The Skyline Post - Volume 5 February 2022

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THE SKYLINE POST Volume 6 | Febuary 2022 | Cover Art: Anisha Ramachandra

Continuing Through Covid


Letter from the Editors Founding Editors

Dear Readers, Grace Lee

Elan Kluger

Leyla Williams Leyla Williams

Four months later, we have another publication. The decline in weather yields even more gripping stories for the Post to write about. We touched on the hard hitting ex posès about the African American Month Performance and spontaneous Covid-19 shut downs, to uplifting features on upcoming trends and our favorite song recommendations. iT meless stories from last trimesters classes were also up dated and revised to stay relevant. Everyone’s main goal at The Post is to keep a safe envi ronment at Skyline for students, administration, and anyone else in our community. We do this by meticulously going over every fact and quote in our articles so we know every i 2 issue of 20 with the world and hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed writing it. Thank you for your contin ued support.

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Sincerely, The Editorial St

Tri 2 Staff

Hasan Alsamerai - Arts Editor Avelyn Bonner - Assistant Graphic Designer Waleska Castaneda-Martinez - Lifestyle Editor Wren Collins - News Jade Flores - Arts Cate Howard - Book Review Editor Reyna Hope Hyliard Emily Krese - Lifestyle Maya Loomis - Arts Editor Andres Marquez Collins - Arts Alexandria Mason - Sports , Copy Editor Natalia Murrell - Book Review Michael Mychaliska - News Editor Onat Ozer - Sports Editor

Shea Parker - News Dalen Patterson - Lifestyle Sammi Perkins - News Editor Anisha Ramachandra - Assistant Graphic Designer Sanjay Rao - Sports Diarra Seye - Assistant Graphic Designer Bella Simonte - Editor at Large Maja Smith - Arts Editor Phoebe Spadafore - Book Review Sarina Thomas - Book Review , Copy Editor Catherine van Lent - News Kylar Watkins - Sports Alexis Wheeler - Lifestyle Leyla Williams - Head Graphic Designer


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Table of Contents

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Statement of Purpose

News

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Sports

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FA C E B O O K

School Life

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I N S TA G R A M

Multimedia Reviews

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a2skylinepost.wixsite.com

An Eagle Eye On The News


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The Skyline Post

Staffing shortage impacts AAPS busing services, students and families feeling the pressure Written by Samantha Towers and Samuel Klein, Updated by Hasan Alsamerai and Maja Smith As of Monday, January 31st there were 14 bus route suspensions all around Ann Arbor, Michigan. These suspensions, set to end Friday, February 11th, will negatively impact many families and students. “Illness among transportation staff and their families, and the ongoing labor shortage of drivers along with the current challenges tied to the current surge in COVID-19 cases have resulted in this action,” Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) said in an email sent out to families on January 27th. Durham School Services, the school bus provider for AAPS , has been struggling through a staff shortage this 2021-2022 school year. In response, Durham has gotten creative and students and their families have been forced to be flexible. “The lack of drivers has been debilitating,”says Ed Gallagher, Transportation Manager with Durham for AAPS. “Covid-19 is the primary reason. Many employees simply chose not to return when we finally reopened. We have gained and lost several drivers to competition.” Executive Director of AAPS Student and School Safety Liz Margolis states, “We have been actively recruiting drivers since last summer, increasing pay and offering incentives. While we have been able to hire a few new drivers, as with other industries, Durham has not been able to hire enough to fully staff all of the bus routes.” Margolis works collaboratively with Durham Transportation to ensure that students have a reliable way of getting to school. Their aim is to only suspend bus routes from schools that have additional routes to transport students. In addition, “we do not select [suspend] routes that serve students

with special needs or the preschool bus routes,”says Margolis. Suspensions are communicated with the bus riders and last for two weeks, but that can change with driver availability. “We track daily the number of drivers and monitors who are not able to work and balance that against the number of routes that are not able to be covered so this is a fluid situation.” Public school districts are not required by law to offer bus transportation to students. And yet, Margolis added,“we still fully understand and take seriously that route suspensions for students do negatively impact some students and families. We encourage families to work together to form carpools or take public transit, if it is available.” In solving their transportation issues, AAPS does not allow students to choose to ride on routes other than those assigned to them due to capacity and safety concerns. One new solution this year has been the combining of routes between middle and high school students, which allows for one driver to cover essentially two routes. However,

some students complain these changes have made their buses more crowded. “After the Forsythe stop was added, there was no longer any social distancing on the bus because there were literally no empty seats,” says Isaac Fraga, sophomore at Skyline, whose bus also picks up students from Forsythe Middle School in the afternoon. “High school students are forced to sit two people per seat and in the very back of the bus.” According to Gallagher, “The number of students on each bus does greatly vary and high school buses typically see less ridership than elementary and middle school buses.” Despite additional students on each route, AAPS responded that buses are “not to the point of being overcrowded beyond available seating,”says Liz Margolis, Executive Director of Student and School Safety for AAPS. “We have never guaranteed social distancing on buses. It would be impossible due to the number of available buses and drivers.” Other Covid-19 mitigation


Feburary 2022 measures have been integrated into busing services. “We have put in strict masking, air flow, hand sanitizer requirements, as well as seating charts,” says Margolis. In many cases, changing bus routes has made pick up times earlier in the morning, resulting in students getting up earlier and losing out on valuable sleep. “The bus now comes at 7:32 am,”says Katherine Yuan, a 7th grader at Forsythe Middle School. “It used to come at 7:44.” Margolis states that“AAPS has made a commitment to no pick ups before 7 am. We are able to do that except for very few cases due to the length of the trip, especially when families live at the edges of the district, which covers 125 square miles.” Combining bus routes, especially those now with middle and high schoolers, have also caused students to be dropped off later in the afternoon. This can cut into time for homework, family responsibilities, and other after school commitments. “Before the Forsythe stop was added I would get home around 3:15,”says Fraga.“But [now that] the stop is added, I arrive home anytime between 3:35-3:40.” After school, the range of drop off times begins shortly after school ends at 2:51 pm to almost an hour later. “The Skyline bus routes drop off between 3:03 and 3:45 pm,” says Margolis.“The exception is bus 28, which stops the furthest north from Skyline. Its last stop is 4:19 pm at Delhi Rd.” Buses have also shown a pattern of running late throughout the school year. Even though they mostly only run a few minutes late, this can cause students to arrive late to school. “My [buses] have been late almost every day, in the morning and in the afternoon,” says Riley Mahan, sophomore at Skyline. “It’s usually late by 4-7 minutes, but we usually get

5 there when we are supposed to walk to first hour.” There have been a few occasions this school year in which some buses were up to an hour late, but “we notify families when this occurs,” says Margolis. Inconsistencies in pick up times and potential for late buses puts more pressure on parents to find ways to drive their students to school, which sometimes is not a feasible option. If a students bus was to run late and their parents could not drive them to school at the last minute, that student would have no choice but to miss out on valuable learning time in the first part of the school day. “The only other way for me to get to and from school would be if my mom drove me,”says Fraga. “But this overcomplicates things for her because she has to work. It is too time-consuming for her to come to school and wait in the parent pick up/drop off lines.” Gallagher, and all of Durham School Services, sympathizes with families impacted by busing issues this year. “We always try to keep in mind that a late bus certainly puts a strain on parents who have a schedule or routine to maintain,”says Gallagher. AAPS is working closely with Durham School Services to solve these issues and improve the quality of the busing services being provided to families. “AAPS and Durham Transportation most definitely understand the hardships that the bus service has caused families this year,”explains Margolis. “This is a national problem. Working with Durham we have incentives in place including signing bonuses, increased hourly pay, and additional guaranteed hours to attract drivers. The level of service has not been to our standard but we are working hard to rectify this.”

