The Spectator The Stuyvesant High School Newspaper
Visions of Americana
Seeds of Peace
Junior Joshua Weiner explores the evolving nature of rural America and what that means for how New Yorkers approach politics. see page 16
Volume 107 No. 2
NEWSBEAT Junior Anna Lanzman represented the U.S. at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel as a junior épée fencer and was a silver medal finalist.
Junior Tina Wong was awarded the Future Trailblazer Award at the Shanghai Inter-
national Popular Science Products Expo on August
Daniel Ju and Abie Rohrig were Public Forum semifinalists at the Yale Speech and Debate Tournament. Junior Claire Liu Seniors
was a semifinalist in the Lincoln-Douglas debates Division.
“The Pulse of the Student Body”
In this issue’s voices, junior William Lohier discusses what attending Seeds of Peace, an international camp meant to facilitate meaningful dialogue between youth, was like attending for three and a half weeks. see pages
September 29, 2017
Conference Days are Back at Stuyvesant By Wen Shan Jiang and Alexia Leong Conference days will be held on Mondays for teachers and administrative staff to engage in professional development starting on October 2. The conference day schedule includes periods that are four minutes shorter, with classes ending at 2:46 p.m. to make time for the meeting. These days will allow teach-
ers and assistant principals of different departments to meet for 40 minutes to discussing topics related to their content area, such as how to teach a specific unit, or how to get resources for a certain lab. The assistant principal will lead the conference, but the role can be transferred to teachers want to share something with rest of the department. It is mandatory for the teachers to attend the conference
days, and they won’t be getting additional hours or paid. “[Conference days] are part of the contract [...] which allows the school to administer it a maximum of twice a month,” Principal Eric Contreras said. Teachers will also meet in smaller groups twice a month. “We are also keeping two Mondays for when teachers will come together in smaller pockets throughout the day for administrational and in-
structional sharing [throughout] departments,” Contreras said. Former principal Stanley Teitel instituted conference days, as well. However, former principal Jie Zhang discontinued them. Several teachers have expressed their approval of conference days to Contreras. “I am totally relieved and appreciative [about conference days]. It’s continued on page 2
Incoming Freshmen vs. Outgoing Seniors: Spectator Surveys 2017 70.9%
of seniors were academically dishonest
of freshmen strongly opposed the use of marijuana
of seniors get fewer than 5 hours of sleep
68.9% of freshmen believe they might attend an elite university on pages 8-14
Anna Yuan/ The Spectator
Free School Lunch Available for All NYC Public School Students
By Chloe Doumar, Chloe Hanson, and Mai Rachlevsky School lunch is now free for all New York City public school students. The policy, Free Lunch for All, was announced by Chancellor Carmen Farina on September 6. Historically, free lunch was provided for 75 percent of public school students based on family income. The purpose of the new policy is to eliminate the stigma against students who receive free lunch. Lunch previously cost $2.25 for students who had to pay full price. However, Free Lunch for All is not expected to cost New York City more. Due to changes in how the city collects data on needy families, the city recently qualified for a federal program that will compensate for Free Lunch for All. Though this change means each family’s income is irrelevant to qualify for free or reduced lunch, it is still important for families to complete the School Meals Form distributed to stu-
dents during homeroom. The income data from these forms is needed in order to appropriately distribute funding as per the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides financial assistance to schools with high percentages of low-income
uted online by The Spectator, 32.3 percent of respondents (151 students) answered that the new policy would have no effect on them. “I don’t really care about whether school lunch is free or not. I eat lunch outside anyway,” junior Francis Park said. However, 33.1 percent of respondents (155 students) expect to eat school lunch more regularly, and 34.4 percent of respondents (161 students) already eat school lunch frequently. Principal Eric Contreras views the change positively. “When students come to Stuy[vesant], I want their main focus to be on their academics and their success in and out of the classroom,” Contreras said. “Having a healthy nutritious lunch is an important thing for all students, and at Stuyvesant, for students to spend sometimes 10 hours every day here, making sure that they’re not hungry while they’re in class or in club [meet-
“When students come to Stuy[vesant], I want their main focus to be on their academics and their success in and out of the classroom.” —Eric Contreras, principal
students, such as Stuyvesant. Some believe the policy will not have a large effect on Stuyvesant. In a survey distrib-
ings] or [during] sports team [practices] is really key for me.”
New Research Partnership to Help Young Stuyvesant Scientists Flourish By Tahmid Jamal and Ryan Kim Stuyvesant hosted a summer research poster presentation organized by The Young Scientist Foundation (YSF), a research mentorship program, on Monday, August 28. Seniors Marta Pawluczuk and Rochelle Vayntrub were invited to showcase their work alongside 12 other NYC students. The presentation was part of a new partnership between the school and the program to develop research opportunities at Stuyvesant. Efforts to expand Stuyvesant’s research program began during the summer of 2016 when Principal Eric Contreras met with YSF President and co-founder Dr. Goutham Narla. YSF members were invited to the school to tour the building and to observe students in action during their science classes. “[YSF] already had relationships with some other schools in the area. I was actually surprised that we hadn’t done this before,” Contreras said. “I’ve been thinking about strategic ways of building our research and science programs. Our collaboration with the Young Scientist Foundation is just one of many pieces to developing these programs.” As part of its program, YSF matched students to laboratories and mentors around the city. Pawluczuk worked with a medical student and a head-andneck surgeon in the Division of Endocrine Surgery at New York University (NYU) Langone Medi-
cal Center. Her research looked at the significance and occurrence of perineural invasion, the spread of cancer around nerves. Vayntrub worked at the Platelet Research Laboratory at the New York Blood Center under the mentorship of Dr. Bruce Sachais. There, she was involved in the development of a novel drug to treat heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis, a disorder which creates or enlarges blood clots. Pawluczuk and Vayntrub both struggled to find research opportunities before this program. “I had always wanted to participate in research, but as a high school student, it was extremely difficult for me to find and acquire any position in a laboratory despite my persistence. Very few scientists were willing to open their labs to young people,” Vayntrub said in an e-mail interview. “Thanks to [YSF], the door to the Platelet Research Laboratory is always open, and I will always have somewhere to come back to.” Both students believe the partnership gave them more access to research than they expected to have and valuable experience for the future. “I was blown away by the fact that [...] as a high school student, I was doing the same level of research as a third year medical resident,” Pawluczuk said in an e-mail interview. “By allowing me to experience all sides of research, continued on page 2
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
News Conference Days are Back at Stuyvesant continued from page 1
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and NASA
been frustrating to have only a couple of non-school days when my whole department comes together,” Assistant Principal of English Eric Grossman said. “It’s really valuable for us to set around the table together and
and flooding throughout the Caribbean and Florida. continued from page 1
day, September 5. The policy, authorized by former president Barack Obama in 2012, protected 800,000 individuals who had been brought to the United States illegally as children. Although the decision to end the program sparked criticism of the Trump administration, the president gave Congress six months to pro-
I feel better suited for future steps I want to take to help me reach my career goals.” The positive response from Stuyvesant’s participants
tect the affected immigrants through legislation.
in the program has motivated Contreras to develop plans to enhance the school’s science program. “In other initiatives, I’m working on an engineering program at Stuyvesant,” Contreras said. “We’ll make sure to
provide the foundational classes that allow students to pursue more advanced classes, prepare them to be knowledgeable in those areas, and inspire them to make connections and collaborations beyond those areas.”
A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Central Mexico on Monday, September 19. The earthquake killed at least 230 people and caused extensive damage in and around Mexico City. Rescue teams are still searching for people trapped under rubble. The earthquake hit on the anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake, which killed 10,000 people and occurred days after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake off the Mexican coast killed 98 people.
! ! ! ! !
Pier 40 at West St. and Houston St. To check the Wetlab Look-Ins schedule, please visit: http:// www.riverprojectnyc.org/events_calendar.php www.facebook.com/TheRiverProject
South Asia is facing a refugee crisis as Myanmar’s military cracks down on the Rohingya people, a Muslim and Hindu ethnic group in the Buddhist-majority country. Myanmar claims that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants
Want to learn more about the fishes in the Hudson River, the Hudson River ecosystem, and New York Harbor? Come to our Wetlab Look-ins!
from Bangladesh. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and head of government
Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely criticized for her inaction.
Come to The River Project’s Wetlab on Tuesdays and Thursday, from 2pm to 5pm, beginning in April 2017. The Wetlab is located on the south walkway of Pier 40. Wetlab Look-ins are centered on an ‘estuarium’ system of live circulating river water that houses a living collection of native fishes and invertebrates, mainly focusing on the living Eastern Oyster Reef Ecosystem exhibit. The collection represents the biodiversity of the Hudson River Park Estuarine Sanctuary, and sometimes includes hundreds of animals.
President Trump made his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 19. Trump threatened to destroy North Korea, criticized the Iran nuclear agreement, and simultaneously encouraged other nations to do more for world peace.
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony was hosted by Stephen Colbert and held on Sunday, September 17. “The Handmaid’s Tale, “Saturday Night Live,” and “Big Little Lies” received the most awards. The ceremony had
a noticeably political tone and featured a surprise appearance by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
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ing back conference days will push Stuyvesant forward. “We need to have conversations and listen to each other at all levels, but I do believe in modeling the work so if we want things to be innovative and collaborative at a student level, than we must do it at the adult level,” he said.
New Research Partnership to Help Young Stuyvesant Scientists Flourish
Hurricane Irma became the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since 2005 after it made landfall in Florida. Irma was followed closely by Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria. The storms caused widespread damage
President Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tues-
talk as a department. Meeting in much smaller groups as we have done for the past few years, while there is some value in that, what it means is that it’s much harder for everybody to hear from everybody else, work on things together, and agree on things together.” Contreras hopes that bring-
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Courtesy of Ben Weinstein
Otherwise Lost: Stories from Suresnes
By Ben Weinstein When I learned that I was going to Paris with my family during the summer, the first thing that came into my mind was one name: Calvin William Greene (‘ ), World War I soldier and Stuyvesant graduate. Greene’s story had been brought to life by senior Dawei Huang as part of history teacher David Hanna and his AP U.S. History students’ contributions to the Monuments Project. The Monuments Project was started by the American School of Paris. It centers around honoring and telling the stories of the soldiers interred at Suresnes American
Cemetery, just outside of Paris. Since senior Justin Chan had found Greene’s name etched into the bronze plaque on the first floor, Mr. Hanna had talked a lot about how wonderful it would be to have someone go to France and visit Greene’s resting place in person. They could bring a little piece from the Stuyvesant of the today to the gravesite of a soldier who graduated one hundred years ago: a small pennant donated by the Stuyvesant Alumni Association. I was honored to be able to be that person. In France, I met the American School of Paris Middle School Director, Jeffrey Lippman, and the Tech-
nology Integrator and leader of the Monuments Project, Claude Lord, at the cemetery on August 17. After introducing ourselves and walking around the cemetery a bit, we found Greene’s grave. I remember thinking about what it would have been like to talk to him. On the surface, he seemed stoic and even a little bit intimidating. In one of the two pictures of him, Greene was dressed in full army get-up. In the other, he wore a threepiece suit. He was a star athlete in tennis, and he was the manager of the rowing team. Like your typical Stuyvesant student, he had the grades, too. Albeit, not the academic grades, but the physical: Greene passed the army’s training and conditioning tests with a resounding 99 percent score. A Second Lieutenant at the age of twenty, Greene was one of the youngest officers in the United States Aviation Corps. What would he think of a Stuyvesant student body that is now co-ed and three-quarters Asian? Or of the new building, 10 stories high, not even being in Stuytown? I can’t imagine any of my fellow classmates becoming officers in the army two or three years from now, but then again, could he have imagined the academic reputation that
Stuyvesant has now? We live in completely different worlds, 100 years apart. Even though, looking at a map of Manhattan, if he were alive today, we’d only live two miles apart. After a moment spent taking in the scene and posing for a couple of pictures, the American official on site, Matthew Brown, came up to us and offered a tour of the grounds. He explained the history of the cemetery as we walked around. Although there hadn’t actually been any fighting in Paris during World War I, the site of the cemetery had been chosen so nearby for good reason. Each one of the 1,541 American soldiers buried at Suresnes who had served in World War I had gotten wounded on the front lines, had been taken to the American Hospital, and hadn’t made it. The cemetery sits on the slope of a hill. At the top, there is a commemorative chapel, from which we could see into Paris from above. The chapel has two wings, one in memory of the American soldiers from World War I, the other in memory of those from World War II (there are 24 graves dedicated to unknown dead from WWII as well). The walls of the chapel are lined with four bronze plaques. They bear the names of 974 additional missing American sol-
diers from WWI, most of whom, Brown told us, were presumably killed by German U-Boat attacks before they could make it across the Atlantic. From that vantage point on top of the hill, we could also see through a web of trees down to the American Hospital. Brown explained to us that, at the start of the war, the hospital had only 30 or 40 beds, but by the war’s end, it could hold almost 650. One fact that I remember very clearly from our tour was when we saw, etched in marble, a list of the other dozen or so American WWI cemeteries in France. Next to the name of each of the cemeteries was the number of soldiers that had been buried there. The American Cemetery at Suresnes was one of the smallest. I remember thinking that the sheer amount of death in WWI was incomprehensible. The work that the Monuments Project is doing is so important because it helps to shine a light on Americans of the past who, otherwise, would be lost in the numbers and the statistics, For me, my fellow students, and the entire Stuyvesant community to be a part of that experience—by connecting through Greene—was really something special.
