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Walpole High School Speech Team breaks record

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Old Post Road receives National Blue Ribbon School Award

OPR is the only Massachusetts school to receive “high achievement” status Photo/Ellen Fortin

Erica Curran, Jean Kenney and Stephen Fortin pose with the plaque at the award presentation in Washington D.C.

By Alexis Rodia Staff Writer One of the four Walpole elementary schools, Old Post Road (OPR), received the National Blue Ribbon School Award for their overall academic excellence including their high scores on the MCAS and closing the achievement gaps among student subgroups. OPR is the first Walpole public school to ever receive this award and the only school in Massachusetts this year to receive a National Blue Ribbon

Award with ‘high achievement’ status. Representatives from all of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program award winning schools traveled to Washington D.C. on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 for a conference, with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as one of the keynote speakers. In attendance from OPR was Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jean Kenney, third grade teacher Erica Curran and former OPR Principal Stephen Fortin. The two-day conference of work-

shops closed with the presentation of awards in the afternoon. OPR was recognized on stage with the Head of the Blue Ribbon Awards Association and received a plaque with a flag on it representing a high achieving school. “It was an honor to receive these awards for our school. It made me very proud to see that we were one of only a few schools in the entire country to be honored in this manner,” Fortin said. OPR was one of 340 schools from 44 states and three Department of Defense schools to be honored in Washington DC. “It is the students’ hard work in learning day in and day out, along with teachers’ strong teaching that makes for a successful school,” Fortin said. Exemplary schools are recognized in each state regarding the hard work done by all in the community, including students, teachers and parents, to create a welcoming school environment for the students to learn in. OPR was invited to apply for the award based on having qualifying standardized test scores. “Our test scores on MCAS have shown very steady growth for several

years and have been in the very high category as compared to all other elementary schools in Massachusetts for the past couple of years,” Fortin said. The application went through the U.S. Department of Education and was reviewed a second time by the Massachusetts Department of Education, who looked at the most recent MCAS scores to confirm that the school deserved the award. “It’s a whole school community effort where everyone works together and has worked together for a long period of time. It’s a veteran staff that has mastered that craft and mastered their collaboration, and that’s one reason why achievement has been so great,” current OPR principal, David Barner said. Moving forward, OPR strives to work towards receiving another Blue Ribbon Award in a few years, for no school has ever applied for a second consecutive year. “High levels of student achievement will be the first priority for OPR to maintain our shared vision to have every student achieve their potential with the support of teachers, parents and community members,” Barner said.

Town Committee condemns hate groups in Walpole Recent increase in violent events such as Charlottesville, VA inspire Walpole to incite change By Jess Ferguson Assistant News Editor

Due to recent occurrences in the news regarding hate and discrimination, the Walpole Town Meeting body agreed to condemn any kind of hate, violence and bigotry linked to hate groups within the town. After discussion from both sides, the body voted on Oct. 18 to adopt Article 28 in order to isolate Walpole from such discrimination. Specifically, the article states that the members of the Town Meeting “strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis and all other hate groups, and call upon the people of Walpole to embrace [their] efforts to join together in denouncing and opposing such totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies.” This article is a joint resolution brought forth by members of Walpole’s Peace and Justice Group and the Action Together Western Norfolk County group. Although there is a long history of discrimination within the country, the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia were an important factor in proposing Article 28. Audrey Grace, Town Meeting Representative for Precinct 6, presented Article 28 at the Town Meeting on Oct. 18. “I think Charlottesville was kind of the culmination of a large number of

instances of racial oppression, ethnic a resolution as a statement from the oppression and religious bigotry that’s town that we do not condone and acbeen going on in the world lately,” tively denounce this behavior, Grace said. “Racism has albut it’s not sayways been a problem in this ing that somecountry, ethnic oppression one can’t get a has always been a problem permit and have in this country, religious a vigil in the bigotry has always been a center of Walproblem in this country, and pole Commons it’s always good for leaders if they wanted in town to speak out when to,” Grace said. they see that happening, so Some also I think that it’s good for us mentioned that to call out racism and hate the topic was to prevent future problems.” not appropriThis past August, the Mas- Graphic/ Eva Clarke ate for Town Meetings, but sachusetts House and SenGrace explained that it is ate released a resolution with nearly Walpole’s duty to express identical ideas. President Trump also our disapproval for racial signed off on a similar resolution conand religious discrimidemning white supremacy and bignation and hate groups. otry in September; however, the Town “I get that these are difMeeting body wanted to explicitly deficult conversations, clare Walpole’s stance on such issues. but it’s incumbent Some opposed to this proposal, statupon all of us to ing that it infringed upon citizens’ speak out against first right amendment of free speech; bigotry and hate, however, the article is not a law and look at other but a resolution and does towns who have done not abridge these groups this: Salem, Reading, but condemns them. Lexington, Velma, Arlington. If “This does not other towns have done this, I think it prevent or minidefinitely belongs in town meetings. If mize somethe State House can do it, why not us?” one’s ability Grace said. “Right, left or center, we to do somecan all agree that Nazis and white nathing at all. It’s tionalist organizations and hate groups

are not good for Walpole, so this is not meant to be some political action.” Although there was some controversy regarding the decision, there were also positive reactions, and some people’s opinions were changed as a result of the multiple conversations on the article. “I think the reactions were differing; we had some people who were supportive and some who were weary about it and had some concerns regarding the impact it could have,” Katia SantiagoTaylor, Action Together member, said. “What I actually found was after the Finance Committee meeting, some people had a further understanding of what the resolution could do, and we were able to change some people’s understanding of the goal of the resolution.” Members of the Town Meeting body are hopeful that this change will implement positive changes and serve as a step in the right direction for targeting issues such as discrimination and injustice. “I think it’s important to set a good example for everyone in the community, and this is a great first step. If the adults in the room can’t set a good example for the younger people, then we’re doing something wrong,” Grace said. “I think our schools they teach us a lot of great things about tolerance and acceptance, but also about the history of racism and the history of our country and the history of our religious oppression, and we can’t act like Walpole is immune to all of that.”

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November 2017


News

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November 2017

Walpole High School Speech and Debate Team breaks team record in Revere tournament

Team places third out of 25 schools with 15 students individually placing Photo/ Emily Murray

Speech and Debate Team member s pose with their trophies after the tour nament.

By Hope Jordan Lead Reporter

Recently, the Walpole High School Speech and Debate Team made history when they placed third out of 25 schools on Oct. 21 at Revere High School, their best school placing to date. The team ranked higher than Newton-South, Needham and

Natick, who all have generally placed higher than Walpole in past tournaments. “Public speaking is the number one fear, so I’m just proud that we have a team of 43 kids who want to compete and are excited about this activity,” Speech and Debate Team coach Emily Murray said. “This team has grown so much in the past six years.

Yes, it is great to come home with a trophy, but the real victory is having the confidence to participate in a difficult activity like speech and debate.” Out of 43 total students, 15 students ranging from freshman to juniors placed in seven events, which allowed them to clinch third place as a school. Among all of the students who placed, sophomores Emily Tomasetti and Lindsay Navick stood out at this tournament. Navick placed fourth in the Speaker Points category and also placed first in the Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate. “I like the nature of being part of a team, and I have made new friends through the experience. I also really enjoy going to tournaments and competing because that is when all the work you’ve done to prepare pays off, even if you don’t win anything,” Navick said. Additionally, Tomasetti placed third in Prose Reading. This past April, she placed first overall in Play Reading at her first state championship, and she hopes to continue this year in a similar manner.

“I’m super proud of everyone, especially the novices, that competed at our most recent tournament, and they’re definitely all going to kill it this year! There isn’t one member of the Speech and Debate team that isn’t talented,” Tomasetti said. “It’s kind of hard to judge yet, but I started off strong this year! Hopefully I can do just as well as I did last year.” Out of a total of 20 events, students compete in three rounds during the day in their event. After that, the six top speakers move on to participate in the final round. “The meet at Revere was different from other meets because there was a lot more nervous excitement. It was the first real tournament to kick off the year, and everyone was cheering each other on and giving their pieces their best shot,” Tomasetti said. Members of the Speech and Debate Team will be attending the Sunvitational Speech and Debate Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from Jan. 12-14. This meet consists of students from all over the country competing in various speech and debate events.

