The Black & White Vol. 59 Issue 2

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The Black & White is an open forum for student views from Walt Whitman High School, 7100 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda, MD, 20817. The Black & White’s website is www. The B&W magazine is published six times a year. Signed opinion pieces reflect the positions of individual staff members and not necessarily the opinion of Walt Whitman High School or Montgomery County Public Schools. Unsigned editorial pieces reflect the opinion of the newspaper. All content in the paper is reviewed to ensure that it meets the highest level of legal and ethical standards with respect to the material as libelous, obscene or invasive of

privacy. All corrections are posted on the website. Recent awards include the 2019 CSPA Gold Crown, 2018 and 2017 CSPA Hybrid Silver Crowns, 2013 CSPA Gold Medalist and 2012 NSPA Online Pacemaker. The Black & White encourages readers to submit opinions on relevant topics in the form of letters to the editor, which must be signed to be printed. Anonymity can be granted on request. The Black & White reserves the right to edit letters for content and space. Letters to the editor may be emailed to Annual mail subscriptions cost $35 ($120 for four-year subscription) and can be purchased through the online school store.



LETTER FROM THE EDITORS When we sat down to write this letter, we tried to think of a theme that wasn’t about COVID-19. We couldn’t. The pandemic has We’re living in a different reality, a world that the Black & White is committed to documenting. We’ve covered Whitman students as they adapt to a COVID-safe life while continuing to pursue their passions: altering their learning how to lead a game design club virtually and releasing music while recording entirely at home. Quarantine has also allowed many to take a step back and reexamine their priorities. Our writers described how this time has helped one writer to fall back in love with her sport and another to reevaluate her relationship with diet culture. ed everyone. In fact, according to America’s Promise Alliance, an organization devoted to

of teens nationwide have felt unhappy or depressed during the pandemic — two or three times the number of teens that typically experience depression. One writer surveyed nearly how virtual learning has affected their mental health. The majority of students noted online school has worsened their mental health, a statistic that mirrors the national trend. For most students, the obvious remedy for these negative thoughts is spending time with friends. But with cold temperatures rendering outside gatherings less and less feasible and

cult. To cope with the loss of the social interaction to which most students are accustomed at school, many have formed “learning pods” to recreate a collaborative learning environment that follows COVID guidelines. However, many students have disregard-

ed safety guidelines entirely and continued to gather in large groups indoors, perpetuating the pandemic. This news cycle, our staff editorial board decided that we wanted to send a message to those students: you are not more important than the national regulations. Continuing to party during a pandemic — and posting about it on social media — is not only insensiantining, but inevitably endangers people in the community whom students don’t even know. As most parts of our “normal” lives have come to a standstill, we are incredibly grateful to have the B&W to focus on and see through our swaggy adviser, Ryan Derenberger, talented writers, skilled editors and creative production team who have made it possible to produce this magazine remotely. We’ve composed themed editions in the past, and now, every magazine themes itself. As long as we’re reporting honestly, we’re okay with that.