By William Lohier The first day of Seeds of Peace was a party. First impressions consisted of smiles, laughs, flailing limbs, and offbeat cheering. As buses rolled in weighed down by kids who had flown thousands of miles from countries most Americans can’t point out on a map, I felt, for the first time in a long time, joy. The genius of Seeds of Peace international camp starts off with that first day. Counselors carrying a motley assortment of instruments and noisemakers cheer so loud you can’t quite make out the words. Campers, who have already arrived, form a tunnel with their reaching arms and interlaced fingers.
Every camper who runs off the bus runs into an embrace. The support, the joy, the unapologetic dancing, spurs smiles and quick introductions. This initial openness was what made me feel at home from the moment I stepped off the bus. Over the course of three and a half weeks, these small connections served as the genesis of relationships that form the foundation for Seeds of Peace. The Seeds of Peace Camp international session is an international program held in Otisfield, Maine every summer for three and a half weeks from late June to late July. Journalist John Wallach and Program Developer Bobbie Gottschalk founded Seeds of Peace in 1993, the same year as the Oslo Accords attempted and failed to establish a sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine. Since its inception, Seeds has brought Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, and American youth (or “seeds”) to Maine in order to facilitate meaningful dialogue between youth on the opposing sides of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. In recent years, Seeds has also established a South Asian program, including seeds from India and Pakistan to discuss the conflict between their countries.
At Seeds, next to the beautiful Pleasant Lake in Maine, you eat, sleep, play sports, and make music like any other American summer camp. However, you do this while engaging in camp activities where you talk to, learn from, and make friends with people whose experiences, ideology, and cultural sensibilities may be markedly different from yours. In a bunk of ten boys, Indians share a bathroom with Pakistanis. At a table, Jews share a meal with Muslims. One of the immediate and striking components of the camp is the unspoken and gratuitous acceptance of diversity. There is a familiarity that accompanies cohabitation. Part of every day was spent in dialogue. Groups of campers would make their way to dialogue huts, each with two trained facilitators. Tasked with discussing conflicts, that for many campers, are an everpresent and ugly component of their daily lives, seeds embark on a prodigious and often painful mission of understanding, of communication, and of comprehension, unfettered by bigotry or stereotype. Every day campers would walk out of their dialogue huts sometimes frustrated and drained, but also absurdly yet
Courtesy of William Lohier
Courtesy of William Lohier
Seeds of Peace
understandably happy that someone from the other side of the conflict had heard them and listened. “Trust the process” they told us in dialogue. And I did. While at times I was doubtful of what we were doing, I trusted the people I spent my entire day with. In my South Asian dialogue, we talked about equity and equality, about terrorism, about Kashmir, about Islam. I listened as one of my best friends struggled to defend her religion and we cried together. I listened at night as my bunkmate told me stories about bombs and checkpoints and soldiers. Listening was central to
my experience both in dialogue and in camp in general. Unlike The Palestinians or Israelis, I have no direct stake in the conflict. Instead I sought to understand the experiences that informed each camper’s opinions, how each camper moved, existed, and understood structures and systems to help make sense of the world around them. A Muslim camper explained to me that while she believed her religion to be morally right in every aspect, humans are prone to fallacy and misinterpretation. We had entire dialogues spent continued on page 4
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Features Seeds of Peace continued from page 3
discussing whether Muslim terrorists are actually Muslim. I became friends with a Catholic Palestinian girl who has to drive hours to the nearest town with a church every Sunday. I met a camper from the Gaza Strip who described it as Hell. I trusted the process. I spent hours in the lake staring out at the mountains. I spent hours in my bunk at night using the dim light of my iPod to help illuminate the process of my thoughts becoming words as I wrote in my journal. I argued, I sang in the shower, I witnessed Muslims unroll their prayer mats in the direction of Mecca and prostrate themselves at night. I unpacked everything and saw the beauty and importance in the struggle of what we were doing. I spent hours listening to people talk about their lives, their hopes, and fears. I had the realization over and over again that the worlds the other campers lived in were so far removed from mine, that I truly live in a bubble; to understand their experiences, I had to transcend
prejudices that I didn’t even realize I had. I played sports, I played music, I wrote poetry, I listened to poetry, I found spaces to discuss issues and thoughts about race and oppression and roots I never realized I had opinions about. As cheesy as it sounds, I tried to live in the moment, to be present, and to see people beyond their opinions or words. For every tear shed or chair thrown in a dialogue hut, there were countless moments of simple humanity and friendship. I talked with an Egyptian girl about why she no longer wears shorts in public. I wrote poetry with a Jewish-American girl who found herself becoming increasingly pro-Palestine as camp progressed. I listened to Pakistani music and talked to another Egyptian girl about the SAT. I walked past the lake sandwiched between two of my best friends at camp: an Israeli and a Palestinian. I constantly asked myself, “What is happening here?” With no phones for three and a half weeks, all we were left with were thoughts and ideas. “Be raggedy,” they told us. To be
raggedy means to be unafraid to give voice to ideas that you may not have the right words for, but that hold truth. And, being raggedy was cleansing. Once I exposed myself for the world to see, my ideas and beliefs were shaped and strengthened by the crucible of constant questioning. I talked to a Muslim boy who was homophobic as a result of his never having been exposed to queerness. I asked him why he thought what he thought. He told me and I disagreed, but I understood what informed his beliefs, and I saw the person as separate from the opinions. It’s hard to believe all this happened in three and a half weeks. Looking back, I think of it as a lifetime. A lifetime broken into moments during which I grew years. A lifetime broken into entire hours, entire conversations spent trying to search for that one tiny shared truth that would allow us to truly understand one another. To remember who you were going into an experience, and to see that the person coming out of it is completely different, is a truly humbling realization.
It’s impossible to say whether Seeds of Peace will ever accomplish its underlying purpose of one day solving the Israeli-Palestinian and Indian-Pakistani conflicts. In fact, talking to many seeds as camp drew to an end, it seemed that many had confirmed and strengthened the beliefs they came to camp with. When viewed in the context of a world that is becoming increasingly polarized, where political views have become progressively more synonymous with morality and decency, when conflict seems ever more prevalent in our lives, Seeds of Peace is failing its original mission. However, even those who left Seeds feeling more righteous in their opinions, who believe with assiduous conviction that their side has the moral high-ground, have spent three weeks living and creating a shared space with the other side. Even those who will go back to their country to join the army, playing an active role in the conflict, know those they are fighting as people. Even those who experience conflict daily know how to use their words and ideas productively, or at least cathartically, as
an alternative to violence. I’m still in the process of trying to unpack and explore the ways in which camp has changed me. I still have yet to cauterize some of the wounds it has opened. I struggle to keep in touch with friends living in different time zones. I now try to keep up with news from seven different countries. I have to worry about friends who live in active conflict zones, who have to navigate checkpoints and soldiers. I have to come to terms with living in a country that is increasingly candid about not wanting me. I have to watch as people kill and hate and dehumanize others. Everywhere I look, I see situations where the one thing lacking is dialogue. One concrete thing Seeds has given me is conviction: I want to bring this space into a world with so many opinions and so little listening. As the Persian poet Rumi wrote, and social justice activists often quote: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” With Seeds, I found the field.
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
Editorials Staff Editorial
Undocumented at Stuyvesant Stuyvesant has long been known to have an exceptionally large immigrant student population. A recent survey done by the Spectator has revealed that approximately 74 percent of the current freshman class is either an immigrant or a child of immigrants. This makes our current political climate particularly sensitive for Stuyvesant students, especially in light of all of the rhetoric against (illegal) immigration by the Trump administration. Unfortunately, this negative attention has silenced many students. The truth is that an issue that affects one student in our school affects us all. What is DACA and who are the DREAMers? Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy proposed by former President Barack Obama in 2012. It is designed to help immigrant children who arrived in the United States illegally by protecting them from deportation and providing a work permit for two years. In order to qualify for DACA, immigrants must have entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday and lived here since, be a student or high school graduate, and remain in good legal standing. DACA does not provide an opportunity for citizenship or any sort of federal funding/welfare. As of 2017, around 800,000 immigrants are protected by the program. These immigrants are also known as DREAMers, named after the DREAM Act bill first introduced in the Senate in 2001. This Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act was a proposal for a process that would grant immigrant minors conditional residency in the U.S. for six years. Following graduation from an institution of higher education or service in the military and a demonstration of good moral character, immigrants would be able to apply for permanent residency. Though this bill was estimated to benefit over two million immigrants, it failed to pass in the Senate. Immigrants under DACA (which was passed, in part, as a response of the failure of the DREAM act) were coined DREAMers.
Interview To humanize Stuyvesant’s undocumented community, we sent out a form to solicit anonymous interviews. This was the only response we received, which speaks to the precariousness of these students’ situation. What is your current immigration status? My parents came as foreign students and we got the [...] visa for it and if my parents get the visa then their children get the visa automatically. The visa got expired because my parents couldn’t afford to go to school and that’s why we’re currently undocumented. Are you currently under DACA? I came to America in 2011, so I’m not qualified for DACA. Did you always know your status? Yeah. Mostly because my parents cannot speak English that well, and I was the one who had to translate all the documents for them. Also, I’m the oldest person among the siblings and I have to take care of everything. Why did you come to the U.S.? The direct reason we came to America was because my dad was having a business and it didn’t go well and [he] was seeking new opportunity in a new land. In the long term, it would be for our education (for me and my siblings)...Since I’m undocumented now I don’t know if it that will happen. What was your personal experience adjusting to the US? I was really nervous on the first day of school. I did not understand half of the words my teacher and friends were saying. I went to a school in [another state] first and my friends there were really nice and were really friendly to me and were trying to get me to adjust to a new way of live. But then I moved to a new town and had to go to a new school, which was a lot harsher for me because people there were less friendly. There were a lot of times I would stay by myself during lunch. It was kind of hard… I moved to NY after one year in [another state]. I still remember the last day of school before moving to NY – I was on the school bus and there was this girl who was sitting in the back and … she yelled “I’m glad she’s going” and I was sad. How does the current political situation concerning immigration affect you? DACA was the one way I could get a job and travel outside of America. If DACA still existed, they could have updated the year when you could come. Right now, the year you could get DACA is if you immigrated before 2008.
Why is DACA so controversial? Those who oppose DACA claim that allowing immigrants with a deferred status to stay would transfer valuable resources, time, and money away from legal residents. This includes services such as healthcare, education, and even printing driver’s licenses. However, this concern turns out to be unfounded. By purchasing cars and homes and starting their own businesses, DACA recipients end up pouring revenue back into the states. On another note, many Republican leaders see the DACA program as Obama overstepping his executive power, since the policy did not go through Congress. What does Trump have to do with DACA? Following an extreme anti-illegal immigration stance during his campaign and pressure from Republicans to rescind DACA, President Trump ended the program at the beginning of the month. No new applications are being accepted, and those who are currently under protection risk deportation starting March 2018. Trump did, however, pass off the responsibility of protecting the DREAMers off to Congress, tweeting, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” This provides hope that legislation will be able to recover some of these protections. What rights do undocumented immigrants have? Undocumented immigrants are entitled to the same basic Constitutional rights as citizens. However, undocumented immigrants cannot obtain driver’s licenses in most states, nor can they vote or receive financial aid for college. But all immigrants — documented are not — are entitled to be treated the same as citizens in our country are. They deserve our respect, kindness, and sympathy. Though as high school students, it is not in our power to pass legislation that will soften the stigma against these people, we should take it upon ourselves to speak out against misinformed stereotypes and treat all people with empathy and respect.
