caused it to change,” said senior Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, a member of the Piscataway Indian Nation and the opening speaker of the DC Climate March. “It has really been colonization that has destroyed our ecosystems and our sustainable ways of life.” Oxfam is an international confederation of organizations working to eradicate global poverty. In a recent study, they estimated that the richest 10 percent of people

are responsible for fifty percent of global emissions. In addition, the top one percent of the world’s richest people have an average carbon footprint 175 times larger than someone in the poorest ten percent. “In my mind, [it] reflects the fundamental reality that vulnerable communities too often have a disproportionate burden of pollution, and that can manifest in many ways,” Matthew McKinzie, a scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, explained. “Lead tape on the walls, no access to drinking water from the tap, playgrounds with arsenic in the soil.” The World Bank published a study that analyzed 52 countries and found that low-income populations are more exposed to droughts, floods, and heatwaves than the rest of the population. These vulnerable communities who are hit the hardest by the

IVVONE ZHOU

BOBBY PADMORE

NATIONAL FINANCIAL CAPABILITY STUDY (FIRNA)

In the hypercompetitive world of team sports, rivalries between passionate fans of opposing teams are common. A Redskins fan may automatically dislike a Giants fan, for example, without considering any other traits the latter has. But oftentimes, a third group gets caught in the crossfire: the sports newbie or casual fan, what some devotees might dub the “fake” fan. This complex seamlessly translates to music communities. Some “real” fans, who have been longtime followers of an artist, try to invalidate newer fans. The newer fans are called fake for not sharing the same level of dedication to an artist, or for not following the artist for as long as the real fans have. Differentiating between fans by how long they have been aware of the artist’s music only causes unnecessary friction in the community. The logic in this designation is inherently flawed; at some point, every fan was new. A fan is still a fan, whether they have been one for 10 minutes or 10 years. Some may argue that the longer someone has been a fan, the more dedicated and real they are. This creates a “bigger fish” problem of sorts: a truer, more dedicated fan will always exist, which means other fans would seem fake in comparison. The line that divides real fans and fake fans becomes blurry and it can often be hard to distinguish between the two. An accepted principle in

social psychology is that many people identify themselves based on the groups of which they are a part, called the ingroup. Their identity is maintained by their disdain for nonmembers, called the outgroup. The ingroup uses their interests to elevate themselves above others. Kenneth Smith, Sociology and Hip Hop Studies teacher at Blair, says that as groups develop, the “real” ingroup rejects

soapbox Is the climate movement classist?

“The movement is classist because many people in lower classes cannot afford to be environmentally friendly. Cheaper products and brands are usually worse for the environment. ” — Ella Schrebler, freshman “No, in the way that everyone can participate and help... However, the elite, particularly large coporations and companies have the ability and the obligation to do more...” — Ben Broderick-Sokol, freshman


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Op/Ed C3

Innovation Periods: a courageous My Blair: idea with weak implementation Personal Column The 2019–2020 school year has brought many major changes to Blair: a new One Lunch schedule, new teaching staff, the largest freshman class to date. With the sweeping fervor of a new school year, however, comes an opportunity for students to slow it down and put their mental health first: Innovation Periods. Biweekly Innovation Periods are Blair’s take on the county’s push to offer more mental health resources to students. With the rising rates of teen suicide, depression, and anxiety, Innovation Periods are a muchneeded start to increasing emphasis on mental wellness. This is a step in the right direction for MCPS and Blair. However, we at Silver Chips believe that there is still vast room for improvement. Like many other policies, MCPS has introduced their plans with the right intentions, but these noble goals have been lost amidst poor execution. For a student in a room full of unfamiliar peers, it’s not easy to speak up about internal struggles. The conversation can easily stray into joking and unserious territory, if conversation is even encouraged at all. Topics such as ‘Why we love Blair’ often garner surface-level responses at best, or, at worst, backfire with sarcasm and negativity. Every-

one, it seems, enjoys the wide range of classes and dislikes the packed hallways. Under their current structure, Innovation Periods have become another tedious homeroom class. Although many teachers do a wonderful job of creating a

do a better job of making available resources known to students. Other resources from the county are lacking as well. The presentations that Central Office produced are dry and barely informative, leaving teachers the responsibility

ON THE MENU FOR TODAY: PRE-PACKAGED STUDENTS comfortable environment for connection, many others seem to lack the training to engage in these deep topics with students. MCPS must further train teachers and staff members to identify red flags, but there are stronger steps the county should take. For one, why not employ more psychiatrists? There is one psychiatrist for the entirety of the Downcounty Consortium. That is a pitiful one professional for more than 10,000 students. If MCPS can spend millions of dollars replacing Chromebooks, surely they can hire more trained psychiatrists and

of engaging students. With such a dull way of disseminating information, it feels as though the county barely cares to acknowledge the real mental health challenges students face. MCPS would rather gently appease calls for increased attention, it seems, than courageously dedicate the effort and funds necessary to make a dent in the mental health crisis. Of course, there is the complaint that we are pulled from valuable educational class time to sit through dull and arduous PowerPoints about issues we already know exist. But an

No more cheat days By Victoria Xin Ombudsman As air chills with fall breezes, our school year picks up speed. The course loads, extracurriculars, after school jobs, and team responsibilities begin to intensify. As students, we all know how hard it is to balance so many different activities on our plates. When the math problems and English books stack up on our

desks, it is incredibly tempting to take an easy way out. But, no matter how tired, stressed, and sleep deprived we are, one principle still holds true: It is wrong to cheat. Plagiarism, falsely attributed quotes, and stolen images are all fatal to a newspaper. Silver Chips has been both justly and unjustly accused of all these instances of cheating in the past. That’s why we never tolerate any shortcuts to obtaining our information and adhere to a strict fact-checking process. One of the most often acknowledged detriments is that you don’t learn when you cheat— which is absolutely correct. However, Professor Michael Bishop, Philosophy and Religion Department Chair of the University of Iowa extends this yet another step. “Get below the surface, and you’ll find an implicit attitude [in the cheater] that says: everybody cheats, it doesn’t real-

ly hurt anybody, and this material isn’t important to me,” he wrote in Synthesis: Law and Policy in Higher Education. Fundamentally, cheating creates inequality. The amount of time and energy that the cheating student spends on an assignment or story is incomparably low compared to the amount that a non-cheating student expends to obtain the same grade. How is

LUCY MARTIN

this fair to the student who spent hours pouring over sources to earn their ‘A’? Cheating, like many other aspects of our world, lies on a spectrum. There is the innocuous little glance at a neighbor’s test. The copying of a piece of homework that there was no time left to complete. Or copying chunks of online manuscripts and repurposing them as one’s own. Or paying others to complete an essay. Or taking pictures of a complete test lying on the desk slyly with a phone camera and distributing the material. All of these acts constitute cheating, but we can agree that they are not all equal. The homework copier should not be put on par with the test distributor. Therefore, administration should address each of those actions in kind. The MCPS Student Code of

Conduct provides a range of possible punishments from a written apology to suspension or expulsion. However, other unlisted consequences are also enforced, such as teachers highlighting the incident in or altogether refusing to write letters of recommendation a the cheater’s college applications. It may be overly idealistic, but it’s in part up to the cheater themselves to admit fault to the administration. However, it is also the duty of administration to prevent and punish cheaters to the fullest reasonable extent when situations do arise. It’s not up to the student body to place the title of “cheater” on any one individual, unless solid, tangible evidence is present, not just word of mouth. Accusing others of dishonesty without basis was the founding principle of McCarthyism. There are many simple actions that teachers and administrators can utilize to nip cheating in the bud. It’s up to teachers to roam their classrooms during a test in search for phones peeking out of pockets, Apple Watches with documents pulled up, and little slips of white paper. Ultimately, cheating is stealing. Stealing the time, energy, and effort of others’ work and repurposing it as one’s own. Stealing the potential of knowledge, self confidence, and honesty away from the psyche. It feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything we want. And it’s true. But cheating isn’t the way to remedy this issue.

To connect with Victoria, email her at ombudsmansilver chips@gmail.com

Innovation Period that genuinely teaches students how to spot addiction, how to comfort a crying stranger, or how to control anger issues is just as valuable as any lesson. Instead of asking math teachers to explain signs of suicidal thoughts, instead of group activities that ask students to share their deepest thoughts with complete strangers, MCPS s h o u l d provide thought-provoking and informative Innovation Period presentations, modernize the health curriculum, and train all staff to recognize signs of depression and suicidal thoughts. M C P S must address mental health as the crisis it is: one-in-six high schoolers attempt suicide, twice as many are depressed, and nearly half have experienced trauma. MCPS has drawn out elaborate plans and designed presentations to teach us to protect ourselves in a school shooting. We got new magnetic strips on doors, posted a security guard at the main entrance, and brought in an additional Security Resource Officer. Where’s the same dedication to addressing the mental health crisis? Where is the same push for mental health? With the current setup, Innovation Periods are barely innovative. If we are going to do them, let’s do them right.

BOBBY PADMORE

By Eric Esch Teacher

AN OPINION

I myself graduated from Blair in 2006, and recently got the opportunity to return to Blair as a long-term substitute for Mr. Will Rose of the Magnet and Mathematics departments. It was an easy decision to make, for so many reasons. I have deep affection for the school from my time here. High school can definitely be difficult, but it was also where I’ve had some of my best years. I wanted to return to the school to share my enthusiasm for Blair with current teachers and students. I think there is great value in revisiting places you have known. With a perspective gained from experience, you can see more and learn more than you can with a single pass. Furthermore, you can bring the skills, perspectives and experiences that you have back to share. It’s fun to think of myself as an explorer returning from time afield to share my newfound knowledge with students and teachers. Learning is lifelong. Blair delivers a quality education, which has served me so well in my years since graduation. But I’m discovering now that there is plenty more to learn now at Blair as a teacher—how to manage a classroom, deal with students, and prepare for lessons.

I believe intergenerational links and communication are vital to our society. Our social fabric is stronger with different age groups trying to understand each other’s difficulties. I think that I am serving this valuable purpose by reconnecting with my prior teachers and with current students. That said, there’s an important division between teachers and students. The experience of having been a student at Blair and now serving as a teacher is enlightening. Using my key to open the teacher’s lounge door is like swishing back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Teachers are people too! And what’s more, I think that seeing things from both sides of the teacher/student divide gives me a perspective that will help me see past other dichotomies (e.g., us-against-them thinking) that pervade our society. I’ll close where maybe I should have begun, with what I’ve done since graduating Blair: I graduated from Duke University with a Mechanical Engineering degree, worked a few years for a professional engineering firm, went to graduate school and got a Master’s degree in Bioengineering, and worked as a researcher back at Duke. Now I’m substitute teaching at Blair, and I’m not entirely sure where I plan to explore next!


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Features D1/D2

Creating communities far from their homeland Creando comunidades lejos del país natal By Anna Fisher Lopez Staff Writer Right before she started fifth grade, Brenda Perez moved to Washington, D.C. from Mexico. Facing language barriers in many of her classes at school, the only subject Perez felt confident in was math. She started working hard at math to make sure her teachers did not see her as a lazy student, or as one who did not understand schoolwork. “Math is kind of like a sport,” she says. “The more you practice, the more you become good at it.” By the time she was a senior in high school, Perez was taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and working on a science senior project. Her teachers encouraged her to pursue a STEM degree, and she wanted to go to college to study civil engineering. But Perez was undocumented and wasn’t yet under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She didn’t have a green card, a U.S. passport, or a social security number. Applying to college was difficult without legal or DACA status. Even though she had lived in the United States for more than seven years, Perez had to apply as an international student because she wasn’t a legal U.S. resident. She received acceptance letter after acceptance letter from colleges she wanted to attend, but knew she couldn’t afford. Tuition for international students is much higher than it is for U.S. residents, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay the extra cost. “I had already decided that I was gonna take off a year from school and just start working to start saving some money so that I could potentially go to college the year after that,” Perez says. While still in high school, she continued to look for financial aid opportunities and came across an organization called the Esperanza Education Fund, which offers scholarships to immigrant students regardless of their legal status. Perez applied, but didn’t know if she would win the money. As her senior year was drawing to a close, Perez heard back from the Esperanza fund. She had won $10,000. “Thanks to them, I was able to go to college right after graduating high school, which was my biggest dream,” she says. Perez got a parttime job instead of taking a gap year, and four years later, she graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in civil engineering. Countless organizations around Montgomery County and Washington D.C. provide such sup-

have first been denied asylum in a country they passed through during their journey. Because of this new policy, the administration can deny asylum to some immigrants who arrived to the United States after July 19. Although the policy does not affect immigrants from Mexico, it will impact tens of thousands of migrants who come yearly from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. One of the biggest challenges of working at Ayuda for Clark has been telling her clients that avenues of relief that were once open for them have been closed. “It’s hard to tell people, ‘The environment has become so restrictive, and now you’re not eligible for these things that if only you had got here two months ago you would have been eligible for,’” she says.

port and opportunities for immigrants who come to the United States seeking the “American Dream” but instead find themselves confronted by a restrictive political and social environment.