Council on Aging Chairman Richard McCarthy hosts Walpole’s first multigenerational music concert

Students, alumni and community members come together for a night of music Photo/ Catherine Hurwitz

Walpole senior Clair e Sulli v an perfor ms at “Singing for the E l d e r s . ”

By Catherine Hurwitz Entertainment Editor

Richard McCarthy, the chairman of the Walpole Council on Aging, hosted the first “Singing for the Elders” show in the Walpole High School auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 21. The proceeds went toward benefiting the Walpole Senior Center Building Fund for the Friends of Walpole Elders. The construction of the new senior center broke ground on Monday, Oct. 30. “The big thing is when I retired three years ago, my goal was to interact the students with the seniors because I was heading the seniors’ direction myself, and I spent 23 years working with the kids,” McCarthy said. “My whole life was based around children, and I was heading the seniors, so I thought it would be a good time to get them together.” With a crowd of about 60 people, the show included the Senior Moments, Rocco Frattasio, Claire Sullivan (Claire Sully) and Ed Jackowski. Walpole’s Senior Moments sang classics such as “Hello,” “Sunny Side of the Street” and “Blueberry Hill,” enjoying themselves on stage with tapping toes and spirited smiles. The

group sang Julie Andrews’ version of “My Favorite Things” from her seventieth birthday. The song replaced the original words from “The Sound of Music” with common phrases that refer to aging, like “when the joints ache.” They closed off their act with two favorites: “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “God Bless America.” Next to the stage was Sully, a Walpole High School senior. She dedicated her kick-off song, Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound,” to her grandmother. She then performed Miley Cyrus’ “Butterfly Fly Away” and Tiffany Taylor’s “Here’s Where I Stand.” “I think that every generation is going to experience music in their life, and I think that a child learns to walk with music,” Sully said. “I think it’s important to have music in every generation.” Class of 2015 Walpole High School alumnus Frattasio was next to perform. Frattasio traveled from Estes Park, Colorado to Walpole earlier on the same day. Frattasio’s vibrato and riffs on the guitar were a complementary feature while performing his originals, such as “Jupiter,” and Jimi Hendrix covers. He dedicated Frank Sinatra’s “Nancy (with the Laugh-

ing Face)” to his grandmother. Finally, Jackowski and his keyboardist Jay Babbitt brought the audience back to the styles of “The Rat Rack.” Jackowski narrated and interacted with the audience and Babbitt between songs, in the true style of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior. He described how he grew up listening to the following music he would play, and he now introduces the music to his son. “Being a little bit older, it’s nice to take the stuff that I’d listen to with my dad and bring it into modern day. I taught some of these songs to my younger kids. It’s nice to play at an event for people of all ages,” Jackowski said. Jackowski and Babbitt played songs such as “Come Fly with

Me,” “Everybody Loves SomePhoto/ Catherine Hurwitz body Sometime,” “Mack the Knife” and “Somewhere Beyond the Sea.” They also played Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” Billy Joel’s “Your Song” and Michael Bublé’s version of the Drifters’s “Save The Last Dance for Me.” “There’s a lot of different diversity in music, and a lot of songs stand the test of time,” Babbitt said. “Some of these songs are before our age—before we were born—and they still are popular and remade time and time again.” For the cause of bringing people together no matter the age with the common denominator of music, McCarthy hopes to hold another “Singing for the Elders” concert in the fall of 2018.

REBELLION

Staff

Walpole High School’s newspaper is committed to informing the public, reflecting the students’ views, creating a public forum and serving as an educational medium.

Check out our website whstherebellion.com

Send a Letter to the Editor. Letters Should be 200 Words or fewer, and can be emailed to walpolerebellion@gmail.com

Editors-in-Chief Entertainment Caroline Pitman Brendan Moser Tara Gordon Editor Graphic Editor Olivia O’Connell Lillian Hunter Catherine Hurwitz Danielle Borelli Bridget O’ Connor Lindsey Sullivan Lifestyle Editor Staff John O’Meara Social Media Grace Donovan Writers Kelly O’Meara Director Sports Editor Giovanna Anello Chloe Patel Julia Kane Aidan Chariton Megan Brigham Deepika Pokala Business Manager Layout Editor Eva Clarke Alexis Rodia Breanna Andreassi Samantha Simons Emily Curtis Callie Ross News Editor Website Editor Brianna Deasy Jared Schmitt Emily Ball Dana DeMartino Gabriella Donahue Charlotte Schoenthaler Assistant News Editor Lead Reporter Caitlin Kahaly Emily Smith Jessica Ferguson Hope Jordan Ashley Kuropatkin Sarah St. George Editorial Editor Photo Editors Peter Lynch Rachel Stanton Molly O’Connell Ciara Healy Allison Millette Sydney Weinacht


november 2017

Page 3

The Rebellion

SEPTEMBER NOMINEES

SENIOR NOMINEES Nirupa Abraham / Anatomy & Physiology Honors (Walleston) Rylee Abbott / Spanish 5 CP1 (Bacon) Jonathan Foti / Vocational Skills (Robinson) Ethan Fontanez / Sociology CP1 (Hogan) Rebecca MacLellan / Marine Science (O’Connor) Lily Scott / Murphy (Accounting) Faiza Akther / College Writing (Alan) WINNER: Chris Wood / Spanish 5 (Hugueley) JUNIOR NOMINEES Amanda Minsk / Algebra 2 (Milne) WINNER: Matthew Springer / Algebra 2 (Lerner) SOPHOMORE NOMINEES Ava Jingozian / French 3 CP1 (Pierce) WINNER: Justine Prophil / French 3 (Frattasio) FRESHMAN NOMINEES Linika Goel / Physics (Fallon) WINNER: Raghad Somakia / Computer Applications I (Braccini) Community Member of the Month: NOMINEES: Ian Hollister / Helping at lunch (Hugueley) WINNERS: Ernesto Maldonado and Carlos Vega / Helping organize the collection of donations for Puerto Rico (Nottebart) Extracurricular Member of the Month: NOMINEES: Jackie Caskie / Yearbook (Walleston & Gould) WINNER: Ellen Irmiter / National Honor Society (Kay) Class of the Month: NOMINEE AND WINNER Period 7 Geometry CP2 - K. Milne

CLASS OF THE MONTH GEOMETRY CP2 PERIOD 7 This class got off to a rocky start on the first quiz, but many students received extra help following the quiz and took advantage of the retake opportunity. The second and third quizzes were significantly better with the majority of the students earning a sticker worthy paper (a score of at least 80%). Students showed that they were able to correctly set up and solve Algebraic equations to model Geometric situations. These students are respectful and cooperative. They participate well in class, volunteering to answer questions and put problems on the board. I am proud of the improvement this group of students has shown since the start of the school year and look forward to their continued growth. I proudly nominate the class for September class of the month.

SEPTEMBER WINNERS

SENIOR Chris Wood Chris comes to class eager to learn new things in Spanish. He plans to attend college to get a degree in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. He has developed a Spanish grammar book all on his own from compiling his notes over the years and brings it with him as an additional resource to class. He recently expressed his excitement to me that he learned a new verb from me and he was anxious to go home and add it to his book! He truly adds so much to class on a daily basis and is always smiling! -Ms. Hugueley JUNIOR Matthew Springer Matthew had a terrific start to the school year in September. He is extremely conscientious and diligent during class time, always striving to master the material. He asks questions when he needs something clarified and frequently checks in with me to verify that he is doing things correctly. On a recent assessment, Matt felt that he had not performed as well as he could have, so he pro-actively worked on correcting the mistakes on the quiz. When given an opportunity to demonstrate that he had learned from those mistakes, Matt scored an impressive 96%. Matt is a pleasure to work with and an excellent candidate for student of the month honors. -Ms. Learner SOPHOMORE Justine Prophil Justine is happy to be in school this year and it shows in her everyday interactions with her French classmates and with me. She goes above and beyond to help move our French Class forward and always en francais! Justine is a very busy young lady with cheer and high level classes. She added Spanish to her schedule this year as well. She has been traveling the world and appreciates the different cultures. I had Justine last year and I just love seeing her engage in school in such a positive way....I am proud of you Justine...merci, Madame. -Mrs. Frattasio

FRESHMAN Raghad Somakia Raghad is one of the friendliest students I have ever had. She is always happy to be in class and it is impossible not to smile when you meet her. In class, she is always on task and always trying to understand the material no matter how difficult the topic. After class, she spends numerous hours completing her assignments and even redoing the ones that she had previous difficulty with. She never gives up on the material and can be counted on during class discussion to offer meaningful comments and feedback. She is highly regarded by her peers and is giving 110% in this class. For those reasons and more, I highly recommend Raghad Somakia for September 9th Grade Student of the Month. -Mr. Braccini

ACTIVITY AWARD

ELLEN IRMITER NATIONAL HONORS SOCIETY Ellen came to Liz and I with a desire to help those suffering after Hurricane Harvey. She reached out to various organizations to find out what the needs were and what the best opportunity for helping was. She decided on the idea of collecting diapers. She advertised the event and put a bin in the lobby of the high school to collect donations. She is currently in the process of soliciting local businesses for donations to help cover the cost of shipping the diapers to Houston. She has done all of this on her own initiative. -Mrs. Schwartz

COMMUNITY MEMBER OF THE MONTH

ERNESTO MALDONADO AND CARLOS VEGA

NOTTEBART

These two students recognized the need to help our fellow Americans including their own families who still live on the island of Puerto Rico. They reached out to friends and family, who in turn provided an outpouring of donations. A big thank you to Ernesto Maldonado and Carlos Vega for helping organize the collection of donations for Puerto Rico.


Page 4

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November 2017

Opinion

Page 5

Is kneeling during anthem an acceptable means of protest? NO

/ Caa oto Ph

roline Pitman

By Aidan Chariton Sports Editor

I am not about to write an article about how America is perfect. I am not going to say there

YES

to Pho

/ Caro

line Pitman

By Jess Ferguson Assistant News Editor The United States is generally praised for its acceptance of free speech and right to petition; however, when more serious issues such as race arise, people consider these rights in a different manner.

is no racism or police brutality in this country. Those arguments would be incorrect; however, what I am going to tell you is that kneeling while the national anthem plays is disrespectful to troops. American veterans risked their lives serving the country they love, and current soldiers continue to risk their own lives every day. Imagine you were one of these veterans or soldiers at a football game, and you saw somebody refusing to stand and respect the flag and anthem you served to protect. How would it make you feel that the people you risked your life for could not stand as a sign of gratitude for the privileges you made possible for them? According to a poll done by IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), 74% of veterans disagree with the NFL protests. It is true that the protesting NFL

players’ intentions are not to disrespect U.S. troops; nonetheless, it is clear that the majority of soldiers find these protests offensive. A much more appropriate form of protest would be to raise a fist or wear a particular article of clothing, rather than refusing to acknowledge the sacrifices made by troops. By protesting while standing, NFL players can get their message across, and also remain respectful; additionally, by standing amongst their fellow countrymen, these players can utilize the anthem as a catalyst to unite all Americans and fight racial divisions. In the grand scheme of things, the NFL protests have not even fulfilled their purpose—drawing attention to police brutality and the oppression of minorities. Instead, they have fueled the argument of whether or not

the players’ protests are justified, the battle between Donald Trump and the NFL, and the overall liberal versus conservative dispute. At the end of the day, the NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem have the undisputable right to protest; however, if these players are truly trying to fight police brutality and the oppression of minorities in America effectively, they should find an alternative way of doing so. Whether you love America or hate America, whether you believe America has an issue with police brutality or not, one thing that you should find certain is that American soldiers deserve your respect. By refusing to acknowledge the playing of the nation anthem, NFL players are disrespecting U.S. soldiers and taking their American privilege for granted.

