Page 1






Transition to hybrid learning for AAPS MISHAL CHARANIA MANAGING EDITOR

News PAGE 2 Girl Scout troop comes together for service project

barely open and shut. Just over two weeks after the initial diagnosis, Dr. Cyril Ruwende, the cardiologist, sat a few feet apart from Sumerton in a small white room with a puke-green bed. “Look, I don’t need to live forever,” Sumerton said. “I just want to live long enough to raise my kids.” The average size of an aortic artery is approximately 3.5 centimeters. At 4.5

This story was originally published on thehuronemery. com on Jan. 13. It has since been updated. On Jan. 13, AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift announced the district is prioritizing a transition to hybrid learning with in-person schooling for certain students planning to begin as early as March with specific dates to be announced at least two weeks before the anticipated start of in-person learning. The learning plan will split students alphabetically into “A” and “B” cohorts where students will either attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will continue to be asynchronous. Families have the option to choose the avenue of learning for their child. “We understand that without a vaccine yet available for children, many parents will continue to have concerns about an in-school learning option,” Swift said in her superintendent message. “During the remainder of this 20-21 school year, we will provide families with a choice to continue with



Opinion PAGES 8+9

Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory? Assistant Principal Michael Sumerton's family celebrates his successful heart surgery. COURTESY OF SUMERTON

Sumerton's heartwarming journey ALLISON MI COPY EDITOR

Sports PAGE 15 Senior Annie Costello reflects on her diving career at Huron

Feature PAGE 16


Where students traveled over winter break


ichael Sumerton’s family doctor listened carefully through his stethoscope and heard something he didn’t like — a subtle murmur-like the whoosh and swish of leaves rustling in a soft wind. The doctor removed his stethoscope and his half rimless minot glasses and told Sumerton, “You need to see a cardiologist. Immediately.” That was four years

ago. The assistant principal found out he had bicuspid valve disease, a hereditary disorder. Instead of having the usual three leaflets in his aortic valve, he only had two, which left a small hole — a leak — in that valve. Though there are few symptoms other than the tell-tale murmur, the disorder often leads to calcium building up on the misshaped leaflets, encrusting the valve so it resembles a rusty valve. Sumerton’s aortic valve was caked so badly it could

The issue with students turning on their Zoom cameras



BPA online competition LYDIA HARGETT NEWS EDITOR COVID-19 has been affecting how everyone lives out their day to day activities, including school, work and more. Many school-based clubs had to move to a virtual platform, including competitions they attend. Huron’s Business Professionals of America club has risen to the challenge of online competitions. “The regional competition this year was completed online, so instead of giving presentations in person, you recorded it and submitted it by a deadline,” parliamentarian and digital media manager of BPA Mihika Thakurta said. “My role is to ensure all procedures are followed at competitions and meetings as well.” ccccccFor the competition, many rules and regulations were set in place to ensure no cheating took place. “Since the events were all online we

Career Program Business Professionals of America students at last year's regional competion. This year Huron won 120 awards during regionals. States will be held in March. "I really enjoyed this year's competition and I'm excited to compete in states which I missed out on last yeaa," Career Program senior Mishal Charania said. COURTESY OF CHRISTY GARRETT. didn’t get to go to a physical competition and it really just detracts from the social factor of the competition,” junior Andrew Ye said. “It’s not as fun online; I wish the competition could take place in person like past years, but at least we still had one.” Even though the members of BPA could not have bonding events in person, the board still found ways for everyone to get to know each other.


are willing to help. “I think that a lot of students may feel too shy to Most teachers face turn their cameras on because a sea of little black boxes many of their classmates when looking at their gallery don't,” English teacher Sheri view on Zoom. Some of Horwitz said. “I know that them have names and icons. there is safety and security Occasionally, there are people in numbers and so I totally looking back at them, but it’s understand why they feel that a stark difference way — even from talking to a if I wish it full classroom. wasn't the According case.” to USA Today, Ann the rate of failing Arbor Public grades with Schools does online school not require has skyrocketed. students GRAPHIC BY JULIE PARK Sometimes, this to keep their is because people have cameras on, citing equity to take care of siblings concerns and student privacy, at home, or have trouble while some other districts understanding material strongly believe that teachers without help. But more often need to see their students than not, your teachers



2 | NEWS

Scouts finally come together for service project CLARA BOWMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF After months of virtual meeting and limited outdoor gathering, Girl Scout Troop 40001 was able to come together for a service project. “I saw the announcement for House into Home in the Next Door [magazine], and it seemed like a good service project that we could work on together, but apart and give us something to do this fall,” troop coleader and scout mother Kathy Klinich said. House to Home is an organization that helps individuals and families move into housing. Groups, like the girl scout troop, can volunteer to “adopt” an apartment to convert it into a comfortable living space for those who previously did not have reliable housing. The troop spent weeks thrift shopping, purchasing and receiving donated items for the apartment they furnished on Jan. 16. “You walk in and the apartment’s completely empty and there’s a bed

with a mattress on there and that’s it,” Klinich said. “Then we left, and it looked like somebody could actually live there! I’m very proud of them and how hard they worked to do it.” The troop made sure to take necessary COVID-19 precautions by wearing a mask and staying distanced from each other. “Moving in was really difficult,” Girl Scout and Huron junior Meera Ramaswami said. “You can’t have many people in the apartment at the same time, we had to carry massive TVs up flights of stairs, and it’s very difficult to do during COVID-19.” Despite some of the challenges, all agree that it was a very rewarding experience. “It’s really making a difference, and it feels really nice to help someone out like that,” Ramaswami said. “When we were moving stuff into the house, we were just like ‘they’re gonna like this so much.’ I’m really glad we got to do this, it was such a fun experience, and, I really hope the person who moves in enjoys this space that we




1. From left to right: Aida Labowitch, Dani Macorkindale, Abby Klinich, Eva Reed (front), Kathy Klinich (back) and Meera Ravaswami. 2. Junior Dani Mackorkindal measures a painting to hang it up. 3. The final furnished and decorated apartment COURTESY PHOTOS

made for them” The troop is composed of seven Huron juniors, some of whom have been together since elementary school. Although the troop partook in activities like a sociallydistanced campfire and watching movies with strong female leads, this was the first time in months the girls could really connect with each other again. “We met at my house to move in the

morning, and it only took us about 20 minutes to load, but the girls all just sat in the driveway and talked to each other because they were so happy to see each other,” Klinich said. “I think everyone was just happy to have somebody besides their own household to talk to in person.” Currently, the troop is planning some more activities to hopefully do together once the weather is nicer and it

is safe to do so. “I hope to do a lot more projects,” Ramaswami said. “I’m excited to hang out with my troop in person, do camping and stuff like that. It’s been really difficult with COVID-19 just sitting online. Not everyone can make the online meetings and it just doesn’t feel as close as we used to be, so I miss the closeness of it and hope to be able to do more.”


THE EMERY STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF: Clara Bowman 2021bowmanclaram@aaps.k12.mi.us Maya Kogulan 2021kogulanumaiyal@aaps.k12.mi.us ADVISER: Sara-Beth Badalamente Mishal Charania Managing Editor Vish Gondesi Online Editor-In-Chief Lydia Hargett News Editor Ridhima Kodali Opinion Editor Kaitlyn Sabb Feature Editor Quinn Newhouse Sports Editor Julie Park Design Editor Kiana Hemati Social Media Editor Allison Mi Copy Editor

Shania Ahmed Uthman Al Andulusi Ruqayyiah Al-Saady Jaden Boster Zach Brewer Neeko Cho Gabriela Dimova Anita Gaenko Eric Heng

Bridget Jung Blake Mundy Rio Ohtake Visruth Rajendiran Adam Schork Jamil Wilson Verena Wu Amy Xiu Harry Youngman

virtual learning remotely.” Before this transition can happen, Swift said the timeline is subject to AAPS teachers and staff’s progress of being vaccinated as AAPS prioritizes the safety of staff and students. School personnel are categorized in Phase 1B of the vaccination process. With a limited number of vaccines provided to the Washtenaw County Health Department, the process for teachers to receive the vaccine could be prolonged. The return to school will happen in phases with middle and high school students tentatively returning after spring break. S w i f t ’ s announcement has resulted in mixed reactions within the community. A second grade AAPS teacher worries about how spring break will interfere with settling into an in-person school routine. “I think that the timing poses some concerns especially in regards to the younger grades,” she said. “With going back at the beginning of March, they will just have gotten started and then have to stop again in order to have


spring break. This is very tough for the little learners in grades pre-Kindergarten to second grade.” Huron History teacher Jeff DeMoss and English teacher Claire Federhofer share similar sentiments about the reopening plan for high schoolers. While they both agree that in-person learning is better than online learning, managing a hybrid classroom might worsen the educational experience for students in-person and online. “I don’t believe that right now is an appropriate time for Ann Arbor students to be going back to school,” DeMoss said. “Infection rates are higher now than when our district

made the decision to go to virtual learning. I believe we should continue on this path unless COVID-19 rates drastically decrease combined with much greater access to the vaccine for those who are eligible.” Federhofer has tried to get her COVID-19 vaccination two times but both appointments were canceled. “We are making the decision for an entire community,” she said. “We have to be open minded and we have to decide at what point we’re prioritizing what we want over what other people think is beneficial for the collective.”