Breaking down barriers The Esperanza Fund is one of many organizations that provide opportunities for immigrants facing barriers when they move to the United States. “The Esperanza Education Fund scholarship is maybe the only scholarship that allows undocumented youth to apply for those benefits,” Perez, who received DACA during her freshman year in college and is now a board member of the Esperanza Fund, says. “This is such an important resource to the community, especially to get access to higher education, which is almost always very impossible if you’re undocumented because you don’t get any financial aid.” The Esperanza Fund doesn’t just provide scholarship money: it also gives immigrant youth access to a network of mentors and professionals to guide them through their academic life and help them find a career after they graduate. “Having that network, that financial support, it really helped me navigate through college and access college in the first place,” Perez says.

“The focus is on thinking of immigrants as part of the community, not as others that we are helping in an us and them kind of way”

A safe support system

Undocumented immigrants have trouble finding stable access to other resources besides just college scholarships. Many immigrants are wary of American law enforcement officers because they fear deportation or other legal repercussions. This means that when they face hardships such as domestic violence or sexual assault, they often have nowhere to turn. Organizations like Ayuda, a nonprofit that provides social and legal services to immigrants, work hard to change that. Ayuda provides therapy to immigrants who have survived domestic abuse or other forms of assault, and legal services to secure restraining orders or child support, supporting immigrants without exposing them to law enforcement. “Ayuda is an organization that’s been in the community for a very long time,” Kate Clark, the

- Kate Clark

Building communities

managing attorney for immigration at Ayuda’s Maryland office, says. “The focus is on helping our neighbors and on thinking of immigrants as part of the community, not as others that we are helping in an us-and-them kind of way.” In Silver Spring, where Ayuda’s Maryland office is located, one in three residents were born outside of the United States, and one in five residents are not U.S. citizens. Lawyers like Clark help Silver Spring’s large immigrant population attain legal status so that they can gain access to a wider range of opportunities. Clark and her colleagues have helped immigrants obtain visas, renew their DACA status, and pursue the path to citizenship. Their goal is to strengthen their community by giving immigrants the resources they need to succeed. “The clients are our neighbors,” Clark says. “We have the legal knowledge but they are the ones who are able to direct their lives.” Legal fees can be expensive, but Ayuda has a pro bono program that provides significant cost reductions for low-income immigrants who may not be able to afford other legal support. In addition to reduced costs, they also provide free services to Montgomery County residents who are in deportation proceedings.

Organizations that provide immigrants life-changing opportunities and resources can be found all across the country. Perez works with a number of young immigrants and encourages them to speak out about their needs so that they will be able to gain access to these resources. “To all the immigrant youth that I work with, I told them to be very vocal about what they need, and to be very honest about where they’re at,” she says.

Changing political challenges Many immigrants come to the United States seeking safety and stability, but migrants who arrive are faced with newly implemented federal policies that restrict their access to asylum claims. “Restrictions on asylum have increased since January 20th, 2017 and that’s had an effect on our clients’ eligibility for asylum,” Clark says. When President Donald Trump won the 2016 election with a campaign promise to “build the wall,” he carried anti-immigrant sentiment into the White House. Luis Aguilar, who works with CASA, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for immigrants and Latinos, says that increased complications and requirements surrounding the immigration process have created new worries in the communities he aids. “With the administrative changes of President Trump, an urgency has been created in the migratory processes within the community,” Aguilar says. A large part of anti-immigration government enforcement efforts fall on families. Clark doesn’t understand why enforcement efforts are focused on people who, she believes, are not a threat to society. “The people who are being targeted are families, and are people who are not posing any kind of danger to the community,” Clark says. “There’s no reason to focus enforcement efforts on these folks.” In a recent blow to the immigrant community, the Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration policy that denies asylum to immigrants in the United States unless they

“Otherwise, you know, you leave people guessing.” Safe spaces are needed to make sure that immigrant and undocumented youth are comfortable enough to vocalize what resources they need access to. “Acknowledging that people are in a very vulnerable situation,... we need to make sure that they feel safe and that their information is going to be kept private,” Perez says. The only way that undocumented immigrants will have access to all of the resources available to them is if their community recognizes the barriers that they face and actively works to support them, Perez believes. “American citizens… have to be intentional about creating a safe space for undocumented immigrants,” Perez says. “We need to make sure that they feel safe, and that their information is going to be kept private.” When everyone in the community can receive the help they need, Perez says, the entire community prospers. “We need each other,” she says. “We need to create new spaces, radically inclusive spaces, so that we can honestly be free and successful. Otherwise, if we keep on replicating the same structures and replicating the same behavior, we’re not going to get anywhere.”

Por Alzahra Rodríguez Staff Writer

mente ridícula y desgarradora”. Recientemente se salió a la luz que hay un plan de crear un centro de detención para niños migrantes en Takoma D.C. Varios residentes del condado se han manifestado en contra de este plan. Clark tampoco está de acuerdo y opino, “Estoy preocupada y desconfiada. La preocupación es que la agencia tratará de atraer personas para que el espacio esté siempre lleno. Estás mirando a los niños que están en estos refugios no durante unos días, sino durante semanas o meses. Cuando visité uno de los campamentos, los niños con los que hablé habían estado allí principalmente durante 60 o 70 días a la vez, y eso es mucho tiempo para estar confinado a una ciudad de toldos en el desierto en Texas”. Otra de las situaciones que últimamente están siendo presentes en la comunidad migrante son las redadas de ICE. En el caso de que alguien esté en esa situación Luis Aguilar recomienda, “ Si ICE se quiere llevar a algún inmigrante sin tener una orden judicial se tiene que hacer varias cosas. Lo primero es conocer completamente todos sus derechos. También, el inmigrante tiene que saber que es una orden judicial versus que es una orden administrativa. La judicial está firmada por un juez y la administrativa no lo esta. ICE a veces tiene la costumbre de utilizar documentos como la orden administrativa como si fuera una orden judicial para arrestar a alguien. Esa orden administrativa no les da el poder de hacer eso. El inmigrante debe saber que tiene el derecho de permanecer callado y no decir nada sobre su estatus legal o sobre el país de donde vienen. Es importante que el inmigrante siempre este con una persona acompañada y que sepan que pueden grabar y compartir ese video vía redes sociales o via organizaciones que luchan por los derechos de los inmigrantes. Si ICE viene y toca la puerta uno tiene el derecho de mantenerla cerrada. Si ellos dicen que tienen una orden para detener un inmigrante, estos deben pasarla por debajo de la puerta y uno tiene

La comunidad inmigrante del condado de Montgomery es extensa. Según la página web de la ciudad de Takoma Park, se aproxima que hay unos 5,512 residentes nacidos en el extranjero que viven en Takoma Park. También, hay aproximadamente 2,986 no ciudadanos en esta zona. Basado en las estadísticas de World Population Review, Silver Spring cuenta con un aproximado de 15,690 no ciudadanos y 26,408 residentes nacidos en otros países. Para ayudar a la comunidad inmigrante existen varias organizaciones a su disposición. “Esperanza Education Fund” es una organización que da becas y consejería a jóvenes inmigrantes. Brenda Pérez, trabajadora de Esperanza, comentó, “Esperanza financia a unos 10 estudiantes cada año. Todos reciben diez mil dólares y no todos son indocumentados. Esperanza no es solo un fondo de becas, sino que también brinda una red comunitaria de mentores, profesionales y espacios donde puedes desarrollarte”. Pérez fue una estudiante que recibió una beca de “Esperanza Education Fund”, sobre su experiencia nos contó, “Cuando estaba solicitando a la universidad, todavía estaba completamente indocumentada y no tenía DACA en ese momento. Recibí cartas de aceptación de varias universidades a las que realmente quería ir. Pero todavía me veían como un estudiante internacional. Así que solicité a Esperanza... Recibí la beca de “Esperanza Education Fund” en 2014, que fue de 10,000, y tuve acceso a todos esos mentores y a toda esa comunidad. Así que gracias a ellos pude ir a la universidad justo después de

graduarme de la escuela secundaria, que era mi mayor sueño. Pude graduarme de la universidad en cuatro años. Ahora, puedo moverme por el mundo con un poco más de confianza sabiendo que tengo estos mentores y el sistema de apoyo para respaldarme y responder cualquier pregunta que tenga”. También existen varias organizaciones que ayudan a inmigrantes con temas legales. Dos de estas son CASA y Ayuda. Kate Clark, abogada gerente de inmigración de Ayuda, explicó, “Proporcionamos cualquier variedad de servicios legales dentro de inmigración y para personas que tienen un ingreso por debajo de cierto nivel económico. Ayuda hace con más frecuencia solicitudes de visa U, hacemos solicitudes especiales de estatus de inmigrante juvenil, solicitudes de asilo, y defensa en procedimientos de deportación en el tribunal de inmigración, por lo que ayudamos a las personas yendo al tribunal de inmigración con ellos.” Luis Aguilar, empleado de CASA, habló de su trabajo, “La mejor ayuda que ofrecemos a la comunidad migrante es la conciencia social, es decir, que ellos luchen por ellos mismos sobre todas las políticas que los afectan. También, ofrecemos servicios de apoyo, por ejemplo, renovación de green card y de residencia permanente. De igual manera, les ayudamos a obtener la ciudadanía si ya son residentes y califican. Además, tenemos clases de ciudadanía gratuitamente y clases de inglés. A los que ganan menos de $55,000 al año les damos ayuda de como hacer sus impuestos. En resumen, damos educación financiera y ayuda en términos migratorios”. A través de un mandato presidencial, Trump y su administración han hecho cambios en las reglas de inmigración lo cual a tenido un impacto negativo en estas organizaciones. “La restricción a peticiones de asilo ha aumentado desde el 20 de enero de 2017 y eso ha tenido un efecto en la elegibilidad de nuestros clientes en Ayuda. A partir del 16 de julio de 2019 si alguien llegó a otro país antes de llegar a los Estados Unidos y no solicitó asilo en ese país, ahora no es elegible para asilo en los Estados Unidos”, dijo Clark. Además, Aguilar expresó, “La administración tiene el poder de hacer cambios en las reglas de inmigración, por ejemplo, cambios de como obtener la ciudadanía, asilo, o residencia permanente. Para cambiar todas las políticas y leyes de inmigración tienen que ir vía al congreso. Todo esto a ocasionado urgencia dentro de la comunidad ya que han complicado las cosas y hay más requisitos”. Clark comentó sobre los que están siendo afectados por los cambios de reglas de inmigración, “La mayoría de mis clientes son familias. En realidad la mayoría de ellas son madres con niños

“La noción de que estos niños pequeños y sus padres que están haciendo todo lo posible para cuidarlos como algo peligroso o una amenaza para la sociedad es simplemente ridícula y desgarradora.” - Kate Clark pequeños, tengo varios clientes que tienen hijos de la misma edad que mis hijos. Lo que más me llama la atención es el sentido general de que las personas que están siendo atacadas son familias y personas que no representan ningún tipo de peligro para la comunidad. La noción de que estos niños pequeños y sus padres que estan haciendo todo lo posible para cuidarlos como algo peligroso o una amenaza para la sociedad es simple-

que saber que tipo de orden es, administrativa o judicial. Además, hay que tener un número de un abogado y una organización a la mano”. Tal y como se puede apreciar estas organizaciones están dedicadas a ayudar a la comunidad inmigrante. Por lo tanto, los inmigrantes no están solos y con el apoyo de grupos como los mencionados en este artículo pueden lograr el sueño deseado de una mejor vida.

Story by/Artículo por:

Art by/Arte por:

Anna Fisher Lopez

Shashi Arnold

Alzahra Rodríguez


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Features D1/D2

Creating communities far from their homeland Creando comunidades lejos del país natal By Anna Fisher Lopez Staff Writer Right before she started fifth grade, Brenda Perez moved to Washington, D.C. from Mexico. Facing language barriers in many of her classes at school, the only subject Perez felt confident in was math. She started working hard at math to make sure her teachers did not see her as a lazy student, or as one who did not understand schoolwork. “Math is kind of like a sport,” she says. “The more you practice, the more you become good at it.” By the time she was a senior in high school, Perez was taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and working on a science senior project. Her teachers encouraged her to pursue a STEM degree, and she wanted to go to college to study civil engineering. But Perez was undocumented and wasn’t yet under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She didn’t have a green card, a U.S. passport, or a social security number. Applying to college was difficult without legal or DACA status. Even though she had lived in the United States for more than seven years, Perez had to apply as an international student because she wasn’t a legal U.S. resident. She received acceptance letter after acceptance letter from colleges she wanted to attend, but knew she couldn’t afford. Tuition for international students is much higher than it is for U.S. residents, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay the extra cost. “I had already decided that I was gonna take off a year from school and just start working to start saving some money so that I could potentially go to college the year after that,” Perez says. While still in high school, she continued to look for financial aid opportunities and came across an organization called the Esperanza Education Fund, which offers scholarships to immigrant students regardless of their legal status. Perez applied, but didn’t know if she would win the money. As her senior year was drawing to a close, Perez heard back from the Esperanza fund. She had won $10,000. “Thanks to them, I was able to go to college right after graduating high school, which was my biggest dream,” she says. Perez got a parttime job instead of taking a gap year, and four years later, she graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in civil engineering. Countless organizations around Montgomery County and Washington D.C. provide such sup-

have first been denied asylum in a country they passed through during their journey. Because of this new policy, the administration can deny asylum to some immigrants who arrived to the United States after July 19. Although the policy does not affect immigrants from Mexico, it will impact tens of thousands of migrants who come yearly from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. One of the biggest challenges of working at Ayuda for Clark has been telling her clients that avenues of relief that were once open for them have been closed. “It’s hard to tell people, ‘The environment has become so restrictive, and now you’re not eligible for these things that if only you had got here two months ago you would have been eligible for,’” she says.

port and opportunities for immigrants who come to the United States seeking the “American Dream” but instead find themselves confronted by a restrictive political and social environment.