What is your opinion on the removal of DACA and the current political situation? As undocumented, we pay close attention to news about immigration and law changes, and I was paying attention to election day. I personally didn’t believe Trump would be president, and it was kind of like the end of the world I guess. I mean, that’s why I believe if Clinton became president it could have been better for us, even I could eventually gain citizenship I could at least hope of getting DACA and there is no hope for me right now to live in America. I’m trying to go to college but there’s no way for me to afford it unless I become a citizen or at least a permanent resident. So that’s what I’m stressed about right now. How do you feel at Stuyvesant as an undocumented immigrant? It’s more diverse and more accepting. And I bet most people at Stuy don’t like Trump. But I feel like there’s still a subtle tension that if I confront that I’m undocumented they would see me differently. This actually happened 2 days ago… Something came up and most of my friends knew I didn’t get my citizenship yet and one of my friends actually asked, are you undocumented? And I guess I lied that I have green card and that wasn’t the first time I was asked that question and that’s usually how I get through those questions. Some of my closest friends knew I was undocumented but they didn’t really see me differently and they said would try to help but I don’t know how they could help me… I talked to my guidance counselor about it and she was really accepting and she showed me a way: there’s a thing call BOLS – it’s volunteers of legal service, they provide lawyers to consult with undocumented people of how they can find a way to get out of their status. And my guidance counselor was really helping and I actually went to the office and I met one of the lawyers and we talked about it and she was trying to help me but she said there’s no way we can help you at this moment because of the laws and the status that I’m in.The biggest concern I have right now is trying to get to college. Undocumented people cannot have FAFSA or financial aid so that’s why I have to talk to my Guidance Counselor more and with my College Counselor more. Final statements: I just want to say that it can be anyone: your neighbors, the cashier you meet in your grocery store... To the undocumented people I want to say that I felt like I was alone, that our family was the only one that was struggling with this problem, [but] now that a lot of people are standing up because of the extermination of DACA I have more hope for it and hopefully I can gain my way through college and eventually [get] a job and [settle] better in America because that’s the whole reason I came to America.
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M anag e r s
Saloni Majmudar Donia Tung We b
Ed i to rs
Jason Kao George Zheng F ac u l t y
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Rec o r d
• “‘Anastasia’: A Stunning Story of Self-Discovery” was written by Paulina Klubok • The art for “A Discussion on Discussion” was done by Klaire Geller
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
Tracy Chang / The Spectator
By jane rhee Rafael Matesanz reviews the numbers released by Spain’s Ministry of Health from his office. As the director of the institution in charge of Spain’s organ transplant system, he quickly crunches the numbers—4,360 transplants carried out in 2014 means the organ donation rate has risen from 14 donors per million citizens in the late 20th century to 36 per million. This places Spain at the top of the list in terms of global organ donations, surpassing the United States and France at 26 per million and Germany at 11 per million. Matesanz does not attribute Spain’s incredible numbers to exceptional citizen altruism. In an interview with Newsweek, when asked if Spanish citizens have a “unique store of generosity,” he shook his head, replying, “We have asked the same question in various surveys over the years and every time 56 percent or 57 percent say they would donate their organs after dying … [that’s] roughly the EU average.” He cites a newly streamlined organ donation process as the key. That, in conjunction with Spain’s donation laws, seems to be the key in attaining such high numbers. Yet the feasibility of the U.S. following such a model remains up in the air. Currently, the deceased donation system in the U.S. works as follows: you must first sign up to put your name on the donor list with your state’s Organ Donor Registry via the Department of Motor Vehicles. You have the
opportunity to choose which tissues or organs you wish to donate as well as the freedom to change your donation status at any time. In the unfortunate instance that you are ever left brain dead, doctors will work in conjunction with a representative from the closest Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) branch (which is a private non-profit organization). Following approval, the OPO will contact the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which matches donors to their recipients. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a national survey on organ donation behaviors and beliefs. Similar to the proportions in 1993 and 2005, adults in the U.S. consistently maintain a positive view of organ donation, with 94.9 percent supporting or strongly supporting organ donation. That 94.9 percent, however, reveals a stark contrast between ideological beliefs and actual action when you consider that only 60.1 percent of adults have signed up to be a donor. Even of those that refused to sign up, only a quarter cited either religion or health as reasons for not donating. The rest reported reasons such as “undecided/ don’t know” and “not interested,” demonstrating indifference as opposed to legitimate barriers. Combating this passivity is the first step the U.S. must take in order to provide transplants for the more than 116,000 people waiting for a donation. But history makes it clear that passivity— in the face of the most recent presidential election—is going nowhere. It then follows that one viable option is to implement the presumed consent system. Presumed consent, a system that France implemented earlier this year, is also known as an “opt-out” system, meaning that it is assumed all citizens wish to donate unless they explicitly state they do not wish to. And in the first few days, only 150,000 people out of the population of 66 million opted out. Not only does presumed consent battle passivity, it also changes the context in which we view organ donation. A 2012 study done by researchers at Cornell University and Stanford University revealed that in an “opt-
in” system, like that of the U.S., citizens see organ donation as an “exceptional act of altruism.” Yet in an “opt-out” system, the refusal to donate becomes the exceptional act. In other words, the “opt-in” system is like leaving your entire estate to charity. The “opt-out” system is like skipping your daughter’s wedding to sleep in. The former requires some hint of virtue, while the latter is simply a given. The second thing we must do is aim to focus our efforts on education and efficiency. The benefits and risks of organ donations must be taught to students before they make the personal decision to remove their names from the list of potential donors. In addition, the idea that Americans and their families will lose freedom over their bodies after death must be set straight. In reality, doctors in the U.S. will respect the family’s ultimate decision as they determine what will happen with their kin’s body. This is due to a few factors, including a combination of fear of legal conflict and bad publicity, as well as an understanding that keeping the body intact may bring the family closure. Looking to Spain as the model of efficiency, the country has implemented an initiative to train 16,000 professionals to be both transplant coordinators and internal care specialists, instead of having to tread through the complex networks of hospitals and outside organizations. Germany especially has an extremely low donation record because of an “uncontrollably complex web of private clinics and insurance firms.” The U.S. must ensure that the OPO and OPTN work not as private companies with a government affiliation, but transparent government branches with more uniform standards and training methods for staff. Though this will require an investment of time and resources, it will prevent viable donations from slipping through the cracks that our inefficient system currently has. Ultimately, complete consent and altruism must remain the crux of organ donation. A redesigned standard donation procedure and presumed consent will not change that.
Trump: Making America Ignorant Again By Sehrish Ali We’re halfway through 2017: Taiwan became the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first sitting prime minister to participate in the country’s Pride festival, and Malta passed a new act that makes it illegal to try to “change, repress or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.” However, while the rest of the world moves forward this year, the U.S. is taking a major step back. At the end of August, President Trump signed a memo officially banning transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. A year ago, the Obama administration announced that transgender Americans could be in the military, and the Pentagon would cover the costs of those in uniform to go through gender transition. The U.S. had finally seemed to join the list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Israel, and Canada, that were making an effort to move toward a less judgmental society. President Trump is now attempting to undo this step toward equality. The Trump administration knows that our military is struggling financially. With low numbers of soldiers, outdated equipment, and too much turmoil around the world, the U.S. military could use as many soldiers as possible, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength. The RAND corporation, a national research and analysis service, found that the new ban would affect from 2,000 to 11,000 active soldiers, as well as thousands who are looking to join. The Heritage Foundation further states that the United States cannot survive such a blow, with troops already deployed in 180 different countries and not enough back home. President Trump believes that transgender individuals are too mentally unstable to serve our country, stating that the U.S. cannot be burdened with the “disruption that transgenders in
the military would entail.” However, the RAND study, looking at countries that allow transgender people to serve in their militaries, found that these foreign militaries agree that having transgender troops has “little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness or readiness.” President Trump sees the presence of transgender individuals in the military as entailing “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” He argues that it costs too much for the United States to pay for gender reassignment surgery for its transgender soldiers, taking away from the “decisive and overwhelming victory” our military should win. The Obama administration, however, proved the opposite. When President Obama first brought the issue up to the American public, the RAND corporation found that “[U.S. military] health care costs would rise $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year, representing an infinitesimal 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase in spending.” The slight increase in military spending proved to the Obama administration that allowing transgender individuals into the military did no harm. Multiple LGBTQ organizations are filing lawsuits challenging Trump’s new policy, and politicians are joining together to craft acts against the ban. The Stuyvesant community, too, must do what we can to avoid the backward steps that our country is taking. We must stand together as a community to show our opposition to it. We must keep our school’s LGBTQ community comfortable and raise awareness that Trump’s policy is discriminatory and unacceptable. The acknowledgement that we, as the student body of Stuyvesant, and as the future generation of New Yorkers and Americans, do not accept or approve of this new ban shows our dedication to equality as well as freedom. While that may not change Trump’s policies toward transgenders, our actions can show the LGBTQ students in our school that they are welcome and respected here.
Lumi Westerlund/ The Spectator
Being Attracted to Kids Is Not a Choice, but It Can Be Helped
By Hristo Karastoyanov Few sexual taboos are as universally reviled as pedophilia, and it is one of the most heavily punished sexual crimes in the criminal justice system, with sentences upward of five years. Copulation and molestation often lead to grave problems in victims, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. This is not to mention all of the children whose lives are uprooted for the sake of making child pornography.
With the heinous consequences of their sexual preferences in mind, it is very easy to harshly indict pedophiles as deserving of castration or even, as Trump has suggested, the death penalty. While pedophilia has devastating effects on its victims, the majority of the populace ignores an inconvenient truth— that pedophilia is compulsory, and thus deserves to be categorized as a mental disorder. Pedophiles are too often seen as depraved fiends who target children using verbal and emotional manipulation, and find pleasure in doing so. But the reality is that the vast majority of pedophiles are terrified by their own urges and the thought of turning them into reality appalls them. In fact, the World Health Organization’s definition of “disorders of sexual preference” includes the phrase “acts on the urges or is markedly distressed by them.” Though the exact causes of pedophilic tendencies are unknown, they are heavily linked to experiences such as being molested as a child or conditions such as brain damage. Consider for a moment how
homosexuals (who also technically have an involuntary alternate sexual preference) have been treated throughout most of the course of human history. Sodomy was, and still is in some places, a crime punishable by stoning, flogging, or death. One could find many parallels between the now-outdated views toward gays and the still-relevant ones toward pedophiles, from the calls for castration to those for execution. If only they looked to Paul’s words in Timothy 1:8-10, which state, “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful… the sexually immoral,” the harsh view of those considered “sexually immoral” in those times reflects the way many people today see pedophiles. Of course, there is a crucial difference between these two types of sexual differences, which is that pedophilia, unfortunately, has a victim. There just isn’t a way for it to be tolerated when it can be so damaging to the child. There is no way to fully resolve the problem, so pedophiles must instead look to treatment for sal-
vation. Currently, no person who has pedophilic tendencies would even consider sharing his or her problems or trying to get help for the condition—the societal backlash and ostracization could ruin the person’s social prospects and career. Instead, one of two things happens: either their attraction is suppressed with no one to talk to about it (a prospect that seems torturous for a person of any sexual orientation), or, even worse, their pedophilia is acted upon in secrecy. It’s unimaginable that we would, as a society, allow schizophrenics to have their mental state remain untreated and potentially have it degraded to the point where they would turn to violence. Schizophrenia, in its acute forms, can cause people to have psychotic breakouts that in some cases lead to aggression. That raises a question: why is it that society accepts the diagnosing and treating of schizophrenia, but not of pedophilia? Going forward, there are two options: the first is to offer the pedophile no helpful resources to deal with his or her sexual urg-
es and then proceed to castigate and ostracize them if they offend, effectively ruining their lives. The second is to offer confidential, easily accessible treatment to anyone who feels he or she could offend and prevent this. For instance, the Charité hospital in Germany offers anonymous therapy sessions, and patients’ privacy is protected by Germany’s strict confidentiality laws unless there are criminal charges currently pending against them. Ultimately, instead of launching witch hunts against groups of people, which society is prone to do, we should attempt to see what makes them likely to offend, recognize that it’s not their choice to be attracted to children, and try to find a method of prevention. Recent decades have seen a push to reduce the stigma attached to mental disorders such as depression in Western culture. It would be a more onerous task for the same shift to occur with pedophilia, but one could hope that people in the future will be able to publicly say, “I suffer from pedophilia,” just like they can say, “I suffer from severe depression.”
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Freshman Survey Freshman Demographics By Matteo Wong
Last week, the Spectator distributed a survey to the Class of 2021 during homeroom. Based on over 500 responses obtained, here is a snapshot into Stuyvesant’s latest freshman class: All results represent only the students surveyed.
6% Other (American Indian, Pacific Islander, Multiracial
24.7% Upper Socioeconomic 44% Middle Middle Status Class Class
7.6% Unsure/Questioning 4.4% Bisexual
35.6% Agnosticism/ Atheism
Other My grandparents are immigrants
Learning Disability (ADHD/Dyslexia)
Cognitive Disability (Autism/ Down Syndrome)
More than one disability
Legal Status in the U.S.
