Gender-Based Diversity in STEM - Page 10 MARCH 2021 | VOL. 6 ISSUE 4
THE CHARIOT TROY HIGH STUDENT NEWSPAPER
Cover photo by Luanni Ford
The Chariot Mission Statement The Chariot is a student-produced news publication that publishes information relevant to the times as well as material that is essential to the overall well-being of its readers. It is The Chariot’s responsibility to cover school, city, state, national and international events and issues that affect the concerns of the campus, its students and its readers. The Chariot operates as a designated public forum for student expression. The Editorial Board, consisting of student editors, is the sole decision-making and policysetting body of The Chariot and has final say over all content decisions. Opinions expressed in letters to the editors represent those of the author. Letters to the editors should be typed, double-spaced and must include the author’s name, signature and class or position. Names of individuals may be withheld upon request, pending a vote of the Editorial Board. Letters may be submitted via email at email@example.com. All letters are subject to review by the Editorial Board. Letters will not be edited except to fix space limitations. Should the Editorial Board deem a letter to be potentially libelous or containing content inappropriate for publication, it will be returned to the author with an opportunity for corrections. The Editorial Board is solely responsible for these decisions. The Chariot’s purpose is to be the voice of the school. Its purpose is to shed light on groups and people that are not often discussed while bringing news that is important to the community. THE VOICE OF TROY HIGH. WE SEE YOU. WE HEAR YOU. WE GET YOU.
Environmental Activists Club FEATURES
The EA Club works to create a better environment despite COVID changes
By Katelyn Peaslee // Staff Reporter
The Environmental Activist (EA) club focuses on trying to help the environment through mediums such as volunteer work and community organizations. Even with the COVID-19 virus, the EA club is finding ways to help our ecosystems. Senior AJ Joseph states why people should join the EA club. “One reason to join is if you’re interested in the environment Courtesy of the EA club
and just want to make some friends,” Joseph said.
Many people join for those exact reasons. Students join the club by emailing the club advisor, Rob Zynda, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or getting into contact with any of the club members. With in-person meetings limited, the club has temporarily moved their meetings to be once a month, but still plan to help the environment and hang out, just like they did in-person. While the COVID-19 virus has limited options for club activities, the EA club is still finding ways to give back to the community. Currently, the EA club is working with Treeplenish, an organization dedicated to creating more sustainable schools. Senior Katherine Ni, EA club president, states what Treeplenish is and what EA Club is doing in response. “[Our goal is] to plant trees to make up for the amount of paper that… was used in Troy High during a full academic course, that was in-person,” Ni said. At this time, the EA club is finding homes for Red Maple and River Birch trees. When the club is not volunteering, they are educating their members on ways to help the environment. Joining the Environmental Activists club can be a great way to learn about the environment and how to help, while making friends and chilling out along the way. The EA club strives to aid their members in their quest for a better environment.
Ice Break (-Out Rooms)
How teachers are keeping students stay connected online.
By Vanisa Kumar // Business Editor
As experts try to predict when the world will return to normal, many students are left feeling disconnected or awkward in school settings. With the loss of many in-person opportunities, some exceptional teachers are finding ways to keep their students connected during this pandemic. Leadership teacher Meghan Riddock bridges the gap of social anxiety by hosting Zoom “hangouts” with her leadership class and Special Education teacher Jeff Uberti’s class at the end of each week. Riddock explains why it’s important to have this time to socialize. “My students in this time have a hard time socializing since it feels so optional right now, and as far as Uberti’s class, this might be the only time they have to interact,” Riddock explains. “So by forcing this interaction it can help with a sense of community in Troy High right now.” Mr. Uberti’s class expresses their love for the work that Riddock is doing for them. “ I like to meet new people,” senior Justin Stephenson said. Senior Hyesong Yoon echoes Stephenson on the opportunity. “ I like to talk and socialize,” Yoon said. But it's not just Uberti and his class who enjoys this time in hangouts. Junior Nadia Khan shares her opinion on this new dynamic of talking with peers.