3 | NEWS

Students and teachers react to project based finals RIDHIMA KODALI OPINION EDITOR Ann Arbor Public Schools didn’t have final exams the first semester. Instead, students had projects and unit exams as end of term assessments. “I was somewhat relieved, as proper exams would be extremely difficult to administer fairly and securely,” Physics teacher Daniel Trevisan said. “I feel that AAPS has done an exceptional job of adjusting to these challenging circumstances. It’s been hard work, but I feel all stakeholders have risen to the challenge.” English teacher Claire Federhofer believes there can be key assessments throughout the year, without creating anxiety around just one week of school. “Online learning has been challenging enough for students and if there are ways to alleviate the stress that is typically associated with finals I am all in favor of it,” Federhofer said. There have been different approaches in coming up with the “final” across subjects and levels. “Advanced Placement students are doing a performance task where they’re annotating and writing about two poems and my English nine students

are writing reflectively,” English teacher Sheri Horwitz explained. “Both of these ‘finals’ require no studying or preparation beforehand on the part of my students, making it less stressful for them. I hope.” Trevisan dislikes he won’t be able to see what students retained throughout the year. However, he likes the idea of a performance task as a ‘final.’ For Physics, it is either a mini-presentation or a project. “All of the subject area teachers in the district, under guidance of our district science chairman, identified a selection of performance tasks which would demonstrate mastery of at least some portion of our curriculum,” Trevisan said. “The goal was for each choice to be equitable in terms of workload and skill sets required. We feel good about the choices we’ve offered and I’m pleased to see my students make a variety of choices.” Although Horowitz dislikes not being able to see students in-person, she believes that Huron has done its very best when it comes to virtual learning. Performance tasks and projects is what she has been doing for the majority of her career. Even without a ‘final’ students have still received a “profound learning experience.”


Do you prefer exams or projects for finals?


“I think English is not the right class for a final comprehensive multiplechoice exam,” Horwitz said. “It’s far more beneficial to have a performance task that assesses the skills we’ve been learning all semester.” Students at Huron had many thoughts about projects and unit tests given to them as “finals.” In an Instagram poll conducted on @thehuronemery Instagram, 85 percent of followers indicated they prefer projects over final exams. Vanya Krishna loves virtual learning because it’s fun for her. She is fond of the Wednesday asynchronous days. Since Krishna is a

Follow @thehuronemery on Instagram to take part in future polls!

Jordan Embry |11

Nathan Cho |11

“Projects because they aren’t based off sheer memory and often times are far less pass/ fail.”

“You can work on projects until you get 100, but finals test your knowledge better.”


VERENA WU STAFF WRITER Following their December performances, The Huron Players are Zoomrecording Twelfth Night, a play which has several intertwined plots featuring romance, mistaken identities, and humor. Freshman Alex Harris plays Malvolio, a lead role. “Twelfth Night is a very funny show,” Harris said. “Even though it’s sometimes hard to understand, it’s hilarious and it’s also beautifully written.” Harris also performed in the Huron Players’ first performance of the year, Typecast. “Twelfth Night is very different from Typecast because of the age difference and the type of literature,” Harris said. “It’s also very different in the sense of filming the scenes in parts of the show because Twelfth Night is much more lyrical. Typecast was more of a trial show and about having

Huron Players prepare for second virtual play

fun and playing some characters, while Twelfth Night is very much actually getting into the characters and the techy stuff with the actual filming in rehearsals.” In class, Harris finds himself counting down the hours until rehearsal and he’s enjoyed making friends in the Huron Players this year despite the online setting. “I wasn’t expecting it to be as tight-knit as it is,” Harris said. “I have met lots of kids, which I find very hard over online school. It’s very social, and that is something I lack right now.” Twelfth Night will be shown through Zoom on Feb. 5 to 6 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m. The Huron Players will start auditions for their next show, a murder mystery, a week after finals.

SCAN HERE to secure your tickets to HP’s Twelfth Night

freshman, she does not have anything to compare first semesters ‘finals’ to. “Doing projects feels like you learn more of a niche aspect of the subject, while a test format feels like you learn a broader aspect of the subject,” Krishna said. “Since we’re in high school, I personally think while projects are a lot more fun, [but] we would learn more by doing tests.” Sophomore Jerry Yang expected that there would be no finals for the first semester and disliked that the project doesn’t have the same weighing, as the general ‘final.’ “I think that I could’ve learned a bit more if there were test finals, as it would cover more information than a project would,” Yang said. “Overall, virtual learning is not my favorite thing in the world, but given the circumstances, it’s something that is necessary.” Sophomore Eliza Van Ee was relieved and surprised when she found out there wouldn’t be conventional final exams. Her mental health has improved this time

compared to last year, around the time of final exams, and Van Ee believes that projects are a better demonstration of students’ understanding and betterment of the learning of the material. “ I learned a lot in my classes, and the projects and the unit tests were a good demonstration of my understanding,” Van Ee said. “I expected final exams, but shrunk down to be a little shorter.” Senior Jessica Schwalb, who prefers projects to exams, thinks beyond this semester’s finals. “Completing more projects and less tests is a side effect of Covid I hope we keep,” Schwalb said. As of right now, Huron teachers don’t know finals might look like at the end of this school year. “Just like everything else this year, nobody really knows what’s going to happen,” Horwitz said. “We’re going to have to wait and see.”





12-15 23

Student count -No school: Midwinter break day - No homework weekend

Early release day

March April


No homework weekends: March 26-28 and April 2-4

No school: Spring break





Hybrid high school begins*

End of Q2

SAT/PSAT testing

WorkKeys/ PSAT testing

05 09 13 13

*Tentative date


centimeters, there is a risk of heart rupture. Sumerton’s aortic artery was at 3.9 centimeters and growing. “How old are your kids?” Dr. Ruwende asked. “17, 15, 14, 12, 8—” Sumerton started. Dr. Ruwende interrupted him. “Wait. There’s more,” Sumerton added. In fact, five more. Mr. Sumerton and his wife have 10 children. “I think you’ll be able to make this happen,” Dr. Ruwende said. Think? “Think” meant there was a chance he wouldn’t live enough years to be the dad he wanted to be. In other words, “Think” was unthinkable. “That was emotionally the hardest moment,” Sumerton said. “I thought, ‘I have responsibilities to my k wids and to students, and I may not be able to fulfill what I promised people.’” In 2020 he was given less than a year to live. “Man, I’m on the


