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Volume VI, Issue 2, Winter Edition

December 2017







Editor-in Chief Sarah Kallis

Music | 4

Golden Bear Questionnaire | 24

Reviews | 5

Tech Team | 26

HIES Picks | 6

NEWS | 8


News Briefs | 8


Sports and Arts Briefs | 9

We Won a Battle, Not the War | 32

Tagging 2017 | 10

Mental Illness is Not a Trend | 34 It’s Okay to Not Be Okay | 36

FEATURES | 12 BadBlackBehavior | 12 Hunger Next Door | 14 A Crisis Close to Home | 16 Fake News: A Matter of Trust? | 22

Managing Editors Olivia Martin Ethan Mullen Associate Editor Miller Reid Production Editor Libby Malcolm Feature Writers Shea Fleming Tyler Jones Katie Little Tiana Momon Haley Plant Annie Sager Staff Writers Maggie Belenky Lucy Brumbaugh Jaylee Davis Grace Kelly Maddie Poch Matthew Raeside Emotional Support Emerson Delonga Cate O’Kelley Advisor Danielle Elms

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Stigma is a weight that everyone carries with them. We all have facets of ourselves that we are not confident in, too scared that they will be rejected by others. To further this dilemma, will live in a society that tells us that we are brave if we put on a mask. If we struggle, we are truly strong if no one suspects a thing. I believe quite the opposite. For me, at least, it is easy to put my head down, and hide any difficulties to the world. However, I don’t view this as a sign of my personal strength. I believe that there is strength in vulnerability. It is strong to embrace all facets of yourself, to be authentically who you are. It is brave to share your experiences, reducing stigma in the process. Some of my most courageous moments have occurred when I’ve made decisions to be completely honest to myself and those around me. I am not suggesting that people who aren’t open about their difficulties are weak; I am simply offering another path for strength. It’s hard to be honest. It’s hard to be vulnerable. Let’s celebrate those who can do it. In this issue of the C&G, we explore the path of honesty through vulnerability. From deeply personal op-eds to candid interviews included in stories, the magazine celebrates the honesty of people, and their willingness to embrace their stigmas. They refuse to accept the negative connotations of the labels they have been assigned, and the serve as a true inspiration to our community and the world around us.

Sarah Kallis Editor-in-Chief

MISSION STATEMENT The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events and opinions that are relevant to the Holy Innocents’ community, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, parents, administrators, and prospective families. C&G aspires to publish complete and accurate coverage through journalistically responsible, ethically reported and edited content that values diversity of perspectives.

EDITORIAL POLICY The C&G is a student-run, quarterly magazine published by the Crimson and Gold journalism staff at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School of Atlanta. All opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the entire staff or those of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. The magazine is written and designed as part of the journalism curriculum, and contributing writers can be included. The C&G values inclusivity and would appreciate any feedback or contribution. The staff strives to publish a diverse set of writing and perspectives while maintaining a standard of excellence. Please contact for more information. The advisor and the editors have the ultimate say on content and have permission to edit contributions for grammar and taste. The staff will only publish legally protected material and keeps the privacy of individuals included in mind.


Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School 805 Mt. Vernon HWY Atlanta, GA 30327




n 2011, Icelandic indie band Of Monsters and Men’s single, “Little Talks”, reached US radio stations and propelled them to international fame. Later that year, they released their debut album, My Head is an Animal, in Iceland, but it wasn’t until the following year that it was released internationally. The album landed in the Top 10 of most European charts, and number 6 on the Billboard 200, which was the best chart placement for an Icelandic band ever (until the release of their second album). Formed in 2010 by lead singer and guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, singer and guitarist Ragnar Þórhallsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, and guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, the band got its start after winning a local music competition. The next year, they signed a record deal with Record Records, which released their first album in Iceland, and then with Universal Records to release their album around the world.


rior to the release of their sophomore album, The Click, the brothers from New York released the extended play, What Everyone’s Thinking, consisting of five tracks in 2016. Beginning with “Come Hang Out”, a slower song about being too busy to have good times with friends, the EP examines living life while young. “Weak” deals with accepting a lack of self-control and contains AJR’s sporadic high pitched vocal noises, while “I’m Not Famous” expresses the joys of not experiencing widespread fame over a positive pop beat. The fun and exciting What Everyone’s Thinking acts as an entertaining precursor to The Click.


GMT’S first single in years, “Little Dark Age”, was released in October 2017. Starting off with a dark synth beat, Andrew VanWyngarden’s distant, echoing vocals come on the track shortly after. Carrying gloomier themes than previous songs, “Little Dark Age’s” lyrics represent a step in a different direction for the increasingly sonically progressive band. Despite the song’s existential lyrics,the mood lightens towards the end and the once dark beat, grows into a groovier, more lighthearted synth, which is more consistent with MGMT’s past music. The single offers a taste of what is to come with the band’s new album that is expected to be released in 2018


uring the summer of 2017, 18-year-old Declan McKenna released his debut studio album, What Do You Think About the Car?, following two EPs released in 2016. The indie-rock and pop album spans eleven songs, with various themes, many of which deal with social and political topics. “Paracetamol” deals with the struggles of transgender adolescents, and “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” is about the discontentment of the Millennial generation. Reflective and interesting, What Do You Think About the Car? is one of the stand out albums of the year and offers a strong start to a new artist.

What is the best album of 2017?*

1. REPUTATION- TAYLOR SWIFT 2. DAMN.- KENDRICK LAMAR 3. ÷ - ED SHEERAN *According to the 2017 Winter C&G Survey


Lacking some of the acoustic flair of the first album, Beneath the Skin, has a few more electronic elements, and is lyrically darker behind all of the recurring natural themes. Supported by five singles instead of four this time, the 2015 album reached Number 3 on the Billboard 200, charting higher than their debut album. “Crystals”, the peaceful, but powerful first single displays the beautiful vocal capabilities of both Hilmarsdóttir and Þórhallsson. Beneath the Skin acts as an excellent second album, and improves upon the few flaws of their debut.

MILLER REID, associate editor


My Head is an Animal brought four singles and pushed the band into the American spotlight completely. It contains the previously mentioned “Little Talks”, but also the anthemic indiefolk track, “Mountain Sound”, about running away and the more stripped-back, calm “King and Lionheart”, about companionship and loyalty. The songs on the album vary heavily, as some are fast-paced and others are slower, but nearly all the songs have natural imagery in them. This album was just the beginning for Of Monsters and Men. Following the release of the album, the band toured and played at many music festivals around the world. The following year in 2013, they released a live album, Live from Vatnagarðar, with six live tracks. Of Monsters and Men began to record their sophomore studio album, Beneath the Skin, in the two years following the release of their debut.









onder is a great movie to see with young children, as it can be sappy and predictable. The ending (don’t worry, no spoilers here) leaves everything tied up in a neat little bow, with every character happier acob than they have ever been. Wonder takes Tremblay place in a fantasy world: some bad is unbelievably things happen, but everything is profound for an resolved after some careful abled child wearing guidance from Emotional facial prosthetics acting Mom and Comedian as a disabled child. Wonder Dad. is, without a doubt, the next big feel-good movie fit for everyone ages one to 100. Auggie’s story is beautiful, timeless, and true, with the occasional splash of comedy. Wonder will make you laugh, cry, and even a little angry. But above all, Wonder will make you #ChooseKind.




am’s personality traits are obnoxiously stereotypical, to the point where it almost seems fake. Sam and his disability are the he butt of almost every joke, which would only be acceptable in an early-2000s raunchy and simplest way offensive comedy. And while Atypical to describe this received relatively high ratings, series is its title: many are hoping for a better Atypical. Sam is a senior portrayal in the second in high school looking for season, coming out a girlfriend. He does not fit in spring 2018. with his traditional school setting, which makes him -- and the show -- all the more compelling. Each family member gets their own complicated, individual storyline, giving the series to extra punch it needed.





evin Gillespie, a former Top Chef contestant, is the owner of Gunshow, a truly one-of-a-kind Atlanta restaurant. Restaurant patrons eat a communal dining tables, which is a great concept, but can get awkward for those who aren’t one to make small talk .Because it is difficult to hear anything over the trendy music, the lively atmosphere may not be the place for the soft-spoken. Furthermore, there’s not a lot of room for minors or those who don’t drink; the beverage menu was full of alcoholic creations and provided limited choices for non-alcoholic beverages. Besides one dish, the food delivered an excellent experience. The Apple Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly was a huge disappointment, overcooked and chewy when it should have been melt-in-your-mouth good. For a restaurant that prides itself on being authentically Southern, this was not the dish to mess up. However, the Chicken-sausage Corn Dog, was excellent. It beautifully showcased Gunshow’s Southern roots. The Lamb Tartare was the most interesting dish of the night, as it was not Southern at all. Seasoned with spices from Ethiopia, this dish transports patrons to the delicious gastronomic experiences of Buford Highway. However, the fish and chips was the best dish of the night. The catfish was battered with hushpuppy and the fries were layered on top of one another in a tiny stack around the size of a stick of gum. Regarding desserts, Gunshow ended the night on a good note. Topped with a milk chocolate ganache, the sweet potato custard could have been better with a a dark chocolate or less sweeter ganache. A better choice is the banana pudding. The mashed banana and cream pudding were separated, making for two wonderfully different tastes. A sugar topping tied the dessert together. While Gunshow was a truly memorable experience and offered a glimpse into the world of upscale food, there were not enough amazing dishes to warrant a second trip. And with its extremely high price tag ($70 per person for a party of 8), there are much more rewarding things to invest in.