Photo by Vanisa Kumar
Leadership teacher Meghan Riddock and Special Education teacher Jeff Uberti STORY CONTINUES ON PG. 6
Troy High Art students talk about the many aspects of the art department By Luanni Ford// Graphics Editor
Having many students drawn to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at Troy High, art classes can be a good creative outlet for non-STEM inclined students. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, many students don't have easy access to traditional materials they would normally have access to in class. Even with the pandemic and the majority of the student body being online, many art teachers and students are trying to make it work. Junior Evangelia Kiousis, who takes studio art and advanced drawing, talks about pros and cons to inperson art classes. Graphic by Luanni Ford
“I like how we can get more hands on when in person.” Kiousis said. “But, I don't like having to rush to get the materials you want from the classroom.” Kiousis also discusses the attitude she notices in the district toward art classes. ”I think that the district pays attention to art when it’s finished,” Kiousis said. “I’ve always heard from my art teachers that the supplies come from them personally and not the school.” Senior Emily Hilenski, who takes Advanced Drawing, Advanced Computer Graphics and AP Art, speaks about a lack of support for the art classes in the Troy School District. “No, I don't think that the school district does much to promote/support art classes,” Hilenski said. “Even though the course guide lists many art classes, it seems that most of them aren't ever held because of low enrollment numbers — I have never seen a student encouraged to take an art extracurricular.”
Hilenski also hopes to see more art classes appeal to students who aren't as artistically inclined. “I would change the art curriculum to be more inclusive as an educational elective for non-art focused students.” Hilenski said. Hilenski offers some proposals for the future. “I think that they should be adapted to better include students of all skill levels and grades and help them to individually evolve their art knowledge," Hilenski said. "If art classes at Troy High were promoted and encouraged more, and edited to be less traditional, it would let more kids pursue their creative endeavors in a way that is productive to them regardless of their chosen interests.”
Ice Break (Out Rooms) STORY CONTINUED FROM PG. 4
By Vanisa Kumar // Business Editor
“I didn’t think much of it, I didn’t really know what was going on at first,” Khan said. “But it was a really good time and I felt like I really got to know and interact with a lot of different people and that was really cool, so I ended up looking forward to it both to talk to them and people in my class.” It is no surprise to many that this new mode of communication is hard to get comfortable with, for teachers and students, but it seems that most of these “meetups'' could implement positive change. Mr. Uberti expresses how much all this means to him and his class. “The leadership class created an incredible opportunity during the pandemic,” Uberti said. “All of our students were able to socialize and create new friendships in a virtual setting. It's been awesome.”
APs…Online or In-Person…? NEWS
Students and teachers share their opinions about whether the AP exams should be online or in-person this year. By Praneetha Ankisettipalli
COVID-19 — the pandemic that not only shook the entire
Graphic by Luanni Ford
world, but also altered many lives in unimaginable ways. This especially holds true for high schoolers. Given the uncertainty many are living in right now, having to do online school and take APs and other hard classes can be extremely challenging. Some students might find taking AP classes online easier. “Feels better than in person,” senior Zoltan Kovacs said. “I think without the distractions of the class I’m actually focusing better than I usually would.” While Kovacs preferred online school for the APs, senior Konstantina Kiousis had an opposing opinion. ”I would say it has a negative impact because I feel like I don’t learn as much and I get easily distracted which in turn impacts my grades,” Kiousis said. In agreement to Kiousis’s statement, Counselor Jesse Allgeier confirmed that that not as many students are sticking with APs. The number seems to have dwindled quite a lot since the onset of the school year,” Allgeier said. “[We] are seeing more students dropping at the semester as well.” She shared that last year’s online school and AP scores might have also had an influence on students’ decision this year. “I believe that the virtual administration last year may have been a negative experience for some students,” Allgeier said. In addition to this, the opinions about whether the AP exams should be in person or online also vary.
STORY CONTINUES ON PG. 9
Students discuss their experience with college athletic recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Manny Al-Nsour // Web Editor in Chief
With start dates being pushed back over and over, resources continuing to be limited, and season time winding down, the COVID-19 pandemic has made daily life increasingly more difficult for many developing athletes. College recruiting is already hard enough, but for student athletes like Paige Anderson and Colby Dimsdale, COVID-19 has made the process more difficult. Senior and varsity swimmer Colby Dimsdale shares some difficulties he faced this season.
Photo courtesy of Paige Anderson Senior Paige Anderson poses with her cross country team.
Michigan was one of the last states for indoor pools to open which limited me for months,” Dimsdale said. “Furthermore, I had no times to send to the coaches of colleges because there were no meets.” Athletic ability is the main determinant for college coaches to look at, and decide if they want a certain athlete on their team. Because of the limited accessibility of sports facilities in Michigan, athletes are struggling to update their times and records in competition to players in other states, who have more resources readily available, giving other athletes an advantage. “Other [highschools] out of state haven't had to shut down quite as significantly as we have,” boys varsity swim coach Kyle Larson said. “You may have a bunch of high school athletes out in Colorado, or California for example, who have been able to have their full seasons. So now those kids have an advantage over high school athletes in Michigan.” Another challenge many athletes are facing is establishing a relationship with a coach and their team. This has been a difficulty for many athletes, including senior Paige Anderson, who is a cross country and track athlete, before she committed to Kalamazoo college to run cross country.