Left: Sumerton’s priest anoints the sick blessing prayer, prior to the surgery. Right: Sumerton’s kids, ages ranging from 1-17, are gathered in the living room on Christmas day. COURTESY OF SUMERTON short end of this, not the long end,” Sumerton told himself. “Things are happening all over the world. Good things. Bad things. They’re happening. That story keeps going, and I’m just out of it — like I was never here.” He realized that waking up tomorrow is a gift not to be wasted. “It really hit me that I have a short window to do as much good as I can before I’m gone,”Sumerton said. So, every day started to become more precious. “One more day to do it right” became his mantra. Through prayer and hours of research about his treatment options, it all became clear. He realized this was an opportunity to do something special, but he had to act quickly. In 1966, Sumerton’s grandfather had died at the age of 56 of a heart attack caused by bicuspid valve disease. One year later, a South African-born British thoracic surgeon, Donald Ross, discovered a way to replace a patient’s damaged aortic valve with their own pulmonary valve. The procedure — called the Ross Procedure — has saved the lives of countless people, and one of the most accomplished surgeons in this

field, Dr. Andrew Pruitt, operates out of Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan, right in Sumerton’s backyard. “It’s like I’m walking down a stream, not knowing if I can make it,” Sumerton said. “Then, I look down, and there are rocks perfectly placed for me to walk across. Every question, every problem I had was always solved.” Usually, Dr. Pruitt’s surgery schedule was booked for months ahead, but when Sumerton approached him, the doctor found an open spot 10 days later. Before the Nov. 2 surgery, the Sumerton family met around their 12 by 3 foot maple wood table to discuss over dinner the surgery and what to expect. His four-year-old son, Peter, raised his little hand. “Dad, are we still going to be able to wrestle?” he asked. “Yes, but not right away,” Sumerton told him. That was all Peter needed to know, as he happily began to munch on his spaghetti. “My dad is a great father,” Sumerton’s son Max, 12, said. “He’s the one who makes everything fun at home. He provides for us and protects us. He is my dad, but he’s also one of my best friends.” Another one of Sumerton’s best friends, whom he has known for a decade, is Huron High School College Prep advisory and business teacher Christine Garrett. “He is loving and just the most giving person you will ever meet,” Garrett said. “Everything comes from a good place — such a real place of trying to understand who people are and how to help people. And that’s just at his core. What he cares about is elevating them and

making them better.” “When I woke up, I As the big day rapidly felt like I had almost died, approached, Sumerton’s then came back to life,” community was now the one Sumerton said. “It’s really, elevating him. The PTSO really strange, just how sent him $350 worth of gift different it feels to have a fully cards. Parents, teachers, functioning heart. It’s a nightstudents and friends signed and-day difference.” up to bring meals to his family Within the first 60 days in a row. Seventy hours with his new “Marvel families signed up to pray superhero heart,” Sumerton for him non-stop during and posted on his Facebook a after the operation. fascinating picture of his chest “I really was totally opened by metal clamps and a blown away by all of these clot of tubes dangling out. The actions,” Sumerton said. next day, the post was blurred “There’s and flagged j u s t with a been an graphic incredible warning. amount of “This support, is so weird and it to say, but has made I have had it really a really easy to go awesome through the experience surgery.” and this surgery The success has been rate for one of the the Ross coolest procedure things I’ve is 96 ever gotten MICHAEL SUMERTON percent, to do,” Assistant Principal and Dr. Sumerton Pruitt’s said. “It’s success something rate is over not many 99 percent. However, there people get to do, and I feel was still a chance for the worst, like I’m lucky to have had and Sumerton was at peace this experience.” with that possibility. His recovery is going “If I go because of this, smoothly, and he can now go don’t be upset,” Sumerton up a flight of stairs without told his loved ones. “If this exertion. Sumerton said he is my time to go, then it is. If plans to run a half marathon not, then obviously God has soon and is already signed up more for me to do.” for a 10K run in the summer. As the nurses sedated Best of all, he may even be able Sumerton, they asked him to go back to work sooner than what kind of music he wanted expected, a possibility that to listen to. He doesn’t thrills him. remember his response. “It was me dragging Eight hours later, my heart along for 47 years the surgery was over. and now my heart’s like Sumerton woke up. ‘Hey, let’s go!’” he said. “I “Hey, did I pick the feel like I’ve been brought music yet?” he asked. back for a reason. And I’m He had some bluegrass excited to get started.” tunes in mind.

Things are happening all over the world. Good things. Bad things. They’re happening. That story keeps going, and I’m just out of it — like I was never here.”




Bipartisan brothers: The Harrisons reflect on their relationship in divisive times VISH GONDESI ONLINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Polarized politics. The us versus them mentality. Even with the current political landscape, senior Will Harrison and his brother, a Michigan State University student, Jack Harrison, learned to cope with the stark party divisions in their own household. That’s because Jack has been a conservative leader, and is currently serving on The Michigan Federation of College Republicans, while Will considers himself an unaffiliated Democrat. The two started forming their own political identities around the same age, when they both were in the eighth grade. Part of the reason their beliefs diverged is due to their parents having never forced them to inherit their own. Both of their parents lean Republican. “I was in the eighth grade with my teacher, and he decided to do a civics unit,” Jack said. “And it wasn’t totally part of the prescribed curriculum, but he decided to do it and I had really no exposure to anything politically related. So I remember we did one of those political ideology tests. I took it in the Clague Middle School Media Lab. And I remember, after everyone’s

results popped up, everyone got different shades of blue, some were more light blue, some were darker blue, except me. I had a moderately red result.” On the other hand, Will was drawn to the 2016 election, and had interest in Senator Bernie Sanders. “I think a substantial way in which I was kind of informed was through Late Night comedians, whether it be Jon Stewart or John Oliver, or any of the Late Night talk show hosts, because they introduced new and complex topics that I felt were well researched in a very comical way,” Will said. “So, that was one way I started getting involved in politics too, and from there just with school having to do projects. I think there’s also an element of wanting to separate myself from my family that motivated some of my inclinations to question the Republican Party.” And he did question. As they both expanded their political knowledge, they eventually started debating over things like policy to other vital issues, creating a new element in their relationship. “I love my brother, he’s a great guy,” Will said. “I think he’s just a really nice guy who’s honestly hard

working, and I think we’re close. I appreciate him, and I ask him for advice. It’s been really nice having him home during the pandemic, to keep in contact. But it definitely has strained our relationship, both in terms of how the sibling rivalry is expressed through political debate, but also through the real ideas and real anger, perhaps with our differences in set of beliefs.

There’s definitely real issues that color our relationship in a more negative way as it becomes combative. But overall, I think our family bonds are stronger than that. And that’s something we both really work hard to cultivate.” It wasn’t uncommon for these debates to quickly become heated or tense. Sometimes they would have to learn to move on, when

neither of them could get their point across. According to Will it also helped to have their parents, “yelling at them to be nice to each other.” “It’s good, first of all, that our political opinions elicit emotional responses, but


Both Will (right) and Jack Harrison (left) started forming their political identities around eighth grade. Their differing political views have caused many arguments. Regardless, the two still maintain a healthy relationship today. COURTESY OF WILL AND JACK HARRISON. PHOTO EDITED BY VISH GONDESI


don’t have the bandwidth to support streaming video with for education to be their camera on, or they don’t effective. want to show their home, or Huron French they just don’t know their teacher Melissa Saeed thinks classmates very well and don’t the issue is about students’ want to be exposed.” home environment. However, when “Students don’t want students consistently don’t to show their personal space turn their to others,” cameras on, Saeed said. teachers said “They also they lose their might not connection have gotten with their themselves students. ready for the “Teaching is day. Or they more than just might not passing on want their *Based on a poll of 169 people information,” teacher to see H u r o n them lying calculus in bed, on their phones or not teacher and chair of the math paying attention.” department Peter Collins C a t h e r i n e said. “So much of it involves Marchionna, who teaches developing a personal PLTW classes, agrees. relationship with students. “I know how it feels to have the When students have their camera on you — it feels like cameras turned off, very little you are under the microscope of that relationship-building at all times,” she said. “I also can take place.” know a lot of our students

79% of the Emery’s Instagram followers don’t believe that students should have to turn on their cameras*

According to Andrew Collins, the science department chair, social cues play a huge part in teaching. “I like to see students nod in agreement, or furrow their brows in confusion,” he said. “Occasionally, a student may even laugh at one of my bad jokes.” Many students have experienced what is now called “Zoom fatigue.” Even if people don’t notice physical strain, learning and teaching in isolation demotivates people, even introverts. When a teacher doesn’t see someone’s face or hear their voice, it’s like they’re not even there. “From the teacher’s standpoint, it’s so helpful to see people’s faces while teaching,” Horwitz said. “You can see if the students are comprehending, you can see if they’re engaged and you can better gauge how to help them.”

