The Huron Emery - Issue 4 - February 2022

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Huron Alumna runs for Ann Arbor City Council RIDHIMA KODALI MANAGING EDITOR When it all started ‘I’m urging you not to do that,’ Ayesha Ghazi Edwin in front of the Ann Arbor Public Board of Education. She was just 17 years old. It was 2003 when super low rise flares were in, smartphones were relatively new, social media platforms were practically nonexistent and streaming music was not even a thing. It was 2003 when Ayesha Ghazi Edwin’s journey to advocating for civil rights and community service had begun. She had received an anonymous letter during her time as the Editorial editor of The Huron Emery. The letter stated that an after-school religious group was trying to change the anti-discrimination policy for Ann Arbor Public Schools. They wanted to prohibit LGBTQ members from joining because it was ‘against [their] religion.’ From there, Edwin passionately put pen to paper, potently expressing her opinion as to how the school board should not change its anti-discrimination policy, first in an Emery editorial article and then in front of the school board. “They weren’t so progressive back then,” Edwin said. “It took students showing up to the school board meeting. That was kind of a moment where I realized when you spread information, for good you can galvanize people to change the world. If we hadn’t caught it, they could have removed that [policy].” She said to the school board, “‘I heard that this after-school religious group l has asked you guys to remove protecting LGBTQ students from the anti-discrimination policy, that they don’t want to be forced to include all people in their after-school group. I’m urging you guys to not do that.’” After the school board meeting, a few students contacted Edwin and others who spoke out thanking them for advocating. “That was pretty






he clock ticked relentlessly forward. Tense shoulders filled the classrooms. Anxiety flushed through Huron students as the time for the highly awaited University of Michigan results drew closer. By the time 3 p.m. hit, almost all the results came out. And that was it. Huron High School is in a college town with the University of Michigan (UMich) just three miles away. So close that from the third floor of Huron you can see the iconic “M” on the top of the University of Michigan Hospital, a constant reminder of the pressure increasingly instilled in the students. According to QS World University Rankings

(2019-2020), UMich is the top public university in America. Washtenaw Community College (WCC) is 2.7 miles away from Huron High School and even with a 100 percent acceptance rate, some Huron River Rats still feel pressured into choosing the “right path.” In other words, the path that peers and family expect or would like them to follow. According to a survey conducted by The Emery on a group of 39 Huron students, 69.2 percent felt pressured to follow a certain direction. Additionally, 71.8 percent reported the reputation of the college they attend to be important or extremely important in their decision. “In the city of Ann


NEWS - PAGE 3 History teacher starts podcast

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT - PAGE 11 Huron Players holds a magical performance

SPORTS - PAGE 14 Discover the menatlity of the “it factor” in the NBA


To find more content on our


Huron Players: Beyond a theater group, a second family their latest show, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This means she controls the spotlights and ambient If you have set foot lighting of the show. in any classroom at Huron, For their first show you have probably seen the of the year, The Crucible, Huron Players (H.P.) posters. she was the Assistant H.P holds a few shows each Stage Manager, so she was year, but sophomore Liliana responsible for getting actors Franzese doesn’t consider it a ready on the stage. daunting commitment. “I’d never touched an “I think a lot of people electric drill before being in the don’t know how flexible H.P. shop at H.P. or learned how to is,” she said. “As long as you’re program light cues or work a not an actor, there really is spotlight,” Franzese said. “As no strict someone schedule who wants for when to become you have an engineer, to come things like in.” this are invaluable T h e r e to me.” are mass I n meetings addition e v e r y to the Monday, but learning opaside from LILIANA FRANZESE, 10 portunities, that, the members members of the of Huron Players who are club form a tight-knit and “techies” don’t need to spend welcoming community. hours to be part of the show. “Huron Players means Doing tech means helping out a lot to me,” Franzese said. “If with set design, lighting, sound, it didn’t, I don’t think I would costumes and props. spend as much time as I do “You don’t have to down in that make-up room. know how to do any of it to The community we have built join,” Franzese said. “We have is unlike anything I’ve ever so many great members who been a part of before.” are more than willing to teach Of the 50 members you how to sew or use power in the club, many are tools or set up mics.” graduating this spring. Franzese is on the “I feel as though club’s board as head of many incoming freshmen and fundraising. She was also sophomores are afraid to join the co-crewhead of lights for

The community we have built is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of before.”

THE EMERY STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF: Vish Gondesi Allison Mi ADVISER Sara-Beth Badalamente Ridhima Kodali Managing Editor Anna Esper Assistant Website Editor Lydia Hargett & Anita Gaenko News Editors Gina Ko Feature Editor Zain Charania Sports Editor Samantha Goldstein Opinion Editor Tarik Fermin A&E Editor Maya Fu Copy Editor Sandra Fu & Jewel Storrs Photo Editors Annabelle Ye Design Editor Sandra Fu & Jackson Pollard Social Media Editors Visruth Rajendran Marketing Manager Muhammad Ba Kandyce Barnes Kaylee Burton Chun-Elliott, Aleila Nicholas Finamore Mya Georgiadis Nora Gibson Rhianna Gides Trey Green Mihail Gueorguiev Carson Hawkins

Shakira Hughbanks Areej Hussein Kantaro Inoki Noor Allah Ismail Mark Kerekes Suhybe Awwad Jaden Boster Lallami Boulama Carlos Castrejon Eliot Dimcheff Dominick Douglas

Chloe Griffiths Robert Hall Zachary Hildebrandt Braedon James Jaia Lawrence Quinn Newhouse Iva Panyovska Jose Vega John Verga Stacey Viurquiz Ky’ell Williams

a theater group out of lack of experience,” Franzese said. “But coming from a fellow underclassman, you have nothing to worry about. As for acting, you also don’t need any prior experience: anybody can audition. There’s no reason to be nervous about auditioning either. H.P. is a judgmentfree zone, and Ms. F, our director, is among the nicest teachers I’ve ever met.” Huron Players is directed and advised by English teacher Claire Federhofer, or “Ms. F,” and is always welcoming new members. “It’s a place where you can be yourself without being judged,” Franzese said. “A place where you can collaborate with great people that you may not have had the chance to meet otherwise. Huron Players really is like a second family to me.” Sophomore Marisa Randall, a costume designer for H.P had this to say when asked about the future of the club. “The next show we are going to do is murder mystery!” Randall said. “We are so excited to get working on this next show and perform yet again a successful show.”


Top: Waltz scene of the Huron Players’ latest production, Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Middle: Between the curtains, actors prepare for the next scene. Bottom: Behindthe-scenes crew during a dress rehearsal. COURTESY OF SANDRA FU AND EVIE SIKKENGA




Huron Ethics Bowl team wins regional championship LYDIA HARGETT ANITA GAENKO NEWS EDITORS Last weekend, the Huron Ethics Bowl team competed in the virtual Regional Ethics Bowl championship run by the University of Michigan. In each round, a case is chosen from a predetermined list of 16 cases that explores ethical concepts. The two teams discuss the case and are scored on both their depth of thought and their responses to the other team and the judges. “Ethics Bowl is like the missing link between the kinds of academic studies we do and real world problems that demand solutions,” said Kathryn Jones, Huron social

The winning Huron Ethics Bowl team, from left: Zachary Lin, Eric Heng, Jessie Tai, Mariam Nassuna, Anita Gaenko and Kai Farjo. COURTESY OF ETHICS BOWL studies teacher and advisor of the club. “I like it because it teaches us, me included, to think deeply about matters that really do matter and problems that need to be solved, personally and on a societal level.” Huron had two teams compete, each with at least eight members. Kai Farjo, Jessie Tai, Eric Heng, Leo Kupperman, Anita Gaenko, Rachel Kim, Zachary Lin and Mariam Nassuna were on the first team. Anna Alexandrov, William Epps, Samuel Fleming, Sarah Kim, Teyin Kim, Eilene (KJ) Koo, Brandon Lin, Mari Park and Audrey Wu were on

the second team. Both teams advanced to the quarter finals, matching against each other. Huron’s first team continued on to the semifinals and competed in a close round against Avondale High School in the finals. Huron won the regional championship, while Huron’s second team placed in the top eight. Huron’s first team will compete in one more virtual round against the Tennessee state champions. The winning team will advance to an anticipated in-person national tournament in North Carolina in April.