“Usually you'll stay overnight and hang out with people on the team and see what it's like to be a student around campus, but you couldn't do that this year,” said Anderson. Even if athletes are given the opportunity to compete for a university, it can be hard to decide which school is best, because they aren't able to experience campus life or interact with possible future teammates. Athletic recruiting has never stopped, but the factors that go into finding the right athletes and universities have changed significantly.
APs... Online or In-Person...? STORY CONTINUED FROM PG. 7
By Praneetha Ankisettipalli // Staff Reporter
“I think they should be online,” Kovacs said. “We still don’t know exactly when enough people will have been vaccinated for it to be safe in public spaces, and that kind of unnecessary worry and distraction should be avoided for the APs.” While some people agree with Kovacs about wanting to avoid the stress caused by the safety concerns, others beg to differ. “I think they would be more efficient in person,” Kiousis said. Allgeier expressed her concerns about in-person testing. She stated that no matter what precautions are taken, either way is going to have its challenges. “I think either way, there is no way to offer ideal testing conditions,” Allgeier said.“Virtually there were MANY issues and I do not think it is safe to do in-seat testing,” she added, stating her strictly personal opinion. On Tuesday, February 23rd, Principal Remo Roncone released an email announcing that all College Board exams, except certain STEM and World Language exams, will be digital and taken at home for the 2020-21 school year. In conclusion, given the circumstances the world is living in right now, it is extremely hard for many to determine what the best way to conduct the AP exams this year is. AP exams might not seem like a big deal to most people, but they mean everything to many of the students taking those classes. No one likes their hard work to go in vain, after all.
GENDER-BASED DIVERSITY IN STEM The Troy Chariot investigates the presence of gender-based inequities in various STEM fields and Troy High School classes.
By Varsha Penumalee// Staff Reporter
Graphic by Raneen Alrammahi
With March being Women’s History Month, many people are discovering the importance of gender equality, specifically with the mixed responses to the first female Vice President. Since then, the gender inequities in the United States of America have been placed under a magnifying glass, revealing that many fields — including those of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) — are brewing pots of inequality. n order to discover the STEM disparities present in the Troy School District, the Troy Chariot interviewed various students and teachers about gender-based diversity. Allison Wei, senior and President of She’s the First, explains her views on gender inequality. “Gender inequality exists, and I believe we don’t have to look far to see its effects and that it exists in many forms,” Wei said. “Just starting from childhood, girls are often socially pressured into certain fields, and because of that, they do face repercussions when they grow up into the workplace. Even in school, many times girls feel underestimated or feel that they have to prove themselves more compared to their male counterparts.” Biology teacher Rachel Cervi adds her insight on how accessibility to STEM has progressed. “I think because people are talking a lot more about STEM and gender gaps in society and in the workplace, we’re starting to address those gaps more, but we have a lot more work to do,” Cervi said. Chemistry 1 teacher Autumn Spiteri explains why she believes it’s important to fill these gaps and encourage marginalized groups toward STEM fields. “I think it is important because if women or other minorities do not ‘have a seat at the table,’ their ideas, thoughts, perspectives may be overlooked,” Spiteri wrote. “Having a wide variety of people in STEM fields will encourage problems to be approached differently, different kinds of questions can be asked, and different solutions [can be] created.”
Many argue that there is a visible gap between the representation of women in STEM fields like social sciences in comparison to those like chemistry and physics. In The American Association of University Women’s article “The STEM Gap: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” a study from The U.S. Bureau of Labor revealed that men are significantly more represented in fields such as engineering and computer-based sciences. Physics teacher Ransom Brown describes how he sees gender-based gaps in various STEM fields, especially those that are considered to be more “analytical." “I teach Physics II, which is a second-year physics class, and I have noticed that I don’t usually have a 50-50 split,” Brown stated. “I usually end up having more male students, which is something that we in the science department are always keeping an eye on, finding new ways to encourage our students to continue on in STEM fields.” As Brown alluded to, gender-based inequality is present in STEM; however, there are steps that both students and teachers can take to battle these inequities. Cervi reveals some of the solutions that teachers can utilize. “A lot of it is about opportunities,” Cervi added. “Any opportunity that is given to us as teachers that is available for our students, we need to present. Also, being there for a student who may have an idea that they want to continue with, whether it be a club or a general concept, we should encourage that idea and be their support system.” Finally, Wei explains how young women can put an end to gender inequality in STEM fields as well. “Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself and to stand up,” Wei said. “Embrace your feminine side and view that as a strength. Also, participation and advocating for yourself especially in the classroom because that’s where a lot of this inequity starts: it’s in the classroom and at a young age.” With inequality becoming more apparent, it is essential that the Troy School District takes steps towards gender-based equity. By learning more about gender inequality and partaking in difficult conversations, students and teachers can begin to push away from gender roles and create equality in all professions and school classes, even those in STEM.
