TOWER Issue 03
PHILOSOPHY The Tower is a student-run publication at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA. Writers and editors work together under the guidance of a faculty advisor to enhance the Bishop’s community and stimulate meaningful conversation through the collection and distribution of news. The Tower aims to educate the Bishop’s community about issues and events that pertain to the experience of young adults. Sections of The Tower include Sports, Arts, Culture, Campus, Local & Beyond, Opinion, and The Bell. The Tower prints six issues each academic year, in addition to continuous online content. POLICY The Tower refrains from prior review of its issues and maintains the right to publish anonymous quotes when the privacy of the individual is a concern. All quotes are subject to editing for clarity and length. Opinions expressed in The Tower do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or of The Bishop’s School.
COLOPHON The Tower is printed by Streeter Printing Company in Mira Mesa, CA. Due to COVID-19, Issue 02 was published online and sent out to the Bishop’s community via email. The Staff uses Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator to arrange photographs and graphics. Typefaces include Didot for the cover, headlines, and subheadings; Minion Pro is used for bylines and body text. Issue 02 and previous issues of The Tower are available digitally on issuu.com. THE BELL The Bell is a section of The Tower that intends to serve as a relief from the depth of the magazine. Satire, puzzles, quizzes, and the like are frequent inside The Bell.
02 DETAILS | Issue o3
CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-Chief Daniel White
Graphics Editor - Print Lucie Edwards Assistant Graphics Editor Kyle Berlage Online Editor Sariah Hossain Social Media Manager Maya Buckley Managing Editor Alex Cotton Copy Editors Crystal Li Clare Malhotra Staff Writers Isadora Blatt Leila Feldman Katherine Ge Lily Gover Caroline Schafer Max Stone Tate Vaccaro Faculty Advisor Ms. Laine Remignanti CONTACT The Tower c/o The Bishop’s School 7607 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 www.thebishopstower.com firstname.lastname@example.org IG @thebishopstower TW @thebishopstower All members of the Bishop’s community are invited to submit letters to the Editor-in-Chief by visiting our website, www.thebishopstower.com, and clicking on the ‘Submit Letter’ tab.
OUR COVER Art by - Lucie Edwards (‘21)
Inspired by the 2020 election and mail-in ballots, the cover depicts a mailbox wearing the iconic “I Voted” sticker, symbolizing the main means of voting in the current election. In our cover stories, Daniel White (‘21) and Caroline Schafer (‘21) discuss the election, highlighting the different candidates and the voting trends on campus.
SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us!
ver the past few months, since school started, I’ve noticed something of a recurring theme each time I sit down to write this letter for the issue: uncertainty. The specific focuses of the letters have varied, yes, but within each of them is the same vein of hesitancy, the same gnawing sense of ambiguity in regards to the future as we are presented with earth-shattering event after earth-shattering event. It’s a worn-out statement at this point, but it bears repeating all the same: 2020 is not the year anyone expected. I think it’s fair to say that, just when we think we’ve seen it all, something new and unprecedented and often more than a little challenging to mitigate arises. We stand now at the tail-end of the year, and though I am almost certain we’d all like a break from the monumental events—I know I do—we are not out of the woods yet, so to speak: in four days, we will find our nation facing Election Day, with President Donald Trump and Senator Joe Biden going head-to-head in an election that’s importance is unmissable, no matter what angle you look at it from. If the thought of Tuesday is making you anxious, you are not alone. As the date draws closer and closer, I’ve found myself consumed with the potential outcomes—who could win, and what this victory would mean for me, my friends and family, and the American people in general. I’ve found myself obsessing over the possibilities, discussing potential fallouts with friends into the early hours of the morning, and simultaneously preparing myself for the worst while—what sometimes feels like foolishly—hoping for the best. In short: I do not really know what is going to happen, and it’s stressing me out. It can be easy to get lost in the uncertainty of things. The election is not the only source of this in my life, as I’m sure it isn’t for all of your lives, either, and this isn’t always an easy thing to handle. In my Psychology class, we’ve spent the better part of the past quarter learning about the human brain and the unique discomfort that it experiences when it doesn’t know the full picture—something I’m sure we all can see reflected in our day-to-day experiences, election of a lifetime incoming or not. As overwhelming as all this feels sometimes, there are things we can do to combat these feelings. I think the cover stories of this issue reflect this well: I wrote a piece regarding breaking down the histories and policies of this year’s presidential candidates, and Caroline Schafer (‘21) writes about the students on campus who are taking their future into their own hands and going out to vote this year. And these sentiments do not end with the election; I’ve found that, as tempting as it is to give into worrying about all the things you don’t know, it’s helpful to ground yourself in what you do, and what you can do about it. I do not know what the next week has in store for us, nor do I know what the future holds, either, but I know what I can do now in the moment: stay informed and educated, prepare for all possibilities, and remind myself that, despite how out of control things may feel at times, things have a habit of working out in the end, inevitably. And I hope you all will be able to do the same.
Daniel White, Editor-in-Chief
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | Issue 03
04 CONTENTS | Issue 03
The New Rec Room
Making a Difference, Kid by Kid
How Kid by Kid founder Dax Gutekunst (‘23) serves Tate Vaccaro the Bishop’s community and beyond
[local & beyond]
12 14 16
Blank and repurposed, frustraKyle Berlage tion has arose around the Senior Rec Room
On the desire for artsy home Clare Malhotra screens, school notes, and lives
A 1.5ºC Warmer WorldCrystal Li
How a seemingly small decimal could change life as we know it
Apple’s Inexplicable Appeal
Why we continue to buy Isadora Blatt Apple devices instead of Android
A Pop Artist Update Katherine Ge
Do Generations Exist?