GRACE KELLY, staff writer



onument Valley 2 was so perfect that it went by in an instant. While most puzzle games can take months to complete, this one was done in several days’ time. And as it is nice to see a sequel, the former version contained more challenging puzzles that onument Valley took longer to complete. Though 2 is perfect. It is some are disappointed with the flawless. Its soundtrack newer version, it is ranked #1 is serene and calm, and in Puzzle Games on the the graphics are better than App Store and has most animated movies. It is already earned minimalist at heart, yet it is evident Apple’s Editors’ that so much work and effort went Choice. into the creative process. The puzzles are calming, but require a certain degree of skill and thought. Monument Valley 2 is not simply a game or an app -- it is an art form.





MADDIE POCH, staff writer


The Fosters Catherine Shamanski ‘20 Where you can find it: Freeform

THE CARRIE DIARIES Delaney Miller ‘19 Where you can find it: THE CW Genre: Comedy/Drama Why they like it:“No matter how many times I watch it, it’s always equally as good as the first time. PLUS who wouldn’t want to be a teen living in the 1980’s in NYC!” Who it appeals to: 80s kids at heart Description: Join Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) as she navigates life and relationships as a high schooler in Manhattan, 1984. Her lively experiences at an internship with a fashion magazine and her questions about love have earned the show high praise, including a nomination for a Teen Choice Award in 2013.

Why they like it: “Because of the variety of issues that are covered throughout the show. For example, there are two moms, which sometimes is controversial for people who are anti-gay, there is the gay son, the other son who almost was a dad at 18, who also cheated and lost his college opportunities, etc... I think the show covers multiple issues that people find challenging to face in their daily lives.”

Interstellar Ian Jones ‘18

Who it appeals to: Those looking for a show that doesn’t shy away from controversial issues

Where you can find it: Amazon Video

Description: Callie Jacob (Maia Mitchell) is place into lesbian couple Stef Foster (Teri Polo) and Lena Adams’s (Sheri Saumm) house. With two adopted twins and a son from a former marriage, the Fosters are forced to face issues, like romances and break-ups, and learn life lessons.

Why they like it: “The first time I watched it, I fell in love with its plot and cinematography that was used. It made me really dive deep into the depths of imagination and curiosity of space and the galaxies around us. The plot was well written and it made me want to do research on the idea behind the film.” Who it appeals to: The Stephen Hawkings of today Genre: Science Fiction Description: Burdened with the task of finding a new home for humanity after the second Dust Bowl, Matthew McConaughey starring as former NASA pilot Joseph Cooper journeys through space and time to find the another habitable planet.


Snow Mountain Garrett McGraw ‘20 Cost: $31.95 for an adult pass

Why they recommended it: “It doesn’t snow in Atlanta, so it snows there.” Who it appeals to: Those dreaming of a snowy Christmas

Running at the River Kent Malcolm Cost: As low as $0 Why they recommended it: “The weather is great and beautiful this time of year.” Who it appeals to: Those who love the outdoors

HARRY POTTER Sarah Grace Barr ‘19

SOCIAL MEDIA @thebookunicorns Abbie Reams ‘21

Where you can find it: Amazon Video Why they like it: “I want to be a Hogwarts student so I can live vicariously through the characters.”

Where: Instagram Why they like it: “I love to read and she does too, so I like to look at the books she has read and her reviews for suggestions on what to read because we have similar tastes.”

Genre: Action/Adventure Fantasy Who it appeals to: Those still waiting on their letter from Hogwarts Description: Watch Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson star as Harry, Ron, and Hermione in eight magical movies based on J.K. Rowling’s series. Throughout each film, the trio faces inspiring battles against evil within a world full of witchcraft and wizardry.

@childhoodshows Arin Francis ‘21 Where: Instagram Why they like it: “It’s fun to remember the shows and popular things from when I was younger.” Who it appeals to: Those looking for a blast from the past

Who it appeals to: Those looking for quality memes alongside their book reviews



What’s going on and what to look out for



once City Market is one of the hippest spots in town with the Beltline, Food Hall, and the Skyline rooftop activities. I November twentieth, the new “Skate the Sky” ice skating rink opened on the roof. The rink is three thousand five hundred feet and has plenty of room for any tricks you want to do. New ice is put down every hour, so there is no slush anywhere. They play popular music that makes you want to get up and start dancing. The atmosphere around is extremely welcoming. Each employee greets you with a smile and is happy to help you with anything. With all of the decorations and lights, you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. There is a full bar where you can get hot chocolates, coffee, and other seasonal treats. Each skating slot is for fifty minutes. While up on the roof, you have a breathtaking view of Atlanta’s skyline. There are many places to sit down, enjoy the view, and have a hot chocolate. You do not have to buy a skating ticket if you just want to watch. The tickets are fifteen dollars for skating, which includes shoes, and general admission is ten dollars. Make sure to get there twenty minutes early to guarantee a spot in the time slot you prefer. While riding the elevator up to the tenth floor, where the skating is, you can enjoy a brief history of Ponce City Market. If skating isn’t your thing, you can walk just a few feet and be right at Skyline Park, where there are games, miniature golf, and more. “Skate the Sky” is open until February fourteenth, so make sure to grab some buddies and check out this fantastic rooftop fun.





ETHAN MULLEN, managing editor

nlike previous years, Upper School students will not take exams at the end of the first semester, but rather, will only take exams at the end of second semester. The time at the end of the first semester that can now be spent learning new material instead of reviewing for the exam. “There has been growing discussion around the usefulness of final exams, particularly fall semester final exams, for a few years now, especially since we lose so much instructional time with students in order to implement exams the way we have been for the last several years,” Dean Amie Muir said. This now allows teachers to assess students’ mastery of topics using projects, research papers, or tests throughout the year. Muir pointed out that in previous years, these assignments were piled on top of the winter exam. “I’m not in favor of the noticeably increased levels of stress and anxiety students experienced in having to prepare for the cumulative exam in addition to the final unit tests, quizzes, and projects that fell due in the last two weeks of the semester,” she said. Many students are glad that they do not have to worry about exams before the winter break, but some are worried about exams in the spring. “As much as I strongly dislike exams in general,” Sophomore Tara Varzi said, “I wish that we would have winter exams so we wouldn’t have to take cumulative exams in the spring.”

OLIVIA MARTIN, managing editor

IES Juniors Emma Forrestal, Ellie Rousseau, and Delaney Miller will participate in the Student of the Year campaign from January 12 to March 3, 2018. These students will be raising money to fund research for a cure for blood cancers, and all funds they raise will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Georgia Chapter. Each of the students involved has a personal tie to the cause. “We have all been personally touched by this heart-breaking disease,” Forrestal said. Miller’s cousin was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and this was partly the reason she got involved with the campaign. “I not only wanted to do it for [my cousin], but also to spread awareness of leukemia and lymphoma to overall help LLS fight against cancer,” she said. Rousseau’s cousin has also been affected by leukemia. “I got involved with this campaign because my cousin was diagnosed with leukemia when he was two, and I saw how traumatic it was for him and the family and wanted to help make a difference through this campaign,” she said. In addition, former HIES student Amelia Livezey, a close friend of Forrestal, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005. Livezey has been cancer-free for 12 years after undergoing chemotherapy treatments. HIES community members can help these students with their fundraising campaign. “To find out how to help with this awesome cause, you can contact us and be on the lookout for how to make a donation,” Forrestal said.




LUCY BRUMBAUGH, staff writer

wimming since the age of five, Abby Pilkenton’s passion was ignited when she started swimming on the Gainsborough Stingrays over 10 years ago, Pilkenton’s dedication has certainly served her well, as she is in the most advanced group (Senior One) at Dynamo, a nationally recognized race club. Being this good doesn’t come easily. Pilkenton trains six days a week for three hours a day, and on Mondays and Fridays she trains an additional hour and a half, from 5:15 AM- 6:45 AM. Except for two weeks at the beginning of August, she doesn’t get a break. “People are like, ‘when’s your off season?’ I’m like, ‘never’” Pilkenton said. Swimming has not only led Pilkenton to success in the water, but also to success in fundraising. She is on the Junior Board for Swim Across America, a charity that hosts open water swims of various lengths to raise for money for cancer research. As a member of the Junior Board, she helps to lead the HIES team, and hosts fundraisers for SAA. There are various race lengths available, but Pilkenton does the longest, the 5 kilometer.

hard while you’re doing it but at the same time you’re thinking about how you’re doing it for cancer research and everything so then it feels good because you got to do something hard and challenging for you and for someone fighting their own battle,” Pilkenton said. Although she still has most of her high school career ahead of her, Pilkenton has already made a variety of impressive cuts. The first impressive qualification she earned was in her favorite event, the 200 freestyle at the GHSA High School State Championship last February. Her time was 1:51.86, averaging about 14 seconds per lap, and earning her a well deserved qualification for the Futures Championship Meet. She describes the Aquabears as a family. “You bond over the fact that swimming is so hard,” she said. Photo: Abby Pilkenton, right, with Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin at the 2017 Swim Across America open water swim at Lake Lanier; kathy pilkenton/contributing photographer

“It’s really accomplishing because that’s a really far distance, and really really



MATTHEW RAESIDE, staff writer his year, the HIES art department welcomed a new teacher: Dorsey Sammataro. Perhaps better known by students as Mrs. S or Mrs. Sammie, Sammataro teaches Introduction to Documentary Photography, Drawing I and II, Foundations of Drawing, AP Drawing, and AP 2D Design to Upper School students at HIES. Before teaching at HIES, Sammataro taught art at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek for thirteen years. She learned about HIES through her best friend, Sarah Townsend, an Upper School learning resource teacher. “We taught together at Chattahoochee. She would tell me how much she loved this school, the kids and the culture. I knew I wanted to be at HIES to be a part of such an amazing school and community,” she said. When Sammataro is not teaching art, she is working in her studio at home. Currently, she is experimenting with multiple branches of visual arts, from drawing, painting, and photography to sculpture and installation work. “I consider myself an artist who crosses disciplines. I have a studio in my home, and I make work in spurts. I spend a lot of time thinking about my ideas, processing and



| Dec. 13 | Dec. 15 | Jan. 3 | Jan. 6

researching what materials I will use and how I will use them, then I head into the studio to make the work” said Sammataro. Only four months into the school year, Sammataro had already begun collaborating with the Program for Global Citizenship and the media department on an ambitious new project: a new high school course for the 2018-2019 school year. The class, New Media and the World, is a synthesis of investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking that highlights global issues. “I will be primarily a resource for the Global Media course. I will be there for those students who are interested in exploring their ideas through art making or visual language. I’m very interested in collaborative learning both with students and teachers. There is so much we can learn from one another through our shared experience, and I believe there is power in working across disciplines through the visual arts.”