My parents are immigrants I am an immigrant
Form of Disability
Immigration Status in the U.S. I don’t know
19.9% High School
Parents’/Guardians’ Highest Level of Education
14% Lower/ working class
3.3% Upper Class
As the debate over immigration rocks the country, the Class of 2021 shows some hope for migrants: 82.2 percent of students surveyed immigrated to the United States two generations ago 1.4% or sooner. However, a sizable portion (8.4 percent) are not Hispanic aware of their immigration status. A large majority are citizens, with only 17.2 percent reporting otherwise. 2.3% True to Stuyvesant’s reputation for have disproportionate Black numbers of Asian students, 70.5 percent of freshmen surveyed described themselves as Asian, while less than 5 percent identified as black or hispanic. The survey also lends some support to the notion that Stuyvesant is male-dominated: only 39 percent of students surveyed identified as female, compared to 56.3 percent identifying as male. A large majority, 82.6 percent, identified as heterosexual. But the grade does have religious diversity, and is not limited to Christianity, Judaism, or Islam: one-quarter of students surveyed practice another faith. Additionally, a significant portion of students have more “modern” conceptions of faith, as 36.5 percent reported being agnostic or atheist. Freshmen surveyed also benefit from their educational backgrounds: over three-quarters of students’ parents have an associates degree or higher. Along with having educated parents, 72 percent of freshmen reported being middle class or higher. However, there is a level of uncertainty to these results: At fourteen years old, many freshmen do not know their socioeconomic status (14 percent), immigration status (8.4 percent), and are questioning or unsure of their sexual orientation (7.6 percent).
14% I don’t know
Dual Citizenship (Passport of two countries) Permanent Resident (Green Card + Passport of another country) U.S. Citizen (Passport)
Applying to Stuyvesant By Michael Xu
The vast majority of freshmen studied for the SHSAT. 21.5 percent of freshmen studied for over a year for the high-stakes exam, though most studied between a month and a year before the exam. A majority of freshmen studied at preparatory courses, and 5.5 percent utilized the free DREAM-Specialized High School Institute program. Students eligible for the DREAM program are economically disadvantaged as determined by their free or reduced-price lunch status. 18.5 percent of freshmen primarily selfstudied or used preparatory books. Over three-quarters of freshmen indicated that their parents had pressured them to come to Stuyvesant to a certain extent, with 7.7 percent pressured to come against their own will. A solid 23.8 percent came to Stuyvesant by their own volition. 5.5% 6.9% SHSI preparatory 5.9% 4.7% school Other 7.0% Did not study Less than one month One-on-one before the tutoring exam To what extent did a parent/guardian 4.7% 21.5% pressure you to come to Stuyvesant? Did not 18.5% More than study Self-study/ a year before Preparatory the exam Not at all, it was all 27.2% books my choice When did you Method of 1-4 Months 22.8% A little, but it was start studying studying for before mostly my decision 6 Months for the SHSAT? the exam -1 year the SHSAT A lot, but in the end before I accepted what the exam they wanted 16.9% 58.4% 4-6 Months It’s entirely their P r e p aratory decision before the exam Class
23.8% 46.9% 21.6% 7.7%
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Freshman Survey Freshman Identity and Lifestyle By Sophie Watwood
To the statement “My mental health is something I think about regularly,” 29.9 percent of freshman responded neutral. 33.3 percent agreed, 19.9 percent strongly agreed, and 16.9 percent said that they disagreed or strongly disagreed. Reportedly, 68.2 percent of freshman have no caffeine intake daily, and 21.9 percent have up to one cup of coffee’s worth. Generally, the graduating class of 2021 is currently opposed to illegal drug use as well. Just over half of freshman were strongly opposed to the use of marijuana by high school students. 19 percent were opposed, and 18.2 percent were neutral. On study drugs, 44.5 percent said they were strongly opposed, 22.8 and 25.3 percent said they were opposed or neutral, respectively. Only 9.4 percent of those surveyed said that they supported or strongly supported the use of study drugs. 89.3 percent of freshman said that they were opposed to the use of hard drugs such as cocaine or opiates by high school students, and of those not opposed, 3.3 percent said they were strongly unopposed. 41.6 percent of freshman said that they were neutral on sexual activity in high school. An equally split 20.8 percent said that they supported or strongly supported sexual activity by high school students, and 18.9 and 18.7 percent said that they were opposed or strongly opposed, respectively. On a typical school night, 36.2 percent of freshman spend up to one hour watching youtube, TV or other streaming services, or on YouTube, and 37.1 percent spend one to three hours on the same activity. 26.7 percent said that they spend more than three hours of a typical school night on these activities, including 3.2 percent that reported more than seven hours. 22.9 percent of freshman do not have a Facebook account, although that includes 10.3 percent that do use other social media. 62.6 percent spend up to one hour on facebook per day, and only 3.2 percent use it for more than three hours per day.
“I am opposed to sexual activity by high school students”
62.6% 68.2% None
Daily Caffeine Intake
3.0% 401+ mg 1.8% 201-400 mg
21.9% 1-100 mg
Hours a day spent on Facebook
Hours spent watching TV (including Netflix), gaming, or on YouTube on a typical school day 32.6%
“Mental health is something I think about Strongly Agree
Type of Middle School
32.2% Zoned Public School
10.8% History 0.8% Homeschool 1.2% Parochial School 7.8% Private School
13.9% English 18.2% Science
“I participated in my classes frequently in middle school” Strongly Agree
Amount of Sleep on Any Given School Night in Middle School 9.3%
Fewer than 6 hours
More than 9 hours
13.2% Less than 1/2
25.5% 1/2 to 1
29.6% 1 to 2
19.8% 2 to 3
By Jane Rhee
The majority of the incoming freshmen (58.0 percent) are coming in from selective public middle schools such as NEST+m and Mark Twain. The population of students from zoned middle schools comes in second place at 32.2 percent, while private school, parochial school, and homeschooled students are a minority. These students were asked to reflect on their academic experiences during middle school. A solid 68.9 percent of students report that they participate frequently during class, with 18.3 percent describing themselves as “neutral” and 12.8 percent self-reporting that they do not. The number of students describing themselves as aware of current events, however, is lower, with only 14.2 percent strongly believing that they are globally cognizant. These numbers are especially interesting in light of the fact that, as expected, the majority of incoming students categorized themselves as STEM students, with 41.7 percent calling math their favorite subject and 18.3 preferring science. History and English come in at meager 10.8 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively. Regarding work ethic and course load during middle school, 42.8 percent of incoming freshmen agreed with the statement “I have a strong work ethic,” while 27.4 percent remained neutral. Few freshmen reported themselves to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, with approximately 15 percent on either end, from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The incoming freshmen also quantified the amount of time they dedicated to homework at studying. 13.2 percent spent less than half an hour, while over 50 percent spent 1-2 hours and 20 percent spent 2-3 hours, averaging around 2 hours a night. 57.0 percent of students reported that they got in anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep, which is only an hour or so more of sleep than they believe they will be able to get at Stuyvesant. Note that only 30.1 percent received more than 8 hours a night, while even fewer, 12.9 percent, received less than 6.
“I consider myself to be aware of current events” Strongly Agree
Hours Spent on Homework or Studying on Average School Night in Middle School
I don’t I don’t have a have a Facebook Facebook account but I use other social regularly” media Strongly Disagree
Middle School Academics 58.0% Selective Public School or Gifted & Talented Program
5.1% 101-200 mg
“I have a strong work ethic” 11.9%
More than 3
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Freshman Survey Freshman Expectations Extracurricular most likely to dedicate to in the next four years
By Michael Xu
Though the freshmen are optimistic about their ability to succeed at Stuyvesant, they are cognizant about the strenuous workload. A mere 10.9 percent of the freshmen surveyed believed that they would be among the bottom 50 percent of their class. That being said, 96.6 percent of freshmen predict that they will attain less than eight hours of sleep on a school night, with 17.8 percent believing that they would have less than five. Over 90 percent of freshmen indicated that they would partake in extracurricular activities. The most popular were academic clubs and publications in STEM at 32.7 percent and sports teams at 26.6 percent. Interestingly, the least popular option was community service at 8.4 percent, yet the largest club at Stuyvesant is the community service club Stuyvesant Red Cross. A slim majority of freshmen believed that they would pursue STEM-related careers. 15.1 percent of freshmen indicated an interest in business and finance. A paltry 3.5 percent and 1.7 percent of freshmen were interested in the arts and craft vocations respectively.
the top 10% of my class
the top 25% of my class
the top 50% of my class
Debate/ Government/ Publications
Sports STEM/ Academic Clubs/ Publications
When I am older, I hope to go into ____.
the bottom 50% of my class
Predicted Amount of Sleep on Any Given School Night in Stuyvesant 32.7%
Fewer than 5 hours
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)-related fields Humanities (Social sciences, Language Studies, Law)
By the end of my Stuyvesant career, I predict I will be among: 14.9%
Arts (visual art, music, dancing, theater)
3.4% More than 8 hours
Arts (visual art, music, dancing, theater) Craft Vocations
Senior Survey Senior Demographics By ANNE GEORGE
The Spectator also surveyed the Class of 2018 in hopes of gathering information about how their four years of attendance has shaped their identities, lifestyles, and aspirations for impending adulthood. Of the responders, there were a larger portion of males (54.9 percent) students than females (41 percent) students. Only 4.1 percent of students identify outside the gender binary. Much like the freshman class, the Class of 2018 is predominately Asian (73.5 percent), with an underrepresented Black and Latino population (4.4 percent), proving that diversity concerns have not been appropriately addressed in the last four years. The senior class is largely heterosexual (80.6 percent), and 6.5 percent reported that they are still unsure or questioning. In the past, the freshman class has shown itself to be much more religious than the senior class. However, this year, both grades are disproportionately Agnostic or Atheist (43.7 percent versus 35.6 percent of the freshman surveyed). Of the Abrahamic religions, Christianity is the most followed within the Class of 2018 (16.5 percent). In fact, only 3.9 percent of seniors identify as Jewish and 12.1 percent as Muslim. It came as a surprise that 26.7 percent of the senior class followed religions lumped into the “Other” category. Most of the Class of 2018 indicated their socioeconomic status as middle class (59.2 percent). However, 26.3 percent of students placed themselves on the lower end of the spectrum, which reflects Stuyvesant’s status as a Title II school. Despite many of the seniors coming from families’ in which the highest level education received by a parent/ guardian was a Bachelor’s or Postgraduate Degree, one-fifth of them come from families’ whose only education is high school. This survey proved that we are a school of first-generation Americans: 86.3 percent of the Class of 2018 are U.S. citizens, but 66.5 percent of them have parents who are immigrants. However, making it through high school doesn’t squash uncertainty: 10 percent of responders reported that they did not know their socioeconomic status and 5.8 percent were unaware of their immigration status.
Type of Middle School 49.4% Selective Public School or Gifted & Talented Program (NEST+m, Mark Twain, etc.)
Zoned Public School
26.3% Lower/ working class
2.2% Black 2.2% Hispanic
4.5% Upper Class 20%
8% Other (American Indian, Pacific Islander, Multiracial
Sexual Orientation 3.9% Judaism 4.6% Other
continued on page 11
43.7% Agnosticism/ Atheism
39.2% Middle Class
10% I don’t know
Family’s Upper Socioeconomic Middle Class Status
1.8% Homosexual 6.5% Bisexual
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Senior Survey Senior Demographics Legal Status in the U.S.
Immigration Status in the U.S.
continued from page 10
16.3% 6.5% U.S. Citizen (Passport)
Permanent Dual Resident Citizenship (Green Card + (Passport of Passport of two countries) another country)
I am an immigrant
My parents My grandparents are immigrants are immigrants
Parents’/Guardians’ Highest Level of Education 5.7% Middle School
22% High School
I don’t know
Form of Disability
Learning Disability (ADHD/Dyslexia)
Cognitive Disability (Autism/ Down Syndrome)
More than one disability
Senior Academics By Jane Rhee
“I participated in my classes frequently” Strongly Agree
“I consider myself to be aware of current events” Strongly Agree
“I have a strong work ethic” Strongly Agree
Hours Spent on Homework or 32.9% Studying on 2-3 School Night
The ratio of students coming from selective middle schools to regular zoned public schools is rather consistent with that of the freshmen, with 49.9 percent and 35.5 percent coming from these schools, respectively. Fewer of the seniors reported that they participate frequently during class (54.0 percent), and the distribution of responses within that percentage skewed further away from “strongly agree” to “agree.” However, the percentage of seniors considering themselves to be strongly aware of current events is virtually the same with the percentage of freshman, at 14.1 percent. In addition, 35.9 percent consider themselves relatively aware, and 30.6 percent consider themselves neutral, setting up relatively equal populations. In addition, fewer seniors preferred math over other subjects, with 21.8 ranking it as their favorite. 29.2 percent chose science, demonstrating a shift from the mathematics dominated freshman class. Following the STEM-centered tradition of Stuyvesant, only 12.9 percent chose English and and 10.4 percent chose history. Seniors’ view of their work ethic also does not deviate too much from the trends seen with the freshmen. 57 percent considered themselves to be hard-working, while 25.9 percent considered themselves “neutral,” and only 17.1 percent categorized their work ethics as weak. The distribution of number of hours spent on homework is more evenly spread out through intervals of 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4 hours, with anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of students in each interval. Yet almost half of the student body (43.3 percent) receives less than six hours of sleep a night, and only 11.2 percent the same 6-8 hours the freshmen reported receiving in middle school.