Breaking down barriers The Esperanza Fund is one of many organizations that provide opportunities for immigrants facing barriers when they move to the United States. “The Esperanza Education Fund scholarship is maybe the only scholarship that allows undocumented youth to apply for those benefits,” Perez, who received DACA during her freshman year in college and is now a board member of the Esperanza Fund, says. “This is such an important resource to the community, especially to get access to higher education, which is almost always very impossible if you’re undocumented because you don’t get any financial aid.” The Esperanza Fund doesn’t just provide scholarship money: it also gives immigrant youth access to a network of mentors and professionals to guide them through their academic life and help them find a career after they graduate. “Having that network, that financial support, it really helped me navigate through college and access college in the first place,” Perez says.

“The focus is on thinking of immigrants as part of the community, not as others that we are helping in an us and them kind of way”

A safe support system

Undocumented immigrants have trouble finding stable access to other resources besides just college scholarships. Many immigrants are wary of American law enforcement officers because they fear deportation or other legal repercussions. This means that when they face hardships such as domestic violence or sexual assault, they often have nowhere to turn. Organizations like Ayuda, a nonprofit that provides social and legal services to immigrants, work hard to change that. Ayuda provides therapy to immigrants who have survived domestic abuse or other forms of assault, and legal services to secure restraining orders or child support, supporting immigrants without exposing them to law enforcement. “Ayuda is an organization that’s been in the community for a very long time,” Kate Clark, the

- Kate Clark

Building communities

managing attorney for immigration at Ayuda’s Maryland office, says. “The focus is on helping our neighbors and on thinking of immigrants as part of the community, not as others that we are helping in an us-and-them kind of way.” In Silver Spring, where Ayuda’s Maryland office is located, one in three residents were born outside of the United States, and one in five residents are not U.S. citizens. Lawyers like Clark help Silver Spring’s large immigrant population attain legal status so that they can gain access to a wider range of opportunities. Clark and her colleagues have helped immigrants obtain visas, renew their DACA status, and pursue the path to citizenship. Their goal is to strengthen their community by giving immigrants the resources they need to succeed. “The clients are our neighbors,” Clark says. “We have the legal knowledge but they are the ones who are able to direct their lives.” Legal fees can be expensive, but Ayuda has a pro bono program that provides significant cost reductions for low-income immigrants who may not be able to afford other legal support. In addition to reduced costs, they also provide free services to Montgomery County residents who are in deportation proceedings.

Organizations that provide immigrants life-changing opportunities and resources can be found all across the country. Perez works with a number of young immigrants and encourages them to speak out about their needs so that they will be able to gain access to these resources. “To all the immigrant youth that I work with, I told them to be very vocal about what they need, and to be very honest about where they’re at,” she says.

Changing political challenges Many immigrants come to the United States seeking safety and stability, but migrants who arrive are faced with newly implemented federal policies that restrict their access to asylum claims. “Restrictions on asylum have increased since January 20th, 2017 and that’s had an effect on our clients’ eligibility for asylum,” Clark says. When President Donald Trump won the 2016 election with a campaign promise to “build the wall,” he carried anti-immigrant sentiment into the White House. Luis Aguilar, who works with CASA, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for immigrants and Latinos, says that increased complications and requirements surrounding the immigration process have created new worries in the communities he aids. “With the administrative changes of President Trump, an urgency has been created in the migratory processes within the community,” Aguilar says. A large part of anti-immigration government enforcement efforts fall on families. Clark doesn’t understand why enforcement efforts are focused on people who, she believes, are not a threat to society. “The people who are being targeted are families, and are people who are not posing any kind of danger to the community,” Clark says. “There’s no reason to focus enforcement efforts on these folks.” In a recent blow to the immigrant community, the Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration policy that denies asylum to immigrants in the United States unless they

“Otherwise, you know, you leave people guessing.” Safe spaces are needed to make sure that immigrant and undocumented youth are comfortable enough to vocalize what resources they need access to. “Acknowledging that people are in a very vulnerable situation,... we need to make sure that they feel safe and that their information is going to be kept private,” Perez says. The only way that undocumented immigrants will have access to all of the resources available to them is if their community recognizes the barriers that they face and actively works to support them, Perez believes. “American citizens… have to be intentional about creating a safe space for undocumented immigrants,” Perez says. “We need to make sure that they feel safe, and that their information is going to be kept private.” When everyone in the community can receive the help they need, Perez says, the entire community prospers. “We need each other,” she says. “We need to create new spaces, radically inclusive spaces, so that we can honestly be free and successful. Otherwise, if we keep on replicating the same structures and replicating the same behavior, we’re not going to get anywhere.”

Por Alzahra Rodríguez Staff Writer

mente ridícula y desgarradora”. Recientemente se salió a la luz que hay un plan de crear un centro de detención para niños migrantes en Takoma D.C. Varios residentes del condado se han manifestado en contra de este plan. Clark tampoco está de acuerdo y opino, “Estoy preocupada y desconfiada. La preocupación es que la agencia tratará de atraer personas para que el espacio esté siempre lleno. Estás mirando a los niños que están en estos refugios no durante unos días, sino durante semanas o meses. Cuando visité uno de los campamentos, los niños con los que hablé habían estado allí principalmente durante 60 o 70 días a la vez, y eso es mucho tiempo para estar confinado a una ciudad de toldos en el desierto en Texas”. Otra de las situaciones que últimamente están siendo presentes en la comunidad migrante son las redadas de ICE. En el caso de que alguien esté en esa situación Luis Aguilar recomienda, “ Si ICE se quiere llevar a algún inmigrante sin tener una orden judicial se tiene que hacer varias cosas. Lo primero es conocer completamente todos sus derechos. También, el inmigrante tiene que saber que es una orden judicial versus que es una orden administrativa. La judicial está firmada por un juez y la administrativa no lo esta. ICE a veces tiene la costumbre de utilizar documentos como la orden administrativa como si fuera una orden judicial para arrestar a alguien. Esa orden administrativa no les da el poder de hacer eso. El inmigrante debe saber que tiene el derecho de permanecer callado y no decir nada sobre su estatus legal o sobre el país de donde vienen. Es importante que el inmigrante siempre este con una persona acompañada y que sepan que pueden grabar y compartir ese video vía redes sociales o via organizaciones que luchan por los derechos de los inmigrantes. Si ICE viene y toca la puerta uno tiene el derecho de mantenerla cerrada. Si ellos dicen que tienen una orden para detener un inmigrante, estos deben pasarla por debajo de la puerta y uno tiene

La comunidad inmigrante del condado de Montgomery es extensa. Según la página web de la ciudad de Takoma Park, se aproxima que hay unos 5,512 residentes nacidos en el extranjero que viven en Takoma Park. También, hay aproximadamente 2,986 no ciudadanos en esta zona. Basado en las estadísticas de World Population Review, Silver Spring cuenta con un aproximado de 15,690 no ciudadanos y 26,408 residentes nacidos en otros países. Para ayudar a la comunidad inmigrante existen varias organizaciones a su disposición. “Esperanza Education Fund” es una organización que da becas y consejería a jóvenes inmigrantes. Brenda Pérez, trabajadora de Esperanza, comentó, “Esperanza financia a unos 10 estudiantes cada año. Todos reciben diez mil dólares y no todos son indocumentados. Esperanza no es solo un fondo de becas, sino que también brinda una red comunitaria de mentores, profesionales y espacios donde puedes desarrollarte”. Pérez fue una estudiante que recibió una beca de “Esperanza Education Fund”, sobre su experiencia nos contó, “Cuando estaba solicitando a la universidad, todavía estaba completamente indocumentada y no tenía DACA en ese momento. Recibí cartas de aceptación de varias universidades a las que realmente quería ir. Pero todavía me veían como un estudiante internacional. Así que solicité a Esperanza... Recibí la beca de “Esperanza Education Fund” en 2014, que fue de 10,000, y tuve acceso a todos esos mentores y a toda esa comunidad. Así que gracias a ellos pude ir a la universidad justo después de

graduarme de la escuela secundaria, que era mi mayor sueño. Pude graduarme de la universidad en cuatro años. Ahora, puedo moverme por el mundo con un poco más de confianza sabiendo que tengo estos mentores y el sistema de apoyo para respaldarme y responder cualquier pregunta que tenga”. También existen varias organizaciones que ayudan a inmigrantes con temas legales. Dos de estas son CASA y Ayuda. Kate Clark, abogada gerente de inmigración de Ayuda, explicó, “Proporcionamos cualquier variedad de servicios legales dentro de inmigración y para personas que tienen un ingreso por debajo de cierto nivel económico. Ayuda hace con más frecuencia solicitudes de visa U, hacemos solicitudes especiales de estatus de inmigrante juvenil, solicitudes de asilo, y defensa en procedimientos de deportación en el tribunal de inmigración, por lo que ayudamos a las personas yendo al tribunal de inmigración con ellos.” Luis Aguilar, empleado de CASA, habló de su trabajo, “La mejor ayuda que ofrecemos a la comunidad migrante es la conciencia social, es decir, que ellos luchen por ellos mismos sobre todas las políticas que los afectan. También, ofrecemos servicios de apoyo, por ejemplo, renovación de green card y de residencia permanente. De igual manera, les ayudamos a obtener la ciudadanía si ya son residentes y califican. Además, tenemos clases de ciudadanía gratuitamente y clases de inglés. A los que ganan menos de $55,000 al año les damos ayuda de como hacer sus impuestos. En resumen, damos educación financiera y ayuda en términos migratorios”. A través de un mandato presidencial, Trump y su administración han hecho cambios en las reglas de inmigración lo cual a tenido un impacto negativo en estas organizaciones. “La restricción a peticiones de asilo ha aumentado desde el 20 de enero de 2017 y eso ha tenido un efecto en la elegibilidad de nuestros clientes en Ayuda. A partir del 16 de julio de 2019 si alguien llegó a otro país antes de llegar a los Estados Unidos y no solicitó asilo en ese país, ahora no es elegible para asilo en los Estados Unidos”, dijo Clark. Además, Aguilar expresó, “La administración tiene el poder de hacer cambios en las reglas de inmigración, por ejemplo, cambios de como obtener la ciudadanía, asilo, o residencia permanente. Para cambiar todas las políticas y leyes de inmigración tienen que ir vía al congreso. Todo esto a ocasionado urgencia dentro de la comunidad ya que han complicado las cosas y hay más requisitos”. Clark comentó sobre los que están siendo afectados por los cambios de reglas de inmigración, “La mayoría de mis clientes son familias. En realidad la mayoría de ellas son madres con niños

“La noción de que estos niños pequeños y sus padres que están haciendo todo lo posible para cuidarlos como algo peligroso o una amenaza para la sociedad es simplemente ridícula y desgarradora.” - Kate Clark pequeños, tengo varios clientes que tienen hijos de la misma edad que mis hijos. Lo que más me llama la atención es el sentido general de que las personas que están siendo atacadas son familias y personas que no representan ningún tipo de peligro para la comunidad. La noción de que estos niños pequeños y sus padres que estan haciendo todo lo posible para cuidarlos como algo peligroso o una amenaza para la sociedad es simple-

que saber que tipo de orden es, administrativa o judicial. Además, hay que tener un número de un abogado y una organización a la mano”. Tal y como se puede apreciar estas organizaciones están dedicadas a ayudar a la comunidad inmigrante. Por lo tanto, los inmigrantes no están solos y con el apoyo de grupos como los mencionados en este artículo pueden lograr el sueño deseado de una mejor vida.

Story by/Artículo por:

Art by/Arte por:

Anna Fisher Lopez

Shashi Arnold

Alzahra Rodríguez


silverchips

D3 Features

October 10, 2019

An exploration of the DMV drag scene

from DRAG page A1 but drag kings, generally women dressing as men, are also part of the community. Queer or not, dressy or casual, anyone who wants to can do it. Drag artists have been prevalent since Shakespearean times, but popularity around the subculture has been on the rise with shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” coming into the mainstream media. “Drag has existed for decades now, but I think with expanding technology, now more than ever a lot more people are seeing it,” Citrine says.

Laying the foundation

While Citrine wasn’t the first drag artist in Silver Spring, her house boasts some of the most popular drag queens in the area. Drag “houses,” while not necessarily physical homes, are groups comprised of drag artists, serving as a family structure where members can provide support and protection for each other. Members can compete in competitions together, share drag advice, and assist each other financially. In college, Citrine and her friends Logan Stone, Dreama, and Vagenesis began to experiment with drag looks by dressing as drag queens for Halloween. They formed their official house, Haus of Stone, four years after graduating. Haus of Stone carries Logan Stone’s last name because the other original house members never had a drag surname. The majority of houses have one “mother,” who is usually the house’s namesake, and her chil-

ELENORA RUE

dren. Haus of Stone is structured differently. “In our house structure, there’s no mother, there’s no one of us that is above everyone else,” Citrine says. “We’re all on the same field… it’s just six sisters. We’re just one big family.” The house performs together, but they all have their own endeavors and performances that they pursue. “I drove off specifically into my opportunities that were given… [the others] were also forging their own paths and making their own opportunities and meeting certain people,” Citrine says.