The Skyline Post will continue to update this developing story, as information is released.


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The Skyline Post

The Time the Arts Seemingly D Gabriel Hill and Jane Konigsberg

On March 13th, 2020, the world came to a close. Covid-19 rang like a tornado siren, causing all schools, most businesses, and other activities to go online or cancel entirely. Fast forward to the fall of 2020, the beginning of a new school year: students entirely online, trapped in their houses, trying to stay awake as

their teacher figures out Schoology. But where did the arts go? How to even fathom the idea of students singing and playing instruments in a space with Covid present? Here at Skyline, teachers learned to adapt and eventually learn from the experience.

‘Till I Hear You Sing Once More “I will never take a rehearsal for granted again” states LynCieChanski, Skyline’s choir director and teacher. When school went online, CieChanski didn’t know what to do at first. CieChanksi took the challenge in stride and began finding options. In early October, Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) purchased a program called UpBeat, an audio/video syncing program that allowed students to perform at the same time (being far from each other.) Upbeat became a vital resource to all of the music programs at Skyline during the virtual year.. Although UpBeat was not a true replacement for live singing, the choir program kept going, producing concert videos, practice logs, and even sight-reading challenges through UpBeat.

The strain of online learning also extended to Skyline’s competitive A cappella group: Skyline Blues. With the group looking forward to the competition season through the International Championship of High School A Cappella, (ICHSA), there were many questions going into the online school year. In the end, the entire year of competition was online.

Due to district guidelines, Skyline Blues was unable to ever practice in person unless for specific filming. Yet, they placed 1st at regional quarterfinals and were awarded outstanding soloist prizes for Gabriel Hill and Rajada Noblin. This year, Skyline Blues released their very first full album titled “Light at The “I learned what was most important. Some End” on October 15th, 2021. things that are less important are not as prominent in this teaching style,” says CieChanski, “I needed to Are you excited to be back in the building? make sure I was giving equal attention to the students “Heck yes!” exclaimed CieChanski. With the return of on zoom and in the building”. students to Skyline this year, the Skyline choir program is back up and running. Students are required to wear With the return of students in April of 2020, special singing masks when performing, Skyline Blues a new challenge arose: balancing the attention of the is back to rehearsing in-person, and restructured verstudents online to the students in the classroom. Al- sions of concerts are being organized. However, there though having students back in the room was exciting is no information at this time of what indoor concerts and a form of normal, a lot of challenges remained. will look like for the 2021-2022 school year. Decisions How would students maintain singing and aural skills are made in response to emerging data. online? What will performing look like? CieChanski came up with a complete plan of attack. With the introduction of UpBeat into the system, performing virtually was now possible, along with using resources like Sight-Reading Factory and Noteflight to keep sight reading skills up.


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Disappeared and Reappeared From Full Orchestral Rehearsals to Chamber Groups

Leyla Williams

Although many of the instruments in orchestra do not require any form of wind or air, there were still many challenges in the online school year for orchestra. Before Covid-19, students would share music stands and music. Now students have their own stands period. Once April of 2021 hit, a new challenge arose. and seats have been placed farther apart to keep social Once a portion of students were back in the building, distance whenever possible. there were a lot of challenges. Similar to choir, the biggest challenge was how performing together would “We turned our focus to the individual and work. For orchestra, UpBeat was heavily used to aid in how to make the best musician,” said Andrea Murray, concerts and playing together during Covid. orchestra teacher at Skyline and Tri-M Honor Society Sponsor,“We focused more on chamber groups and “I learned that it doesn’t need to be a constant skill-building and less on ensemble skills”. push to every concert,” says Murray. “We do have time to focus on technique and building our skills.” For orchestra, UpBeat made playing in smaller chamber groups a more realistic option than playWith the return to in-person learning in the Fall ing “together” over zoom. In addition, the use of of 2021, students were looking forward to a more norSight Reading Factory, an online program to practice mal year. The plan for this school year is to continue sight reading skills, aided in having more in-depth the program in the best way possible. “We are looking sight-reading practice and making students better mu- forward to making music together again,” said Murray. sicians overall. Practice tracks, which play the music With students continuing to work in smaller chamber and background audio to the musician’s earbuds, also groups and not sharing music stands like the hybrid became a vital source for practicing and staying on time year, the orchestra will be raring to go for the first conwith every member in the orchestra. In the past, prac- cert and/or event when the time arises. The orchestra tice tracks were rarely used but Murray discovered how performed at Music and a Meal, a benefit concert, and a helpful they were especially during the online learning winter concert in January.

Gabriel Hill


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The Skyline Post

76 Trombones, 110 Cornets, all Not in the Room Along with CieChanski and Murray, Jason Smith, Skyline the band director, had to deal with the struggles of organizing three different bands in a virtual space. When Skyline decided to go virtual in the fall, Smith wanted to emphasize the band. Which is why the core music classes were mostly left untouched and the extra classes: like guitar, piano, and music theory were cut. Lots changed during the virtual year. “The whole year, rather than being in an ensemble and listening to people around you and playing with other people, etc. You are Leyla Williams sitting in your room alone playing your instrument,” Smith says. “It became kind of like a team sport, like how many people would want to play football by Is there anything you’ve learned from online just working out in their bedroom alone?” learning? “I don’t want to go back to it,” Smith says. Without being able to perform as a group, it was hard to practice with the knowledge that they wouldn’t perform their music on stage. Smith said that “the next few years, after a year of being online, is really just getting back to where the program was a year ago.” The focus for this year is to work on his students’ skills and fundamentals so that they can go further with the program. Smith is working on making sure the band practices every day while they are in school and pushing students to practice in their free time. Getting used to practicing every day will make the band thrive in the later year.

Leyla Williams

This Fall, Smith is thrilled to return to the band room and conduct for his students. The best way to experience how a band maneuvers is to be present for the practices and performances. Hearing what sections or measures need to be worked on is something that is hard online. Smith says he will cherish his time with practices, performances such as Music and a Meal, and future performances like the Winter Concert, and teaching an amazing group of students.


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Puzzle Page Skyline Teachers

How to play A crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white- and black-shaded squares. The game’s goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues, which lead to Skyline Teachers the answers. The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases.