Using the national anthem as a means of protest is not a new concept. For years, athletes have used their platform to stand up for things they believe in; as early as the 1970s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remained on the ground during the anthem. However, as a result of the violence in Black Lives Matter protests last year, the movement was given a bad reputation; consequently, many shifted to this peaceful mode of protest. Despite a large amount of controversy surrounding this issue, athletes should be able to kneel to stand up for important national issues. Although some believe kneeling is disrespectful due to the significance of the flag and veterans who have fought for our country, the protest has never been about the flag; in fact, many veterans have even expressed their support for these athletes. Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began

kneeling in Sept. 2016, believes that his and other athletes’ protests are not intentionally offensive. As a prominent athletic figure, he finds spreading awareness on issues with nationwide impact important, since he has the power to express things people with fewer resources or influence cannot. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said after his first instance of kneeling. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.” Throughout history, when people were dissatisfied with their nation’s state, they did not sit around idly and do nothing about it. Instead, they incited change by protesting and making their voices heard. If people do not do anything about problems,

how are they expected to improve? Isn’t it even patriotic to want to change your country for the better? By kneeling, Kaepernick and others are doing no harm. Kneeling is a silent, peaceful means of protest that demonstrates their dissent of black Americans’ current treatment. However, what is more distracting and disrespectful is when people yell offensive things and boo to convey their objection to the protest. Obviously, there is never going to be a perfect way of voicing one’s opinions; however, kneeling currently appears to be the least violent and harmful way to express dissatisfaction with our country. Until we find a better, less problematic way of protesting, kneeling should remain an acceptable means of demonstration. If the national anthem is not the appropriate time to protest national issues, then when is?

Boy Scouts’ decision to welcome girls is more inclusive Girls can now join the Boy Scout Association without denial By Molly O’Connell Editorial Editor The Boy Scout Association’s (BSA) decision to welcome girls into their program, announced on Wednesday, Oct. 11—International Day of the Girl—has drawn national attention for a good reason. The change progresses a step further towards both gender equality and acceptance, along with providing support to families who are preoccupied with different activities. The BSA statement said, “families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners, and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing.” The change is scheduled to occur next year and allows young Cub Scout packs to either be co-ed or strictly all girls or all boys. Beginning in 2019, older girls will have the opportunity to earn the highest rank in the program, Eagle Scout. The act of lifting the ban on womens’ denial into Boy Scouts should not be seen as a malicious attempt

to recruit more members than the Girl Scouts Association (GSA), but rather to provide young women with the opportunity to choose. The BSA membership is rapidly decreasing, with a 500,000 membership decrease between 2012 and 2016, according to CNN. They were simply respond ing to the demand of individ-

scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families. Girl Scouts offers a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique developmental needs.” In addition, Boy Scouts drastically differs from Girl Scouts. Girls, in specific girls who prefer more

Graphic/ Danielle Borelli

uals who wanted change. However, the GSA’s reaction was far from supportive. The organization said in a post, “The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators,

outdoor activities, will appreciate this change. Following a more outdoorbased curriculum, the Boy Scouts provides a better experience to girls who are seeking activities such as camping. Boys, ranked by achievement, consult with their scout master and speak be-

fore the board, who may approve or deny their entry into a higher rank. On the contrary, girls are grouped by grade, where one automatically moves up to the next rank after two years, making it slightly less competitive. The Boy Scouts Association has recently expanded their population of interest to other groups, including gay and transgender scouts. According to CNN, they removed the ban on gay scouts and leaders in 2013 and allowed scout members who identify as male. Their recent step to fulfill the demands of some exemplifies the Boy Scout’s progression. The stringent policies to preserve gender qualities and gender expectations appeared to be the case in GSA and BSA, but with the alteration of the BSA qualifications, girls can be assured that the Boy Scouts support their true interests. This decision to accept girls is a particularly wise one, especially for girls who wish to take part in activities that are not offered by Girl Scouts. For now, the action progresses towards breaking common gender stereotypes and being more accepting towards females.


Opinion

November 2017

Page 6

The new Snapchat map feature needs to be eliminated “Snap

Map”

By Samantha Simons Layout Editor

When looking at important topics that are brought to light today in society, Snapchat is probably not one that comes to mind. Teenage culture revolves around social media. Understandably, each app has its own unique advantages. Instagram allows photos and videos to be shared on a larger scale. Twitter lets you to share thoughts, while bringing attention to trending topics in 280 character blurbs. And Facebook—although it is becoming outdated with Generation X—shares news and life updates. However, Snapchat falls into a category of its own. Yes, Snapchat is another method for texting and sending pictures to your friends, but the app’s latest update takes social media’s influence too far with the “Snap Map.” This feature allows people to share their exact location with everyone they are connected with through the app. Updating every time the app is opened, this feature gives very accurate locations, placing a “Bitmoji,” or cartoon image of the person, over that location. I will admit I am guilty of checking the map to see where my friends are, and when opening the map, I noticed the Bitmojis are in action. When someone is in a car, the Bitmoji is driving. When someone has headphones in, the Bitmoji has

feature

encourages

headphones. One of the most shocking animations is when you are asleep and the app knows, placing a sleeping Bitmoji over your location. When you wake up, the animation gives you a cup of coffee. On Oct. 27, for Halloween weekend, Snapchat even introduced new features to the map, including a bubbling caldron when with friends, a candy bag when you are stationary, and broomsticks in place of cars, adding to the map’s attempt to grab people's attention and get them to use this feature. The map even shows people together, which can cause its own issues when people may be left out of situations. The zoom on this map creates another issue, expanding to a global perspective and having the ability to zoom in as accurately as Google Street View and showing the actual building the person is in. According to statistics, as of the second half of 2017, there are 170 million active daily users; thus, the map will always have access to all these users’ locations. When the argument of turning your location on Ghost Mode is made, which takes the user off the map, or changing your settings to have only certain people see you, Snapchat still has your exact location. Snapchat Support explains this: “once you’ve started using the Snap Map, you won’t be able to disable it altogether.” Turning off your location altogether in the app also takes away features

stalking

in

teenage

culture Photo/ Ciara Healy

Student looking at friends’ location on the “Snap Map” during school.

available to everyone, such as town filters, which makes me think that Snapchat is creating a way to punish users if they do not want these features. The map can come with its advantages, such as in the Washington Post article “Thanks to [Hurricane] Harvey, Snapchat’s map feature went from being kind of creepy to really useful,” where the map allowed hurricane victims to be located in the deviation of the storm. Although there is not much research done yet due to this being a new topic,

it is important to remember that everyone can see where you are, what you are doing, and the feature is available to anyone. With Snapchat being such a popular app with so many users, the stalking potential has increased tenfold since its creation. Next time you open Snapchat, ask yourself this question: Why would I want people I do not know to know where I live and what I am doing at any moment? My advice to you is to turn off your Snap Map until the day it is removed, which I hope is soon.

Monitoring from community needed for Senior Night Dressing

up

By Molly O’Connell Editorial Editor

Senior night is a special celebration to commemorate the seniors on the last home game of their season. Underclassmen make posters for seniors and buy them gifts, and seniors give flowers to their parents. However, the special night is corrupted by the events during the day that consist of forcing underclassmen to dress up in embarrassing outfits for no apparent reason. Dressing up in diapers, wearing bright blue eyeshadow, wearing messy pigtails—all of these things are some recent examples that underclassmen on varsity teams have practically been coerced to walk around in school with for the entirety of their school day. These shenanigans, which is an issue within itself. Since students are provided with the opportunity to choose whether or not they participate in dressing up for senior night, many argue these team actions do not qualify as hazing. However, while they may be right, teammates should not be encouraging one another to dress up in embarrassing apparel in the first place. Dressing up for senior night promotes a platform where hazing could potentially occur, so it would be wise for coaches, teammates, and parents of athletes to monitor teams’ behaviors. The term hazing, according to the Walpole High School Student Parent Handbook, means “any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public

for

Senior

Night

may

be

or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person” or “subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress.” Students do not undergo extreme stress, and dressing up does not determine whether or not they are on the team. So, technically it is not haz-

Anti-hazing Law requires that sections 17-19, which defines what is considered hazing and punishments for not reporting hazing, are issued to student groups, teams and organizations. So if students are exposed to what qualifies hazing, then why do they continue this tradition? Dressing up is entertaining until people feel excluded.