Holly Adams

Managing Editor

Sammy Heberlee Editor-in-Chief

Emily London

Managing Editor





8610 12 13 16 17 22 20 24 26 28 30 Students drum up musical success

A writer reflects on her club soccer career

Staff Editorial: Stop partying, students can’t relax COVID precautions

Local youth organization uplifts Black voices

A look at Bethesda’s segregated past

A writer’s perspective on virtual extracurriculars

Students share their thoughts on the return to in-person school

A taste of Bethesda’s best ice cream spots

A writer’s experience with eating disorder recovery

Gamers develop a community through programming club

Learning pods offer students a sense of normalcy

Student causes a racket on the squash court

Crossword: Politics of 2020



The members of Dark Trilobite, (from left) Evan Solnik, Sammy -


Junior Evan Solnik sits in a silent assigned classwork. As his muted classmates engage in other tasks, his gaze falls onto his bass, the strings begging to be strummed. He gives in, grabs the bass and begins to play, running through familiar chord progressions and tinkering with new ones until the breakout session ends. Solnik is a member of Dark Trilobite, and Duke Ellington School of the Arts (DESA). The band formed through a local music school when the members were in elementary school. Now, as juniors and seniors in high school, they have an EP available on all major streaming platforms. Impromptu practice sessions, like Solnik’s stunt in class, are not uncommon in the Solnik household — Bern Solnik, Evan’s father, shares Evan’s love for music. When Evan and his brother were younger, Bern introduced them to the world of music by teaching them simple al musical instruments, including the bass and the guitar. At six years old, Evan decided he wanted to pursue his love for music outside of the comfort of his basement, so he enrolled in Bach to Rock, a music school in Bethesda for students of all ages and skill levels. “They have a band program there where if you say, ‘I want to be in a band,’ skill level, put you all together and give you an instructor,” Evan said. “You’ll be able to do some cool songs together, and they have competitions. It’s a great way to start.” Bern, a band member and songwriter tering instruments, especially at a young age. He was impressed with the progress Evan had made after only a few months. “When I would go pick him up from his lessons, I would go a few minutes early and peek in, and sometimes the kids were running around the room like moths out of a container,” Bern said. “One day when I came to pick him up, though, these cats were playing a song — beginning to end — and it was actually nice to listen to.” Bach to Rock’s program gave the kids many opportunities to play gigs and perform on stage in the D.C. area, includ& Saint and Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle. Performing at these venues allowed the young musicians to experience playing in front of a live audience, one of the most exciting parts of being in a band, Bern said.

As Dark Trilobite’s chemistry and musical skills strengthened, they decided to leave Bach to Rock and venture out on a rhythm as an independent band, working together to set up gigs and write new songs for their EP. “As a band, when it really came to stepping out, it was freshman year,” Evan said. “We released an EP on Spotify, ing platforms — and then had an EP release party.” Two years after leaving Bach to Rock, the group reconnected with one of their old instructors, Stanley Edwards, to take private lessons. Edwards taught the group when the members were in elementary school, pushing them out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to play more The Beatles. “The only way they were going to grow was to bring something to them that they thought they couldn’t handle,” Edwards said. “They never had a teacher not accept failure, not accept that they didn’t practice. I would beat that down because I don’t believe music is a part of life — I believe music is life.” Although it had only been two years, Edwards saw the group’s progress and commitment to being musicians. “The fact it was two years later and they were still playing told me a lot about their character and what they thought about music,” Edwards said. “Seeing them branching out, excelling and adopting my ‘get it right or go home’ personality, has been great to watch.” Joining a band as tight-knit as Dark Trilobite was intimidating for junior Alfonso Lopez, who joined the group in through Pyle’s jazz band. The two became close friends in their sophomore year of high school when they would hang out to “jam,” Lopez said. Lopez joined the group as a guitarist but also dabbles in singing. Although the original members were already very close, “Everybody knew each other really well — their interactions were like siblings,” Lopez said. “But everyone in the group is really nice and has a big musical background, so I was able to connect with them on a bunch of levels.” When Lopez was four, his family purchased a piano for his older sister, sparking Lopez’s interest in music. At the time, he couldn’t read sheet music, but the sounds that the piano produced fascinated music, experimenting with both the bass and the drums until eventually falling in

love with the guitar after receiving one for his sixth birthday. “I see the guitar as an escape,” Lopez said. “If I’m bored or just not having a good time overall, I’d rather just play guitar.” As Lopez integrated into the group, he adjusted to their collaborative creative process that incorporates each member’s begins when one of the guitarists — LoEvan, the bassist, comes up with a chord progression or riff. Then, DESA junior Sammy Rabinowitz proceeds to interpret what he’s hearing on the drums. When la Cymrot, the lead singer, comes in with melody and lyrics. “groove,” Rabinowitz said. “We’re like, ‘Okay, that’s part A,’ and ent part or a bridge,” he said. “You start building the structure, and it’s all up from there.” The band meets to practice every Wednesday for an hour and every Saturday for two hours, but Dark Trilobite’s time commitment doesn’t end there. Outside of practice, group members spend hours perfecting their own parts, composing chord progressions and looking for potential gigs. Evan sees being in the band as a similar regimen to a student-athlete, he said. “You do your homework, and you put free time, instead of watching TV, you do something productive like practicing a song.” Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has continued writing new songs and improving old ones. The group was unable to meet in person for a few months due to social distancing regulations, but, with precautions, they have now resumed a regular practice schedule. back on stage in Falls Church, Virginia. At the show, social distancing regulations were enforced and masks were mandated, Evan said. Currently, the group is working on recording new music at Blue Room Productions in Bethesda. Their new single, “Wish Bone,” became available on Spotify and believes that the band’s best music is yet to come. “Right now we have a bunch of momentum,” Lopez said. “When this virus is over, there will be big things right there for us.”