A New Stanza
Freshmen discuss the various difficulties and the successes they’ve encountered in their adjustment to high school, especially in a virtual setting. By Avril Yu // Staff Reporter
Graphic by Avril Yu
To many, the atmosphere of high school beats like a pair of butterfly’s wings, always shifting and inconstant. In these four years, many students go through some of their greatest changes as they learn new material in subjects with unfamiliar names, and scramble to find their own place in the grand scheme of things. Of the students at Troy High, many of the students who feel this change the sharpest are the freshmen: new faces in the building who are still trying to get the hang of it all. The onslaught of the pandemic has made this task much harder. One of the aspects of school life that many feel has taken perhaps the greatest hit from this year’s new online format is the clubs at the school, which many freshmen look towards as a means of finding their place in the THS community. Freshman Sally Kim said that while she actually doesn’t find high school academics to be that vast of a challenge, trying to stay on top of club news has proven an intimidating task. “For studying, I think the conditions improved because we can re-watch the lectures and the office hours, but the clubs...because it’s all online, I can’t really get the information,” she said. Schoology is a platform where students can view their grades and upcoming assignments all in one place, but the clubs often deviate when it comes to their main channel of communication: some have chats on specific apps, others prefer websites, and so on. Due to this, Kim remarks that it feels like she’s constantly out of the loop with what’s going on in Troy High’s extracurriculars. Within extracurriculars in this extraordinary year, another sore area is sports. Many students participating in athletic events at Troy High are faced with a disheartening reality due to cancellations all across the board, and dates for practices which seem to be continually pushed back further.
“The school sports situation — I really wanted to be part of school sports,” freshman Francesca Giuffrida said. “I had a volleyball season and it got cancelled because of corona. So, they made up some of it just this past November when the school volleyball was going on, so I couldn’t do both, and that was really disappointing because a lot of those girls were from Smith and I went to Boulan, so I really wanted to get to know those people.” Giuffrida stated that clubs and school sports are where she feels like she belongs at Troy High because of her desire to meet and connect with new people. She said that — regardless of the virus — there’s still the obvious question of whether or not she would have made the volleyball team during try-outs, but what was disappointing to her was that the opportunity to even make an attempt had been taken away from her. For other students, the recent pandemic has made it difficult to even begin to conceptualize which place in the school feels most like where they belong. “Because I don’t really know my classmates, I’m not really sure,” Kim said. To many, one of the greatest effects of the current world situation right now is the pervading sense of loneliness it brings to some of the aspects of life it touches — a natural burden which follows selfisolation everywhere, like how thunder is sure to trail on the heels of lightning. A study done by the Department of Behavioral Science and Health in London reported that in terms of experiencing loneliness during this time, “...being a student emerged as a higher risk factor during lockdown than usual.” For freshmen, many believe the best way to potentially combat this sense of loneliness and feel truly at home in this new environment is for them to know and become familiar with fellow students — but that’s yet another thing which has been taken away by quarantine. Giuffrida expressed that it has definitely become more difficult to connect with peers, but that part of it is also the people themselves being unwilling to be fully open during a stressful time. “[It] kind of depends on whether [the classmates] want to participate or not,” Giuffrida said. “A lot of my teachers put us into breakout rooms, and a lot of them would just make us say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ and talk about your own personal life...and if [the classmates] would participate, then yes, I’ve met new people, but if they wouldn’t, then it’s really hard...and a lot of times I am the person to just unmute and be like, ‘Okay guys, what’s up?’” Giuffrida said that she believes her classmates have gotten to know her better because of her willingness to be active in the discussion, but she doesn’t feel as though she’s gotten to know her classmates better. Kim stated that she has still been making an effort to socialize with her classmates.
