#4 SUMMER EDITION
Stephen Hawking 1942-2018
MEET THE TEAM
Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Bhavya Vyas, and I am currently an M5 student here at Stonehill. It has been an honor to help continue this intelligent, extraordinary and remarkable project by Stonehill’s student body. Under the Stone is a small team of reporters, editors, designers and photographers who work together to ensure that every issue distributed is full of interesting content, eye-catching design and precision down to the details. As the current Editor-In-Chief of Under the Stone, it is with great pleasure that I present to you our Summer Edition. With an entirely new team this semester and the countless challenges to overcome with this transition, our team has demonstrated commitment to ensure this edition embodies the great spirit Under the Stone has carried in the school community thus far. In this edition, we hope to explore topics and ideas that reflect the world around us and are relevant to Stonehill as a diverse and global-minded community. Ideas covered in this edition range from the invention of the Hijab emoji to how to best spend your free time here in Bangalore. We hope you cherish this edition as much we do. Without further ado, join us on a journey “under the stone”!
Bhavya Vyas Editor-In-Chief
Magazine Designers Anaelle Jarrault Simon Tuner Soobin Park Alaska Hummel
Reporters Aiisha Rishi Prapti Chattoo Rohit Elias Rowan Matthew Jia Thadani
Photographer 2 Namitha Rajasekhar
THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE JOINING DP
Vithika - “I never knew I’d miss sleep this much.”
The International Baccalaureate, formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization, is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. The IB diploma programme is a 2 year course taken in the final years of sceondary school. Well, this is what Wikipedia tells you. However, there are aspects of this highly respected educational board that no website will tell you- no quality education comes without a little bit of a grind and misery. So here are a few things that our own DP students wish they knew before joining the IB programme.
Irma - “That I’d end up staying up later on weekdays than on weekends.”
When I asked Aryaman Patil, he just looked at me and said, “Physics……”
Lea - “I wish I knew that deadlines would become my worst enemy and coffee my best friend.”
(ANONYMOUS) - “Never knew I’d have to pretend to work this much.”
Albin - “How hard it was.”
Johana - “ I wish I took summer classes.”
Srika - “That my hair would start falling off this quickly.”
Jarl - “It’s soo easy.” Note the sarcasm dropping on every word.
Emilie - “How much effort I’d have to put in.”
Jaeyoon - “I know nothing.”
WOMEN’S HEALTH IN INDIA Would you be able to live in a household where you had no freedom to access healthcare? Sadly, most women living in rural areas all around the world face this issue. Inefficient healthcare has been a persistent issue in India. Women’s right to education, healthcare, and work opportunities remain limited. Unhealthy pregnancies, insufficiently provided menstrual products, and late diagnosis of diseases are unfortunately frequent incidents. Women and their problems have been sidelined by many. Vandana, a young lady who lives in a deserted village on the outskirts of Uttar Pradesh, constantly complained of a discomfort in her abdomen. Her condition went ignored. She convinced her family to allow her to undergo a general check-up. A week following her inadequate treatment, Vandana’s stitches came undone. She still faces pain today. A greater percentage of women in India give birth to unhealthy, premature, and undernourished babies. India makes up one-sixth of the world’s population but has one out of three newborn deaths.
Juhi, a woman from one of the South Delhi slums, has witnessed the deaths of three of her newborns. Her first one survived for eight months before succumbing to pneumonia, the second one was stillborn, and her third gasped for an hour and died after being born. Juhi was found to be extremely ill and was rushed by a local health worker to a mobile clinic. She was diagnosed with anemia. She had constantly been muzzled down and taunted by her in-laws whenever she asked for a complete meal, which was a major reason why she developed the condition. Due to some of the doctor’s suggestions, Juhi successfully gave birth to another baby boy, who unfortunately only made it till his first milestone. She still expressed her optimistic desire to have another child.
India makes up one-sixth of the world’s population but has one out of three newborn deaths.
Nevertheless, the most perplexing problem of them all is the fact that the GST remains at 12% on menstruation products. Sanitary pads are still considered to be a luxurious product in rural parts of India which leaves 62% of women to use simple cloth during their menstruation period. The less privileged women find the unaffordability of sanitary napkins to be their biggest barrier, which compels them to use grass, sand, moss and cow dung, as alternatives.