Skyline Teachers

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Across 2. Health

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SUDOKU

4. Gym 5. Theater

Across 2. Health 4. Gym 5. Has 2 kittens 7. Psychology Down 1. Loves marvel 2. Funniest math teacher 3. Basketball coach 4. Peace and chicken 6. Cmpp 7. Wacky Sock Wednesday 8. Loves The Great Gatsby

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Down

1. Loves marvel

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2. Funniest math teacher 3. Basketball Coach

6. has 2 kittens

4. Peace and chicken

7. Psychology

6. Cmpp 7. Wacky Sock Wednesday 8. Loves The Great Gatsby

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Answer Key

Sudoku is easy to play and the rules are simple. Fill in the blanks so that each row, each column, and each of the nine 3x3 grids contain one instance of the numbers 1 through 9. https://crosswordlabs.com/embed/skyline-teachers

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The Skyline Post

Skyline Varsity Sports Concludes it Women’s field hockey:

The Skyline Women’s field hockey team won the state championship, beating Pioneer in the finals 4-3 overtime game. Despite losing to Pioneer in their last two competitions, the team was able to prevail over them in their third matchup of the season, ultimately taking home the title.

Women’s golf:

In the regional tournament needed to advance to the state tournament, Skyline girl’s golf placed 4th, barely missing the 3rd place cutoff to go to the states. Despite this, Skyline was still able to send seniors Adie Maki and Riya Patchava to the state tournament, placing 4th and 51st respectively. Ashley Mantha

Men’s football:

After having their win against Pioneer revoked and being forced to forfeit against Huron, the Skyline football team has ended their season 0-9. Susan Shultz

Men’s tennis:

The Skyline Men’s tennis team played stellar throughout the fall season, with performances earning them a spot in the regional and state tournaments. At states, Skyline tennis placed 13th, with junior Anthony Vanoyen making it to the singles quarterfinals.

Women’s cross country:

Men’s cross country:

The Skyline Men’s cross country team went to regionSkyline women cross country placed second at regionals, als and had a strong showing. However, they were four points becoming the second ever Skyline team to make the state tournament. Upon arriving at the state tournament, they placed 14th, the shy of making the state tournament, placing 4th overall. Despite highest any Skyline girls cross country team has ever finished. With this, sophomore Luke Suliman and junior Nico Fry were able to participate in the state tournament individually, Nico earning junior Caroline Vance placing 56th in her event. all state honors for his performance.

The Women’s and Boy’s XC team at the Sleeping Bear Dunes at camp Serena Kessler


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ts Fall Season in Dominant Fashion Onat Ozer Women’s swimming & diving:

After a tough season, the girls swim team has finished the SouthEastern Conference (SEC) championship in 5th place with 300 points, narrowly losing out to Dexter’s 306 points. They then went on to place 7th at states. With notable performances by senior Claire Kozma in the 50 freestyle and junior Lilly Cleason in the 100 backstroke, both finishing 1st place in their respective events. Clair Kozma

Women’s crew: Although crew is a year round sport, official competitions begin in the spring season. This meant that the fall season was one of training and anticipation for the Skyline Girl’s crew team. The Skyline crew team was able to notch multiple top three finishes throughout numerous meets during the season, the future outlook is bright.

Mens soccer:

Skyline boy’s soccer arrived at the district tournament with a solid 12-4-3 record, but ultimately lost to Pioneer in the district final, ending their season.

Women’s volleyball:

The Skyline Women volleyball team has taken first place in the district and regional tournament, and has advanced through its conference with an undefeated record. The team then proceeded to top it off with a 2nd place finish at the state championship. Annie Blais

Men’s crew: At the Head of the North competition, where the best teams from Michigan compete, Skyline Mens rowing came out in 1st place. Although winning this tournament doesn’t Annie Blais give Skyline an official MHSAA trophy, Skyline’s strong showing is an optimistic sign for how this team will perform later in spring.

Kara Hewett


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The Skyline Post

Skyline’s Star Coach Kit Be

A 7-time national champion team needs a strong head coach. Luckily, Skyline Crew has one: Kit Bennett. Kit Bennett is from Streatham, South London and came to the United States in 2006. Bennett originally began rowing at Dulwich College and was “very lucky he was able to row because his family wasunder[received]financialaid.”Bennettseekstoextendthesesameopport athletes. The team raises around 10 thousand dollars a year for uniforms, dues, and race fees for athletes in need. Kit Bennett began coaching at the age of 15 as a swim and water polo coach after a knee injury in rugby. Post college, he ran the college’s rowing program for three years while being an athlete himself. Starting the Skyline rowing program in 2009, he describes his own coaching style as “one that is focused on process and building people versus results.”

What was it like running the team during Covid-19?

Last fall, Skyline was able to use only single-person boats to keep their athletes on the water; multi-person boats were too risky, with Covid-19. Come winter, Bennett used many strategies to create a proper winter training season such as workout leaderboards and erging over zoom calls, making Skyline the only rowing team in Ann Arbor to have at-home zoom workouts during quarantine. Skyline athletes described this Winter season in 2020 as “a challenge being isolated. But it was worth it in the long run because it made me much faster,” says Liam Black, a sophomore on the team. This enabled the Skyline team to row full team boats by spring break of 2021 and the men’s team was able to place 1st at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships. Kit Bennett


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Skyline Crew 2019 Teams, Skyline Hallway Murial Photographs

ennett, Wizard of the Water

Zachary Czartoski, Andres Marquez-Collins

His coaching style

Bennett describes his own coaching style as “focused on developing students as people. His athletes see it as “very direct” and “fair.” Independence is another staple of Bennett’s coaching; one sophomore commented that “Kit’s coaching style is great because it teaches kids to put in the work for a positive outcome. Kit helps set kids up for colleges they would want to pursue by getting them the resources they need.” The strong results at events like Kensington, Head of the North, and Head of the Gallup, proves the effectiveness of his coaching style.

Kit Bennett

Fall Season

Fall 2021 led to race adaptations and hosting teams like Pioneer, Northville, Huron, and St. Mary’s at Skyline’s home territory. Bennett created a 2,400-meter course as well as docking space for 6 teams at Kensington Metropark. Finishing the seasonwithHeadoftheNorth,boththemen’sandwomen’stea

Spring and Future Plans

Given the success of Head of the Gallup, Bennett plans to host a similar race annually called the “Mitten Racing series.” Bennett states that his goal is to provide a “championship level racecourse, seSen to eight lanes wide, fully buoyed every ten meters with the buoys alternating colors every 250 meters.” Theplansfortheracecourseinvolvea“timingsystem”involving“traffic light[s]”;theseplansareintendedto“createamuchbetterexperienceforth Bennett has hopes to bring in around eight to ten teams from Michigan and even the rest of the Midwest to race a high-quality championship course. “Funding for the course was inpartsupportedbypandemicstimulusmoney.Theracecoursewillbefulfillingth goals of the stimulus support by bringing in people to local restaurants and hotels,” says Bennett.