“Not as much I would’ve in school,” she said, “but Zoom, if you actually try to talk to people, it actually works.” Kim also expressed that although in a virtual classroom people are in their own house and are free to do almost anything they want in-between classes, the Zoom classroom is — in some ways — more rigid than the in-person classroom. Distanced by a shut-off camera and a microphone icon with a permanent slash through it, what is conspicuously missing to many students from this new learning environment are the little tidbits of conversation that they once considered integral to the in-person classroom experience. Most students know about arriving a few minutes early to their next class to buy themselves some precious time to chat quickly with friends before the start of the lesson, and of course, about the lighthearted words exchanged in the hallways during passing time. Kim said that the Zoom classroom does not allow these little conversational gestures to really flourish — at the end of a lesson, students sign off, and that’s that. And do freshmen even feel connected to the Troy High community to begin with? “Can I be honest? No,” Kim said. She expressed that while she does feel a degree of connection with the teachers, the students are another matter — with her classmates often having their cameras off, going to class amidst a sea of empty black squares contributed deeply to a feeling of disconnection. “It really depends,” Giuffrida said. “Like, my bio teacher, she always checks in, makes sure our mental health is okay, and I feel connected to her because I feel comfortable talking to her.” Giuffrida stated that during her volleyball practices on the field, she felt connected to the coaches, who she said did everything they could to try and make sure that people were able to get their needed amount of practice in. It eased her disappointment with this year’s volleyball season, as the practices still allowed her to play and meet with other students. Many students moving on from middle school view high school with a kind of inspired fear — to many of them, it’s the intimidating and fantastical new chapter unfolding in their lives. For a myriad of freshmen this year, it can be certain that this virtual environment has made almost everything all new: from the way they reach out to their teachers and classmates, to the environments that they take their assessments in, to the new kinds of distractions which hinder attention in class. For many, high school is a new body of lines in a poem, a new stanza which breaks off from all else. It waits for freshmen to write it together — this year, more than ever.
Poor Connection, Try Again Later COVID
Students facing a lack of social interaction during quarantine share suggestions for how to cope. By Anjali Sanil // Staff Reporter Graphic by Anjali Sanil
Online school has presented many students with a challenge most have never faced before. As the pandemic drags on, being isolated and kept away from friends and other loved ones for nearly a year now has been harmful to many students. Stuck at home all day, many teens are unable to achieve the independence and socialization that they need. An article from the Washington Post presents chilling statistics from the Centers for Disease Control on the mental health of 12-24 year olds during this pandemic. “26 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days,” the article said. “And mental health visits to emergency rooms by 12- to 17-year-olds increased 31 percent in 2020.”
A lack of socialization seems to be largely to blame for this dramatic increase in mental health issues. Unable to interact normally with friends, many young people often feel isolated. The loneliness brought by the pandemic can easily leave teens feeling completely overwhelmed and alone. However, some have been able to turn this alone time into a blessing. Sophomore Isabell Ku considers quarantine an opportunity to think about herself for a change. “The fact that I’m not spending so much time figuring out people has given me a lot of time to work with myself, finding out what I want and who I want to be,” Ku said. “I think lots of people are spending this time to get to know themselves better.” Representing many other introverts, Ku finds it easy to entertain herself with hobbies rather than relying on others and recommends this to anyone who is struggling with boredom and loneliness. “A lot of people don’t really have hobbies, which leaves them at home like, ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m just going to scroll through TikTok all day,’” Ku said. Exploring new hobbies can help many pass the time when things like friends and sports aren’t available the way they used to be, and even something relatively simple like reading or painting can be very beneficial. Recently, hybrid learning has been reintroduced, bringing back some social interaction. While Ku has elected to stay home and doesn’t think that hybrid learning would help much to solve the issue of loneliness, Junior Karam Mawazini is an in-person learning student who thinks hybrid learning is one of the best things that could have happened to him. “The first day I was in person, I remembered that this is where I discovered who I am, who my friends are, what I like to do, who I like to be around,” Mawazini said. “Being back in that learning environment was everything I needed.” For Mawazini, reviving the social aspect of school, if only for a couple days a week, has dramatically improved his school experience and general state of mind. Mawazini strongly encourages his peers to take the in-person learning option if possible.
“When you’re sitting behind a screen, you have no motivation to do anything… it’s so easy to not give effort,” Mawazini said. “The more we can contact each other, the better it is for our conscience.” In his opinion, simply existing in a more engaging, social environment is a great solution to help combat loneliness and a lack of motivation. Mawazini, like Ku, has been using quarantine to better himself. “I’ve been getting into spirituality and meditating,” he said, “If you’re struggling with loneliness and a lack of interaction, focus on yourself. A lonely person will feel lonely in a room with hundreds of people.” In a world where things like social media can create a hectic, constantly moving environment where it can be hard to catch a break, being alone for a while with the chance to take care of oneself can be seen as a long-needed breath of fresh air. However, just because the pandemic is a chance to focus on self-care, it doesn’t mean that social interactions are lost. In fact, quarantine has given many people more ways to connect with their friends remotely than ever before.