The health of women seems to be one of the prime problems that India is facing at the moment, and necessary action needs to be taken as soon as possible. Economically speaking, women are supposed to be the engines of the Indian economy. Can the Indian economy progress by leaving behind an unhealthy 50% of the population? Despite worldwide commitment, women in India experience differential access to healthcare facilities even today. Change can be made in small yet effective ways for these women; through education, access and availability. It’s time to notice the gaping disparity. By: Jia Thadani
Boarding @ Stonehill You probably have often heard people complain about boarding life; but is there a grain of truth to what they say? Boarding at Stonehill is much more relaxed than compared to other schools in India and provides for an experience that prepares us for life. I’m unable to contact a friend who goes to boarding school in Mangalore as the use of technology is disallowed altogether! In the end, I had to resort to writing letters. However, Stonehill’s boarding program is in touch with the real world; it permits the use of technology. It recognizes the fact that technology is a necessity in order to not only maintain contact with friends and family, but also to be acquainted with the real world. Many boarding schools and even colleges in India overlook this asset. Apart from technology, there is a certain degree of flexibility in the boarding program’s daily structure - especially during the weekends, when students get to go out and explore Bangalore for the evening. The program also allows the students to interact with both sexes, which is important to help individuals learn how to behave with the opposite sex. Glen and Glenda (our house parents), constantly talk about the previous schools they worked in, where they faced difficulties in caring for a boarding population that exceeded 100 pupils. Boarding at Stonehill is much smaller; it is limited to less than 40 boarders. This allows for strong, concrete bonds to be created among the boarders and house parents. As a matter of fact, many of my friends could not believe John and Robin insisted that I call them using their first names! Most other schools in India would not permit this.
Sometimes there is a sense of monotony in boarding, as the activities a student can take part in are limited. However, this is often the result of boarders not informing their intent to participate in activities beforehand, which is crucial in order to make arrangements. While some may overrate the opinions and complaints of boarders, it is important to understand that despite being able to be a part of the exceptional boarding program provided at Stonehill, boarders are also missing the lifestyle that they were accustomed to at home. What do you think about boarding life at Stonehill? What changes would you like to see in boarding to make you feel more at home? Overall, I can safely say that Stonehill’s modern, up-to-date, and relaxed boarding has been a great experience so far. By: Rohit Abby
BEHINDSTONEHILL Raghavendra ‘Raghu’ Chandrappa is the Primary Librarian Assistant. He lives with his mother, his wife, and his daughter Viharika Manya who is one year old and he is also a member of staff who has been at Stonehill the longest.
Mr. Raghu loves his job and his favorite part is working and interacting with the students. He thinks the best thing about the primary students is that they can be kind, cute or annoying and he still loves them no matter what.
Mr. Raghu first started off his career as an assistant librarian in 2004 and was initially working in Trio World School. He joined Stonehill on the day it was established; September 1st, 2008. Unlike many other staff members, Mr. Raghu didn’t have to do an interview because at the time the school was still a foundation. He went to the Embassy Company and that was where he was offered a job as the primary librarian’s assistant.
Though Mr. Raghu loves his work, he has many hobbies that he likes to do outside of school. One of these is playing games such as cricket with his nearby friends. But what he really enjoys doing is spending time with his family on the weekend. Since his daughter is very young he likes to play with her and take her on outings as much as possible.
To start off with, he had to work a lot with the Head of Department, Mr.Peter. On his first day of work, he didn’t go to the campus but had to go to Mr. Peter’s house instead. There they could organize, stamp and cover the books because the library was still not open. After fifteen days, they took the books to the admin building and made a temporary library there. It was convenient for the students as well because all the classes were being conducted there at the time. Mr. Raghu does many jobs around the library such as laminating, binding, shelving and categorizing books as well as organizing the check in and out dates of them too. At the beginning of each school year, both he and Ms. Lamiya (the primary librarian) suggest ideas to each other on how to arrange books so that they are easy to find and convenient for the students and staff.