Falling back in love with the sport I used to dread My experience with club soccer by CAILEY THALMAN


was at the State Cup, arguably one of the most important tournaments of the year. Every one of my teammates was

ing around — nothing like what I’d been used to at the lower level. It took some time to acclimate to the new level of play, but it didn’t change how much

hands began to shake as the coach called the

my team got a new coach, and my outlook on soccer changed for the worse. I remember

me when I didn’t hear my name. I wondered when the sport I used to love turned into the game I feared. mentary School and eagerly waiting to kick a ball around with the other kindergarteners. Fumbling with the laces on my cleats, I gazed blue goals set up at each goal line. I jogged nytail, and felt exhilarated and free. I’ve been is still one of the happiest memories I have of playing the sport. From the day my soccer career started, I wanted to play nonstop. I loved being outside and active with my friends on my recreational-level team, but when I was nine, I decided to try out for the competitive club team that I’m still playing with today. I was tossed into a group of unfamiliar faces, in an intense environment that was all business and no mess-


small mistake and his booming voice yelled at her from the sideline. I was taken aback; a coach had never screamed at me for messing up in practice, and I wasn’t sure how to react. I was shocked. As the weeks went on with my new coach, his screaming got louder and more of losing the ball or making a pass that the other team intercepted. It was like I no longer knew how to play the game I had been practicing for years. Soccer was supposed to be an escape from the stresses in my life, but it was hard to enjoy practice when I was nervous and upset for the entire hour and a half. I would come home from practice and tell my parents whether or not I had cried. If the coach only screamed at me once, it was a good day. They downplayed the situation, telling me that my coach wanted to make me better and that I just needed to grow a thicker skin. But I didn’t have thicker skin, and I couldn’t separate an attack on my soccer abil-

ities from an attack on me. As I got older, the social dynamic on the make passive-aggressive comments to each other during practices and games; there was constant negativity. I couldn’t help but take those comments personally, and over time, it wore me down as a player and as a person. I became my biggest critic, being even harder on myself than my teammates and coach through my play. It was hard to be successful when I had a constant voice in my head telling me, “You’re going to mess this up.” Playing was no longer fun as I continued to be hypercritical of myself. During the school day, I nervously awaited practice at ly because of a thunderstorm became exciting instead of disappointing. I was even happy to get sick and leave school early because it meant that I didn’t have to go to practice that day. I had succumbed to my nerves and selfdoubt — they were all I could think about. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to play; it was because I didn’t want to fail. The most vivid memory I have of this anxiety is from about a year ago. I was in the backseat of my teammate’s car on the way started racing, my hands began to shake and

became shallow, and I couldn’t think straight. I was having a panic attack before practice. Fear had ruined my mindset. Instead of away from every opportunity to play. I became content with sitting on the bench because I knew if I didn’t play, I couldn’t mess up. It’s heartbreaking to me to think about an athlete wanting to sit on the bench and hating to play. But that athlete was me, every game. not just as a player. I doubted everything I did — my personality, the way I looked, my actions — all because I had become so focused on failing in what was a major part of my life. I brought up my feelings to my parents multiple times, but nothing really changed. The arguments usually began with me detailing an incident from practice and ended in a screaming match during which my parcouldn’t handle criticism. It was a fair point. I the game had destroyed my mental health. I had even considered it several times, but I never went through with it. At the time, I didn’t recognize that the sport wasn’t fun anymore because I had always considered it the thing I loved. It never occurred to me that could change. Even though it made me miserable, I still held out hope that soccer could make me happy like knowing that there was a possibility I could change my outlook and fall back in love with the sport. end up changing. When COVID-19 caused remainder of the year, I, like high schoolers across the world, lost every aspect of normal-

I found joy in the thing that used to mean the complete opposite to me. I don’t dread going anymore — I dread being taken off.

ity I had in my life. Extracurricular activities and club sports were canceled, and six months passed where I couldn’t attend a single game or practice. At the beginning, even though I was concerned about the safety of others, I could breathe, relax and get out of my own head. The time apart from soccer allowed me my mental health without anything else clouding my focus. And once I did that, I began to really miss soccer. I decided to think of the sport as something different from what it had been for the last few years, as something fun. I became motivated to improve and excited to play with a completely different approach to criticism — to whom I responded better, and I actually started bettering my playing skills. When the county allowed sports to resume, I no longer felt a sense of dread. I was excited. Three years ago, I didn’t think that feeling was possible. as he’s the director of coaching at my club. He’s at all of my team’s practices and games, but he no longer bothers me because I don’t let him. Him watching me enjoy playing is just a reminder of how far I’ve come. I now appreciate my new coach’s more constructive criticism and am motivated to get better at the sport. weren’t shaking, and my heart wasn’t racing. I was elated to play without the burden of my own negative thoughts getting in the way. I found joy in the thing that used to mean the complete opposite to me. I don’t dread going off.