3 | NEWS

“Daring Dissents:” Huron history teacher starts podcast GINA KO FEATURE EDITOR

“My hope would be what he has been doing. — if you listened to a few epi“I had flashbacks to sodes— you would be each time last year, teaching virtually,” “Ultimately history is exposed to a story that you DeMoss said. “I’m just talking a practice in empathy” would have missed in school into my computer and my miVoice of Jeff DeMoss, or in the traditional narra- crophone with no one talking Huron history teacher, ends tive,” DeMoss said. “Although back to me. It was a little bit the episode of his new podcast, not all these people are going more difficult than I expected “Daring Dissents.” to have the happy ending or for me to tell a story with no “I’ve always had ideas the perfect story that you want feedback from anyone.” brewing in it to be, Storytelling was the back of they still not everything in podmy mind felt that casting. Researching, for different t h e y editing, sound checking, things that I could do and creating images recould do to s o m e - quired lots of work for channel my t h i n g DeMoss to actually set passion for a n d up his podcast. history into made a “I read a few some type choice.” books on podcasting and of prodFrom did a lot of research in the uct,” DeMt h e r e , months leading up,” DeMoss said. DeMoss oss said. “I still don’t “I decided thought feel like it’s exactly that a podthat he where I want it cast would c o u l d to be. But Jeff DeMoss be the best s h a r e that’s part way to tell Huron history teacher t h e i r of the fun these stos t o r i e s that you ries.” through l e a r n With already three his podcast for everyone liv- e a c h episodes published as of Jan. ing in the world. t i m e 31, DeMoss releases a episode “We can learn a lot a n d every other Monday, focus- from the past to help us figure y o u ing on the voice of resistance out the best way to do things g e t throughout history. like combat hate in the pres- better “It’s a podcast about ent,” DeMoss said. “When w i t h people in history who have people listen to it, hopefully, e a c h been resistors, who have stood it’s empowering to say this is p a r t up against the status quo, a call for me to say ‘OK, what of the who have bucked the norm injustice exists in the pres- p r o to stand up for things that ent that I could be a part of c e s s are righteous or stand up for, the solution of rather than a n d justice in the face of oppres- just a bystander.’” hopesion,” DeMoss said. Although telling sto- f u l l y Instead of choos- ries about history is natural for the proding a topic that is widely him as a teachDeMoss records the known, DeMoss set the main er, speaking episode for his podtheme of his podcast as up- for podcasts is cast. lifting voices that were si- different from COURTESY OF DEMOSS lenced in their time.

My hope would be — if you listened to a few episodes— you would be each time exposed to a story that you would have missed in school or in the traditional narrative.”

uct will just get better and better every two weeks I put an episode out.” “Ultimately history is a practice in empathy,” DeMoss said, and this time, to the students in his classroom. “History should be a practice in empathy,” DeMoss said. “You m i g h t listen to a story on the South African anti-apart-

heid activist and have no connection with life. You don’t experience anything of who he is, but by practicing just a shred of empathy of attempting to understand who he is and what he experienced, you will go on a path towards being a more compassionate and understanding human being. That’s the whole point of history. It’s not about memorizing facts. It’s not about hearing and learning about random wars. It’s about caring, being compassionate and practicing empathy.”

Scan the QR code to listen DeMoss’s Podcast

English teacher and author Robert Fox’s fourth book fueled during the pandemic GREG AUCHUS STAFf WRITER

“I see a lot of light, beauty and truth in it,” English teacher and

Fox has published three books, and is now working on his fourth book. COURTESY OF FOX

author Robert Fox said. “It’s all about [the main character] learning to start life over again ultimately.” Robert Fox recounts the emotional direction behind his workin-progress book. “Writing has been my ultimate dream since high school,” Fox said. He had a 10th grade teacher who really inspired him. He still keeps in touch with her, despite her retirement several years ago. “She still inspires me today,” Fox said. “She really pushed me to pursue my passions which, at the time, were specifically screenwriting. And movies are still my passion, but then I ended up trying my hand at book writing. I actually turned two movie scripts into books. Usually books are turned into movies, and I took a different approach. But now those two books are

being produced as films, so it went from movie to book, back to movie again.” And it paid off, Fox has published three books. One is a travel memoir called “Love and Vodka” one is kind of a gritty novel set in Detroit called “Awaiting Identficiation.” and the third one is a collection of essays called “Tales from the Dork Side,” about his misadventures getting bullied and teased as a little kid, how he mined it for humor. He is now writing a fourth book, currently on an over 700 page draft. “I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Fox says. It’s a story about a woman whose husband dies on 9-11. But the story focuses less about 9-11, and more about overcoming grief and how the main character learns to continue on with her life. Before her husband died she found out he

was having an affair. “So she already has all these bitter angry feelings towards him, and then he dies,” Fox said. “Now she’s grappling with the two layers of grief, and she feels guilt that she never forgave him when he was alive. So it’s a real comedy.” He goes over what he wants to accomplish with this book. “I feel like 9-11 was this moment in our country’s history where, we all reevaluated who we were, we had to take a minute to look at ourselves in the mirror,” Fox explains. “And now with this pandemic, we’ve seen similar [things]. This tragic thing suddenly became this political thing. And I feel that both events are similar in some ways, but obviously vastly different.” It’s about how READ THE FULL STORY ON THEHURONEMERY.COM


Falling in love: Soyeon Kim’s journey adopting her son ALLISON MI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Soyeon Kim says it’s just like falling in love. Her dream since what-feels-likeforever, that is. Her dream of adopting a child. “Sometimes you romanticize something for so long you can’t remember when it all started,” Huron art teacher Kim said. “Over the years, the idea just got bigger and bigger.” And bigger. And bigger. Until it was real. “Parenting is the most noble thing I can do while I’m living,” said Kim, who started the adoption process in October of 2018. After completing their adoption application, Kim and her husband expected to meet their child within six months. But it would be three arduous years until they finally would. The first obstacle arose the day after t h e y

submitted their application, when the agency they were planning on working with suddenly closed down, “just disappeared.” It took two more months for Kim and her husband to find a complementary agency: one located 520 miles from home, in Washington, DC. From there, it only got more challenging. In addition to the $50,000 cost, the adoption process entailed mounds of fine-tooth-combed paperwork, 50 one-hour classes, and at least one 500-question exam. Kim even had to write a letter to the biological mother, without knowing who that would be or if the baby had yet been conceived. Every minute detail mattered. In one instance, Kim’s failure to check off one of 200 some boxes immediately eliminated her from matching with a baby. Based on a multiple-choice assessment, Kim’s doctor noted her as “[mildly] stressed,” and one sentence from the sea of paragraphs she wrote was deemed by the agency to be a “problem.” “It was just very discouraging,” Kim said. “I already had to pay a lot of money and had a nursing room all set up. I was already financially, physically and emotionally invested.” But for over two years, Kim had to play the waiting game. “It was


pushback, pushback, pushback,” Kim said. “It was heartbreaking. Like, I have to wait longer? Is this ever really going to happen?” Though the sporadic feelings of discouragement would linger for a few days, Kim always kept her chin up and saw a benefit to these delays.

“A little bit more time was given to me to do my stuff,” Kim said. “So, I chose to enjoy every piece of it.”

perfect.” Shortly afterwards, a customized grey fuzzy blanket, which read, “Let’s Go Liam!” was shipped to the Kim household. Upon arrival in Korea, Kim and her husband had to be tested negative two more times, then were finally able to meet Liam.

It didn’t feel real. They had pored over pictures, videos, her own pencil sketches of Liam. And suddenly, there he SOYEON KIM was, ten For Kim, feet away, t h i s jauntily meant drawing whenever dressed in a denim she could. jumper overlapping a “I’ve never drawn white undershirt. that much, except for college,” “It felt surreal,” said Kim, a graduate of the Kim said. University of Michigan School And then he of Art and Design. voluntarily approached Kim Some days, she drew and sat on her lap, beginning for three to five hours, while to curiously play with on busy days, for just a few her pearl necklace. minutes, but Kim kept it “We were all so consistent. She drew for herself, shocked,” Kim said. “The but also for commissioned foster mom was really shocked, artwork, which helped because he was usually shy, offset adoption costs. acted invisible to strangers and In February, 2021, it had frequent tantrums.” finally happened. Kim matched After visiting Liam with a baby. An eight-month three times over the course old boy in Korea, with almond- of four more weeks, it was shaped eyes and rounded time to bring him home. cheeks. Over a virtual meeting, Some worries began to Kim and her husband met simmer for Kim. with an agency representative. “What if I’m a bad The child’s files were shared, parent?” Kim worried. “What along with “aw”-inducing if there’s a foreign feeling that videos of him “wobbling” lingers too long?” in his crib and pictures The fact that this of his 100-day milestone. was her first child made it “When I saw the even more difficult. photos, I screamed,” Kim “In our hotel, he said. “It was a moment. It was opening all the possible was the moment.” doors, pressing all the buttons Before Kim and her and bumping into all the husband departed for Korea furniture,” Kim said. to pick up their son, they had Liam’s amounting one more very important bruises from his adventurous task: naming their child. behavior caused Kim to panic. With a teeming list “Don’t worry,” another of name recommendations parent told her, alleviating from family members in Kim’s worries. “Kids do hand, Kim sat down at her that all the time.” easel and started drawing On the flight to her son, referring to America, Kim still couldn’t the agency’s pictures. believe that the boy in the As she sketched blue and yellow-striped his eyebrows, she pants and baby blue shirt started trying sleeping on her husband’s to match chest was her son. names. Arbor. “Is it real?” Kim Leo. Bentley. continuously thought. “Is he A u s t i n . really mine?” Liam. For the first few weeks back home, Kim described “ L i a m , ” the feeling as babysitting K i m someone else’s child. thought. “I love this boy,” Kim “ T h a t ’ s said, “but it still doesn’t feel like he’s my son.” She thought that this