Should students have to turn on their zoom cameras? PRO “Out of respect to the teachers they should turn the camera on.” Carlos Perez, parent

PRO “I can’t make connections the way I used to.” Sara-Beth Badalamente, teacher


“People can’t always control what their background looks like or where they can join meetings.” Melanie Kwierant, 11


“School’s basic premise of a place with no distractions and forced learning is flawed as is.” Aakarsh Verma, 12




Sh COVID-19 Vaccine: Sho As these words are being written, over 150,000 people in the United States have taken a COVID-19 vaccine. Though that is a large number, it doesn’t account for the many who pose a hesitancy towards this inoculation. The freedom of choice for taking this vaccine versus one’s indebted social obligation has been an ongoing debate, even before the pandemic. It is a dilemma many face: juggling between the pros and the cons of having an obligatory vaccine. These unique times, more than ever, weigh between the essential choices of the health and freedom of either self or society.

Q&A Q&A with with social social studies studies teacher teacher Mike Mike GotGottliebson tliebson LYDIA HARGETT | NEWS EDITOR Q: Why did you decide to get vaccinated, why was it important to you? A: I wanted to get vaccinated for a few reasons. One, because vaccines are awesome and everyone should get them because infectious diseases are bad. Two, my wife is pregnant and won’t be getting a vaccine in the near future, so if we go back face to face, I wanted to be assured I could add a level of safety for her. And three, my dad was recently diagnosed with a blood cancer and is immunocompromised, and a vaccine makes me feel safer being around him. Q: Which vaccine did you choose to get and why? A: I jumped on the first vaccine I could get and it happened to be the Moderna mRNA one. Q: How did you feel after getting the vaccine? A: I felt happy! And a little sore on my arm.

We asked Huron

If you had the opportunity to get the vaccine, would you take it? YES NO

86% 14% Data from @thehuronemery Instagram


Vaccine PRO

The pandemic has trapped us in a dark tunnel of despair. It has brought a wave of devastation, drowning some more than others. For some of us, the greatest suffering we have had to face is no longer seeing our friends inperson. But for many others, the pain is much greater. They may have lost family members, been sick themselves or had their livelihoods drastically impacted for the worse. Thus, with a mandated vaccine, exempting those with religious and health reasons, we are helping not just ourselves, but also those who find themselves at the shorter end of the stick. Let’s take a stroll back to April 2020—what somber times. There was talk of a vaccine but nothing was resolute. When? What? How? We didn’t know. When will this end? What do we do? How will we find a remedy? All of these questions produced disappointing shrugs. The fortunate reality is that we do know now; we don’t just have one vaccine, we have two: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine​​. As of January 2021, we have an inoculation. In fact, as of this writing, Michigan Medicine alone has distributed over 31,000 vaccines. The light at the end of the tunnel beckons all of us. The advantage to having mandatory vaccines — and vaccines is general — is obvious: your chances of getting COVID-19 will be severely reduced. According to CNN Health, however, only half of us are actually planning to take the vaccine. The reason for this is not financial, since the vaccine is free to everyone. The cause is a lack of trust; it’s a fear that the vaccine was made in too much of a rush to be credible. Is there any evidence for this claim? What many people don’t realize is that the Pfizer and Moderna products we see today are a culmination of over a decade of science and discoveries. Our COVID-19 vaccines piggyback off of mRNA technology, which has been in the works for over ten years. In other words, the new offerings are safe and vetted. An analogy would be how schools moved into a virtual setting quite quickly. They could do this because the Internet was already known and effective. Another concern people have are the side effects. For the COVID-19 vaccine, they include muscle soreness from the shot, fatigue, headache, chills and a fever, which are all temporary. However, these side effects are the same as for the flu vaccine—an annual vaccine required by many jobs and schools. According to Michigan Medicine, reactions to the two COVID-19 vaccines are 100 times less common than those of penicillin. In other words, if you have no qualms about getting a

flu vaccine, you should have no objections to protecting yourself from COVID-19. An important point to realize is that no matter how effective or great a vaccine is, if no one takes it, it may as well not have been made. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, estimated that 70 to 85 percent of the population will have to take the vaccine to reach herd immunity, which is when a large enough percentage of the population will be immune to COVID-19, resulting in an unlikely spread of the disease. If there is a mandatory vaccine, we can reach herd immunity sooner, and thus the pandemic can end sooner. A common rebuttal is that we all have the right to freedom. But there comes a time when we must draw a line when one person’s freedom is a hindrance to many others’ lives. It’s analogous to someone freely polluting a lake, and harming the health and well-being of those around them as a result. As much as taking the COVID-19 vaccine is a favor for yourself, it’s a social responsibility you owe to your community. Many people live in the pandemic with a considerable luxury they often take for granted.

They have food on the table at least three times a day in bountiful amounts, but there are as many people out there — so many people — drowning in this pandemic, who can’t afford the basics of survival and need out. Immediately. So, when you take the vaccine, you are helping those whose struggles extend beyond not seeing their friends each day. You are protecting those who can’t take the vaccine due to health concerns. You are helping the students who are struggling in online school. You are helping the mom who got laid off last April, desperately trying to make ends meet to have food on the table for her children. When you take the vaccine, you are helping us all. You are being selfless. Can you do that for us?



hould ould it be mandatory? The Timeline

Vaccine Con COVID-19 vaccines are finally available. But while some people are busy continually refreshing their web browser to try to find availability, there are others who are not interested in taking the shot. What needs to be addressed is whether or not the vaccine should be mandated. I believe it should not. No one has seen the long term effects of the current COVID-19 shot yet. So, how do we test for long term effects? We can’t. Possible side effects of the vaccine are still unknown. I believe people have the right to wait before injecting themselves with something authorized by the government. People want to be able to choose what situation they put themselves in. But these choices are different in each state. People can sit shoulder to shoulder with a stranger for a whole flight, but can’t dine at a local restaurant when everyone is socially distanced in Michigan. We can all go to


Walmart and touch all the items in the store, but can’t go to a movie theater. However, once you travel to Ohio, all of sudden there is “no COVID-19” and now you can eat in restaurants. Mixed messages make it hard to add up what the nation is doing. Scientifically, there is a high survival rate for those under the age of 55 and the way the deaths are being miscounted also leaves many people questioning how we have handled COVID-19. This polarized attitude shows why people should be able to choose if they want the vaccine or not. The people can make their own

Future dates are tentative


choices. Another reason why individuals should have the choice to have the COVID-19 vaccine is because they stand for medical freedom. The same way people refuse the flu shot is the same way people want to be allowed to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine. Whether it be for religious reasons or people wanting to know more about it. Almost half of Americans, 42 percent, said they wouldn’t get a free vaccine created by the government according to a Gallup survey in late October. The federal government cannot make a nationwide vaccine mandate. They have limited power expressly spelled out in the constitution; the rest belongs to the states. The federal government has some ways to get people to vaccinate, imposing its condition of getting a passport, for example. Though the national level government cannot declare a mandate, the states do have the authority to do so. The Supreme Court said that states can enforce the vaccine under their police powers, which is under the Constitution. Even though this law is 115 years old, states can take action for the public’s health. When looking at schools slowly opening up across the nation, a vaccine mandate has slipped through parents’ minds. Districts like Ann Arbor Public Schools, is one of those employers who will not order the vaccine on it’s staff. The staff is allowed to choose. However, the district has made it clear that before we return, the vaccine would need to be accessible to staff to make that choice. Rejecting the vaccine now does not mean rejecting the vaccine forever. While some are bragging about this vaccine being rushed and emergency FDA approvals, others are finding this discomforting. It’s as if we’re driving to the hospital but we’re running every red light on the way home. We may need a vaccine but some would rather be cautious about it. If you want to take the vaccine, by all means, you’re in your medical freedom to do so, but don’t shame others who won’t be participating in the COVID-19 vaccines.

December 14, 2020

December 2020

Early January 2021

Late January 2021

March 2021

Sandra Lindsay, a nurse from Long Island Jewish Medical Center, became the first person vaccinated for COVID-19 in the United States.

Phase 1A: The COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for all healthcare workers.

Phase 1A: The COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for all long term care residents and staff.

Phase 1B: The COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for school and child care staff, front-line state and federal responders, and all people above the age of 65. Ann Arbor Public Schools tentative transition into hybrid learning with inperson schooling .