Mr. Raghu has seen the school change in many ways. For starters, when Stonehill first opened, the primary and secondary library were combined and they only got separated in 2013. He also feels that the size of the school has increased immensely and what had started off with only around 25 students and 7 teachers has now increased drastically. He feels like the sense of community has also become much greater and it has given him the opportunity to meet many more people and make a lot of friends at the school over the years. According to Mr. Raghu, there are many plans for the primary library next semester. They will start introducing six units of inquiry and the PYPs will work on each unit in the library for 2 to 3 months until they switch to the next. He thinks that this can help improve the library and educate the students more. By: Aiisha Rishi
BEING THE CHILD OF TWO TEACHERS B
eing a teacher’s kid is pretty awesome. You have a lot of advantages that most kids don’t have. But sometimes, being a teacher’s kid is not the best thing. Having my parents at school definitely influences my behaviour. This article is about the advantages and disadvantages of having my parents at my school all day, the ways my Mum and Dad have influenced me, and my behaviour at school. Being a teacher’s kid definitely has its advantages. My parents are almost always at school, and that alone adds a huge value to being a teacher’s kid. Although it may sometimes be a little irritating, I see them pretty much 24/7 – at home, in the car ride to and from school and, of course, at school. My mum and dad usually let me keep my bags, or other items in their classroom, which makes my life at school much more convenient. My dad even keeps candy or chocolate in his desk drawer, and if I go to his classroom during break he will usually let me have a piece. If I want a quiet place to read during lunch break, my parents will often let me lie down in their room and read. If I’m having a bad day at school, my parents will usually provide support, or let me hang out with them until I feel better. Being a teacher’s kid is not always a 100% awesome, though; there are quite a few downsides to being among that group of kids who have to put up with going to school on days that other kids refer to as a holiday. I need to wake up early on “holidays” and get dressed to go to school, where I usually have a pretty mundane day. The only thing to look forward to on those days is hanging out with the other teachers’ kids, which is pretty fun. Another thing that is not the best about being a teacher’s kid is that sometimes our parents might be a little embarrassing. All parents probably do already, but our parents get to torture us with dad
jokes all day long. Sometimes my parents tell stories about me when was little. This year, my mum thought ‘Hey, I think I should tell my M1 students that Rowan used to like Justin Bieber because she totally did.’ I have to set this story straight - right now, right here. My sister was the one who liked him. I have always, and will forevermore, despise him. The list of inconveniences goes on. Being a teacher’s kid is not always the dream you may think it is. But all in all, it’s not so bad. My parents, being teachers, have shaped me into being the person I am today. There are many ways in which they have influenced me, and one of those ways is my ability to understand teachers far better than other kids in my grade usually can. I see how hard my parents work and notice their frustrations, so I have always tried to avoid acting in a disrespectful, or ungrateful, way at school. I can sometimes understand when my teachers are upset or having a bad day. Two excuses (of the many) I’ve never used are, “My Wifi was down last night”, and “I went out for dinner last night with my family” for not completing or handing in a paper. This is simply because my dad has always told me about how much he dislikes those excuses. Because my parents are always talking to my teachers, they know if I have been misbehaving. This is why I have always tried my hardest to follow school rules and get good grades. I want my parents to be proud of me, and to know that I act responsibly. If you ask me, “Do you like being a teacher’s kid”, I will probably say “Yeah... most of the time”. The advantages definitely overshadow the inconveniences. I don’t think my situation is the dream you may think it is, but with all things taken into consideration, it is awesome to be a teacher’s kid. Most of the time. By: Rowan Matthew