10.4% 11.2% 7-8
Hours of Sleep 43.3% on Any Given Fewer than 6 School Night 38.4% 6-7
By the end of my Stuyvesant career, I predict I will be among: 15.7%
the top 10% of my class
the top 25% of my class
34.7% the top 50% of my class
17.2% the bottom 50% of my class
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Senior Survey Senior Identity and Lifestyle By Sophie Watwood
On the survey, 46.7 percent of seniors reported spending one to three hours watching Netflix, TV or other streaming services, or on YouTube on a typical school day, and 36.9 percent said up to one hour. 4.8 percent reported spending seven hours or more on these activities. Facebook, however, occupied up to one hour of 43.3 percent of senior’s days. 35.9 percent spent one to three hours, and 12.8 percent spent more than three hours on facebook daily. Mental health is a concern for seniors, as 59 percent say that they think about their mental health regularly. Only 15.7 percent say that they do not. 52 percent of seniors reported zero intake of caffeine daily. After that, the most common response was 1-100 mg (about one cup), daily, at 30.6 percent. Senior’s views on the use of illicit substances is generally varied. On the use of marijuana, for example, a full 32.7 percent said they were neutral, while 26.3 percent were strongly opposed, and 16.1 percent were simply opposed. The remaining 24.9 percent was almost exactly split between support and strong support. Students were less strongly opposed to the use of study drugs, such as Adderall or Ritalin, by high school students, but also less in favor. An equal 29.8 percent reported being strongly opposed and being neutral, a close 24.9 percent said that they were simply opposed, and only 15.5 percent said they supported or strongly supported use of such drugs. Hard drugs, like cocaine or opiates, were far less controversial. A full 86.8 percent of seniors agreed or strongly agreed that they were opposed to the use of hard drugs by high school students (Only 2.5 percent less than the incoming freshman). 8.8 percent were neutral and 6.6 percent strongly disagreed. Equal groups of 8.2 percent were opposed or strongly opposed to sexual activity by high school students. The largest percentage, 38.4, were neutral, and 24.8 strongly disagreed that they were opposed to sexual activity. In plans for the future, 58.4 percent of seniors surveyed said that they hope to go into STEM-related fields. 13.9 percent hoped to go into humanities, 15.9 percent into finance or business management, and 10.4 percent into the arts. Only 0.8 percent of seniors wanted to go into craft vocations, and 0.6 percent left this question blank.
Extracurricular Most Likely to Dedicate to in the Next Four Years
12.9% Community Service
36.5% STEM/ Academic Clubs
22.4% Sports 6.5% Debate/Government/ Publications
0.8% Craft Vocations 15.9% Finance/ Business/ Managaement
Hours spent watching TV (including Netflix), gaming, or on YouTube on a typical school day “When I am older, I hope to go into ...”
58.4% STEM Fields
1.4% 201-400 mg
Hours a day spent on Facebook I don’t have a Facebook account I don’t have a Facebook but I use other social media
4.5% 3.5% 30.6% 1-100 mg
Daily Caffeine Intake
“I am opposed to sexual activity by high school students” Strongly Agree
9.4% 101-200 mg
6.6% 401+ mg
“Mental health is something I think about regularly” Strongly Agree
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Comparison Highlights Freshmen vs Seniors Comparison By Eliana Kavouriadis
There were notable differences between the responses of the freshman and senior classes in particular areas. These differences underscore the changes that happen throughout a Stuyvesant student’s career
College Plans Senior responses to “After I graduate from Stuyvesant, I think I might attend an Ivy League University , Stanford University, or MIT, or the University of Chicago.”
Freshmen responses to “After I graduate from Stuyvesant, I think I might attend an Ivy League University or other elite university.” 38.4%
Nearly 70 percent of freshmen think they might attend an Ivy League university or a school of similar prestige, whereas only a third of the seniors believe the same.
2.5% Strongly Agree
Drug Use “I am opposed to the use of marijuana by high school students.” 53.4%
A little over half of the freshman class is strongly opposed to the use of marijuana by high school students, but only a quarter of the seniors responded similarly. Likewise, significantly more freshmen than seniors are opposed to the use of stimulants such as Adderall to aid academic performance. However, a larger number of senior respondents opposed the use of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin than freshmen respondents.
32.7% 26.3% 19% 18.2% 16.1% 12.5%
“I am opposed to the use of study drugs (prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin) by high school students.” 44.5%
“I am opposed to the use of “hard” drugs (cocaine, opiates, etc.) by high school students.”
22.4% 8.2% 3.5%
continued on page 14
The Spectator ● September 28, 2017
Comparison Highlights Freshmen vs Seniors Comparison continued from page 13
Academic Honesty “I would sacrifice a good grade to preserve my academic honesty (i.e. even if I could cheat, I would not because I feel it is immoral).” 36.2%
Freshmen were more opposed to academic dishonesty than seniors. When asked if they would sacrifice a good grade to preserve their academic honesty, most freshmen said they would, while seniors collectively took a more neutral stance on the issue. However, a majority of both classes (60.0 percent of freshmen and 70.9 percent of seniors) have partaken in some form of academic dishonesty.
Disagree Strongly Disagree
“In middle school, I partook in some form of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, copying, etc.)” 40.3%
14.1% 9.2% 5.6% Frequently
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
Courtesy of Chloé Delfau
Visions of Americana
By JOSHUA WEINER
In her NPR article, “Leaving Urban Areas For The Political Homogeneity Of Rural Towns,” Mary Lou Reed of Kootenai County, Idaho, discusses the changing workplace of her town, noting, “The lumber mills
city and rural populations. On a map of voters by county, cities in blue are swallowed up in vast expanses of rural red, as Trump won 3,084 of America’s 3,141 counties. Hillary Clinton won just 57. Post-election coverage
America,’ people don’t read The New York Times at all. One who rejects the pursuit of knowledge will not place much emphasis on intellectual rigor when voting for president.” Our visions of Americana
are all gone, the mines are shuttered down, we do not have labor unions that are active.” Instead, small town Americans are embracing new businesses and enterprises across the United States. When considering this, that industrial factory-turnedbrewery makes sense, and it is one small piece of a puzzle depicting a changing country. The election of Donald Trump only heightened the perceived differences between
typecast the “angry white voter” who saw a changing country and voted against it as the catalyst for Trump’s victory. This introduces another angle, one where rural Americans were pushed by our condescending urban stereotypes—describing non-urbanites as uneducated and irrational—to endorse a candidate such as Trump. A recent Salon article proves that urban intellectuals hold these stereotypes, reading, “In the ‘real
tend to focus on small towns with white picket fences, local ice cream shops, and main street Fourth of July celebrations. Yet, the country is changing; towns are becoming more diverse and less reliant on industrial jobs. If we want the last election to not repeat itself, we need to embrace a changing America instead of continuing to push other Americans away.
Minseo Kim / The Spectator
As New Yorkers, we tend to think of our country as two worlds: city and country, diverse and homogenous, progressive and conservative. This perspective dominates how we perceive small towns across the country, stereotyping them as everything urban life is not. With the election of Donald Trump, this division could not have been more overstated: urban areas voted one way, and the rest of the country voted the other. And yet, when I took a trip to visit upstate New York, where my dad grew up, I saw past my own stereotypes and witnessed the evolution of rural America. We drove around winding roads dotted with houses as my dad recounted stories from his upbringing with each familiar landmark. We passed by the ice cream shop—a staple of Americana— whose sign read “Best Ice Cream in the U.S.A!” But to my dad, who grew up in a town filled with people who looked like him and sounded like him, what shocked him were the signs of growing diversity. Interspersed with the houses
that draped American flags on their front porches were houses with Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, and Mexican flags. We passed “Blue Lives Matter” signs and front lawns bearing “I’m With Her” posters in the same instant. What we witnessed was not the old small town of yesterday, the one my father grew up in, but instead the changing face of America. Rural America has seen the largest growth of minority populations in the United States, surpassing the growth of these populations in America’s urban centers. A 2012 National Library of Medicine report found that Hispanic populations in rural America represented 56 percent of its population growth from 2000 to 2010, and towns across America are quickly becoming more and more diverse. A question is then raised: if suburban and rural America is becoming more diverse, why did it overwhelmingly vote for Trump? It is important to understand that while an area may become more diverse, not everyone living there is accepting of the changing status quo. A Pew Research poll found that only 20 percent of conservatives prefer to live in areas of mixed cultural diversity, meaning rural and suburban conservatives often vote for candidates who promise to restore the America of yesteryear: one that’s homogenous and less subject to change. As we were driving, my dad and I stopped at a textile mill with a smokestack that had dominated the skyline of his town since before the Civil War. When we went inside, we found the entire factory—which had once been a staple of blue-collar jobs—had been converted into a brewery and arts center.
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
Page 11 17
Arts and Entertainment
Film By Jacqueline Thom “Dunkirk” is a movie about war, but doesn’t depict war’s violence. In fact, this film is not really about violent conflict; it is more about what desperate people do in desperate situations. The movie opens with five soldiers rummaging through the deserted French town of Dunkirk. Suddenly, ghostly gunfire sends the soldiers running until there is only one left, who barely makes it over a picket fence to safety. The remaining soldier is the film’s protagonist, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), and he is characteristically quiet. He later meets another soldier, Gibson (Aneurin Barnard), who buries a dead comrade. They emerge on the expansive Dunkirk beach, whose white sands and dull blue skies would be picturesque if it weren’t for the masses of straggling soldiers cooped up on the shores. The scenes following are set mostly on land near the makeshift pier, called “The Mole,” that the Allies are using to evacuate their soldiers from Dunkirk. In the short time that it took for Tommy to go from the town to the beach, the film has already displayed fear, need, and sadness. The film switches back and forth between three segments: The Mole, The Sea, and The Air. “The Mole” takes place over the course of a week as Tommy and his fellow soldiers are struggling to survive the chaos that takes place to evacuate Dunkirk’s beaches. “The Sea” is a day onboard the “Moonstone,” a small boat joining an armada of other civilians and their ragtag vessels in an attempt to help rescue the soldiers. “The Air” follows three Spitfire pilots for an hour as they try to bring down enemy planes and protect the escaping minesweepers and boats full of soldiers. There is no violence. This film is about its soldiers and rarely does it mention what the war is about or who the enemy is. The soldiers aren’t fighting or participating in typical acts of war. They’re just fighting to
The Story of Dunkirk survive in acts of human plight. All of the characters look tired, depressed, and pessimistic. The first soldier that the Moonstone rescues is so shell-shocked that he accidentally injures and ultimately kills one of the civilians on board the boat. In an earlier scene, Tommy and Gibson are sitting on the Dunkirk shore after being rescued from yet another sinking ship. A soldier staggers past them and heads right toward the ocean. A wave of foam and water engulfs him, but there is no splashing and struggling for life. The man disappears in an act that says, “This is what war does to men.” The movie’s stubborn portrayal of only human endeavors contributes to its intensity. This intensity is based on tension and suspense, not in one realm, but in several as the camera seamlessly moves between Tommy writhing in flaming oily water and a Spitfire pilot thinking he’ll drown in the cockpit of his downed plane. Everything is intertwined by the environment and actions of the characters. Depicting nothing in chronological order is reminiscent of how the average person tells stories,
Alex Lin / The Spectator
Insights: We’ve all witnessed the foolishness; you’re scrolling down your Instagram feed one day, and you come across a video of someone applying his or her makeup with a hardboiled egg. Surprisingly, this is no longer an unfamiliar occurrence. In recent years, the number of so-called “beauty gurus” who have taken to social media platforms has proliferated. Their influence seems to be as prominent as ever as young people around the world mimic trends in hair, makeup, and clothing, inspired by none other than beauty gurus. Though many of these trends may seem strange at first, they are soon devoured by the youth. It is evident that beauty influencers are transforming youth culture, one BeautyBlender at a time. A beauty guru is a person who has a passion for some aspect of beauty, such as hair, nails, or most popularly, makeup. On social media platforms, especially YouTube and Instagram, gurus express their zeal for beauty by reviewing cosmetic products, creating hair, nail, and makeup tutorials, shar-
When Politics Has a Price Tag
By Sophie Feng The rise of the word “woke” is perhaps one of the best indications of an increasing politically aware pop culture consciousness. Firmly rooted in a younger generation, “woke” is an adjective signifying an above-average and liberal understanding of current affairs, particularly relating to social injustices such as racism. Though originating from the dialect of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), “woke” made its way into the more general public lexicon following the widely publicized 2014 Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests (a response to alleged instances of police brutality involving black men such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner). The birth of activist movements such as BLM taken in conjunction with the recent backlash toward President Trump’s treatment of minorities and women have pushed millennials and members of Generation X into an increasingly politically aware mindset. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the notion of an enhanced political awareness, being “woke” becomes an issue when the act is commodified. Artists and celebrities have capitalized on the increasing awareness surrounding legitimate social unrest simply as a means of enhancing their popularity. In other words, being “woke” has often been reduced to a trend. Celebrities lean on a platform of political awareness, without largely caring about the issues beyond what can be visible online to a mass audience. Pop singer Katy Perry’s recent single “Chained To The Rhythm” embodies this shallow awareness. Its vague and hardly politically suggestive lyrics lead it to fall heavily short of the anthem meant to “start conversations” that Perry believes to be (as she expressed in a pre-Grammys interview) some sort of musical remedy to the tumultuous political climate. Such a frail attempt at awareness is further undermined when looking back at the singer’s oftentimes problematic behavior; she has repeatedly appropriated other cultures by donning a kimono or cornrows, and encouraged stereotypes through her song “Ur So Gay.” Lena Dunham is another celebrity who holds herself as a political role model for feminism. However, she has instead succeeded in becoming the poster child
of “white feminism,” a term that has also gained traction in recent years, likely as a response to the increasingly ingenuine environment of political awareness. This refers to feminism that fails to recognize the greater oppression experienced by underprivileged, especially non-white, women. While Dunham has used her status as a feminist as a foundation for many aspects of her career, (including starting “Lenny Letter,” a feminist newsletter), her shaky stance has also been revealed at times. In a few instances, she publicly made racist remarks about black American football player Odell Beckham Jr. and actor Michael B. Jordan, revealing that her apparent passion for equality does not extend to people of color. Alternately, preeminent fashion model Kendall Jenner’s recent advertisement for Pepsi represents a rare moment when this sort of shallow awareness was widely recognized and disparaged. Jenner’s participation in such an ad (which, in attempting to sell the beverage, utilized scenes from protests akin to Black Lives Matter) represents one of the purest examples of political awareness becoming merely a commodity. Though the immense criticism received by both Jenner and the brand Pepsi led to the ad being pulled, similar, more subtle instances from other artists, such as Katy Perry, often go unnoticed. The perpetrators continue to profit without giving in to, in short, exploitation. That’s not to say that it is impossible to be a genuinely “woke” artist or celebrity. One need only look at the work of Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar to see that one does not have to sacrifice strong political authority for success. Both artists deliver messages in their music that are unashamedly clear, presented not to gain anything but to spread a message regardless of any possible controversy. This is clear when Lamar spits out the words, “We hate po-po / Want to kill us dead in the street fo sho” on his acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly” or when Beyoncé wore a Black Panther-inspired outfit during the Halftime show of Super Bowl 50, thus aligning herself with the controversial Black nationalist party. White artists would do well to learn from artists such as these, reminding themselves that being “woke” is not a carefully curated persona, but ultimately a tool by which to effect change.