He’s just my child. And that’s the core of parenting. It’s the relationship we get to build together.”

uncomfortable feeling arose because Liam was adopted. However, when Kim talked to more parents, she found that even parents who had given birth to their children felt exactly the same. Two weeks later, it started to get better. “It started to get really real,” Kim said. “Getting a child, whether it’s by adoption or birth, is like a blind date, and then you get married, and you’re committed. Of course if you really like the person you go out on a blind date with, you have excitement. But you still don’t see him as your husband immediatley. Meeting Liam was the same.” By the seven-week mark, everything fell into place. “He’s just my child,” Kim said. “And that’s the core of parenting. It’s not so much about our DNA sharing. It’s the relationship we get to build together.” When parents would shed tears as they dropped their children off to daycare, Kim used to watch in confusion. “What’s the big deal?” she would think. However, when it was her turn to drop off Liam, it was very emotional. “Whatever steps he’s going through, I feel like I’m emotionally attached,” Kim said. “And my husband feels the same way. Us going through the process together has made us tighter.” According to Kim, the three of them — Kim, her husband` and Liam — are a team. “It’s really powerful,” Kim said. And best of all, Kim still has time to draw. “Because I drew so fervently for two years, it became second nature for me to draw fast,” Kim said. “I expected I wouldn’t have time, but practice really didn’t fail me.” Kim is so happy with Liam that she is even considering a second child. “The process was very difficult, but it was so worth doing,” said Kim, who uses nine gigabytes a month on pictures of Liam. “He brings so much joy to our family.” Kim’s personal favorite memories of Liam are when he babbles his “alien language” consisting of pouts and “wows,” defensively clings to his cobalt blue toothbrush, or when, as he sleds down the snowy sidewalks, tailed by their Yorkshire Terrier, Cookie, he never fails to wave. “I forget what my life was like without Liam,” Kim said. “It feels like he’s been here forever. And it really is just like falling in love.”


Ann Burdick, also known as Nurse Ann has worked in the Ann Arbor Public Schools since 2003, and she joined Huron in the fall of 2019. ALLISON MI

1600 students. One nurse. Nurse Ann shares her story. Burdick describes her routine as working two jobs at once. She’s a regular school nurse, who helps “O holy heck.” That was all Huron manage students’ chronic nurse Ann Burdick could think health conditions, alleviates stops bloody during a recent district nurse headaches, meeting, when they were noses, provides heating pads reviewing updated guidance to ease period cramps, and from the CDC. The muddled bandages scrapes. But she fine print of protocol changes is also Huron’s COVID czar. and the “moving targets” of She handles students with symptoms, how AAPS are travels to implement b a c k them, were and-forth headspinners. countless t i m e s “Geez, we’re daily to all having the Health t r o u b l e Support keeping up Room, and with this figures information,” how B u r d i c k Outside of Burdick’s office we see out a whiteboard with this motivation- Huron can admitted. al quote. KANTARO INOKI adopt continuously The root challenge? Their ever- shifting COVID protocols changing handbook. put forth by AAPS. She also parents. Confused “In math, two plus faces Frustrated two will always equal four,” parents. Burdick said. “But in medicine, parents. All parents. “Most have been it’s an art. It’s not exact. A diagnosis is essentially an understanding, but people’s come out educated guess. And COVID frustrations is an evolving thing we keep at times,” Burdick said. learning more about, so “Parents have been blunt and we keep having to adjust.” even yelled at me.” But Burdick’s reaction





With every movement, she finds herself drawn closer to both her culture and those around her. Senior Nishita Shah has been dancing since she was three years old, and it has always helped her connect to her Indian heritage. “Dancing is so important to my culture and my self-expression,” Shah said. “I really do feel like I’m most myself when I’m dancing.” Shah practices several dance styles, but the ones that she is most well-versed in are Bollywood, Garba, Folk and Bhangra. She says that she loves how each step has a different meaning, which weave together to form a story that is clear to both the performers



and the audience. “All of those styles show me a different part of my culture,” Shah said. “They help me connect because of their rhythms and the stories that are being told.” One of the ways that Shah has used dance to connect to her cultural community is participating in the annual teaching Gujarati Samaj of Detroit’s Holi Program, which she has been a part of since the fourth grade. For the past six years, she has also taught and choreographed a group for the program. “There’s a lot of different groups that come together, all the way from three year olds to 70 year olds,” Shah said. “Everyone’s dancing, everyone’s having fun, and it’s a great cultural showcase.”

is filled with understanding. “I’m a parent of four,” Burdick said. “I get it.” She echoes a message Superintendent Jeanice Swift wrote in a weekly update at the start of the school year: “Please be nice to your nurse.” “Being in more than one place at all times is hard,” Burdick said. “And sometimes I look down at my phone, and there are suddenly 40 texts.” One of those texts is likely from another AAPS nurse, marking the start of a web of contact tracing. Say, a Scarlett nurse has a student who has a COVID positive test,who has a sibling at Huron, who is a River Rat athlete, who played in a tournament last week — it quickly gets complicated. Recently, when a COVID-infected family had questions, Burdick called them. It did not matter that it was 9 p.m. on a Friday. “I’m sorry to bother you,” the family member told Burdick. “Listen, no bother,” Burdick responded. “We’re all in this together, and I know that I’d want this information.” Burdick works out of a 11’ by 11’ inner office that has no




Shah has also worked with a variety of studios and dance groups. In 2018, she competed on international TV as a part of the Arya Dance Academy’s Michigan team. “It was a fun competition,” Shah said. “We didn’t win, but it was a great experience.” Today, Shah serves as Co-Captain of Huron’s Indian Student Association (ISA), which teaches students Indian dance. “ISA is a very closeknit group, and we do a lot of different cultural dances to further our understanding and appreciation of Indian culture,” Shah said. ISA holds weekly meetings on Sundays, and Shah emphasizes that anyone can join, no matter the experience level.

outside windows. Prominent on the walls are color-coded medical charts, family pictures and inspiring quotes, including one about work ethic by St. Ignatius of Loyola, hand scripted in calligraphy by Burdick’s mother. “To tell you the truth, I’ve been stressing at night and eating too much junk food,” confessed Burdick, who worked 20 hours over her schedule one week. When ambiguous situations arise, Burdick knows where to head: the nurse group chat. For the students of Huron, Burdick has two main pieces of advice. One, get vaccinated. “Focus on the science, which means go to reputable sources and look up information,” Burdick said. “This is not about personal autonomy. I want to do what’s best for my community and what science says is best, which really is to get the vaccine.” Two, take care of one another. “America has been a very individualistic society, but with COVID, we need to be community-minded,” Burdick said. “We have forgotten that



we belong to each other. We are our brothers’ keepers. This has to be a team approach for us to get out of the pandemic.” This past year, beyond the team bonds between the nurses, the irreplaceable cherry on top, which has kept Burdick working through the months and “won her heart,” are the relationships she has built with students who deal with chronic health conditions. Two specific students come to Burdick’s mind: one lives with severe seizures and one is diabetic. Their health challenges make them more vulnerable to COVID. “They face much more than COVID or anything I personally have to deal with each and every day,” Burdick said. “And when I witness progress, like their condition being better managed, or them taking more responsibility for their daily care, it’s ‘a win.’ When they or their parents look at me, smile, and say ‘Thank you,’ it’s just like a warm hug in my chest. It’s worth a million dollars. Gosh, it really is. We are all truly connected. And I think that taking care of each other is what we’re meant to do.”