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The Skyline Post

Skyline Eagles Edge Rival Pioneer in Overtime to win D1 Field Hockey State Championship Proving victorious after the State Championship game versus Pioneer, the Skyline field hockey team is on an all-time high. The team has a successful track record of two previous D2 state championships in 2013 and 2019, but this was the first D1 win. Nicole Barrett, coach for all three victories, feels it’s games like these that “validate all of [their] hard work.” The stage was set. Cross-town rivals, Skyline and Pioneer, were ready to meet in the D1 Field Hockey State Championship. Despite the nerves heading into the game, Skyline jumped to a quick 2-0 lead behind goals from sophomores Cami Wiseman and Coco Courtright. Morgan Nelapa found the back of the net before the half, and Skyline held a commanding 3-1 lead at the halftime break. Wiseman notes that Skyline “had a lot of control of the ball in the first [half].” However, Pioneer managed to claw back in the second half, scoring two unanswered goals and tying the match at 3 apiece. Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie, and overtime began.

Cami Wiseman

Bella Simonte and Patrick Smith

Cami Wiseman

Overtime rules reduce the total amount of players on each team from 11 to 7, and a 10 minute half is played. With so much more space to work with, Skyline capitalized, scoring a goal 6 minutes into extra time. Sophomore Sadie Schultz played a long ball to Wiseman, locked in a footrace with the Pioneer defender. She received the pass, turned, and shot. At first, Wiseman thought she had missed the shot. When she heard the cheers from her teammates and the Skyline fans, she began celebrating. She remembers this moment as an “amazing feeling.” Due to all the excitement, she remembers almost hyperventilating. This go-ahead goal proved to be the game-winner, and Skyline were state champs. Vigorously practicing 5 days a week to prepare, the girls were “optimistic about how the season was going to go,” says Captain Morgan Nalepa. Throughout the season, the team lost twice to Pioneer, but they didn’t let that take a toll on their morale. Assistant Coach Andrew Nalepa notes “they were a different team” since both games against Pioneer and “just had to live up to [their] potential.” The girls all have teammates from their club teams and friends playing for Pioneer, which “made the game more intense.” “Everyone did their job and contributed to our victory,” Nalepa said. “We were all so proud of each other and what we had worked together to accomplish.” Wiseman hopes to “repeat as state champions next year, and even go undefeated.” Originally published on 11/8/2021


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“Family means everything to me”:

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Skyline Athletes Share Strategies Used to Maintain Balance Many students find it difficult to balance school, work, and practices. After these commitments, a lot of athletes don’t get home until 11 p.m. and still have to get ready for school the next day. You have to have some type of organization and stay caught up on work. If you’re not, it can get overwhelming quickly and make life feel crowded. Research has shown working and maintaining a life outside school can take a huge toll. Often, we don't check on our athletes about how they’re doing mentally. In response,

Cody Williams Many reported that their families are their main help, taking them to practice or being there to support them for sports and homework. “Family means everything to me,” says Tyrone King, Skyline junior and football player. “My dad gives me motivation because he works hard every day and it makes me want to do the same in my school work and sports. My father comes to support me at every football game. It makes me want to compete strongly for every sport I play.”

The Skyline Post interviewed several Skyline student-athletes about how they balance their social, personal, and school lives; many of which have to work to provide for their families.

The Post was also curious about what techniques students use to relieve stress and relax. “I love going outside and listening to ASMR [because] it helps me focus,’’ says freshmen student-athlete Emory Duffy.

One theme that emerged was that students thought support from their peers helps them to manage sports, work, family time, and homework. One anonymous senior says, “I’m passionate about helping others and not just student-athletes, [but] anyone who needs to talk is welcome to come to see me.”’

Counselor Tiffany Kincaid has a lot of useful resources for athletes and all students on mental health, including mental health awareness groups and information about social and emotional wellness and coping skills. There are many support options for student-athletes so that everyone can thrive and enjoy their time at Skyline.

New SAMHA Club Paves the Way for Skyline Athletes’ Mental Health Awareness and Support Richard Baker, Michael Williams Skyline’s SAMHA (Student Athlete Mental Health Awareness) club is a new member of the plethora of extracurriculars in our building. Created by a group of seniors including Julian Kukor and Thomas Botsford, SAMHA aims to raise awareness for mental health and help student athletes take on their rigorous daily challenges. With more and more professional athletes speaking out about their own challenges with mental health, SAMHA looks to create change locally at Skyline. The club meets in Mr. Jacobs’ room every Wednesday after school to discuss personal experiences as well as watch presentations about mental health in sports and the harmful stigmas that come with it. “Because [Skyline] is a large school with many sports teams, it’s very important to have a support network for these athletes who are under a lot of stress,” says Kukor. According to National Federation of State High School Associations, an estimated 31.9% of today’s young people experience some form of anxiety disorder. USA Today High School Sports notes that “nationwide, studies show that one in five people aged 18 and over experiences a form of mental illness. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for those age 10 to 24, with nearly 4,700 young people dying of suicide annually in the United States.” Kukor invites students to join SAMHA to “make new friends, form new connections and have a support system.”


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The Skyline Post

Player spotlight: Ismail “Ish” Abdul Aziz Emory Duffy

Ish Abdul Aziz: one of the best football players at Skyline, maybe even in Michigan. Abdulaziz plays running back for Skyline varsity football team, and is best known for, according to spources, his “speed’’ and “ability to play both sides of the ball.’’ He is also known as a team player. A junior now, Abdulaziz is looking to play football in college. Many at Skyline believe he is more than capable. Ish has the talent to go places in football; if he works hard senior year, anything is possible. Emory Duffy

How will you be ready for next year? Next year it will be big, especially because I’m going to be a senior. And my parents are telling me how serious it is, and with school ya know I gotta have a high GPA for college. How will the football team be better after a disappointing season? How do players need to get better? During the offseason, keep working. There were a lot of injuries this year. You have people doing therapy and getting faster, stronger, and conditioned. What is your favorite part about football season? My favorite part about high school football is that it’s high school football. Once you get to college you gotta take everything serious. How do you recover from an injury like you had (LisFranc-foot injury)? I’ve been doing therapy and going to trainers. It’s really a struggle because my foot is so weak but I’m working through it. What do you do to get prepared for college football? I have to train during the off-season working on my speed, my strength... I also I have to focus on school and keep my grades up so I’m eligible for a good university. What is something you like to do in your free time when not playing football? I like to hang out with my friends, like going out to eat and chilling at their house playing videos games and spending time with family.

EAGLES OF EXCELLENCE Students who we think deserve a shout out! DM us on Intagram @skyline_post to be featured!


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Finding Out The Origins of Skyline Figure Skating Maya Loomis

The Skyline figure skating team is into its 5th year up and running. Despite this, recognition and attention the team has been shown is minimal. As one of the most extensive and strenuous sports Skyline has to offer, they should be recognized for their accomplishments.