COURTESY OF GENEVA CONFECTION

FIERCE Drag Queen Geneva lessly poses in a bedaqzzled

Soon after forming their house, they met queens Venus Valhalla and Kittney Stone, rounding out the current members of Haus of Stone. Their group structure comes with many advantages, including strength in numbers. “The only reason we’ve been able to [have so many opportunities] is because, for some reason, it’s just easier to do things in numbers than it is by yourself,” Citrine says. Every drag queen has their own reasons for beginning drag. Geneva Confection originally started drag in West Virginia, but quit before moving to D.C. and during a time in her life where she found herself struggling with her non-drag identity. “I quit because I didn’t really know who Douglas [my given name] was. And so it became all about [Geneva],” she says. When she moved to D.C., she rekindled that passion and found herself deeply immersed in the community. “After being here for like a year, I [realized] I miss drag. I love drag. I want to get back into it,” Confection says. “I mean, I pretty much consume [drag] 24-7 nowadays.” Drag may come into a queen’s life through mainstream media, giving them a path for the future. “I was looking for something to do, looking for direction in my life,” Confection says. “Around that time, I think Drag Race Season Two had just aired, and I watched that... it was kind of a new phenomenon for especially within the gay community, for drag or anything queer to be represented on a large scale manner.”

Confection and bridal

effortgown.

Drag is not just a hobby for most of these queens—it is a lifestyle. Confection spends the majority of her time doing drag relat-

Reckless, but not wreck-less

Senior Maria Cannon was parked in the Four Corners parking lot, ready to leave. She looked around, checked her mirrors, shifted into gear, pressed her foot on the gas as she started to back out of her parking space, only to ram straight into a pole. “It didn’t fall down, but it tilted a bit,” Cannon says. A group of Blair students were in full view of the accident. “They started laughing at me and I was so embarrassed,” Cannon says. The students started taunting her and told her to run, so she drove away humiliated. Driving mistakes have become a rite of passage to all new drivers. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, teen drivers are especially prone to car accidents because of their inexperience. But for some new drivers, embarrassing driving mistakes can prove to be useful lessons.

At first, the pair didn’t realize that there was a problem. Then they noticed the car making strange sounds and slowing down while cars around them raced by. “[The car] started making noise because I had my foot on the gas,” Finlay says. “We were trying to figure out what was wrong.” They finally realized that the gear had shifted into neutral, so they put the car back into drive, and continued to their destination.

are kind of mechanically savvy,” Graham says. But to their alarm, they struggled to pop the hood because a car part had fallen off. So, the sisters were forced to look to other options. After encounters with unhelpful strangers and store clerks, they decided to send the car into the mechanic. “We [didn’t] get the car fixed [because there was] a problem with the water pump,” Graham says. They finally got to the dinner, albeit late.

Distracted Driving Collision

IVVONE ZHOU

Unexpected BreakShifting into Selfie down Mode When junior Dana Graham Seniors Lauren Finlay and Rita Bartz were winding down the highway at 65 miles-per-hour on the Fourth of July to go to Catoctin Mountain Park. As Finlay was driving, Bartz was in the passenger seat trying to get the best selfie angle. She leaned over towards the driver’s seat to take advantage of the light coming from the sun roof. But then, Bartz accidentally hit the gear stick with her knee, and the car shifted to neutral.

comedic and creative outlet, it has a different meaning to every artist. Some do drag to impersonate femininity or masculinity, others as a means to display dynamic selfexpression. “I like to think of it as a collective outcry of frustration, of joy, of whatever,” Wilde says.

The Washington, D.C. variety show

The many perspectives artists bring to drag manifest themselves in the variety of drag performances, especially in the DMV area. “I think all of us are trying to be mindful of creating the most diverse show we can, where we want kings, we want queens who are non-binary performers, we want people that do spooky drag, that do pretty drag,” Wilde says. “If you show up for a show in D.C., chances are you’re gonna like something. You might not like all of it, but you’ll like something.” The DC drag scene has evolved and become more powerful in the past few years, pro-

moting a flourishing drag culture through the area. “I feel like the D.C. scene is in a revolution, like an artistic revolution or even a renaissance,” Confection says. As popular drag venues such as Cobalt and Town Danceboutique in D.C. close, a new generation of drag artists have risen, leading to an even playing field for the new and the old. It also gives a place for minors under the age of twenty-one to start experimenting and gaining drag experience. “There are opportunities, but as long as there’s not a club where there’s a liquor license involved, there’s no reason why you can’t be hired to do that,” Wilde says. Drag may seem complicated and hard to get into, but in its simplest form, Wilde describes it as “adult dress up.” “No matter who you are, put on makeup, put on a wig. Don’t put on a wig. Don’t put on makeup… it really is as simple as that,” Wilde says.

THE HOUSE DOWN Drag queen Whitney Guccigoo excites her audience while performing at Perry’s Drag Brunch in Washington, D.C.

Life’s a drag race

By Lilia Wong Staff Writer

ed work. “I’m very close to drag being my only job… even when I’m outside of drag [costume],” Confection says. “I think it’s one of those things that it’s like a constant force in my life.” Drag queen Buffy Wilde finds that the work that she does by day intermingles with her drag persona. “I am a progressive political digital strategist by day. So I like to think I’m by-day trying to save the world from tyranny, and then by-night, I just dress up like a woman to make everybody laugh, because it’s all you can do,” Wilde says. Wilde has also found that drag makes her more confident and helps empower her beyond the costumes and performance. “Drag was kind of the only way I could figure out how to learn and teach myself as Josh [my given name] to feel sexy and powerful and desirable, [while] also being funny and sexy at the same time,” she notes. While Wilde uses drag as a

was driving with her sisters on the way to a dinner just a few weeks after she got her license, she ran into car trouble. After stopping at a red light while driving on Colesville Rd., she noticed that her car had difficulty accelerating. “I start trying to go again and [realized that] my car [wasn’t] working,” Graham says. The sisters got out to see what was wrong, and tried to use their experience with cars to fix the problem. “The three of us

Senior Lilianne Blaise and a group of her friends planned a fun evening in Baltimore to celebrate a birthday. “We were going to drive there and just hang around Baltimore and eat food,” Blaise says. Before they got on the highway, the group decided to make a pit stop in Takoma Park to buy some snacks for the long trip. When they got back on the road, the car stereo was blasting music as they were eating and drinking. But when a turn came up, just as the driver was taking a sip, he lost control. The vehicle slammed into a tree on Blaise’s side. Although there were no injuries, the incident still rattled Blaise. “No one was hurt but it was a little traumatic especially since [the tree] hit my side,” Blaise says. Eating while driving may seem trivial, but it increases the chances of an accident by almost 39%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Blaise pointed out that she learned from the close call. “Now we know not to multitask while driving and to focus on the road,” she says.

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October 10, 2019

Features D4

silverchips

Going the distance

Blair teachers travel the extra mile to work every day

By Rekha Leonard Staff Writer It is still dark outside at 3:45 a.m. when Alisa Montgomery, a special education teacher at Blair, wakes up every morning. While most of her students and colleagues are sound asleep, she is up, getting dressed and making her coffee to get ready for her commute from Howard County to Blair. Even when she works into the early hours of the morning, Montgomery still wakes up before the sun has risen to get to school by 7 for meetings with her colleagues and students. Montgomery isn’t alone in her early rising habits—a number of Blair staff members have similar routines. They watch the sun rise as they make their way to work, trying to beat the traffic. AP Human Geography teacher Morgan Patel is no stranger to traffic. Patel lives in Columbia, so her commute is usually 45 minutes; however, when there is an accident or particularly bad traffic, it can take her up to two hours. Last year when Patel moved in with her then-fiancé, her new home and last name were not the only differences in her life. “The commute change from Baltimore to Columbia, even though it’s just 15-20 minutes [shorter], is a big deal,” Patel says.

“It can be up to 45 minutes a day that I gain back just relaxing or working out or hanging with my husband.” Math teacher Elliot Shiotani, who lives in Clarksburg, also faced a major commute-altering event in his life when his son was born. “I was never late before I had a kid,” Shiotani says. “But now we have a baby, so I do the dog and [my wife] does the baby. And with him, he can’t get dropped off to daycare until seven o’clock, so if I needed to drop him off, there would be no way for me to get here in time.” Although he is not usually rushing into class after the bell, the long distance he has to travel increases the opportunities for something to go awry, compared to someone who lives closer. “If I leave at 6:40 and then instead of 45 minutes, it takes an hour and 10 minutes because there was a slow down, then I don’t get here on time,” Shiotani says. Not every teacher has a long drive to Blair. Science teacher Elizabeth Levien, for example, bikes to work. Riding her bike actually makes her commute shorter than if she were to drive. It takes her nine minutes to bike to school in the morning, whereas driving takes 15 minutes or more. “I chose my house to not live in a car,” Levien says. “I enjoy

biking—it’s just such a beautiful way to start my day. I wish actually sometimes my commute was longer because it’s like serotonin [a chemical associated with happiness].” Joseph Fanning, Blair’s new assistant school administrator, wishes he could take a different form of transportation, but his 35 mile commute makes driving a necessity. The drive usually takes him 45 minutes without traffic. Fanning used to teach English and Journalism at Blair and was the Silver Chips sponsor before leaving to work at MCPS Central Office. When deciding where to work after his time in Central Office, he had a clear first choice. “Even though Blair was far from where I lived, [it’s] one of the places where I wanted to work,” Fanning says. “It’s worth that trade off because I love working here.” Despite the grueling hours spent in the car and the excessive traffic, each of these staff members finds the commute worth it. “I couldn’t give up the job I have here because it’s just a great place for me to teach. It suits me,” Montgomery says. Patel and Shiotani share her sentiments and would not want to leave Blair even if they had the option of a shorter commute. “If I had a choice, I would move Blair closer, but I want to work at Blair,” Shiotani says.

KELLEY LI

The work of art

you can really overcome all the roadblocks that may come,” Warren says.

How Blair students run their own art businesses

The pay-off

Despite the bumps in the road of building a business, student artists are still able to enjoy the ride, appreciating the profits and recognition for their hard work. Over the past six months, Warren estimates a total profit of approximately $875, and Hernandez and Sosa make about $200 each time they release a shirt. Artists are also rewarded with validation from their customers and peers, as they’re commended and appreciated for their talents. For Sosa, it’s a great feeling. “It’s just humbling, like people are actually appreciating our stuff. I mean we do work hard on it. My friend…makes designs like every day, but not everything goes onto clothes..,” he says. Besides running a self-funded business with profits saved for the next T-shirt release, the team members still appreciate the gratitude and recognition from their customers as their brand continues to grow. Warren also has a similar outlook on how she feels when she sees others wearing her clothing. “There’s something so amazing about walking around the halls at Blair and then seeing your artwork on someone else...that they’re wearing for the whole world to see,” she says.

KELLEY LI

By Abby Brier Khayla Robinson Staff Writers As freshman year came to a close, junior Katrina Warren began painting her own clothes. Her painted chinese dragon jeans and denim jacket with abstract portraits drew the attention of friends, encouraging her to begin selling modified clothing to peers. But at the beginning of sophomore year, Warren began exploring further into the world of fashion customization after discovering a box of leather paint in the depths of her basement. An artist at heart, Warren decided to dabble in the craft of shoe painting. Her father became a proud advertiser, harnessing a customer base to launch her own shoe customization business. Encouraged by positive reactions to her work, Warren began to share her art with the world. “I feel like either way, I’d paint,” Warren says, “So why not paint for other people?” Students all around Blair have taken their artistic passions to the market, selling anything from paintings to T-shirts as they share their crafts with the world. Through start-up, marketing, and logistical challenges, these student artists have cleared the path to grow their business.

The beginning

For senior Rudy Hernandez, it

was brands like FTP and Supreme that inspired him to turn his graphic designs into graphic tees. “I just always liked clothes and fashion, it’s always been intriguing to me. So I was like this could be something,” Hernandez says. Motivated by his favorite clothing lines, Hernandez proceeded to develop his own. Recruiting friends in the artist community, Hernandez added an essential team member, senior Walter Sosa, to photograph for Joyride, his T-shirt brand. The current Joyride team of four, comprised of graphic designers and photographers, collaborates and combines ideas into one design, preparing for the next T-shirt drop. Junior Jennifer Hu, a digital artist, states that she’s been creating art for a while, and has focused on cartoon style drawing since elementary school. “I’ve been doing art for a really long time and I’ve practiced this cartoon style since… around, 4th grade,” she says.

Overcoming obstacles

Running a business isn’t always easy as artists face a variety of challenges. Sophomore Jasper Swartz, a digital portrait artist, says, “Sometimes too many people want it, and sometimes not enough people want it.” During one week of business, Swartz attracted 15 people, all asking for portrait drawings. Afterward, Swartz only attracted one customer.