# 10 NEWS


20 1 7

A look at 2017’s most relevant issues communicated through hashtags.

SHEA FLEMING, feature writer MADDIE POCH, staff writer


85 percent of HIES African American students were familiar with this hashtag, compared to 49 percent of HIES Caucasian students.* In August 2016, 49ers football star Colin Kaepernick began kneeling for the National Anthem to protest police brutality and poor treatment of African Americans in the United States. His demonstration evoked diverse reactions across social media and the NFL. Some, including President Donald Trump, saw Kaepernick’s protest as disrespectful to the United States and those who have served in the military to protect Americans freedoms, while other professional athletes took a knee with Kaepernick in solidarity.

#TransrightsareHUMANRIGHTS 75 percent of HIES students who identified as “completely liberal” were familiar with this hashtag, compared to 43 percent of HIES students who identified as “completely conservative”.*

On July 26, 2017, President Trump announced via Twitter that transgender people will not be permitted to serve in the U.S. Military. To emphasize that this issue is one of human rights rather than privileges, many shared this hashtag to show their support for the transgender community and bring attention to transgender individuals who dedicated their lives to protecting American privileges.



55 percent of HIES female students were familiar with this hashtag, compared to 27 percent of HIES male students.*

In response to the New York Times’ story on decades of sexual harassment allegations toward Henry Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted on October 15, 2017, asking women who have ever been sexually harassed or assaulted to respond using the hashtag #metoo. Milano’s tweet went viral, resulting in women and men sharing their stories of sexual violence.

#puertorico 50 percent of HIES students stated they were familiar with this hashtag.* On September 20, 2017, the devastating Hurricane Maria first made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, destroying the island’s entire electrical infrastructure and depriving much of the island’s access to clean water. Recognizing the humanitarian crisis, many people used the hashtag #puertorico to draw attention to the 1.87 million people who still lacked access to clean drinking water ten days after the hurricane made landfall.

#flintwatercrisis HIES seniors were the most familiar with this hashtag, with 61 percent of those surveyed saying they found it “relevant”.* On August 14, 2014, Flint, Michigan officials discovered bacteria infesting the water throughout the city, leading the community to cook, drink, and bathe using only bottled water. This issue affects the 1,700 residents of Flint and is not scheduled to be fixed until 2020 at the earliest. Citizens of Flint and sympathizers around the world are enraged by the extended period of time this crisis has plagued local residents, and they share this hashtag to encourage a faster response.

#adaywithoutimmigrants Less than 20 percent of students were familiar with this hashtag.*

On February 16, 2017, many immigrants were encouraged to stay home from work and school to emphasize the importance of immigrant presence in response to President Trump’s stance on immigration. With this civil protest and hashtag, many drew attention to the assets immigrants bring to the U.S., as well as the fact that technically, most Americans are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.

*According to results from the 2017 C&G Winter survey.



ANNIE SAGER, feature writer design, LIBBY MALCOLM




he next time you look around at your options in the cafeteria and make the conscious decision not to eat a particular dish, ask yourself this: Why? What was the deciding factor in your decision to not eat this food? Something about said dish tipped the scale, but what? The answer may be obvious, but often times-without any reference to previous trial and error; we rely entirely on how the dish appears. Coach and Dean Amie Muir provides an example illustrating as such. “In Japan, it’s pretty common to eat shrimp that still has the head on it, which is very different from American culture; we don’t tend to leave the shell or the head still on the fish. Even though it’s the same things, it’s still a shrimp, it just throws people off because it’s presented a little differently and so people worry that it’s weird in some way.” It is human nature to hold an affinity towards that which is familiar to us, but the avoidance of certain foods results in negative consequences. Sage Dining Assistant Director at HIES, Kelli Brown, provides some insight into how food is ordered with consideration for human nature. “We order by the pound...we order per number of staff and the students.” Brown said. With a community of between 1,300 to 1,600 individuals to feed, a substantial quantity of food is required. For example, if Sage orders three pounds of food per person per day, that can add up to 4,800 pounds of food per day, or 24,000 pounds of food for a five day week. Moreover, with the variety of food options HIES has to offer, there is a strong chance that a lot of that food will be left uneaten. Luckily, this rift in the system is already addressed: “We have to look at it every time; it depends.” Brown continued, “Sometimes we bring the number down because they didn’t eat it that much, but then the next time they eat it, we have to bring the number up because we ran out. So, it varies. We adjust the amount ordered based on how much you’re eating,” That said, the students here at HIES do have their preferences. The “tendies” are the unquestionable favorite, while the vegetables are often ignored.

“We recycle almost everything.” Brown said. Vegetables and proteins that are not eaten and viable are often used as ingredients in other meals, such as soups or chicken salad. Regardless of the cafeteria’s strides to reduce food waste, untouched plates and meals still make frequent appearances in the trash cans. Following athletic events, “There’s always leftover food,” Muir said. “The middle school cross country team is enormous - almost 100 kids - and parents who are just trying to buy their week that they’ve been assigned to find snacks and need enough for all the kids. There’s a hundred kids, so they buy a hundred bananas. The reality is that maybe 10 kids eat a banana. Maybe 15. There’s always tons of leftover food. Same thing with lacrosse.” After a reflection on the HIES community, the search for more answers extended to restaurants in the Atlanta area such as Subway, Willy’s, Wholefoods, and Houston’s. After many phone calls, very little information was uncovered. Employees working at popular chain restaurants did not have the information necessary to answer such questions, and suggested calling their corporate office instead. Websites representing the restaurants held little more information concerning the topic than the futile phone calls to corporate suggested by employees. Easily accessible and applicable information regarding food distribution and waste appears to hold only a small corner of the infinite knowledge we hold at our fingertips, despite it being connected to one of the more pertinent issues to the globe. In other words: our waste is so dominant, we do not even bother to talk about it. Thomas Malthus, author of “An Essay on the Principle of Population”, published in 1798, once theorized that the rate of population growth would exceed that of food production, which in turn would cause widespread hunger from lack of food. Over two centuries later, Malthus’ prediction has yet to happen; the Green Revolution has allowed the world the ability to feed all seven billion of its human inhabitants.

FEATURES 13 Shamefully, despite the sufficient supply of food, 805 million people still go undernourished every day. Hunger is a result of poverty, lack of resources, unequal income distribution, in addition to countless other factors. A commanding 98 percent of worldwide hunger exists in underdeveloped countries. While throwing away a full plate of chicken nuggets here at HIES may not directly affect those suffering, doing so is a waste nonetheless.

“The best banana bread recipes call for extremely ripe bananas. They’re easier to use for a lot of reasons, one being that when you’re making banana bread, you have to squish up the bananas. So, the riper the bananas, the easier they are to mash up. They’re already kind of mushy and also they’re a little bit sweeter, so they give the banana bread more flavor and a natural sweetness so that you don’t have to add as much sugar.” said Muir.

Food is thoughtlessly thrown away, wasted, when one in six Americans do not know where their next meal will come from.

Stigma towards food leads to waste, but hunger is a result of lack of resources and poverty. The struggle is not of how much food, but rather, how can we get it to those who need it. Social Entrepreneur, Jasmine Crowe, decided to tackle that struggle starting here, in Atlanta. Crowe, now CEO, co-founded an organization known as Goodr Food Rescue. This organization is runthrough an app which manages food waste and delivers good food to those who ordered a ‘food rescue’. The food rescuers are similar to that of Uber in terms of how they operate, but it works a little differently for the accounts that donate.

There are ways to avoid wasting edible food, one being to contact a food bank and donate, something which Brown reveals HIES does before the holidays when break approaches and there is nothing left to do with food still fit for consumption. Another might be using ripe or brown bananas, usually overlooked for their lack of visual appeal, as ingredients. One might find the idea of eating such a ripe banana to be revolting, but the browning fruit can be used as a vital ingredient of a tasty treat.

“Our app allows businesses to track their food waste, access impact reports so that they can see who their food has served and analytical data so that they can better manage their food costs.” Crowe said. Even with less than a year in business, Goodr has already partnered with some exceedingly consistent donors. Goodr has the potential to go in lots of different directions, but Crowe hopes that it will follow the path toward eliminating hunger in the U.S. and perhaps expand to other countries of the world. Redistributing still usable food that would have otherwise gone to waste has only just begun here in Atlanta. “If we can just recover fifteen percent of the good food that goes to waste we could feed 25 million people.” Crowe said. Crowe even suggests how any individual can make a difference. “Encourage businesses that you support not to waste food.”














*According to



HOME Two recovering addicts share their experience SARAH KALLIS, editor-in-chief



he first time I had an OxyContin… I was at a Lawrenceville apartment complex pool. It was an OxyContin 40. I chewed it up and I had probably one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in my entire life, and I kind of knew at that point that there was a problem,” said Rush. Rush knew his first experience with OxyContin was dangerous, and far too enjoyable. Currently, he is in recovery from an opiate addiction, triggered by his experience at the pool. However, he is far from alone. A 2016 CDC report has placed Georgia in the top 11 states for most prescription opioid overdoses.