Spring 2021

Phase 1c: The COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for other essential frontline workers and all people below the age of 65 with COVID-19 risk factors.

June 11, 2021

Last day of the 20202021 school year.

Summer 2021

Phase 2: The COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to the general public.



Teachers need to open up --- to open note testing



Bridging political polarization

AMY XIU STAFF WRITER Americans are much less divided than we think. In general, Democrats and Republicans believe that almost twice as many members of the other side hold more extreme views than they actually do. Even on the most controversial issues, there is a lot more consensus than one may expect. If this is true, then why has the United States just grown increasingly polarized over the past few years? A 2019 study called “the More in Common Project” attributed this to a growing “perception gap.” In the study, 2,100 Americans were surveyed for their political views, then asked to predict how the other side felt about common political issues. The difference in the predicted viewpoints of the opposing side and the actual viewpoints is known as the “perception gap.” So what causes a perception gap? This could be due to a number of factors. A large factor is the people we choose to surround ourselves with. On Instagram, I have seen posts saying “If you are a Republican or if you support x, please unfollow me now.” While often not this extreme, most people choose to surround themselves with others who share the same political opinions as them. Being surrounded by close people who all share similar views is directly related

to an amplification in the perception gap. Another large factor is the media. The study showed that the more news one consumed, the larger their perception gap. Whether consciously or subconsciously, journalists often show their own personal bias through subtle things such as diction. Depending on the news source, actively reading the news can serve to increase your perception gap by over 10 percent. The only outlets that were shown to cause a decrease in the perception gap were traditional televised news networks such as ABC and NBC News. This effect is escalated by social media, where our sources of information are completely personalized. In theory, this would allow us to see a wide range of perspectives from people with very different backgrounds. However, only about a quarter of Americans admitted to sharing their political views and political posts on social media. Those Americans tend to have much higher perception gaps than the national average. What we often see on social media is from people with a very distorted view of the other side, which further increases the divide. Not surprisingly, the people with the largest perception gaps are the people on the extremes — the Progressive Activists and the Devoted Conservatives. However, not only are these usually the “loudest” people, they are often the figures chosen to represent an entire party. While faces such as Alexandria OcasioCortez and Ted Cruz featured continuously in the news, those with more moderate

We as Americans need to do what we can to decrease our perception gap and better understand the other side.”

opinions are shoved aside and forgotten. So what does this all mean? We as Americans need to do what we can to decrease our perception gap and better understand the other side. We are currently stuck in a vicious cycle of polarization. Everything we consume, from the media to the debates, just serves to increase this cycle. The study showed that the group with the smallest perception gap was actually the politically disengaged. However, this does not mean that we should not be aware of what is happening politically. Instead, we should choose to surround ourselves with the widest array of views possible. Before forming an opinion, I always try to find sources from both sides of the argument. We need to stay vigilant in what information we consume, being on the lookout for any bias. We can try to directly engage with those from the other side and fight our own preconceptions. At the end of the day, it’s okay to disagree. However, an understanding of the other side and a willingness to compromise are necessary for progress to be made. Open hostility towards the other side is not the solution. By understanding the factors that cause our bias, we can do better to combat them. Instead of being divided, we can all work together for the solutions we want.

Scan the code to take a quiz, which will measure your perception gap.

Whether students are writing an essay, working on homework or even doing a school project they are most likely using their holy grail -- their notes. Notes are something very crucial to a student as they are the backbone of a student being able to actually learn the subject and material. We still have a question that arrives upon us: are students actually learning the material or memorizing it just for their test? Only to forget the material right after. Consequently, students should be able to use notes on tests. There is a huge difference between memorizing the material and understanding the material. Yes, memorization does play some sort of a part in being able to understand the material, such as memorizing solubility rules. However, students still need to know and understand how to use the memorized material to fit their understanding of the subject. With open-note tests there is a major benefit students will receive: they will actually learn the material. Usually, when studying for a regular test (without notes), students are memorizing facts and not learning them. Again, they are learning for the exam, only to forget it right after. According to Edutopia, psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus studied the memory and discovered the forgetting curve. The forgetting curve reveals the deterioration of memory retention. His experiments have conveyed that 56 percent

of new information is forgotten in an hour. Sixty-six percent of that same information is forgotten after a day. Seventy-five percent of it is forgotten after six days. Furthermore, Ebbinghaus, another experiment related to the forgetting curve conveyed a similar deterioration of memory retention. According to this article, he constructed a list of 2,300 made-up words, and tested himself repeatedly in intervals. A day after he memorized it, he barely remembered a third of it, and only remembered 5 percent of the words two days after. So, students are only learning 5 percent and maybe even less of the material, after they take tests. By the end of their high school career, are students really learning anything? How are they able to apply those skills in the next semester of that course? How are they able to apply the skills and information they supposedly “learned” in high school at a university or college? Or to even answer a simple question, for AP exams. They will not be able to, because they are forgetting almost all of the material, days after they are learning it. However, there is a solution: open-note tests. Open-note tests will help the students put on their thinking caps. It will help them apply specific concepts and use those notes to answer questions. Yes, teachers have a concern whether or not students will be able to learn the material, if they are actually looking at their notes. However, with notes, students will still have to study and put their thinking caps on regarding which information they can READ THE FULL STORY ON THEHURONEMERY.COM The forgetting curve, discovered by Hermann Ebbinghaus, reveals the deterioration of memory retention, and that new information is forgotten six days after it has been learned. GRAPHIC BY RIDHIMA KODALI


The Young Scientist

Time to celebrate and encourage women in science Francis Crick, who were investigating the structure of DNA at the time. Using the photo, Watson and Crick gained crucial evidence needed to empirically prove that DNA had a double helix structure. Watson, Crick and Wilkins went on to win the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Unfortunately, by that time, Franklin had already passed away. The controversy surrounding this story resulted from the lack of credit given to Franklin, despite the essential evidence that came from her lab. Stories like this one have been repeated all across history, and there are probably many more out there that Maura Dollear, 11, center, with Girl Scout Troop 25242, works on a password exercise Novemwe are not ber 3, 2018, at Northern Trust in Chicago’s Loop. The Girl Scouts is working to increase the even aware number of science- and technology-related badges the organization offers. (Jose M. Osorio/ of. HowevChicago Tribune/TNS) er, things As of last year, almost Many times, in subjects are chang120 years after Marie Curie’s dominated by men, women ing for the great accomplishment, the are seen as inferior scientists better. number of female Nobel lauor just plain incapable. This In reates has remained low; out leads to many female scienrecent years, of the 962 Nobel laureates, tists being overlooked. the credit ERIC HENG only 57 of them were women. A prime example given to COLUMNIST This shocking statisof this is the story of Rosa tic shows a distinct gender lind Franklin, who used the Franklin has gap in the awarding of the technique of X-ray crystalincreased One hundred and Nobel Prizes, especially in the lography in her lab, a method as her eighteen years ago, the first scientific fields. For example, that allows small molecules prominence Nobel prize was awarded for the fields of chemistry to be visualized. She was rose in scientific literature to a woman. Marie Curie, a and physics, women win the away from her lab when one and popular science. Of the pioneer in the field of radiamedal at a rate of less than of her coworkers, Maurice 57 female Nobel Laureates, tion and physics, received a five percent. Wilkins, without her permishalf were awarded in the last joint prize with her husband, Opportunities for sion, shared an important 50 years. In fact, this year Pierre Curie, along with a felwomen in STEM have always document, known as Photo included the first awarding low scientist Henri Berquerel. been staunched by sexism. 51, with James Watson and of a scientific Nobel to two

women, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, for the discovery of CRISPR gene-editing technology. The need for more women in science is more than just for equality. Inclusion of women in science presents more diverse viewpoints, and along with it, more scientists in total. If science is the art of thinking outside of the box to discover more and find solutions, then the application of different viewpoints could be very important. Additionally, many scientific applications, when constructed by men, often leave out the considerations of the other half of the population. Scientific accuracy and safety could increase with a more equal gender ratio in the scientific workplace. The number of female STEM professionals is already steadily rising around the world; it seems we are on the right trajectory. I believe we should all continue to push for more efforts towards getting women into STEM activities. Who knows, maybe the next Marie Curie, might be in a high school lab.

The need for women in science is more than just for equality.”