COVID-19’s impact on the music industry
The Class of 2020’s college Lily Gover experience in the midst of a pandemic
A look into the science behind Maya Buckley generations and their foundationless roots
Head to Head
A New Era of Voters
2020’s Presidential Election Daniel White candidates On the newly eligible voters in Caroline Schafer the Class of 2021
Top Ten Return-to-Campus To-Dos
CONTENTS | Issue 03
THE NEW REC ROOM
Blank and repurposed, frustration has arose around the Senior Rec Room Kyle Berlage
s Jeffrey Wang (‘21) watched the rec room be taken away for his senior year he couldn’t help feeling disappointed by his inability to use the space. While he understands the need to repurpose the rec room for socially-distant food distribution, he explained “it is somewhat frustrating... to see the room barely be used.” Whitney Hejmanowski (‘21) affirmed this point: “I think the senior class has been justifiably upset about losing the rec room,” she said. As a number of student questions about the use of the space in the future begin to loom, floats to the surface: what will be the future of the senior rec room, exactly, and what have the reactions to this closure been? The senior rec room used to be a communal space for members of the senior class to socialize exclusively with each other. Located at the bottom of Scripps Hall, it contained loudspeakers, sofas, and ping-pong tables. Tradition in the school is to paint the room with various designs of the senior class color. Right now, though, the senior rec room “is being used as one of our food service stations to serve food while maintaining social distancing during lunch and Milk Break,” according to math teacher and Senior Class sponsor Mr. Dana Pierce. The senior rec room currently serves as one of the places where you can get pre-packaged lunches. Mr. Pierce said that Food Services will maintain its claim over the room. “As we bring more students on campus at the same time, [distributing lunch] will be an even more important function for the rec room,” he explained. “Since we are still adjusting to having students on campus and increasing those numbers, the rec room will continue to be used for foodservice in the foreseeable future.” Director of Food Services, Ms. Sara Sweet furthered that, by saying, “As we begin to increase headcount on campus, it is essential that we have two or three food hubs on campus and the rec room is a critical part of that plan.” Some students are frustrated with this course of action. “New floors and stark white paint on the once colorful walls make me think the administration has closed this room as a student hangout indefinitely,” Whitney said. Painting the room with the
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senior class color has been an important tradition. “Getting to paint the senior rec room is such an important demonstration of class spirit, and it’s so unfortunate that the senior class hasn’t gotten that opportunity this year. After 7 years at Bishop’s, I feel like I haven’t gotten to leave my mark on campus. Painting the rec room is a way for seniors to not only express their individuality but leave a physical representation of the time they’ve spent at Bishop’s. The rec room is a source of pride and a reminder of our accomplishments. Although I think we’ve all come to terms with the loss of the rec room, it’s still sad as getting to show off our
This student disappointment has not gone unnoticed, though, as Mr. Pierce has acknowledged the frustrations this change poses on students. “Well, of course, [the seniors] have been very disappointed. Some of them have been looking forward to having the rec room for six years,” explained Mr. Pierce. “Realistically, given the actual usefulness of the room under social distancing, I think the rec room is more a symbol of what this class has had to give up than it would be a fun space right now if it was available.” Mr. Pierce also shared his views on the practicality of a different space for the seniors, saying, “With social distancing, a space to accommodate 140 seniors
“Taking it away is like taking away a tradition.” - Haha Shi (‘22) class colors is something I’ve been looking forward to since 6th grade,” she elaborated. Whitney concluded by saying, “Losing this senior privilege is a huge loss… Once we return to campus and have the ability to socialize in some capacity, the rec room should be returned immediately to the seniors.” Jeffrey elaborated on his point about the room not being used by saying, “I think that such an important space shouldn’t be marginalized to serving 60 people food twice a day—something that could easily be achieved in the other spaces that we have.” Members of the junior class have also become worried about their future chances of using the room with its original purpose. “I do think that it’s pretty important [to have the room as seniors] because I’ve been here since sixth grade and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to,” said Haha Shi (‘22). “Taking it away is like taking away a tradition.” Although, some juniors believe that the rec room is more useful as a food hub in the current moment. “While I have always looked forward to having the rec room for next year, I don’t think it’s a necessary part of senior year if it’s being used for more important things,” said Mira Gowda (‘22)
would be massive—whatever we do it will be more of a gesture of respect for what they have given up rather than a truly meaningful space for a large number of students to use at the same time,” he explained. “If the seniors had the rec room right now, only a small fraction of the class could have used it at any one time because of social distancing and managing the direction of traffic flow,” he elaborated. Because of social distancing requirements and the usefulness of the space, it doesn’t appear that the senior rec room will return to the students soon. The only remnant of the once colorful room is the orange bench outside. The only thing that those wishing for a reclamation of the room is to wait, but that won’t stop some disappointment from seniors that they don’t have the opportunity to socialize in the room that has traditionally been available to almost every grade-previous.
The Tower The Senior Rec Room has been outfitted with a new linoleum floor and a fresh coat of white paint, covering what would usually be space for mural art, in a room that would usually be occupied by the seniors.
The bench outside of the room is the only remnant of the once colorful senior rec room, now used as a socially-distant food hub.
CAMPUS | Issue 03
MAKING A DIFFERENCE, KID BY KID How Kid by Kid founder Dax Gutekunst (‘23) serves the Bishop’s community and beyond Tate Vaccaro
ccording to a study from the Migration Policy Institute, among America’s low-educated parents of young children, 77 percent are immigrants or refugees. In San Diego alone, immigrants and refugees account for 39 percent of parents residing with at least one child under the age of 18. Refugee parents are five times more likely than their native-born relatives to lack a high school diploma or equivalent, leaving a vast majority of this number lacking the income necessary to afford an education for their children. Dax Gutekunst (‘23) is battling this issue with his nonprofit organization, Kid by Kid. Kid By Kid offers free online, one-on-one tutoring for immigrant and refugee children in San Diego who face academic, social, and cultural challenges in assimilating to the United States. From the moment Dax stepped onto campus back in 2017 as a new 7th grader, his unquenchable curiosity for global education and his keen interest in service-learning were apparent. He immediately immersed himself in the wide array of on-campus opportunities that Bishop’s has to offer, trying everything from Middle School Film Club to Junior Model United Nations. Among these extracurricular activities was tutoring Karen Refugees at St. Mark’s Church in City Heights, a program led by Director of Global Education Dr. Moseley. “I really wanted to try something new, something I’d never done before.” he explained. “And that’s when I saw one of Dr. Moseley’s flyers for tutoring Karen refugees.” Dax’s interest in tutoring was influenced by the time he spent working with this program, spending his Tuesdays tutoring refugee children after school. “I really enjoyed the program—it was the highlight of my week.” he said. Dax continued with the Karen Refugee Tutoring Program into his 8th-grade year, and in that time, he started thinking about taking his passion for tutoring a step further. During the fall of 2018, Dax began to explore the different tutoring opportunities available to refugee families in San Diego and found an overarching problem in his research: there were no weekend tutoring programs to help refugee kids. Thus, Kid by Kid was born. Founding Kid by Kid, especially as an 8th grader, was no easy feat. “Starting a company or a movement is a multi-faceted process and each step needs to be deliberate,” Dax said. “Being young works in 2 different ways. On the one hand, no one takes you too
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seriously. On the other, however, many people want to help kids succeed and it just takes asking a question or sending out that email to get you to the next step.” After sending out countless emails, reading up on a variety of books (Dax personally recommends NOLO - How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation), and attending a multitude of seminars, Dax’s vision for a weekend tutoring program gradually became a reality. An arduous and time-consuming process, Dax experienced moments of doubt in carrying out his initiative. “There were times when I was discouraged and I felt like I wasn’t making any improvement or progress, but with the help of Dr. Moseley’s guidance and the support of other organizations, I found that when one door closed, there was always another that seemed to open.” And a big door that was. Through Kid By Kid, Dax has been able to assist over 50 elementary and middle school-aged children by providing them with student mentors who guide them in weekly, oneon-one tutoring sessions on Saturday mornings. Dax proudly leads over 70 Kid By Kid tutors (74 to be exact), under half of which are students from Bishop’s with others from Francis Parker and Pacific Ridge School. “There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes communication and alignment of schedules when trying to configure dates with Learner Families,” he explained. “Often, there are communication barriers such as language or technology issues. All of the weekly messaging leads to the culmination of lessons on Saturdays.” Following the pandemic, Dax has shifted Kid By Kid, which previously hosted in-person meetings, to an entirely virtual platform. Although Dax misses the sense of camaraderie that tutees and tutors experience when meeting in person, in some ways, the virus has been a blessing in disguise. “Kid By Kid’s shift to its online format enables the opportunity to bring together more learners and tutors than ever before. Virtually, it’s been much easier for me to step in for tutors who have something come up last minute,” Dax continued, “for example, this past Saturday, I tutored a 4th-grade boy named Maleek in math. We worked on math for quite a while so I thought we’d take a break. I showed him how to play sudoku and he loved it! We played for an extra 30 minutes after the lesson.”