The Beauty Guru Fever
Culture By Elma Rahman
sometimes skipping around or going back and forth between events. What the movie lacks in scale, it makes up for by showing the beauty of the basic struggle for life. None of the characters do more than what is necessary in a war where rescuing human lives is a priority. There is no heroic speech or overly patriotic feeling. Plenty of soldiers are traumatized and plenty more die. One of the Spitfire pilots manages to stop an especially deadly German assault on one of the evacuating warships but runs out of fuel and lands far from the pier. One of the most beautiful moments in the film is when the pilot sets his plane on fire to prevent it from being used by the Germans. Even as Germans arrive onto the scene, their faces are blurry and the focus stays on the pilot’s figure as he stares at the Spitfire. Defiance and courage in the face of his capture is the only patriotic moment of the film and presents a sense of reassurance and relief.
ing their beauty tips and tricks, and most recently, creating challenge videos in which they race to complete their makeup in under a minute, apply a full face of children’s makeup, or complete other goofy tasks. According to Media Life Magazine, their main demographic is women of ages 14-34, though it is not rare to find a male beauty junkie as well. 17-year-old, self-taught makeup artist James Charles became the first male spokesmodel for cosmetic brand Covergirl in 2016, setting a milestone in upsetting traditional gender roles. Bretman Rock, Jeffree Star, and Angel Merino are a few other wellknown names in the community of makeup lovers. According to YouGov polling firm, one-third of Americans are indifferent to males wearing makeup. This is a significant change from the stigma surrounding boys wearing makeup that we have seen in the past. Together, male beauty influencers help break down the barriers set by society, which discourage boys from dabbling in makeup. In modern social media, beauty gurus are extremely prevalent
on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, with the top beauty vloggers having an average of 2.1 million followers or subscribers, according
personality and trendsetter in the makeup industry, created a daring trend last August when she posed in an Instagram photo clad in jeans with rips on her butt.
fluence that Jenner wields is positively impacting the youth or simply inspiring mindless behavior, such as the popular “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge,” in which teenag-
From their questionable style trends to their signature makeup tutorials, beauty gurus have helped us become desensitized to the practices that would have once resulted in reverberating culture shock.
to TubeFilter. Your own peers are most likely well-acquainted with at least one guru. This popularity has allowed the impact of newly bred trends to skyrocket as we see young people explore intriguing style choices like feather brows and rainbow eyeliner. Kylie Jenner, a growing
At first, many were shocked and confused as to what the appeal of bare-butt jeans was. However, this style was soon adopted and appreciated by many young girls, which was not completely unexpected, considering Jenner’s colossal follower count. Some argue whether the enormous in-
ers used the suction from bottles or glasses to swell their lips and mimic Jenner’s famous pout. Though this dangerous practice is an example of social incontinued on page 12 18
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
Page 12 18
Arts and Entertainment Insights:
The Beauty Guru Fever
Culture continued from page 11 17
fluence gone awry, the positive aspects of Jenner’s immense influence outweigh the negatives. Though she isn’t exactly changing the world, she is setting an example for the youth in terms of appreciating one’s individuality and straying from the norm when it comes to style, all while building her empire as a young entrepreneur. Along with setting trends, there has been an increasing number of products being promoted by these beauty influencers lately, whether it be in the form of sponsorships or reviews. One of the most famous examples of these social mediabuilt brands is Huda Beauty. This
brand was developed by Huda Kattan, who has been ranked Top Beauty Influencer by Forbes and boasts over 20 million Instagram followers. Perhaps the most soughtafter product in her makeup line is her false lashes, which hordes of makeup lovers, including Kim Kardashian, swear by. The majority of Kattan’s advertising for the brand is done on her Instagram page, which goes to show just how beneficial it can be to use social media as a publicizing platform. Another brand that has earned much praise from the beauty guru community—and thus has seen a major boost in popularity—is Farsali Care. This skincare brand was created by beauty blogger Farah Dhukai and her husband Sal Ali. Like Huda Beauty, Farsali Care is
Hollywood’s Misrepresentation of Asians
By Jacqueline Thom
Is #HollywoodSoWhite still trending? It should be. Time and time again, Hollywood has disappointed with its lack of diversity. Sure, there’s the occasional black protagonist, but there’s more to diversity than just black and white. Hollywood consistently delivers Asian stereotypes in its films and oftentimes, movies are “whitewashed” in favor of white actors because of the negative impact of these stereotypes. Hollywood’s negative representation of Asians has probably existed since Hollywood’s beginning in 1853. Around the time that Hollywood was starting to gain traction, “yellow peril” was a major fear of the white population in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. This fear stemmed from the idea that whites would be overwhelmed by the influx of East Asian immigrants, contributing to perceptions that Asians would spread their foreign culture and language and would steal jobs. Today, Asian Americans are often labeled intellectual and assimilatory and thus still threatening to white jobs in technology sectors. These perceptions are the origin of Asian stereotypes that are perpetuated in Hollywood to this day. These stereotypes lead to active “whitewashing” of films. There is a term called “racial prototypicality” where someone who looks authentically like a certain race is unconsciously given a label based on stereotypes. For example, someone who looks black may be immediately labeled as violent and harboring delinquency. Asians are viewed as smart in only the STEM fields and as being unable to socialize well. “Whitewashing” is a subset of racial prototypicality in that casting directors unconsciously associate Asian actors with stereotypes that would make Asians unfit to be actors, even in films that are associated with Asians specifically. Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead in the live-action movie “Ghost in a Shell” based on the Japanese anime of the same name. The casting of a white woman instead of an Asian one caused an uproar. In an interview with Marie Claire Magazine, Johansson refuted claims of racism, saying, “Having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity.” Believe it or not, having a franchise with an Asian female protagonist is an even rarer one. Johansson instead claimed that the movie role was about feminism in an attempt to avoid the racism discussion. Excuses like these perpetuate whitewashing by avoiding conversations about its destructive impacts. More people should be addressing the stereotypes and consequent “whitewashing” that occurs in films. Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” received backlash for its choice to
cast white actor Tilda Swinton to play the role of a Tibetan monk. In August, Netflix released “Death Note,” which is based on a Japanese anime and manga. Like “Ghost in a Shell,” the movie features a predominantly white cast. When trying to audition for the role of protagonist Light Yagami in “Death Note,” one Asian American actor, Edward Zo, stated that he “was told to [his] face that they were not looking to see Asian actors for the role of Light Yagami.” Instead of an Asian actor, Netflix has changed Light Yagami to Light Turner to accommodate for white actor Nat Wolff’s role as the protagonist. “The Great Wall” starring Matt Damon is an example of white assimilation on-screen and whitewashing off-screen. The movie is about a European man, William, from medieval times who tries to assimilate into 11th-century Asian society in order to find a rumored substance to improve European life. Such a film demonstrates the concept of white saviorism where the whites save the day with exceptional ability that exceeds that of foreigners. Along with white saviorism, negative stereotypes about Asians play into the environment of the movie considerably. The film depicts hundreds of thousands of Chinese warriors ready to fight against the enemy but shows most of them quickly dying in the first few moments of battle as if the Chinese are not capable of defending themselves. William, however, deals more damage with a bow and arrows than the complicated weapons technology that the Chinese have at hand. He also fearlessly dives into the fray to fight for the Chinese even though it is made obvious from the start of the film that William has little intention of helping foreigners with their affairs. Off-screen, the movie may have been directed by an Asian and featured a cast of several notable Asian actors, but the storyline was written by at least seven white men. It is mind-boggling how a movie featuring predominantly Asians was not written by any. In Hollywood, stereotypes are a large factor in how films are produced and how Asians are viewed in the film industry. Bad associations prevent Asians from playing bigger roles in movies even when those movies require actual Asians. The first step and the only way that Asians can start to have roles in films is to stop audiences and casting directors from harboring negative racist stereotypes that exclude Asians from major roles. People need to stop making excuses and truly address the oppression of Asians in the film industry. Without doing so, one of the largest populations in the world will continuously be judged based on rude misconceptions.
largely promoted on Instagram, where over one million followers can scroll through the brand’s page and view descriptions, advertisements, and reviews of its products. Dhukai further publicizes Farsali Care to almost two million subscribers on her YouTube channel. The total revenue of the cosmetic industry was a whopping $62.46 billion in 2016, having risen from $53 billion in 2010, according to statistics portal Statista. During the same period of time, there was a 90 percent increase in the number of beauty channels on YouTube, according to CultureMachines polling firm. This flourishing market, nurtured by the growing beauty guru trend, has led to a surge in the popularity of products created by beauty gurus. As these products
are reviewed and featured in makeup tutorials and circulated within the beauty community, the gurus encourage viewers to succumb to consumerism culture. Given the huge following that this community maintains, it’s no surprise that marketing done by beauty gurus further propels their popularity as well as their products. Beauty influencers are no strangers to sponsorships, either. From teeth whitening kits to tummy toning tea, there is a vast range of products that companies pay beauty gurus to advertise. Companies often propose sponsorship offers to beauty gurus because of their large following and exposure. From their questionable style trends to their signature makeup tutorials, beauty gurus
have helped us become desensitized to the practices that would have once resulted in reverberating culture shock, such as boys wearing makeup or people sprinkling glitter in their hair. Pictures and videos demonstrating such distinctive applications appear constantly on various platforms of social media, gaining exposure until they finally begin to inspire young people to take part in creating their own unique style, which gradually leads to a stronger sense of self-identity and love. This is what sets the youth apart from previous generations: a greater general acceptance of individual flawed beauty, uniqueness, and originality. Beauty gurus have helped us hugely in achieving this, and it seems that they will continue to do so.
