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The Bishop’s School || December


Issue 04 of The Tower is dedicated in loving memory to Mrs. Karen Carter.

The Details 2

Colophon The Tower is printed by Streeter Printing Company in Mira Mesa, CA. For this issue’s layout, the Staff used Adobe InDesign, Adobe CC (CS9), and Photoshop CC (CS9) to arrange photographs and graphics. We printed and distributed 700 copies of Issue 04 to the Bishop’s community. Typefaces included Eskapade on our cover, and Minion Pro for our headlines and body text. Issue 04 and previous issues of The Tower are available digitally on Philosophy The Tower is a student-run publication at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA. Writers and editors work together to enhance the Bishop’s community and stimulate meaningful conversation through the collection and distribution of news and other information. The Tower aims to educate The Bishop’s community about issues that pertain to the experience of young adults. Sections of The Tower include Academic, Sports, Arts, Culture, Local, Beyond, Opinion, and The Bell. Policy All materials featured in The Tower are student-done and/or from the Bishop’s community. All articles reflect The Tower’s philosophy and goal to deliver relevant content to the Bishop’s community. The Tower works with the administration by communicating about sensitive topics to ensure the safety of Bishop’s students and to confirm all topics are approached in an appropriate manner. The Tower does not engage in prior review of its issues, and maintains the right to publish anonymous quotes when the privacy of the individual is a concern. Contributors Editors-in-Chief: Sara Michael, Isabelle Kenagy, Amy Carlyle Copy Editor: Leah Parsons Sports Editor: Alyssa Huynh Faculty Advisor: Ms. Laine Remignanti Staff Writers: Olivia Ralph, Kendall Forte, Ethan Franco, Carly Phoon, Lucie Edwards, Maggie Keefe, Harper White, Sophie Pilarski, Alex Cotton, Kyle Berlage, Sariah Hossain, Alina Kureshi, Michelle Wang Contact The Bishop’s School 7607 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 Email: Facebook: TBS The Tower Instagram: @thebishopstower Twitter: @thebishopstower

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

Letter from an Editor-in-Chief


here’s a line in the song “Across the Universe” by The Beatles that I have revisited again and again in light of the Thanksgiving season. It goes: “Limitless undying love, which shines around me like a million suns. It calls me on and on, across the universe.” Maybe you’ve heard the song play in your parent’s car, or maybe you’re humming it right now unconsciously; to me, that line brings up the idea that when you care about someone unconditionally, they become your sun. Although I never had Mrs. Carter as a math teacher, in the days following her passing, I’ve heard countless stories about how she was the much needed sunshine in everyone’s day. My friends who had her as their math teacher told me about how she found the extraordinary in the ordinary, which is truly what Thanksgiving and gratitude are about. For me, this season is a time for appreciating the positive in your life: people who’ve become your sun, unforgettable memories, old and new friendships. I’ve challenged myself to tell more people how much I’m grateful for them, not just during Thanksgiving, but for as long as I can, because I think that it’s important for us all to appreciate the extraordinary in the ordinary, just like Mrs. Carter did.

Sara Michael (‘19)

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06 Academic Teacher Shopping Ethan Franco


Sports Benched Maggie Keefe

Service with a Smile Harper White





Election Recap Amy Carlyle

Gab Got Your Tongue? Sophie Pilarski Monkey See, Monkey Do Sariah Hossain COVER STORY Young Voters Isabelle Kenagy

12 Arts



Moz(Art) in Motion Leah Parsons

The Many Faces of Wheeler J. Bailey Lucie Edwards

A Huynh-ing Art Exhibit Alex Cotton

Sitting for Something You Stand For Sara Michael

Elise Trouw on a Major Scale Carly Phoon

Survival Juice Kyle Berlage


Opinion A (Not) for Effort Michelle Wang Committed to Excellence Alyssa Huynh

42 The Bell Top Ten Holiday Watching Guide Sariah Hossain Which Bishop’s Dog are You?



he first week of school is comparable to walking through the aisles of a Vons grocery store. Your shopping cart, or schedule, will be filled with a variety of classes that can either make or break your year. Throughout their Bishop’s careers, many students become what you could call “shopaholics.” In a recent Tower survey, around 40% of 174 student respondents stated that they had participated in teacher shopping, which is when a student attempts to switch into or out of a specific teacher’s class for personal gain. It seems that students have found ways to switch into certain teachers’ classes to allow for an easier schedule. At Bishop’s, this notion of teacher shopping has become a prevalent issue. In the same survey, out of the 40% that teacher shopped 6.3% of students answered that they had teacher shopped on multiple occasions and 3.4% of students stating that they have teacher shopped every year. By manipulating one’s class schedule, students can switch out of “hard” classes into classes that are perceived as “easier.” Teacher shopping is most prevalent for upperclassmen due to the variety of classes and the desire to gain any advantage to obtain a higher GPA. Clarence Freeman (‘20) said, “As a junior I have definitely noticed the prominence of teacher shopping at Bishop’s. There have been a lot of kids that are switching out of classes due to ‘hard’ teachers.” But what makes this a Bishop’s issue? Does teacher shopping occur at other schools? According to college counselor Mr. Ben Lah, out of the three independent schools he has worked at, teacher shopping has only occurred at Bishop’s. “I think part of the issue is that we offer a lot of classes, which is great, but I think when there are


Ethan Franco more options there could be more of a temptation to test the waters,” he said. Both Mr. Lah and science teacher Mr. Benjamin Duehr believe that the perception a student has of a class has a major role in teacher shopping. Mr. Duehr explained a discussion he had with students in his AP Biology class: “Literally just an hour ago we had a discussion about my students saying, ‘Oh, I heard this is going to be a really easy class.’ I’m like, ‘Who is telling you these things?’ They said, ‘Well everyone takes it and therefore it has to be the thing to do.’”


of student survey respondants participate in teacher shopping. Head of Upper School Mr. Brian Odgen said, “I spend quite a bit of time with Ms. Murabayashi staffing classes, scheduling students, and helping them find the appropriate classes that best fit with their graduation needs and interests. It is rare that a student cites a teacher as a reason for making a course change, but it happens. I would rather not spend any time on that issue, but it is an opportunity to work with students on how to navigate a challenge or an experience that they are concerned may be difficult for them.” In the survey, 43% of students who participate in teacher shopping answered that they did not tell the administration their true mo-

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tive for wanting to switch teachers. Academic Dean Ms. Janice Murabayashi said, “I will say I don’t know that we [the administration] are spending time talking about it as a major issue.” Students’ perceptions of classes can travel through word of mouth. Many students go to the grade above for advice regarding classes to take. In the survey, 50% of students who teacher shop answered that what they heard from other students influenced their decision to participate in teacher shopping. “When enrolling in classes for my junior year I asked numerous seniors what classes they thought were hard and easy to gauge what classes I should take,” said an anonymous Bishop’s student. How dangerous is it for students to base their schedule off of opinions? Mr. Duehr said, “It matters who you are speaking to. If you are speaking to someone who crushed the class, never had to do any work, and it just came easy to them and they are the one saying it’s easy, that’s not helpful to you. Especially if you are someone that struggles in that subject. There are a lot of permutations of that scenario but basically unless that person learns the same as you, puts in as much work as you, and has the exact same schedule as you, it’s not helpful to you.” The academic pressure at Bishop’s definitely has an impact on students deciding whether to participate in teacher shopping or not. “My parents wanted me to take a number of AP classes, and when I started to feel as if there was too much on my plate, I started to look for easier routes,” said an anonymous Bishop’s student. When asked about giving advice to a student that is contemplating taking part in teacher shopping Mr. Duehr said, “The best choice would be to simply not participate in teacher shopping.”