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, the Skyline Figure Skating Team was born. Gabriella Renteria Bishop, SHS Figure Skating Team alumnus, established the team with her friend and was there from the inaugural year to the end of her education at Skyline. Maya Loomis

“My friend and I loved figure skating,” Bishop says, “so we wanted to make the team.” They would practice before and after school and compete. The team was coached by skater Erica Miller. Miller started coaching the team as a graduate student and later was given the opportunity to skate for Disney. “We started off as a varsity team and won competitions,” Bishop says, “we had some of the best figure skaters in Ann Arbor on our team.” However, the girls weren’t always very enthusiastic about being a part of the school’s club. “People didn’t take it seriously enough,” Bishop says, “figure skating is a tough sport, something we do starting at very young ages...it took up a lot of our lives so in high school we start to take it less seriously.” It was difficult for a lot of the skaters to maintain their education after adding a club into their schedule along with all of the other practices they had for private teams. Because of this, a lot of girls quit or lost the spark they had when they started. Although Bishop loved the sport, it slowly became a burden for her and the lack of interest from her teammates eventually made her lose motivation. “Figure skating was that tragic love story for me,” she says, “some days I loved it and some days I despised it more than anything.” She believes it pushed her in a variety of ways and provided her with a lot of strength both physically and mentally. Skating left her with many permanent injuries along with a sincere yearning to have the experience all over again. “Passion is something that needs to be a drive for everyone and sports can do that for people always and forever.” Maya Loomis


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The Skyline Post

The Reality Behind School Lunches:

They Haven’t Shrunk COVID-19 is spreading. Millions of lives are at risk. Will Skyline be going virtual this week? How will our lunches be affected when we are back in school? What is really going on behind the scenes? Due to strained supply chains, Skyline’s cafeteria has had to adapt to limited cafeteria options. The Covid-19 pandemic shocked global supply chains, creating shortages that reached far and wide, including Chartwell Food Service, Skyline’s food provider. This forced Chartwells to find new suppliers, adjust or limit cafeteria menu options and depend on reserved staff. Students at Skyline are repeatedly asking, “why is this pizza slice so small? Every slice seems like they’re from different places,” said Miles Drake, a 9th grader at Skyline. Having different suppliers has made a huge difference in portion control and how food is divided up, such as pizza. “When we returned to in-person school, everything stayed pretty much normal,” said Victoria Davis, Director of Ann Arbor Public School Meal Services. “Each student receives half a cup of fruit or vegetables. USDA regulates food portions. It’s not my decision.” In other words, the school menu and the proportions have not changed. The lunches are usually a small burger or small slice of pizza and sometimes fries or another side.

Shea Parker Due to the shipping shortages caused by supply chain backups, in August and September of 2021 Chartwells had to look for new vendors for such items as chicken breasts or pizza. This was a difficult time to find new vendors, and Chartwells started to have a hard time supplying ingredients. “Mozzarella sticks were one of the hardest to supply,” said Davis. In addition, “We were heavily short on staff at the beginning of the school year, and this caused the limited menu.” The menu changes reflected all the missing supplies and shortages due to the lack of suppliers. When Covid-19 pandemic began, schools, homes, and cities across the globe were forced to restrict their economic activity. Companies like Chartwells laid off workers, factories reduced production and offices and stores were shuttered. Consumers lost their spending power and the production of goods decreased. This has affected student lunches. Our community, including the public and our government may have a definitive idea on when the supply shortage may come to an end. The New York Times estimates have been given, however, and it’s believed the shortage may end in 2022.

Shea Parker

Lunch-time Crunch

Zak Kratz This year, school lunches are free for the first time ever. However, this change comes with a price: the lunch line. Is it possible to get through the line and enjoy lunch in the allotted time? Casey Elmore, Skyline administrator, explained, “We have 26 minutes for lunch, and 4 minutes of added passing time. This means that students have a total of 30 minutes to eat, socialize and relax before they have to get to their next class.” However, The Skyline Post found that students need at least 23 minutes and 25 seconds to eat lunch without talking. How lunch is spent Total: 23.5 minutes

Getting to lunch Lunch line Picking up food Eating without talking Going to class

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Phone in hand, The Skyline Post conducted a highly scientific experiment to see if students have enough time to wait in line for the free food.

Check out a2skyline.wixsite.com for more


Feburary 2022

Anisha Ramachandra

The People Behind the Masks Get to know your teachers

Brian Thomas “Believe in yourself.”

19 Laila Nelson Anisha Ramachandra

One of Brian Thomas’s hidden talents is that he is a good cook. Thomas spends his summers coaching swimming, traveling, and dreams of someday getting an RV and traveling the whole country. For Thomas, a good day at school is when his students walk out of his classroom feeling confident. He feels that technology is both helpful and challenging. Students are able to type, and do research, everything they need or want to do they can do in one place. On the other hand this makes it so easy to find answers, the students can copy and paste, instead of finding answers themselves.Thomas is proud of his students this year for communicating and talking to one another. He is so happy that all his students are engaging and learning with each other. Working to connect with students by being kind and listening is his way of showing he cares.

Corey Nowitske “Don’t be afraid to try new things.”

Anisha Ramachandra

One of Corey Nowitzke’s hidden talents is that he can rip a phonebook in half. One thing students would be surprised to hear about Nowitzke is that he tries to relate his music to math. Nowitzke spends his summers camping and traveling with his family and friends. One of his dreams is to one day go to Australia. A good day at school for Nowitzke is when his students are working hard, and having fun while still understanding the content. What inspires Nowitzke in school the most is his students and co-workers. An accomplishment that has filled Nowitzke with pride this year is being back in the building. A unique thing that he brings to Skyline High School is that he lets his students know that math can be useful but also very challenging. He has always had a passion for math.

Craig Jobe “Strive to put your best foot forward.” One of Craig Jobe’s hidden talents is that he can barbecue. One thing students would be surprised to know about Jobe is that he used to play college football for Wayne State University. Jobe spends his summers with his kids, watching them play travel sports. One of Jobe’s dream vacations is to go to the East Coast. A good day at school for Jobe is interacting with students, building relationships, and learning new material. What inspires Jobe the most is when he makes an impact on his students’ lives. Many students admire Jobe. The way he makes the connections is by showing him that he cares, and by making his classroom comfortable. A unique thing that Jobe brings to Skyline High School is that he is a very positive person and his best quality is the relationships he has with his students.

Anisha Ramachandra


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The Skyline Post

Q&A

With Skyline’s Social Workers Laila Nelson A social worker is a person that you can talk to when you’re dealing with a challenge in school and/ or outside of school. For example, they help students when someone is being bullied, and they are here for you when your counselors are unavailable. They offer groups, 1:1 support, academic support, emotional support, social support, community support. They can make you smile and laugh, and even give you food if you are hungry.

The social workers at Skyline High School are Melissa Schmidt and Molly Anderson. Schmidt says that the “purpose of being at Skyline is to provide extra

support for staff, students, and families.” Schmidt is located in B325 the Diversity Office. Anderson is located in B425, The Equality Office. Students can make an appointment by emailing or leaving a note. Their emails are (schmidtm2@aaps.k12.mi.us) (andersonmo@aaps.k12.mi.us). The most important thing to know about your social workers here at Skyline is that when you can’t get in touch right away, you can make an appointment by emailing or leaving a note.

What are their purposes for being here? Schmidt: “Purpose of being at Skyline is to provide extra support for students, staff, and families. We help connect families to resources, we support students and staff if they are having a rough day. We run groups to target specific behaviors and are just a helping hand for the building.” Anderson: “As a social worker I want to make sure that the students I serve are happy, healthy, and safe. Everything I do is for those purposes. Social workers have been a part of the Skyline community for many years. This has impacted the needs to build relationships and transform a role model to have a person they can go to with any problems.”