Senior Nishita Shah says that dance is part of her lifestyle and has boosted her confidence, while also teaching her patience and teamwork. COURTESY OF SHAH “We start off really small,” Shah said. “Then we build the skills necessary, because ISA is a growth experience. There is no expectation at all. We’re just all there to have fun and be a community.” Shah says that she thinks everyone should dabble in dance because it gives them an opportunity to explore

themselves and their values. “I like to say that [dance] is a language,” Shah said. “Just as you and I speak English to each other, or my parents and I speak Gujarati to each other, dance is a universal language which you can use to communicate with anyone, anywhere.”


whatever I could with the resources I have to give back. I inspiring,” Edwin said. “They realized I had what I did not kept LGBTQ folks in the an- because we were smarter or ti-discrimination clause and more deserving, but because said ‘sorry, but no matter of roll of the dice.” what your club is, anyone can She took notice of the participat, no matter their inequities that many children sexuality.’ I honestly feel have had in India. She took nothat The Emery was kind of tice of a kid eating dirt. my start doing community “I realized that I could organizing work.” have easily been born in their Nineteen years later, place ,” Edwin said. “So I have she is running for Ann Arbor a responsibility to do everyCouncil for Ward 3. thing I can to give back and imFrom then on, as prove my community.” more students approached The Class Clown The Emery, the more EdEdwin was voted the win made an impact with her class clown of Huron High words in the editorials. But School’s graduating class she did not just stop there. She of 2003. She unapologetiwould help others write piec- cally admits that she wasn’t es and make sure their voices the most studious. were being heard. “I just tried to make “[This is] kind of like other people laugh all the the similar passion that I con- time,” Edwin said. “I was a littinue having throughout my tle bit of a rebel. I was young. I career, and why I want to run knew I had these values about for office,” Edwin said. poverty and about fighting for The South Asian other people, but I hadn’t fully Edwin was born in realized what my purpose was. London and moved to Ann And I think that’s okay. I have Arbor when she was three. changed lifetimes from the She attendperson that ed Northside I was when School (now I was 18 A2 STEAM years old. S c h o o l ) , Ifsomeone switched to had told me Logan, atback then tended Clague you’re goMiddle School, ing to move and graduated back here from Huron. one day and F o r run for city Edwin, Ann council, I Scan the QR code to look at Arbor taught wouldn’t Edwin’s campaign page. her more have believed about diversithem.” ty and inclusion. Throughout middle “There’s still room to school and high school, Edgrow, right?” Edwin said. “But win was described as “a very I love it. This community is charismatic people person” just unapologetic about talking by her best friend and Huron about and trying to be as inclu- counselor Emily Mashal whom sive as possible.” she met at Clague and talks to She would get the oc- every single day. casional comments like, ‘your “Everyone was friends lunch smells bad,’ and in fact, with her,” Mashal said. “I was Edwin was always placed in shyer in middle school and “English as a Second Lan- we became closer friends. So gauge,” however, it was not we were friendly, but we beher second language. came much better friends “I don’t think that later in high school. And anyone was trying to be ill then we’ve been friends ever intentioned,” Edwin said. since. I couldn’t be prouder “There was less of an under- of her. She has accomplished standing about people who so much already in her career have other identities back being, an executive director then. So there were some ex- of national organizations and periences that I had, but I is a lecturer for Social Work think they also shaped me at U of M, a mom of two. She and made me more acutely is so passionate and dediaware of how people feel - and cated to Ann Arbor. We’ll whether they feel like they do be friends forever.” or don’t belong.” Despite being the Gaining Perspective burst of joy to the world, in “Is it true that reality, Edwin sometimes in America, the roads struggled with her identity . are paved in gold?” She admits to a period in midA wide-eyed, inno- dle school when she used to cent, seven-year-old Edwin straighten her hair and wear was on the streets of In- blue contacts to school. dia when a kid approached “[Your generation] her asking her this. will call out inequity when “It hit me so hard,” you see it,” Edwin shared. Edwin said. “I realized that “ And it’s more supported the world that I lived in was now, to have different diverse like a fantasy world to people identities. When I was growthat have so little. “What it did ing up, you weren’t supposed for me is, I felt a need to do to call it out. You were just

Huron High School 2003 graduation, pictured far left is Emily Mashal and Ayesha Ghazi Edwin on the right. COURTESY OF EDWIN supposed to fit in.” The activist After graduating high school, Edwin pursued a bachelor’s degree at Albion College in sociology and political science and obtained a master’s at the University of Michigan school of social work majoring in social policy and evaluation. After moving to Albion College, Edwin was struck by the lack of diversity on campus in comparison to how she grew up in Ann Arbor. Edwin recounts the moment she was considering transferring schools and what her mom said to her: “If you leave you will be just as ignorant as other people who you may think are being small-minded. So let yourself have these experiences with people and get to know these people with completely different upbringings.” And she did. I ended up making friends for life,” Edwin said. I realized when I was in college, just how unique growing up in Ann Arbor is. It’s unique, and it’s an exceptional place.” She has worked for several organizations over the last decade in fighting anti-Asian American discrimination, for labor rights and civil rights while being appointed several positions. Edwin’s parents did not fully understand her career path but always emphasized the importance of civic engagement and public service. “They’ve always emphasized how important it is to be involved in changing your community for the better,” Edwin said. “They’re impressed that I’m doing this as my career forever. I hope it will inspire other immigrant kids who feel like they may not be following the typical path, that if you’re an immigrant or not an immigrant, you can

get involved in changing your community. And you can help others do it too.” She continues. “My parents have always kind of said that, ‘people with different backgrounds and political opinions from you, and religions from you. They all have something to teach you, like every person that you encounter has something to teach you. These experiences help you grow and learn, and make you who you are.” This approach has indefinitely encouraged her to be a community organizer.

I believe that civic engagement should be accessible. It shouldn’t just be for the rich or retired. It should be for the working mom, the middle class worker. We all pay taxes, and have a right to have a say in how our community functions. And that’s what I hope to bring to office. I hope to bring the voices of working people to our city’s governance.” “We are one of the most economically segregated cities in the nation,” Edwin explains. “And that’s a cost to us. When you have almost 80 percent of your workforce commuting in because Let yourself fail. Let they can’t “I believe afford to yourself try new things. that we live here, as a comthat’s a loss Let yourself deviate munity for us.That’s from your plan. Be kind agree on people who so much, are spendto yourself on your and our ing their tax journey. You may find values dollars in are very businesses yourself exactly where much the someplace same,” else, votEdwin ing someAYESHA GHAZI EDWIN said. “We place else. all want We’re losa safe ing the kind community, with good jobs, of unique identities that schools and a place where our made our city great.” children can thrive. We just Finding Herself need to focus on our shared Edwin knew in her values and less on the poli- early 30s what she wanttics that divide us.” ed to do. She knew that If Edwin gets elect- she liked helping people . ed for Ann Arbor Council She liked public speaking. (Ward 3), she plans on mak- She liked writing. ing sure everyone’s voices “It took me trying difare heard, continue efforts ferent things before feeling like around climate change, af- ‘okay, this is actually where I fordable housing and making belong,’” she said. us a more equitable and acHer contemplative cessible community for all. advice speaks to all of us. “I think it’s so import- “Let yourself fail,” she said. ant that people have their voic- “Let yourself try new things. es heard in their government,” Let yourself deviate from your Edwin said. “And one of the plan. Be kind to yourself on reasons I’m running, despite your journey. You may find having two kids under three yourself exactly where you and a full time job, is because were meant to be.”

you were meant to be.