Whitman alumni fight for equity, found Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition by Rena Van Leeuwen

“I wanted to create a space where Whitman alumni and current Whitman students could start learning real skills about how to create -

protesting its destruction. The goal of these weekly protests is to bring The Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition is a group of young Bethesda residents advocating for social justice reform in the larger Bethesda dress the lack of diversity at Whitman and the school’s racially biased curriculum mirror the current national movement to end systemic

starting discussions about what our community should be doing.” After the group started to gain a following, members began coordinating with Advocates for Black Youth, another Bethesda-based organization with similar goals. Now, both organizations work together, coordinating events to amplify Black voices and enacting change in the community through peaceful protests and online resources like petitions and articles located on the coalition’s website. The two groups want to act as a communication line between Bethesda’s youth and the local government, so they decided in July to start having collaborative Zoom meetings. At these Zoom meetings, members of both organizations strategize together and organize actionable steps toward bringing awareness to the systemic racism in Bethesda. “These meetings are important because it’s our time to meet and a strategy meeting, and because so much of the organizing that we’re doing right now has to be online, we need to have these meetings to need to take.” As well as meeting on Zoom, the Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition members also regularly attend protests in support of other organizations like the D.C.-based They/Them Collective, which combats police other members of the team attend protests every Saturday night to show support for the collective’s cause. Coalition members also stay involved in the community by providmember waits outside of the police ward where they’re being held to show support. show up to be there for people with hand warmers, food and a ride

Coalition in July of this year following the Whitman administration’s the lack of student and staff diversity at Whitman, the school has taken perpetrators of the hate crime and set forth a message that the Bethesda community should never tolerate acts of anti-Blackness. Carmel decided she wanted to do more to make tangible change in the community. “I felt disappointed that there probably wasn’t going to be any follow up to the letter,” Carmel said. “So Ari and I started thinking, ‘How can we create follow up from this?’” interested in getting involved in anti-racism efforts in the community, eventually leading to the creation of the coalition. When they founded the coalition, their goals were twofold: raise awareness about Whitman’s outdated curriculum and address the lack of staff and student diversity at their alma mater. Their main focus now is education, providing community members with resources to educate


diversifying and desegregating every school.

The Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition held weekly Zoom meetings, back up for many members, and communication efforts are now more “We’ve decided as a group that we’ll meet whenever someone

talk about, we immediately move to schedule our next meeting to talk directly about it.” Any Whitman students who have an idea to voice or need a place one of her friends found out about the organization through social media and shared the group’s information with her. After working for two the coalition would be the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact on the Whitman community. The coalition is split up into subcommittees, each with a different purpose. Pomper was part of the Parent Outreach and Communications committee, where she focused on advertising the coalition’s anti-racism movement to parents and students in the Bethesda area and keeping its the organization and the different protests and events it was holding. “While there are members who act as team liaisons, everybody is individually responsible for their own leadership on the team,” Pomper said. “We want people to feel inspired to take up actions that they’re interested in and feel motivated to complete them.” Although the original members of the organization were all Whitman alumni, the group has expanded to include a few current Whitman attended the organizations’ joint Zoom meetings.

and preserves the Black history embedded in them, Carmel said. “It’s been amazing working with the BACC,” Carmel said. “They’re doing a really small project in the grand scheme of things, but when it’s in a place like Bethesda where people are so unaware that there’s African and Black history here, I think it’s really essential work and aligns with the mission that the Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition originally set out to do.” possible to get involved in the organization. They realized over time, though, that not everyone can make such a big commitment and have opted to create and provide educational outlets for the public instead, Carmel said. The @blackatwhitman Instagram page was created anonymously, but the coalition has linked it on their website as an educational resource for the public. The main goal of the Instagram page is to educate the Whitman community about racist experiences that not everyone has gone through or understands. Joining and participating in Zoom meetings is a great way to learn about and advocate for issues in the Whitman community, but any activism can make a difference, Carmel said. “To be able to be involved with this kind of activism from a young age gives you so much perspective on the world,” Carmel said. “It’s so essential, especially now, and I don’t think high how powerful they are.”