In a country of 1.3 billion people, 29 states and 7 union territories, if there’s one thing that there’s never a shortage of - it’s the news. It’s a journalist’s dream and a nightmare. Recently, however, there’s a tiny district in Karnataka called Coorg that’s been in the news a lot. Known as the coffee capital of India, Coorg ran into a little bit of political tension recently. The government wanted to build a railway line through Coorg from Mysuru to Kerala. This decision was met with a huge uproar from the Coorgi community- mainly because Coorg is essentially a green area and thrives off of its natural beauty. The building of this railroad track would’ve meant destruction of a big part of this green landscape. In this rare turn of events, the people won. The railway project was sacked due to the Coorgi peoples’ resistance. However, this fight did not come unnaturally to the Coorgis. The legend goes to say that when Alexander the Great came to conquer India in 320 BC, some of his men stayed behind. However, they decided that they didn’t want to rough through the winters of North India; so, they set out on a journey to find a place that was similar to the green and flourishing valleys of the north, but just not as cold. After months of searching, they came upon Coorg; or Kodagu (as called by its natives). This is what is supposed to be the history of the Coorgis - descendants of Alexander the Great’s army. They’ve played the part of army men for hire for years. The first Indian field marshall appointed in British India was a Coorgi; a fact that this small community takes great pride in. The Coorgis follow a unique culture of open aggression, where their warrior roots are praised in prayers, and have always been a somewhat more progressive community in terms of gender equality. They thrive mainly on agriculture today; mostly of coffee, honey, and spices. The people of Coorg live mainly off of agricultural means- almost every family will own a coffee plantation with some spices growing around the sides. Also, as already mentioned above, the trees go on for miles. Coorg is greatly surrounded by plantations, though that’s not all there is to see. There’s the calming hills of Madikeri with its waterfalls. It’s hugged all around by the Western Ghat mountains. To the northwest, you can find the glimmering abbey falls (as shown in the image above.) Around 30 kilometres away from Madikeri, you can find Virajpet, which is famous for its
Shiva temple and its Saint Anne’s church (which represent gothic architecture). This small town is the largest producer of honey in all of Asia. The natives of Coorg grow up in a life tied deeply with nature. This has led for them to worship the Cauvery river as a sacred entity. Coorg has a rich and somewhat foggy history. I say this because none of the historical information I gave to you is based on solid fact. It’s all folk tales passed onto kids from several generations. But don’t let its historical ambiguity stop you from visiting. It’s approximately a 5 hour drive from Bangalore - call it the perfect weekend getaway destination. If you can convince your parents to take a road trip with your friends it would be perfect. What Kodagu lacks in 5 star hotels, it makes up for in fantastic homestay options. You get to stay with a family in their house, experience their lives and food. You get immersed into the culture. And that’s just what you need to do - immerse yourself in the forests; the greenery, the hills and the waterfalls. Immerse yourself in Kodagu. By: Prapti Chatoo
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS So, after a lot of thinking, the story of Little Red Riding Hood was incorporated into the play. She became the protagonist that saved the pigs from the big bad wolf by slaying him for the good of everyone. This brought an exciting ending to the play, unlike the ones what most are used to. A major element of Stonehill is the variety of culture its community expresses. In the play, the children were able to incorporate their own languages and cultures. In a world where borders are either blurred or too rigid, the P5’s showed us that all cultures are beautiful, and weren’t afraid to express themselves for who they are. These seven to eight-year-olds went up on stage, showed the audience their most unique selves, demonstrated their talent, and expressed what they had learned in school. Although this seems like an activity only the primary was involved in, many secondary students helped paint the faces of the children participating, and it really made the actors look great!
While walking into school, you may have seen posters advertising P5’s “Three Little Pigs”. On the 16th of March, P5 performed a unique version of this classic tale. They were guided by Ms. Abira and Ms. Lisa, and after weeks of preparations and hours of dress rehearsals, they showed their play to the Stonehill community. In the PYP, each class is given a Unit of Inquiry to focus on for a certain period of time. The P5’s Unit of Inquiry was ‘How We Express Ourselves’, and they focused on how the arts play a role in self-reflection among the actors and entertainment for the audience. One thing is for sure; The P5’s truly expressed themselves and the spirit of Stonehill in their play. ‘Three Little Pigs’ is a classic story told by thousands of parents to put their children to sleep at night. Retelling the original story would have been excellent (we do have great teachers and students, after all), but it wouldn’t have made our school stand out.