Moving beyond the pages: we need to uplift genuine representation now

MISHAL CHARANIA MANAGING EDITOR There is no denying that “The Hate U Give” is powerful and should be read by everyone. However, just because you have read the book or have watched the movie does not mean that you have done enough. “The Hate U Give” focuses around Starr, the main character, and her experience seeing her friend shot by the police. The book demonstrates how she deals with code-switching between her school and home personalities. “The Hate U Give” has been very popular because it demonstrates the realities of race in our society and the impact of police brutality through a teenage Black American perspective.

We often read and and focus more on media praise books like “The Hate created by Caucasian people. U Give,” “They Both Die at This practice is alive the End” and “Little Fires all around us. “How To Kill Everywhere” for commenting A Mockingbird” continues to on toxic societal norms and be a key book in high school giving diverse perspectives, English curriculum despite but what do we do after we it being about racism tohave read these books? wards Black Americans told Typically nothing. through the eyes of a white We may leave a nice child, not genuinely telling review and mention that it’s the story of the disenfrana “must-read” but we archised community. “Music,” en’t truly making an impact a new movie being directed if we don’t continue to by pop uplift people of color, singer people with disabilities Sia, and members of the will LGBTQIA+ community portray in literature and media. an You don’t always have to consume literature featuring diverse characters or stories. What’s important is understanding that as a society we tend to praise a few token diverse books or movies but GRAPHIC BY BRIDGIT JUNG give awards

autistic teenager with Maddie Ziegler, an actress who isn’t an autistic teenager. Ingenuine representation is worse than a lack of representation. No matter how hard they try or how much research they do, Harper Lee, Maddie Ziegler and countless others will never be able to completely understand what it is like to be from those communities. Their examples will, however, be used to depict the communities furthering untrue stereotypes. Coming from the South-Asian community, I have seen firsthand the danger of providing a single narrative to a diverse

group of people. I can’t think of a single time when South Asians aren’t portrayed as overachieving students who need to have perfect grades. This ranges from children’s media such as Baljeet from “Phineas and Ferb” who was taking college courses in elementary school as well as in teenage soaps like “Never Have I Ever.” When characters don’t fit their stereotype, they are mocked or not taken seriously. To combat harmful stereotypes, we need to uplift genuine representation. You have to be the one to search for books that tell hidden stories. As the viewer, you have to understand how characters are portrayed in your favorite shows, and know when a character is “diverse” but lacks a personality. You have to be critical of the movies that win awards, and you have to consider who chooses the winners. We all have a part to play, and right now is the time to start.




xxxx From slavery to factories to railroads, capitalism has played a central role in our country’s development. We tell ourselves that we’re a nation of independent, industrious individuals looking for opportunities: we deserve what we get, and those who get more deserve more. Only in this country, can billionaires control entire branches of the economy, manipulating it at will to benefit themselves at the expense of American workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, inherent flaws of America’s capitalist mentality have been highlighted. We tell ourselves that ‘real’ Americans are independent folks, and no bureaucrats are going to tell us what to do. This perspective is shared both by workingclass populists and by executives of our largest tech companies. They share the same aggressive views as the revolutionary-era flag that featured a rattle-snake and the blunt warning: Don’t Tread on Me! Our previous President, Donald Trump, no stranger to bullying friend and foe, would not support basic measures-masks and social distancing rules--in part because he

argued, the problem would go away on its own, but also because dealing with the pandemic was not a federal responsibility. Trump and most Congressional Republicans wanted states to come up with the money to cover unemployment aid, as well as aid to businesses and municipalities. Only one major appropriation of jobless benefits has made its way through Congress. There are two main excuses claimed by the government. First, excessive federal spending might cause inflation. Second, “handouts” are socialism in disguise. By hiding behind the Constitution, the former President has caused catastrophic job losses, much worse than the standard rate of unemployment. Deaths now total more than the number during World War II. Democratic socialism (unlike totalitarian communism) gives control of the government to the people, and the power to sharply reduce wealth inequalities among the population. A socialist government must equitably address the well-being of all the people: no monopolies, no sky-high drug prices, no more special government representation for corporations. There are many ways to get from here to there once government responsibility is made the law of the land. An important policy of socialism is universal basic income (UBI), where the federal government directly pays each person an

This is not rocket science. It is mostly about basic equity.”

equal, fixed sum: perhaps a thousand dollars a month. How will this be paid for? Funding could include wealth taxes on individuals and a special tax on fortune-500 corporations. Conservative fears not-withstanding, a wealth tax need not be harmful to the economy, however, it’s true that there are many ways for the ultrarich to cheat. On balance it would be a worthwhile change. After President Clinton’s wealth tax increase of eight percent, the United States GDP rose by an average of two percent per year, purely based on a wealth tax. Combined with the two trillion dollars per year in increased consumer spending from UBI, this would have helped to counteract the 32.9 percent GDP dip during the pandemic. A UBI system would effectively be giving American citizens a stimulus package every month. As for inflation, models show that potential inflation could be controlled by modest increases to income taxes across the board. Another problem caused by the pandemic was a sharp spike in the wealthgap. Throughout 2020, billionaires took advantage of consumer panic and confusion to significantly increase their wealth. For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, grew his wealth by 48 billion dollars in three months. This is arguably the most frightening downside of capitalism. Bezos did not steal money; his bonus was a direct result of retail store sales collapsing. Of course,

he should give much of this bonus back to the public. Laws should be put in place to deal with such situations. The owner of Amazon earns about 2,489 dollars per second, but the company’s delivery drivers earn an average of sixteen dollars an hour, with many paid as little as seven dollars an hour. These workers cannot leave the company due to the economic recession. If they demand more money they’ll be terminated. Such workers have no choice but to comply with their billionaire overlords. Even if someone manages to launch a small business, monopolies would shut out new independent contractors. xxxOther socialist strategies, such as wealth caps and higher minimum wages, could help our economy to function at a more human scale. Wealth caps and progressive corporate taxation would prevent billionaires from improperly expanding their economic

According to Business Insider, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, makes $2,537 per minute

Don’t quit now

Staff Editorial: Patience will pay off with the COVID vaccine distribution The time has finally come. After months of feeling like the vaccine is a distant wish, it is here. With that, the return of high school to classrooms is foreseeable once again. Whether or not you are excited or scared by the prospect of returning to school, we hope that everyone eventually has access to the vaccine and

strongly considers getting to protect themselves and expedite a relative sense of normalcy. Teachers can, and should, be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The timeline for this to happen is in the next month or so. However, the general public (including healthy students ages 16 and over) will likely not receive

the vaccine before August, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Right now, everyone needs to remain patient and informed. Remember, even if we go back in person this year, school will not be the way we left it and there will be an adjustment period. The MDHHS provides up to date

information on when and how to get vaccinated at Michigan.gov/ COVIDVaccine. We are currently at a critical point in the pandemic, a point where if everyone does their part, the time can truly come where we can enjoy all the pleasures of our ordinary lives again.

and political influence. National and international monopolies would not exist. Small businesses could grow without being bought out (or terminated) by stockholder schemes. A minimum wage and real publicly funded healthcare for all would allow ordinary citizens to sleep at night. The hourly minimum wage was last increased in 2009 from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. With inflation, the working and middle classes have made no gains over several decades. This is not rocket science. It is mostly about basic equity.

Senator Bernie Sanders is often referred to as a Democratic Socialist because he focuses on providing every citizen with livable conditions such as Medicare-forall. (ERIN HOOLEY/ Chicago Tribune/ TNS)

We want to hear YOU! Write for The Emery!

Submit your pitch to The Emery for a chance to be featured in the next issue’s “Student Voices.” Scan the QR code to learn more about this great opportunity!