Student artists also face the issues of product pricing. Artists must keep their prices low while still delivering quality artwork to satisfy a customer base of mostly fellow students. Warren works for hours on each piece, but her final price is much lower than most artist customizations. “Generally a piece will take me at least five hours, and then I can’t sell them for very expensive prices because it’s high schoolers,” she says. For artists working with outside companies, the process is even more complicated. Hernandez and Sosa said they encountered problems with the company that prints their products. “The person who made the shirts for us didn’t make them right… so I had to scrap those,” Hernandez says. Balancing between school and a business can be tough as well. For Hernandez, having a full day school schedule and a job can get in the way of his business. “It’s pretty hectic,” Hernandez says. “Lately I haven’t been able to work on it as much. I have a job, too, so balancing work, school, and joyride is pretty tough.” However, school can also be an opportunity to expand marketing. Sophomore collaborators Djeneba Maiga and Samson Aragaw sell graphic tees and customize Tshirts. A school environment can help them advertise their artwork. “I can make more money off of it,” Maiga says. “I can reach customers… I come up with more designs… do more things that people

like.” In addition to the logistical challenges of balancing school and work, many artists face personal conflicts. Some struggle with feeling attached to pieces and others begin to doubt their artistic abilities. “Honestly, sometimes I’ll make something that I really, really like and I’ll be like, ‘Wow, I wish I could keep this for myself,’” Warren says. On the other hand, junior Midiewe Joseph expressed how suspecting inadequacy in her art can lead to uncertainty. “I put the pressure on myself the most because I’m like… what happens if they don’t like it… this is probably ugly,” Joseph says. Motivation drives these artists through all the obstacles they encounter.“ Once you have something you’re passionate about, I think

Moving forward

Many of these artists have different goals for themselves and their businesses for the future. Swartz wants to broaden their art style and take on a different approach compared to previous work. “I guess my goal would be… expand the type of art that I’m doing. ’Cause right now, I’m just doing really simple portraits, and I think it would be cool if I could do full-body stuff...or more realistic stuff...instead of just the things that I’m doing right now,” Swartz says. One of Hu’s goals is to expand her earnings. “I do hope that at least this year maybe, hopefully I can make $100 dollars cause my drawings aren’t that pricey. They’re like… $10 for a fully colored sketch right now. So if I can get that much business then I’d be happy,” she says. These artists have goals for themselves including different ideas on where they see themselves and their businesses in the future, as well as if they’d continue entrepreneurship as an actual career. While Hu enjoys what she does, she doesn’t see herself running a business as a career. “I feel like I would probably end up keeping art as a side hobby career…because at the moment I’m studying...science and stuff, so I’m hoping that I could actually make a career out of that because they’re a lot steadier jobs,” she says. Even though a lot comes with running a successful business, that doesn’t stop talented artists from doing what they love while sharing a piece of it with the world. “I really just want to make clothes for people. I just want to build a brand, I don’t really care about making money,” Hernandez says.

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silverchips

D5 Features

October 10, 2019 Liles stands with three of her siblings at her mom’s engagement in North Carolina, where they live.

Guided by stars: astrology at Blair On Instagram, the Explore page is frequently filled with memes about Mercury going into retrograde and the astrological signs as pizza toppings. Astrology, the study of the movement of celestial bodies and the interpretation of how these movements affect people’s lives, is spreading across the Internet. Partly due to the widespread popularity of astrological social media accounts and horoscope apps, many Blazers are observing the stars and inviting them to guide their daily lives. Astrology has been practiced since 2300 BCE in Mesopotamia and reached Greece by 600 BCE, where the study flourished. The New Age Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, a cultural outlook focused on spiritual potential and personal transformation, was the most recent re-emergence of astrology in popular culture, until now. Internet culture has allowed astrology to reach wider audiences. As a hobby with varying levels of depth for varying levels of dedication, followers can choose how much they want to invest in it. The Instagram account @notallgeminis gathered over 520,000 followers by posting astrology related memes, and CafeAstrology.com, a website that posts exhaustive information about astrology, gathered over nine million page

COURTESY OF KYJA LILES

How many kids and counting?

A closer look into the zodiac

By Ishaan Shrestra Staff Writer

Blair believers. Senior Sydney Acuff is a student who, like plenty of others, was first exposed to astrology through artists on Instagram. “People I followed on social media were into it,” she said. “It’s actually kind of big amongst creative and artistic people, and those were the types of people I was following… I thought they were cool, so I thought, ‘Let me look into this.’” Since she started following zodiacs and horoscopes, Acuff has also had her friends come to her for astrological advice. She noticed that others look at Co-Star, an app that algorithmically generates horoscopes, for direction. Apps like Co-Star give information about the practice and teach people about how horoscopes work. There are many people who are as devoted as Nkafu and Acuff, but not everyone has the same level of faith in the practice. For junior Iris Gupta, astrology is more of a hobby, and checking horoscopes is more for her amusement. “I don’t have the time to be as interested,” she said. “But before I used to do a lot of research for fun.” Gupta says she has been made fun of for her interest in it, though. “Some people just think it’s weird,” she said. “They call it a fake science, and then they ask how literally it can be taken.” This response is not rare. Both Nkafu and Acuff have had people mock them for their com-

Seo Young Joo

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istorically, the blueprint of an American family has been nuclear: two parents and 2.5 kids. This stereotype has been portrayed throughout pop culture in TV shows like the Simpsons and the Flintstones. For some students at Blair, their families don’t follow the cliche. Instead of having one or two siblings, they have five, fifteen or even forty-three. The positives of living with so many people can outweigh the negatives for many students with large families. “I don’t feel lonely, I like having a lot of people in my house… there’s always someone to talk to,” Jeffery Kyei-Asare, a junior with four siblings, says. Other students enjoy the builtin support system of their larger family and respect the added responsibility of maintaining the system for their younger siblings. “It has always been something with me to be a role model and to try to give [my siblings] advice,” senior Kyja Liles, who has five younger siblings, says. “The sibling after me is four years younger than me, so he’s always asking for school stuff and all types of stuff like that. It does give me some sort of confidence because I feel like I have to be that presence to just set an example.” The added support system isn’t the only positive aspect of a large family. Students also find that the constant presence of other people around allows them to have a more sociable personality. “I think this is a stereotype but it’s kind of true, I guess the middle child, we are usually more outspoken,” Kyei-Asare says. “I feel like having a lot of siblings or a big family has made me more energetic or friendly. I’m not that shy.” While it can be comforting to have family always around, it can often become overwhelming or at times, even invasive. Five or more siblings make

for a loud and full house, and with that comes little personal space. “I have to share a room,” Rhys Dixon, a sophomore with four siblings, says. “There’s really nowhere in the house where I get to just be alone, ever.” Privacy is essentially non-existent when there are younger siblings running around and every room is filled. With five siblings, Liles finds that much of her time must be spent at home, babysitting her other, much younger, siblings. “I have two really young siblings in my house and they’re always screaming,” she says. “I’ve had to miss out on things with my friends because I’ve had to babysit.” Additionally, Liles has had to deal with the reality of living in a home where only so much of the family budget can be allocated to each child. “I’ve had to let go of things I wanted because there was just not enough free money for us to have,” she says. Similarly, Kyei-Asare has also experienced budgeting difficulties, forcing him to give up certain opportunities. “Obviously, [my parents] have to distribute the money because there’s more kids,” he says. “I feel like if I was an only child, I’d have a lot more stuff because then I wouldn’t have five other people I’d have to share with. I play soccer and sometimes I won’t be able to go to a tournament or something because it’s too expensive.” Some of these students believe that their parents also understand the struggles of competing with siblings because they, too, grew up in a large family. Both of junior Nayeli Bonilla Oseguera’s parents come from big families. Bonilla Oseguera has seven aunts and uncles on her mom’s side, eight aunts and uncles on her dad’s side, and 16 of her own siblings. “My mom talks about sometimes sharing her meal with all of her siblings,

A dive into Blair’s big families. By Kathryn LaLonde and Simran Thakkar Staff Writers

and so I feel like that kind of has something to do with the way we are now, all of us, because it taught us to appreciate what we have,” Bonilla Oseguera says. At the time in which Bonilla Oseguera’s mother was growing up, a large family was more common. Now the size of these families has become a statistical rarity in America. A study done by the Pew Research Center found that in 1957, 71 percent of Americans believed the ideal family was three or more children and 20 percent of Americans believed it was two or fewer. However, in 2018, 50 percent of Americans believed two or fewer children would suffice for a family and only 41 percent thought three or more children was ideal for their family. Even the definition of a “family” can change depending on the culture or the circumstances of that family. Families can be extremely complex, especially when parents are not married or have kids from previous spouses. Sophia Duff, a junior at Blair, bends the traditional idea of “family” to an extreme, with an abnormally large amount of siblings—43, to be precise. Her family is unusual because her biological father is a sperm donor. “It’s pretty interesting to see that half of them look similar to me and we’re all around the same age,” Duff says. She says her family size doesn’t directly affect her in any

way, but is rather something she likes to talk about. “It’s just cool to say to people like oh, I have [43] siblings, and my mom got married, so I have another extended family,” she says. Duff isn’t the only student who has a huge number of people in her family. Along with her large immediate family, Liles has a complex extended family. Since her parents are separated, “I’m the one person in my family that has so many family members because there’s step-this and step-that and half-this and half-that. I sat down with my stepmother and counted how many grandparents I have and it’s like 14 to 15,” Liles says. Despite growing up in large families, some even boasting generations of a large extended family, a big family isn’t what many of these students want for their own futures. Dixon, who grew up with four siblings, says she wants a small family. “[I don’t] want a lot of kids [who] are always fighting over everything the way my family does.” Having a large family certainly comes with a lot of difficulties. With no sense of privacy and the financial burdens families face, supporting a lot of children is significantly harder for parents. But students with big families also have the privilege of having a large support system and plenty of family to connect with. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and for this small group of students, the size is the best part.

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visits in August alone. Senior Mary Nkafu is a steadfast believer in the practice. “I don’t remember a day I didn’t mention zodiac-related stuff and astrology. I use it in my everyday life,” she said. Nkafu is serious about astrology and its effects. She sees her horoscopes as a tool for improved life choices and introspection. “I definitely feel that I’ve made better decisions now that I’m into zodiacs a bit,” she said. “I feel like I can use my sign to reflect on my decisions and things that I’m doing and everyone around me.” Nkafu is only one of many

mitment to astrology, but they are unaffected. Nkafu shrugs off the criticism with confidence in her beliefs. “I’m right most of the time,” she said. Acuff had similar sentiments, believing most of the ridicule is rooted in misunderstanding. “People make fun of me all the time for following astrology, and I could not care less. I think that stems from people not knowing anything about it... and it not holding true, and thinking that’s what astrology is,” she said. “The more you get into it, the more you’ll realize the nuances and complexities of it, and you’ll start to see some validity to astrology.”

soapbox How, if at all, do you use astrology? If not, do you know anybody who does? Why? “I know [my friend] tries to improve herself based on the forecasts, despite not believing in them.” — Suetlana Semenova, junior “I just don’t feel comfortable letting the movement of stars tell me how to live my life.” — Lixing Wang, junior “Most people I know who look at their horoscopes do it just for fun or for a moment of self-reflection.” — Yichi Zhang, junior “[Reading horoscopes] lets me prepare mentally for the week, since I know what is coming.” — Kevin Higgs, junior


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Culture E1

Blazers of Note By Grace Walsh Staff Writer At the steps of the Capitol Building on Sept. 20, senior Janiskwe Medina-Tayac spoke in front of thousands of people about the importance of the environmental crisis and her role as an indigenous person. Her confidence and power radiated through her heavy words, but this was not the first time MedinaTayac has spoken about the injustice against the environment. Medina-Tayac has considered herself a climate activist since ninth grade, specifically representing the indigenous people within the environmental movement. Her passion for the environment started when she was young. “I grew up indigenous,” she said. “I have always had a connection to nature and to the earth, It has always been ingrained in me to take care of the environment since I was a kid.” In 2017, Medina-Tayac spoke at the Peoples Climate Protest at the Trump International Hotel after getting involved with green clubs and spreading awareness at schools. Her first speech was re-

From the stands of Blazer Stadium, the crowds chant “L-EA-F.” The nickname for the varsity quarterback Khalif Welch is scattered across signs. Although a junior and a first-timer on varsity, Welch has already made his mark on the field. This year, Welch has shown his value to the team with a total of 398 yards, four touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown as of Oct. 3, according to Blair Football assistant coach, Steve Efantis. At the game against Wheaton, Welch launched a 68 yard pass that resulted in a touchdown, a throw noteworthy enough for mention in Maryland Footballs longest passes highlight video from the weekend of Sept. 20. From spending time before practice to eating dinner together before games, Welch enjoys the team and the memories they have made. “It’s been great... I’ve been having fun,” he said.

BOBBY PADMORE

Jansikwe Medina-Tayac Senior corded and her strong worldview caught the attenttion of activists around the nation. “I felt empowered and I felt like I was really doing something,” she said. Medina-Tayac worked with Zero Hour, an international youth-run environmental activism group, on the leadership team to help organize the logistical factors of the strike, such as the sound system and setting up the stage. Zero Hour asked her to speak to represent indigenous persons. Medina-Tayac took this opportunity to share her unique

YURI KIM

Khalif Welch Junior A football player since freshman year, Welch was pulled up his sophomore year to play on varsity and has stayed there ever since. He was originally a receiver on junior varsity, but when the varsity team’s seniors graduated, their quarterback coaches chose Welch to take up the position.