ing. However, not dressing up can make students feel as though they have wronged their team, and dressing up can make athletes feel self-conscious. Although the hazing accusation may be invalid, the peer pressure is still there. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Although it is a special night where seniors are supposed to be recognized, wearing uniforms is a much better alternative, as uniforms show appropriate team spirit and publicize the upcoming game. For those few students who are reluctant to participate in

going

too

far

dressing up for senior night and would rather continue wearing uniforms like any other day, eliminating this practice will make all the difference. There have been senior night instances that are close to violating this policy, and they should have been addressed. The past is in the past, and Walpole High School needs to focus on the future. Wearing uniforms to school shows spirit in one’s team and is a positive way to get excited before a big game, but publicly humiliating your own teammates for no reason is crossing the line. Seniors, although the oldest, should at least participate in dressing up, since they are a part of the team too. Despite the fact that the day may not cause “extreme mental stress,” it causes some people to feel like outsiders if they do not take part in dressing up, and they are often reluctant to face the repercussions from their team for not participating. Several athletes have opted to not participate, and more athletes probably feel uncomfortable in dressing up as well, but fear that they will be criticized by their teammates if they say no. It is great for Walpole sports to have team spirit, but embarrassing each other takes this idea too far. Even if everyone is on-board, some things that the seniors make their underclassmen wear and do are borderline hazing. As long as dressing up for senior night is not too uncomfortable for the underclassmen, then it has the right to continue. However, at this rate, it would not be surprising if the situation turns into hazing, and therefore, more monitoring is needed for senior nights. Graphic/ Danielle Borelli


November 2017

Advertisements

Page 7


Feature

Page 8

November 2017

Page 9

Feature

A WAKE-UP CALL: ADDRESSING TEENAGE CELLPHONE ADDICTION By Tara Gordon, Lindsey Sullivan, and Callie Ross Editor-In-Chief, Editor-In-Chief, and Staff Writer

40%

of students have Snapchat as their most used app

60%

of students at Walpole High think they are addicted to their cell phone

55%

of students sleep with their phones next to their beds

In 2007, the Apple company released the first ever iPhone, a smartphone that gained unbelievable popularity. Before the iPhone, cellphones were merely used to call and text messages to friends, family members, and more. Now, a decade later, Apple is launching their newest edition of their revolutionary product, the iPhone X, which not only has the ability to call and text others, but also can FaceTime people across the world, can recognize the owner’s face with its camera, and has an A11 bionic chip that is capable of carrying out 600 million operations per second. Cellphones have become faster and smarter—and, as some tech experts believe, more addicting. In the “Brain Hacking” segment on 60 Minutes in April of 2017, ex-Google employee Tristan Harris states tech companies program and update cellphones to incite a neurological response. When an individual puts down their phone phone, the adrenal gland automatically releases cortisol. Cortisol, the chemical responsible for the flight or flight response, causes an anxiety that can only be ended by picking up the phone. Walpole High School students have grown up in this culture of addictive technology use, and their usage rates are only expanding. To measure the problem in Walpole,The Rebellion surveyed the student body and received 320 student responses. Of those responses, 22% have spent over 11 hours on their most used app in the last week. Concerningly, those 11+ hours only account for their use of a single app, which means that these students are spending additional hours on their other apps as well. “[Cellphone use] gets worse and worse every year. I think this year is the worst year ever; I think last year was the worst year ever,” Principal Stephen Imbusch said. In both Walpole and across the country, this culture of addictive technology use has created obstacles in the learning environment, restructured friendships and compromised selfesteem. The question for school communities and parents and students themselves now is this: is it possible for our culture to beat this addiction and disconnect—even for one day?

An Educational Obstacle

of senior females have no parental limitations

of junior females are on ghost mode for Snapchat

43%

49%

of senior males have gone without their phone in the last two months

36%

24%

48%

of freshman males use their phone during class

of junior males are in over 8 group messages

fore because of their recent post,” a junior male said. Cellphones have restructured modern friendship by making superficial communication easier; however, this overload of social pressures—aided by Snapchat streaks, Snap Map tracking, and general FOMO—has increased anxiety among teenagers.

Graphics/ Danielle Borelli

Selfie-Esteem

Within the various realms of social media, a user creates a profile—a profile that followers can view, critique, or admire. When followers are continuously assessing their peers’ various social media accounts, they begin to use these profiles to judge their character. Suddenly, one’s account—Instagram, Twitter, VSCO, Snapchat—becomes a complete representation of their persona. As social media has become an outlet to showcase character, the pressure to perfect one’s image on Instagram and Snapchat has clearly increased. The hours of iPhone battery that one spends on these apps are hours spent perfecting one’s image. And when one may not be altering their own profile, they may very well be scrolling through the posts of celebrities, models, and their own peers, eventually comparing these profiles to their own. An extensive amount of effort goes into perfecting one’s image on social media. According to The Rebellion survey, 59% of students have filtered their photos in some way before posting them on the internet. If a photo is not popular among their followers, 39% of respondents admitted they have removed one or more posts off their Instagram profile if it did not receive sufficient likes. When one does not have a popular post, it reflects badly on their self image, and when self image is compromised, a decrease in self esteem follows. “When I don’t get the amount of likes I usually get, I get disappointed and discouraged,” one freshman female said. Students use social media as a reflection of their self-worth, constantly checking to see who snapchatted them, who that text is from, how many likes they received on their last instagram post. Receiving under 200 likes on an Instagram can be a nightmare for some, while others may be distraught when they don’t get a snapchat back from their friend. When did social media begin controlling confidence? Why is individuality suppressed to appeal our online friends? Extensive cellphone use quantifies confidence, and it subjects users to the non-conforming behavior that eventually diminishes our individuality. Regardless if an individual only uses VSCO or Twitter, social media slowly wears away at self esteem.

Beating Addiction

Spending too much time on cellphones can affect mental health, social skills, and even one’s high school education, especially if parents and students are unaware of the consequences. Based on The Rebellion survey results, 73% of students reported that their parents do not limit where and when they use their cellphone and 53% of students reported that their parents do not check what they do on their phone. Although eliminating cellphone use altogether is unrealistic, steps can and should be taken to decrease one’s dependency. Some students and parents already have strategies in place to cut down on screen time. To eliminate distraction from learning, 9% of all students shut off their phone while they are doing homework. While at school, some students agree to put their phones away at lunch. “My friends and I have designated ‘no phone’ times where we don’t bring our phones to lunch,” one freshman female said. Parents can also create their own limitations. Only 27% of WHS survey respondents report their parents limit their cellphone use in some way. Rather than considering this a form of punishment, students should consider the benefits of the time offline. As Imbusch said, cellphone use is increasingly getting worse each year at WHS, unless students recognize the detriment of cellphone addiction—distraction, anxiety and superficiality. The Rebellion Staff has decided to leave phones at home on the half-day Friday, December 15. Take this chance to challenge yourself and prove that it is possible for our culture to beat this addiction—one day at a time.

9% of freshman females have 50+ snapchat streaks

On Friday, Dec. 15, the entire Rebellion Staff will be leaving their phone at home for the school day. We are inviting all students to join—encourage your team, club, and friends to get involved. Follow The Rebellion on social media (@whstherebellion) for more information.

Modern Friendship: A Snapchat a Day

Friendship should be determined by shared interests, personal interactions and mutual compassion. Snapchat and other social media accounts quantify our friendships with streak numbers, likes, and followers. We begin to label our best friends by who falls on our top hits on Snapchat. Across grades and genders, the most used app is overwhelmingly Snapchat—an app that can endanger the authenticity and the trust necessary for real friendship. With Snapchat’s streak feature, the app counts how many consecutive days a user and a friend have exchanged photos or videos. In order to maintain the streak, app requires the user to log on and send at least one photo each day to another user; once that user sends a picture back, the streak is extended. One senior female reported that her highest streak was 806 days—meaning she has used Snapchat every day for over two years. In addition, many students maintain more than just a couple of meaningless streaks—18.4% of sophomore females have 50 or more streaks. With Snapchat streaks comes fear—the fear of losing a streak with a fellow snapchat user. The anxiety caused by streaks even leads students into giving their password to friends if they are unable to log on to Snapchat on a particular day, whether that be because they are on vacation or in an area with limited service. According to survey results, 38% of all respondents have given their Snapchat password to a friend. For many, a streak equates a friendship. But is receiving one selfie a day considered true friendship? With the convenience of Snapchat, friends avoid real conversations with their friends by sending captionless selfies. According to the Rebellion survey, 23% of students never or very rarely call their friends. A sophomore female said, “My phone definitely makes reaching out to [my friends] easier, but at the same time, it makes me more likely to text or snapchat them rather than seeing them in person or facetiming them.” Furthermore, instead of truly communicating with friends, individuals resort to checking the Snap Map or Snapchat Stories to check everybody’s whereabouts. The Snap Map, a fairly new feature to Snapchat, allows the user to view the location of all Snapchat friends, unless they choose to hide their location with “Ghost Mode.” When asked how often she checked her Snap Map, a sophomore female survey respondent said, “when I need to see if my boyfriend is lying to me.” Rather than honest conversations with friends, teens resort to checking in on other’s whereabouts to confirm that their friends have not lied to them—or worse, that they are missing out. Essentially, social media can compromise trust in relationships and foster social anxiety, also know as fear-ofmissing-out (FOMO). With everyone’s information always available, FOMO describes the anxiety around being left out of social gatherings, group-texts, and snap groups. “Technology in general is horrible for students who can not handle the amount of consumption of material, and how most of the material is negative and 24/7,” said WHS school psychologist Charles Ferro. “But they do not want to miss out on anything.” FOMO leads teens to constantly be on social media to see what their peers are doing. “It gives you less to talk about, since you already know what [your friends] did the night be-