he word “community service” has a habit of eliciting strong emotions from just about everyone at Bishop’s. Some students’ ears perk up at the thought of their latest volunteer project or service club involvement, some sink into worry as they check and recheck their applications for the more rigorous service clubs on campus, while others feel an impending sense of dread as they think of all the service hours yet to be logged — or even completed. But regardless of your involvement in community service, both on and off campus, or how the very mention of it makes you feel, there is no doubt that community service is an unavoidable topic on campus. So what exactly is community service, and what are its requirements? The ACT/SAT preparatory website PrepScholar defines it as “work done by a person or group of people that benefit others.” Some organizations, such as the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS), take this definition and apply it to the extremes, working in areas of crisis like the latest hurricane relief and tackling the nationwide opioid crisis. Barbara Steward, the newly-appointed CEO of CNCS, says she “recognize[s] the importance and extraordinary impact of nonprofits and volunteers to make a difference in the lives of Americans,” and views service groups as having a responsibility to support the communities of America as a whole through their work. While the core values of community service remain the same across the nation, the specifics surrounding it transform as the perspective is shifted from nationwide groups like CNCS to


The Giving Tree is a yearly service opportunity for Bishop’s students to help provide children with holiday gifts. how individual states regulate service requirements. A report done by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) in 2007 showed that only nine out of 51 states — including the District of Columbia — gave school dis-

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tricts the choice as to whether or not they wanted to allow students to get graduation credit for earning a select amount of service hours. For the remaining states, no such option was given, putting the number of service hours

ACADEMIC needed to graduate in the hands of individual schools. Another 2014 report showed that only two out of these nine states, the District of Columbia and Maryland, actually required students to do community service in order to graduate. Besides these laws, the individual administrations decided the amount of community service students are required to do. At Bishop’s, the requirements are fairly simple. Students are required to have 80 hours by the time they graduate, ideally getting 20 or more hours per grade. Alongside this, students are required to write two to three questions, reflecting on the service they did, with questions ranging from the specific details of your service project to how social factors like race played into your experience. Certain ways of earning hours, such as being able to buy them, were eventually discontinued. Director of Service Learning Ms. Jackie Gomez said this discontinuation was, in part, because Bishop’s wanted students to “find a way to link their passions and interests to service.” And while ideas like buying service hours can feel like an easy way out of doing community service to students now, community service then was still as important as it is today at that period of time. Alumna Madison White (‘09) stated that “people saw community service as an essential part of being a Bishop’s student, not only because it was a requirement, but because it was part of the culture.” While Madison noted that service still certainly wasn’t for everyone, she observed the general atmosphere surrounding it to be one of enthusiasm

and a genuine will to give back to the community. This notion of giving back is greatly reflected in how community service operates on campus today. “We live in such a blessed community, and we’re all very fortunate to be going to this school,” said tenth grade Community Service Representative Jasmine Dabbas. “I think that sometimes people don’t realize how important it is to give back.” Students like Kasey Harvey (‘20) were able to broaden their horizons and focus on issues across the globe that needed help. She said, “I think that taking part in service not only keeps you educated and aware of things that happen whether it be locally or globally, but to spread awareness for other people, as well.” The prevalence of educational based community service has increased these past few years, with the idea of service learning overtaking the pre-standing one of community service. This idea looks to turn service into more of a teaching process, encouraging students to form genuine connections with the people they are helping and find projects for themselves that they are passionate about. “There is such a thing as good service and bad service.” Ms. Gomez said. “The people there know if you’re serving for the right or wrong reasons, and we want students here to be there for those right reasons.” “I’m definitely still brainstorming new and different ways service can develop here,” Ms. Gomez continued. While there have been improvements in the community service program on campus, the school always sees ways

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to make service on campus just a little more impactful. One way this is being tackled is the relationship between service clubs and the students that support them. The school, both with the teachers and students involved in these service clubs, is trying to shift away from the idea of exchanging service or donations with physical rewards. “I think a lot of people are like “Ok, I’ll buy a doughnut,” but they’re not buying it to support Rady’s or CSI or what those organizations stand for,” said Jasmine. “And it can make supporting service programs or clubs really disingenuous, because you’re doing it just to get something in return, not because you actually want to.” CSI member Adam Naboulsi (‘19) agreed with this sentiment of support without physical reward, saying that “if this supportive atmosphere becomes integrated into all facets of community service within Bishop’s, the connection between students would strengthen, thus radiating kindness throughout the school.” And while changing this mentality of expecting a reward will be by no means easy, as Ms. Gomez and other community service reps adknowledged. But in the long run it would transform not only donations to service clubs, but the attitude to service in general to one of genuinely believing in every cause you give support to. “Service should be a selfless act,” said Ms. Gomez. “I would love to see our community give back just based on the idea that giving back is good. If I give my time I shouldn’t expect anything back because what I get is a genuine experience that can change my life.”




own by four, your team meets for a final huddle. The clock stops ticking. Seven seconds left. As you come together, a gloomy feeling engulfs the group. Your team briefly talks and gets back in the game. The buzzer goes off, then the whistle blows. The game ends, and it is recorded as a loss for your team. There was nothing you could do about it. To some student-athletes, this may sound like torture— an unreal situation that they hopefully will never have to encounter. However,


there are those who are more likely to suffer through it: the transfer students. California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is the state’s governing body for high school athletics. They make all of the rules regarding athletics, everything from rules of play to rules of conduct. The CIF rule that states transfer students must be benched for the first 50% of the season of a sport they played at their previous school can be a difficult task to overcome.

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

Although most of Bishop’s athletes are not transfer students, those who are must abide by this rule under certain circumstances. Simply put, the rule states that if you are transferring from one school to another, you are benched for 49%-51% of a season from a sport that you played at the previous school. This percentage only applies to the regular season, not the playoffs. Depending on the sport, you could be benched for more days than a different transfer student; it all depends on the season length of the

SPORTS sport. It also does not matter if the student played on the Junior Varsity team at their previous school, only that they played. According to the CIF rule book, the reasons for this rule, in particular, are to “Keep the focus on athletic participation as a privilege, not a right,” and “Reinforce the principle that students attend school to receive an education first; athletic participation is secondary.” This means that the student should not only transfer for athletics, but academics must play a role. These two reasons are followed by six more rules, mostly encompassing the same ideas. Director of Athletics Coach Joel Allen stated, “They are trying to prevent the recruitment of high profile student-athletes,” along with the other reasons. Recruitment in high school athleticsis now highly limited due to this rule. If the student that is benched plays during this period, punishments are enforced. Coach Allen explained, “They [the team] would have to forfeit the game. We [as a school] could lose our eligibility for CIF’s because we would have to forfeit those games in which the athlete played.” If a coach puts the player in on accident, the team would simply forfeit with no additional punishment. However, if the coach put the athlete in knowing that they were breaking the rules, the coach would be suspended and even worse, the team banned from the playoffs. There are some exceptions that may waive a student from having to follow this rule. The two major ones are “a documented situation

“They [CIF] are trying to prevent the recruitment of high profile student-athletes.”

- Coach Joel Allen Director of Athletics

[like hazing, bullying or parents split up] or a valid residence change,” says Coach Allen. The situation at the previous school had to have been reported and investigated to make sure the residence and school change was justified. For example, a move from La Jolla to Orange County is valid. After all this— the reasons behind the rules, the stricter parts of it and the possible punishment— how do the affected students feel? Ava Leota (‘21) was benched from football for five weeks, a long time for an athlete so committed to a sport. He recalled, “It set me back in both my mental mindset and physically.” He implied that it was hard to deal with the rule and was unhappy about being benched. Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse coach, Coach Meghan Carr said, “Most of the athletes already know about the rule, so it is clear to them going in, and there is no surprise.” She explained how from her

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

point of view, she assumes that athletes would much rather be getting out on the field and participating with their team, but she has not spoken to all the players and does not want to assume anyone’s stance on the rule. While this rule might have its setbacks, the possible benefit is that the decision to transfer might be slightly affected. If the student knows about this rule, it may put their decision into perspective and contemplate whether or not is it really that important or means that much to them. The CIF transfer student rule of being benched for about half of a season has so many bits and pieces so that it will not be perceived incorrectly by anyone. It has been made clear by the rule book what the rule implies and the general knowledge about it is clear among coaches and the affected players about what has to be done during the period where the athlete cannot play.