she can’t participate in the coalition’s in-person protests. However, she still goes to all of its meetings and reposts its news on social media, she said. As with the coalition’s other partnerships, the most important goal of the collaboration between Advocates for Black Youth and the Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition is to support each other and spread the “When talking about racism it’s always best to listen to the person “Racism isn’t a topic to debate — it’s something you have to observe and learn about.” Currently, the Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition has a partnership with the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition, a group that protests cemeteries in the area. “To me, this is what every Whitman student should be caring about

LEFT: Protestors rally outside of the

minutes from where I went to high school, and I’m still kind of struggling to understand why the community has not rallied around this.” da residents to take action to prevent the destruction of this piece of Black history. The BACC provides many opportunities for community involvement, including encouraging young people to join the coalition and learn how to educate others about pressing local issues. The organization wants to act as a resource for information, serving as an institution that helps people understand the importance of Black cemeteries

of the Anti-Racist Bethesda Coalition work closely with the BACC and


veloped a logo that they use on social media. The group has a strong


Nobody is entitled to ignore the pandemic The partying needs to stop



t’s been close to 300 days since March 13, when MCPS decided to send students home for what we thought would be a twoweek break. Nobody expected that short disruption to extend into several months of remote learning and social isolation. The coronavirus pandemic has upended every aspect of our lives: moving school online, canceling extracurricular activities and making it hard to see friends as we normally would. We get it. We’re in the thick of an unprecedented situation that none of us were prepared to confront. It’s understandable that coping can be difficult, but ignoring safety precautions and gathering in large groups is just as dangerous now as it was in March. If we continue to live life pretending all is normal, we will only exacerbate the state of the pandemic and further the strain on our emotional well-being. After months of hearing reporters discuss the COVID-19 case count and death toll, it’s easy to become desensitized to what the increasing numbers on the screen actually signify. In March, while under a stay-at-home order, we watched hospitals overflow with patients, grocery stores run out of supplies and all public spaces completely shut down. It felt threatening and scary then to leave the house and risk our families’ health. Now, some people leave their houses freely, without second thought of exposure. Despite this more relaxed attitude toward the virus, the infection rate is even higher today than it was in the spring — and it’s continuing to rise. According to Montgomery County’s COVID-19 dashboard, the COVID-19 positivity rate in early December was 22.6%. On April 10 — the peak of the virus’ first wave in the U.S. — the positivity rate was only 11.2%. We should be feeling the same sense of public responsibility that we felt in April, if not more. All the more concerning, then, are the casual parties that we, as students at Whitman, have heard about and seen on social media. Choosing to socialize in unsafe ways, like hosting and attending parties or other mass gath-


erings, especially indoors, is not only dangerous, but selfish. Partying risks the health of not only those actually present, but also of students and community members who are choosing to abstain from such activities. Critically, it postpones any return to normality we could have. Everyone is missing out on some of our favorite high school traditions: homecoming and Halloween parties, among others. But there’s a reason we can’t have real, official events, and participating in “fake,” in-person versions of them as we normally would is ignoring the problem. During an airborne pandemic, making risky choices like those jeopardizes our health and, in turn, diminishes the likelihood of any of us being able to experience future high school staples like prom and graduation. Continuing to host unsafe events isn’t going to provide the school experience we’re craving; it’s only going to deprive everyone of it for longer. What people may think is a harmless get-together with friends who don’t appear sick can actually impact the lives of strangers in the community. While nobody wants to risk the health of others, that risk is an inevitable byproduct of expanding your circle. According to the CDC, only one in eight COVID cases in the U.S. may

have been reported from February to September; we can never assume the people we are seeing are healthy, even if they’re asymptomatic. Frontline workers will be at higher risk of contracting the virus as the case count spikes. All of our teachers will need to continue working extensive hours to adapt to remote learning. Parents will continue to struggle balancing childcare and their jobs until their children can return to in-person school. We as teenagers need to take the virus more seriously. But that doesn’t mean our mental health should suffer as a result. There’s middle ground between complete isolation and partying, and there are safe ways to see friends that don’t put the health of others at risk. If we take proper precautions — staying six feet apart, wearing masks and sticking to outdoor gatherings, even through the winter — we can get our fix of social interaction while doing our part to contain the virus. Although it will be a long time until we can return to normal life, we can all put in the effort to protect everyone’s health until then. Keeping our community safe should be common sense. But for some reason, we still need to reiterate it. When our grandchildren ask what we did during the pandemic, let’s not be ashamed of our answer.