59%

WALPOLE DISCONNECT DAY

Walking through the hallways, classrooms, and lunch room of Walpole High School, one will find a variety of students; however, they will all have one thing in common— a cellphone in their hand. Because these devices are close to students for the majority of the school day, cellphones impair both students’ social and educational experiences. When students are bored in the school day, they look to their cellphone, as it holds a variety of different distractions; however, when students get into the habit of resorting to this in times of boredom, they dismiss chances during the school day to converse with their own peers and friends. According to the Rebellion survey, 70% of students use their phone in the hallway and 93% of students use their phone at lunch. “I often find myself with friends who would rather spend lunch on their phones instead of basic human interaction,” one freshman female said. Consistent use of cellphones have diminished parts of the school day that have originally been used to interact with others, such as lunch, homeroom and passing times. Moreover, these essential social experiences are lost to the phone. Although school’s sole purpose is education, cellphone use is even infringing on learning in the classroom. In fact, 63% of survey respondents admit they use their phone during class time. According to Principal Stephen Imbusch, about a third of WHS teachers have implemented a classroom policy this year requiring students to turn over phones to be held in cellphone cubbies during class time. These teachers believe that removing phones from the learning process can increase productivity and bring educational benefits. “With having students put their phones in the back of the class, I don’t have to worry about kids having them and both my and the students focus is on the lesson. It takes away the tension caused between me and a potential student if I have to keep saying put your phone

away,” WHS algebra teacher Patricia Watters said. Not every teacher, however, has adopted this practice. By allowing students to keep their phones during class, some teachers believe they learn when it is appropriate to use their cellphone. “I think mostly I want students to develop and educate themselves about cell phones,” said WHS history teacher Christopher Whittenhall, who has opted out of cellphone cubbies. “I don’t want to just teach a body of knowledge but also help kids learn skills to pursue their careers and know when it is acceptable and when it is not to use their cellphones.” Whether there may be cellphone cubbies or not in the classroom, students’ addiction to their phones creates an obstacle for learning and face-to-face socialization in school.

of students admit they are extremely uncomfortable making phone calls

25%

of sophomore females put Aa, !, or . in front of Snapchat streaks names 22% of students spend more than 11 hours on most used application each week

How to check app usage: Go to settings and find battery icon

Fi n bo d p tto er m cen of t u ta sa b g

e

at

C ti lic m k e o sp n en clo t ck on t ap o s ps ee


Feature

Page 8

November 2017

Page 9

Feature

A WAKE-UP CALL: ADDRESSING TEENAGE CELLPHONE ADDICTION By Tara Gordon, Lindsey Sullivan, and Callie Ross Editor-In-Chief, Editor-In-Chief, and Staff Writer

40%

of students have Snapchat as their most used app

60%

of students at Walpole High think they are addicted to their cell phone

55%

of students sleep with their phones next to their beds

In 2007, the Apple company released the first ever iPhone, a smartphone that gained unbelievable popularity. Before the iPhone, cellphones were merely used to call and text messages to friends, family members, and more. Now, a decade later, Apple is launching their newest edition of their revolutionary product, the iPhone X, which not only has the ability to call and text others, but also can FaceTime people across the world, can recognize the owner’s face with its camera, and has an A11 bionic chip that is capable of carrying out 600 million operations per second. Cellphones have become faster and smarter—and, as some tech experts believe, more addicting. In the “Brain Hacking” segment on 60 Minutes in April of 2017, ex-Google employee Tristan Harris states tech companies program and update cellphones to incite a neurological response. When an individual puts down their phone phone, the adrenal gland automatically releases cortisol. Cortisol, the chemical responsible for the flight or flight response, causes an anxiety that can only be ended by picking up the phone. Walpole High School students have grown up in this culture of addictive technology use, and their usage rates are only expanding. To measure the problem in Walpole,The Rebellion surveyed the student body and received 320 student responses. Of those responses, 22% have spent over 11 hours on their most used app in the last week. Concerningly, those 11+ hours only account for their use of a single app, which means that these students are spending additional hours on their other apps as well. “[Cellphone use] gets worse and worse every year. I think this year is the worst year ever; I think last year was the worst year ever,” Principal Stephen Imbusch said. In both Walpole and across the country, this culture of addictive technology use has created obstacles in the learning environment, restructured friendships and compromised selfesteem. The question for school communities and parents and students themselves now is this: is it possible for our culture to beat this addiction and disconnect—even for one day?

An Educational Obstacle

of senior females have no parental limitations

of junior females are on ghost mode for Snapchat

43%

49%

of senior males have gone without their phone in the last two months

36%

24%

48%

of freshman males use their phone during class

of junior males are in over 8 group messages

fore because of their recent post,” a junior male said. Cellphones have restructured modern friendship by making superficial communication easier; however, this overload of social pressures—aided by Snapchat streaks, Snap Map tracking, and general FOMO—has increased anxiety among teenagers.

Graphics/ Danielle Borelli

Selfie-Esteem

Within the various realms of social media, a user creates a profile—a profile that followers can view, critique, or admire. When followers are continuously assessing their peers’ various social media accounts, they begin to use these profiles to judge their character. Suddenly, one’s account—Instagram, Twitter, VSCO, Snapchat—becomes a complete representation of their persona. As social media has become an outlet to showcase character, the pressure to perfect one’s image on Instagram and Snapchat has clearly increased. The hours of iPhone battery that one spends on these apps are hours spent perfecting one’s image. And when one may not be altering their own profile, they may very well be scrolling through the posts of celebrities, models, and their own peers, eventually comparing these profiles to their own. An extensive amount of effort goes into perfecting one’s image on social media. According to The Rebellion survey, 59% of students have filtered their photos in some way before posting them on the internet. If a photo is not popular among their followers, 39% of respondents admitted they have removed one or more posts off their Instagram profile if it did not receive sufficient likes. When one does not have a popular post, it reflects badly on their self image, and when self image is compromised, a decrease in self esteem follows. “When I don’t get the amount of likes I usually get, I get disappointed and discouraged,” one freshman female said. Students use social media as a reflection of their self-worth, constantly checking to see who snapchatted them, who that text is from, how many likes they received on their last instagram post. Receiving under 200 likes on an Instagram can be a nightmare for some, while others may be distraught when they don’t get a snapchat back from their friend. When did social media begin controlling confidence? Why is individuality suppressed to appeal our online friends? Extensive cellphone use quantifies confidence, and it subjects users to the non-conforming behavior that eventually diminishes our individuality. Regardless if an individual only uses VSCO or Twitter, social media slowly wears away at self esteem.

Beating Addiction

Spending too much time on cellphones can affect mental health, social skills, and even one’s high school education, especially if parents and students are unaware of the consequences. Based on The Rebellion survey results, 73% of students reported that their parents do not limit where and when they use their cellphone and 53% of students reported that their parents do not check what they do on their phone. Although eliminating cellphone use altogether is unrealistic, steps can and should be taken to decrease one’s dependency. Some students and parents already have strategies in place to cut down on screen time. To eliminate distraction from learning, 9% of all students shut off their phone while they are doing homework. While at school, some students agree to put their phones away at lunch. “My friends and I have designated ‘no phone’ times where we don’t bring our phones to lunch,” one freshman female said. Parents can also create their own limitations. Only 27% of WHS survey respondents report their parents limit their cellphone use in some way. Rather than considering this a form of punishment, students should consider the benefits of the time offline. As Imbusch said, cellphone use is increasingly getting worse each year at WHS, unless students recognize the detriment of cellphone addiction—distraction, anxiety and superficiality. The Rebellion Staff has decided to leave phones at home on the half-day Friday, December 15. Take this chance to challenge yourself and prove that it is possible for our culture to beat this addiction—one day at a time.

9% of freshman females have 50+ snapchat streaks

On Friday, Dec. 15, the entire Rebellion Staff will be leaving their phone at home for the school day. We are inviting all students to join—encourage your team, club, and friends to get involved. Follow The Rebellion on social media (@whstherebellion) for more information.