We are living in hell: American work culture is destroying us RIDHIMA KODALI MANAGING EDITOR If you are reading this, then it’s important you know this. The goal of this column is to talk about negativity because that’s who I am. A pointblank pessimist. This is my perspective and you can agree with it or not. I’m sure by now, the return to virtual for a limited amount of period and going back in-person has profusely provided difficulties and disparities amongst staff and students. Many have not learned anything within the first week of semester 2 being virtual and a plenitude of staff, as well as students, suffered as they contracted COVID-19. However, the pandemic heightened with the incessant and obligatory American working

culture. It’s a flashback to what has happened in the last two years and it makes my head hurt. When I think about the pandemic and my life, it all does not feel real. The pain and the struggle we were all going through during lockdown and quarantine, moving past that and going through virtual, now inperson school, just does not feel real. We are living in hell and I’ve accepted that at this point. Every day I go to school, I think about how depressing the environment is. Sure, I do see my friends as we move past each other in the hallways, but what are we doing all of this for? The constant and consistent cycle of studying, participating in extracurricular activities and doing homework stays put. It always seems like we are working. All the time. I

do not know if it was before the pandemic or after, but conforming to high school — freshman year — although difficult at first, it felt different. There was no disease in the air and the world didn’t go into a total lockdown. I could say that my mental health was somewhat thriving. But coming back has brought difficulties mentally and the environment is unalike. Everything has changed and I can definitively say that we are living in Hell. Everyone works even when they drop because people feel obligated. The minute you walk into Huron, the atmosphere fills up with an exceptional amount of

gloom. Ruminate on the am going to be content scares nature of “school.” We all me, because I have lived my go to this place clustered life so far focusing on and with teens to study where pertaining to who I want to there is an extremity of be and how I can live my life. toxic academia. It’s quite However, will I ever meet the daunting. After high school, purpose as to why I came into everyone’s path differs. Some this world? decide to go to college and Life has a purpose others do not. It’s always and living in Hell currently just, “work, work, takes away from that purpose. work,” even We were all born for a reason with the and are different here for trajectories a reason. We are living in hell and we shift Work has I’ve accepted that at this towards. become the This cast of objective in point. mind and our lives, RIDHIMA KODALI, 11 perception losing our will only call impetus. for selfIt’s destruction. dignified, yet, it’s destructive. The fact that I do not The hope for Hell ceases know what is for the to exist with all that has future or happened. Despite the if I concurrent positives — awareness, leadership, and change — the negatives of how we are continually damaging ourselves and the remiss in Hell outweighs them. Regardless of our world being doomed with the working mentality, I will be here to talk about how the glass is half-empty. After all, for every optimist, there is a pessimist.

A Princeton Review survey reported that “over 50 percent of students reported feeling stressed, 25 percent reported that homework was their biggest source of stress, and on average teens are spending one-third of their study time feeling stressed or stuck. GRAPHIC BY VISH GONDESI

No days off: Huron students adapt to constant in-person-virtual transitions VISH GONDESI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF In the month of January, six days that were initially in-person were shifted to virtual by Ann Arbor Public Schools due to varying circumstances– including maintaining inschool operations on an early release day, limiting COVID-19 transmissions and most recently because of inclement weather. With AAPS already using up their six designated school closure days, any more closures will result in an extension of the school year, and accordingly virtual seems to be the sole alternative.

Additionally, if there is less than 75 percent of attendance on a virtual day, it will not count, and the extension to the school year will still be implemented. The constantly changing schedule has forced students all across AAPS to adapt their class settings. For most students, this provides certain benefits but also includes certain drawbacks.

As part of Swift’s press release on the Feb. 2 closing she said, “the ultimate decision rests with parents as to whether they choose for their children to participate in classes each day, based on their unique circumstances.”



COLLEGE | FROM PAGE ONE Arbor you can tell there’s immediately a disinterest if you don’t go to U of M,” said George White, a current sophomore at Washtenaw Community College and Huron alumnus. Seventy-four percent of students who completed the survey conducted by The Emery shared that they either applied or plan to apply to UMich just because they feel it is a standard. In fact, 82.1 percent reported feeling pressure to apply and get into UMich. However, this standard applies to four year universities in general– not just UMich. In fact, 100 percent of respondents said that they plan on attending a four year university. “Especially at Huron, most people will go to fouryear universities,” Alex PiperWagner, a Huron alumnus and current freshman at Boston University (BU), said. “It’s kind of expected because we live in a very well educated area. I think that my parents have always expected that I would go to a four year university at least, to pursue a bachelors or masters and potentially more.” White also shared a similar experience when choosing to attend WCC. “There was the presumption that I would go to a four-year university,” White said. “My parents weren’t irritated with me going to a community college, but the expectation was that I would transfer, or– at bare minimum– I would

figure out what I wanted to do with my life, which for them is getting my degree. It was just the expectation of education.” Meanwhile, Emily Herzog, a counselor at Huron’s College and Career Center has witnessed the effect this pressure has had on students. Her goal is to help students c o m b a t t h e s e expectations and feel confident in their post high school p l a n s .

Stigma” by Forbes, community college students are 75 percent more likely to graduate after transferring to a four year school. “There’s rumors that the quality of your education is compromised,” Herzog said. “But I’m a firm believer that your education and the quality of it will be determined by how m u c h y o u take advantage of the opportunities and resources where you are.

[Students are] already being told what’s good, what’s bad, what’s right or what’s wrong for their lives after high school. I want students to be able to just decide that for themselves without the influence of other people.” W h i t e

“There’s just all this pressure coming from different places,” c a n EMILY HERZOG Herzog said. attest “[Students to this. are] already B e i n g being told what’s good, what’s a student at WCC prebad, what’s right or what’s sented many opportunities wrong for their lives after to him: leadership roles, high school. I want students smaller class sizes and to be able to just decide that more inclusivity. for themselves without the “At WCC, there are influence of other people.” people of all ages, whether In accordance with they’re going back to school “Erasing the or are interested in learning Community in general, so they decided to College take a class because they’re just interested in it,” White said. Herzog can agree even though she is not a student. “A student could go to U of M and not talk to their


professors, not get involved in any clubs, just kind of go to their classes and go home,” Herzog said. “Whereas a student at WCC could meet a bunch of new people, could join organizations, really push themselves, challenge themselves, put themselves out there, become a leader on the campus and that person.” Though Piper-Wagner took a different path than White after high school, she shares the same mentality of making the most out of the resources presented to her. “Being in a new place, making friends, and pushing myself to take new opportunities BU has offered me . . . they’re all there,” Piper-Wagner said. “You just have to take that extra step and take advantage of those opportunities.” Herzog also states that education quality is not the only stereotype around community college. “Another big [misconception] is that the language used is often like two years or four years,’’ Herzog said. “The reality is that with community college, it’s both. You could still get a University of Michigan degree, because you could transfer from WCC to U of M, Eastern, or literally anywhere in the country. So for students who ultimately want to get a bachelor’s degree, going to WCC is not a compromise to that. If anything, it’s a smarter way to do it, because they’re saving a lot of money.” At WCC, the in-

state tuition is $4,176. On the other hand, the in-state tuition at University of Michigan lies at a staggering $25,230 in comparison: a difference of $21,054. “If universities don’t give you financial aid or if you can’t afford going to a four year university then going to community college is really smart financially,” Piper-Wagner said. Another factor of college education is not just what you want to study, but the environment in which you’ll be doing so. The average class size at a community college is 2535 students. In comparison, at most universities, introductory courses are held in lecture halls capable of a capacity of 150300 students per class. Herzog believes the most important takeaway is that every student should make decisions for themselves and prioritize their personal needs. “There’s no black or white, yes or no, one or the other,” Herzog said. “A fouryear degree is good, a fouryear college is good and a twoyear college is good. It totally depends on the situation and the student. They’re both going to have their disadvantages as well. So ultimately, the decision needs to come down to the individual and what’s right for them. And we have to be supportive of our friends and everyone as they make choices that are right for them.”


Lost and found: High school with a broken compass ARYA KAMAT GUEST WRITER “Are you lost? I can help you!” Frantically darting around like a fish out of water, I looked up at the kind stranger who offered a helping hand. It was the first day of freshman year, and I was hopelessly lost at Huron on my way to Algebra 2. Somehow, my journey to the land of the 6100 hallway turned into a little excursion to the Dome Gym. “How do I get to room 6155?” I meekly asked, as a little part of me died inside. Stepping into high school, I was so ready to take on the world, but little did I know that Huron’s hallways were going to be my first big challenge. Lost on the first day of this next stage of my life, and an important one too, before I head off to college and into adulthood – I should’ve realized this was a foreshadowing of my next four years. I have lived in Ann Arbor all my life, which happens to be right in the heart of the