“A lot of new resources to stay in touch have been opened to us,” Mawazini said, referencing things such as Teleparty, previously known as Netflix Party; online multiplayer games like Uno and Minecraft; and of course, the classic Zoom call.
"I think quarantine has given me an insight into compassion," Mawazini said.
Ku also emphasizes the importance of reaching out to friends. “Make time to call your friends,” Ku said. “Go out of your way to seek them out, don’t wait for them… actively seeking companionship is really important.” While COVID-19 has presented many unique challenges, many students have also found chances to make more meaningful connections. “I think quarantine has given me an insight into compassion,” Mawazini said, remarking that he can relate to his friends more now that everyone has this shared experience. Even as the pandemic continues to create physical divides, it’s important to remember that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
Where Did It All Go?
How the COVID-19 virus has affected the school lives of students. By Raneen AlRammahi// staff reporter
Graphic by Raneen AlRammahi
Students crowded around on an early morning. Chatter and laughter fills the air as students walk down the endless hallways to find their class, where their teachers greet them with a smile. They situate themselves at their desk and think, “Where did all that go?” as they stare at the dead end zoom class, sitting alone in their bedroom on a Monday morning. This is now the life of many students at Troy High due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which many students considered the end of their social life. Sophomore Leila Murray is one of the many students who have had their social life take a turn to the worst.
“I miss the social interactions, ” Murray said. “It's the little things I miss more than anything. The quick hello, laughing along to a joke, or just roaming the halls with my friends. I feel almost alone now. I have a few friends that I still talk to on a daily basis, but it just doesn't feel the same.” Sophomore Zach Balcoff agrees with Murray on his school social life. “Covid has highly decreased my school life,” Balcoff said. “I haven't met and befriended one new person this year. You can't really get someone’s number over Zoom without it being awkward.” Balcoff has always been an active participant in school activities and clubs. He's always loved the sense of community they seemed to have, however this year, he said it feels different. “They lack a lot of the ‘family’ feel clubs have… as well as a lot of activities lacking,” he said. “Student Government has had barely any events because they are mostly in person.” Senior Ahimsa Sathyakumar, also a member of Student Government, has something similar to say. “All high school clubs, especially stugo, have taken huge hits from COVID,” Sathyakumar said. “We really depend on other students so we were at a loss at first of how to try to find some sort of normalcy within all of these restrictions.” Sathyakumar goes on to say that despite the difficulties, the Student Government and many other clubs have been trying their best to adapt to an online setting. Similarly to Balcoff and Murray, Sathyakumar missed the little things in school. “As a senior I was honestly just looking forward to participating in all the normal highschool events for the last time,” she said. “Mostly, I just miss the small interactions of a regular school day, like joking around in class, sitting with my friend group at lunch, and overall just being together with others.” With this new normal that many are living in, it has made these students and many others feel alone and like they’re missing something when it comes to school.
Choir During Covid
How choir students and teachers adapted to Covid-19 By Madeline Hiser// Staff Reporterr
This school year has been a rough ride for many students. With COVID-19 restrictions, many Troy High classes have had to change and adapt to this new way of living and learning, like the Troy High choir. Singing in the choir is an important part of many students' lives, but not just because they all get to sing. Being in choir is like a second family for many students, a place to let go of their worries and have fun. Senior Mya Hersback says it is a place where everyone is included and happy. “It’s about having a safe place for everyone to feel comfortable in, and that’s what’s important,” Hersback said. Photo By Luanni Ford, Photo Illustration by Maddy Hiser
COVID-19’s effect on the choir community can make it a struggle to do the things they previously did, like having concerts, rehearsals and getting to go on trips to perform and learn. With most students still being online it can be hard for them to learn music and stay truly connected with classmates. However Choir teacher Adrienne Covian and student teacher Lily Czartorski have been making the experience online and in school fun and new, even though everyone is socially distanced. “We are learning how music goes together, and how to compose our own things,” Covian said.Covian continued to say that the students are learning about the history of music and how to compose their own music in fun and safe ways, like class discussions through zoom and in class, and more projects. But, learning about music isn't the only thing happening in the choir classroom, Hersback said students are getting to socialize with their friends and have fun in class and laugh. My friends and classmates do a good job making sure everyone is on the same page and happy,” Hersback said. Hersback continued on to say that there is always something fun going on in the choir classroom at Troy High, whether it be singing a new song, learning about the history of jazz music or practicing sheet music with classmates. Despite the struggles of adapting to the changes and uncertainty that COVID-19 virus has brought, choir has been an outlet for many students, and a place to have fun and with friends and learn.