Modern Friendship: A Snapchat a Day

Friendship should be determined by shared interests, personal interactions and mutual compassion. Snapchat and other social media accounts quantify our friendships with streak numbers, likes, and followers. We begin to label our best friends by who falls on our top hits on Snapchat. Across grades and genders, the most used app is overwhelmingly Snapchat—an app that can endanger the authenticity and the trust necessary for real friendship. With Snapchat’s streak feature, the app counts how many consecutive days a user and a friend have exchanged photos or videos. In order to maintain the streak, app requires the user to log on and send at least one photo each day to another user; once that user sends a picture back, the streak is extended. One senior female reported that her highest streak was 806 days—meaning she has used Snapchat every day for over two years. In addition, many students maintain more than just a couple of meaningless streaks—18.4% of sophomore females have 50 or more streaks. With Snapchat streaks comes fear—the fear of losing a streak with a fellow snapchat user. The anxiety caused by streaks even leads students into giving their password to friends if they are unable to log on to Snapchat on a particular day, whether that be because they are on vacation or in an area with limited service. According to survey results, 38% of all respondents have given their Snapchat password to a friend. For many, a streak equates a friendship. But is receiving one selfie a day considered true friendship? With the convenience of Snapchat, friends avoid real conversations with their friends by sending captionless selfies. According to the Rebellion survey, 23% of students never or very rarely call their friends. A sophomore female said, “My phone definitely makes reaching out to [my friends] easier, but at the same time, it makes me more likely to text or snapchat them rather than seeing them in person or facetiming them.” Furthermore, instead of truly communicating with friends, individuals resort to checking the Snap Map or Snapchat Stories to check everybody’s whereabouts. The Snap Map, a fairly new feature to Snapchat, allows the user to view the location of all Snapchat friends, unless they choose to hide their location with “Ghost Mode.” When asked how often she checked her Snap Map, a sophomore female survey respondent said, “when I need to see if my boyfriend is lying to me.” Rather than honest conversations with friends, teens resort to checking in on other’s whereabouts to confirm that their friends have not lied to them—or worse, that they are missing out. Essentially, social media can compromise trust in relationships and foster social anxiety, also know as fear-ofmissing-out (FOMO). With everyone’s information always available, FOMO describes the anxiety around being left out of social gatherings, group-texts, and snap groups. “Technology in general is horrible for students who can not handle the amount of consumption of material, and how most of the material is negative and 24/7,” said WHS school psychologist Charles Ferro. “But they do not want to miss out on anything.” FOMO leads teens to constantly be on social media to see what their peers are doing. “It gives you less to talk about, since you already know what [your friends] did the night be-

59%

WALPOLE DISCONNECT DAY

Walking through the hallways, classrooms, and lunch room of Walpole High School, one will find a variety of students; however, they will all have one thing in common— a cellphone in their hand. Because these devices are close to students for the majority of the school day, cellphones impair both students’ social and educational experiences. When students are bored in the school day, they look to their cellphone, as it holds a variety of different distractions; however, when students get into the habit of resorting to this in times of boredom, they dismiss chances during the school day to converse with their own peers and friends. According to the Rebellion survey, 70% of students use their phone in the hallway and 93% of students use their phone at lunch. “I often find myself with friends who would rather spend lunch on their phones instead of basic human interaction,” one freshman female said. Consistent use of cellphones have diminished parts of the school day that have originally been used to interact with others, such as lunch, homeroom and passing times. Moreover, these essential social experiences are lost to the phone. Although school’s sole purpose is education, cellphone use is even infringing on learning in the classroom. In fact, 63% of survey respondents admit they use their phone during class time. According to Principal Stephen Imbusch, about a third of WHS teachers have implemented a classroom policy this year requiring students to turn over phones to be held in cellphone cubbies during class time. These teachers believe that removing phones from the learning process can increase productivity and bring educational benefits. “With having students put their phones in the back of the class, I don’t have to worry about kids having them and both my and the students focus is on the lesson. It takes away the tension caused between me and a potential student if I have to keep saying put your phone

away,” WHS algebra teacher Patricia Watters said. Not every teacher, however, has adopted this practice. By allowing students to keep their phones during class, some teachers believe they learn when it is appropriate to use their cellphone. “I think mostly I want students to develop and educate themselves about cell phones,” said WHS history teacher Christopher Whittenhall, who has opted out of cellphone cubbies. “I don’t want to just teach a body of knowledge but also help kids learn skills to pursue their careers and know when it is acceptable and when it is not to use their cellphones.” Whether there may be cellphone cubbies or not in the classroom, students’ addiction to their phones creates an obstacle for learning and face-to-face socialization in school.

of students admit they are extremely uncomfortable making phone calls

25%

of sophomore females put Aa, !, or . in front of Snapchat streaks names 22% of students spend more than 11 hours on most used application each week

How to check app usage: Go to settings and find battery icon

Fi n bo d p tto er m cen of t u ta sa b g

e

at

C ti lic m k e o sp n en clo t ck on t ap o s ps ee


Page 10

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November 2017


Lifestyle

November 2017

Page 11

Meet Rebel: WPS’ new service dog

WPS

welcomes

new

service

dog

to

help

By Eva Clarke Staff Writer

ease

students’

Photo/ Eva Clarke

A recent poll from the National Institute of Mental Health states that 25.1% of teenagers have some form of anxiety. From worrying about grades and upcoming due dates to finding the perfect balance between work, sports and school, stress is common theme in the average student’s lifestyle. But there are ways to soften the effects of such stressors. Recently, therapy dogs from Golden Ridge Farm have visited Walpole High School (WHS) around peak periods of anxiety, such as when students are taking stressful assessments like AP exams, finals or the PSAT in order to alleviate student stress levels. However, now all of Walpole Public Schools (WPS) will have a more permanent source for both anxiety relief and positive energy. On Aug. 31, Bridget, a therapy dog at Golden Opportunities for Independence (GOFI) gave birth to ten puppies, including the runt of the litter: a small female puppy who now goes by the name Rebel. Although she may be little, she is as fierce as can be. “[The name] ‘Rebel’ fits,” WHS nurse and GOFI volunteer, Rachel Jackson, who proposed the name Rebel, said. “She may be the runt, but she has got some fire.” Despite her size, Rebel does not miss any opportunities to play-fight with the bigger puppies, sometimes even initiating the fights herself. She can be rowdy, but she loves people more than anything, which makes her the per-

Rebel is embraced by Walpole High School students during one of her spontaneous visits.

fect fit for being a WPS service dog. The 11-week-old puppy used to wear a green collar as a method of identification, but she soon will flaunt an orange and blue collar to showcase her Rebel pride. Chosen as the therapy dog for Walpole Public Schools, the sweet English Golden Retriever puppy will provide support with her calming effects to ease the stresses often troubling school students. “Tommy [Officer Hart: School Resource Police Officer] and I are basically going to be puppy raising her to get her to a point where she’s the facility dog,” Jackson said. To be a therapy dog, a dog must have certain comforting qualities: the dog must be healthy and social, love to be around people and have good tem-

perament. Rebel, in addition to proving her strength by conquering a heart murmur that raided half of the litter at only eight weeks old, already holds these qualities even as a young puppy. “Now that her murmur has resolved, her personality has proven that she is the perfect fit. Her temperament is so calm and she really is a snuggle bug,” Jackson said. The plan for Rebel’s availability within school is still tenuous. “It is really still in the developmental stages. Right now, we are starting with visits—like we did last year, when Mr. Imbusch had the dogs come during final exams,” Jackson said. “Administration and school committee are aware that we are doing it—they’re actually much more open to it now—but

anxiety

for the time being, we’re maybe going to set something up where different classes can request for her to come.” Rebel will be trained through GOFI, a nonprofit service dog organization that does not charge their recipients for the service dog. “We only ask that the recipients raise as much money as they can for the organization,” CEO Pauline Hoegler said. “Some people have started GoFundMe accounts or set up 5Ks. We also sell blankets and bracelets on our Facebook. All donations are welcome.” GOFI gathers ‘puppy raisers’ for all the dogs to help with tasks such as bringing the dog to training, keeping the puppy for the two years it takes to fully train and preparing the dog for the service they are attending to. There is a 24/7 ‘puppy cam’ on the GOFI website, so make sure to go show the puppies some love! Visit gofidog.org for more information. Hoegler breeds her own dogs for the organization to fit each recipient’s needs for their disorder. This particular breed has excellent temperament: they are easy-going and loving, which makes them perfect service dogs for students and people of all ages. “I think it’s a great organization, and it’s really going to help a lot of people,” Officer Hart said. Rebel will serve not only as a lesson in how service animals can help those with disabilities in the Walpole community, but she is also an example of an unconventional source of anxiety relief whose positive effects will soon reach all Walpole students.

Fashion Feature: George Asaridis

Junior

George

Asaridis

By Grace Donovan Lifestyle Editor Walking through the halls of Walpole High School, you would assume there is some unspoken treaty binding students down to wearing certain brands and items of clothing. There is no uniform at WHS, but everyone’s style seems to be. Amidst all of the subconscious conformity, junior George Asaridis has created a look for himself that sets him apart from the crowd. Growing up with three older sisters and a fashion-focused mother, Asaridis learned to dress well from a very young age. Dressing nicely to keep up with his family’s puttogether appearance soon evolved into exploring his own individual style, and just like most teenage boys, it started with sneakers. “At a young age I was always into sneakers, specifically Jordan’s, and I would wear them with simple outfits,” Asaridis said. “But when I got older, toward the age of 14, I started looking more into different outfits and brands.” Asaridis is currently known around school for his designerturned-casual street wear look commonly known in the fashion world as “hype” style. Brands such as Supreme, Bape and Palace specialize in this hyped look; however, do not let the casual nature of this trend fool you, as

sets

himself

some of the items in George’s closet cost him upwards of $1000. What sets Asaridis even further apart is his integration in the buying and selling process. “I quickly learned that with hype exclusive brands, people will pay five times the retail price to buy the clothes off you,” he said. “I started buying Supreme hoodies and teeshirts and began selling them—allowing me to set aside money to buy other designer clothes and another set of money to buy more clothes to repeat the selling process.” Asaridis has expanded beyond a simple consumer to not only a seller but also a collector. “My favorite clothing piece in my wardrobe is a Supreme Box logo from 2007, still in the plastic packaging never opened. I had one that I would wear but sold it and re-bought a new one just to have as a collection item,” Asaridis said. He is also a proud owner of a pair of Nike’s Yeezy 2 Red Octobers, which are extremely rare because of their color and the fact that Kanye West, designer of Yeezy, is not longer in collaboration with Nike. “If I ever am in need of money, [I could] make up to $6K in profit, so it is a nice thing to have to fall back on,” Asaridis said. Although he is not afraid to commit to some expensive items, Asaridis also has fun designing his own clothes. When asked

apart

with

unique

hype

style

“I think the way you style your self says a lot about you, and I just enjoy being differ ent with what I wear,” Asaridis said. about what item he is most proud to own, out of all of his designer items, Asaridis is most fond of the jeans he rips himself. But indulging in such a unique style is not always easy—especially in a judgmental high school. “At first, I would always be nervous what people would say because I dressed so differently, but over time more people started asking me what brands to wear and how I get my pieces of clothing,”

Asaridis said. Rather than crumble under the judgement of his peers, Asaridis thrives off of the many questions he gets about his style. “It has pushed me to research brands, designers and look more into fashion weeks [for upcoming trends],” he said. In a high school where most kids are trying to fit in rather than stand out, junior George Asaridis has proven that he is not afraid to be different.