kidbykid_tutoring Friday wrapped up Kid By Kid’s School Supply Drive at The Bishop’s School! After 2 weeks of collecting supplies, the next step of assembling the kits began! The School Supplies kits will be delivered to Kid By Kid Learners on Halloween and will include a Halloween Treat. Kid By Kid Tutors are really looking forward to finally meeting their online Learners in person (masked and socially-distanced, of course!). We’d like to thank the generosity of The Bishop’s School community that enabled the great success of this much needed effort! Stay tuned for pics of kits being delivered on Halloween! October 25
Another aspect of the online transition that Dax enjoys is receiving emails from tutors after each session. “It’s the best feeling when tutors share things like, ‘Ini got a perfect score on his spelling test’ or ‘Michelle did her homework and remembered her crayons for our math lesson’ or ‘We studied for history together and Maddie got a 100% on her test’.” Dax mentioned that Bishop’s has played a vital role in shaping his perception of service. In particular, he is especially grateful for Dr. Moseley’s help as Kid By Kid’s club sponsor. “Dr. Moseley has been a great mentor and inspiration to me. He has been immensely supportive throughout my journey in shaping Kid By Kid into what it is today.” Dax also has a great appreciation for Director of Service Learning, Mrs. Jacque-
kidbykid_tutoring #bishops #thebishopschool #volunteer #sandiego #donating #outreach #kidbykid #kidbykidtutoring #donateforagoodcause #bishops #missionhillssandiego #communityservice October 25
line Gomez who, according to him, “has been a great champion of the Kid By Kid cause and has been so enthusiastic and encouraging since the beginning.” This month, Dax held his first-ever all-school service drive for Kid By Kid which ran from October 12th until October 23rd. The drive divided up the distribution of school supplies among various grade levels. Sixth graders were assigned paper/ notebooks, seventh-graders brought pencils, eighth-graders brought crayons, ninth-graders brought crayons, tenth-graders brought erasers, eleventh-graders brought glue sticks, and twelfth-graders brought highlighters. His goal is to package and distribute 100 kits to Kid By Kid learners on October 31st (Halloween) and he an-
ticipates tutors having the opportunity to personally drop off a kit to their tutee in a socially distanced manner. Dax hopes to continue building upon the many accomplishments and successes that Kid by Kid has already achieved. Despite facing obstacles amidst a pandemic, he said, “Kid by Kid has taken on a life of its own. We’ve established programs in 12 schools, are the foundation for 3 separate NHS projects, have partnered with TVIA-San Diego and have an (IRC-brokered) partnership with the Karen Organization of San Diego. I’m truly amazed at the genuine interest in helping others. My hope is to still be helping kids through Kid By Kid for many years after I leave Bishop’s.”
CAMPUS | Issue 03
On the desire for artsy home screens, school notes, and lives Clare Malhotra
ver the last few weeks, social media sites like Instagram and TikTok have flooded with photos of aesthetic home screens created with the new iOS 14 iPhone update. While some people grouped apps by color alongside new widgets, others created entirely new app logos. Still, others made each app look the same and removed all words to distinguish between apps. With the arrival of iOS 14, the desire for these aesthetics suddenly became important to many people who saw these trends on social media. This parallels many occurrences throughout the last decade: following the invention of Pinterest and increasing popularity of social media, teenagers saw increased polaroid walls, collages, posed studying photos, heartshaped foamy lattes, Instagram filters. The desire to cultivate a personal aesthetic—in bedrooms, social media, school—became synonymous with having one’s life together, even though it’s a superficial measurement. This begs the ques-
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tion: what are the benefits of aesthetics or color-coordination, not just on home screens, but in organization, such as school note-taking? With the emergence of bullet journaling in 2013—a method of personal organization involving to-do lists and goals and popularized on social media with calligraphy and drawing, came the desire to transfer these aesthetics over to note-taking. But while bullet journaling stems more from an idea of organizing one’s life in a pretty or appealing way, or calming oneself through creating art, school notes require functionality. V a n e s s a Yang (‘21), whose bullet journaling Instagram account (@vanessajournals) has accumulated nearly 60,000 followers, explained that she takes a much different approach to school notes. “I don’t really make my notes as ‘aesthetic’ as I try to make my journal.” she said. “I know that ultimately my notes and homework are meant for me to learn, not to look cute, so utility always comes first.”
Sara Hamadeh (‘22) color codes her notes for functional purposes but doesn’t spend too much time on an elaborate title or aesthetic.
The Tower Several Bishop’s students known for their organized notes noted similar philosophies to Vanessa, that they like organization and color-coding, but only to a certain extent. “I started making the notes pretty because I thought it would make paying attention more fun. But the problem was it took too long, so I’d always miss what the teacher said next,” Nadia Bitar (‘22) pointed out. Some people explained that they found a middle ground where they could keep their notes organized and easy to read without taking the time to draw complementary pictures or add unnecessary headings. “I really like to color coordinate and separate my notes into different sections - Vanessa based on the topic,” explained Sara Hamadeh (‘22). She tends to use the organization in her notes for functional purposes rather than aesthetics. “My notes don’t look like the fancy notes you see online,” Eliana Birnbaum-Nahl (‘23) agreed, “because it’s pretty much colored headings and highlighted words, but it doesn’t take a lot of effort and is pretty helpful.” Several interviewees talked about the way organizing sections by color helped with organization. But is there any science correlating color and organization or productivity? What other benefits may they have? According to a study performed by Dr. Kate Lee at the Univer-
sity of Melbourne, the color green, which has a low wavelength and an association with nature, correlates with improved concentration and creativity. According to a different study and ancient Chinese Feng Shui color-organizing techniques, warmer colors, especially orange, since it combines the effects of red and yellow, tend to remind people of sunsets and connote light and activity. This can correlate with increased focus and improved mood. Finally, blue, the most popular favorite color, tends to correlate with productivity, “e s p e c i a l ly in highly intellectual work which requires a high cognitive load,” one color psychology article noted, “for instance, programmers Yang (‘21) or academics.” While some of these studies conflict about specific colors signify concentration and which represent creativity, most agree that combinations of colors and overall color-coordination aid in balance and organization. This data suggests that different colors can improve mental health and intellectual ability. Just as separating notes into sections by color can improve organization and mood, keeping one’s iOS 14 iPhone home screen organized may make them happier and keep them calm and motivated.
“I don’t really make my notes as ‘aesthetic’ as I try to make my journal. I know that ultimately my notes and homework are meant for me to learn, not to look cute, so utility always comes first.”