What do social workers do to help with students’ problems? Schmidt: “We can talk privately with them, to help them understand what is going on. We run groups to target specific goals or behaviors. If they need something specific we try and see how we can help. We also bring in therapy dogs.” Anderson: “I try to meet students where they’re at. If they’re angry, we can throw bean bags in my office. If they’re sad, we could take a walk on the track and talk about it. If they’re hungry, we’ll find a snack. If they’re anxious, we’ll meditate and breathe deeply. If they’re excited, we’ll celebrate together! I teach coping skills to help students maintain balance in all areas of their life.”

Anderson tries to meet students where they are at. Anisha Ramachandra


Feburary 2022

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When do you know your boundaries when a student communicates with you? Schmidt: “I have to clearly outline what my boundaries are. For example, sometimes I’m in a meeting or a situation where I can’t leave, I have to tell the student I will follow up another time. I also text & email a lot with families and students.” Anderson: “Boundaries show mutual respect. When I communicate what I need clearly, then I am able to meet not only my needs, but also those of others. Students on my caseload have my number, but know that I may not respond right away and are respectful about it. If I am in a meeting and my door is closed, students know they can write their name down and they will be seen within 24 hours.”

Schmidt enjoying a rare moment alone in her office. Anisha Ramachandra

Why did you choose the social working path? Schmidt: “I enjoy the freedom that social work has to offer. I also really enjoy working with people and seeing the good things they have to offer.” Anderson: “I love the flexibility I have with my day and interventions I can use with students. I love to see people grow and heal. I feel honored to be a part of people’s lives in positive ways.”

Why did you choose to work at Skyline? Schmidt: “I enjoy working on a team and enjoy Ann Arbor. I wanted a job that would challenge me.” Anderson: “I enjoy working with high school students the most out of any school setting. I liked the people I worked with here more than at the other schools I was at.”

When have you experienced a time in your life when you needed a social worker?

Schmidt: “I had a rough transition out of college with a breakup and needed some extra support. The social worker helped me navigate through that phase of life.” Anderson: “In college, the social worker helped me figure out what major I actually wanted to study and helped me figure out how to balance work and school and living on my own for the first time.”


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The Skyline Post

Aphantasia: Why Some People Don’t Like Reading Picture a ball on a table. Now imagine that someone walks up to the table and gives it a push. Would you be able to tell what happens to the ball? Would you be able to say the color and size of the ball, the material of the table, and the color of the person’s shirt? On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the fidelity of your visual imagination? Most importantly, did you already know the answer to each question listed above, or were you coming up with an answer as you read it? Most of you will probably be able to say with complete confidence that you were able to answer every question without conscious thought. You don’t have to pick a color for the ball. You just know intrinsically that the ball is red or blue or whatever color it is. However, there are some people, about 2% of the population, that have to pick an arbitrary answer for these attributes as they’re mentioned. I released a poll on twitter, asking these questions to my followers. Out of 25 respondents, all were perfectly able to answer every question. All of them were able to rank their visual imagination, with an average ranking of 6.84 out of 10. Out of 25 people, 23 already knew the answer to every question, before they were asked. However, two did not. When asked if

they already knew the answer or not, they said that they had to come up with an answer for the questions as they were asked. These people, whether they know it or not, may have a condition called aphantasia. Patients with aphantasia are unable to create a voluntary mental image. The name comes from the Greek word ‘phantasia,’ meaning “imagination,” and the ‘a-’ prefix meaning “without.” This phenomenon was first observed in 1880 by Francis Galton during a study on visual imagery. He noted that some of his students had no ability to visualize. The reason the “ball-on-a-table” thought experiment works in identifying aphantasia most of the time is because of the different way that most aphantasics think. Without the ability to visualize, aphantasics organize thoughts in a very different way. Instead of coupling concepts with stimuli such as imagery or text, they understand the concepts themselves. When you ask someone with aphantasia to picture a ball on a table, they will probably recall the concept of a ball and apply their knowledge of what happens when you apply a force to a spherical object. Likewise, when asked what color the ball was, they will not have an answer.

Evan Domanski

The condition remained unstudied until 2015, when a group of students from the University of Exeter, spearheaded by Adam Zeman, published their findings. Zeman’s team gave the condition a proper name: aphantasia, and began to pin down a definition. They concluded that aphantasics only lack the ability to voluntarily create mental images. They still experience involuntary mental images, such as dreams. A study published March 2021 by Rebecca Keogh and Joel Pearson involved having a group of people without aphantasia and a group with aphantasia to read a horror story. As they read, the researchers monitored participants’ skin conductance levels. The study found that the group without aphantasia showed a typical fear response, while the group with aphantasia did not. However, both groups had a fear response when looking at frightening images. This study showed how heavily a lack of mental imagery can affect emotion. Studies in this vein have also shown that aphantasics have a lessened or sometimes nonexistent trauma response as well. To many people, it’s unclear whether or not aphantasia is a good or bad thing. To many people, the lessened trauma response is enticing, and the lack of visualization could seem like a perk to some. Most aphantasics themselves see it as a drawback, however. In their eyes, the lack of visualization is too severe of a hindrance for any perks of aphantasia to be an equal trade-off.

Leyla Williams


Feburary 2022

23

Eric Is No Stranger To Natural Talent ericdoa - strangers: Song Review

Raven Marin

Biography

Out of all the genres gaining popularity in 2021, hyperpop/digicore has to be the most interesting and innovative. It is a fusion genre that combines elements of EDM and pop music. 19-year-old Connecticut producer and singer ericdoa (pronounced eric-d-o-a) has shocked the world with his groundbreaking single “strangers.” Eric started composing music when he was only 14 years old, using a Guitar Hero microphone to record his vocals. Eric got his name from the fighting game Dead Or Alive. He originally wanted his name to be “erickills,” but because this was a popular username format on Dead Or Alive, he went with ericdoa to mean “dead on arrival,” a medical term for someone who is already deceased when they are brought to a hospital. Eric released his first album, Public Target, on January 7th, 2020. He followed this up on November 6th, 2020 with his breakout album, COA. Around this time, Eric started forming a friendship with Ash Gutierrez, also known as glaive, a 16-yearold singer from Hendersonville, North Carolina. In October of 2020, both artists were signed to Interscope Records under the label “LISTEN TO THE KIDS.” On October 6th of this year, Ash and Eric would team up to drop their collaboration EP titled then we will be happy. On their tour titled the same as their EP, Eric would perform his at the time unreleased song “strangers” live to a crowd at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on November 5th, 2022.