A New Music Video Begins a New Era of Taylor Swift
By Lena Farley “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” Taylor Swift’s signature red lips murmur. “Why? Oh…’cause she’s dead.” That might just be a line in Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” but to me, a self-proclaimed “swiftie,” Swift confirmed what I had been fearing before the single came out. We have officially lost the blonde, curly, love song strumming, pop-country girl who had me hooked on her music. I saw this coming after “Red,” her first album to feature non-country pop songs, debuted. However, even as her catchy single “Shake It Off” and the rest of the songs from “1989” came out, I never lost hope that she might go back to the country style of her older songs. Maybe this was because I had grown so attached to the old Swift that I didn’t want to adjust to a new one, but it is undeniable—Swift has changed, and she’s not going back to her old ways any time soon. After accepting Swift’s new style and persona, I had to judge: Do I like the new Taylor? Sure, some parts are catchy, but the main chorus, “look what you made me do, look what you made me do,” sounds incredibly repetitive and unfortunately, does not hold any of the stories or meaning that her older songs, such as “Fearless,” held. Because I disliked the song, I held low expectations for the music video, but once it came out, I watched in awe. What Swift did in this video makes a bold statement, one I hadn’t expected coming from an artist who is so constantly talked about for scandals and feuds. In the first scene, a graveyard, Swift is shown crawling out from a grave with an inscription that read, “Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” In the third scene, Swift sits upon a throne crawling with snakes, making her the queen of snakes. Other than describing a reptilian animal, a snake can be used to describe someone who often does traitorous and malicious things behind others’ backs. A snake is not something one normally wants to be called, yet in her video Swift seems to be embracing the label. After many feuds with a variety of celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry, Swift’s
name has been dragged through the dirt. People consider her someone who can’t be trusted. In these scenes, Swift does something many artists would fear to do: not only does she make it clear that she knows her old, innocent persona is long-gone, but she accepts her new reputation as a snake. In the rest of the video, Swift features many references to pop culture events and opinions that have affected her in the public eye. In one scene, she is featured robbing a streaming company, perhaps alluding
Tiffany Leng / The Spectator
to the hate she got for refusing to sell her music to streaming companies such as Spotify. She is also spotted wearing a sweater saying “blind for love,” a direct nod toward her infamous dating cycle. Though these references are clever, the video set is elaborate, and the overall filming is well done; the best part of the entire video for many swifties like myself is the last 10 seconds—the round-up of Swifts. In this final scene, different versions of Taylor Swift, such as the nerdy Swift from the “You Belong With Me” video and the ballerina Swift from “Shake It Off,” line up in a row in front of a cheering audience. They are shown arguing with each other, the old country Swift is crying while the new goth Swift calls her out for “playing the victim, again.” The video ends with a comedic last line, referencing the feud between Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift, who is dressed in the exact outfit she was wearing at the 2009 VMA’s when West famously declared Swift unfit for the “Video of the Year Award.” This version of Swift mimics what
Swift had said to West and Kardashian, during their most recent dispute: “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” Swift, yet again, owns up to past actions that have earned her public hate. Just like she embraced her reputation of being a snake in the beginning of the video, in this scene, she seems to call herself out on the things that made others angry or annoyed with her. It is unclear whether she did this to say she doesn’t care if they ridicule her actions or because she wants to show others that she understands her past mistakes. Either way, it is interesting and refreshing to see such a high-level celebrity like her bring up unfortunate past events of her lifetime directly into the limelight. So is the “new Taylor” better or worse than the “old Taylor”? She’s neither, but she is definitely different. I can’t judge whether her new style and persona is better or worse because I have to keep in mind that I’m not the only “swiftie” out there. The “new” Taylor may be better for some and worse for others, like me. That’s the beauty of Taylor Swift: she attracts such a variety of fans, especially as her musical style changes. Even though I wish she would go back to her 2009 self, her change may be for the best. Swift started her official career in 2006 when her debut album, “Taylor Swift,” came out. Since then, she has produced five complete albums and many more individual songs, aged 11 years, and has been involved in endless amounts of drama. I avoided the complete realization of this, but in the time since 2006, Swift was bound to change. Music styles change, fashion changes, and sometimes, due to certain events, even a persona can change. I might not like the songs of the new Taylor, but it’s comforting to know that just like when I was nine and watched the music video of “You Belong With Me” over and over again, Swift’s sense of humor and cleverness regarding music videos has not changed. “Look What You Made Me Do” combines the new Taylor’s attitude and musical style with the old Taylor’s facial expressions and dramatics, creating a whole different Taylor, one as lovable as before.
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
19 Page 13
Arts and Entertainment
NYC Food Hall of Fame By Angela Peng
Chelsea Market opened its doors to thousands of hungry New Yorkers of wildly different backgrounds and tastes in food in 1980. Thus began a new genre of city eateries: the food hall. Food halls in NYC first existed as jumbled masses of stalls and people but have since transformed into carefully curated groups of restaurants chosen for quality and authenticity. These food halls have become more and more popular, with over 20 in NYC alone and five more set to open by 2018. They have opened in train stations and warehouses to feed tens of thousands of visitors a day. These large spaces packed with stalls of a diverse array of cuisine allow people to get a taste of the world within the confines of their city. Food halls represent what is truly great about this city—the diverse range of cultures that thrive in our five boroughs—and allow us to share and appreciate these cultures.
The Plaza Food Hall
Chelsea Market resembles an abandoned building fallen into disrepair, but in a way that seems very intentional—it features exposed brick and pipes, chipping paint, and graffiti-like wall art. There’s even a water fountain designed to look like a leak from an exposed pipe. This market was a pioneer for food halls in the city and is now a NYC classic, frequented by tourists and residents alike. Every turn of the head brings a new restaurant or shop with its own aesthetic to your attention. The range of food options is incredible—almost overwhelming—with each possible choice better than the last. From the chewy noodles served in simmering broth at Very Fresh Noodles to mini donuts with strange combinations of flavors that somehow mesh together in the perfect way at Doughnuttery, Chelsea Market is the one food hall that will truly never disappoint, no matter what you’re craving.
Tucked inside the famous Plaza Hotel, with its reputation for luxury and glamour, the Plaza Food Hall yields high expectations but falls short on delivery. Upon entry, the atmosphere is stilted, and the décor comes across as tacky and overdone. In terms of food, there isn’t much variety—many of the stalls are bakeries. Some notable examples are Lady M, featuring its signature crêpe cakes layered with cream, and FP Patisserie, serving a variety of cakes and pastries. However, the options for savory food are sparse. Two popular shops, No. 7 Sub and Chi Dumpling & Noodle, dish out mediocre food at unfair prices. Though some stalls do serve fresh and high-quality food, the majority of food at the Plaza is disproportionately expensive and can leave the entire hall feeling like an overpriced tourist trap. Ultimately, it is up to consumers to decide if they can afford the hit to their wallets.
Jade Lo/ The Spectator
Pollo Asado Tacos ($3.50) & Horchata ($3.75)
Green Tea Crepe Cake ($9.00)
@ Los Tacos No. 1
@ Luke’s Crab Shack
@ Lady M
Clam Chowder ($6.50)
Canal Street Market
Industry City Food Hall
For those craving Asian food, look no further than Canal Street Market, one of the newest players in the NYC food hall game. The décor is modern and clean, and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, a minimalistic contrast to other food halls. As far as food goes, there aren’t as many choices as some other food halls offer, but of the food selection, there is a good variety of traditional and more modern, trendy dishes for an affordable price. Buy a bento box from Izakaya Samurice for a filling entree or grab a quick bite from the dim sum stand Nom Wah Kuai. There’s even bubble tea, courtesy of The Boba Guys, if you’re looking for a sweet, refreshing respite from the heat. This hall is a great spot to sit and relax with friends without breaking the bank.
Located in an inconspicuous Brooklyn neighborhood, Industry City has a luxury that many Manhattan food halls don’t: space. Each vendor at Industry City has its own enclosed area with sitting space, rather than the classic small stalls that most food halls employ. It also has a nice outdoor space, with ample room to eat and relax, and even occasional live music events. While the atmosphere of the hall is pleasant, the food itself leaves something to be desired. There isn’t much of a standout restaurant—food at the iconic Avocaderia, the world’s first avocado bar, is better to take pictures of than actually eat. Though some places have decent food, such as Ends Meat, a cured meat and sandwich shop, or One Girl Cookies, a small bakery and cafe, there really isn’t much at Industry City to draw customers out of their way to Sunset Park.
Try: Japanese Curry Rice ($10.00)
@ Izakaya Samurice Anything ($ 5.00)
@ Nom Wah Kuai
Try: Whoopie Pie ($3.00)
@ One Girl Cookies
Urbanspace Vanderbilt Upon entry to Urbanspace Vanderbilt, customers are greeted with a lively scene—the hustle and bustle of businesspeople in the heart of Manhattan. Vendors and customers alike are packed together into an almost overflowing space, without enough seating to accommodate everyone. However, these crowds don’t detract from the food, which is the real star of the show. This food hall features a variety of cuisines, including everything from sizzling tacos at La Palapa to authentic pad thai at Bangkok B.A.R. Portions are hearty, and prices are reasonable—just the right combination for a great lunch spot.
Try: Famous Original Pizza ($10.00)
Strawberry Yuzu ($4.00)
Considering the fact that they cater to such a diverse range of tastes, it’s no surprise that food halls are on the rise in New York City, with many more set to open in the near future. New halls like The North End, coming to Washington Heights in 2018, or Bourdain Market, set to open in the Meatpacking District in 2019, are sure to continue to spur this trend into the future.
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
20 Page 14
Arts and Entertainment What It Means to Be Beautiful
Insights: Culture By Andrew Ng
The Stereotype of Beauty
“With a smile and a song / life is just a bright sunny day / your cares fade away,” Snow White croons to some blue jays in the midst of a forest. Many recognize Snow White as a nostalgic representation of beauty, with her pale skin and delicate voice. The classic story of Snow White is that her stepmother is jealous of her youthful beauty. Her stepmother proceeds to brew a poisonous apple and tricks her into eating it, causing Snow White to fall into a
be the hero. This idea of a “damsel in distress” has been used in many action movies, where female characters appear to only be the love interest of the male hero and are often saved by the male hero. Another stereotype that I remember vividly was that to be beautiful, you had to be blonde, blue-eyed, pale-skinned, female, and thin. Most of the main actresses in movies fit these stereotypes. I recall staring up at my television screen, watching the Oscars with my parents and seeing the nominations for Best Actress; most of them were blonde and white. My young mind thought that I, as an
best actress in a supporting role, and best actor in a supporting role) were white. Fire erupted on social media under the tag “#OscarsSoWhite,” and many activists and celebrities chose not to go to the Oscars in response to the controversy. This lack of diversity was noticeably absent in the most recent Oscars. In recent times, the tides have shifted. Many companies and activists are stepping up to be more inclusive, provide more diverse role models for young children, and boost the self esteem of women. Disney has been proactive
We’ve come far, but it doesn’t mean media representation of beauty is perfect. Models in fashion magazines are still predominantly unnaturally thin and tall, and this has led to body image issues for many young girls who want to be as beautiful as they are.
coma. However, a prince, shocked by her beauty, falls in love with Snow White and kisses her, which subsequently revives her. Most children hear this classical story at some point in their childhood, or at least read or watched an adaptation of the story. These children get the message that beauty is associated with being a damsel in distress and that a man must come and save her to
Asian American with brown eyes and black hair, could never be as beautiful as them.
A New Direction
A controversy last year surrounded the Oscar nominees, as if in direct response to my dilemma. The problem was that all 20 of the Oscar nominees in the main four categories (best actress, best actor,
with the issue, creating diverse princesses for their movies. I grew up looking up to Mulan. She was not only beautiful, with flowing black hair just like I have, but was also tough and persevering. Nowadays, we have an even more diverse cast of Disney princesses: Jasmine (1992), Mulan (1995), Pocahontas (1995), Tiana (2009), Merida (2012), and most recently, Moana (2016).
But Disney was not the only company that changed. After 57 years of controversy, Mattel, the creator of the famous (and infamous) Barbie doll, finally gave in to the diversifying meaning of “beauty” and gave her a makeover because she had been promoting the stereotypical blonde-hair, stick-thin ideal of beauty. Over the years, many girls have been affected by this unrealistic body image and have tried to change themselves to look more like the Barbie doll in order to be “beautiful.” Mattel introduced a new line of Barbie dolls with three different body types: tall, petite, and curvy, coming from many ethnic backgrounds and with different styles of hair. The old stereotype of beauty is out, and a new, more diverse image has been introduced: “All women are beautiful, no matter what skin color or body type they have.”
We’ve come far, but it doesn’t mean media representation of beauty is perfect. Models in fashion magazines are still predominantly unnaturally thin and tall, and this has led to body image issues for many young girls who want to be as beautiful as they are. A social media trend of having a “thigh gap” has become increasingly popular, despite many people not having a body type capable of having a thigh gap. Even with the increased representation of beautiful women from minority backgrounds, there is still a disproportionately high representation of white women as being beautiful. A core problem with beauty
and its representation in media is that LGBTQ+ people are severely underrepresented. I, myself identify as LGBTQ+, so it really upset me that there was a lack of role models that helped me be comfortable with myself and my identity. For example, there are very few transgender role models for transgender children to look up to. Also, I often felt left out when someone said that “all women are beautiful” because as a young boy, I always wanted to be graceful, elegant, and beautiful. As I grew up, I became uncomfortable with my body image because no one would tell me that even though I was a boy, I was beautiful too. Watching television, I would see countless advertisements for makeup companies, and I would never see any guys. I would spend countless hours staring at the mirror with discomfort and dissatisfaction. Sometimes I would be overwhelmed by emotion, and my eyes would dampen. My body image issues (along with other identity problems at the time) eventually took a toll on my confidence and self esteem to the point where I was very shy around people I didn’t know very well or trust as a friend. Thankfully, I overcame my insecurities when I came to Stuyvesant, knowing that at least some people would accept me for who I am. Because of this, I always hope that someday the saying “all women are beautiful” will eventually become “all people are beautiful.” I hope that all children, whether they are female, male, or non-binary, know that they are beautiful and that the societal standard of beauty is simply unrealistic.