University of Michigan. Even before I knew what college was or whether I’d actually go to college, I had already been subconsciously brainwashed to apply to Michigan. Everyone I knew had gone there — my parents, the neighbors, even the kids of random family friends. I was going to carry that burden with me without even knowing it. I entered my freshman year of high school knowing full well that I needed to build a perfect resume for my college app. My humble charter school beginnings meant I didn’t have a whole lot to write yet, so I wanted to be doubly sure that I didn’t mess this up. I was going to have to pick and choose my classes wisely, braving the 200+ page AAPS course catalog as I looked through core requirements and fun electives. I needed to keep my grades and GPA up. What was I going to pick for my extracurriculars? Where can I demonstrate my leadership skills? Oh, and I do need to get a job and add some work experience at some point in time. My head was a cloudy swirl of questions and pending decisions. I didn’t really feel like I fully understood how to navigate the world of high schooling until my sophomore

year. I got more selective about my classes and yet had plenty of lessons to learn. For instance, there’s this unspoken saying that one needs to take as many AP classes as possible (which, in hindsight, is a terrible idea) I signed up for AP Chemistry strongly believing that I was up for the challenge, only to completely bomb the first few tests that came my way. There vanished into thin air, my dream of having a high GPA. I did something similar with one of my extracurriculars. I applied to one of Huron’s most popular clubs in an attempt to boost my profile, and to no one’s surprise, I ended up getting rejected. Both these pursuits were motivated by a goal without a passion: I wasn’t hugely into chemistry, and I had no idea what that club was even about. Thankfully, I ended up taking an interest in chemistry subsequently to recover, and the club rejection led me to try out other extracurriculars I ended up discovering my passions in. This became a turning point for me, where I decided that I wasn’t going to chase things I wasn’t truly interested in. With that hardearned wisdom, I was ready to take on junior year head-on. So was COVID-19. Virtual schooling is no joke, no matter what anyone says. Honestly, I can’t even imagine how our

parents deal with all-daylong Zoom meetings. I was having trouble focusing in Zoom classes, so I decided to leave my camera on at all times so I could force myself to be attentive. It was quite tempting to not want to do that, given the sea of “camera off” windows all over my screen. Engaging in clubs wasn’t any easier either; I can’t even count the number of times my internet cut out during impromptu speeches for Forensics. Worst of all, I had to actually start thinking about colleges to apply to! With no knowledge on my own, I heavily relied on online research of websites like CollegeVine, CollegeConfidential, and Reddit Threads (if you haven’t started yet, definitely start with r/ ApplyingToCollege) to shortlist colleges to apply to. I still needed to get a great score on the SAT and ACT (I also recommend studying first), prep a list of colleges to apply for, ensure that I had hedged my bets properly across reach, match and safety school, work on Common App essays as well as some additional ones for supplements, identify my go-to teachers for recommendations, figure out financial aid mumbo-jumbo

(FAFSA? CSS? What?!?). With this added pressure and information overload, I felt like Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Needless to say, the summer before senior year was not a walk in the park. Finally, senior year arrived, and it was the official home stretch. As I started to look into the specific colleges and their requirements, I began to think about how I could paint the best picture of myself in my essays while also retaining my individual voice. It’s a tough ask to try and figure out who colleges want you to be or who they want to see in you vs. the person that you actually are. Even harder, however, was the task of writing the application essays. So many essays. And it’s not like you can find all your answers in a College Admission Essays for Dummies book. It’s not easy to get help with essay writing. I was also, honestly, a bit apprehensive in seeking READ THE FULL STORY ON THEHURONEMERY.COM



On the bright side, the future is up to you ERIC HENG COLUMNIST In the iconic opening from the 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a tribe of apes discovers technology, with the tribe’s leader triumphantly holding up the stone he had used to fight off a group of opposing apes. Since then, technology, science and society have only become more and more intertwined. Our everyday smartphones have more computing power than NASA did when they sent a man to the moon. In the midst of a global pandemic, advisories from the CDC and WHO have influenced how we live out our daily lives. Yet people do not seem to be embracing new technologies. Anti-vaxxers refuse the COVID shot, despite clear evidence of its safety and efficacy for themselves, as well as the rest of society. The growth of renewable energy sources, though becoming more efficient and cheaper, lags far behind traditional fossil

fuel sources. Social media, initially applauded for creating democracy in the Arab Spring, is now the tool of populists. But this is far from a new story. Nowadays, parents complain about their teenagers using their smartphones too much. But in the generation before that it was television. And before that, it was a landline. In the early 20th century, there were even widespread anti-automobile associations in the US. Often, it’s not about the good or bad of technology itself. Instead, it’s society’s attitude and actions to maximize its positive impact on our civilization. Nowadays, automobiles, landlines, and television have been embraced wholeheartedly. Then can we apply this generation’s novel science and technology to our greatest problems, like climate change? I interviewed Michelle Deatrick,

the Democratic National tributions and their influConvention’s Chair for the ence on the political system.” Council on the Environment Recently highlighted & Climate Crisis, on the by the politicizing of masks interactions between politics and vaccines, the alignment and science, and how we can between politics and science use the best of often influboth worlds to ences both. create progPolitics ress. can guide Deat- As science, technology, funding for rick pointed science, and society continue out many as well as problems with to merge, the overlap create polwhy climate icy based between science and change was on science. difficult to Meanpolitics will become act on. She while, new the battleground for the science will explained, “Around 70 to industries of tomorrow. also push 80 percent of policy into people both the light of believe that the climate crisis new information. I believe is happening, and want their our generation’s determipolitical leaders to do somenation is the key to fighting thing urgent… A big barrier climate change. Whether is the contributions from it is through joining orgaBig Oil and big gas from the nizations like the Sunrise campaign Movement, contacting your conlocal representative about climate change, or even preparing yourselves to become responsible policy makers, you are

impacting the science-politics interaction. As science, technology, and society continue to merge, the overlap between science and politics will become the battleground for the industries of tomorrow. And if we understand the relationship between science and politics, we can make better use of new technology for a better future. Deatrick was optimistic when I asked for her advice to our generation on climate change She expressed hope, saying: “Your voices and your work are absolutely crucial. Youth have centered themselves rightly, in this battle. And people of all generations need to stand with youth as we continue moving forward.” I too, am optimistic and determined, as the future is ours.


The destination should not be defined by the journey Staff Editorial: Every student has the ability to achieve success after high school

Almost every high school student, at one point, has been asked, “Where do you want to go to college?” whether it be from a parent, teacher, counselor, or peer. This terrifying question puts students in a corner, and forces them to give a typical answer of going to get a degree at a four-year college, and following the

“normal” and more commonly accepted route. Going to a one-year college, or not even going to college at all has become an after-thought in our community as a whole. So much academic pressure is put on students to know exactly what they want to do after high school, to know exactly how to do it, and to make sure that plan

involves attending a reputable four-year university on top of it all. The truth is, there are a million different paths we can choose to take to achieve our goals and dreams — even without attending a distinguished university. “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel,” is a reminder that we

all have our own paths and our own methods of learning and achieving, and comparing our journeys or changing them to a more commonly accepted route is a one-way ticket to self-destruction. We need to remember that each and every one of us have the capability to go far in life with so many tools and opportunities. We need to fight

the stigma as a community against the idea that a fouryear college is the only way to be successful, because there will always be opportunities to do what you love in life, whether “conventional” or not. The destination is never defined by the journey.


Behind Cinderella’s transformation ANNABELLE YE scene be portrayed in the Meyer’s auditorium? DESIGN EDITOR The Huron Players put on a magical show with their production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella Musical on Feb. 4, 5, and 6. Months of hard work went on behind the scenes: painting the beautiful sets, waltzing practices and, of course, the creation of Cinderella’s dress transformation. We all know the tale: with a touch of magic, Cinderella’s rags are transformed into a dazzling ball gown and she is off to the ball to meet the love of her life. The question was, how could this otherworldly

“One of the biggest challenges with this show was creating a transformation dress,” said parent Suzy Stein, who made Cinderella’s four skirts, three tops, and headscarf. Through research, the costume crew found the key to their transformation: a corset. “It seemed like the most effective transformation,” Stein said. “Instead of actually being laced up, the corset has snaps, so it can be easily removed like a jacket.” After deciding the approach for the transformation, the next part the crew had to consider was what went underneath — the iconic ball gown. “We wanted to make a very lightweight ball gown skirt for a sleeker look for the transformation dress,” Stein said. “We had seen many videos where Cinderella had a lot of bulk around her middle before the transformation,

and we wanted to avoid that. To accomplish this goal, Stein went for a flowy, lightweight chiffon fabric for the ball gown skirt. Then, a “transformation skirt,” a short skirt with an extra piece of fabric sewn on that falls to the floor, is folded up around the ball gown skirt and tucked under the corset. The corset then holds the skirt closely against Cinderella’s body. “Since we wanted her to look fabulous at the ball, we also made an over-skirt out of some really pretty sequin fabric that she puts on after the transformation scene, before the ball,” Stein said. “I mixed and matched various patterns to create the various pieces.” Needless to say, Cinderella would not truly be ready for the ball


without her glass slippers, which were created by none other than Cinderella herself, senior Lizzie Stein. “Lizzie created the glass slippers simply by gluing rhinestones onto a pair of shoes,” Stein said. “They really sparkle in the stage lights.” As a whole, the transformation dress consisted of a corset with an attached blouse under it, a complete ball gown tucked underneath the corset, and a special transformation skirt that folded over and masked the ball gown. The magic happened after an unexpected encounter with her godmother. According to stage manager Josh Sinha, two fog machines shot fog towards Cinderella as the lights dimmed to

solely blue spotlights. As Cinderella w a s illuminated by the blue hues, her corset was removed like a jacket and the bodice of the ball gown was revealed. She spun in the mist of the fog machines as her skirts fell down to floor length, revealing the entirety of the breathtaking ball gown that would catch the eye of Prince Christopher. “It was just simply a magical moment,” junior Grace Pang, who was in the audience, said. “The actors, the singers, the backstage crew — they all deserve major recognition for making this wonderful production possible.”