A show filmed in a time like no other with drama like no other By Bridgette Scott// Social Media Editor
A show filmed in a time like no other with drama like no other The Bachelor, a popular reality dating show, is currently on its 25th season. Many could say this season is like no other for two reasons; one being Matt James is the first African American bachelor, and two, that the show has continued in the midst of a pandemic. Many might ask how this reality show is still taking place during a pandemic. As the
Graphic by Luanni Ford
host, Chris Harrison would say, it is not easy, but with a little out-of-the-box thinking, the show has managed two seasons! The show usually takes the cast on many outrageous and fun adventures but during the pandemic, the show had to make sure all of the adventures were safe and without travel. Senior Olivia Rosati describes this process. “In previous seasons the contestants would go on elaborate trips or travel back to their hometowns or even go to restaurants for dates. However this year everything stays in the hotel,” Rosati said. All the contestants had to be tested and quarantined prior to arriving at the show. It looked very similar to what many people are doing at home, getting tested and then waiting for the results. If the results came back negative, the contestants were able to travel to the remote location of filming where they would be staying for the next few weeks without any contact to the outside world. Keeping out of contact with friends and family is one of the biggest setbacks to the show as the contestants must be completely in the Bachelor process. The show touches on big topics and little ones, asking everyone to be as transparent and genuine as they can be.
Putting it all out there for everyone watching can be hard and takes the contestants time to open up. That’s why the show has something called one-on-ones. When contestants go on these one-on-ones, they spend the day with the person on a fun activity, like going skydiving or riding around on atvs. Usually it’s something fun for their first date, and then the night portion comes. The dinner date scene proves to be the most emotional part of the day because they are asked to open up and talk about their lives. Unlike the heartfelt portions of each
"I enjoy watching the show because of all the drama," Renke said.
episode, one of the biggest reasons why the show is so popular is because it keeps the drama going. Senior Lily Renke discusses her favorite part about The Bachelor.
“I enjoy watching the show because of all the drama,” Renke said. “I think the show did a good job filming during the pandemic because they had everyone self isolate for 2 weeks then they all got tested and they’re only in contact with each other on the premises”. The Bachelor, like many shows, had to film with the storyline of social distancing and mask wearing in account. Some shows like Grey’s Anatomy even wrote the virus into the plot. Compared to those other shows, Rosati speaks about her experiences watching this season. “I absolutely love the show, I watch it with my mom and we yell at the TV if the girl we got to stay and the girl we like gets sent home,” She said, “The show is just as good even with them not being able to leave the resort”. It wouldn’t be the Bachelor if the rose ceremony wasn’t mentioned. Speaking for the The Chariot, we give this show a rose.
"It's More Fun at MJR"
Students wonder whether movie theaters could open up safely to keep their business alive or not. By Rory Knauss// Position
Movie theaters can be a place for friends and family to come together, or even a place to enjoy a movie on their own. But, since the pandemic came around and forced many l into lockdown, theaters have been subjected to stay afloat without any customers. MJR of Troy has required all of it’s guests to wear masks unless they are consuming concessions as a safety precaution, and the concessions have the option to be bought before each show online on the MJR Mobile App. Cleaning and sanitization
Graphic by Rory Knauss
happens between every show for the guests wellbeing, and the staff are required to wash their
hands every half hour. All of these steps are taken for MJR of Troy to stay open and keep their business running. Junior George Lawless believes that movie theaters should do everything in their power to stay open. “Before covid, I visited the movie theaters with my friends almost every week if we found a movie that interested us,” Lawless said. “I think that they will be open by selling movies to people at homes or offering a drive in option like many movie theaters do up north. I feel fine with theaters opening back up, I’ve wanted them to for months because you can easily social distance in a theater, and if casinos can be open then so can theaters.” Lawless also believes that movie theaters will be alright, even while selling snacks. “I believe they will survive with taking action on keeping people safe, and they should still be able to sell concessions,” Lawless said. However, Sophomore Caroline Huang believes that movie theaters shouldn’t be open as of now.
“I didn’t ever go to movie theaters. Honestly, I’m not sure [how they would stay afloat without being open]. Maybe they’ll sell stuff remotely,” Huang said. “We should wait a lot longer until they’re open again, it’ll probably be a while [until they open].” Sophomore Colin Kenney doesn’t visit the movie theaters often, but still believes they should be able to open, with some precautions. “I go to movie theaters two or three times a year,” Kenney said. “Movie theaters could branch out to selling physical copies of movies and other movie merchandise. I think it would be a good idea [to open back up] as long as the movie theaters force you to sit distanced from others and the theaters clean in between viewings. Movie theaters may be able to increase the price of tickets or find alternative products related to movies they can sell.” It is uncertain whether or not being open again will keep the business afloat considering all of the precautions that need to be taken for each guest, but now that movie theaters are opening back up with standards for operation, the film industry can once again begin producing.