MOZ(ART) IN MOTION Leah Parsons They call it Game Day. Every year the dancers take to the stage in a flurry of movement and colors in the Performing Dance Group (PDG) fall concert. This fall, the concert was called Orbiting Amadeus, and ran from Thursday, November 8th to Saturday, November 10th. In each piece, the members of PDG move with purposeful precision like the gears in a clock, twirling and prancing and leaping in complex patterns somehow without running into each other. Their glittering costumes bolster their onstage characters, yet need to be comfortable enough for stretching and movement. Because of this seemingly flawless look onstage, it’s hard to imagine the concert as a work-in-progress project. But, close your eyes, and imagine for a minute that you’re part of this exclusive dance group of 16 people. What behindthe-scenes work needs to go into perfecting Head of the Dance Department Ms. Donna Cory’s vision?

Sophie Mulgrew (‘19), Camden Rider (‘19), and Charlotte Mack (‘19) dancing as Nannerl, Mozart, and the Muse of Music.

Fall 2017: First of all, Ms. Cory needs a tentative idea for the concert. This concept usually comes together a year in advance. She explained, “I look at the rising seniors, and think, what idea are they giving me? I saw at that point in time that Camden Rider (‘19) actually kind of looks like Mozart, Sophie Mulgrew (‘19) and Camden look like siblings; the Mack girls [Charlotte (‘19) and Abby (‘19)] are ballet ballet ballet, and Allison Zau (‘19) is pretty ballet too. I hadn’t really done a classical composer yet, and Mozart is the most accessible to people who aren’t trained musicians to be able to know where they are in the music.” 12

Spring 2018: Ms. Cory begins to try out choreography, teaching a few dances in the spring in preparation for the concert. Sometimes these pieces are incorporated into the concert; other times they’re not. “There are times where I say, ‘You know what guys, thank you for your time but this has been an experiment that did not work,’” Ms. Cory described. Summer 2018: Working through the rest of the creative process by herself, Ms. Cory pulls together the final idea for the concert completely. PDG’s first Tuesday of the year: Any new PDG members should be ready to have their measure-

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ARTS ments taken on that first night practice in August at the beginning of school. They are written down on a sheet to assist the costume-making process, which started the previous spring for returning members. After the fall play: PDG begins stepping up rehearsal time after school to prepare for the concert, which involves perfecting the choreography in the dance room and moving it to the theater. This usually occurs about a week before the concert debut. It is also time for costume fittings. Some costumes are made by Ms. Cory, some by costume designer Ms. Jean Moroney, and some are store-bought. Lina Hajnal (‘19) explained, “[Ms. Cory] works on costumes at different points in time, like when she gets ideas, and then she orders it based on our measurements. And then when they arrive we try them on.” 15 minutes before curtain on Game Day: An experience called Green Room occurs, although no one really knows why it’s called this. During Jamie Xiao (‘20) and Gabe Worstell (‘20) in their duet. Camden Rider (‘19) and Amea Wadsworth (‘19) played Mozart and Susanna in a piece dedicated to the opera The Marriage of Figaro.

Green Room, a senior member or two speak about topics along the lines of their PDG experience or what they want out of the show. “By the last show we’re all so much of a family, like a unit, we can all read each other’s faces, so it’s really nice to have that moment before a show,” said Camden.

After the final show: Grab some food at the Living Room to celebrate such an amazing accomplishment as a group! “Going to the Living Room is a really great way to get a bite to eat, relax, and just laugh with each other after a very fun but intense few weeks of dancing,” said Alex Delatorre (‘19). Although this year-long process may seem like a daunting one, in the end the audience is gifted with the beautiful yet tragic story of Mozart, a story told through movement and music instead of words. Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower


Members of PDG pose as Zeus’ nine muses.


A HUYNH-ING ART EXHIBIT Alex Cotton Pacifist


innie Huynh’s (‘19) paintings entertain viewers with humorous captions accompanying the motif of hands. As Visual Arts Department Chair Ms. Elizabeth Wepsic said, “Winnie has been a permanent fixture in the visual arts department since he first stepped onto our campus. One of my favorite memories is of the duct tape pine cone pen he generously sculptured for me on the bus ride from Bishop’s to the seventh grade retreat. Winnie has always wanted to work outside of the box and never limited his art to just one media. His work in art class that of a completely focused, caring, and creative individual.”

What do you think about when you are creating your work? It depends on the music I’m listening to at the time because that plays a huge influence on my mood. When I have an assignment, I try to think of what I’m trying to get out of it. When I am doing free art, I make whatever intrigues me.

Fruit Baby

When did you start doing art? I started in elementary school, but at Bishop’s I started in sixth grade.

d d 2n s e l l m ulfi Unf e Drea d Gra


o 16

What music do you listen to? Usually in the morning I’ll listen to Alt Rock or something. 2nd Self But later in the evenings, I’ll Portrait listen to Indie.


What is your favorite medium to work with? My favorite mediums to use are oil paints and watercolors. I especially like watercolor because it’s the only form of art that you can still work on after it dries. Just a little splash of water revives the color and it blends so differently depending on how dry the previous layer is. I also love oil paint a lot, because of how well it blends.

One of the greatest struggles in painting is when you wash your pallet as you’re still working on a piece and lose the color you made. With oil, you don’t have to worry about it because you only need a little bit of varnish and paint takes a very long time to dry. Given more time, I would have loved to experiment more with how different colors and strokes interact.

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

Is there a uniting theme or message that you would like your art to communicate? Personally, I think art is pretty absurd. For example, giant canvases of just white can be sold for millions of dollars.


Who U Cane ses A With Two H ands?

Hand Of Buddha

How did you select the pieces for the exhibit? Is there any sort of theme you created? I didn’t actually select my pieces– Ms. Wepsic did. There are a few pieces that, on their own, carry a different message. For example, [there is] the piece on the wall at the very bottom of the stairs with the school shootings headlines and a drawing of someone putting their hands up and also next to it is a hand that is stitched to look like a gun pointing at it. I purposely didn’t label that because I want people to make up their own interpretation of it.

She Said No

That whole concept is foreign to me. I don’t like to say there is a deeper meaning to [my art]. It just is what it is. Out of my concentration for AP portfolio, it’s just a collection of hands with watercolor and pen, where it starts from a baby to an old person.

Mid-Life Crisis

Is that why you did all the really funny labels? Yeah. And then they’re usually really straight labels that are with the level and what not. But that’s so boring to look at and doesn’t really catch anyone’s attention. So, I flipped them around and twisted them and what not. What does your creative process look like? When I’m given a piece of paper to work on with no prompts, it’ll be really hard for me to create art. It’s really situational. Whatever room I’m in or where I am. I just look around and choose a subject and take a photo. If I print the photo, I will use transfer paper to trace the photo. However, I usually just freehand draw the photo. What does your art mean to you? Art means a lot of things to me. It’s a way of coping for mental health. It’s a way of self expression that words or movement can’t do, and I think that’s really awesome.

What kind of thoughts or feelings do you hope your pieces evoke in their viewers? I want them to laugh. I really value humor, and I just love it when things are funny. I think art is seen as way too serious and sometimes posh. I want to change what that means for me and for other people sometimes as well. Ears?

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower


Elise Trouw performed at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 19, 2017.





lise Trouw was the cool, fearless drummer on stage. Off the stage, she was the quiet girl. She was always the music girl. Then, she was the gone girl– senior year came, the rest of the Class of 2017 couldn’t wait to don caps and gowns in nine months, and Elise was nowhere to be found on the Bishop’s campus. It’s two years later, and Elise has released an album, gone on two national tours, reached 17 million total views on her Youtube channel and 643K followers on Instagram, and performed at countless venues, including Jimmy Kimmel! Live! Needless to say, 19-year-old Elise Trouw hasn’t followed a conventional path. She’s defied boundaries and ventured far, far out of her comfort zone. And there, she’s found her career. Bishop’s sparked Elise’s illustrious career. She came to Bishop’s in 7th grade and eagerly joined the middle school orchestra. From then on, music defined her Bishop’s experience. Elise fondly remembers the community jazz band with Orchestra Director Vladimir Goltsman and science teacher Ben Heldt. At the time, she was mainly playing rock music, so the jazz band opened up a new genre of music for her. Elise says, “Being in the jazz band influenced my style of playing and style of writing.” During her high school years, the horizon became foggy; Elise started to question if the conventional path of college would be right for her, especially after she got a record label in San Diego and became more involved with her online presence. She started to develop her own style and quickly gained notoriety. By junior year, the fog had cleared, and Elise looked down the path meant for her. It was rocky, uncertain, untraveled by her peers. It did not lead to college.