PLNT BURGER ‘PLNT BURGER’

perspective on the climate crisis with the nation. Her motivation to speak is rooted in her unique perspective. “Being able to represent those unheard voices is really empowering for me,” said Medina-Tayac. Her speech at the Sept. 20 climate strike is featured on NowThis News’ Twitter, and has 96,600 views as of publication. Her passion for speaking has helped her grow in ways she did not expect. “When I was a freshman speaking for the first time, I was shaking, I was nervous… I didn’t have as much power in my voice,” she said. “This time at the strike I was really comfortable, I was not scared, and I felt super powerful and I felt like my voice was really loud and confident,” she said. Her future is uncertain, but Medina-Tayac is confident that her future will involve this passion. “No matter what I do, I know I want it to have an emphasis on the environment… But it is definitely something I want to continue doing and also apply to every kind of work that I am doing no matter what it is,” said Medina-Tayac.

When Welch was first informed, he was uneasy about his new role on the team. However, he took the challenge with enthusiasm and adjusted to his new role on the team.“I have grown to love [quarterback],” Welch said. This season will bring some challenges, as the team is relatively inexperienced, but Welch is optimistic and believes in his fellow Blazers. He is excited about where this season can go and believes that they will be successful. “I have confidence in my team, we have a good game plan set for the rest of the season,” he said. “We can keep working hard and hopefully we will go undefeated.” Although Welch has not decided on his favorite game of the year, he loves the energy that the “Inferno” Blazer spirit gives the field. Welch asks of his fellow Blazers to “come to the game!”

SEOYOUNG JOO

Burger King ‘Impossible Whopper’

By Teddy Beamer Columnist

Becoming a vegetarian is considered by Time magazine to be one of the simplest, healthiest, and most cost-effective methods for everyday people to help the environment. I have been a vegetarian for roughly a year and, to be honest, I miss meat sometimes. I’ve tried several types of fake meat, none of which I have found very appetizing. A couple weeks ago, however, everything changed. Burger King began advertising their contribution to the sprouting meatless trend: the Impossible Whopper. I knew I had to try it for this column. But then, I thought, why stop there? So, I found other fast food burger restaurants in the area, and these are my opinions on their plant-based burgers.

I’ve had an original Whopper a couple times before, and I’d say the people at Burger King did a great job recreating the flavor and texture of their original. Often fake meat will taste too fake, and the texture is incredibly off—either too soft, too gritty, or too chewy. This patty, though, was perfect. The Impossible Whopper, however, has 11 grams of saturated fat. That’s not a huge amount, but it would account for a large percentage of one’s recommended daily intake and comes from something that isn’t even made of meat. For people who regularly eat meat, this can be very unhealthy, but for vegetarians and vegans, it can be the exact opposite. Fat and protein are hard to come by in a vegetarian diet, and eaten in moderation, can be a perfect source of fat. 4/5 stars

PLNT BURGER is the brainchild of local celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn and recently opened inside the Whole Foods in Silver Spring. According to their website, PLNT BURGER “invite[s] you to eat the change you wish to see in the world.” They may be changing the world, but they should change how greasy their burgers are. The bun was soggy and I needed many napkins to clean up the mess. The flavor itself wasn’t terrible, and the toppings on the burger were fresh, but the sogginess ruined the experience. 2/5 stars

BURGERFI ‘Beyond Meat Burger’

I had heard good things about this burger, and this was by far the best meatless burger I’ve ever had. The bun was perfectly toasted, the ingredients were fresh and crisp, and the patty itself was delicious. The flavor wasn’t as close to meat as the Impossible Whopper was, but still tasted great. Additionally, the presentation was impeccable, not messy,wet, or lazily put together as the other ones were. If you are ever in the mood to take a culinary risk, or are looking for a cheap way to feel better about the crippling guilt of destroying our planet, a trip to BURGERFI for their Beyond Meat Burger will satisfy. 4.5/5 stars

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E2 Culture

International Newsbriefs Egyptian demonstrators protest president Several demonstrations were held in Cairo, Egypt, and other locations such as Alexandria, Egypt, to protest President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sept. 20. The demonstrations were the largest of el-Sisi’s six-year presidency and police eventually scattered the demonstrators using tear gas. El-Sisi rose to power in 2013 when he led a military coup to overthrow Mohammed Morsi, the first democratically elected leader in Egypt’s history. His presidency has resulted in the arrests of nearly 60,000 Egyptians, many of whom oppose him. Additionally, public voice has been largely silenced and public meetings of more than ten people cannot proceed without government approval. In response to the protests, police presence has increased in areas across Egypt, particularly Cairo. Several news sites have been blocked in order to prevent future demonstrations. The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights estimated that at least 2,000 Egyptian demonstrators were arrested and detained. Self-exiled Egyptian Mohamed Ali encouraged Egyptians to take to the streets and protest. Since the beginning of September, Ali, a 45-year-old businessman who currently resides in Spain, has been posting videos on social media about President Fattah el-Sisi’s alleged corruption. In some videos he claimed to have information on the Egyptian military mismanaging state funds. Many Egyptians were angered by these claims, as the percentage of the population in poverty has increased by five percent since 2015 to one-third of the population. Egypt also faces economic strain, including the fluctuating value of the Egyptian pound in the global economy in 2016 that caused it to lose half of its value, surging prices. Despite urges from Ali to continue the protests, it is unclear if the arrests will deter demonstrators from protesting again.

Hurrican Dorian rocks the Bahamas The Bahamas are struggling to recover from the devastating Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sept. 1. The category five hurricane resulted in a confirmed death toll of at least 50, according to officials; there are still roughly 600 missing persons, indicating that the death toll may rise as more bodies are found. Medical search and rescue teams report smelling bodies but are unable to find or reach them. The Bahamian government has promised to return the bodies to the families after they have been identified. The most powerful storm on record in the Bahamas, Dorian first struck the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas with winds that reached 185 miles per hour. These winds, accompanied by storm surges, demolished infrastructure, causing immense damage. The hurricane moved slowly through the country over two days, concentrating most of its power in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. This increased the damage in the northern Bahamas, while the rest of the country was left relatively untouched. As a result of the damage, over 2,000 northern Bahama residents, especially Haitian migrants, have travelled to Nassau, the capital, in the southern Bahamas. According to NPR, one estimate claims that there are 1.5 billion pounds of hurricane debris in the Abaco Islands that will cost several million dollars to clean up. The Bahamas Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said that a “massive rebuilding strategy” will be needed, describing the damage as “unimaginable.”

International Newsbriefs compiled by Ashley Thommana

October 10, 2019

Come for the food, stay for the tweets Fast food joints will burn you and your chicken nuggets

Sarah McKinzie Staff Writer In recent years, fast food joints like Wendy’s and Denny’s have become well known for serving their burgers with a side of Twitter beef. But does their popularity on social media actually translate into real world profits? Back in 2013, Denny’s kickstarted what was to become a decade of social media fame when they handed over the keys to their official Twitter account to the EP+Co advertising agency, which put together a team to

run the Twitter overseen by then Vice President and Director of Digital Strategy Kevin Purcer. As of publication, they have 514 thousand followers on Twitter and about 40 thousand followers on Tumblr, attained through a constant stream of smash hits like “meatloaf is the exact opposite of soup” and “how do we stay motivated? Eggs!” This parroting of gen-z absurdist humor has a way of painting a picture in the mind of the casual follower: a conference room littered with crumpled pieces of paper, each Denny’s writer perhaps hunched over a blank sheet, desperately trying to

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think of breakfast puns that align with the newest meme format. (The author of the tweet with the most likes is presumably awarded a single hard boiled egg, which is cherished and never eaten.) The question of the hour, however, is if Denny’s writer’s vocal obsession with griddle cakes has actually influenced their hundreds of thousands of followers across Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. From a larger perspective, it is hard to tie an increase in stock to Denny’s or any of their competitors’ popularity to digital prowess. Over the past few years, the restaurant chain’s stock has been on the rise, but there doesn’t appear to be any causal connection between spikes in value and an increased social media presence. There is no evidence that any of Denny’s regular customers return for the funky egg tweets, and not simply because it is 2:00 AM and they serve fried meats or an uncle is in town and insists on a “family dining experience.” This lack of correlation between online interaction and actual profit seems to be consistent with the experience of their audience. “[This kind of advertising is] just a corporate strategy,” says Junior Alex Haywood. “And, you know, they can do that if they want. Some-

times it is funny. I’m not gonna go buy Denny’s because they were funny on Twitter.” And it is true-- Denny’s breakfastthemed shenanigans are simply a business strategy, to appeal to the part of their customer base that retweets pictures of sausages photoshopped onto a Super Nintendo gaming system where the buttons should be. In an interview with Marketing Land magazine in 2014, Purcer said that the primary objective of Denny’s increased social media presence was “[for] people to love the brand and to make them hungry.” And it seems to be a business strategy that has worked well for them, or at the very least hasn’t damaged their reputation, and it is a model that has been followed right here at Blair. During last year’s Silverlögue rebrand—an attempt to refresh the yearbook’s image, centered mostly around the manipulation of vowel sounds—Junior Alicia Coleman, Yearbook’s current

that male dancers should expect to be bullied. “If you walk around in tights, they’re going to harass you,” he said. “It’s not exactly the exemplar of a male.” He also suggested that boys would be better off doing something perceived as more masculine. “I hope she offends a mechanic next so the boys know how to change oil in a car,” Arroyo added. Senior Hailey Mitchell, who dances with local dance studio CityDance, expressed frustration with these comments. She said Arroyo’s comments exemplify toxic masculinity’s hold in society. “[The bullying] is so rampant and we don’t do anything about it,” Mitchell said. She added that she was disappointed because she felt that the dance community had finally found unity and forgiveness. “It just shows you how much toxic masculinity and that kind of sexism permeates every aspect of our society, and how [its] so rampant and we don’t do anything about it,” she said. Nevertheless, Rivera said he knows how to address and avoid the critics. “There’s a lot of people who think like her. And if we just let people like that change our dreams and what we want to do, [the world] would just be a horrible place,” he said. “They’re just in your way, just walk around them.”

SEE THAT BOY, WATCH THAT SCENE Geo Rivera practices with the African dance team

TAKEN FROM TWITTER

senior business executive, implemented a similar strategy on their official Twitter. Those casually stalking the Silverlogue Twitter early last year may have noticed a 100 percent increase in the number of umlauts boasted by every vowel tweeted. “Basically, I wanted to find a fun way to get people engaged with the Twitter account, and I thought that the best way to do that was being kinda creepy, making some jokes, being ominous,” Coleman said. “[It worked] to an extent. We definitely got more attention than we did beforehand.” This kind of humor may just be another corporate money making strategy, but for what it is worth, there are indisputably worse ways for them to try to get your money (piracy, fraud, arson, to name a few). Their strategy may not be the most effective, but as Haywood said, it is ultimately harmless. And after all, doesn’t advertising pair best with just a dash of chaos?

Not en pointe Laura Spencer highlights sexism in ballet Anika Seth Staff Writer In late August, Good Morning America host Lara Spencer made mocking comments in regards to British royal Prince George’s ballet classes. On the topic of the prince’s love for ballet, Spencer laughed along with other hosts, and said, “We’ll see how long that lasts.” Outraged, dancers across the country criticized Spencer for mocking male dancers, pointing to toxic masculinity as the root of Spencer’s comments. Concerns over the stigma surrounding male ballet dancers have also been echoed by many student dancers at Blair. Junior Anika Deodhar dances with Elite dance studio in Silver Spring. She found Spencer’s comments offensive and offered insight into why many boys do not choose to pursue ballet. “At my dance studio there [are] not a lot of boys that dance,” Deodhar said. “It’s because they feel as though there’s pressure and a bad connotation around being a male dancer.” Like athletes, male dancers train for years to develop strength, grace, and agility. They also often need to be able to partner and lift other dancers. Deodhar pointed to many misconceptions about the athletic demands of dancing, which she

said only contribute further to the stigma. “Being a dancer, you need so much strength and skill and talent, just as much as you would need for any other sport,” she added. Although he is familiar with misconceptions about male dancing and comments like Spencer’s, sophomore Geo Rivera, who is on the African dance team, tries not to let them deter him from pursuing dance. He believes that Spencer’s comments came from widespread stereotypes about male dancers, rather than hate. “I don’t think she meant it maliciously,” Rivera said. “I thought it was just [a] lack of education from people, because [ballet is] known for majority female dancers.” Nevertheless, Rivera appreciated Spencer’s efforts to apologize. “I’m glad she took a moment to apologize for it and educate herself on the topic because it was very ignorant,” Rivera said. In a later episode of the show, she sat down with well-known male dancers Robbie Fairchild, Fabrice Calmels, and Travis Wall to discuss how to combat the bullying that affects budding male dancers. Following Spencer’s apology segment, conservative television host Laura Ingraham and fellow commentator Raymond Arroyo mocked the reaction from the dance community. Arroyo said

AUDREY LI

The growing stream team How the surge in streaming services is changing the online media industry from STREAMING page A1

success remains to be seen. Some consumers, like freshman Josh Greenbaum’s family, have already moved over from Netflix to Hulu to prepare for Disney’s new package. “It’s crazy, [we] just cancelled our Netflix subscription…because we wanted Disney Plus for all the new stuff coming out there,” he said. Admittedly, some consumers, like sophomore Sumin Choi, said they would absolutely not buy a new service just to watch certain shows. Juniors Aliza Gottlieb and Ethan Phan agreed— they both said that if their favorite shows were exclusively available on a new streaming service, they would probably pirate them off of a third-party platform. Rayburn, however, doesn’t think piracy rates would go up,

pointing out that consumers prioritize convenience over cost. He contended that instead of seeing consumers moving over to a different platform, the general trend will instead be turnover across services. “You can turn them off at any time. Get Apple for a month. You don’t like it? Turn it off. Or, you like it for three months because you like the show? OK. Binge watch it, turn it off, go to Netflix, binge-watch, turn it off, go to Hulu.” As the race to acquire exclusive rights continues, cable networks are breaking into the streaming scene and fighting to build compelling repositories of favorite shows and movies. While titles change hands, fans are left to wonder whether they will be stuck in a situation similar to the oversaturated cable TV market.