Art A Bite of Summer By The Art Department
Taylor Choi/ The Spectator
Joyce Liao/ The Spectator
Fareeha Tabassum/ The Spectator
Angel Zheng/ The Spectator Peter Jin/ The Spectator Sally Chen/ The Spectator
continued on page 15 21
The Spectator â—? September 28, 2017
21 Page 15
Art A Bite of Summer 20 continued from page 14
Yu Xin Zheng/ The Spectator Tiffany Zhong/ The Spectator
Sarah Chen/ The Spectator
Janice Tjan/ The Spectator
Wenny Liu/ The Spectator
Annie He/ The Spectator
Anne Chen/ The Spectator Michelle Chu/ The Spectator
Vicky Lou/ The Spectator
Vivian Lu/ The Spectator
Emily Lee/ The Spectator
Fahim Rahman/ The Spectator
Mandy Mai/ The Spectator
Nikita Borisov/ The Spectator
Katherine Lwin/ The Spectator
Alisa Chen/ The Spectator
The Spectator ● September 29, 2017
How Impossible Is the Indians Streak? By Max Onderdonk
From Michael Jordan sending the Cavaliers home in 1989 and a heartbreaking game seven loss in the 1997 World Series to LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach in 2010, Cleveland has a rough history when it comes to sports. However, things have started to turn around. LeBron brought a title back to his hometown, and the Indians made it to the World Series. And, even though they lost to the only team with a more pathetic history in the MLB in the Chicago Cubs, there was still hope. Fast forward to August 24 and the Indians were 69-50, atop the AL Central division. After five games, they were on a hot streak. After 10, I start-
ed following them so closely that I got notifications when they won. After 15, I, along with thousands of MLB fans, was checking the box scores to see if they had gotten any closer to the magic number 20—the American League record set in 2002 by Billy Beane’s Moneyball Oakland Athletics. On the afternoon of September 13, they crossed the metaphorical plateau and cemented the Indians in MLB history, pulling off the seemingly impossible. The streak would end two days later at 22, giving Cleveland the longest winning streak in MLB history. So, exactly how impossible was it? While it was incredibly rare, how would it stack up to lightning strikes, three-peats, and coconut deaths? Let’s take a look:
3000-to-1: Being struck by lightning in your lifetime. Statistically, one out of every Stuy student picking up this paper will be struck by lightning at some point in his or her life. Rare, but we can do better.
20350-to-1: Being murdered in the United States in a calendar year (2014 statistics). Don’t let this scare you, but you are much more likely to be murdered in the next twelve months than the Indians were to go on this winning streak. But sleep well tonight!
27000-to-1: Odds of a three-peat in the MLB (or NBA). Even if you assume that all teams are equal, the odds of a three-peat still fall far short of being as rare as Cleveland’s streak.
75000-to-1: Being hit by a comet. A lot cooler, but nowhere near as rare. Let’s keep going.
200000-to-1: Giving birth to conjoined twins. 954056-to-1: Odds of getting into top-five colleges per U.S. News and World Report. Using Class of 2021 statistics and assuming all students are somehow equal, the odds of being accepted into Princeton, Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago, and Columbia are still twice as likely as the Indians’ win streak.
1048576-to-1: The Athletics’ 20-game winning streak. It doesn’t take a genius to realize this is four times as likely as the 22game win streak. Still, the record stood for 15 years, and it made a movie about math and baseball interesting.
2396304-to-1: Throwing back-to-back no-hitters. Seemingly impossible but still less rare than the streak is another amazing accomplishment in MLB history. Accomplished only once by Johnny Vander Meer in 1938, this is a record likely to never be touched with the development of pitch counts and strong bullpens.
4194304-to-1: The Indians 22-game winning streak. 250,000,000-to-1: Odds of dying by coconut. As promised, here are the odds of dying by coconut. Coming in as more common than death by shark attack (300,000,000-to-1), death by coconut blows the Indians win streak out of the water in terms of rarity. If the Indians had managed to extend the win streak six more games to 28 in a row, they would have passed the coconut milestone, but now it’ll be a long time before any team comes close to breaking through that barrier.
Most Impactful Moves from the 2017 NBA Off-season continued from page 20
guard Jeff Teague. Butler is one of the best two-way players in the NBA (23.9 PPG & 1.9 steals per game) and continues to improve. Teague is a veteran point guard who has the ability to score and pass well (15.3 PPG and 7.8 assists per game). The addition of an elite two-way player and an able point guard to a team with
two players, shooting guard Andrew Wiggins and center Karl-Anthony Towns, who are both under 23 but combine for 50 or 60 points almost every game makes Minnesota a true powerhouse, at least on paper. Ultimately, though, the most impactful move this offseason wasn’t a three-team trade or a signing of a big-time free agent. Rather, it was the ability for the Golden State Warriors to keep virtually everyone on their team. Kevin Durant, Ste-
phen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson are in the prime of their careers and are predicted only to improve. Key players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston and role players like Javale McGee were kept, and the Golden State even added role players Omri Casspi and Nick Young. With all the franchise players and NBA stars moving to join better teams, it still may not be enough to stop a repeat in Oakland.
September 29, 2017
The Spectator SpoRts Girls’ Soccer
Mimbas Remain on the Prowl By Perry Wang and Simon Carmody
As the final whistle blew in their 7-0, season-opening victory against Baruch College Campus High School, the Stuyvesant Mimbas rejoiced on the sidelines. On both ends of the field, the players did their jobs. On defense, the Mimbas felt unchallenged throughout the game. The offense made sure that Baruch could not get open for a short goal shot, leaving the defense untaxed. They controlled the time of possession and kept the ball on Baruch’s side of the field for much of the game. Having six different scorers and seven total goals,
be a force on the offense side of the ball this year and next. Senior and co-captain Charlotte Ruhl was extremely happy with the results of weeks of preseason practices and scrimmages. “We connected our passes, which is something we struggled with in the past, and communicated well,” she said. After a close 1-0 loss to a strong Bard High School team, the Mimbas dropped a second match to Lab Museum United, 3-2. Yamaguchi and sophomore Selene Kaehny both scored for Stuyvesant in the overtime loss. In this close bout, sophomore goalie Emory Walsh had 20 saves, doing her best to keep the team within striking dis-
“We can definitely beat them.” —Charlotte Ruhl, senior and co-captain
the Mimbas showed that they were able to effectively spread the ball around to pressure their opponents on offense. Freshman Aki Yamaguchi led the way with two goals and has been a welcome addition to the team. She has shown a potential at practice and will continue to
tance. Her exceptional play during the first three games of the season is a pleasant surprise for a team that, at times, struggled on the defensive end last year. Even with the two close losses, she and many of her teammates remain confident. They believe that the team has a lot
to improve upon, but this start to the season has been positive. Specifically, the defense has shown itself to be consistent so far and has given up only four goals through three games, compared to 14 during the same stretch last year. “I think that we could’ve done better, but our defense played exceptionally well against their offense,” senior and cocaptain Saloni Majmudar said. If they can continue with this consistency on defense, then the old adage of defense winning games will allow the team to make another run for the playoffs after a first round exit last year. In addition, revenge against Bard High School or Lab Museum United is not out of the picture either. “We can definitely beat them when we rematch them,” Ruhl said. They will face both teams again later in the season, so time will tell if these early losses will be avenged. Win or lose, Coach Hugh Francis and the players take what they learn from the games and apply it to their practices. After these three games, the Mimbas have adjusted practices to mimic game situations that they need extra work on, such as throw-ins and corner kicks. With only one game a week, the team has the luxury to correct their mistakes from these first few games and gear up for the heart of the season. This extra work combined with a new defensive intensity has given the team the belief that it can compete with anyone.
A Difficult Start for the Peglegs By Allison Eng, Lumi Westerlund, and Lee-Ann Rushlow
The Peglegs, the boys’ soccer team, had their first game of the season on Wednesday, September 13, against longtime rival Martin Luther King Junior High School (MLKHS) Knights. Their first official match was scheduled for Saturday, September 10, against Julia Richman Education Complex, but it was postponed due to the other team’s lack of available players. Unfortunately, the Peglegs’ game against MLKHS resulted in a 4-0 loss. The Knights are the defending city-wide champions. In both of their games last year, the Peglegs lost to the Knights 7-0. “We are in a very rough division, having to play Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass Academy [in] four out of 10 games,” coach Vincent Miller said. During Wednesday’s game, the Knights had the opportunity to launch 13 shots against the Peglegs, who were only able to shoot four. After losing six vital seniors from last year, the players are looking to other members of the team to step up in the starting lineup. “Players like [sophomore] Henry Kotkin, [sophomore] Lewis Woloch, and [sophomore] Jeremy Moller will be filling the void last year’s seniors [left]. [Senior] David Power will also be our new starting
goalkeeper,” Miller said. Power was able to save eight of the 12 shots at the goal at Wednesday’s game, proving his capabilities. Though the Peglegs lost, they proved that they were
“[I am] confident [the team] will play hard and look to win some of those tough games.” —Vincent Miller, coach able to compete against the toughest of opponents. “We plan to make the playoffs this season. That’s always our long-term goal,” Miller said. “[I am] confident [the team] will play hard and look to win some of those tough games.” As the season goes on, the Peglegs will be looking to improve their finishes and possession in games. “I think we can improve our aggression when going in for tackles and also [work] to keep the ball against high-pressing teams,” senior and co-captain Caleb Smith-Salzburg said.
Most Impactful Moves from the 2017 NBA Off-season By Ariel Glazman
The 2016-2017 NBA season was one of the most exciting seasons in basketball history. The departure of small forward Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors caused the former to barely qualify as a playoff team and the latter to win a championship in June. At the same time, his move allowed point guard Russell Westbrook to shatter records that have been in place for over 50 years and emerge as the league’s MVP. This proves that one player’s departure from or arrival on a team can profoundly influence the outcome of a NBA season. That’s why this NBA offseason was so interesting: left and right, franchise players left teams they had played their entire careers with while others were traded to a new destination. The movement of so many top-15, and even some top-10, players this offseason will certainly cause below .500 teams to emerge as potential conference-finals contenders. On the other hand, many playoff teams will be forced to undergo the tedious process of rebuilding. Arguably the best player to swap jerseys this summer
was point guard Chris Paul. The Los Angeles Clippers’ decision to trade their leader and floor general for a bunch of average, and at times even below-average, players from the Houston Rockets shows that they have begun to pursue the process of rebuilding. With shooting guard James Harden, the MVP runnerup, and Sixth Man of the Year shooting guard Eric Gordon playing alongside Paul, the Rockets now have a top trio on paper in the Western Conference. Small forward Trevor Ariza, power forward Ryan Anderson, and center Clint Capela each have the capability to contribute some valuable points every night, and their plays can only be enhanced by the excellent passing of Chris Paul. Small forward Paul George being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder was another significant move. George, who averaged 23.7 points per game (PPG) last season will excellently complement MVP point guard Russell Westbrook. Though being on the same team as top-10 NBA players is nothing new for Westbrook, he has the potential to develop a Westbrook-Durant chemistry with George and be extremely
dominant when they’re both on the court. This time around, Westbrook will look to take that extra step to win the championship, which eluded Oklahoma City in their years trotting out Durant and Westbrook. The arrival of point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward in Boston are two acquisitions that bring the Celtics even closer to the caliber of their Eastern Conference rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both players are dominant scor-
having 21.9 PPG. Both players are elite scorers who can explode for 30 or even 40+ points in any given game, and they are surrounded by other highly capable scorers like recently acquired power forward Marcus Morris (14.0 PPG) and center Al Horford (14.0 PPG). Boston’s addition of young and elite scorers will prove to be a smart decision when they are given the opportunity to dethrone the Cavaliers as kings of the East. On the other side of the Kyrie
Jae Crowder. Thomas is one of the league’s truly unstoppable scorers as he averaged 28.9 PPG last season. Offensive-minded guards have historically dominated alongside small forward LeBron James. Crowder is also a skilled scorer (13.9 PPG), whose main contribution is his lockdown perimeter defense, something the Cavaliers have long been desperate for. The most surprising team to improve this offseason was the Minnesota Timberwolves,
The addition of an elite two-way player and an able point guard to a team with two players, shooting guard Andrew Wiggins and center Karl-Anthony Towns, who are both under 23 but combine for 50 or 60 points almost every game makes Minnesota a true powerhouse, at least on paper. ers and find themselves in the top-15 or top-20 players of the NBA, with Irving averaging 25.2 PPG last season and Hayward
Irving trade were the Cleveland Cavaliers, who received point guard Isaiah Thomas and shooting guard/small forward
who were able to add small forward Jimmy Butler and point continued on page 19