Rush’s first introduction to drugs and alcohol occurred when he was 12 years old, as his parents were heavy drinkers and he witness frequent consumption of alcohol. “My first introduction to opiates was Lortabs that I got from my friend’s medicine cabinet,” he said. Lortabs are a type of hydrocodone. Although he was not immediately hooked, addiction soon took hold when he tried OxyContin at the pool. Once he felt the euphoria induced by the drug, he was willing to do whatever he could to get the feeling again. “I was willing to do anything and everything it took to get these. It wasn’t easy to come by. I knew some people who had cancer, they were willing to sell some,” he said. Doctors often overprescribe painkillers for patients (prescriptions per year have increased 272 percent in the past 25 years according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse), and the patients would sell the excess. “When you’re in that life, you don’t really have a choice,” he said about the necessity to use. Rush’s moment of clarity to get sober occurred after some years later at a family dinner in 2001 when he did not have access to drugs. “I remember being in the restaurant, and the withdrawals hitting me. I started to sweat, I was shaking, and I couldn’t be in that moment. So, I had to go out to the car, and I remember getting in the backseat of a car and curling up in a ball, in a fetal position, and trying to figure out, how can I get this to stop?” Rush said. He went to his parents for help. They were initially skeptical of his desire to get clean since he had some previous attempts to quit the drug, but they wanted to assist him in finding help. “The love of a parent is a pretty powerful thing. If they think there’s a chance that their kid can get some help, they’re going to do whatever it takes,” he said. Rush was taking 320mg of OxyContin per day at the time when he entered a treatment facility, and when he arrived, he was put on Suboxone, a narcotic used to treat addiction. He remained in the facility for seven days, and left with a Suboxone prescription to wean him off of opiates. “I’ll never forget the day that I fully came off of it, and I didn’t have any more left in the prescription, and I panicked. I went back to, basically the dopeman’s house to get the drugs I was previously using,” he said about the quick relapse. “It was a struggle for me. I continued to use after I got out of that treatment center for years, until finally I went to jail.” Rush was arrested in 2008, and remained there for about six months. The separation from drugs while in jail allowed him some clarity, and he made the decision to get help again.


Georgia Rehab facilities can cost up to

$30,000 per month

“I was thinking a little bit clearer. I wasn’t having that obsessive thought about using like I did six months prior. I was able to start going to meetings, getting a sponsor, working the steps,” he said. He has been sober since he was released from jail nine years ago. “When I got to jail, I saw it as an opportunity.” Rush also said that his relationship with God gave him a sense of power, and was integral to him staying sober. “When I come in here, and lack of power is my problem, then my solution needs to be a power. And the power doesn’t necessarily come from [me]. I’m just a finite being. I need more than me. So, what the 12 steps did, and really it was the sponsor who introduced me to the 12 steps, the 12 steps introduced me to a power greater than me, which ultimately has kept me sober for the past nine years,” he said. He then was able to get a job at a carwash, then eventually as a salesperson.

“instrumental in me forming relationships with people.” It taught him how to treat others, and how he wanted to be treated. “When you’re out there, and you’re using and you’re drinking, there’s a lot of isolation,” he said.

“When I got to jail, I saw it as an opportunity” -Rush

The structure the job provided helped him recover, and was initially scared of it because of “fear of the unknown. Really, the only life I had known was just drinking and getting high constantly.” The concept of being self-supporting was foreign to him, and took some adjustment. Ultimately, it turned out to be a positive growth experience. “When I got my first job, all I knew was that I was scared and I didn’t know why. Now I know why.” He now has the skills to cope with fear, and is grateful that he no longer has to use drugs to get through his fears.

“Coming from the place that I came from, I didn’t think there was a solution for a guy like me. I just thought that I was going to be destined to a life where I didn’t have a choice except to use drugs and drink alcohol. It’s not like I just had nine great years of this new life. I mean, we’re talking about two or three years just to get back to normal,” Rush said. While he was using drugs, he was not sleeping or eating well, and it had lasting effects on his health, However, after a few years, his body became regulated again.

Rush found talent in being a salesperson once he got over his initial fears. However, he knew that he would rather be in an industry that allowed him to help others more. He soon found a job as an outreach specialist at the treatment facility he currently works at. “I met the right people at the right time. I feel like it was kind of a God thing. I think God put these people in my life exactly when they were supposed to be there. Honestly, it’s one of my dream jobs.”

One of the largest contrasts between Rush’s life before and after treatment is his ability to relate to other people and form relationships. He cites getting a job as

As an Outreach Specialist, he builds relationships with other treatment centers and hospitals, and helps find the right treatment center for patients. A large part


FEATURES 17 of his job is, “If the stars align and there’s an opportunity to get someone into treatment, just trying to jump on that.” Aside from his job, Rush helps recovering addicts by sponsoring them while they go through the treatment process and the 12 steps, fueling his passion for helping others.

program within 36 hours and has not used since. Although he views treatment as a positive experience, detox was unpleasant.

Chip is another recovering addict who now works in the treatment industry. However, his battle was long before Rush’s. His introduction to drugs and alcohol occurred at young age. “I first drank beer when I was about six years old. I just snuck some and poured it in a glass with my buddy,” he said.

“I couldn’t get warm. It was February, and body temperature goes down a lot. I just couldn’t get warm. I sat on heaters with sweaters on, and I just wanted to leave. They wouldn’t give me the drugs I wanted,” he said. Chip expected to be weaned off of drugs, but since his program was abstinence-based, he was not allowed any drugs.

Continuing to drink regularly by the time he was 12, Chip also began playing in a rock band where he was introduced to other drugs. “It’s sort of natural to be rebellious as a teenager, and that’s just sort of the route that I went,” he said. Eventually, his first encounter with opioids occurred during the summer of 1969.

“I would just kind of make it one more day. I packed up my bags to leave twice, but the other patients convinced me to stay. I had a doctor named Martha...She kept giving me the option to stay or go, and I trusted her. I didn’t trust many people, but I trusted [her],” he said.

“I was taking LSD pretty regularly and of course smoking marijuana every day. A friend of mine had some morphine, and he said ‘do you want to shoot morphine’ and I was so in the drug lifestyle at that point that I just did it, and that turned out to be my favorite drug.” Chip said.

His relationship with his sponsors, peers, and his doctor helped him recover. Another integral part of his recovery is his involvement with Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which his doctor, Martha, convinced him to go to.

Morphine was expensive and the addiction was hard to maintain, so he began mixing cocaine and heroin at age 16. “The euphoria was so intense that I always wanted to feel that way, but never, ever felt that way again,” he said about his first time trying the two drugs together. Chip quickly found out that heroin was taboo, even in the drug lifestyle, citing that many people looked down at heroin addicts. However, he and his friends overlooked the stigma to pursue the euphoria the drug brought them.

“That is the main reason that I am still in recovery,” he said about NA. Chip still attends meetings and particularly values the service opportunities that NA provides him with.

“It gives me a real sense of safety that I never have to use again.”

“It’s unbelievably pleasurable. It’s hard because I’m a recovering addict now for 34 years. Part of recovery is knowing you have to kind of put it in a box. You have to know that there’s something out there that’s probably the best feeling in the world. Better than anything you can experience. And let it be there. And not go there.” Chip said. Chip continued to use heroin, financing his addiction through dealing other drugs. “I always thought that stealing was really bad karma. I just sold drugs to people I knew,” he said. But, soon he began to feel the weight of his addiction, and attempted to stop using multiple times while he was still a teenager. “I’d swear off, and I’d stop for a few weeks, but I just never could stay stopped until I finally got through recovery,” he said. Chip also mentions that “the urges to use are so unbelievably powerful, not like what most people could ever conceive of.” He finally entered treatment several years later, after one particularly hard night with his young son. “I was just using, and I couldn’t stop, and I looked at him and I felt such shame that I had this little kid, and I was his dad, and I just felt like some kind of worthless creature. I didn’t even feel like a human being. I was so addicted, and I just couldn’t stop. I started writing, and I must have had some suicidal ideation in there or something, saying I just had no idea how to stop.” Chip said. His mom found the note he left and confronted him. After Chip admitted he had an addiction, his mom took him to the family doctor. He entered a treatment


“You literally start to form new connections in your brain through neuroplasticity,” he said about how service helps form new reward systems in the brain and help addicts recover. “You start to feel good about being honest rather than being a good liar.” The sense of community within NA as another integral part of Chip’s recovery. “You got to have some place where you go in and people can relate to you on the level of being an addict,” he said, acknowledging the fact that NA can always provide him with friends. “It gives me a real sense of safety that I never have to use again.”

Chip now happily works as a counselor and at an Atlanta area treatment center. “It’s great. It gets me up in the morning. I feel really honored that people let me into their lives,” he said. He also encourages addicts to speak up about their experience, in order to discourage stigma. “One person can make a difference. I think it will take individuals going out and talking about this.” Chip wants others to know that the recovery process is viable, no matter how daunting it may seem. “Recovery is possible. Alcoholics and other addicts don’t have to die from it. They can stop using and find a new way to live.”


Rush and Chip are both from suburban Atlanta, where opioid addiction is especially prevalent. Fulton county has the highest number of opioid-related deaths in the state, and Cobb county falls in second place. On October 24th, 2017, Fulton county filed a lawsuit against companies that make and distribute opioids. The Heroin Triangle, which includes Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, and Marietta, is categorized by having an unusually high amount of opioid-related deaths. HIES and many student are geographically located in the triangle. According to the C&G 2017 Winter survey, 19 percent of students know someone who has been affected by opiate addiction.