A&E

Page 12

November 2017

“reputation” is a revolutionary pop masterpiece Walpole High Taylor Swift breaks record with her most unapoloTheatre Club to getically angry and beautiful album yet. perform Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” By Lillie Hunter Editor in Chief

Three years after her last release, Taylor Swift finally releases her sixth album, ‘reputation,’ eleven years after her debut album ‘Taylor Swift’; and those eleven years have changed her significantly. Now over a decade later, Swift is still here, but “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Cause she is dead.” Angry, beautiful, vengeful, melodic: this album is unlike anything we have seen from Swift in the past. Swift released “Look What You Made Me Do” on Aug.24, and the reaction she got was not overwhelmingly supportive. A vengeful song complete with techno music and many secret messages to the people have had a history of spiting her. She then released “...Ready for it,”yet another strong beat, but this time more fiery, romantically oriented. As the first song on the album, “...Ready For It?” sets the stage for the sound of the rest of the album as well as prepares her audience, asking if they are ready to embark on the adventure this album takes them on: a trip to her heart and inner demons. Next came “Gorgeous”; a fast-paced love song about the guy she wants but cannot have. Along with the song, she released the making of a video featuring Swift at her piano running through lyrics and trying out melodies. “Call it What You Want,” her next release, is a bit more on par with what we expected from Swift; resonant of the old soft in love singer her fans know. Then just two hours before Swift released “reputation”, she premiered her song “New Year’s Day” on ABC Network, surrounded by her fans in her house while playing the piano. Then came “reputation.” Nov. 9, Swift dropped her album, marking the beginning of the raunchier Swift she warned us about in her singles. In addition to the five singles, ten songs were released to complete “reputation.”

Photo/Taylorswift.com

Students join together to perform the holiday classic By Gabriella Donahue Staff Writer

The

cover

of

Taylor

Swift’s

The album progresses through the artist’s love life, friends turned to foes and her struggle finding people that see past her reputation. She is back and significantly more mature, just as emotional, but stronger in her lyrics, opinions and straight up with her “enemies.” From heavily edited songs like “I Did Something Bad,” to sultry songs like “Dress,” Swift appeases all audiences. She ends her album with “New Years Day,” a soft, beautiful love song that reminds us of the old Taylor that we fell in love with all those years again. She ends “reputation” happy and in love. The recordbreaking sale of this album is a telltale sign of

recently

released

album,

Reputation

how magnificent “reputation” is proving to be. On the first day of the release, Swift sold over 700,000 albums, setting her well on the way to sell over 1,000,000 copies in its first week and become the Billboard album of the year. Overall “reputation” is a triumph in pop music and a monumental move in Swift’s career. “Reputation”: a brilliant tale of romance in the modern world and the trials and tribulations of finding friends, love, and forever when you have quite the reputation. Whether or not “reputation” does it for you, we all have to agree the new Taylor Swift will be just as successful as the old Taylor Swift.

“Goodbye Christopher Robin” reveals origin behind Winnie-The-Pooh

Disney ic true

sheds light story behind the

By Emily Smith Staff Writer

Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and WinnieThe-Pooh: names that will ring a bell to virtually anyone. Winnie-The-Pooh has been one of children’s favorite cartoon characters since the original book was published by Alan Alexander “A.A.” Milne in 1926. Recently, the story behind the tale was revealed in a heart-wrenching movie entitled “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” Everyone knows “Winnie-The-Pooh” as the tubby, little, happy bear who enjoys hunny and adventures, but Director Simon Curtis tells how the character and his friends came to be. The characters are based off of Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne, and his toys. Young Christopher Robin, or Billy Moon as his family called him, was played by Will Tilston. In the beginning of the film, well-regarded author A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) returned from serving England on the western front during World War I, tainted with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and unable to work. Disney portrayed Milne’s PTSD in an insightful manner—using instances like a simple balloon popping—to help the audience further understand what was going on in his mind. Milne envied the happiness his son

Photo/Movieinsider.com

on classic

the tragchildren’s book

The movie poster showing the title for “Goodbye Christopher Robin.”

got from playing with his stuffed animals, and that is where he derived his inspiration for Winnie-The-Pooh. The happy-go-lucky adventures of Winnie and friends were just what was needed post-World War I when the first edition of the book was developed. Soon enough, the book became a sensation, cheering up the world and bringing light back into the eyes of parents and children alike. All the while, the book destroyed little Billy Moon. The following years of his life became a depressing portrait of child abuse sealed with a publisher’s mark. His father had exploited his childhood for money and fame, corrupting his family. The boy became a star overnight and Billy Moon was no more. Even the boy’s parents had forgotten his family name. In the film, Disney shows that Billy— who was only eight at the time—was

unable to handle being shuttled around to countless press events everyday. Milne was neglected and tormented by fame to the point where he forced his father to send him to fight in World War II in attempt to escape his connotation with the book. After watching “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” the children’s books may never be viewed the same way again. The colossal franchise has continued for almost a century now, despite its negative impact on the Milne family, and it has spread to include movies, television shows and even video games. Not long ago, the book was voted the best-loved children’s book in England. One can only wonder what Christopher Robin, “Billy Moon”, Milne would think of the film, as “Goodbye Christopher Robin” has finally unearthed his side of the toxic story.

Walpole High School’s Drama Club has announced that they will be presenting the holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol”, as their next project. The infamous play tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, an angry and devilish old man who despises Christmas and all the spirit and joy that comes with it. Throughout the play, Scrooge is visited by multiple apparitions who show him the good of Christmas and attempt to convince him to change his ways or be alone forever. Walpole High’s take on the play will be presented on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Walpole High School Auditorium. The production altogether is about an hour and half with two acts. Tickets are reserved and on sale now. “We’re hoping that the audience will have a wonderful and touching show that will put them in the spirit for the holiday and entertain them,” said Drama Club advisor Jim D’Attilio. The Drama Club has been working on the production since late September. “There is a lot to do that is not seen by the audience. There are many hours of preparation, writing and entering technical cues, paperwork, posters, PR, lists, casting [and] program ticketing,” said D’Attilio. Different from many other school productions, the Drama Club chose to keep the production as similar to the original as possible. “One of the nice things about the performance is that it is entirely Charles Dickens’ words—many play versions modify—we don’t. It’s a large case with music and a few surprises along the way,” said D’Attilio. Senior Riley Mulroy (Ebenezer Scrooge) is excited to take on his role, but admits that the pressure is definitely on, especially with a well-known classic like “A Christmas Carol.” “Being a lead is exciting, but it can be quite daunting. With a role like Scrooge I am constantly looking over my lines since there are a few scenes where I alone am talking the entire time,” said Mulroy. Another aspect the audience should look forward to is actually seeing a portion of the next generation of performers. Second grader Colin Cahalane, a cousin of senior Ellen Irmiter (Ghost of Christmas Present), is taking on the role of Tiny Tim. Walpole High School’s Drama Club is looking forward to performing “A Christmas Carol” and has put in a lot of time to make this production the best it can be for the audience, and also as a merit to Charles Dickens himself. “We bring the story to life in a traditional, but exciting way,” said Mulroy. “The audience should expect a great show to put them all in the holiday spirit.”


November 2017

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November 2017

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Sports

November 2017

Page 15

Skaters who diverge from the competitive lifestyle Gold, Lipnitskaya, Davis and White’s choices give insight into the lives of competition By Catherine Hurwitz Entertainment Editor

Photo/LA Times

With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming up in Pyeongchang, South Korea, skaters are working on their programs with scrutiny; however, former Olympic skaters realize the extreme pressure of the competitive lifestyle. Gracie Gold is one of the United States’s top skaters, as she won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She announced on Oct. 13 that she would withdraw from the Grand Prix of Figure Skating competitions to treat her anxiety, depression and eating disorder. Although competitions leading up to the Olympics are crucial for perfecting the programs and gaining status as being the country’s leading skaters, Gold’s decision to take a leave from skating proves her values. Skaters preparing for the Olympics generally participate in all the Grand Prix competitions, as they try to increase their scores to compete against themselves from past events and others to increase their statuses. Jill Schmottlach, a Walpole High School sophomore and 11-year figure skater understands the nature of competition. She does synchronized and freestyle skating, as well as ice dancing and moves in the field. “Although competition makes you very nervous, you cannot beat the feeling of finishing a great, clean skate” Schmottlach said. “I do un-

Left

to

right:

Gracie

Gold,

Meryl

Davis,

derstand why some skaters have had to retire: competitive skating requires you to be 100% focused on the sport, but when you have internal battles breaking your focus, it is very difficult to balance competition and other things.” Gold’s opponent, the Russian goldmedalist Yulia Lipnitskaya, decided in April that she would retire due to her struggles with anorexia. At only 19 years old, Lipnitskaya determined that the sport ultimately led to the downfall of her health, and it would be the best choice to leave it behind. Unlike other sports, figure skating focuses on mental competition and self-betterment. Overbearing stress is many times the result of perfecting a program with difficult jumps, spins and dance factors. Skaters have to work on and off the ice to prepare and they have to think of a creative way of coordinating their programs with their choice of music. With every stressful requirement and the need to