It was scary to take that first step on uncharted territory. And scary to take the second, third, fourth, until Elise became more and more sure of herself. She made the difficult decision to graduate a year early from Bishop’s to pursue her growing success in the music industry. “Having support from my parents and the school helped me make the decision to do that. It think it was a no-brainer for me, just because I knew I wanted to pursue music, and going to college didn’t seem like the right fit,” she explains. Simply put, music has always been Elise’s passion. “I didn’t play sports. I’ve never thought about pursuing anything else. It just seemed like a very instinctive thing for me to do.” Two trying years later, Elise is crossing a bridge– the critical point where she looks back at the path she’s taken with pride and understands, I really am doing this. It’s the point in her career where she regularly works with highly successful people further along in their careers than she is. Elise conveys, “Having those opportunities is very rewarding. It’s what I really do this for– being able to learn and improve and seeing myself get better.” Elise’s YouTube channel embodies the evolution of her artistry over the years. She released a “Live Looping” video on November 26, 2017 and another on January 4, 2018. Both videos went viral, now at 2.8 million and 5.5 million views respectively (and the latter catching the eye of Jimmy Kimmel, earning her a place on his stage on February 8, 2018). What exactly is Live Looping? Elise effortlessly layers vocals over keyboard over electric guitar over bass (a feat for any musician). Her movement around the space, from instrument to instrument, is easy, like writing cursive. Oh, by the way, this is live.


ARTS First, there is absolutely no artist like Elise Trouw: Her synthesis of alternative pop and jazz, a subtle retro vibe, all wrapped up in a certain effortlessness. But the task of shaping her artistry has been anything but effortless. There is always a team behind a big artist, and Elise herself is no different. “For a long time, it was just me, and my parents helping out here and there. Now, I’m working with an agency, a manager, an attorney…” However, most artists have only a slight hand in details like visuals, choosing to focus only on music. Elise takes initiative with every step of the creative work behind her music. She even runs her own social media, which is especially rare for an artist. She discloses, “I’m very hands on with my career. I do the writing, the recording, the live shows, I design

my art T-shirts. I’m interested in music and the whole art form around it; it’s very interesting to me. Yeah, it’s a bit unusual for an artist to be that involved.” Elise Trouw exudes confidence. But she reveals, “I’ve definitely had moments of doubt, even at the beginning. Growing up, I was very shy and introverted, so anything that involved putting myself out there was definitely something I had to overcome.” Nerves were a constant battle, no matter how small or large the crowd was. “Performing enough times helped me get over that, and helped teach me that it is possible to get over things that you’re afraid of. Hurdles are part of the fun.” Reflecting on her ultimate hurdle– making the decision to graduate from Bishop’s early and forgo college– Elise affirms, “I don’t think college is the wrong choice. It’s just a different choice for everybody.

Her movement

Elise performed live at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles in 2017.

around the space, from

instrument to instrument,

is easy, like writing cursive.


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I think the biggest thing is really listening to yourself and knowing honestly what you love to do.” In finding her place in a cutthroat industry, Elise values self assurance. “Don’t assume that anybody knows better than you. In the music industry, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and people pretending like they know better than you, especially older people. Just be certain in yourself and know that just because people are older, doesn’t mean they have it figured out,” she emphasizes.

Therefore, Elise Trouw is creating her own path. She was the quiet girl, the gone girl, the music girl. She is still the cool, fearless drummer on stage. She is the girl who defied boundaries and ventured far, far out of her comfort zone. She is the girl who gives effortless performances with every ounce of effort. Elise Trouw hasn’t followed the conventional Bishop’s path, but she has made Bishop’s proud.

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Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

The Bishop’s community celebrated Diwali earlier this month with lunchtime festivities, special Chapel services, and spirit dress.

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower



Wheeler J. Bailey, pictured above, was built in 1934 as Bishop’s new library.


hether you associate Wheeler J. Bailey with obnoxiously loud footsteps, creaky rocking chairs, or airplane-sized bathrooms, the old building is an iconic presence on campus. Recently, however, this space has gone through some massive changes. Wheeler Bailey has transformed throughout history to many things including the library, offices, the performing arts center, and the new makerspace, each one utilizing the space in dramatically different ways. On the 25th anniversary of Bishop’s founding (March 15, 1934), Mr. Wheeler J. Bailey himself shoveled the first mound of dirt out of the land that would soon become the new Bishop’s School library. At that point, Bishop’s was still a girls’ boarding school. Mr.


Bailey donated the library to our campus to promote the school’s growth. Wheeler J. was commonly referred to by students as “The Jungle,” a catchy nickname that truly captured the lush, open space in front of the building. Originally, a small river ran in front of the building with a simple wooden bridge for students to walk across. The inside of the library was small and tastefully decorated. Two long, wooden tables resided at either end of the room, while a reception desk was placed in the center, each table adorned with its own lamp. On either side of the door was a crest, one for the school and the other for the Episcopal church. Towards the back of the library was a statue of a man holding a spear, which

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CULTURE now lives in the middle floor of the Manchester Library. Over the summer, under the radar, this space molded from Wheeler J. Bailey to the Center for Creative Sciences. Carpets were ripped up, desks were replaced with high top tables, and a makerspace was set up along the entire front wall of the building. New, innovative technology including various laser cutters/engravers, 3D printers, and CNC routers (wood carvers) are among the many machines open for student use. In addition to these high tech resources, there are also plenty of arts and crafts supplies like construction paper, scissors, and glue. This space is available to all classes and can be used as a place to do projects, learn about technology, or simply a change of scenery. In order to enourage teachers to utilize the space, monthly workshops are held with the objective of educating, inspiring, and encouraging faculty to use the space. These workshops tend to focus on how to use the technology through fun projects, such as laser engraving wooden spoons, 3D printing cookie cutters, and making name plates for desks.

Along with booking the space, students and teachers can request guidance from one of the five technicians, who are trained in operating the technology available. These five are: science teacher Dr. Lani Keller, science teacher Ms. Laura Cummings, visual art teacher Ms. Emily Grenader, visual art teacher Mr. Joe Allen, and math teacher Ms. Jennifer Melarango. Ms. Melarango is thankful to have some help, saying that last year, she was “the only person trained on the 3D printers.” Sixthgrade English teacher Ms. Catherine Michaud has also found the staff helpful in assisting her students with their project on symbolism in Greek Mythology. She also emphasizes the need for educating students about how to use the technology, therefore giving everyone an equal opportunity to use the space effectively. Dr. Keller hopes that the space will “will allow students to have more opportunities to do hands-on projects.” The building continues to promote Bishop’s growth, aligning the space with the original intention of Wheeler J. Bailey: to be a resource for students.

“Our goal is for the building to be a resource for the entire community.”

- Dr. Lani Keller Science Teacher

Wheeler J. Bailey was originally nicknamed “The Jungle” by students.