18 FEATURES The Triangle has a high death rate partially because of easy access to drugs and a lack of an access to affordable treatment centers treatment centers. A typical detox costs about $7,500, and treatment facilities range from $15,000 to $30,000 a month. Recovering addicts often need to go to treatment multiple times, and the costs add up. In order to decrease opioid deaths, the state of Georgia has plans to expand affordable treatment. However, doing so is a challenging task. The Substance Abuse Research Alliance (SARA) wants the State of Georgia to decrease opioid deaths by increasing access to Naxolene, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. The state wants to allow first responders, parents, and educators easy access to Naxolene to help prevent opioid-related deaths. SARA proposes an increase in governmental funding for both medical assisted and abstinence-based drug rehabilitation. It also wants to increase funding for education that prevents substance misuse, and fund prescriber education on opioids. SARA also wants to increase prescription drug monitoring (PDMP), and “Increase oversight” of pain clinics, more commonly known as “pill mills”. Although they must register with The Georgia Composite Medical Board and The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy, pain clinics are not currently required to register with the PDMP. Georgia currently has no specific prescription guidelines surrounding opioids. Although it is common in the Triangle, opioid addiction is rampant across the United States, as 91 people per day die of opioid overdose. Heroin and OxyContin are examples of two opioids with high addiction rates, but contrary to the popular belief, only about 5 percent of prescription drug addicts turn to Heroin. Addicts often get hooked by trying them recreationally, or becoming addicted after a surgery that prescribed opioid painkillers. The epidemic started when large manufacturers and distributors of opioids began pushing for over-prescription.

crisis, but that fund is almost empty, according to NPR. In March 2016, Congress passed the controversial Marino Bill. It was written by a former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attorney, Linden Barber, and was sponsored by Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Representative. Some champion the bill as a way to allow pain patients the medications they need, and others see it as a way to protect big drug manufacturer’s interests, and inhibit the DEA’s power. The bill did not get much media attention because the 2016 presidential election dominated most major news outlets.


Percent of HIES students know someone who has been affected by opioid addiction

11 Georgia’s ranking for highest number of overdoses per state.

3,091 Number of opiod-overdose deaths in the US in 2016

Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures OxyContin, admitted to promoting over prescription, and was fined 650 million dollars in 2007. Opioids are commonly prescribed for chronic pain, and some patients sell their excess pills. Pill mills are also notorious for over prescription, and some pharmacies are willing to fill bogus prescriptions from doctors.

National legislation also plays a large role in resolving the opioid crisis. It was declared a Public Health Emergency by President Donald Trump in late October 2017. This allows the administration to use the Public Health fund to address the

Joe Rannazzisi, a former DEA lawyer, strongly opposed the bill, citing its limitations to the DEA, particularly its limitations to the DEA’s ability to freeze drug shipments. According to the Washington Post, the DEA was formerly allowed to freeze any shipments of drugs that posed an “imminent danger” to a community, including unusually large orders of opioids. Now, they must prove “Substantial likelihood of an immediate threat,” including injury or death, in order to freeze a shipment. The Marino Bill causes the DEA to go through more steps to intervene in unusual situations involving drug shipments. However, Marino defends the bill as a way to ensure that pain patients get their medication without interference with the law.


According to the Human Rights Watch, a person is entered into the US prison system every 25 seconds for possession of drugs. But, this mass incarceration does not need to happen. Dixon, Illinois is a prime example of a community that decreased stigma by decriminalizing addiction. The Chicago Tribune reports that this program was specifically designed to reduce heroin addiction, and allows addicts to surrender any substances they possess in turn for access to treatment, and no charges pressed against them. Felony drug arrests decreased 39 percent in the county in 2016.

Providing low-cost access to treatment is another way to reduce both stigma and addiction. Currently, there are two primary paths for treating opioid addiction: medical assisted and abstinence based. Medical assisted treatment usually involves a treatment facility providing Suboxone to a patient, gradually weaning them off.

FEATURES 19 “Studies have shown that short-term tapers don’t work on Suboxone, they work on long term tapers,” Rush said. Patients typically remain Suboxone for several months before they are fully weaned off of opioids. Suboxone therapy reduces withdrawal effects, and ease addicts into a completely drug-free life. Chip works in Abstinence based treatment, which also proves to have high success rates. He believes in the importance of total sobriety to treat addiction, and involvement in NA. The 12 step program and regular meetings with a sponsor get many people clean. He believes the solution to the opioid crisis is expanding access to abstinence-based treatment, in order to prevent dependency on Suboxone. Aside from legislation, breaking the stigma surrounding opioid addiction plays a large role in addressing the crisis. The first step to breaking stigma is recognizing that addicts do not choose to be addicted. Many people do not understand this “because they compare it to their own experiences with substances,” Chip said. “The fact of the matter is that we are bodily and mentally different than our fellows,” Rush said. Chip compares the urge to use like the need to sneeze. “When you lose the choice it’s like trying to stop yourself from sneezing. You have to use like you have to sneeze,” he said. Both Chip and Rush describe the lack of power they felt while using, and Rush remembers a particularly moving instance. “We don’t have a power not to use. If we did, we would have stopped a long time ago. Trust me, I would have stopped when my brother was crying and screaming at me on Christmas day because he knew where I was going. It was the last thing in the world I wanted to see, or really even be a part of, and I just didn’t have that power,” Rush said. Once others can realize that addicts did not choose to be addicted, and cannot simply choose to stop being addicted, they can become more compassionate towards addicts, and reduce stigma.


A unique way to reduce stigma may lie in the death notices of people who die from an overdose. Anna Clark, a journalist who reported on ways communities broke down opioid stigma found that honest death notices provide a human face to the crisis. They garner support, and allow the crisis to become more personal. Clark mentions that obituaries show what we value and stigmatize by what is included and excluded, and candid obituaries refuse to accept stigma. They can also facilitate conversations, breaking down the barriers of stigma. Coming from the opinion of a former addict, compassion ultimately breaks the stigma surrounding addiction. “You just got to think of it in terms like ‘how would I show up for somebody if I knew they weren’t going to be here next week?’” Rush said. He and Chip both have stories of triumph over addiction, and want others to show compassion to those still struggling in order to help them. “There are people out there who are struggling, and they’re just very close to death. I think it’s really important to be compassionate to that. If you think there’s something wrong with somebody, don’t be afraid to reach out. At the end of the day, I think what people can relate to is the love and compassion that we have for one another, because we’re human beings and those are our emotions,” Rush said.

Opioid usage often causes dilated pupils. sarah kallis/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


“ ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed… Wait a minute! Someone’s crawling out of the hollow top. Someone or… something. I can see peering out of that black hole two luminous disks… are they eyes? It might be a face. It might be...’ ”


ne of the greatest instances of ‘fake news’ was Orson Welles’ radio broadcast rendition of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938. This broadcast was a fictitious story about a Martian invasion of Earth, and the broadcast caused widespread panic across the United States. Many Americans tuned to the station after Welles had introduced the story, making them unaware that the story was fiction. Believing that Earth was actually being invaded by Martians, Americans crammed onto highways and ran to the police requesting gas masks. When thrown around in casual conversation, ‘fake news’ is used as a synonym for anything that is fake. In reality, fake news is a form of yellow journalism: journalism with exaggerated eye-catching headlines and little veracity. The term ‘fake news’ was introduced towards the end of the 19th century, and in its most plain definition, ‘fake news’ is news that is false. It is published written information that is biased, exaggerated, or incorrect. Fake news has taken many forms throughout history, including print media, radio broadcasting, broadcast television, and social media.

fake news: noun | \’fāk\ \’nüz :

published written information that is biased, exaggerated, or incorrect

With the use of social media on the rise, fake news is becoming a larger problem due to the relative ease of reposting and sharing. Today, published images are edited and photoshopped, but with the rise of new technologies that allow the manipulation of audio and video, people may also not be able to trust what they see and hear. Face2Face, a new technology, captures the movements of a person as they speak into a webcam, and then transposes them onto the face of the target subject. Combined with voice-morphing technologies currently being developed, a new age of video and audio fake news will be upon us. Clickbait: sensationalist headlines aiming to convince readers to click Satire: biased literature, like a parody, aiming to make fun of a certain subject Rumors: claims that have not been confirmed true Conspiracy theories: claims an organization is secretly responsible Propaganda: the spread of exaggerated information to strengthen one’s cause


How Fake News Is Affected By One's Political Ideology Max Armstrong, Young Conservatives Club Leader

Nubia Udoh, Young Liberals Club Member

How do you believe one’s political ideology affects his trust of the media? I believe one’s political ideology will lead them to watch only certain news sources because they don’t like being wrong and hearing what they don’t want to hear. It is a sort of way to reaffirm one’s own wants and avoid the opinion of the other side. I feel that many people do this most when they are emotionally involved in a political position and want to avoid opposition. Do you believe that you are more inclined to trust media that sides with your political affiliation? All media has accurate reporting to an extent, but it’s most important to be able to distinguish facts from opinion. I believe that people lean more towards news media favoring their political ideology to hear the party’s opinion on certain events. It might not be necessarily a matter of trust, but of opinion. Are you less inclined to trust media that sides with an opposite political affiliation? I watch bits and pieces of news from both sides of the political spectrum because I think it’s always important to hear the other side of the aisle. It is important to recognize what’s fact and what’s opinion, but unfortunately media blends the two often.

Spotting Fake News

How do you believe one’s political ideology affects his trust of the media? I believe that if one has very extreme political ideals, such as on either the far right or left, they are more likely to trust media portraying those ideals. This is because extremists subsist off of propaganda, and in the communication age, television and radio are the most efficient way to distribute it. People with centrist ideas have beliefs that lie both on the left and right, and therefore are more likely to discredit media that are untrustworthy to them. Do you believe that you are more inclined to trust media that sides with your political affiliation? Yes, I believe that I am, but anyone is bound to be biased towards media that confirms their beliefs. In fact, human psychology proves that we are inclined to take any new information and twist it to validate our beliefs, which is why distrust is developed in media that portray opposing views. This phenomenon is commonly known as confirmation bias. Do you avoid information from sources with an opposite political affiliation? My natural inclination is to avoid those sources, but I try to access media from both ends of the political spectrum. After all, it is hard to rebuttal in a debate without knowing the holes in your opponent’s argument and using them to reinforce your own.