Song Review Eric’s song, “strangers”, starts off with a quiet guitar riff that slowly crescendos with Eric’s vocals singing “no, we’re not strangers anymore (no we’re not).” This is followed up by the chorus of the song in which Eric describes a dialogue he is having with an unnamed girl about how she is more special to him than any of the girls he has previously met, as well as leaving the party culture of LA behind. In the following verse, he continues this dialogue by saying “got my heart, yeah, you the baddest. All her s--t natural, her body nothing plastic,” The climax of the song is the second chorus that is led up to by the bridge “you finally got me out the way. I ran all out of s–t to say. But it's fine (Oh-woah). I won't leave you behind.” The outro to the song is a brightening mashup of soundbites from Eric’s vocals harmonized with a fluttering guitar riff. This song was a major success for Eric. He has proven himself to not only be a talented

artist when working with Ash, but also as a soloist. The snippet for “strangers” was originally released back in March 2021, and ever since, I had been highly anticipating its release. This was similar in rollout to Eric’s song “fantasize”, which was previewed in February of 2021 then released on May 28th, 2021. Although it might appear that little work is being done, Eric is a genius when it comes to marketing. He teases a song, then proceeds to let the music work it’s magic and hype up it’s eventual release. Eric’s ability to harmonize his vocals perfectly with the instrumentals creates a listening experience like no other. My only gripe with this song is in the beginning intro, I feel that the reverb could have been turned down just a little bit. This could have been easily fixed by turning down the wet or the mix level, but this was most likely done on purpose to create an ambient effect. Overall I give this song a 10/10. It is one of Eric’s best yet.

ericdoa performing live in LA. Lewis Caldwell

The cover for strangers.


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The Skyline Post

Comics to Screen:

Shang-Chi Fights Back Against Racist Imagery

At the height of martial arts movies in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Marvel comics encouraged their team to develop a martial arts-based superhero. Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin hoped to build on the success of “Enter the Dragon’’ (1973) starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. In 1973, Shang-Chi was born. The first issue, titled “Special Marvel Edition featuring the hands of Shang-Chi, master of kung-fu,” was a success, but as more issues were released, the hero became more niche than some of Marvel’s other superheroes. Slurs and stereotypes about Asian cultures were used that were commonplace at the time of publication. For example, Shang-Chi was drawn with an extremely yellow tone and exaggerated eyes. His opponents catcalled him with racist, anti-Asian terms like “the yellow man” or “slant eyes!”

Gabriel Hill Given the racist elements of the original comics, when Marvel revealed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, many comic fans were concerned about how Marvel would handle the inappropriate background material. Yet, in September, the world was reintroduced to the hero and the movie opened to commercial success, quickly growing in the public rankings as one of the best movies Marvel has ever released. In some Asian-American communities, the film provided a real sense of representation, similar to that of Black Panther with Black representation. “It was cool to see someone of Asian descent as a lead on the big screen,” says Grace Lee, Junior and President of the Asian American Youth Club at Skyline. “They did a good job at representing every character in the best way possible.” In another article reviewing Shang-Chi, Rachel Lee, a writer for the Badger Herald, wrote “it was a refreshing break from past depictions and hopefully a step towards even more multi-dimensional, varied and interesting Asian characters in the future.”

Gabriel Hill


Feburary 2022

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Gabriel Hill

Shang-Chi’s plot revolves around a martial arts master who is confronted with his past and his relationship with his father. Now he must track down his father and the Ten Rings organization, which is run by his father, to figure out what he is up to. This storyline does not appear in the comics, but certain elements and characters do. Shang-Chi’s father in the comics is Fu Man Chu (pronounced Foo Man Chew), a feared leader in the Marvel universe and pop culture. In the first half of the twentieth century, Fu Man Chu presented a huge problem with white film actors dressing up in yellowface to play the character. However, in the film, we meet Tony Leung’s character, Wen Wu (pronounced When-Woo), also known as “The Mandarin.” Although based on Fu Man Chu, Wen Wu also draws upon on the Mandarin, a completely different character in the Marvel comics whose first issue was “Tales of Suspense” (issue 50). In the comics, The Mandarin possesses the power of the ten rings, each with its own set of abilities ranging from shooting fire blasts to changing matter at the atomic level. These rings were actual rings, but in the films, they were

changed to more bracelet-like weapons. And, instead of individual powers, the wearer of the rings gained strength, agility, and eternal life. The transition from rings to bracelets is not entirely clear. However, it is possible that the rings were changed to look more like bracelets so that audiences didn’t confuse them with the infinity stones, which were the focus of the previous three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Shang-Chi’s origins are problematic, it is incredible to see the character emerge from the shadows of its niche comic universe and have such a successful impact. There are many online comic resources where readers can find Shang-Chi’s original comics if you want to see more of his story. In addition, there was a new run of Shang-Chi in 2020 by Gene Yang, Philip Tan, and Dike Ruan. The first volume, “Brothers and Sisters,” is available at the Ann Arbor District Library.


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The Raven Boy The Skyline Post

If an author can successfully hook a reader within the first sentence of their book, they’re doing something right. Evidently, Maggie Stiefvater knew this while writing The Raven Boys, the first novel in the popular Raven Cycle series. “It was freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrived,” Stiefvater begins her novel. “Every year, Blue and her mother, Maura, had come to the same place, and every year it was chilly. But this year, without Maura here with her, it felt colder.” Happily, the first sentence of the chapter sets a precedent for all of the chapters to follow. The rest of the novel is just as engaging as the opening line. The Raven Boys is a paranormal fantasy novel that centers around five teenagers and their Catherine Howard perilous quest for the lost body of a Welsh king who is said to be magically preserved on a spirit road (or a ley line), waiting to grant his finders one wish. Together, the five teens (Gansey, the leader; Ronan, the recluse; Adam, the hard-worker; Noah, the follower; and Blue, the quirky psychic’s daughter) traverse the terrain of Henrietta, Virginia in search of the lost king Glendower. They explore the supernatural wildernesses of Henrietta and discover along the way that each of them is not what they seem. The Raven Boys was a pleasure to read, predominantly because of the cast of characters. Each individual is well-rounded and fully developed, and the reader gets to know each in such an intimate way that it almost feels as if you’ve been friends with them for years. They all have their own quirks, tics, and interests that make them feel tangible to the reader. For instance, Gansey is an old soul stuck in a young body who chews mint leaves and is obsessive in his studies, while Ronan is sharp-edged and reclusive, choosing to live his life dangerously. Stiefvater has a talent for describing each character in a unique and accurate manner; for instance, Stiefvater once says that “When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away.” Through a simple phrase, Stiefvater has already given you a profound insight into the dynamics of each character. None of the cast fits into a cookie cutter mold; each is fully formed and has a developed personality in a way that endears them to the reader. Stiefvater’s writing is a joy to read. Her voice is clever and, though her descriptions are unique, they still accurately portray the exact image that she intends. For instance, Stiefvater describes Ronan’s character to the reader: “Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.” Stiefvater’s descriptions paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind of exactly what she wants to describe.