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t the moment ASBC Vice President Ben Serdy (‘19) asks students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, a girl in a ponytail stops sipping from her Hydroflask, a teacher caps his mint- flavored chapstick, and a boy clicks his phone off. Outside, a plane drones above, vending machines hum softly, and a seagull eats from a bowl of yesterday’s cereal. The outside world doesn’t stop for patriotic conformity, so should we? Senior Sofia Rubio disagrees with the message of the Pledge. She said, “I don’t feel as though it accurately reflects the current situation in America, and the fact that we have to say it at school seems wrong to me for that reason.” She explained this, saying, “Everyone is technically equal, but, in actuality, not everyone is treated equally.” Luke Furtek (‘19) had a different perspective on the topic. He said, “I think that the Pledge of Alle-


giance is an important part of American life. I don’t like the fact that people go through it like a routine, but that is probably unavoidable due to the way it is taught to us. The Pledge affirms our commitment to the nation as citizens.” Unlike many other countries built on the foundation of religion and monarchies, America is a nation stitched together with beliefs and ideals, most notably the concept of liberty and justice for all. The Pledge sprung from the same patriotic principles. Pastor Francis Bellamy wrote it in September of 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of European discovery of the Americas, but it was not officially recognized by the U.S government until 1942. The history of the Pledge is one fraught with tension. One year after its federal recognition, a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses challenged it in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, saying that it

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

was against the First and Fourteenth Amendments to expel students for not saluting the flag or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Private schools like Bishop’s are legally allowed to request students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because the school is not government funded. The First Amendment generally applies when government organizations, such as public schools, try to suppress expression of beliefs. Even still, there can be caveats with government-funded organizations. Just this past year, India Landry, a high school senior from Texas, was expelled for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at her public school. After her family filed a lawsuit, the Texas Attorney General defended the state law, which requires a student to get a parent signature if they want to opt out of saying the Pledge.

CULTURE “The Pledge affirms our commitment to the nation as citizens.” - Luke Furtek (‘19)

The question of sitting or standing is not the only contested issue— there has also been widespread debate over the “Under God” portion of the Pledge. Religion and Ethics Chair Dr. Regina Ballard expressed her concerns about the “under God” portion of the Pledge. She said, “One of my concerns about reciting ‘under G-d’ is how we as a country make a connection between patriotism and faith. While not required to say the Pledge of Allegiance, I do wonder if certain students may feel coerced or pressured to say ‘under G-d.’” Dr. Ballard brings up an interesting point about the link between freedom of religion and the Pledge. In 2014 the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that pledging “Under God” is not a religious exercise but rather is a patriotic one. The Court argued that we have to contex-

tualize this part of the Pledge, and that it is a political philosophy that students don’t have to take part in. History Department Chair Dr. Jeffrey Geoghegan talked about freedom of religion in the nation. He said, “Historically, the courts have tried to balance our First Amendment right of religious freedom with our country’s deeply-rooted religious heritage. Washington, like many of our founders, held that religious freedom was essential to our democracy, but also that religion and morality were ‘indispensable supports’ of that democracy. Similarly, Jefferson, who was an outspoken advocate for religious freedom, argued that our rights were ‘unalienable’ precisely because they were ‘endowed by our Creator.’ Even in his famed ‘Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom,’ which influenced the drafting of the First Amendment, Jefferson reasoned that

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freedom of religion is universal and must be protected because ‘God hath made the mind free’ – thereby using a religious arguments to defend religious freedom. The courts, mindful of these tensions between our religious freedoms and our religious heritage, and understanding that freedom of religion does not necessarily mean freedom from religion, have tried to balance these dual interests.” He continued, “In the case of the Pledge, the courts have upheld the legality of its use in public venues while also defending one’s right to abstain from standing during or reciting it. It’s not always easy to strike the right balance in these matters, and we don’t always get it right, but even in this effort to get it right we see this country’s long struggle to become a more just and equitable society.”




ishop’s students are busy: we stress out, we have homework, we take challenging classes, we somehow make time for extracurriculars, we stay up, and after all of that we feel drowsy when we wake up. The solution for most students is caffeine. It comes in many forms, and it’s everywhere at Bishop’s. In a November Tower survey, 76.5% of the 238 upper school survey respondents say they consume caffeine. But all of the caffeine consumption could be bad for students’ health, as studies by Mayo Clinic have shown that excessive caffeine consumption, of over 100 milligrams per day, can lead to symptoms including migraine headache, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability. Do Bishop’s students use caffeine too much, and how can that affect our school experience? Caffeine blocks the chemical adenosine from entering the brain’s receptors, which means that the brain can’t become drowsy. Psychology teacher Ms. Karri Woods said, “People pack their schedules so tightly that they end up staying up later than they should, and as a way to mitigate the sleepiness that they feel, they use caffeine to fight off their brain’s natural production of adenosine, which is a neurotrans-

mitter that helps us get the rest our brains need in order to function well. This cycle can become problematic, especially when people begin to rely more on caffeine than sleep to address their fatigue.” Emersen Rider (‘22) agreed, saying, “Coffee is my survival juice. I can’t function after ice skating practice without it.” 72.5% of survey respondents say their caffeine consumption comes from coffee. The large number of coffee drinkers may be because of Bishop’s proximity to

and only 3.5% were getting the recommended amount. School nurse Mrs. Susie Fournier said, “Adolescents should be getting eight to ten hours of sleep a night, but I don’t think that most kids at any high school are getting between eight to ten hours of sleep a night.” Because of caffeine’s effect on the brain, it can throw off people’s sleep, and disrupt the rest that adolescents need. 81.3% of survey respondents say they have caffeine between two p.m. to midnight. This is not good for sleep because caffeine’s effects can last for extended periods of time. Caffeine use may be so common at Bishop’s in part because of the way it’s marketed. Director of Counseling Ms. Megan Broderick said, “There’s tons of research that shows [coffee] is really targeted to kids. It’s like how my seven year old daughter will think that a unicorn is really cool, so she’ll want that [Starbucks] drink.” That’s just one of the reasons why we drink caffeine so much here. 57.1% of survey respondents say that they drink tea, which has been marketed to youth and branded as a healthy alternative to regular flavored drinks. Bishop’s students are generally aware that caffeine can be unhealthy if they use it excessively. 20.9% of survey respondents said that they believe caffeine does pose health risks, and 62.6% said

“Coffee is my survival juice. I can’t function after ice skating practice without it.” - Emersen Rider (‘22)


coffee shops. The closest coffee shop, Sugar and Scribe, is only 335 meters away. That’s a 3 minute walk according to Google Maps. In total, there are 16 different places that serve coffee within the Village, all within walking distance for students. Our dependence on sleep is a huge barrier to progress for a Bishop’s student, as he or she tries to manage every task. As mentioned in Harper White’s article “Restless Knights” (Issue 03, 2018), of 231 respondents to Dean of Students Mr. Michael Beamer’s “Balance of Life” survey in 2015, 12.1% were getting six hours or less of sleep per night, Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

CULTURE that they believe it does pose health risks, but not enough to be concerned. This means that we know it may not be great for our bodies, but we still consume it. 24.5% of survey respondents drink more than one caffeinated drink per day, while the American Academy of Pediatrics says that adolescents over 12 years old should only drink a maximum of 100 milligrams per day. That’s equivalent to one cup of coffee. We consume caffeine to keep us alert and ready to finish whatev-

er we need to finish in our stressful environment. Ms. Broderick said, “I think that kids in general are overscheduled and overtired, and maybe that’s causing [them] to feel that they need more caffeine to keep going.” Ms. Fournier added, “I think it’s just kind of normalized in our culture now. I think that high school’s really stressful, and kids are drinking way more caffeine than they should be drinking.” An anonymous senior survey respondent says, “It’s impossible to survive without it; teachers

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concentrate tests throughout specific weeks of the year, so the late nights spent studying are equalized with four-shot espresso Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the morning.” Caffeine seems to be what Bishop’s students run on. The health risks may not be what’s considered an epidemic, but they are worth noting. If we keep drinking more caffeine that we should be having on a daily basis, we risk the symptoms like migraine headache, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability.


In Loving Memory of Mrs. Karen Carter The kindness and joy that she shared with all of us will never be forgotten.



LOCAL ELECTION RECAP Amy Carlyle The 2018 election was one of the most significant midterms to date; it determined which political parties would take control and shape America’s future in a time that is particularly partisan and divided. The election named the ruling parties for Congress: Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate. Still, these results bear more specific effects on San Diego and our own community. Here is a look at the midterm election results on the local and statewide levels: GOVERNOR HOUSE: 49th DISTRICT Gavin Newsom is a Democrat and former lieutenant governor, Democrat Mike Levin is an environmental lawyer as well as the former mayor of San Francisco. He is known focused on ecological issues in California, such nationally as a progressive figure and will succeed longtime as cleaning up the San Onofre plant. He is also governor Jerry Brown, who has served as governor since 2011. committed to making healthcare more universally Brown was also governor from 1975 through 1983. Newsom affordable. centered his campaign around the notion of the “California Dream,” and advocates for greater access to education. HOUSE: 50th DISTRICT Republican Duncan Hunter is a former Marine and has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2009. His priorities include reforming the education system, funding national defense, and supporting the growth of small businesses. HOUSE: 51st DISTRICT Democrat Juan Vargas was a state senator before becoming a member of the House of Representatives; he has held this position since 2013. Vargas wants to encourage solar power use to bring economic growth. He is also supportive of comprehensive immigration reform.