All in all, the show was a big success! It encapsulated the spirit of our community perfectly; thanks to the amazing students, teachers, and staff involved in the making of this production. By: Siya Tripathi
Can Social Media Change the Way We Perceive Issues? We live in a world where we can express our opinions, have access to technology, and live comfortably. However, a few issues arise with this comfortable lifestyle. We often find ourselves complaining about small problems such as losing a 300 day streak on Snapchat, or having our charger too far away from our bed. While getting caught up in these issues, we often forget to acknowledge that there are bigger problems in the world. These problems can vary from the ongoing crisis in Syria (where more than 500,000 people have been murdered in the last 7 years), to the fact that such a large portion of our population is trapped in poverty and are struggling to live due to limited access to resources.
One of these campaigns is the ‘Water is Life’ campaign. It started off in 2011 when the organisation made a satirical video where people living in Haiti’s rural areas read out tweets from the popular hashtag - #FirstWorldProblems. The video ended by mentioning that“#FirstWorldProblems are not real problems and asked the viewers to donate money to provide clean water to people who don’t have access to it. At the time, the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems was extremely popular and was used every 5 seconds by people all around the world to complain about their small problems. However, after the ‘Water is Life’ video went viral, many people started to rethink what they were tweeting and the popularity of this hashtag started to die down. It was instead replaced with another hashtag, #HelpSolveRealProblems. The campaign also managed to raise enough money to provide people with one million days of clean water. By supporting these campaigns and taking initiatives towards helping people in need, we are making a change. Our voices are extremely powerful, and by showing that we care we can give faith to people around the world. Acknowledging an issue and trying to help is the first step we can take towards creating a better future. By: Aiisha Rishi
It’s a week many of us look forward to in the school year; an entire week off from school to spend quality time to strengthen bonds with teachers and friends. But instead of going on the same old trip, why not take a new one?
Tumkur Trip - M1 This trip is filled with tiring yet fun-packed adventure. Students enjoyed zip lining, rappelling, river crossing, obstacle courses, and short hikes around the hilly areas. They were also involved in various games, including the traditional Indian game of Kabaddi, and were able to build long lasting friendships. They were also able to experience the fauna and flora that the place had to offer. The current P8s should take comfort as they will be having a wonderful trips week next year!
Hampi Trip - M2 Seeking a journey through the local Indian culture and learning more about the history of Karnataka? This trip does exactly that. Those who went on this trip were able to enjoy learning Kannada and participated in the enactment of the Ramayana, which allowed them to get a feel of India. Moreover, the students enjoyed the various pieces of ancient architecture, including the Virupaksha temple and Sasivekalu Ganesha temple. The Sasivekalu Ganesha temple hosted a remarkable 2.5 metres tall statue of Ganesha. Students were also able to relax in Hampi’s beautiful gardens.
Jaipur Trip - M3 The ‘pink’ city of India is truly a highly fascinating city. Students had the opportunity to marvel at the Jantar Mantar observatory, which is one of the most well-known observatories in the world. They got a ‘real’ feel of Rajasthan when they tasted traditional Rajasthani food, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. They were also entertained by traditional local dances. Apart from these activities, the students also enjoyed a puppet show and a scavenger hunt.
Gujarat Trip - M4-D1 Gujarat is the cradle of medieval Indian architecture and modern Indian history, particularly the Indian Independence Movement. Students were able to experience beautiful architecture at the Sun temple and the Adalaj Step Well, which exhibit the influence of Muslim invaders during the medieval times. The trip also fostered great friendships and teamwork, and they learnt various arts like Bandhani (tie-dye) and beadwork from the locals. Towards the later half of the trip, the students even got a chance to stay in a mud house.
Chennai Surfing Trip - M4-D1 The students enjoyed basking under the sun in Covelong Bay, where they learnt how to surf and relax by meditation and yoga. They also enjoyed playing volleyball and football and were fascinated by the crocodiles they found at the Crocodile Bank. They were able to foster new friendships and bond with both their instructors and teachers.