Before clicking on the link, read about the source. Normally, if you are unfamiliar with the source, the article could possibly be biased or false.


Continue reading past the headline. Eye-catching titles (clickbait) are normally exaggerated or biased and aim to excite readers enough to repost or share, but not to continue reading.


Check the byline (if the story has one). Type the author’s name into your search bar to make sure that the author exists. Some articles boast the accomplishments of fake authors to help justify the article.


Check the veracity of quotes. Look through the article to find, and then research, the source. Make sure the source is credible and exists.


Isolate the claim made in the article. Research the claim to see the opinion of other veritable sources. If the claim made in the article is contradicted, the information in the article might be biased or false.


Look for biased writing. Read into the article, and if the article obviously appeals to a certain opinion, or gives readers a sense of burning passion, the article could possibly be biased.

Fake News over Time On November 9, 1874, On December 4, 2016, the New York Herald Edgar Welch entered released the headline “AWFUL Comet Ping Pong Pizza and CALAMITY. The Wild Animals Broken fired multiple shots inside of the Loose from Central Park. Terrible restaurant, believing the back room Scenes of Mutilation.” This fabricated story of the pizzeria to be the location of a child announced the escape of ravenous animals sex ring run by Hillary Clinton and former An alarming article, On April 1, 1957 (April Fools from the Central Park Zoo in New York City; campaign manager John Podesta. Prior to supposedly reprinted Day), BBC broadcasted these animals terrorized the public, the event, #Pizzagate was rampant on from the Edinburgh Journal a brief documentary about the injuring and killing hundreds. The Twitter, being retweeted and shared of Science (which had ceased spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. story even quoted the mayor of over 6000 times, and went from printing years earlier), appeared in The documentary included footage of New York City, warning the rumor to reality in a matter the New York Sun. The article detailed the Swiss families plucking spaghetti from the public to stay indoors. of minutes. newly discovered creatures found on the moon, branches of trees and leaving the spaghetti out including unicorns, two-legged beavers, and to dry in the sun, and went to the extent of bat-like humans with large wings, that explaing how the spaghetti was grown in thrived on the lush vegetation and such uniform length. BBC received flowing rivers. The day the paper multiple phone calls from was released, the Sun’s sales viewers asking where to find went up considerably. spaghetti trees.

The Great Moon Hoax 1835

The Spaghetti Tree Hoax 1957

Central Park Zoo Escape 1874

#Pizzagate 2016

GOLDEN BEAR QUESTIONNAIRE HIES Student Diversity Leadership Council leaders answer 22 questions adapted from Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire. ANNIE SAGER, feature writer

Setareh Khani HIES sophomore, GirlTalk Leader, SDLC Member

Hometown? Atlanta Georgia

What natural talent would you like to be gifted with? A photographic memory

Current Role at HI? I am the head leader of the GirlTalk, a member of the student diversity leadership council, I’m a part of Horizons, I play soccer and volleyball.

What is your greatest fear? Heights

Preferred Campus Shop Snack? Cheez-Its

What is your favorite sound? Crickets chirping

What is your most marked characteristic? I’m very easy to talk to.

What is your favorite smell? Lavender

If you could spend three days anywhere in the world, where would it be? Somewhere in Europe; it could be France, Italy, Spain...

What would your last supper be? Chick-fil-a nuggets and Lemonade

What is your favorite motto/saying? “Everything happens for a reason”

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Princess

When was the happiest moment of your life? Probably the first time I went to Disney World.

What is your biggest quirk? I only eat pink Starbursts

What is your most treasured possession? Probably my phone

Who would you want to play your character in a movie? Emma Watson

Who is your favorite fictional hero? Wonder Woman Who is your favorite hero in reality? My parents What quality do you value most in your friends? Honesty If you could die and come back as somebody else, who would it be? Selena Gomez

Do you have any superstitions? I always have the same routine when I serve the ball in volleyball, If I don’t, I will mess up What is the last text you sent? “And IDK” to group chat

Hometown? Decatur, Georgia Current role at HI? This year, I have a new role as the Director of Multicultural Affairs after being Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Community Outreach for 10 years at HI Preferred Campus Shop Snack? By far, Planters Trail mix is my snack of choice! What is your most marked characteristic? I would say that I am an eternal optimist. I am a glass half full type of guy! If you could spend three days anywhere in the world, where would it be? As a huge Disney Fan, I would say any Disney Park, but since I can spend 3 days anywhere, Tokyo Disney Resort.

If you could die and come back as somebody else, who would it be? Lionel Messi What natural talent would you like to be gifted with? I would love to be able to sing. People assume I can sing because I have a deep voice. I can barely carry a tune. What is your greatest fear? I am not fond of snakes. What is your favorite sound? Waves when you are on the beach. What is your favorite smell? I love the smells from the Main Street Bakery on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. What would your last supper be? Shrimp Egg Foo Young

What is your favorite motto or saying? “When your values are clear your decisions are easy.”- Walt Disney

As a child, what did you want to be? I wanted to be a Preacher or a Teacher.

When was the happiest moment of your life? The birth of my children

What is your biggest quirk? Recalling random facts.

What is your most treasured possession? My sports card collection. I have cards from the late 50’s to the 90’s

Who would you want to play your character in a movie? As much as I would like to say Denzel Washington, I would say Forrest Whitaker.

Who is your favorite fictional hero? X-men Colossus Who is your favorite hero in reality? Fellow Morehouse College alumni Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What quality do you value most in friends? Accountability

Do you have any superstitions? I had to wear a certain pair of shorts under my uniform in High School and College. Currently, I don’t have any. What is the last text you sent? It was a text to the gentlemen on my church’s Security Ministry about our Annual Training.

“I am a glass half full type of guy.”

Keith White Director of Multicultural Affairs



A photographer, a brewer and a former thespian have something in common: meet your HIES tech team. GRACE KELLY, staff writer KATIE LITTLE, feature writer ETHAN MULLEN, managing editor



rew Burriss lives a life much different than the one he imagined. As a kid living in Rock Hill, South Carolina, he had hopes to become an astronaut - a professional actor.

“Though I think [living a life different than the one you expected] is not an uncommon thing as one gets older,” he said. “Your priorities change, the things that you think you are going to do, and the plans that you make for yourself change.” In college, Burriss pursued a political science degree for two and a half years until he realized it was not the right choice for him, switching to Theater. “Honestly, it was a very tumultuous political time. And I just got overrun by that, and just decided ‘I’m not going to be able to do that’,” he said. While Burriss did not graduate as a political scientist, he did find love - which is how he ended up in Atlanta. “When I was in college, I fell in love with a girl, and once we graduated, we moved to Gainesville, Georgia. Not much longer after that, she became my wife, and with jobs and moving around, we ended up where we are now,” he said.

Although it might be cliche, Burriss relates the concept to the simplicities of everyday life. “There is so much stress and energy poured into figuring out stuff, that oddly, some of the simplest solutions work,” he said.

“There is so much stress and energy poured into figuring out stuff, that oddly, some of the simplest solutions work.” - Drew Burriss

Burriss cites his wife as one of the biggest influences in his life. “She has been my partner in crime for a long time now,” he said. “It’s been one of those situations where my life is different because of her, and I’m in a better place because of her presence in it.”

Burris’s two children, ages five and three Photo Provided by Drew Burris

Before working at HIES, he worked at one of Apple’s retail stores, where he learned the value of a simple solution. “I was working with someone who was having just this weird computer bug. I worked for this person for three and a half hours, trying to figure out why this wasn’t working. I was throwing my head against the wall, and we were there for half of the day just working and working and working. Finally, out of frustration, I turned the computer off, then it turned it back on. The issue was gone.”

Burriss applied for a position in the Technology Department at HIES after his first son was born, hoping to spend more time with his newborn child. Two years later, he had a second child, who is now three. He has dreams for his children, which mainly concern their their attitude towards life. “I honestly want them to be happy. And safe. Not too safe. Safe enough. I think there is a challenge to being a human being today. I’m to the point where I don’t need them to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a President, or whatever. I just want them to be content with where they are in life,” he said.

Although his kids are still young, he has advice for teenagers too. Burriss stresses the importance of being careful online. “Once something is on the Internet, it can never be deleted from the Internet, regardless of whether you think it’s been or not,” he said. “Be careful, protect yourselves, protect everybody else.”

Burris with his wife at The Masters Photo Provided by Drew Burris




s a college student at Appalachian State University, HIES Technology Coordinator Cameron Baskin wanted a gaming laptop. The motivation was enough for him to build one on his own.

As a college student, he learned the basic skills that are the foundation of his job at HIES. “I decided I really wanted a new gaming computer,” Baskin said. “I built it myself, put everything together, it worked, magically, and just was tinkering.”

everything from updating iPads and fixing computers to passing out and collecting equipment. “In terms of a typical day, it’s very rare to have a set schedule with the exception of lunch,” Baskin said. “I’m in and out of my desk, depending on what’s needed.”

These skills landed him a part time job in IT at a school in North Carolina while he simultaneously pursued his interest in photography full time. When Baskin’s girlfriend found an ad for an open position at HIES, he decided to move from North Carolina. Because of many interactions with the school, such as his 2005 Japan trip, it seemed that HIES was a perfect place for Baskin. “I jumped on in, and here I am,” Baskin said. A career in technology was not always in sights for young Baskin. After attending Shaw High School in Columbus, Georgia, Baskin was in fact ready to go into the field of politics. Subsequently, he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Politics at Appalachian State, with intentions of becoming an international diplomat. However, he soon realized that this career was not for him.