HOUSE: 52nd DISTRICT Democrat Scott Peters has served in the House of Representatives since 2013. Before that, he worked in city politics and also had a fifteen year career as an environmental lawyer. Peters’ goals in office include combating climate change and increasing government accountability.

49 52 53




HOUSE: 53rd DISTRICT Democrat Susan Davis has worked in the House of Representatives since 2001. In addition, Davis has experience in the California State Assembly and San Diego Unified Board of Education. She is an avid supporter of women’s rights and education reform; she will also prioritize funding greater healthcare benefits for veterans.

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n Saturday, October 27 at 9:45 a.m., Robert Bowers wrote a message on his Gab account: “[I] can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Five minutes later he walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue carrying an AR-15 and multiple handguns, and shot and killed eleven innocent people: Joyce Feinberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger. Robert Bowers used his Gab account on many occasions to post insensitive and hurtful comments on immigrants, religions, and even the president. Gab is a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts nearly no restrictions on content. The site allows people with the same ideas and beliefs to collaborate and discuss with no repercussions. It is also a safe haven for white nationalists, neoNazis and other extremists to congregate, because their words are too virulent for the mainstream media. He shared a video that another Gab user posted, purportedly of a Jewish refugee advocacy group, the Hebrew Immigrant

Aid Society, on the US-Mexico border. Bower’s also posted these: “Trump is surrounded by kikes,” and another, “things will stay the course.” On a site like Gab, it’s difficult to find the one out of the million messages that demonstrates eleven deaths when everything may look like a threat. Social media platforms have allowed hate to multiply, and allowed for extremists to talk to one another. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become more censored over the years and rely on people reporting others, but, like any social media platform used by millions, racist, antisemetic, and hurtful comments always seep in. Gab has received criticism and unwanted attention from most of the nation, in particular the democratic party, since the shooting. The site was disabled a couple of days after, leaving a potential user with a monotonous message reading that Gab was, “systematically non-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors.” The shutdown was due to many investors cutting ties with the company. Upon the shooting, the Gab CEO, Andrew Torba, sat down for an interview with NPR and

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answered the question “did you think [Robert Bower’s] comments were a threat,” and he answered, stating, “Do you see a direct threat in there? Because I don’t. What would you expect us to do with a post like that? You want us to just censor anybody who says the phrase ‘I’m going in’? Because that’s just absurd, and here’s the thing: The answer to bad speech, or hate speech, however you want to define that, is more speech. And it always will be.” But there is a reason why we have censorship and that sites like Instagram and Twitter have started to reprimand people with hateful thoughts and ideas. The same reason why we no longer have segregation, Nazis, and laws that take away rights from the LGBTQ+ community. People who try to bring back these ideas and identify as a NeoNazi should be questioned. If certain words and people were allowed to use the language that Bowers and others with the same thoughts used, then Twitter and Instagram would be overcome with so much hatred that it would create the same issue we fought so hard to overcome.




he word “trendy” surfaces in conversations time and again; fads come and go in a cycle of short-lived fixations. Fidget spinners, spike ball, the invisible box challenge. The Office, Mario Badescu skin products, Post Malone. This is how Bishop’s students spent this year. Each reached its peak in popularity before plummeting again to make room for the newest fad. In 2018, they’ve been a significant part of Bishop’s culture. How large of a presence do trends have in our lives, and how do they affect the day-to-day? On any given free-dress day, you’re more than likely to catch sight of certain items of clothing: Lululemon leggings, Nike Air Force Ones, and, for those especially on-trend, plaid pants. “It’s crazy,” commented Maya Buckley (‘22), in reference to these items. “I can’t walk across the quad without seeing them.” There’s only so many free-dress days in the year, but some of our very own unique-toBishop’s trends have emerged from the uniform’s overall restrictions. We work with what we’ve got. Whether it’s with vests over hoodies or long sleeves under polos, layering has become numerous students’ best friend. Small accessories also provide the platform to insert some style into regulated everyday attire: hoop earrings and discreet necklaces along with wristbands and Stance socks. In the same light, the way we talk and the words we use are in large part influenced by those around us. ‘Tea,’ ‘sus,’ and ‘stan’ are just three of the common terms used by a copious amount of Bishop’s students, and they become more popular as more people say them.

2018’s quintessential Bishop’s student, in three pictures.


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BEYOND We follow trends for three primary reasons. 1. We seek like-minded people, and groups of like-minded people reinforce one another’s viewpoints. Psychology Today, who conducted a series of experiments to test this, concluded, “Group consensus seems to induce a change of attitude in which subjects are more likely to adopt extreme positions.” 2. People often rely on social proof of ideas and habits. “To learn what is correct, we look at what other people are doing,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA). 3. The brain notices what is popular and builds shortcuts accordingly. Oxford University Press says that following the crowd in such manner allows us to function in a com-

plicated environment. It’s al- Bandz, or Candy Crush? Me neither. most a coping mechanism. APA studies show that teens are the sector most prone to hyper All of these together are of- fixation: bursts of intense, shortten referred to as mob mentality. lived preoccupation. Trends and First of all, to clarify, Dictionary. fads are examples of such. Colleccom describes it as how “people tively, a large amount of our intercan be influenced by their peers to est will fall on some particular item adopt certain behaviors based on a at once. Even on our campus – the largely emotional, rather than ra- uniform jackets or hoodies poptional, basis.” Following trends is ular at any time can change even heavily linked to this state of mind: week-to-week. The teenage brain “I first bought my [Adidas] Super- is fickle; when something shinier stars when I saw people wearing comes along, we hop to that. Popthem on campus,” Maya admitted. ularity comes in waves, and its ebb Social reactions on a smaller and flow can’t quite be quantified. level influence the instinct to follow The same applies to Bishthe crowd as well. The desire to be op’s and its trends. Next week’s, cool and appear in-the-know can be next month’s, next year’s token at the forefront of teenagers’ minds, dress-code-appropriate shoe of and following trends is the easiest choice cannot be predicted; today, and often most foolproof way to ac- we can only say that it will change complish that. Inversely, as we move and that you won’t be able to walk past trends, there’s almost a shame across the quad without seeing it. in looking back at what we once thought was cool. Remember Silly

Popularity comes in waves, and its ebb and flow can’t quite be quantified.