ys

Feburary 2022

Olivia Palmbos

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Stiefvater’s novel is not lacking in description, and neither is it lacking in humor. For example, on swearing: “From the passenger seat, Ronan began to swear at Adam. It was a long, involved swear, using every forbidden word possible, often in compound-word form. As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear.” Stiefvater’s writing makes her reader chuckle. As the quintet of teens explore the wilds of Henrietta in search for ley lines and lost kings, they also face personal problems. Throughout her novel, Stiefvater confronts the shockingly real issues of wealth, poverty, power, and abuse. These issues mostly center around Adam and his relationship with Gansey. Gansey is rich; Adam is poor, coming from an impoverished family where he must work twice as hard for everything he’s ever gained. Gansey’s family is doting; Adam’s father is abusive. The contrast between these two characters gives a disturbing yet enlightening insight into the struggles of poverty and the dangers of wealth; specifically, the stigma that comes with wealth or the lack thereof, and how these differences can strain relationships. Throughout the novel, Gansey and Adam’s friendship is strained by socio-economic differences. Additionally, The Raven Boys gives the reader insight into the harrowing paradox of why the abused often choose to stay with their abuser. The premise of The Raven Boys is intriguing and the story twists and turns in a way that keeps the reader captivated. New challenges present themselves to the group of teens in the form of hidden magical forests, or old school teachers whose sinister pasts have an uncanny connection to the teens and their quest. The only downfall of The Raven Boys is the plot’s extreme complexity, though this is predominantly a problem in the books that follow as the series progresses. However, all in all, the plot is well-constructed and engaging, filled with paranormal happenings and spooky encounters that are sure to please any X-Files fans. All in all, I would recommend The Raven Boys to anyone looking for a mysterious, fantastical read to snuggle up with during the increasingly cold and snowy Michigan nights. The plot is interesting, the writing is hilarious, and the themes are profound.The Raven Boys checks all of the literary boxes. So, to anyone looking for a comfort-fantasy read and for some new fictional friends: The Raven Boys is for you. Catherine Howard


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The Skyline Post

The

The ry that b emotion beginni velopme purpose The fair. But mation. The and Ivan covering the prof pursue I him. He On people, chology pose of are each hand, Se wise. The times te journal. life, and mirror b

Sarina Thomas


Feburary 2022

e Idiot Disappoints

29

Elan Kluger

e Idiot by Elif Batuman is not like other novels. The carefully plotted stobridges childhood and adulthood, with new characters, experiences, and ns is not what The Idiot tries to do. Life is not novelistic. There is no clear ing, middle, and end. Without any clear purpose and little character deent. The Idiot is the novel that best exemplifies life: seemingly without e, but filled with intrigue and comedy. e story of Selin Karadzac, freshman at Harvard, is an unrequited love aft beyond this superficial background is an exploration of intellectual for. e love interest, Ivan, is looking at mathematics graduate schools. Selin n exchange emails (it is set in 1995). The emails are extremely pretentious, g the death of Lenin to the Sapir Whorf hypothesis. Selin grows tired of fundity and admits her feelings. Ivan toys with her. Selin continues to Ivan, going to Hungary for a summer with the implicit goal of being with e continues to lead her on. n top of the unsatisfying relationship with Ivan, Selin meets many other most notably the Serbian Svetlana, a loquacious, psychoanalyzing, psyy major, whom Selin travels with to Paris. Others come and go; the purmany characters is unclear. No doubt, all the students Selin interacts with h brilliant in their own way but she is incredibly brilliant. On the other elin is still the titular “idiot.” The reason is simple: she is smart and not

e Idiot is a novel about failing to grow. With its unconventional and someedious structure, and its lack of an emotional core, The Idiot works as a . But as a novel, it fails. We are left wanting novelistic people, novelistic d not the shallow disappointment of reality. We look at novels as not just a but a path.


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The Skyline Post

We Were Liars, Acciden

“Do

We Were Liars by Emily Jen fers a brain injury that causes vomiting, migraines and terr She spends all of her child ents, dogs and one special fri happens during Summer Fift injury she can- not seem to re Throughout the story, she she struggles with discoverin The slow return of Cadenc sults of how Cadence, her cou Catherine Howard family. The other kids and Ca much for us: a life free of constriction and prejudice. A life free to love a I personally thought this book was boring, though there are some p times. The book only seemed like a vehicle for an enormous plot twist a The plot twist is what made reading the rest of the book bearable. I nice. The feeling of surprise and ‘what just happened’ was what got me. I would recommend this book to a young adult, if anyone, but I wo But more specifically, I would recommend this book to anyone who like er. Overall this book is overhyped and lacks a good plo

“We are We are beautiful a We are cracked a Catherine Howard


Feburary 2022

ntally Unknowingly Evil

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Rachel Green

o not accept an evil you can change.”

nkins is a novel about a girl named Cadence, who gets injured and sufs her memory to fail in certain areas. She also gets sick. Her sickness – rible pain – is assumed to be caused by her brain injury. dhood summers on a private island with her aunts, cousins, grandpariend. Wonderful summers go by, but everything stops when something fteen, an event happens that leads to her brain injury, but due to that emember it. e is trying to piece together what happened . You walk with Cadence as ng the secrets in her family. ce’s memories takes you by the hand and leads you to the shocking reusins and friend attempt to fix the world, and even attempt to fix their adence realize their lives aren’t as perfect as they believed. “I wanted so and be loved.” powerful parts in hindsight. But it’s very vague and hard to follow at at the end. It’s not an exciting read. I had little motivation to read it, but once I finished it, the surprise was

ouldn’t try too hard to convince you to read it. es the challenge of piecing information togethot.

liars. and privileged. and broken.” Catherine Howard


The Gingerbread Timeline

Laleh Walker

While the holidays have past, some classic treats still remain tasty all year long! Now introducing gingerbread houses! When you think about it I’m not really introducing this treat because everyone (except those who live under a rock) knows what a gingerbread house is. Building gingerbread houses is a classic that everyone enjoys. Gingerbread Houses Origin Story Gingerbread houses originated during the 16th century in Germany and grew in popularity when the Brothers Grimm wrote the legendary story of Hansel and Gretel. The gingerbread houses from Hansel and Gretal are represented by the wicked witch’s house, which is made out of gingerbread covered in candy and frosting. Decorating gingerbread houses became a tradition in Germany in the early 1800s. The first to make gingerbread houses were German bakers. The bakers took descriptions from the gingerbread house in the Hansel and Gretal story and began constructing their own take. This became popular around Christmas as it is now. But how did this tradition appear in America? The tradition of Gingerbread houses found themselves in America when German Immigrants settled in the state Pennsylvania in 17271775.

We thought the hardest part about putting the house together would be to make the sides stay together after we glued it with the frosting. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about that because the house came with interlocking indents (shown in the image below) that helped the house support itself without having to rely on the frosting. A major fail was putting the pastry bag together and doing the cutest designs with it. Surprisingly the end result was amazing but credit is owed to expert decorator, freshman Peyton Oleksinski, for assisting me through the building and the decorating process.

How To Make? Run to your nearest Target, Meijer, Kroger, or Whole Foods and grab yourself a gingerbread house making kit! There are many different themes such as Sour Patch Kids, Football stadium, Candy Land, etc, that will fit your liking. If you don’t like gingerbread, don’t fear: they come in chocolate chip and sugar cookie form.

Expectations vs. Reality In our journalism class,we conducted a highly scientific experiment, the ultimate challenge: to make a gingerbread house in one hour. Now if I’m being honest, our expectations weren’t that high to begin with just because I know how clumsy journalists can be.

Happily Ever After Making gingerbread houses or any kind of holiday treat is a fun way to spend the holiday season.: It’s fun because it gives you a chance to express your creativity and spend time with family and friends.


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