graphic by SAM NICKERSON

Decades later, institutional segregation lives on in Bethesda

by Lily Freeman


uring Patricia Tyson’s childhood, rainy days helped define her community. To Tyson, a retired State Department employee, the pitter-patter of droplets didn’t mean cozy afternoons, warm blankets or a sense of calmness. Instead, rainy days meant mud streaking through the neighborhood’s unpaved streets, making the roads so unusable that county workers had to toss gravel into the sludge so that residents could leave their community. Problems in the area weren’t limited to roads. Running water was unavailable. Streetlamps were nonexistent. Almost no residents owned a telephone. And there was no solidarity among the surrounding communities, which were full of wealthy residents who, for the most part, couldn’t care less about this bordering neighborhood. Such a community may sound foreign to many Whitman students, but Lyttonsville, where Tyson has lived for over 70 years, is a mere 15-minute drive from Whitman. Until its demolition in 2019, only the Talbot Avenue Bridge separated Lyttonsville from downtown Silver Spring, where more affluent lifestyles were — and still are — the norm. But there was one major difference between the communities: Lyttonsville, unlike many neighborhoods in the D.C. metro area, had no racially restrictive deed covenants that excluded Black families like Tyson’s from living within its borders. Deed covenants are provisions in legal documents that outline conditions for owning a property. At face value, deed covenants aren’t necessarily discriminatory; they might dictate that property owners may only use school grounds for school-related

reasons or that homeowners can’t use certain hazardous materials to refurbish a property. However, until the late 20th century, real estate companies imposed covenants on communities and properties that barred minority groups from living in parts of cities like Silver Spring and Bethesda. “The saying in Black communities was that you could always find the N—o community on the other side of the railroad tracks, and that seemed to separate most white communities from those who were African American,” Tyson said. “Well, the railroad tracks really did divide us.” Racially restrictive covenants became widespread in neighborhoods across the country after the 1926 Supreme Court case Corrigan v. Buckley upheld their legality. In Bethesda, racial covenants appeared as early as the 1930s, excluding African Americans and, many times, Jews and members of other minority groups. Although the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1948 for state courts to enforce racial covenants, it took decades for the practice to end. It wasn’t until Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that most of the real estate companies writing discriminatory covenants stopped doing so. A Maryland law took effect Oct. 1 that streamlines the process for residents to remove discriminatory covenants from their homes. In Bethesda, many neighborhoods, including Kenwood, Wood Acres, Chevy Chase and Sumner, still have the old covenants of record, though they’re no longer enforced. “The written word is powerful,” Tyson said. “Even today, even though people can buy wherever they want to, there are still some communities in Montgomery County that are not actually wide open.”

Hate-based exclusion

In the late 1960s, former D.C. resident Max Berry and his late wife, both Jewish, were searching for a house where the young couple could raise a family. They stumbled across a one-story home in Kenwood that, although it stood apart from the neighborhood’s larger houses, Berry thought was “just lovely.” “It looked like an English cottage,” Berry said.


But after Berry mentioned the house to some of his Jewish friends, he began to worry that it wasn’t the right place for him and his wife. be careful,’” Berry said. “‘You’ll be harassed and not welcomed.’” velopment company had stopped enforcing the neighborhood’s racial covenants by the time Berry began house-hunting, the covenants had led to a widespread prejudice against Jewish and Black people among residents, Berry said. Berry grew up among few other Jews in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city that exposed him to vitriolic anof his childhood when peers would grab and feel his head for horns in elementary school, Berry scratched stead bought a home in Forest Hills, a neighborhood in Northwest D.C., which was known as “Hanukkah Heights” because of its sizable Jewish population. Forest Hills had fewer racially restrictive covenants than most neighborhoods in the D.C. metro

hard for Lyttonsville residents to gain social mobility; the closest bus service to her house was a mile away, and other Silver Spring residents didn’t help. “People on the other side of the bridge didn’t want people to come to their neighborhood unless you worked for a family in that area,” Tyson said. “It was like a world within a world.”