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October 10, 2019

Culture E3

Archives Compiled by Mira Diamond-Berman and Teddy Beamer A THUG’S LIFE, AND DEATH By Rehana Mwalimu Nov. 11 1999 Twenty-five year-old rapper Tu Pac Shakur died of lung failure following multiple gunshot wounds to the chest on Friday, September 13, 1996. For many Blair students, Tu Pac’s death was an expected consequence of his gangster lifestyle, in some cases a consequence even praised. But for most, Tu Pac’s death is symbolic of the violence that plagues the black community. Placing the blame of Tu Pac’s death on the rapper’s actions, Senior Marc Murry says, “For real, I think Tu Pac’s death was his own fault; he shouldn’t have been talking all that trash in his album.” By now, teens have read the articles, seen the news, and heard the gossip concerning Tu Pac’s death. There are those students who remember Tu Pac for his contributions to the film indus-

happens because it happens unconsciously.” Self segregation may be most apparent during lunch when each hall practically transforms into its own separate ethnic neighborhood. “Everyone sees the little groups,” says senior Dan Rodriquez. “A- and B-Hall are owned by Spanish and Blacks. Asians are in CHall, and E and F-Hall are where the white people are.”

try, including leading roles in Poetic Justice and Juice. Other teens remember Tu Pac for the songs which demonstrated his lifestyle and informed people of his childhood. SELF SEGREGATION: A SOCIAL REALITY By Delaney Susie March 20, 1997 The students milling around the room and handing Cameron absence notes are nearly a cross section of Blair’s racially diverse population. But as the banter dies down to a lull, and students settle into their seats, this racial melting pot dissolves into separate groups: white students in the right corner of the room, four or five black students in the front seats, and a few Asian

students sit near each other on the left. Senior Sonja Houston, who sits towards the front of the room, cannot recall ever having a friend who was not African American. She pauses, and proclaims, “I did have a friend during the summertime when I was in fourth grade,

and she was white!” Junior Jennifer Moore, who sits a few seats away, explains the tendency to group off with student’s of one’s one’s own race by saying: “People feel more accepted around their own group of people, but you can’t really explain why [self segregation]

DEVELOPMENT TO REVIVE SILVER SPRING By Richard Stern Tuesday, June 4, 1974 In an effort to revitalize the downtown Silver Spring area, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission had proposed plans to redevelop Silver Spring into an “economic,

social, and cultural core. The plan’s implementation is intended to coincide with the coming of the Metro, now scheduled to arrive late in 1976. According to a preliminary report by the commission, the new Metro station being built in Silver Spring will give the area an important opportunity to expand and revitalize its retail and residential areas… Mr. Mark Arnold, a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee, a body created to inform the planning board of citizen opinions, explains, “Downtown (Silver Spring) has been decaying. It has to change and be developed further or it will become a slum.” Mr. Pasquel T. Astore, Advisory Committee member and a member of the Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, says, “We need to improve the environmental character of Silver Spring.” He feels that an incentive must be provided to increase the area’s population and redevelop or the area will “give way to crime.”

Chips Clips

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ACROSS 1 Star Wars Hutt 6 Time before the present 10 Monty Python canned meat 14 One and the same 15 Meso-American chihuahua ancestor 16 Shoe string 17 Like most Muslims 18 Seasonal plummeter 19 Neon sign announcement 20 To get married or to quit a job 23 Rear end 24 Airpods setting 26 Eggy envelope 29 Less buoyant 31 Used for a colorful element test 32 "____ me, Mario" 35 MSA evolution 36 Like a dollar for a millionaire 40 "Get back to me" in DMs

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41 Presidential hopeful O'Rourke 42 Celebrity couples 43 Applied, as flattery 46 Cramming for a test at 3 AM 48 Unspecified fractions 49 Rotary bars 51 Obtaining illicit chip sauce 57 Not on base 59 Stained glass unit 60 Leader of the argonauts (var.) 61 Elias ____: Inventor of the sewing machine 62 Spanish love 63 "Drama" Peruvian pack animal 64 Layers 65 Brothers to fathers 66 Looney Toons Pepe DOWN 1 Entertain at a royal court 2 Tropical blue 3 Tiered bed

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31 The best (current) season (and a clue to 20, 36, 51, 27, and 38) 33 Noughts and crosses abbreviated 34 Sides of a highway 37 Arabic "son of" 38 BP disaster 39 Windy city "L" operator 44 Spaces in the fourth letter 45 THE Buckeyes' sch. 47 Louvre architect I.M. 49 Historic Texas mission 50 Noble number 54 52 Controversial plastic chemicals 53 Not tan 54 Characteristic of college-level class 55 Alaskan city 56 Chew like a dog with a bone 57 Halloween exclamation 58 Misery

To see the answers to the crossword, scan the QR code. Sudoku (hard)

4 The Dark Knight Rises villain 5 Beginning of pH 6 The West Bank + the Gaza Strip 7 Hebrew letter preceding Bet 8 Reptiles and fish 9 Soybean cubes 10 Catchy advertising phrase 11 One often gets jammed in the printer 12 Nail, as a test 13 Y chromosome havers 21 One of many in a rainbow 22 Precedes a maiden name 25 "Open" seed 26 Geriatric dude 27 To record a fact for future reference 28 Scene kid 29 Actor Daniel ___ Kim 30 Also-____ (Runners up)

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COURTESY OF WEBSUDOKU Puzzle by websudoku.com

SHASHI ARNOLD


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F1 Sports

October 10, 2019

Blair football falls to Paint Branch Blazers overmatched by Panthers’ rapid playstyle

By Charlie Wiebe Staff Writer BLAZER STADIUM, Sept. 27—Blair football recorded their first loss of the season on Sept. 27, their record falling to 3-1 as they lost to the Paint Branch Panthers, 39-7. The stands were packed and the crowd was lively, but the energetic fans and excited atmosphere were ultimately not enough to secure Blair a victory. Paint Branch obtained an early lead on their first drive, and maintained it with their frequent rushing game. The Panthers held up well on defense, too, as their defensive line repeatedly thwarted the Blazers’ scoring opportunities. On the next drive, the Blazers couldn’t gain a first down, and were forced to punt, as Paint Branch’s defense frequently penetrated Blair’s offensive line to get to the Blazers’ new quarterback, junior Khalif Welch. The

Panthers scored a quick rushing touchdown, and soon the first quarter was over with Paint Branch leading the Blazers 13-0. Promptly after the start of the second quarter, Paint Branch scored another touchdown, senior running back Samuel Doku’s third of the game. Blair’s student section, dubbed the “Inferno,” remained festive in spite of their team trailing Paint Branch by 20 points, cheering, “You wish you were a Blazer,” and “Pump it up,” among other chants. Halfway through the second quarter, the Blazers experienced an injury scare, as captains Welch and senior Chris Watkins came out of the game on consecutive plays. All worries were quickly relieved, though, as they were both back on the field within minutes. Soon thereafter, the Blazers scored their first and only touchdown of the game on a short pass to junior Garrett Siff. For the first time in the game,

Blair seemed to be building momentum. These hopes were quickly extinguished, however, as Paint Branch marched down the field and scored two more touchdowns as the first half came to an end. Blair entered the second half trailing 32-7, but displayed a strong defensive effort to start the third quarter, shutting Paint Branch down on their first drive. The Blazers crafted a solid drive, moving the ball quickly downfield after this defensive stop. A big rush from Watkins drove them past the 50-yard marker, but the Panthers stood strong and ultimately forced a punt. After several unsuccessful drives by both teams where neither offenses made significant gains, Paint Branch broke through, scoring yet another rushing touchdown and furthering their lead to 39-7. Aside from a fumble recovery by the Blazers, an interception by Paint Branch, and a 60-yard run

for the Panthers, the rest of the game went on without much excitement. The final score read 39-7 as the last ball was snapped and the closing seconds drained from the clock. Welch explained that the failure to execute the Blazers’ design for the game was their downfall. “We came out with a good game plan and it just didn’t go as we planned,” he said. “We’re going to look at what we did wrong and take it to Einstein and hopefully blow Einstein out, set another statement… and then go into Sherwood week with a win.” Senior center and defensive tackle Steven Castellanos attributes the loss to errors on the field that could have been avoided. “A lot of mistakes, missed tackles,” he said. “We didn’t practice for some of the plays that they did.” Following this loss, Blair was defeated by the Einstein Titans 21-0.

BOBBY PADMORE

HOMECOMING GAME Safety Alex Zokouri (2) makes a tackle as players and coaches look on from the sideline.

SEOYOUNG JOO

“Ethan’s Park” is a monthly column where sports editor Ethan Park expresses an opinion on current events in sports.

Camera in hand, the fabled 2kForbes may be spotted at your high school under the Friday night lights. Like some kind of mythical creature, the local celebrity garners finger-points and cheers as he shoots footage for his next one-minute high school mixtape. With over 17,000 followers on Instagram, each of 2kForbes’ videos accumulate tens of thousands of views—as of publication, his coverage of the highly-anticipated Sept. 13 Damascus-Quince Orchard game sits comfortably at a whopping 55,000 views. The hype is real. Students want him at their games. With all this attention and excitement fueled by such spirited school pride, 2kForbes has recently found a way to capitalize and cash in: a point system. “For week three, I will be filming the school with the most points,” 2kForbes said in a video posted on Instagram on Sept. 16. To gain five points for their school, students could follow and share the video. Any further points could be accumulated exclusively through purchasing merch or donating through Venmo or CashApp. Each 2kForbes shirt? $19.99 for 25 points. Each hoodie? $29.99 for 35 points. Each $5 sent directly to 2kForbes himself? Five points towards the ultimate goal of your school being featured on the hottest highlight

page in Montgomery County. As the point counter for each school continued to rise and the Sept. 19 deadline drew closer, schools like Blake, Sherwood, and Blair exceeded 1,600 points in follows, shares, and straight cash. After making a large amount of money on student sports hype around the county, some people have begun to ask an important question: what differentiates exploitation of students from providing a service fueled by the growing concept of hype? 2kForbes, despite targeting a younger demographic, is tapping into school spirit in a way that is genius, not malicious. Although the idea of a student spending $50 on a chance at getting featured may be extremely questionable, 2kForbes’ unconventional way of monetizing his high-quality service should be seen no differently than selling merch or professional highlight mixes. Overall, 2kForbes has transformed his knack of sports videography into a career, supporting himself with a tech-savvy hold on high school hype. Although this system may seem ethically suspicious and unsustainable in the long-term—you can only have so many 2kForbes hoodies—it is sure to open doors and opportunities for 2kForbes on a level beyond the high school football craze.


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Sports F2

Beyond the lights: managing at Blair

A look into the role of sports managers at Blair

By Ayush Dutta Staff Writer It is 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. Instead of studying or lounging around, Sherlyn Nolasco is still at school, standing at the water fountain, filling up water bottles for the football team. Nolasco is one of seven football managers working with the team to help the coaches make sure the program runs smoothly. The majority of athletic programs at Blair have managers. At first glance, this role may seem like an effortless way to gain SSL hours. However, a deeper look sheds light on their importance. A sports manager’s job description is relatively simple, at least on paper— make sure the players have everything they need to perform during both practices and games. However, this task is really a multifaceted role, which calls for far more than can be seen at surface level. Nolasco starts just an hour after finishing a six-hour school day. “We go to Coach’s [Sam Nosoff] office, and we get medkits, water bottles, helmet kits… and then around 4:30, we start setting up outside,” she says. Senior Delaney Gonzalez, manager for the boys’ junior varsity soccer team, has a similar routine with a few slight tweaks. “I usually have to meet the coach by the sheds, which is outside the SAC, at 2:45,” she says. “We have to get the balls, cones, and the medical kit… I set the water up, get all the balls

out, and get all the pennies out.” Managers must be attentive during practice to make sure the players have everything they need. Enoch Agbobjogbe, manager for boys’ junior varsity basketball team last season, was key in ensuring drills in practices and scrimmages ran smoothly. “I would manage the clock,” Agbobjogbe says. “Say they had a drill for like three minutes: I would put three minutes on the clock, start it, stop it, restart it.” Having managers handle responsibilities like

SHASHI ARNOLD

these allows the coaches to focus their energy on the team. “Student managers [have] made my teams successful,” Athletic Director Rita Boulé says. “They add energy, they take things off the coaches’ plate so the coach can just coach, they work with the student-athletes on things.