Camp River Rocks - M4-D1 A much cooler alternative is the Dehradun trip. Students interacted with other children going to a well-maintained local school and had a cultural exchange; many of the children in the local school have never had much interaction with foreigners. They also participated in jummaring, bridge slithering and hiking. Students relaxed by gobbling up warm Maggi noodles and started the day with meditation. Overall, the trip allowed for a greater understanding of the lives of others and also allowed for activities that donâ€™t break a sweat.
Adventure Orphanage Trip - M4-D1 This trip satisfies all the CAS strands; creativity, activity and service. The orphanage trip provides for an incredibly rewarding experience in which students interacted with orphan toddlers and teenagers, most of whom were girls abandoned by their parents simply because of their sex. The experience was enriched with short hikes, jummering, small games, archery and rappelling. The orphans were also taught various subject such as Art, English, Math, Science, and Dance by Stonehill students. The trip allowed the students to be grateful for the resources that they have and understand how fortunate they are. By: Rohit Abby
THINGS TO DO IN BANGALORE A large portion of families in Bengaluru resort to visiting other places in India during the holidays. However, many of the city’s residents do not know that Bengaluru is an extremely vibrant and bustling city with a lot to offer. Parasailing at Jakkur
Off the New International Airport Rd near Jakkur Aerodrome, is a paradise for those who seek a little adventure in their lives. Parasailing takes place on every Saturday and Sunday, from 6:30 AM to 4 PM, and costs about 624 Rupees per person with an additional 100 Rupees for photography. In this thrilling experience lasting a few minutes, you are lifted to a height equivalent to an 8 to 9 storey building; surely a great way to get that adrenaline pumping!
A sister to the Magazine store is the ThePUP Cafe, which is home to many dogs. Enjoy the cuteness of these puppies along with your favourite dishes ranging from sandwiches to Indian food. Located on Abhayadhama Road at White Rose Layout, Whitefield, the cafe is open to all from 11:30AM to 9PM where prices do not exceed Rs 350 on average.
Cats and Magazines at the Magazine Store Are you a cat person? Then pop by Prestige Residency Building Basement at Brigade Road where you can read a magazine and enjoy a cuddly cat or kitten by your side. This place is truly a quiet nook where you can dive into a world of your own on one of the busiest and well known streets of the city. This store is open from 10AM to 9PM everyday.
Guhantara The Underground Resort: This one of a kind place is a great escape from the monotony of Bangalore life! The primary attraction, as you may understand from its name, is that of the exciting underground tunnel trekking. Others include paintballing, zorbing, horseriding, bicycling and various other indoor and outdoor games. This resort is located off Kanakapura Road and costs about Rs 800 per night for one adult while some of the activities require an additional cost not exceeding 150 Rs per person. Entry for children below age five is free.
Go-Karting This is another fun thing to do on the weekend, and various places in Bangalore boast such a service. The one that is the most suitable for beginners and is quite affordable is ‘Grips Go Karting’ at Anchepalya, Mysore Road, which is open from 10:30 AM To 9:30 PM on weekends and costs 170 Rs for every six laps. Other go karting venues include Torq03, Play Arena and Meco Kartopia. Hope you have a great time in Bengaluru!
By: Rohit Abby
Climate Change Migration is Real! Ramesh Kumar works as a security guard at a large apartment complex in Bangalore. Dire circumstances forced him to migrate from a small rural town in Karnataka to the city of Bangalore. Under the Stone interviewed* him on his experiences. â€œThree years ago, I was living the perfect life that my parents envisioned for me. I had my own farm, and was bringing in enough money for my beautiful family. Things were never better. My farm was large, at least compared to some of the other farmers in Hassan (a small town in Karnataka). I primarily grew rice on my field. I had heard that rice was water-intensive, but did not expect that it needed that much water! It consumed [approximately] 5,000 litres of water per kilogram of grain. For the first year, I was somehow able to eke out a living. My wife had to work and my children had to help out at the farm for some time to make ends meet, and I was just able to scrape through the year. It was truly a miracle. But then, Hassan was hit with heavy droughts throughout 2015. It was like a brutal slap in the face. My crops lacked water because of the drought. None of them could survive through the harsh summer. Because of this, I had to sell my farm. I sold it for a huge loss. From the little money I had left, I brought my family to Bangalore in hopes for a better life in 2015. I have to say, it proved to be a good decision. I am almost stable (financially) now, but I rarely see my family because of my long shifts at the new job. I miss Hassan and life on the farm. I try to visit at least once every year. Every time I go there, I see a little more change. The government is providing more support to farmers, but there is still a long way to go.