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t’s a sacred right. We have multiple constitutional amendments dedicated to the preservation of this right. People have fought and died for this right. It is the right to vote. And yet, each voting year the polls seem to garner less participation, particularly from the younger generations. Since the 2016 election it has become evident that millennials and young voters are, simply put, the least active voting population. A hallmark characteristic of this group is also their staunch progressiveness. As midterms approached, voting activists spurred millennials into action but the question remains: why don’t young people vote? Many cite the laziness of young people or the natural hypocrisy that comes with youth as being the reason for the lack of voter support. However, Lina Hajnal (‘19) said, “My friends were struggling to vote because absentee ballots require a lot of planning, and, with everything going on in our lives, it can be hard to do. It is also difficult to get to a polling place when you have to go to school and do extracurriculars.” While this may be the case for some people, a large percentage of young voters don’t show up for far more complicated reasons. A New York Magazine article gathered personal testimonies from several young voters who chose not to vote. A few owed their voting inaction to pure lack of follow-through effort but many showed a deep concern with the idea and institution of voting. One young woman believed that the government structure was so corrupt and wrong that voting would only support that faulty system. Another male political science major didn’t want to support the theatrics of politics. Finally, a fair amount of youths voiced concern that they didn’t know enough

about the candidates or about politics to reasonably vote. Another significant theory, presented by Forbes, is that younger people tend to believe in individuality and individual rights more than before. For example, young people tend to support legalization of abortion, usage of marijuana, and gay marriage. These issues, if and when legalized, allow people to make the decisions instead of the government. When it comes to voting, this individualism manifests in lack of belief in the government and group effort and, therefore, a reluctance to vote or support the group effort. At Bishop’s, a fair amount of

“I’m finally able to exercise my voting right and get to have my voice heard in the government.” - Madison Scott (‘19) students are politically active. Signs were posted around campus by the Middle School Female Empowerment Meeting Club urging people to vote, and the Mock Trial team hosted a mock election to help keep students informed about midterm elections. As Audrey Ishayik (‘20) said, “If I could vote I definitely would. I think this election, even though it is only a midterm, is super important because it is coming at a difficult time for our country.” Still, there are many students who feel unprepared

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to vote. “I chose not to vote because I didn’t feel like I knew enough to make a good and confident decision,” said eligible voter Ford Eldredge (‘19). Senior Madison Scott turned in her ballot on the morning of November 6 and said, “I took a while to fill out my ballot, but it was definitely worth it because I’m finally able to exercise my voting right and get to have my voice heard in the government.” Chase Kellogg, another senior and eligible voter, added on, “I chose to vote because it is my civic duty and I believe in not voting along party lines. I wanted to choose each candidate based on their qualities and not on their party.” Connor Greisen (‘19) chose not to vote and said, “I’m more republican and California is always blue, so my vote wouldn’t really matter. Also, I’m only eighteen, and I don’t have a job so most of this stuff doesn’t affect me.” The question of motive is one thing, but what can we do to draw young people towards the polls? Recently social media has been ablaze with calls for voter registration and turn-out. On Instagram the hashtag “vote” has over 4.6 million posts. And while social media guerilla style marketing certainly has an effect, sources like The Washington Post and The Economist suggest additional changes. One solution is to make the voting process easier and more consistent with modern day technology. But the major consensus is that politicians must make themselves more accessible and relatable to younger citizens. Millennials showed up for Barack Obama because they connected with him and felt like he cared. As journalist Hanan Esaili said, “Hey Washington, pay attention to us. We are the ones you should be targeting because — here’s a scary thought — we are the future.”




rades are a huge part of a student’s high school career and journey to college. “The majority of the time, the transcript is what admissions counselors pay the closest attention to in an admissions decision,” said Associate Director of College Counseling Ms. Marsha Setzer. High school and college campuses all over America are seeing a rise in the average grades of students. Studies have shown that college grade point averages (GPAs) are now 0.63 points higher than they were sixty years ago. According to an Inside Higher Ed article published last year, nearly half — 47%, to be exact — of high school students graduate with A’s. Above the surface, it may seem like the youth of our nation’s intelligence has grown over the years, but many believe that something else is the contributing factor. An upward shift in students’ GPAs without a similar rise in achievement, also known


as grade inflation, has been a hot topic of debate. Although inflation may sound problematic and has received an abundance of opposition, after digging deeper into the topic, I have found that grade inflation has simply been mistaken for higher grades based on better student performance. A common grading method teachers use that people tie to this inflation is grading on a curve. Curving a test, or a big project, usually results in a rise in grades. “In my AP classes, I curve according to what my kids produce. And the spectrum is set by their responses and not by some arbitrary system. I feel confident that that’s an honest reflection of what they’re producing,” said Spanish teacher Ms. Mary Jane Sutherland. When teachers, like Ms. Sutherland, curve grades to reflect the quality of the students’ work instead of sticking to an extraneous point system, students are actually getting a

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

more accurate response rather than defining the grades by the “certain number of points lost.” Another contributing factor to the rise in grades is the assessment of other aspects of a student’s performance. “Teachers are attempting to look at multiple dimensions of a student, rather than just a few. By doing that, a pretty natural result is that the grades are going to start creeping upwards,” said Academic Dean Ms. Janice Murabayashi. Students can now raise their grades through doing well in a group project, or actively engaging in a discussion, instead of being stuck with a poor grade due to a low test score. Rather than grade inflation, the incorporation of things like participation and teamwork skills into the evaluation of a grade is another factor towards the overall rise in grades. Students earning higher grades still continue to achieve in school, de-

OPINION spite the common argument that it reduces their motivation to do well. Room 241, a blog by Concordia University’s College of Education in Portland, Oregon, claims that “excessive rewarding lowers the value of the reward itself.” However, Ms. Murabayashi said, “We have highly motivated students who pay attention to their grades, and even when they are getting good grades, they are still striving.” Students earning high grades still continue to aim to perform to the best of their capability. All of the student effort towards getting A’s reflects the outrageously high expectation to always be earning that grade. Although this expectation seems to come from the competitive school environment, teachers and classmates are not the only cause. Ms. Sutherland said that “it’s driven by factors outside of the school too. We have very competitive families who put a lot of pressure on their kids.” In other words, there are many different causes that collectively contribute to such a high expectation. And this expectation is the cause of pressure on the students. This leads to the illusion that students

are influencing grade inflation, possibly by getting teachers to hand out higher grades, because they are under pressure. However, this pressure may actually be encouraging students to study harder and improve performance. The value of taking a class in order to genuinely learn the content has now been replaced with the sole focus on getting a good grade. In Alfie Kohn’s article, “The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation”, he wrote that “a focus on grades creates, or at least perpetuates, an extrinsic orientation that is likely to undermine the love of learning we are presumably seeking to promote.” Ms. Setzer also talked about the patterns she currently notices with students and their new intentions behind learning: “I think that now it’s about taking as many challenging advanced classes as you can, versus a particular interest or just trying to push yourself in general - to a higher level of knowledge in a subject area.” The importance of picking classes has been skewed by the growing expectation that students must excel and be enrolled in as many classes possible to stand attractive to college admissions.

Ms. Sutherland said, “Kids are functioning with the illusion that getting into their desired school is all about the grades.” The problem within our society is not grade inflation, but rather, the excessive focus on grades. We, as a community of teachers, students, and parents, should shift this attention off of raising grades, and onto the focus on the content instead. “Grades are really an assessment of knowledge, not necessarily effort put in,” said Ms. Setzer. The definition of inflation is that students are earning better grades than they should be, but students are getting higher grades anyway, simply because their performance and knowledge has improved. The cause of higher grades is not grade inflation. Students are receiving A’s due to the fact that their performance has improved over time and that more things are now taken into account when teachers assign grades. At the end of the day, the intelligence of our students is only moving on an upward path. And because of that, grades will evidently continue to climb upwards.

“Grades are really an assessment of knowledge, not necessarily effort put in.” - Ms. Marsha Setzer, Associate Director of College Counseling Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower




t’s freshman year: competitive athletes are sitting in a college information session hosted by their competitive club learning about how and when to contact college coaches. They are wondering if any of their classmates have to go through this. Everyone at school tells them they do not have to worry about college yet everyone on their team is shocked when they say they are not emailing coaches. College recruiting for athletics is a different world, equal in stress and pressure. There is definitely a stigma against schools that prioritize prospective athletic students and against athletes who “use” their success in athletics to get into the college of their dreams. People see these verbally-committed athletes as “dumb,” “lazy,” or “cheaters” without considering the amount of hard work and dedication it actually takes to become proficient in a sport, let alone skilled enough to be a collegiate athlete. Chase LaDrido (‘20), who is committed to Johns Hopkins University for lacrosse, shared, “I think there is a common misconception when it comes to athletes committing to college.” Athletes who are committed to Division 1 schools are often heavily supported during their admissions process, which means that the admissions officers are conscious of the potential a player has in benefiting their athletics programs. Therefore, this is a stereotype that follows


athletes who get into colleges for sports: they are only going for sports, their academics mean nothing, they would not have gotten in without sports. Boston University commit Alex-Rose Molinar (‘20) added, “People think that I am not smart or that I didn’t have to work hard to get verbally committed into a good college.” Athena Leota (‘19), who is committed to Colgate University for volleyball, notices that people, in attempts to comfort her during stressful times, often make implications that she no longer has to try in school; she sees people’s negative views towards her commitment to Colgate. Athena said, “Just because I am committed does not mean that I am allowed to stop trying. I still have to maintain good grades and get good test scores on the SAT or ACT in order to be accepted to the school.” The cynics frequently dismiss the fact that these athletes are excellent at their respective sports. It takes time and commitment to excel at a sport. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to excel at an activity. “I definitely had to work hard to get to where I am today. Like many athletes, I had to dedicate a lot of my time to training and tournaments all while keeping up academically,” said Matthew Mu, a senior who commited to Brown University to play Division 1 tennis and plays approximately 20 hours a week.