CULTURE | Issue 03
A 1.5ºC WARMER WORLD How a seemingly small decimal could change life as we know it Crystal Li
here is no doubt that Climate Change is terrifying. We will likely see many of nature’s orgaan existential threat,” explained Dr. Pam nized systems start to pass critical points of no return, Reynolds, a chemistry teacher passion- triggering permanent modifications and transformate about sustainability. “Prediction of our tipping ing the peaceful normalcy that we enjoy right now. point is difficult.” As the sunshine reflects across the Boyd and Golan partnered with scientists glassy facades of metropolis skylines, an innovative and advocates for the technological installation that attraction was unveiled on September 21 upon the functions similarly to the carbon clock developed massive public art installation known as the Metro- by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Comnome located along the south end of Union Square. mons and Climate Change. The institution employs Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd, the two cre- data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ative artists behind the project, introduced a digital Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of climate clock that counts down 1.5 degrees Celsius. Containing to an approaching “dooms- “When people start global warming to 1.5 degrees day”—the time we have left to Celsius is critical, say experts, to to understand the control greenhouse gas emisavoid some of the most severe sions enough to allow Earth a consequences of climatic fluctuseverity of the 67 percent chance of keeping the ations, including rising sea levissues they tend to world under 1.5 degrees Celsius els, flooding, loss of coral reefs, of warming. This design takes a and wildfires, and other disasters. become more step further into showing a visual The 1.5 degrees of warming interested in deadline regarding how long the refers to the Earth’s average temworld has left to act. The project becoming part of perature increase. This increase concurred with the city’s climate is measured from a baseline avthe solution.” week and was intended to be an erage temperature in the mid-toSarah Kaplan (‘23) imaginative invitation that inlate nineteenth century—when spires others to create their own climate clocks. the Industrial Revolution rocked into high gear, and “This is our way to shout that number from the people began burning fossil fuels on an unprecedentrooftops,” Golan announced just before the count- ed magnitude, inflaming climate change. “Several redown began. “The world is literally counting on us.” gional changes in climate are assessed to occur with As of October 22, we have approximately sev- global warming up to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared en years and 70 days to make changes. Just what would to pre-industrial levels, including warming of exour world be like if we did not meet that deadline? treme temperatures in many regions,” reported IPCC. When most people think of summertime’s hottest This growing problem is particularly close to days, they might imagine a sunny day where tempera- home for many of us. In early September this year, an tures reside around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees extreme heatwave shattered temperature records in Fahrenheit). Sure, another degree or two may just be a numerous areas in Southern California. The dry, therlittle bit more uncomfortable, but that hardly feels like mal circumstances helped stoke new and existing fires. doomsday. Though the changes may not be directly ap- These intense events fit a long-term pattern toward parent for humans, scientists point out that we will no- more prolonged and more intense heat waves in Southtice some of the climate impacts we already recognize ern California, according to recently published studies. everywhere today begin to go from bad to downright
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“All of the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington are hurting our air quality too,” explained Sarah Kaplan (‘23), a member of Bishop’s sustainability club Go Green. “Unfortunately this unhealthy air will become a new normal as the earth keeps warming at this pace.” The IPCC also stated that human activities were the cause of roughly one degree of global warming. With all the greenhouse gases we have already put in the air, average temperatures will keep rising. Nevertheless, it also said that “these emissions alone are unlikely to cause global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius,” suggesting that we still have a shot at drawing the line at 1.5 degrees. “When people start to understand the severity of the issues they tend to become more interested in becoming part of the solution,” said Sarah. As an active student knowledgeable about sustainability, Sarah explained that individuals can slowly introduce new habits into their daily routines like using reusable
products, walking and biking to places, eating less meat, and more. “You are constantly setting an example for the people around you and might provoke others to follow these same actions.” As a community, Bishop’s actively composts a lot of the food waste on campus and encourages reusable water bottles with our purified water stations. But there is so much more we can do. Sarah encourages students who are interested in learning more and getting involved to reach out or attend meetings. “We can all do things individually and as a campus community!” exclaimed Sarah. “Get involved, be informed, ask questions,” said Dr. Reynolds. “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” This is a big task to accomplish in such a limited amount of time. However, the future of our Earth is upon our shoulders. As the teenage activist Greta Thunberg said, “I want you to act as if our house is on fire.” We should all start worrying about how to put it out before it is too late.
LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
APPLE’S INEXPLICABLE APPEAL Why we continue to buy Apple devices instead of Android Isadora Blatt
hat are you reading this article on right now? For many, it is likely the Mac or iPad that Bishop’s requires its students to purchase. For others, it could be your iPhone. A much smaller percentage is reading this on an Android smartphone such as a Samsung. Have you ever wondered why Apple is so popular in the first place? The new features that come with Apple’s software updates always create a buzz of excitement. The latest update (iOS 14) introduced many exciting new elements, especially for iPhones. One example is the app library, which organizes all your apps on the last slide of the home screen, including ones you have removed from view on the main pages. There are also some nifty new features on iMessage, like being able to pin conversations and respond directly to individual texts. The specific feature that teens have seemed to be most intrigued by is the widgets—little additions to your home screen that can tell you the weather, the date, or really anything you want. Many have gone crazy with iOS 14’s organization features, spending hours perfecting their aesthetic new home screens. However, Android users scoff at the obsession with Apple’s new widgets—they’ve been around since the very first Android phone was created way back in 2008. This is not the only example of Apple implementing technological advancements long after they were first created by another company. In fact, Apple is often way behind their competition. For example, Apple has recently introduced wireless charging, water resistance, and camera improvements that Android has already had for years. So if this is
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the case, why is Apple so popular? Chloe Shiue (‘24) expressed that she prefers Apple because of its simplicity to use. “I like the display of it, it’s smoother, and its features are really easy to use.” Although many Apple users think that Apple devices are easier to navigate, it is true that people could easily say the same thing about Android. Ripples Turquand (‘24) agreed with Chloe and added that she’s only ever used Apple before. One of the biggest advantages of using
“The iPhone is basically the social norm.” Marcus Buu-Hoan (‘24)
Apple is that their devices sync together. However, they do not sync with other devices, so once you start using Apple, you are more likely to buy other Apple devices rather than Android. “It’s sort of a comfort feeling,” agrees computer science teacher Ms. Sara White. “That’s why I will keep buying Apple, because it fits in with what I have already.” Marcus Buu-Hoan (‘24) followed a different reasoning. “The iPhone is basically the social norm,” he said. “I use it to make communication with my family and friends easier.”
Many people, especially in the younger generation, would agree with Marcus’s claim. It is worth noting that Apple and Android are split nearly 50/50 in the United States (although the category of Android does encompass many brands, like Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo). However, a survey by Piper Sandler, an investment bank and institutional securities firm, found that 82% of American teens prefer Apple. Ms. White believes that Apple does a better job of appealing to the younger generation. Take the new widgets for example. “That’s something useful, but also kind of cool and fun,” she said. Since Apple is so popular, Android users can stand out from the crowd. And it is easy to tell, because of the green text messages that show up when an Apple user messages an Android. If there is one Android number in a group chat, all the texts become green, and everyone loses the ability to rename or leave the chat. “It’s a bit annoying to text with people who use Android,” Marcus says. “It’s just much harder, since I can only see their texts on my phone and it makes group chats glitch out.” But there are many benefits to using an Android that are overlooked by the Apple community. Emily Zhu (‘23), for example, has multiple reasons to justify using a Samsung phone. First of all, it can be a more cost-effective option. It is difficult to directly compare Samsung’s prices to Apple’s, because of the many steps that go into a purchase, like trade-ins and monthly payments. But since there is a large array of Android smartphones compared to Apple’s narrow selection, it can be easier to find less expensive devices from Android.