“Life is all about the turns you take rather than the straight path.” - Cameron Baskin

Out of all the technological tasks Baskin embarks on, his favorite aspect of his job is problem shooting. “My favorite part is getting over the challenge, and being able to help, and having the sense of it’s okay now,” Baskin said. Because the Technology Department’s job involves customer service, they face aversion. “A lot of the initial interaction we get with people is frustration and hardship,” he said. But that’s also what makes his job fulfilling. “It’s always a really fun puzzle to figure out what’s going on.” The most common complaints on campus: printers and Wi-Fi speeds. Replacing toner and ink seems to be a never ending task, and as for Wi-Fi, the department has upgraded the hardware. So hopefully, students and teachers will notice an


“Life is all about the turns you take rather than the straight path,” Baskin said. So, his turns led him to a career path turned from international politics to photography. While in North Carolina, he photographed a lot for sports, including downhill biking and zip lining, and conventions. Although Baskin now works as a technology coordinator full time, his love of photography has not faded. Today, he photographs everything from weddings to rock concerts to pictures of the stars on the weekends. For the past three years, Baskin has spent his days in and out of classrooms around HIES, managing the technology on campus. Baskin’s daily tasks involves

“We have over the past year, year and a half, expanded our bandwidth by a huge quantity,” Baskin said. “So, just the amount of pipe that we’ve got going in and out of the school is vastly improved.” Baskin has learned to love the HIES community through his work here. For example, he loves that students get the opportunity to learn about robotics. “Our community is really cool,” Baskin said. “The things that we do are pretty extraordinary.”

Baskin’s love for photography spans worldwide, as the photos are from Japan (left) and Italy (right). CAMERON BASKIN, contributing photographer



ince his self-proclaimed dreams of becoming a lottery winner and subsequently a millionaire have not yet panned out for Geoff Porter, he spends his time working at HIES as the Middle School Technology Coordinator.

Although students come to Porter with their problems, he still enjoys the time he spends with them. “I like the interactions you get with students.” Porter said. Porter’s fascination with technology began in college while at Southern Polytechnic State University where he thought Computer Science was his calling. More specifically, he was interested in programming. However, like many other students experience while in college, Porter realized that he actually despised his intended major. “I did programming throughout college, then realized I hated programming and started working in the hardware portion of things.” Porter said. Many aspects of this alternate major drew him in, including working with his hands and brain; furthermore, a focus on hardware allows Porter to work with people who need his expertise.

“You want to be somebody that is valuable, and you feel like you are appreciated for what you do.” - Geoffrey Porter

“My motivation is that I want people to come to the window, get a problem solved, and leave with a positive experience,” Porter said. He knows technology, especially computers, can be a large challenge for many to figure out, so he likes to help make the process of finding and solving a computer problem less intimidating. Porter likes to be kept engaged in work because it makes him productive, and he strives to be a good employee. “You get to the point where you want to hold yourself to a higher standard.” Porter said. Porter values hard work, and strives to be somebody his peers can rely on. “You

Porter’s three-year-old daughter, Mary Abigail, keeps him occupied at home. MEG PORTER, contributing photographer

want to be somebody that is valuable, and you feel like you are appreciated for what you do,” Porter said, which keeps him motivated to put forth his best effort concerning his job. However swamped his work hours may be, a busy three-year old named Mary Abigail keeps Porter on his toes at home. Due to his wife’s occupation as a photographer, she has many photoshoots scheduled on the weekends. This arrangement leaves Porter in charge of the entertainment of his busy toddler, scheduling playdates with her cousins, park visits and anything else that will bring a smile to her face. Porter’s goal is to be a great role model for Mary Abigail and to ensure that she knows that he will support her in whatever her passion is. Porter says if he had any goals for his daughter, it would be for her to “just do what makes her happy.”

Leading her by his own experiences, Mr. Porter has found his passion in technology and it brings him great happiness. On top of this he has built a life full of interesting hobbies, including brewing beer. He decided to pursue this hobby because the process seemed interesting and did not seem too time consuming. However, when he dove into this passion he found it was actually the opposite, taking a lot of time and hard work. Yet, despite this obstacle the art of making beer still encompasses Porter’s focus and has become on of his favorite activities. Porter is also a fanatic hockey fan who loves the New York Rangers because it was his father’s home state. Overall Porter has accomplished his goal of a happy life in which he is more than content. With a loving family, a satisfying job, and fascinating hobbies there is no limit to Porter’s source of joy.

One of Porter’s favorite hobbies is beer brewing. MEG PORTER, contributing photographer


Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Raised?

Image via iStock


HALEY PLANT, feature writer



ut of 40 million minimum-wage workers, 56 percent are middle-aged women and 28 percent have children. According to the Economic Policy Institute, by 2024 workers all around the country will need $15 per hour, ($31,000 per year) to even get by. The current minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) is unlivable, causing most to identify as living in extreme poverty. Many minimum wage workers rely on safety-net systems such as welfare to live. With a higher minimum wage, less people would rely on welfare, saving government and taxpayer money. The government funds deficiency would shrink. Raising the minimum wage to a livable $15 an hour is logical, as well. If it had increased with the standard of living since the late 1960s, it would currently be $16, an economic journalist reported in the Huffington post. If it increased alongside worker productivity, it would be $22 dollars per hour. $15 is even acting beneath what it should logically be with the progress of our country.

Raising the minimum wage also helps the economy. When workers earn more, they have more to spend, and they do. More money circulates through the economy and thus, businesses profit. Opponents of a livable wage argue that businesses and corporations will be losing benefits that they had before and therefore the state of the economy will suffer. However, this is assuming that when large corporations struggle, the people struggle, and this is false. In every case of minimum wage going up, the standard of living for the people goes up, and corporations are not people. This has been evidenced by the direct correlation between higher minimum wage and higher percent of the population economically thriving, evidenced by the 2013 global Gallup report. In conclusion, raising the minimum wage helps mothers feed their children, decrease the government deficit, boost standard of living among workers and would reverse the decades of devastating financial inequality.


MAX ARMSTRONG, contributing writer


he minimum wage law has long been a heated topic for conversation and debate. Would a minimum wage be beneficial to Americans or would it hurt them?

A federal minimum wage of any sort would hurt American workers. But how could a $15 minimum wage be detrimental? On the surface a $15 minimum wage looks like a logical approach to bring Americans out of poverty. Unfortunately victims of the federal minimum wage law are mainly men and women with little or no workplace skills. When a minimum wage is mandated, an employer will hire someone with a skill set worth the hypothetical minimum wage of $15 an hour. Therefore, if a jobless man agrees with a potential employer that he will work for $5 an hour, due to his experience level, it would be illegal for the employer to hire him, thus denying that man the freedom to work. Most importantly, he will have lost the opportunity of learning the valuable skillsets from a first job, precluding him from progressing up the ladder of Capitalism to a higher paying job. Sadly, the primary victims of the minimum wage law are teenagers, as they lack the experience and skills of older workers. In the US, almost 50% of teens without a high school diploma are unemployed compared to a national unemployment rate of 4.4%. Every time the minimum wage has been raised, the

difference between these two rates have grown. In summary, a minimum wage law denies one the opportunity to work at a lower price therefore allowing the employer to discriminate based on skill and in turn leaving the unemployed in a hole of poverty with little to no escape. This is not the only issue, when the minimum wage is raised, businesses will have to adjust financially, hurting workers and ultimately the economy. Under a raised federal minimum wage, newly hired employees could be raised to the same pay rate of more skilled and experienced employees. Although it sounds favorable on the surface, this would also be harmful for employers economically, especially in the retail sector where there is already a razor thin profit margin. So, employers will either lay off workers or artificially hike up the prices of their products. A Harvard Business study found that for every $1 the minimum wage increases, it results in 4-10% greater likelihood of restaurants closing. A minimum wage, of any sort, will discourage people from creating new businesses because of the heightened costs of doing so. As the economist Milton Friedman once said, “Programs that are labeled for the poor and needy almost always have effects exactly the opposite of what they are intended to have.�


Image via iStock



We Won a Battle, Not the War


une 12, 2016. It was Pride month, almost a year after the United States legalized same-sex marriage. The attitude of the country towards LGBTQ people and issues seemed to be more receptive, more understanding. After all, same-sex couples could get married. Equality had won. Or had it? Before June 12, 2016, it seemed so. Pride celebrations were underway, with people flooding into gay bars and clubs, celebrating. Then, a gunman entered Pulse Nightclub, a popular gay club in Orlando. 49 people were killed. The massacre was the largest mass shooting in US history at the time. The fact that the largest mass shooting in US history, a year after the Supreme Court granted marriage equality, was a hate crime and act of terror aimed at LGBTQ people highlights a horrifying truth: hatred and bigotry are still realities that the LGBTQ community faces. Marriage equality was not the end of injustice. Battling hate is still a challenge all Americans must combat. This isn’t just a problem of the past. It happens right here, right now. As a country, we’ve won a battle, not the war. The war for equality for LGBTQ Americans is not a new one. It’s been fought for years, and can be traced back to all periods of history, spanning time and place. Arguably, though, the first real battle took place in New York City at the Stonewall Inn. In June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a place of refuge for LGBTQ New Yorkers. The patrons fought back, inciting a series of demonstrations commonly known as the Stonewall Riots or the Stonewall Uprising—the birth of the gay rights movement as the United States now understands it. The social revolution that began in 1969 at Stonewall brought LGBTQ issues into national consideration, sparking dialogue and beginning years of pushing for change. Now, June is LGBTQ Pride month in honor of Stonewall. According to the FBI, a hate crime is “a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias.” One of the most horrible forms of crime, hate crimes target and prey on a person or group of people just for being themselves. In 1998, an openly gay college student, Matthew Shepard, was beaten and left to die in a field in Wyoming. When he was found, his brain stem, the area of the brain that controls basic functions of the body, had been destroyed by their blows. He died later in the hospital. This act of hateful violence garnered national attention. After all, Shepard was just a regular

college student. Over ten years after Shepard’s death, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. This act recognizes crimes based on a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity and sexual orientation as hate crimes, and requires them to be legally treated as such. This federal protection represented another battle won in favor of LGBTQ citizens. That does not, however, discredit the lives, like Shepard’s, that were lost to such hateful acts. Although federal laws prohibit hate crimes, and the Supreme Court mandates marriage equality, not all state and local laws are compatible. In fact, according to Human Rights Campaign, the state of Georgia does not have laws that ban housing or employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also does not have a law that includes hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Of the nine criteria for legislation regarding the LGBTQ community that the Human Rights Campaign judges states by, there is only one that Georgia complies with: allowing same sex couples to marry, which is mandated by the federal government. Legislation in other countries does not necessarily protect LGBTQ people either. As of June 2016, according to National Geographic, 37 percent of countries in the United Nations still had laws against same-sex relations, with some countries even “calling for the death penalty.” These countries are largely located in Africa and the Middle East, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen for example, but do exist elsewhere. Discrimination and injustice facing LGBTQ people is a global problem. In comparison to the countries that outlaw same-sex relations, the US has come a long way in regards to safety, equality, and justice for its LGBTQ citizens. However, marriage equality, while a wonderful step in the right direction, is not the end. LGBTQ citizens are still targeted in hate crimes and do not have state and local legal protection everywhere. Additionally, as a part of the world community, the US government should not ignore the violence and acts of hate aimed at the LGBTQ citizens elsewhere in the world. Discrimination against the LGBTQ community is everyone’s problem, a local, national, and global human rights issue, and it demands attention.