“Soul”: showcasing a larger racial issue within Disney movies NOTE: This article contains spoiler information

MISHAL CHARANIA MANAGING EDITOR When we look at Disney, we see movies centered around a character finding their way in life, love stories and happy endings. When we look a little deeper, we see the true nature of a company lacking diversity and sensitivity. A group that needs to wake up and smell the roses of today’s society. As a child, I appreciated how Disney was slowly bringing in diverse characters. My favorite movies included “The Princess and the Frog,” “Aladdin” and “Mulan.” The characters were better developed and the storyline didn’t revolve around a male character saving a female. Despite continuing to add diverse narratives with movies such as “Moana,” “Big Hero 6” and “Coco,” Disney’s insensitivity towards black characters and narratives is deafening. Disney’s main Black female lead Tiana from “The Princess and The Frog” and their newest Black male lead Joe Gardner from “Soul” both spend the majority of their screen time as animals. This isn’t a normal occurrence for Disney characters as the only other characters that turn into animals for a majority of their movies would be Kuzco from

“The Emperor’s New Groove” and Kenai from “Brother Bear,” two other non-white characters. Characterizing Black people as animals was a prominent tactic during the Jim Crow era. This happened in many shows and media that were easily accessible to the public, including the Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse cartoons. These representations upheld multiple ideals of slavery such that White people were doing Black people a favor, that Black people enjoyed being slaves and that Black people are worth less. The fact that we have yet to see a white character turn into an animal but have four occurrences with prominent non-white characters makes it clear that this is somewhat intentional. These story lines may be funny to younger audiences but it also creates an association between people of color and animals. Many of these characters are the only representation of certain cultures Disney has provided, so the association will stay prevalent within the viewer’s mind. I thoroughly loved the characters and plot ideas of both “The Princess and The Frog” and “Soul,” but I would argue that I would have enjoyed these movies if the characters stayed human. “The Princess and the Frog”

These story lines may be funny to younger audiences but it also creates an association between people of color and animals.”

Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) stars in “Soul.” (Disney/PIXAR/TNS) demonstrates the importance of hard work and honestly depicts how many cities in the United States face major socioeconomic differences. “Soul” takes on bigger questions like “What happens when we die?” and “Is there existence before we are born?” This is the first time I have seen Disney truly try to attempt these ideas and for that I applaud them. Additionally, I appreciate how diverse “Soul’s” characters were. Within the barbershop scene, the artists paid close attention to the different types of hairstyles worn by Black men. In contrast, when Joe was with his family, the audience could clearly see how diverse Black American identity truly is. However, couldn’t the movie have been about Joe leading 22 through passions on earth while he was in his own body, not a cat? Maybe 22 could have

been the cat, maybe she could have accidentally switched with a different character but it didn’t have to be the only Black male lead Pixar has provided. As of 2019, Disney has added racial content warnings on Disney+ to some of their movies including “Peter Pan”, “The Aristocats” and “The Jungle Book.” All of these movies represent negative stereotypes of multiple cultures but have for decades been revered as Disney classics. While these movies have clear racist stereotypes, should other movies that have hidden messages also be shown with this warning? “Pocahontas” completely disregards the horrific massacres of Native Americans by White settlers. Two of the antagonist hyenas in “The Lion King” are voiced by people of color, are represented as dumb, speak completely in slang and

serve the main antagonist who speaks “proper” English. While the choice is ultimately up to Disney, creating more diverse characters doesn’t make up for the mistakes made in the past. “Soul” was meant to bring Black American representation to Disney. Kemp Powers made history by being the first Black director Pixar has ever had. According to Slashfilm, they brought in “cultural consultants” and took insight from the Black supporting actors. Their efforts were well-intentioned but regardless, Disney needs to understand how “Soul “portrays harmful imagery. Soul may be the first Pixar film starring a Black male lead, but it certainly shouldn’t be the last as Disney learns from their mistakes.

THE EMERY READS: BLACK AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT NOTE: These books contain imagery and language that may be triggering to some audiences.

“So Much Blue”

by Percival Everett Moving between different periods of his life, painter Kevin Pace demonstrates the ways that life is confusing, beautiful and

heartbreaking. Pace’s experiences fuel his art while furthering the decay of his relationship with his family. With this, he takes up alcohol to cope with his experiences searching for his best friend’s long lost brother in El Salvador and his affair in France. Pace represents different layers of an adult identity while also demonstrating how negative the societal pressures of going through the motions of life: education, job, marriage and kids. “Percival Everett” by torre.elena is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


“With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni Santiago is handling a lot, more than the average high schooler. During school, she spends

her time hustling to class. After school, she spends her time cooking and taking care of her daughter, and her grandmother. Emoni’s story is wonderful because it is driven by her passion. Her love for cooking outweighs any challenges thrown in her way. She is also relatable because she struggles with her responsibilities to her family and to herself. Even though she wants to be a chef, she also holds deep respect for her grandmother’s wishes to put family first.


“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

“The Vanishing Half” takes the reader through the lives of Desiree and Stella, two twin sisters born and raised in Louisiana during

the mid-1900s. They were considered “lightskinned” in a highlysegregated community; they could pass for White but were still Black. The book focuses on the decisions they made when they were teenagers. One twin chose to present as Black, the other White. Their lives and levels of privilege represent the choice they made and ultimately reflect opposites of each other. As a result of their choices, their daughters also live opposite lives but ultimately meet and change each other, for better and worse. This book focuses on the impact of perception and race and societal norms.




Senior Annie Costello closes at her historic high school diving career - in which, she broke Huron’s varsity record four times - at the Women’s Swim and Drive State Meet. PHOTO COURTESY OF COSTELLO

Historic diver closes her Huron career

originally scheduled date. even when they don’t know Despite the delay, Costello how to dive or swim yet. We’re still was prepared. all super supportive of each “I was lucky to train other.” xxxxxxKeep your head up. with my club team, Legacy,” The state meet marked Stay in a tight tuck. And, Costello said. “We have been the end of her time on the come out. These are the three doing social distance Huron’s Swim and things senior Annie Costello practices. We have Dive Team and focuses on before she springs done some dry her high school off the board into a front two diving career. and a half. Costello repeats land and a bunch of exercises on In the past four these three phrases before the dry board -a years, Costello all of her dives -- whether it has amassed an be at a small meet or USA diving board that goes on a mat.” impressive resume Junior Nationals. A l o n g -- she broke the Although it may be with training, the record Costello will be div- varsity unconventional, it works. atmosphere of the four times starting ing at the University Costello’s ability to focus meet also of Michigan. PHOTO freshman year, under pressure and perform state changed -largely, placed seventh COURTESY OF helped her earn the secondin the country place finish at the Women’s due to the COVID-19 COSTELLO p r e c a u t i o n s . at USA Junior Diving State Meet. “It was a lot quieter Nations, earned All American The state meet is than I was used to,” Costello all four years of high school not unfamiliar territory for said. “There’s no audience and won the D-1 state title in her; Costello won the D-1 clapping for you. And instead, diving as a junior. state title last year. Yet, with changes However, when the there was just a camera where your parents could in both the season and new COVID-19 restrictions watch from home.” her final meet, it doesn’t placed on Nov. 15 C o s t e l l o feel like it is over. put the Womens’ placed second “It was definitely Swimming and to her Legacy weird to end my high school Diving State teammate, Ciara career and season with Championships McCliment, with COVID-19 in both school and on indefinite a score of 363.75. diving,” she said. “So, it felt pause, Costello She is content surreal that we’re ending like and her with the results this. I was talking to my senior teammates -friendship teammate, Julie. And we were thought there means more than both just saying, ‘Wow, it’s wouldn’t be a points. crazy. We’re seniors. We’re state meet this “It was still done with this now.’” year — and the really great, She notes her biggest senior season Costello said. “I change in the past four years would come to ANNIE COSTELLO, 12 was surrounded her confidence. an abrupt end. by Julie Park and “As a freshman, I “On Nov. 15, we my legacy teammates. So, I was really nervous, especially were a week away and ready didn’t care what place I got. I competing against people who to go to the states,” Costello wanted to dive my best. And, it are three years older than me said. “My teammates and I was fun to be around the other at meets, which I wasn’t used wanted to be able to finish divers, my friends.” to. And now I just, I focus on our senior season off. So, it Diving may be an myself, and I don’t compare. was a little disappointing to sport, but Diving really boosts your hear about the cancellation. individual Costello is grateful for the confidence. And, that’s why I We really thought we support of her team. love it so much.” weren’t gonna have another “All the teammates This is not the chance to go to states. ” on the Huron’s Woman Swim end for Costello - she will Fortunately, it wasn’t and Dive team are all so continuing diving with the end of their season. welcoming, nice and goofy,” Legacy and later, at the The state meet was held on Costello said. “And they are University of Michigan. Jan. 15 -- 57 days after its all just really fun to be around,


I didn’t care what place I got. I wanted to dive my best. And, it was fun to be around the other divers, my friends.”