Surging streaming services
The effect COVID-19 has had on streaming services and there viewers By Lola Pinneo// Source Editor
As COVID19 cases have spiked and declined over the past year, many Americans have had a lot of time to fill. Many have picked up new hobbies, renovation projects, crafts, or a good binge-watch of their favorite show. Many of the students and faculty at Troy High have, as a result, turned to streaming services... Teacher Alyssa Armstrong has done this herself .
Graphic by Luanni Ford
“I think that young adults rely heavily on streaming services, probably more than necessary,” Armstrong said. According to a study by Leichtman research group, 78% of households have a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu, up from 69% in 2018 and 52% in 2015. Many streaming services are getting rid of some of their most popular shows and continuing to up their prices. Normally this would have an effect on their subscription rate, but it looks as if they might have benefited from this pandemic. According to quarterly statistics, Netflix has steadily increased their subscribers to 203.67 billion worldwide. Sophomore Zoe Silver has her very own thought on the topic. “I don’t think it’s fair that they are raising the prices, especially when they are removing some of their most popular shows,” Silver said. Although price-rising may deter some subscribers, others may just see it as simply business. Armstrong has the opposite opinion of Silver. “Streaming services are the future of TV so it's no wonder they would raise their prices knowing the demand is higher,” Armstrong said. Despite the differing opinions on the cost of streaming services, it appears they will continue to rise in popularity.
Diversity in Disney
Discussing the “shady” patterns many viewers see in Disney and Pixar’s films.
By Andy DeGrand // Print Editor-in-Chief
Graphic by Anjali Sanil
On March 12, 2020 a trailer for Disney’s and Pixar’s newest film, “Soul” was released. Many we’re excited to watch the upcoming film. Soul is about a middle-school band teacher, Joe Gardener, who is’t really happy with his life. He visits a different realm and helps his friend find their true passion, only to discover what it really means to have “soul”. In anticipation of the film’s release on Disney+, many lauded the film for portraying a Black protagonist whose identity was rooted in his culture. A tik-toker who calls himself Neebz, or better known as his username, watchwithneebz, quickly uploaded his opinion on the film appreciating the representation. “...This [is] a beautiful story about a Black man’s culture, life and experience…” Neebz said. He continued to list other examples of representation in the film including Indian doctors, Hispanic restaurant owners, Arab store owners and more. Many were appreciating the representation, until others started making accusations.
Many of Disney’s viewers are making connections with the fact that in almost every film of Disney’s where a person of color is the protagonist, they turn into animals for a majority of the movie. This happens in “Soul” when Joe enters the different realm, for he is’t only a soul (or ghost-like animation) for part of the film, but he is also a cat at one point. In 2009, Disney released a film with their first Black protagonist, “The Princess and the Frog.” Tiana, the protagonist, was a frog for over half of the film. In previous films like “Brother Bear” and “Emperor’s New Groove,” the protagonists of color are turned into creatures.. A more recent film, “Spies in Disguise,” released in 2019, had a Black lead created into a pigeon for the greater part of the film. With “Soul” releasing, only for viewers to watch what may be the same pattern, many were conflicted. Senior AJ Joseph shared their opinion on the topic. “I never really noticed until I had heard about the accusations towards Disney on tiktok,” Joseph said. “As a person of color I think that if it is true, it’s pretty messed up. I’d like to see a movie where the main character is a person of color, and stays human 100% of the movie.” An article by the Daily Beast titled “Why You Shouldn’t Celebrate Pixar’s ‘Soul’ for Finally Having a Black Lead,” expressed their opinion soon after the film was released. “Pixar’s latest film is a return to form for a company that has built a reputation for heartwarming stories with a creative twist, but these stories continue Disney’s tradition of giving Black leading bodies little screen time as they often morph into either an animal or something else inhuman,” the article said. “This is infuriating, not because such representations of Black and brown physical bodies in animation are limited, but because it’s been done purposely by one of the world’s most renowned studios.” Though many viewers expressed discontent, Disney didn’t publicly make a statement addressing the accusations. Many would still recommend this movie to anyone who has Disney+ and agree that although it’s not the best, it’s a start. “Look it’s not a lot, but I appreciate it,” Neebz said. “Representation matters.”
Graphic by Luanni Ford // Graphic Editor
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