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5 6


1. Sophomore Lilly Pinsky fixes her hair before going on stage. 2. Senior Anna Beth Hish fixes an actor’s collar. 3. Cinderella, played by senior Elizabeth Stein, and the fairy godmother, played by sophomore Lilly Pinsky, are off to the ball in a dazzling pumpkin carriage. 4. The backstage crew reviews their rehearsal notes. 5. Cinderella carefully tiptoes across the benches onstage while the prince performs a song. 6. The stepfamily, played by sophomore Danielle Sackett, junior Stevie Dumitrascu and senior Anna Beth Hish, discuss the Prince’s ball 7. The Prince, played by senior Vaibhav Ramaseshadri, searches for his lost love. 8. The King, played by sophomore Alex Harris. 9. The Prince and Cinderella waltz during the magical ball. SANDRA FU


Review of Netflix’s Hype House reality TV: “A pain to watch” that does not fail to bore me. D’amelio shockingly has made it big by dancing “the renegade.” She has A seamless blue further become a celebrity sky, palm trees drifting from and made a career. This side to side in Los Angeles, happened all because of an California and teens living in app. a mansion. And this was just I would love to be the opening shot of the Netflix stupid rich and depressed reality show, than be a high school junior “Hype House,” released on who is depressed—just Jan. 7. saying. But “Hype House” “Hype House” is a rederails the life of an influality show that follows TikTok encer of how not everything influencers who live together is about what it seems on and make content together. social media, yadda yadda This house is known as the yadda. These are the same “Hype House.” issues that are incessantly Thomas Petrou (Hype brought up causing “Hype House founder) starts off the House” to have no distincshow with, “my goal with this tive perception towards the house is why can’t people who audience. There was no raw, hit millions of intensive other people emotion. be as famous Listen, I get as A-list ceit, reality lebrities?” shows do not have Watchthe “real” ing “Hype in them. House,” I “Hype House” was released the beginning of this year on Jan. 7. It was filmed during the sumWhen it realized that mer of 2021. COURTESY OF NETFliX comes to a the show show about been covered by TikTok Insta- ing drama that has already other hand, not so much. RIDHIMA KODALI consisted of TikTok influgram tea pages, TikTokRoom been hashed, and “Hype For me this drama people who do encers, which and TikTokInsiders. Some of House” does not do a very caused the walls to close in not have the many are not this drama that was brought good job of introducing a new and inadvertently, a headache hype. Not like Addison Rae a fan of, I certainly expected to light on the show was perspective. started to creep and sink in. I or Charli D’amelio, who were some more “existent” breakLarray (mononymous comeThe show further only had the ability to watch former Hype House members. downs to occur. These are dian TikToker) has a party rushes from one scene to anone episode per day of the It instead focuses on absurd pivotal for the audience to before vaccines had existed other one scene to another fo- eight-episode reality show. drama and teens complaining feel somewhat empathetic for and people were not wearing cusing on more drama which This show falls short on the about the struggles they have TikTokers. The declination masks. Or Chase Hudson’s left me in a dilemma of “what plot and it seems like the with their millions of followin the plot is evident, due to dating history and silly little is going on.” The back-andstitches —they made to tie the ers. the way Netflix cut the show. high school drama that the forth of drama in each episode show— or so they thought, TikTok has become a It appeared as though their audience craves. That’s what causes an ultimate disturended up leaving all wounds very well-established sooriginal storyline had been Netflix thought at made least. bance to the viewer. Reality open. “Hype House” has cial-video-networking app. It perturbed and they seemed Netflix bringing in shows, like “Keeping up with no substance at all, it seems made the most downloads of something up. moments where Hype House the Kardashians” no matter rushed, all over the place and the year and I, myself, mindThen it was born. members were canceled has the drama, the show follows honestly, a pain to watch. lessly scroll through TikTok The folly “Hype no benefit for the influencers a consistent plot making it because it’s frankly the only House.” themselves or the show. Inenjoyable and entertaining to source of entertainment It has drama that’s stead, it is circulating sickenwatch. “Hype House,” on the


I certainly expected some more ‘existent’ breakdowns to occur.”




SANDRA FU PHOTO AND SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Grim yet cheesy, “Don’t Look Up” knocks a G final piece of RA PH the mosaic in IC BY place to prove VE CT that satire doesn’t EE ZY age. Director Adam .C O McKay, known for films M like Stepbrothers and Vice, goes above and beyond to drive home a wake-up call in “Don’t Look the face of millions of Amer- Up” features icans. Released on Christa star-studded mas day on Netflix, this film cast, not excludpractically kicks anti-vaxxers ing but consisting of and climate change deniers Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer in the shins, but in a way Lawrence, Meryl Streep, that’s incredibly annoying and Cate Blanchett, to name rather than bruising. a few. Our dear DiCaprio

plays a woeful astronomy professor named Dr. Randall Mindy who discovers a comet headed directly for Earth with the help of his assistant, Kate Dibiasky, played by Jennifer Lawrence. When they realize that the government, the media, or the corporations do not give a crap about the imminent ex-



tinction of the human race, their exasperation becomes the voices of our repressed fears in the world today. The bleakness of the comet’s impending destruction is smeared with overused humor that almost makes me cringe by the end of it. The absurdity of President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her son, the Chief of Staff (Jonah Hill), got tiring after a while. Mark Rylance’s character, Peter Isherwell, was a marble cake of Jeff Bezos and Joe Biden. He was infuriating, which was probably the point of his character. One joke I personally enjoyed was Dibiasky’s confusion over a Pentagon general charging her and Dr. Mindy for snacks even

catastrophe though the snacks were free. The timing of those jokes were perfect, sticking through the film’s choppy editing. Past the cynicism and mediocre humor, there comes a point where I started to question whether something like this would actually happen. The seemingly somber ending struck a chord and made me a little sad, I won’t lie. But like its godfather, Dr. Strangelove, a dark comedy targeted at nuclear war, “Don’t Look Up’’ is satire, and it’s not meant to predict the future. Adam McKay isn’t a prophet. Look at the positives. The world hasn’t ended (yet)!


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Exploring mentality: What’s the “it” factor in the NBA? QUINN NEWHOUSE SPORTS EDITOR Throughout sports history, the concept of an inhuman trait that the highest echelon of competitors are born with and their destiny to succeed, to thrive, to compete, to win at all cost has captured the minds of coaches, players and psychologists alike. It’s not a physical trait, nor mental. It’s unquantifiable, intangible, yet able to be seen without told. Often imitated, never developed or duplicated. For this phenomena, we have one simple name that can fit the definition: the “it” factor. As Brhett McCabe, sports psychologist describes it on his blog, “High-achievers who embody the “it” factor understand what they want and are ready to do what it takes in competition to get there. They keep their expectations down but the demands on their process high, always scrutinizing the situation to see how they can make the process work better for them. Each game, match, or event is a learning environment.” For me, when I watch a game or a specific player, it’s pretty easy to notice who truly has this specific gene and who

doesn’t. It’s rare, but when you see it, you know it. It’s something that can always set a player apart. For example, I strongly believe that Kobe Bryant was the essence of the “it” factor for me. He even coined his own term for it: “The Mamba Mentality.” Bryant once famously said himself, “Mamba mentality is about 4 a.m. workouts, doing more than the next guy and then trusting in the work you’ve put in when it’s time to perform. Without studying, preparation and practice, you’re leaving the outcome to fate. I don’t do fate.” The results of Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” clearly speak for themselves. Bryant retired a 5-time NBA champion, an 18-time all-star and 11x All-NBA First Team. But spotting talent and spotting the “it” factor is never as easy as finding it in a player like Kobe, or LeBron, or Jordan. The term “diamond in the rough” is frequently used for a player with raw skill and untamed talent. For a cast of reasons, that talent is frequently overlooked To make the NBA, you obviously have to be