Sophia Gleeson (‘24) recently reorganized her home screen, using the widgets and other new features on iOS 14.
Second, it helps her communicate with family members. “My parents and all of my relatives overseas also have Android, so it makes it easier to interact with them,” she said. A study by Statista proves that although the majority of the United States’ population uses Apple, other countries such as China and India have a majority of Android users. Having an Android phone has worked well for Emily, except for some minor annoyances. “It does sometimes become inconvenient because I have a Macbook, and things like AirDrop don’t work,” she explained. “But it’s manageable.” Since Bishop’s uses Apple devices and works closely with the company, Ms. White has had experience going to their product launches and talking to reps from Apple. She explained how many people work as ADEs, or Apple Distinguished Educators. “They hire people who were past teachers to work for them,” she said. This way, they receive input based on people with real world teaching experience, which explains Apple’s popularity in schools - Bishop’s being a prime example. Mr. Tony Trumbo, the Director of Educational Technology and Information Systems, agreed with the idea that Apple does not typically release features first. They wait until the technology is fully developed before implementing it into their own devices. “They’re not trying to just find a trend because it’s new,” Mr. Trumbo explained. “The whole point is, does it work, and does it make people’s lives easier?” He also thinks that Apple does not always “hit the nail on the head” when they try to create their own new features. For example, in his experience, the split-screen feature on
iPads is not as smooth as it could be. Computer science faculty member Mr. Joshua Bloom offered multiple additional examples of times Android beat Apple to new features. The Galaxy phone was first to have the screen wrap around the edge to maximize its size. Android was also first to create water-resistant devices. Samsung just released the Galaxy Z Fold 2, a groundbreaking folding phone with 3 times the screen size as standard smartphones. Mr. Bloom pointed out that Android has not always been ahead. “It seemed like Apple was on the front line in terms of development for at least 5 years,” he said. “And then Android really stepped up the game.” The first iPhone hit the market in June of 2007, and the first Android phone followed in September 2008. Around this time, Android was the one trying to catch up to Apple, but that changed after a few years. Interestingly, Apple stopped reporting sales figures for iPhone models in November of 2018. But a well-researched article on Fortunly says that Apple makes only 20% of the sales in the smartphone industry, while bringing in a whopping 92% of the profits. Apple has somehow managed to convince us all that they are the better choice for our ever-advancing technological devices, despite the advantages of using an Android. Will we ever escape Apple’s hold on our generation? Only time will tell if Samsung’s latest folding phone is enough of a game-changer. In the meantime, most of us will continue to be glued to our iPhones, with their blue text messages and state-of-the-art widgets.
LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
A POP ARTIST UPDATE COVID-19’s impact on the music industry Katherine Ge
ith the COVID-19 quarantine came a great opportunity for famous musicians. “Level of Concern” by Twenty One Pilots came out; Taylor Swift released a full-blown 16-track album; The Strokes came out with their sixth studio album; MGK released “Tickets to My Downfall”; Joji released “Nectar”—the list goes on. The journey has not been easy, though. Promoting songs has become increasingly difficult, especially as major concerts and festivals such as Coachella and Stagecoach have gotten canceled. The complicated process of forming a band has become even more complicated. And most of all, fan connections through live performances and meet-and-greets have been severed. Similar to the effect it has had nationwide, COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken a toll on musicians, especially popular ones. So how have famed musicians been staying afloat? Is the industry sinking? Will COVID-19 wreck the music industry as we know it? In terms of live performances, it seems the industry is barely hanging on. A pre-COVID-19 survey conducted by the nonprofit Music Industry Research Association (MIRA) showed that an average musician’s income comes mostly from live performances. And with hundreds of worldwide tours— from Harry Styles’s “Love on Tour” to the Hollywood Bowl’s 2020 season—being canceled, just about every big-hit artist is experiencing an income drop. CNBC cites that musicians are drastically impacted by “the postponement and cancellation of events this year, leading to a 75 percent drop in revenue.” Along with the actual singers, the dancers, producers, sound engineers, and stage workers suffer as well. Writers at the Grammy’s website report that DJs are also indicating a “massive wave of job cancellations.”
Despite this hardship, another opportunity has arisen for big musicians in recent times: virtual concerts. Musicians left and right have performed on YouTube, Twitch, and even Instagram Live. Just this October, BTS’s massive 2-day “Map of the Soul ON:E,” virtual concert brought 993,000 viewers. Billboard writes that the concert included 4 extensive stages, 6 camera angles to choose from, and employed “AR, XR and 4K/HD technology for a more vivid experience.” Additional upcoming concerts include Billie EiIlish and Glass Animals, as well as live streams from artists like Sam Smith and Pearl Jam. An article from Vox says, most independent record labels and companies affiliated with the industry are now supporting these online music festivals. Although in-person performances aren’t possible, artists can still maintain fan connections via virtual means, whilst being accessible to fans around the globe.
Popular singer-songwriter Billie Eilish hosted a virtual concert on October 24, 2020. 16 LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
COVID-19’s impact on the streaming service industry is somewhat divided. CNBC reports that mid-March to late April, streams of U.S.’s top 200 songs declined 28 percent. Alternatively, streams for older, comforting songs rose. Spotify’s “At Home” playlists, featuring familiar tracks for quarantine activities, increased in popularity. But speaking in terms of the whole streaming industry, the Los Angeles Times says that streaming activity was up 20.4% over 2019—but fell to an increase of only 13.8% between March and July. This is largely due to listeners spending less time in the car, at the gym, or partying, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Spotify is not only creating quarantine playlists, it additionally has been helping people discover new artists to listen to. Elise Watson (‘22) says, “A lot of my music taste comes from what I hear randomly or from the generated playlists on Apple Music or Spotify.” She shares that the “Similar Artists” section has helped her find individuals that match the music genres she enjoys. Novalyne Petreikis (‘23) agrees, stating that she comes across smaller musicians while streaming EDM or rock radios on Spotify. Similar to Spotify, quite possibly the biggest quarantine music promotion app is TikTok, which has been helping people discover artists as well. According to a survey by Comscore (a media data analytics company), TikTok’s 52.2 million visitors were averaging a total of 858 minutes per user at the start of quarantine back in March. During the summer, the app has been responsible for promoting numerous songs, from “Heather” by Conan Gray to “Say So” by Doja Cat. TikTok has had a similar influence in the past—playing a huge role in making Lil Nas X’s hit-single “Old Town Road” the longest-running number-one single in history, says CNBC. And it doesn’t only give a platform to already-big artists; an advantage of TikTok’s algorithm is that lesser-known songs and artists have a chance to blow up as well. With all the chaos during COVID-19, music has consistently been there. Whether it’s listening to Spotify while studying or dancing to oldies alone, music will continue to play a great role this year. The industry is unmistakably changing; we can only hope that it will continue to improve throughout 2020 and hereafter.
LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
The Bishop’s Class of 2020’s college experience in the midst of a pandemic Lily Gover
hen they graduated from Bishop’s last year, the Class of 2020 were wearing masks along with their caps and gowns. They could not hug their friends goodbye after they received their diplomas, and they had no idea what was to come in their freshman year of college. They did not know if they would be able to live on campus, if their sports teams were going to be able to play, or even if they would be able to meet their fellow freshmen. University during COVID-19 is certainly different from the normal college experience. No one knows what the future holds for university, whether it will ever go back to what it was before, but the Class of 2020 is making the most of it. It is disappointing to be unable to have the proper college freshman experience, but the Bishop’s graduates are enjoying what is left of it. Amy Carlyle (‘20), the former Editor-in-Chief for The Tower, attends Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles but is taking classes from home. She commented, “I’m definitely sad that this is how the year is starting, and that my classes are online, but they’ve all been really fun and I’m enjoying what I’m learning.” Other students live on campus. When they first arrive at their dorms, they must quarantine for a certain period of time that the university determines. Theo Sun (‘20) is living in his dorm at the University of Chicago. He said, “Being quarantined for ten days was not especially fun; however, there is a very new sense of liberation. Upon entering campus, students had to undergo a ten-day or fourteen-day quarantine depending on which state they were coming from. During these ten days, I could only leave my room to get food from the cafeteria and to exercise.” Dorm-mates are a huge part of your life on campus. However, this year lots of students will be on their own in a dorm to maintain social distancing rules. Carly Phoon (‘20), a student at the University of Texas, Austin, says “I have my own room. However, about half the people on my floor have roommates.”
18 LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
. Others like Paul Cleary (‘20) are living with a dorm mate. “I am sharing a dorm room with another student. Most students are sharing a dorm room with someone else. All students were asked to either get tested or self quarantine for 2 weeks before coming to college. Then while at college everyone is in a kind of bubble with their roommate, similar to how someone would be with their family. We don’t have to social distance or wear masks in our dorms rooms. If one of us does test positive then there are extra dorms set aside to quarantine alone if necessary.” Of course, college isn’t all about roommates. Classes will also be very different this year. Most are online, like Bishop’s classes. “My professors are all teaching remotely, but about 10% of classes are held in person. I just didn’t get any of them,” commented Carly Phoon (‘20). Jaweed Kaleem from the Los Angeles Times mentioned Carly’s university in an article he wrote on college professors’ opinions on campuses re-opening. “At the University of Texas, Austin, the state’s flagship campus, only about 5 percent of the nearly 52,000 students have opted to take classes fully in-person.” In Portland at Lewis and Clark University, Paul Cleary (‘20) has experienced online and in-person classes. “My classes have been a mix of in-person and online because of limits on the number of students in a classroom. However, every time that I have had an in-person class, the professor has been in person as well.” In the same article, the Los Angeles Times reported, “In a survey she [Melissa Graboyes] conducted earlier this summer, of 2,300 students, faculty, and staff, 65 percent of students said returning to campus for classes was the right decision, while just 34 percent of faculty members said it was wise.” Graboyes teaches at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Most professors do not want to have in-person classes for their safety and for their families’ safety.
However, it is not just professors who are joining the protest on the return to campus. “Students have joined too, like the dozens at the University of Georgia who joined faculty to stage a “die-in” in front of the president’s office this week with signs that said “R.I.P. campus safety” and “I can’t teach when I’m dead,” writes Kaleem. While some professors are teaching in-person classes, others believe that it is not safe. Each university has its own set of rules for social distancing. For example, the University of California, Berkeley is fully remote, while on the East Coast, Yale University is using the hybrid method. “The school tells students to not be in groups larger than 10 and to always wear a face mask both inside and outside,” said Theo Sun (‘20) about UChicago. On the mask policy at Lewis and Clark University, which is the same as Chicago, Paul Cleary (‘20) commented, “I would say that people have been so far pretty good about following this rule.” However, Carly Phoon (‘20) in Texas has not experienced the same. “We have to wear masks inside campus buildings, we’re not allowed to have visitors in our rooms, and we’re not allowed to have gatherings of over 10 people. Pretty much everyone breaks the second two rules though.” It is difficult for colleges to enforce their policies on student gatherings, as they cannot control what goes on in dorms or outside of campus. Universities also need to decide what the social distancing policy will be for their sports teams. Many students in the Class of 2020 are playing sports in university, but this will look very different from what college sports usually look like for some. Paul Cleary (‘20) is on the crew team at his university. “We will not have any competitions and it’s very unlikely that we will be on the water this semester. Practices are held in small groups of about eight or nine and we practice on ergs (rowing machines) and in the weight room.” Lila Browne (‘20), who plays for the Dartmouth field hockey team, noted, “Our practice was only 30 minutes, after an hour of
conditioning. We are slowly going to be working our way up to longer practices. Right now, we condition for three hours a week and do strength training for two. The protocol is pretty strict so we are about six feet apart at all times whether on the field or in the gym.” Similar to Paul, Theo Sun (‘20) says “I have already met the club tennis team and have been attending informal meets at nearby public tennis courts. Our team will most likely not be competing this year, but will still practice twice a week.” College life in general has been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus. It is much harder to socialize and bond with classmates. Even though she is at home, Amy Carlyle (‘20) has been socializing online and trying to get to know her classmates. “All of my classes are really small so I’ve been getting to know people from those and talking to them outside of class. I’ve also met people through groups that I’m in.” Being on campus makes it easier to meet and connect with their classmates. “During New Student Orientation I meet regularly with a group of students and I regularly hang out with my roommate. As well, I have been socializing with people from my crew team and others from my dorm building, usually in one of the common spaces” explained Paul Cleary (‘20). Elliana Petriekis (‘20), who attends the University of California Santa Barbara, is taking classes from her home in San Diego, which makes it more difficult for her to meet other students. “My school has an Instagram page for incoming students. On this page, people will put up a picture of themselves, and the caption will usually include their name, major, hometown, and whether or not they are in Isla Vista or staying home. It’s a great way to find other people in the area!” The Class of 2020 is hoping that college life will be getting closer to normal over the next few months, but right now all they can do to help that happen is wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. The graduates are in a very tough situation, but they are still finding ways to connect
LOCAL & BEYOND | Issue 03
DO GENERATIONS EXIST?