Three years ago, I was living the perfect life... But then, Hassan was hit with heavy droughts throughout 2015. It was like a brutal slap in the face. Because of the water crisis, some of my friends have also migrated to big cities. I do not know how they are doing, but I sincerely hope they are well. In the end, it all comes down to assessing the situation right. I know now that if I had not moved away from Hassan, my situation would be worse.â€? * Translated and paraphrased By: Sachin Rammoorthy
On the 14th of March, 2018, a monumental tragedy occured. One of the most revolutionary physicists and influencers of the world bid farewell to his time on earth. From changing the way the world looked at black holes and the universe in general to being the person who survived amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the longest, Dr. Stephen Hawking was indeed an icon. His work and attitude towards life inspired millions, and he defied all the odds against him. Saying goodbye to cosmology’s brightest star will never be easy, but supernovae lead to the creation of more complexly beautiful things. The news was shocking, and quite frankly, unfathomable. However, instead of mourning the death of a legend, we celebrate his life, and thank him for everything he’s taught us. Ad astra, professor.
Thanks to Dr. Hawking, we’ve received humour, new technology and seemingly endless knowledge. The world has lost one of its finest, but the universe has gained another source of energy to be renewed. I could have said that heaven gained another angel, but it’s widely known that Dr. Hawking wouldn’t have been pleased with that. Here’s to an extraordinary person who stared at people who told him that his destiny was against him in the eye and said, “I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road”. “Remember, look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” By: Siya Tripathi
January 8th, 1942 — Stephen Hawking is born in Oxford, England, to a biologist, Frank Hawking, and Isobel Hawking, a medical research secretary. 1952 — Attends St. Albans School. 1959 — Receives a scholarship to attend University College, Oxford, from which he graduates with a degree in natural science. 1962 — Begins graduate research in cosmology at Cambridge University. 1963 — Diagnosed with the degenerative nerve disorder, ALS, at the age of 21. He is given two years to live. 1965 — Marries his first wife, Jane Wilde, a modern languages student he met at Cambridge. 1967 — The couple’s first son, Robert, is born. 1970 — Jane gives birth to a daughter, Lucy. 1974 — Elected as a fellow of the Royal Society at age 32, one of the youngest people to ever receive the honor. 1979 — Becomes Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, a prestigious position once held by Isaac Newton. Hawking holds the post until 2009. Jane gives birth to a third child, Timothy. 1985 — Admitted to a hospital in Geneva with pneumonia. He survives after an operation, but loses what remained of his speech. The next year he begins communicating through an electronic voice synthesizer that gives him his trademark robotic “voice.” 1988 — Publishes “A Brief History of Time,” a book on cosmology aimed at the general public that becomes an instant best-seller. 1989 — Made a Companion of Honor by Queen Elizabeth II. 1995 — Marries his nurse, Elaine Mason. 2007 — Divorces Elaine Mason. 2014 — His life is celebrated in the Oscar-winning biopic “The Theory of Everything,” based on the memoir “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen,” by Jane Hawking. March 14, 2018 — Stephen Hawking dies.
INFLUENTIAL TEENS RAYOUF ALHUMEDHI In the 21st century, emojis seem to be the way most of us communicate with family and friends across the globe. It adds an extra tinch of emotion to the online conversation. But how would you feel if there isn’t an emoji that looks like you? Sadly, that’s how Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 15-year old originally born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, felt. It is known for a fact that digitalization has had a significant impact on all demographics. It connects the world instantly. We don’t have to wait for days to talk to someone across the globe anymore. Now, it can happen with a swipe of our fingers. However, it is also important to ensure that everyone feels included in this ever-growing world of technology.