Kobe Bryant has eight buzzer-beaters in his career, which is good for second of all time. Many people view his clutch and leadership intangibles as unreplicated in the sport. GRAPHIC BY VISH GONDESI

special. But even making the NBA doesn’t guarantee a player has an “it” factor to their game. There’s a few ways I personally can spot the “it” factor in players vs. the average NBA player. Early in their career, it’s usually harder to spot compared to a veteran player. A young player who I already see with this trait is Evan Mobley on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite being a 20-year-old rookie, he plays as a leader of a dominant, high-scoring Cavs team, climbing his way to the top of many Rookie Of The Year projection boards and surprising many who called him a “bad pick” (being taken third in last year’s draft). He plays defense at a high level, and contributes heavily on the offensive end. In a few years time, I can see him as one of the top players in the league. The thing that I find so intriguing about Mobley is his ability to bounce back from bad games and bad possessions remarkably fast. It’s clear when you watch him play that his mentality is years ahead of the mentality that most of his rookie peers seem to have. Mainly, one of the biggest tell-tale signs in spotting the “it” factor is a player’s attitude to approaching the lows rather than the highs of the game of basketball. It’s easy for a player to be ecstatic after a win, but do losses truly bother them? No one likes losing, but is this player determined with every power in themselves to turn the team around and be a leader? In my eyes, how players handle loss-

es and poor situations early in their career for me is the best indicator of whether a player truly has the “it” factor in them. To me, the skill gap between players in the NBA is a lot smaller than people would like to think. Sure, some, if not almost all of them are natural-born, superathletes, but by the time a player’s names is even being mentioned by an NBA scout or coach, they usually have up to 12 years of experience already. Because of this, however, it’s a lot more level of a playing field compared to the skill gap between the NCAA and High School. The one truly defining factor that separates a good NBA player from the great is the mentality.

Next time you watch an NBA game, take a look at who is the leader on the court, who is the one in contol, never wavering their composure or their focus. The guy who isn’t afraid to miss shots and wants the ball in his hands. The guy who isn’t afraid to lose because he knows he gave it his all. To me, that’s what the true “it” factor is. To me, that’s the “it” factor that separates the good from the great, and the great from the legendary.

Kobe Bryant (pictured above) coined the term “Mamba Mentality” to describe his elite work ethic and dedication. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via CC BY-SA 3.0

Checking in with men’s wrestling coaches Sean Cruz, Steve Cox and Kayla Wheeler ZACHARY HILDEBRANT STAFF WRITER The wrestling coaches are passionate about wrestling, there is no doubt about it. “Wrestling is a great sport,” head coach Sean Cruz said. “Not only does it teach you discipline, but it teaches you how to be very responsible on and off the mat.” He sees how the sport transcends off of the mat and into athletes’ lives. “It teaches you how to manage being a student and an athlete at the same time, because that’s what I had learned when I wrestled for

Huron,” he said. Cruz is the head coach of Boy’s Wrestling along with assistant coaches Kayla Wheeler and Steve Cox. Due to COVID-19, Cruz says that the team “was left with maybe like eight kids to start out with, and then we just downsized to six. So pretty much this whole year is about rebuilding the team.” Many of the wrestlers are new to the sport and a lot of them are wrestlers who missed one or two seasons because of COVID-19. “They’re sticking to it,” Wheeler said. “They’re asking questions. So I’m just watching them grow and have

a passion and a love for it. And watching that continue to expand.” Seeing each wrestler improve has been a highlight for the coaches. “It’s a really fun sport and you get to learn how to defend yourself at the same time,” Cruz said. And the team is looking for new wrestlers for next season already. “If someone’s interested, they definitely should try it out,” Wheeler said. “You know, it doesn’t hurt to try. Because you know, with some Huron wrestling is always looking for new members, says kids, it’ll surprise them how coach Kayla Wheeler. JEWEL STORRS much they actually love the sport.”


Through the glass and on the ice


SANDRA FU PHOTO AND SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR 1. Junior forward David Patterson lines up for a face-off during a game against Grosse Pointe South. 2. The Rats go up 2-0 against Pioneer and senior captain Turner Aldrich celebrates the goal. 3. Skyron players skate towards their goalie to celebrate a win against Pioneer. 4. Junior defenseman Abby Cullen watches the play from the penalty box. 5. Junior captain Ava Heung evades an opponent in the neutral zone. 6. A view as the River Rats warm up before they face Pioneer. 7. At the edge of the face-off circle, junior defensman Brennan Bruch awaits the puck drop.







If you give PE teacher Toney Cummer a pair of shoes ALLISON MI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF As of December, 2021, Toney Cummer’s daughter counted around 300 pairs of shoes belonging to her dad. “It’s embarrassing to say to be honest,” Cummer said. “I don’t do it to say this is how many shoes I have. The natural rebuttal is you only wear one pair at a time, so who needs so many. Shoe collecting is just something that I happen to enjoy.” Cummer didn’t always have such an expansive collection. Coming from a single parent household in “a rough neighborhood” in Jackson, Michigan, Cummer was only able to afford one pair of shoes per year: his basketball shoes. But that didn’t stop him from dressing well. “I remember from a young age of just being really aware,” Cummer said. “Unfortunately, if you wore something from Kmart, you would get made fun of and

that’s unfortunate, but that drove us as people to make sure that we always looked the best we could look with the things we had. And when you don’t have a lot of means, you get creative.” And since he was an athlete all year round, checking all the boxes — baseball, volleyball, tennis, basketball, football — he had to get very creative. In college, when Cummer lived a frugal lifestyle, thrifting was an avenue he pursued. During this time, when Cummer started to make his own money, he made his first shoe investment: the AirMax 95. “I remember having that shoe and beating it to the ground,” Cummer said. In 2015, 23 years later, when the same shoe style was released, Cummer bought a pair. “I got to relive that nostalgia,” he said. “It reminded me of college, where I lived, the people I hung out

with, the friends with whom I went for runs with while wearing these shoes. It reminded me of when I was younger.” Cummer’s favorite part of collecting comes down to the moment before the big reveal. “There’s nothing like opening a brand new pair of shoes,” Cummer said. “The smell of it takes me back to when I was younger, and I could only afford that one pair of shoes. Luckily, I can now buy whatever I want. I can now relive that excitement over those once-a-year basketball shoes.” When shopping, Cummer looks for functionality, as he keeps up with volleyball and occasional pick-up basketball games. He also scavenges for pairs “nobody else has,” such as unique colorways of popular models, which can be found in the depths of Foot Locker’s storage. Though the majority of Cummer’s shoes are from Nike, he also likes to indulge

in brands from out of the country, like KangaROOS and Le Coq Sportif. Usually, Cummer simply wears the shoes at the front door, but on certain days, he makes thoughtful decisions, beyond just matching his shoelace color to that of the sweatshirt’s drawstring. For example, when Off-White creator Virgil Abloh died, Cummer thought it would be appropriate to wear his pair of shoes from that brand to honor Abloh. The River Rat community knows if there were a best-dressed staff competition, Cummer would win. “Everybody knows that he has the best shoe game,” Huron teacher Veronica Choe, who has known Cummer for over six years, said. “He doesn’t brag about it, but people notice he puts a lot of effort into it. He’s like the Hypebeast who’s not loud. He’s subtle, which makes it that much cooler.”

However, despite Cummer’s love for shoe hunting, he does see this collecting hobby eventually coming to an end. “It’s to a point where I sell more than I buy,” he said. “To be honest, it’s sometimes just easier for me to pick up the pair of shoes that are by the door.” But he admits that whether his collection count stands at 300 pairs or 3, he will be that grandpa: 80 going on much older, walking with a cane but rocking a killer pair of Jordans.



Q: What was your first impression of


and How did you rst meet? your bestie fi my first Fox: We met in 2005. year at Huron mediateWe hit it off im 4-eva. ly. Best bros

your bestie?

Fox: We just bonded immediately. A true bromance. Being both artists, we quickly realized we were on the same channel, so to speak. We are both kids at heart and see the world from a quirky, fun-loving perspective. Especially the smallest things in life. We are also both huge Tigers fans and Detroit sports as a whole. He is one of the funniest, warmest people you will ever meet. We just have excellent chemistry together.

Q: What’s a fun fact about your friendship?

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world with your best friend, where would you go?

Weir: When we first started teaching, many students couldn’t tell us apart. We’re the same age and have a similar hair color, but we have a significant height difference so we always found it pretty funny!

VanRiper: To the resort where they film Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico to get a front row seat to watch all the drama go down.

Q: Outside of teaching, is there anything you and your bestie like to do together? Sumerton: Shoot hoops. Eat Shrimp.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of you and your bestie?

Sumerton: We play a game or scaring each other: hiding in dark rooms or hallways and jumping out to freak the other person out. Mike has scared me out of my shoes before.