A look into the science behind generations and their foundationless roots
uzzfeed. Podcasts. Hogwarts houses. There are numerous reasons why the internet and the general majority of society have turned against millennials. While the aforementioned quirks of the millennials have a large role in explaining why there is such a contentious relationship between them and other generations, the narrative that millennials grew up in an environment centered around individualism and are thus entitled and lazy is what has really turned them into the black sheep amongst society. But there is something more interesting at play here. It’s not just that the actual labels we use to define millennials are overwhelmingly negative, it’s that we’ve collectively decided an entire bracket of people can be defined into a single group, and can thus be categorized by specific labels. Not only this but the actual science behind generations—the quantifiable research that backs up the existence of these generational categories which have more and more started to shape our culture— is lacking. If you’ve spent any time on the internet recently, it’s likely you’ve watched the rise and fall of at least one trend centered around generational identity. The first, most obvious ones that come to mind: the “Ok Boomer” phrase which plagued the internet for a couple of weeks in late November 2019. Another one that might spring to mind is the Generation Z tattoo, which has only recently started circulating around social media. Its origins date back to early September, when TikTok user, @smoothavacados, posted in a now-viral TikTok that Generation Z should all get matching tattoos. The idea was that this tattoo, which looked like a “Z” with two lines through it to represent equality, would serve as a generational symbol of “unity” and “rebellion.” However well-intentioned this original concept
began, it rapidly spiraled out of control as people quickly picked up on the fact the tattoo held a disquieting resemblance to a prominent hate symbol used on Nazi uniforms. It clearly doesn’t have to be said that the execution of this entire ordeal was distasteful to the highest degree, with some going as far as to tattoo the symbol on themselves. And although everything that could go wrong clearly did go wrong regarding the Generation Z tattoo, the situation actually presents a prudent question about why we put so much stock into generational branding to the point where a phenomenon like this could even occur. In terms of generational markers, if you’re looking for defined start and end dates for each generation, you would be hard-pressed to find a definitively agreed upon answer. This is because, according to The Washington Post who was able to reach out to the United States Census Bureau, the Bureau “does not define the different generations. The only generation we do define is Baby Boomers, and that year bracket is from 1946 to 1964.” The stark contrast between this generation and any of its successors is that the population growth in this era was spurred by motivations specific to the era, and the end of those incentives can be clearly marked by the cap year. Unlike any other living generation, the Baby Boomer’s timeline can be immediately traced because their existence is defined by the traits of their era. But they are the exception, not the rule. This is the universal consensus on generational timelines—for the most part, they don’t actually exist. Generations are largely in part, a myth. The notion that each generation can be exactly traced from year to year isn’t real, but we still cling to it, because that is much more comforting than the alternative.
This is the universal consensus on generational tim for the most part, they don’t actually exist.
20 OPINION | Issue 03
The idea that we can come together across the confines of identity is comforting, so accepting the boundaries that make that so is easy. As a society we are so obsessed with attaching every aspect of our identity with generations -- to the point where we are willing to get tattoos. Of course the science behind generations is still being developed; But that doesn’t stop it from being fun —think astrological signs or Buzzfeed quizzes. And obviously, as decades progress, data will show demographics trending towards diversity in “racial and ethnic composition,” or “how quickly they reach certain milestones such as marriage,” as claimed by Pew Research Center. As of now, Pew Research doesn’t have enough concrete data to entirely back up these assertions, as Generation Z and beyond are still fairly young. But the idea that there are “fundamental differences across generations,”, as stated by Pew is just conceptually unbelievable and just encourages the idea that there is stock in these self-made factions. The way we function as a society is by the ebb and flow of slowly changing customs and societal norms—not by the sudden urge of a generation to declare its independence and turn nature upside the head. And though I enjoy fun memes and trends just as much as the next person, I don’t think that these labels necessarily pertain to or are dependent on generational unity, and some share in this. Emma Hong (‘22), a member of Generation Z explained that she “doesn’t really understand the point of generations at all.” Some, like Emma, ask poignant questions,
like “why would [one] be proud to be a part of a generation, or feel a connection to someone solely on that basis?” The idea that connection over a simple label is possible sounds, simply put, ridiculous. The spirit of our society doesn’t rely on throwaway misnomers, but the ideas that come from the people that make it up. As we’ve constantly seen through the lens of social media, different generations have a pension for blaming their predecessors and sometimes, dually, their antecessors for the world’s problems. Considering the continuing debate over climate change or the rise of social media, for example. Generational divide only exacerbates this issue; they create unnecessary animosity and division, because the things that actually unite us as Generation Z extend far beyond the confines of that artificial designation. If it hasn’t been made clear by this point: generations are fake on multiple accounts. Their real purpose is to set wishy-washy margins for researchers so they can aggregate information into groups. And, as The Washington Post suggests, “the unity is intended for marketers, who can more easily explain who it is they’re trying to sell things.” Simply put, generations enable advertisers and marketers to target a specific demographic in the most convenient way possible and nothing else. If we do away with disposable labels like, “iGen”, or “The Trophy Kids”, we might have a better chance of moving forward, together. Because titles can go away—ideas cannot.
Generations are largely, in part, a myth.
OPINION | Issue 03
HEAD TO HEAD 2020’s Presidential Election candidates Daniel White
t is no over-exaggeration to say that the past year has been an unprecedented one. The events America has undergone since January alone are almost too monumental to even keep track of at this point—it feels like a lifetime ago, not eight months, that teenagers across the internet were spreading memes about the looming potential of a third World War. But fear not, for it seems that 2020 still has one last trick up its sleeve: soon, former Vice-President and Democratic Senator Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will go head to head in the 59th presidential election of American history. And with the President himself calling this “the most important election in United States history” it only becomes more and more critical that Americans—not just adults, not just voters, but everyone—understands just exactly who is running, and what this means for the future.
Biden is running as the nominee for the Democratic Party. This year, as outlined by the 2020 Democratic Party Platform, the party as a whole—and Biden by extension—will be focusing on several key goals throughout the course of the next four years. This includes recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuilding and strengthening the economy, and reforming the criminal justice system, achieving universal and affordable healthcare, enacting immigration reform, and combating the climate crisis. As well as this, Biden’s administration has stressed the importance of “healing the soul of America” in their campaign platform—namely through protecting and bolstering the rights of marginalized groups across the country such as the women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the tenure of his political career, Biden’s ideologies have remained staunchly in line with those of the mainstream Democratic party. Additionally, his political career has been a lengthy one: he first assumed political office around 50 years ago, serving on the New Castle County Council in Delaware before being elected to the United States Senate, a position he held all the way up until elected to serve as Vice President in 2009. Writing for CNN, Ronald Brownstein observed that, should he win the election, Biden would be the president with the longest political career. However, as Philip Bump of The Washington Post noted, this is not necessary in order to obtain presidential office—former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as President Trump, all had relatively short political careers. Despite this, they were all the victors of their subsequent elections. Nor is it always good. “There’s a benefit to not having a long paper trail in politics,” Bump wrote. “Biden has already hit some turbulence thanks to positions he advocated decades ago. Obama, Bush, and Trump were, at the time each won election, not similarly burdened.” And this turbulence—ranging from his past actions regarding anti-desegregation and anti-gay marriage stances, the controversial role he played during the Anita Hill trials, and his support for the Iraq war to the litany of sexual harassment and assault allegations that have been directed at him—hasn’t destroyed his campaign yet, but it hasn’t helped much, either. “Biden’s record provides ammunition to skeptics who see him as a politician of another era,” writes Janet Hook for the Los Angeles Times. “A beloved figure, but one whose time has come and gone.”