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

OPINION In addition to the time it takes to master a sport, scholar-athletes must also keep up on the academic side. While college admissions officer may be allowed to push a borderline student through, they cannot completely carry a student through and admit them for the sake of the athletic program. Pierce Dietze (‘19), who is committed to Harvard University for swimming, provided an example: “One of the kids on my recruiting trip who received a verbal commitment from the coaches eventually was rejected by admissions because of his academic profile. It’s a myth that a poor student can get into a good academic schools simply because of sports.” Another point that is not often discussed is the time and stress that comes with reaching out to coaches in attempt to get committed. Committing to a school does not simply involve the coach coming out to see you play and then making an offer on the spot. “For example, my freshman and sophomore years were filled with writing letters to college coaches, talking on the phone to college coaches, and emailing about ten coaches before every club tournament. I also had to make highlight reels and send them to the coaches before and after tournaments. All of these things were very time consuming and kind of represented the college process for us [committed athletes],” Athena shared. A good balance of high academics and outstanding athletics is necessary for the top schools that many find corrupt and unfair. While committing to a school does lift a weight off of many athlete’s shoulders, there comes another kind of pressure: schools usually expect a certain level of academic achievement and continued athletic growth. Knowing where you stand makes it stressful because you know if you meet the standards or not. “It’s not like I can give up on everything. I still need to get good grades and test scores,” said Chase.

It’s senior year: everyone around them is frantically applying to numerous colleges. They look around and are glad they had to think about this freshman year. They worked hard to get committed and stay committed. All their effort and time has paid off, yet they still have concerns that they won’t get into your school. They feel like the rest of their classmates.

“Just because I am committed does not mean that I am allowed to stop trying.”

- Athena Leota (‘19)

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower



The Bell


Read Leah Parson’s (‘19) article on Performing Dance Group’s Orbiting Amadeus on page 12.


Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower



TITLE GOES HERE estled inside the Bishop Johnson Tower is a bell. Author Though tucked away from view and hardly ever rung, everyone knows it is there. The bell has become a prize to find — students have attempted to reach the top of the tower for decades. Needless to say, the bell is a much sought-after icon on the Bishop’s campus. The Tower has its very own bell; though not mysterious and more easily accessible, it aims to stir the same excitement as the physical bell. Home to lighter news and satire alike— such as Top Ten, Bachelor/Bachelorette, and Who Wore it Better—the Bell intends to serve as a relief from the depth of the magazine and bring joy to the Bishop’s community.

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower


TOP TEN THANKSGIVING FOODS and what your favorite says about you

01 STUFFING you have dry humor

04 GREEN BEANS you’re “plant-based” and live at SparkCycle

07 MARTINELLI’S you bottle up your emotions


TURKEY you’re always the center of attention


CRANBERRY SAUCE you like a little color in your life

03 MASHED POTATOES you’re mushy and love Hallmark Christmas movies

06 PUMPKIN PIE you’re secretly a niche meme maker



GRAVY you’re #saucy

APPLE PIE you’re basic

10 SWEET POTATOES WITH MARSHMALLOWS your best recipes all came from Google


Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

Holiday Viewing Guide To Watch With Family - PG and under • • • • • •

A Charlie Brown Christmas The Polar Express A Christmas Carol Miracle on 34th Street White Christmas The Santa Clause

To Watch With S/O (or a body pillow, if you’re so inclined) • • • • •

*Love, Actually The Holiday Serendipity **While You Were Sleeping When Harry Met Sally

• • • • • • • • • •

**The OC - “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” *That ‘70s Show - “The Best Christmas Ever” *The Office - “Christmas Party” **The Simpsons - “Holidays of Future Passed” *Friends - “The One With The Holiday Armadillo” **Boy Meets World - “A Very Topanga Christmas” **How I Met Your Mother - “How Lily Stole Christmas” *Black Mirror - “White Christmas” **Lost - “The Constant” Doctor Who - “Christmas Carol”


Yearly Christmas Classics • • • • • •

Best TV Holiday Episodes

Elf Home Alone (1 and 2, not 3) A Christmas Story *How The Grinch Stole Christmas It’s A Wonderful Life National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

If You’re Still Hung Up On Halloween (did someone say ‘abandonment issues’?) • **The Nightmare Before Christmas

• • • • •

Krampus Bad Santa Mean Girls Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Scrooged

Bonus: all the Die Hards


The Tower’s self-proclaimed film buff Sariah Hossain

*on Netflix | **on Hulu Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower



Which Bishop’s Dog Are You? Friday Plans? A: Spike Ball on the Quad B: Hanging out with family C: Online shopping D: Netflix and snacks Which Friend are You? A: “The Party Animal” B: “The Loyal One” C: “The Mom” D: “The Troublemaker”


What’s the name of your memoir? A: Beowoof B: Only Love My Bed and My Momma C: Eat, Pray, Belly Rub D: To the Doghouse

What kind of exercise do you prefer? A: Soccer B: Speed walking C: Synchronized Swimming D: Wii Sports


Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

If you chose: Mostly A’s: Hatch Mostly B’s: Charlie Mostly C’s: Millie Mostly D’s: Chato

Favorite Bishop’s Lunch: A: Baked Pasta B: Turkey Burger C: Roasted Cauliflower D: Pizza

Photo Credits Table of Contents - Pages 4-5, PC: Amy Carlyle (‘20) ACADEMIC Teacher Shopping - Page 7, PC: Ethan Franco (‘20) Service with a Smile - Page 8, PC: Harper White (‘21) SPORTS Benched - Page 10, Art by Maggie Keefe (‘21) ARTS Moz(Art) in Motion - Pages 12-15, Photos courtesy of Beth Garon A Huynh-ing Art Exhibit - Pages 16-17, Photos courtesy of Winnie Huynh (‘19) Elise Trouw on a Major Scale - Pages 18-21, Photos courtesy of Justin Higuchi CULTURE Diwali Photo Spread - Pages 22-23, Photos courtesy of The Many Faces of Wheeler J. Bailey - Pages 24-25, PC: Lucie Edwards (‘21), Sitting For Something You Stand For - Pages 26-27, Art by Carly Phoon (‘20) Survival Juice - Page 29, PC: Kyle Berlage (‘22) Mrs. Karen Carter Spread - Pages 30-31, Photos courtesy of, Ms. Jessi Chrystal, Coco Reitz (‘20); Art by Sara Michael (‘19), Amy Carlyle (‘20) LOCAL Election Recap - Page 32, Art by Amy Carlyle (‘20) BEYOND Gab Got Your Tongue? - Page 33, PC: Sophie Pilarski (‘21) Monkey See, Monkey Do - Page 34, PC: Sariah Hossain (‘22) Young Voters - Page 36, Art by Sara Michael (‘19) OPINION A (Not) For Effort - Page 38, Art by Carly Phoon (‘20) Committed to Excellence - Page 40, Art by Carly Phoon (‘20) THE BELL The Bell Cover - Pages 42-43, Photo courtesy of Beth Garon Holiday Viewing Guide - Page 45, Art by Sara Michael (‘19) Front and back cover photography thanks to Isabelle Kenagy (‘19)

Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower



Director of Service Learning Mrs. Jackie Gomez and Coach Al Gomez’s son, André, showed his support on Election Day.



Issue 04 • December 2018 • The Tower

Tower Issue 4 MMXVIII  
Tower Issue 4 MMXVIII