A lasting legacy

Today, Bethesda is not only majority-white but

of community members are white while just four per-

particularly Jews, moving into the community

Americans are Black, but they line up perfectly with the

In contrast to Berry’s decision against liver moved to the neighborhood and suffered

gation in Washington D.C.” Cherkasky, who has plotted tens of thousands of D.C.’s discriminatory covenants on a virtual map, said that the covenants have often led to lasting hateful undertones in neighborhoods. “The whole system of racially restrictive covenants is a big example of systemic racism,” Cherkasky said. “What you see is that white people are afraid of Black people just because they haven’t lived with them.” This is one reason why the covenants are still significant: they hinder the growth of diversity in communities like Bethesda, Cherkasky said.

The late Bernstein, a Jewish philanthropist and prominent D.C. real estate broker, was conscious of the challenges that racially restrictive covenants posed; in the late family despite a racial covenant in the neighborhood. Bernstein was well aware of the fact that he might not when he bought a house there ed to pave the way for other members of minority groups, Berry said. After moving into receiving phone calls every morning at 3 a.m. telling him to “get out,” which initially didn’t bother him. “He was a tough guy,” Berry said. “He said, ‘I don’t give a damn. I’m going to get me out. I’m tougher than this.’”


wasn’t going to take it anymore.” Tyson, who has lived in Lyttonsville for nearly all of her life, never resided in an unwelcoming community like Bernstein did. Instead, she noticed clear disparities between her community’s lack of resources and the rela-

didn’t last long, Berry said. “Three months later, Leo told me at a lunch that he moved out because he couldn’t take it anymore,” Berry said. “He was losing sleep. He was Former D.C. resident Max Berry decided against buying a home in Kenwood harassed. He was in the late 1960s because of warnings he recieved about anti-Semitism in the bothered at night. neighborhood. Kenwood is one of several Bethesda neighborhoods that exHis family was cluded Jews and other minority groups from living within its borders. photo scared. He just courtesy MAX BERRY

a senior, said Bethesda’s history of institutionalized segregation has made him feel like “the needle in the haystack” his entire life. Thomas lives among few other has been called the n-word multiple times at Whitman, he said. “White people usually have the privilege of going to school with people that look like them,” Thomas said. “I haven’t really had that experience. For the longest time, there’s been a gap between students in Bethesda. This is a community. We all live together, and we shouldn’t feel separated when we’re all so close to each other.” son, a senior, said she hasn’t experienced anti-Semitism in any form worse than microaggressions, but that she and her Jewish peers often lean on each other for support in her Bradley Hills neighborhood. “It’s like an entire little bubble that has a bunch of Jewish people in it,” Shnerson said. “It’s just easier to live somewhere where you’re understood.” Only four percent of adults in the D.C. metro area are Jewish, though that number is still higher than the two percent of Americans who identify as Jewish, acAlthough racially restrictive covenants played a

other local communities impacted by racially restrictive covenants — doesn’t advertise its history. It has its name

plastered on many of the real estate signs that dot the front yards of Bethesda homes and, after Long & Foster Realtors purchased the business Yet in the “Company History” section on the coming.” A representative from the company declined to be interviewed for this article. The effect of these racial covenants remains in the Whitman community today. In the past two years alone, there have been two discoverseveral students ultimately claimed responsibility, an incident in which students posted photos of themselves wearing blackface on social media and continual reports from Black students who have been called the n-word among other derogatory slurs in Whitman’s hallways. Staff members responded to the initial blackface incident by forming the school’s OneWhitman initiative, which intends to combat hatred and educate students about the dangers of bias. The program has continued during remote school, and OneWhitman sessions in October and November focused on institutionalized segregation in the community. Following a video about redlining during an October lesson, a student expressed shock in a breakout room discussion that the lesson was optional in contrast to the school’s compulsory Social Emotional Learning sessions, a countywide initiative to help students cope during the pandemic. Still, the discussion was progress, the student said. attempting to remedy the covenants’ legacy.

and made millions of dollars by developing segOdessa Shannon was a civil rights activist and