They are valued, they keep score, they keep statistics, they keep the team progressing.” During games, the process of identifying any equipment issues and fixing them in a matter of minutes is vital. Sports managers are always on the sidelines, ready to handle any of their needs and to make sure they can get back on the field within a few plays. “[The managers] are amazing,” junior long-snapper Gabe Carillo says. “They help so much on and off the field… Yeah, I love the managers.” The time commitment, however, is what drives most away from taking on a manager role. Managers are with the team for every practice and every game. Nolasco spends an average of 17 hours a week managing football, a responsibility that she has no complaints with. But according to Agbobjogbe, balancing school and managing is a challenge. “Managing is really fun,” Agbobjogbe says, “but it’s really time-consuming… you have to be good at time management [to be a manager]... If you’re [taking] AP classes, you might want to second g u e s s managing.” Managing is a commitment, but many managers enjoy the experience. “It’s fun,” Nolasco says, a smile breaking on her face. “Gamedays are the best.” Gonzalez elaborates on this point, saying she enjoys managing because of the relationships she has made. “The coach and I are pretty close, I think that’s part of why I like it,” she says. “The teammates are really fun too.”

DEDE GREENFIELD

TRIATHLETE Competitor Melina Worthington poses with all her medals from her

races.

Three sports, one champion By Grace Walsh Staff Writer At the early and not-sobright hour of 5:30 a.m., Melina Worthington stands on the shore of Lake Erie. Astroworld by Travis Scott blares in her headphones. She has already been up for the past two hours, scouting out the course ahead as she prepares for her second triathlon. Looking over the water, she readies herself both mentally and physically to compete against 5,000 other athletes at the U.S.A. Triathlon National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. Although this was only her second triathlon, Worthington started competitive running at the age of eight. After dabbling in both dance and gymnastics, she came upon track and fell in love with the sport. With a family history in racing going back two generations, Worthington has the competitive spirit and self-motivation running through her veins. When Worthington decided that she wanted to start racing triathlons, “My dad told me, ‘You’re going to do this by yourself. I’m not going to help you,’” Worthington says. “And I was like, ‘Fine, like challenge accepted.’” At the sound of the starting gun, 6:56 a.m. sharp, she puts on her neon pink swimming cap and runs into the water for a 1,500-meter swim, followed by a 40-kilometer bike ride. By 8:33 a.m. she has finished the bike race, and is about to start

her strongest segment, the 10-kilometer run. Worthington was concerned that she did not make up enough time in the biking section, after what felt like a slow start in the swim. “I didn’t know how many people I passed on the bike,” she says. “I didn’t know if I made up a lot of time or not.” Her dad yells from the sidelines that she is in eleventh place. Counting each athlete she passes, Worthington manages to finish in eighth place. She also breaks her personal record, finishing in two hours and 25 minutes, and—much to her surprise—

“I didn’t know that I could be that fast in a race… that would be my proudest moment.” - Melina Worthington qualifies for the Triathlon World Championships. Worthington did better than she expected. Worthington spends much of her training sessions trying strategies to decrease her transition times between the different sections of the race, called splits. Some tactics that athletes do to cut down their time were passed on to Worthington. “I’ll put like baby powder in my socks and my

shoes, because your feet are wet and you’re not going to dry them off,” Worthington says. She is working on a new skill that will should cut down her time significantly. “[Some] people will have their bike shoes already clicked into their pedals,” she says. Beyond the tips and tricks to cut down on time, Worthington believes that the core of this sport comes down to a simple will to win. Motivation is a key factor in this inherently independent sport—hours of racing against strangers can be a very daunting task. A particular role model that gets Worthington through the hard times of the race is her grandfather. He has raced triathlons since the 1980’s and is, in Worthington’s words, “iconic.” Worthington’s next step is a trip to the International Triathlon Union’s World Championship, where she will be representing the United States in the Women’s 19 and Under category. She will be traveling to Canada a few days before her race, giving her an opportunity to be surrounded by the best in the world, “I’m going to get to see the elite race as well, and that will be fun to see the fastest people in the world,” Worthington said. This chance to compete will be a once-ina-lifetime opportunity, and the challenge of racing against the best in the world goes without being said. Worthington does not know what the future will hold, but one thing for certain: She will carry her family tradition of triathlon racing to new heights.


silverchips

October 10, 2019

Sports F3

Frances Tiafoe: aiming beyond the lines

How humble beginnings in College Park shaped tennis’ next big star By Aviva Bechky Oliver Goldman Staff Writers

Frances Tiafoe loved tennis even before he was old enough to play on the main courts. At just 6 years old, he seized every opportunity to hit balls against the wall and watch older players train. “I always remember Frances, so small that his feet were hanging off the benches, watching tennis all the time,” senior director of tennis at the College Park Tennis Club Vesa Ponkka says. “When the coach was done with training, [Tiafoe] would jump [off the bench] and talk to the coach: ‘How about this, how about that, can I do this and that?’” His devotion to the game endures. Today, at 21, Tiafoe sits on the same benches where he first soaked in the sport. His game stacks up with the best in the world and his feet reach the ground with ease. As of publication, Tiafoe ranks fifty-first worldwide in men’s tennis, having reached a career-high of twenty-ninth in February. But his rise to stardom has not been easy. The path was riddled with struggles.

Playing with holes in his shoes As kids, Tiafoe and his twin brother Franklin spent a lot of time at the College Park club. “They lived here twenty-four-seven, basically,” Ponkka says. That was a result of his dad’s employment there. Tiafoe’s parents immigrated from Sierra Leone in the 1990s to escape civil war. In America, his dad, Constant Tiafoe, found a job on the construction crew building the club. “He was one of the guys that built the place night after night,” Tiafoe says. After that, his dad was hired as the custodian. But as Tiafoe spent more time at the club, it became easier for him to see that he was falling

his game. “Pops always told me to just keep your head up, try to beat those cats that are laughing, and at the end of the day you’ll be laughing if you do things right,” Tiafoe says. Tennis was a way out. “Just knowing from where I began and understanding where I can go with just hitting a tennis ball, that was very motivating,” he says. His admiration for the game itself pushed him, too. “He was in total love with the game,” Ponkka says. “Tennis was his best friend, and he took care of his best friend.” In 2008, his play started to attract eyes—one pair in particular. Misha Kouznetsov, a new coach at the club, noticed Tiafoe practicing one day. “I saw potential and I decided to go to work,” he says. They began training in the clinic together after school. As they practiced, Kouznetsov sensed a strong competitor in the making. “He was definitely hungrier than the other kids,” Kouznetsov says. “He wanted it badly.” Eventually, Kouznetsov started taking Tiafoe to tournaments. The first tournament Tiafoe played was at the College Park club. He won. “I remember falling to the ground,” Tiafoe says. “I was like eight or nine years old— that meant everything to me.” That was the first step in his career, which then grew by leaps and bounds. Tiafoe won various events at the junior level and climbed to second place in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings. He appeared in his first Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament at 16 in the 2014 Citi Open in Washington, D.C. The following year, Tiafoe went fully pro. Tiafoe won his first ATP title in 2018 in Delray Beach, Flori-

Addressing racial inequality Today, not so long since the days when he relied on the club for support, Tiafoe has accumulated almost three million dollars in winnings alone, plus various endorsement deals. However, for Tiafoe, success is about more than just the money. “The money’s cool, the fame’s cool, but at the end of the day, it’s what you’re doing to change somebody else’s life,” he says. One way he looks to do that is by helping diversify the sport: “I want more black people playing tennis when [it’s] all said and done.”

Their effect on tennis is evident today, with young women of

“I want more black people playing tennis when [it’s] all said and done.” -Frances Tiafoe

He recalls a moment in his junior career when his parents said that he should use tennis as a path towards a college scholarship. Tiafoe wanted to go pro. “They said, ‘You’re too young, you’re talking, whatever,’ and I was like, ‘No, I’m serious,’” he says. Tiafoe has always been fueled by his humble beginnings and a desire to change his circumstances. Now, he wants to promote tennis as a way for kids from similar backgrounds to elevate themselves as well.

Building a platform color like rising star Coco Gauff and two-time Grand Slam win-

Tiafoe lives in Washington, D.C. now, but he still trains in College Park at the club he grew up playing at. He is happy to be in the area. “Every training place in the world would love to have LEFT Tiafoe talks about his vision for the future from the same benches where he first soaked in tennis.

BELOW Tiafoe still trains on the same courts he grew up playing on at the College Park Tennis Club.

limit,” he says. But beyond the glory of hoisting a trophy into the air, he understands that winning a Slam could afford him an even greater platform to make a difference. “I want to start a foundation,” he says. “I already do tennis stuff with the inner-city kids. Talking to my friends, foundations that they have, and [the Washington Tennis Education Foundation], I’m going to try to do stuff with them. I just want to be able to give back.” One way he looks to make that impact is by improving accessibility to tennis. Rackets, strings, and tape are not cheap, while equipment for other sports is more readily available. “In basketball, every cornerway has a hoop, you can hoop. Football, you need a football and you can play,” Tiafoe says. Also essential to changing the framework of the men’s game is popularizing tennis with young kids. Ponkka thinks Tiafoe will do just that. “We are hoping that

DEDE GREENFIELD

COURTESY OF COLLEGE PARK TENNIS CLUB

ABOVE Even at age six, Tiafoe was a hungry and fierce competitor.

DEDE GREENFIELD

in love with a rich man’s sport. He needed help covering racket and equipment costs, along with entry fees for tournaments when he started to compete. That was where the club stepped in. The College Park Tennis Club is home to the Junior Tennis Champions Center, an initiative which, according to their website, offers “opportunities for junior players from all backgrounds to reach their full potential on the court and in the classroom.” Under this program, the club covered costs that Tiafoe and his family could not. However, the club’s generosity did not resolve all of the issues that Tiafoe faced. “I was getting made fun of for the things I was wearing, wearing cargo shorts and Pokémon shirts, and cats obviously be clowning you,” he says. Despite these distractions, he found the motivation to focus on

inside SPORTS

da. This past August, he lost in a competitive five-set match at the U.S. Open against the world’s sixth best player, Alexander

“Tennis was his best friend, and he took care of his best friend.” -Vesa Ponkka Zverev. Despite his first-round exit, Tiafoe feels confident moving forward. “I’m actually playing great tennis,” he says. “I’ve beaten so many top guys, it’s just a matter of doing it each and every week.”

Men’s tennis has historically been dominated by whites. Arthur Ashe is the only black man to ever win a men’s single’s title at Wimbledon, the U.S Open, or the Australian Open. Non-American black players like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils have enjoyed successful careers, respectively reaching fifth and sixth worldwide. However, few American black men’s players have been relevant since Ashe’s retirement in 1980, almost 40 years ago. Tiafoe aims to change that. Across the aisle in the women’s game, prominent players of color are plentiful. AfricanAmerican sisters Venus and Serena Williams have propelled the sport in the past two decades and counting. They have won 30 Grand Slam titles between the two of them—seven for Venus and 23 for Serena.

Blazer football loses to Paintbranch

ner Naomi Osaka at the forefront of the sport. 23-yearold Taylor Townsend plays on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour with the Williams sisters and agrees that the sisters are helping pave the way for more players of color, including women like herself. “When you see people that look like you in a sport and you have representation, it gives you hope that it can be you,” she said in an interview with Newsday. Tiafoe marvels at how far the sport has come. “Serena and Venus did an unbelievable job, Arthur Ashe did an unbelievable job, because [they’re] bigger than tennis,” he says. But he considers the work incomplete. He wants to make a difference in the men’s game, and if there is anyone that believes in Tiafoe’s ability to be the change, it is himself.

Triathlon star at Blair

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him, [but he chose] to move back from [Florida] to here because he wants to be close [to the place where] he grew up,” Ponkka says. At the club, says Ponkka, Tiafoe inspires the young kids who are playing in his old shoes. “It’s not only coaches telling, ‘Hey, you, work harder and you can do this and that,’” he says. “They now know that, ‘Hey, if I work hard, I can be just like that.’” Despite his success, Tiafoe has not lost sight of the racial barriers he faced throughout his career. “I always feel like you always [have to] do double the load because of being colored,” he says. “You have to work just as hard, on and off [the] court, you just [have to] be that much better because you’re of color. They’re waiting for us to mess up; that’s just a fact.” And yet, Tiafoe has shown that these barriers can be broken. He has not won a Grand Slam, but Ponkka thinks he will. “There’s no question about it,” he says. “He will be top 10, and when you are top 10, you compete for a Grand Slam.” Tiafoe is confident in his potential. “I think the sky’s the

Blair managers

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Frances coming out here [to the club will] get great 6-year-old athletes and their parents [to say], ‘We want to go into tennis instead of football,’” he says. At the same time, children need more than just a role model. “[We have to] come together and really try to make things happen,” Tiafoe says. “Let’s create things and structure for these kids.” He hopes those structures will be geared towards diversifying the game. He has noticed more kids of color playing tennis, but he is not satisfied. Tiafoe wants to spark change like that of the Williams sisters. Rewriting the racial dynamic in the men’s game on a similar scale is a tall order, but the opportunity for him to lead the charge is here. Whether Tiafoe will win a Grand Slam and emerge as a superstar remains to be seen. For now, at least one thing is clear: The kid who used to play with holes in his shoes is ready to leave his mark on the game. “If I can be anywhere on that level and be able to be in a position to make a difference, I will,” he says.


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