Charlie

White

and

Yulia

Lipnitskaya

exceed everything that has been done before, the skaters’ health is at risk. However, not all skaters are diverging from the competitive lifestyle for health reasons. Meryl Davis and Charlie White were the first American ice dancers to win both the World and Olympic titles and they earned six consecutive national titles. After winning the gold at Sochi, they decided to focus more on exhibitions than competition. “Constantly having to better yourself and knowing every bit of hard work will pay off when the pressure is on was always fun. But after a long and successful career, I don’t miss the stress of competition,” White said. Figure skating has always been a sport that requires immense mental readiness, yet it is unlike other sports through its art and expression. “In skating you have the ability to create feelings and stories through the combination of movement on the ice and the music you

choose. It’s wonderful how many different and creative ways skaters have found to express themselves while on the ice,” White said. Schmottlach manages to find the balance between pushing herself through competition and appreciating the art. She competes at venues such as the Boston Synchronized Skating Classic, the Eastern Sectionals and the National Championships. “I think one of the greatest feelings in skating is when you accomplish something new,” Schmottlach said. “However, when your head is not in the right frame of mind, it is very hard to accomplish new things and leads to people like Gracie Gold and Yulia Lipnitskaya taking leave from skating.” Whether skating as a high schooler or a world-medalist in the United States or Russia, figure skaters throughout the world can agree that the pressure has a huge impact upon their sport. “I’ve been forced to learn about who I am and how I can best fit in the world. Competitive skating was incredibly difficult and very stressful, but the lessons have been invaluable,” White said. “My advice would be to always work hard, but work hardest to have fun. It’s easy to feel stuck in anything we take on as a serious endeavor while we’re young, so it’s important to only devote yourself to the areas where your passions truly lie.”

Field hockey falls in third round of state tournament Walsh

and

Griffin

By Aidan Chariton Sports Editor The Porkers made it to the third round of the 2017 Division I field hockey State Tournament. Walpole received the number one seed in the South section of the tournament, granting the girls a first round bye and setting them to play North Attleboro in the second round. The Porkers defeated the Rocketeers 5-1 on Saturday, Nov. 4, and went on to lose to Duxbury 3-2 on Nov. 6. Both Walpole and North Attleboro came out with strong defensive play to start their game, preventing any goals from being scored, until the Rocketeers struck first blood when they scored with 18:40 left in the first half. Walpole responded quickly to the Rocketeer’s offensive, as junior Nikki Griffin scored a goal at 16:20. Griffin scored another goal about a minute later, giving the Porkers a 2-1 lead over the Rocketeers half way through to first half. “My teammates did a really good job of putting me in positions where I could be successful and score,” Griffin said. “I did my best to take the opportunities given to me and capitalize on them. I’m the one credited with the goals, but everybody on the field played a role in helping me score.” Walpole continued the offensive momentum Griffin started with a goal from senior captain Celia Walsh and a goal from junior Caileen Quinn. Walsh scored the Porkers’ last goal of the

lead

the

game at 25:38 in the second half, leaving the final score of the game at 5-1. Next, Walpole faced Duxbury, the six seed from the South section of the tournament. With a record of 13-3-2—almost identical to Walpole’s record of 13-2-2—Duxbury would be a tough matchup for the Porkers, but as the defending state champions, Walpole would be no cake-walk for Duxbury either. “We went into the game knowing we were going to have to be at our best,” senior captain Christine Murray said, “duxbury has some strong players.” The game went scoreless for the majority of the first half, until senior Alex Rodia scored for the Porkers at 9:35. The Dragons scored a goal of their own just under 40 seconds later, at 8:54 to tie the game. “Both teams started out really strong, which made it really difficult for both ends to score,” Rodia said, “neither team wanted to let up the first goal.” The second half also went scoreless for most of its duration, until Duxbury took a 2-1 lead with 8:17 left in the game. Following an offensive corner, Walsh ripped in a goal 10 yards away from the net, tying the game at 2-2 with only 1:28 remaining in regulation time. “The moment was very unexpected,” Walsh said. “I honestly didn’t even realize that it

Porkers

in

post-season

went in at first. I think it showed that as a team we could make a quick recovery when we needed to, and it proved to us that we were still in the game.” The second half closed in a 2-2 tie, pushing the game into a sudden death overtime period. From this point on, the next team to score would win and advance to the next round. Five minutes into the overtime period Duxbury maneuvered through Walpole’s defense and scored the final goal off a corner, ending the game and consequently the Porkers’ season. “In the end it just didn’t end up working out the way we wanted,” senior captain Saylor Murphy said, “we didn’t stop fighting until the very end.”

goals

Photo/ Caroline Pitman

Alex Rodia air dribbles the ball away from a competitor


A&E

Page 16

November 2017

Pursuing art through the lens of Mimi Chao An

a r t i s t ’s

By Catherine Hurwitz Entertainment Editor

Art was not always Mimi Chao’s profession. There were many factors that encouraged her not to pursue art— a strict father, not knowing of anyone in the arts and a lack of the art-encouraging social media—thus, Chao studied to become a lawyer instead. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) studying economics and political science, she went to law school and passed the bar exam. However, four years into working for a major law firm, Chao enriched her life by pursuing a carer in art. Students today still struggle with deciding what to pursue in college, and they typically go down the route of pleasing their family by choosing a financially stable job. In many cases, choices like these lead to a lack of fulfillment in her life and unhappiness. However, Chao’s experience proves that success is possible if one transforms a passion into a profession. Wondrous, sincere and enduring: these three adjectives establish the essence of downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) artist Chao’s artwork. A look at her idyllic art leaves one’s heart warmed with mellow emotions. With her central phrase “live in wonder,” Chao reveals a sense of philosophy through art that conveys meaning for every generation. “I think we all have a sense of wonder as children; everything seems magical. As we grow up, experiences tend to push us to become cynical and jaded,” Chao said. “My personal belief is that we should acknowledge reality but fight off these negative perspectives. Actually, from the solar system down to our breath, most of life is incredible. To always keep choosing to see it that way makes our time here much more rich.” Ever since a young age, Chao drew. When spending time with her father, she would be tested on different expressions to draw. During her time at UCSD, she worked with Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang from Chao

draws

on

photographs

journey

to

fulfillment

Wong Fu Productions, which currently releases content on a YouTube channel with nearly three million subscribers, to create short films. “Looking back on it now, I do think having friends like them in the creative field subconsciously opened my mindset on what was possible. They were building a career that didn’t even exist before,” Chao said. “And while illustration and film are obviously different mediums, I think we share a common desire to tell meaningful stories that connect with others. I’m really glad we could make those shorts that still resonate with people today.” Today, Chao’s freelance artwork is under her brand name, Mimochai. With a look at her website, one can find her delightful and playful signature characters—a girl named Emme, a hamster-cat-bear named Hamstarcat, a sprite named Ao and a cat-fox-ser-

pent named Rax. Taking photographs and placing her artwork over the images, she calls the result “A Make Believe Reality.” Chao works with the community through commissioned artwork, donating a portion of proceeds to the DTLA nonprofit organization Inner-City Arts and collaborating with writers who give her creative freedom to illustrate books. Chao adores the art of Picasso, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, as well as modern-day artists, such as James Jean, Takashi Murakami, Tomer Hanuka, Etam Cru and Roman Muradov. The works of Studio Ghibli, Pixar and Cartoon Saloon also spark her interest. She grew up with Calvin and Hobbes, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Harry Potter and Roald Dahl. “I’m partial to these make believe worlds that help us better understand our own,” Chao said. “It’s interesting how we sometimes better internalize these lessons through metaphorical stories rather than being told directly.” Her story is a way for her

Photos/Mimochai.

Chao in

“A

poses

at

Make-Believe

the

Los

Angeles

R e a l i t y. ”

T he

Rene gr ade mimochai

Cr aft stor y

Fair. series

includes

and

passion

to communicate to others to pursue their passions and not be afraid to reach for the stars. “Understand what is truly important to you. Other people’s ideas of success and satisfaction do not need to be yours. I believe you’ll only be truly happy when you’ve created the life you’ve envisioned for yourself, not what others have told you what you should want,” Chao said. “To have your own style, you need to have a personality, and to have a true personality, you need to have life experience. Interact with people. Try new things. Learn to fail up. Develop empathy. Form your own values. This will all matter. At the very least, you’ll be a better human being.” Art is important to Chao as a form of communication and expression unique to human beings. It proves to be therapeutic and extremely valuable. “It connects us to each other, even if we don’t speak the same language or even when we don’t live in the same era. I think it has a unique ability to inspire and encourage the best in humanity,” Chao said. “But it doesn’t always have to be a history-altering masterpiece. Even a simple drawing you post online can brighten someone’s day halfway around the world.” According to Chao, learning art can give one perspective to appreciate the richness of the world. Whether art means painting or a different form like music or food, everyone has a different way to be creative and love deeply. “I think the best art moves people and causes them to think. What I love about art is that it’s often a reflection of the times and culture during which it was created. It tells of much more than just meets the eye,” Chao said. Chao’s art can be found on her website at mimochai.com, as well as on her Instagram @mimochai. an

illustr ation

filled

with

magic.

November 2017  
November 2017  
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