22 COVER STORY | Issue 03
“This year’s election is t lifetime. The decisions v will reverberate for a gen all three branches of Am across th
The Tower Back in 2016, during his first bid for president, President Trump fashioned much of his campaign off his status as someone removed from mainstream politics—“I’m an outsider fighting for you,” he declared at a rally in Michigan back in October of 2016. Compared to his opponent, the President has a much shorter political career: his first foray into public politics came in 2002 with a brief run for president; it wouldn’t be until 2015 that his first long-term political endeavor commenced. A report conducted by Vox revealed that, before his win in 2016, President Trump was the first president since the 1960s to be elected with no experience serving in public office.
the most important in our voters make in November neration to come, through merican government and he world.”
on, The Hill
This status as an outsider has not hindered him as much as one might think. In 2016, President Trump ran on promises of “shak[ing] Washington and the establishment to their core,” as Susan Milligan from US News puts it, with the repeated motif of “draining the swamp” gaining him significant traction. In fact, this talking point hit home for so many that the President has fashioned much of his 2020 campaign around it as well. Back in the summer of 2019 when he formally launched his re-election campaign, he presented himself as, in the words of Steve Holland from Reuters, “the same political insurgent who shook up the Washington establishment four years ago.” Years of experience is not the only point at which President Trump and Biden differ on; the President’s political ideology is also much less linear than that of Biden’s. Since 1987, he has changed his political registration a total of five times, settling as a Republican in 2012. Despite this, according to an article published by The Washington Post in 2016, the President has indicated that the official Republican party platform differs from his personal opinions on several points. Despite this personal inconsistency, though, the President’s second-term promises line up closely with the general Republican Party idealogy: he has declared that, during his second term, he will focus on topics such as eradicating COVID-19, defending the police force, implementing a curriculum focused on “American Exceptionalism” in schools across the country, ending illegal immigration, and continuing on with the America First foreign policy—stopping endless wars, expanding American military strength, wiping out terrorist organizations across the country, and so on. Like Biden, too, President Trump also has something of a contentious history to grapple with during this election, from the now-confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election to his widely-criticized response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has plans to circumvent this, though: as well as his campaign promises, which range from securing a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year to creating 10 million new jobs in 10 months, the President is also employing the “come-from-behind strategy” to bolster his campaign. This tactic of essentially sneaking up on Biden, poll-wise, through a combination of rallies and increased airtime in the media is being implemented by President Trump with one goal in mind: replicating his victory from 2016.
“This year’s election is the most important in our lifetime,” writes Reid Wilson for The Hill. “The decisions voters make in November will reverberate for a generation to come, through all three branches of American government and across the world.” And this article was published back in January—since then, the United States has undergone a phenomenal amount, from a global pandemic, to the resurgence of a civil rights movement, to the beginning of an election that has left the nation with two very different potential candidates.
COVER STORY | Issue 03
A NEW ERA OF VOTERS On the newly eligible voters in the Class of 2021 Caroline Schafer
ore than 15 million. That’s the approximate number of Americans that have turned 18 and become eligible to vote since the 2016 election” according to a new Forbes article. In the Bishop’s class of 2021, there will be some of the youngest voters in the 202o election. Young voters at Bishop’s seem open to different opinions and have put the time into figuring out which candidate they prefer. However, they are faced with a disappointing selection of candidates in a time when political opinions can be controversial to discuss because of how polarized the country is currently. Some students don’t seem to strongly prefer either candidate but are choosing between the two simply because they dislike the other more. When asked about his preference of candidate, Zach Fales (‘21) said, “I don’t know at the moment; I think that both have their downsides.” And this perspective is not unique to Zach—seniors Ben Kryillos, Izzy Ratto, Dax Kay, Luken Aguerre, Kian Tayebi, and Dylan Hunt all agreed that they shared similar sentiments. Slightly opposed, Alan Zhou (‘21) said he is shocked about how embarrassing each candidate is after watching the debate, but he prefers Candidate for US President Biden “This is the way I look at it. Do I want this country to continue to go in this downward spiral? From what I can tell, these last four years have been more divided and our country has gone through a dramatic change, not for the better. Maybe Biden could come in and mend that division
24 COVER STORY | Issue 03
a bit (but as a last resort).” Luken had a stronger focus on policies, explaining that he prefers Biden. “I feel like global warming needs to be solved now, and Trump doesn’t emphasize that enough.” While Bishop’s voters are struggling to pick either candidate and are mostly undecided, “Gen Z voters (ages 18-23) are supporting the Democrat, 57 percent to 33 percent,” young voters prefer candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, according to a new poll from NBC based on Wall Street Journal data. As for Trump, some young Bishop’s voters like his policies, but others simply dislike Biden. Sterling Price (‘21) said, “I like Trump, but also have things I don’t like about him. I would say that I do dislike Biden more.” Jamie Fazio (‘21) expressed, “I think that America’s economy is of utmost importance right now, especially with this whole pandemic that happened” when explaining preference for Trump. He also had health concerns about Biden. While many students did say they would vote, a similar number also expressed concern that their vote won’t matter. “I think in a blue state like California, my vote doesn’t really matter because regardless of who I choose, Biden will most likely be the winner,” explained Ben. “Personally I will be voting for Biden; I think Biden is bad but I think Trump is far worse.” Others, such as Sterling, had a similar opinion. “I know it’s important to vote, but then again it feels like my one vote won’t make a difference either way,” he said. Despite these concerns, though, he is still com-
mitted to voting all the same. “I know if everyone had that mentality then we wouldn’t have the democracy that we do,” he furthered. “I think it is still important to vote no matter the effect—or lack thereof—you think it will have.” Alan raised an important point about the Electoral College that showed that, as young voters, we do not fully understand the voting system we participate in. “I’m not 100% sure how the Electoral College works, but don’t they pretty much make the decisions for us? For example, in the last election, I know that Hillary won the popular vote, but she did not win the majority votes from the electoral college. If our vote really matters, then why was she not president?”
Out of 12 students who are eligible to vote, they all planned on voting with the exception of one, who thought their vote simply did not matter in a blue state. Sterling explained, “I think it is very important to vote and that it is the civic duty of all Americans to vote.” Ben agreed, noting that “everyone should vote for someone because people for generations literally died so we could have this ability.”
I think it is very
important to vote and that it is the
of all Americans to vote. Sterling Price (‘21)
COVER STORY | Issue 03
Top Ten Return-to-Campus To-Dos
Split your friend group into trios to avoid lunch drama
Overpay for a Better Buzz vanilla latte
Change your phone background to the list of class locations
Check the expiration on your dry shampoo
Make the ultimate choice: Bishopâ€™s mask or medical mask?
Start interval training to wean yourself off your phone
Set your alarm for 5:30 A.M. (just in case...)
Finally place a uniform bottom Landsâ€™ End order
Actually do your homework
26 THE BELL | Issue 03
Make up your temperature for Health Check
The New Rec Room Making a Difference, Kid by Kid
PC: Kyle Berlage (‘22)
Photo courtesy of @kidbykid_ tutoring on Instagram
Photos courtesy of Sara Hamadeh (‘22)
[local & beyond]
12 14 16
A 1.5ºC Warmer World Apple’s Inexplicable Appeal
PC: Crystal Li (‘23)
Photos courtesy of Sophia Gleeson (‘24)
A Pop Artist Update
Art by Lucie Edwards (‘21)
Art by Lucie Edwards (‘21)
Do Generations Exist?
Art by Kyle Berlage (‘22)
Head to Head
Art by Lucie Edwards (‘21)
A New Era of Voters
Art by Lucie Edwards (‘21)
Top Ten Return-to-Campus To-Dos
Design by Lucie Edwards (‘21)
Front and back cover thanks to Lucie Edwards (‘21) PHOTO CREDITS | Issue 03