The last time the Milwaukee Bucks won an National Basketball Association championship was nearly 50 years ago in 1971. The last time the Bucks even won a conference title was 1974. Since then, the Bucks have seen many stars come and fade, ever since their dominance in the early ’70s with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. For nearly 50 years, this team was shrouded by obscurity, failure and fading glimpses of what the Bucks used to be. Players like Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson, Ray Allen and Michael Redd all shined for the Bucks. But, the Bucks still never performed well enough, even with all of these stars playing prodigious basketball in their respective eras, to really make an impact on the NBA’s landscape as a whole, until one player

changed everything. Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Greece in 1994. After being poor and homeless for a good portion of his life, he picked up basketball. Combined with his sheer size at 6’11 (rumored to be more than 7 foot now), and with his 240lbs of pure athleticism and strength, Giannis dominated the youth Euro circuit, before catching the NBA’s attention. Giannis was then drafted as the 15th overall pick in 2013. The pick was very scrutinized at first. Many drew on Giannis’ lacking offensive skills. But, they would be wrong. I don’t think anyone knew back in 2013 when Bucks General Manager John Hammond made the choice to draft a rather unknown SF/ PF named Giannis Antetokounmpo, that the READ THE FULL STORY ON THEHURONEMERY.COM

Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo dunks the ball on Heat forward Bam Adebayo. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images/TNS)




The Women’s State Swim and Dive team completed their season at the State Meet in Hudsonville, placing 10th out of 18th. 200 IM Annaliese Streeter - 3rd 1 Meter Diving Annie Costello - 2nd 200 Free Relay Annaliese Streeter, Jasmine Xu, Kathryn Hemmila, Zannah Baker - 3rd 100 Breast Annaliese Streeter - 5th FIND THE FULL LIST OF RESULTS ON THEHURONEMERY.COM


Finally time to call it a comeback: Michigan basketball is winning


the road and against rivals and ranked opponents. Their chemistry on the court is unmatched, leaving equally talented opponents embarrassed by marginal differencPETER HAGAN es in turnovers, rebounds and COLUMNIST scoring. “The University of On Jan. 12, basketMichigan is officially a basket- ball fans across the country ball school.” witnessed an incredibly rare This is the conclufeat when Michigan managed sion many fans of the Maize to build a stunning 40-point and Blue have come to over lead over a Wisconsin team the last several weeks as they ranked 9th in the country. watched a disappointing That type of a lead is almost football season fade behind incomprehensible, let alone the explosive success of a Top the fact that it came against 10 basketball squad. Competwhat was supposed to be a ing in the strongest college formidable opponent. Michbasketball conference, Michigan would go on to win igan has dismantled almost the game by 25 points after every team they’ve faced. pulling it’s starters, but their It’s become the norm to post point had been made. U of double digit wins at home, on M is a Top 10 team, superior to the rest of the Big Ten, and a legitimate national title contender. But how did they get here? In only their second season under head CREATIVE COMMONS PHOTO BY MARC-GREGOR CAMcoach Juwan PREDON. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Purdue_Michigan_basketball_2020.jpg.

Howard, Michigan began this season as a Big Ten dark horse. Though they returned upper class talent in the form of seniors Eli Brooks and Isaiah Livers, there was a pair of gaping holes in the lineup owing to the departure of team leader Xavier Simpson and big man Jon Teske. Coming into their opening game last November, Michigan sat 25th in the preseason AP poll, behind six other Big Ten teams. A lot of questions surrounded the program. How would Juwan Howard rebound from a 19-12 record? Who would fill Teske’s (quite literal) big shoes? How would COVID-19 factor into the equation? Needless to say, many of these questions found quick answers. Freshman center Hunter Dickinson has been dominant against a range of older, more experienced players. When opponents crack down on Dickinson’s post game by double teaming him, Chaundee Brown and Isaiah Livers are waiting outside the arc, wide open and ready to knock down an easy three. Juwan Howard managed to coach his team through eleven games before finally dropping an away game to Minnesota. Three days later, they got back on the warpath with another 24-point victory over Maryland. Despite COVID-19 throwing up roadblocks left and right for college basketball teams across America, strong leadership and perseverance has kept Michigan healthy and winning. Even though a number of strong opponents have yet to be dealt with, it’s safe to say that come March, this team is going to be making some serious headway on the dance floor.


TOTAL DOMINATION a look at the season so far

Bowling Green






Ball State



Central Florida






Penn State









19 Northwestern



16 Minnesota



9 Wisconsin



23 Minnesota









*Due to COVID-19 concerns, Michigan Basketball is currently on a two week pause



at the start of the season

Michigan is now ranked


in the nation


Men’s Lacrosse program ready for a restart MAYA KOGULAN AND VINCENT TREMONTI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND GUEST WRITER XXXXXHuron High School’s Men’s Lacrosse has had more than a couple of rebuilding years in a row. But they don’t give up. Coaches and players are motivated to change the culture that has been producing losing records. “One of the changes is player accountability - that’s a big one we are looking at,” varsity coach Alex Wyszewianksi said. In the past, many of the players have given minimal effort in practices and games. In more extreme cases, some players have even missed practice and games without

informing the coaches. The overall lack of motivation has contributed to the lack of success in the program. The lack of energy might be due to the fact that players are learning the sport. Most of the players that come into the Huron Lacrosse Program are new. Therefore, the coaches look for good athletes that come from other sports to convert them into lacrosse players. “The only things that I look for are athletic ability and coach-ability -- everything else can be taught,” Wyszewianksi said. “A kid who has a poor attitude is going to be much harder to work with. A kid who is incredibly out of shape is also going to be much harder to work with.” Wyszewianksi wants to help each athlete play their best. If the player isn’t focused on getting better and isn’t coming to practice every day with a good attitude, then that player will not reach their full potential. The biggest problem of the program is the

The Huron lacrosse team charges for the ball. The team hasn’t played a official game since 2019. RACHEL GOWELL. overall mindset - not talent. “I would rather have a smaller number of players - who are more dedicated to the team, to the sport, to each other - than a large number of players, who I don’t know are going to show up on any given day,” Wyszewianksi said. We can have both. I like to get the program

to the point where we can have both a Varsity and JV team, absolutely. But we are not there.” Nevertheless, Wyszewianksi remains hopeful. And, he is ready to start implementing changes for the upcoming spring season that starts with tryouts on March 15.



Student travels over winter break JULIE PARK DESIGN EDITOR

Denver, CO

Dayton, OH Spruce, MI

We flew to Colorado with our family. The plane ride was about two and a half hours long. We went skiing at Copper Mountain and Breckenridge Mountain, and did other outdoor activities. Our family typically goes to Colorado every few years, but we try to go skiing every year.” TYLER GIBBS, 12

My family stayed in an Airbnb west of Spruce, Michigan that was basically a cabin deep in the woods. We drove there since it was only three hours away. We spent every day skiing and hiking in the woods with our dog. We also watched the Mandalorian because the Airbnb had Disney+.” LILLIA BROOKS, 11

Pittsburgh, PA

New Orleans, LA

My parents and I went to Dayton to visit the United States Air Force Museum. As expected, we got to see many planes of historical interest including those involved in World War II and the presidential aircraft which were the most interesting to me. I ended up getting tired at the end, but I would say it was an enjoyable experience. “ GARRETT JIN, 12

My mom and I went to New Orleans after Christmas. Since my mom was working the whole time I got to explore the city by myself and it was an amazing opportunity to experience what it is like traveling in a city alone. Most days I walked around the city and the surrounding neighborhoods scoping out the local atmosphere and finding good places to eat. “ KAITLYN SABB, 12

I traveled with my sister and dad by car and we mainly sight-saw. I went to visit the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to look at campuses and decide whether or not I want to apply to either college. Pennsylvania was in a lockdown and no restaurants had dine-in options, so we packed our own food and ate on the road.” ETHEL KIM, 12

Profile for TheEmery

The Huron Emery Volume 6 Issue 4 February 2020  

The official student newspaper of Huron High School.

The Huron Emery Volume 6 Issue 4 February 2020  

The official student newspaper of Huron High School.