It all started when Rayouf, 15 at the time, was casually making a WhatsApp group with all her friends. While thinking of the group title, she came up with the idea of having an emoji that best describes all the girls in her gang. As she tried to find an emoji for her, she realised that none of the emojis represented a girl wearing a hijab. This got her thinking, which pushed her to give a digital identity to all the muslim women out there. “I just wanted an emoji of me” she said, with a smile glistening on her face. She knew that just having an emoji would not change the world. However, she strongly believed that it would establish the notion that women who wear hijabs are also people. She believed that even if it is just the matter of representation on mobile phones, it will make people happy and bring the muslim community of women together. She wasn’t set to change the world, she just took a baby step towards making a change in order to help the world celebrate its diversity.
Rayouf brought along a couple of people with her on her journey to have an emoji that she could relate to. Aphee Messer, Hijab Emoji artist; Alexis Ohanian, Hijab Emoji advocate, better known as the co-founder of Reddit; Jennifer Lee, a member of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee; and an organizer of Emojicon. All these people helped to bring this issue into the spotlight. Rayouf always thanks and stands by her team. Rayouf made her wish turn into a reality through a lot of dedication and determination. She has successfully proved to the world that it’s the small steps that count. “Bringing the hijab to a phone near you” she rejoiced.
By: Jia Thadani
The Influence of Social Media on Politics
How ironic is it that the only thing constant in the world is change? The invention of the first telephone in 1876 transformed the nature of communication and the culture of social interaction. If progress had to be measured, the telephone would play a key role in having given humans credit for inventing an entirely new dimension to what it means to make contact. Everything involving communication, changed forever. The telephone made room for more efficiency in businesses, transactions, the movement of critical information, impacting every field of profession in its wake. The possibilities of this new unified form of communication were endless. While marveling at your iPhone in an entirely new light may be a consequence of what you’ve read thus far, you can also consider that we are at present going through another significant transformation. Social Media. The sharing of information has never been cheaper, simpler, more efficient and instant. The reason we are talking about this subject now, as opposed to the early 2000s when most social networking sites were created, is because they have perhaps become what every technological invention strives to be; mainstream. Five new Facebook profiles are created every second, 300 million photos are uploaded everyday and 510,000 comments, 293,000 statuses, and 136,000 photos are uploaded, every minute. This is just on Facebook alone. Bearing this in mind, having a social media page has become as critical as owning a telephone. It is the next step when it comes to mass communication. To give you an idea of social media’s reach, let’s look at one aspect of society that would benefit most when it comes to mass communication. Politics. A topic so relevant and crucial, politics relies on communication. It hinges on the idea of building a relationship between the candidate
and the voter. An example of a successful political social media campaign is “Obama 2008”. Early on, social media and the use of technology was an integral part of the political campaign. Social networks, online messaging, videos, and emails empowered ordinary citizens to become active volunteers, donors and advocates. Obama’s campaign was able to win over 5 million supporters on social media and 115,000 followers on Twitter. Around 50 million viewers spent 14 million hours watching campaign-related videos. In addition, the campaign sent out 1 billion emails including unique messages targeting different segments on their 13 million list, and earned 3 million subscribers on mobiles and SMS alone. This meant that anyone who had an account on social media had constant access to a variety of quality content and ongoing updates regarding the campaign. Social media had fortified what was most important, ensuring that if the campaign was not successful, it wouldn’t be due to lack of awareness and communication. This strategy spawned the creation of an online community which was constantly expanding and contributing to the campaign in real and practical ways. Registered users and volunteers planned over 200,000 offline events, wrote 400,000 blog posts and created 35,000 volunteer groups. $639 million was raised from 3 million donors, mostly through the Internet. Volunteers on MyBO generated $30 million on 70,000 personal fundraising pages. Donors made 6.5 million donations online, totaling more than $500 million. The result was a victory, making social media a key player in political and social movements. The idea was simple. Tapping into the hearts of voters and giving them a chance to make a real difference. Social media acted and continues to operate as a platform forging a solid and close connection between the people and their leader, revolutionizing this age-old relationship in a new way. The 2008 campaign is now seen as a model case study, acting as an example which demonstrates the potential of social media as an integral part of any mass movement. With the right strategy, making a difference has never been easier. By: Bhavya Vyas