OLIVIA MARTIN, managing editor


Image via iStock



Mental Illness is Not a Trend


ou don’t have to scroll for more than ten minutes on Tumblr to be bombarded with photos of flower crowns on crying girls with captions that say, “suicidal people are just angels who want to go home”, or feet on a pastel pink scale that say, “eat less”. Although these images seem extreme, they are only two of many toxic examples of romanticizing mental illness that today’s youth encounter on a daily basis. The human brain is not fully developed until 25 years of age, and one symptom of this lack of maturity is high predisposition to outside influence. The average age that people begin using social media is 1012 years old, though most sites require one to be older. Children using social media are being exposed to things they don’t have the ability to understand. An immature brain inundated with toxic ideas is bound to create a problem. Social media has often been criticized for making kids lazy, instigating bullying or promoting unhealthy comparison, but little has been done to stress the dangerous community of mental disorder glamorization on social media platforms. There has been some coverage on the possible negative portrayal of mental illnesses in television, the most recent example being “13 Reasons Why”, a teenage drama about a young girl that commits suicide and leaves tapes for the people that led her to do it. This show, along with movies like “The Virgin Suicides” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, attempt to bring light to sensitive issues and remove the stigma, but end up making the stigma deepen. In Silver Linings Playbook, for example, bipolar disorder is portrayed as something that can be “fixed” by a romantic relationship, a common misconception Hollywood likes to play out. A glaring example of the glamorized portrayal of mental illness is how depression and anxiety are portrayed in pop culture. Often, the words are used by people in a context that associates them with quirkiness and sometimes even beauty. Depression, a crippling disease that affects millions of Americans, is reduced to a quirky catchphrase like “stressed, depressed and well dressed” or “I drink espresso to not be depresso.” Trivializing this might seem fun and harmless in the moment, but it frames a serious illness as topical and humorous. Even clothing stores that cater to a younger demographic normalize this harmful interpretation of mental illness. In 2014, Urban Outfitters pulled shirts from their store after being criticized for romanticizing mental disorders such as depression and anorexia. The highly criticized shirts had “depression” or “eat less” written in dominant, large blocky letters and were directly targeting their core demographic: young

females.. When asked about their motives behind it, they stated they were only trying to promote a small brand, actually called “Depression” and weren’t “trying to glamorize mental illness in any way.” The oversight was hard to see as a simple mistake, but rather a manifestation of this normalized glamorization of mental illness - trivializing the struggles of millions.. Anorexia, a life altering illness, is even romanticized by the people suffering from its grip. In a bizarre pocket of social media, there is a dangerous tendency to connect anorexia to being pure or dainty, imagery often including flowers and perfectly constructed images of pale skin with an aesthetic color palette. They often associate words like “lovely” and “fragile” with something that kills people. We don’t romanticize cancer because we know the harmful effect it has on people, so why are eating disorders different? In effect, romanticizing mental illnesses is damaging our youth. “The prejudice and discrimination of mental illness is as disabling as the illness itself. It undermines people attaining their personal goals and dissuades them from pursuing effective treatments,” psychological scientist Patrick W. Corrigan said. Those who have been professionally diagnosed could feel that they should just deal with it or need to fix themselves instead of seeking help. This comes from the constant idea that mental illnesses are topical and not a real problem. People who see this inaccurate portrayal might self diagnose themselves online, which can be damaging to the individual. The labeling theory, suggested by Emile Durkheim, states that once a label is internalized, whether it be criminal, depressed, bipolar etc, it’s difficult to see yourself without that label. If someone self-diagnoses with a mental disorder they may not be able to view themselves as they did before. What do we do to combat this problem? It seems simple: stop commenting on mental illness if you aren’t an expert. However, this isn’t realistic. In the viral world we live in, people are going to overshare and comment when they do not have the experience or maturity to do so. The trick is changing how we talk about it. There needs to be a desire to inquire, learn more about it and frankly, define it. Depression isn’t cute, anxiety isn’t relatable. Anorexia isn’t beautiful and bipolar disorder isn’t being moody. Mental illness can dramatically change a life. It hurts the person experiencing it and can erupt a family’s normalcy. Mental illness is not a trend.

HALEY PLANT, feature writer

It’s Okay to not Be Okay


It’s Okay to Not be Okay


here were many times within my 15 years of life that I became sad. The times my mom told me I couldn’t have a certain toy, the times I fell down and hurt my knee at recess, and the multiple times I was told I was too small to ride in the front seat all caused me a little sadness. However, during my 8th grade year, something happened that caused a more profound sadness within me. In November of 2014, a teacher extremely influential to me committed suicide. It was unexpected and my first experience with death. I had many questions that were left unanswered and I didn’t know how to feel. Although I attended The Ron Clark Academy for middle school, and their focus on students taking risks and living with no fear was embedded, I didn’t know how to grieve. Although within that philosophy, I was pushed to talk to managers, CEO’s, and entire boards of companies, I didn’t know how to handle this situation. Compounding my sadness, a short three months later, I lost the most important friend I ever had. Through our four years of friendship we shared many things that made our bond stronger. We both had a love for writing, a love for music, and a genuine love for each other. During those losses, I experienced the cold, harsh feelings of loneliness and emptiness. It intensified when I attended boarding school 160 miles away. I was completely on my own. Through the roller coaster of freshman year, I was by myself. It my decision, but it was a choice that affected how I would feel for the next two years. I talked to my mom about coming home for sophomore year, blaming it on the school, food and awful Tennessee winter. I didn’t know how to tell her the things I felt or didn’t feel. I didn’t know how to tell her I hated the life she gave me. She agreed to let me come back, and I started my second year of high school at HIES. Once again, I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone in this seemingly tight knit community. I made great friends quickly, but when I returned home each day, the rush of cold feelings would resume. Finally, I decided to take control of what I was experiencing, choosing short fixes for the pain. There were many ways I chose to distract myself - all choices that focused on everything but school. My GPA suffered, and it wasn’t until the second semester of school that I finally figured out what was going on. While taking AP Psychology, we covered mental illness That class combated the original thoughts I had about mental illness and gave me information I’d never received from my parents. While studying for my AP exam, I learned about walking depression. Walking depression differs from major depression in the way that people who suffer from walking depression are fully capable of functioning in their everyday

lives while feeling extreme sadness. That was it. That’s what I was experiencing. When I first started slipping into my depression, I would dread going to church. I was so angry with God and didn’t want anything to do with Him. I blamed Him for taking my friend from me. At first, I thought these bad feelings were consequences of how I felt towards Him, I thought I could just pray the feelings away. That wasn’t the case, however. I prayed for months for the feelings to go away, but I would never feel any different. It wasn’t until I accepted and acknowledged what I was experiencing that I got better. I decided to make more time for myself. I took some time to find things that made me feel tranquil, and I soon learned that I loved going on walks and clearing my mind. It felt good to know that I wasn’t alone. In a study conducted in 2014, it was found that 13.2 percent of the US population identified as African American, out of those people over 16 percent had a diagnosable mental illness. That’s over 6.8 million people. Over six million people knew what I was going through. African Americans use mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans, but African Americans are 20 percent more likely to have a mental illness than any other race. This stems from effects of slavery, but can more recently be connected to factors such as homelessness and exposure to violence. The African American community neglects the subject of mental health, subsequently placing a taboo on the crucial subject and leaving black children that suffer from a mental illness in the dark or confused about what they’re dealing with. In my conversations with the students of color at HIES, I learned that many students don’t know the complexities of mental health, simply confining their understanding to depression and anxiety. They don’t know about the broad spectrum of mental illnesses and are rarely having these conversations in their homes. Mental illness is a condition that affects mood, thinking, and behavior. It can be an effect of stress, traumatic experiences, or simple cognitive difficulties. The only way to move forward and progress is to educate our community about this issue. Normalizing mental health in our daily lives is a must. We can no longer brush a cognitive disorder off to just “needing prayer”. We can no longer minimize mental health. Mental illnesses are just as real as physical ones and should be treated as such. Having a mental illness does not make you weak and is not a curse from God. I encourage every person to start having these tough conversations so that we make sure everyone gets the help they need. It’s okay to ask for help, sometimes we can’t do it all by ourselves. It’s okay to not be okay.

TYLER JONES, feature writer

Profile for The C&G

The C&G | Volume VI | Issue 2 | Winter Edition  

The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate, and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events, and opinions that are relevant to the Holy In...

The C&G | Volume VI | Issue 2 | Winter Edition  

The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate, and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events, and opinions that are relevant to the Holy In...