Black woman elected to the county. values that we hold dear to

tion member Patricia O’Neill. “I’m pleased that we have made that change. I hope that it will be a positive for the students for generations to come.” Tyson, too, sees the community moving her neighbors attended a ceremony celebrating the centennial of the completion of the Talbot Avenue Bridge, Tyson’s only childhood link to neighborhoods with discriminatory covenants. She listened as the gomery Hills Civic Association read a resolution disavowing racial covenants more inclusive future. “We have been a divided neighborhood brought back together by the advancement of education and the movement to get the founding documents right,” Tyson said. “We come a little distance, and things get better. Then we recognize that we’re not there yet, so we come another distance. We just keep working until we get to a fair day — a good day — when America will live up to the promises and creeds it espouses.” Retired State Department employee Patricia Tyson poses at her home in Lyttonsville, the Silver Spring neighborhood where she’s lived for over 70 years. Lyttonsville is one of the few communities in the D.C. area to have never had racially restrictive deed covenants, which excluded minority groups from living in parts of Bethesda and other neighborhoods. photo by CHARLIE SAGNER


THE PEOPLE NOT THE PURSUIT WHAT MAKES WHITMAN ACTIVITES SPECIAL BY FELIX LEONHARDT versity Invitational, ending any possibility of us advancing to elimination rounds. I was fuming. But as all good friends do, my teammates saw that I was upset and came over to cheer me up. They explained to me how we could incorporate an argument about baseball into the topic being debated: lifting sanctions on Venezuela. In the last round, my partner and I delivered the unconventional argument. It was the highlight of my weekend. I love Whitman’s extracurriculars. Every day after school, I get to participate in activities I enjoy with students who share similar interests. Corollary sports like bocce, handball and softball give me the opportunity to play competitive sports with classmates who would otherwise not be able to participate in Whitman sports. On the JV baseball team my freshman year, I got to play a sport that I love in a comI can geek out with other people who enjoy learning random tidbits of information. And in my favorite activity, the debate team, I get to argue with my friends about topics like foreign policy and economics. Before the pandemic, I assumed that the reason why I loved these activities was because of the activities themselves. But when school curriculars behind, I realized that it wasn’t the activities I would miss — it was the people.


arguing intensely about sanctions on Venezuela in debate are still things that I enjoy. But in two completely different ways, my experiences with virtual debate and online corollary sports have made me realize that the friendships I’ve forged with my teammates and clubmates are far more valuable than anything I’ve gained from the activities themselves. rum debate team takes up a large portion of my free time and has introduced me to some of my best friends. In a normal year, the debate team travels across the country going to tournaments; I’ve already had the opportunity to visit na. These tournaments are the culminations of

weeks of argument preparation and hard work, but my favorite part of each comes when we room together, eat every meal together and stay watching movies. When debate moved online, it left me without the social aspects of the club that I looked still meet up for virtual tournaments — socially distanced and outside, of course — but I don’t see my other teammates. We all eat alone and sleep at our own houses — no more late nights playing video games in our hotel room. I still love debate, but it’s not the same. As much as I enjoy actually debating, the people I’ve met and the adventures I’ve gone on during tournaments, like the team’s trip to

to shooting the perfect bocce shot or rewarding feeling of scoring a handball goal. But we’ve been able to retain some of the community that I missed so much. The team still laughs and jokes together. We still discuss our weekend plans and bond over what’s stressing us out about school. I’m extremely excited to go back to school in person. I can’t wait for the moment when I tucky for debate. But in the meantime, I’ve realized that I can enjoy my extracurriculars, even while they’re online. I love these activities because of the communities they create and the people who do them with me.

experience. Anyone who knows me knows I hate losing. But at in-person tournaments, my friends are there after every loss to cheer me up and help me move on. We stuff our faces with Bojangles and Häagen Dazs ice cream and get over our losses together. That team bonding is now gone. Bocce and handball are two of Whitman’s corollary sports, which allow students with both intellectual and physical disabilities to play alongside students without disabilities. Being a member of the virtual bocce and handball teams has made me realize the same thing that virtual debate tournaments did: Whitman’s extracurriculars are what they are because of the people, not the activities themselves. We have virtual “practice” twice a week, during which we catch up, talk strategy and discuss our plans for the upcoming spring in-person season. Just like with debate, the team environment isn’t the same. Because practices are online and we can’t play games, there’s no satisfaction graphic by MAYA WIESE


If schools reopen, will students come back? by Nil Ozdemir

2.8% other



pandemic forced schools around the world to shut down and move on-


to education systems.


entirely virtual until at least the second semester of the school year, but that decision has not come without controversy. Since the summer, gov-

How has online learning affected your performance in school?

way to keep schools running. Some feel as though schools should reers fear that the risk of coronavirus transmission is too high in a school environment to justify the transition. The debate surrounding the return to in-person school is still as controversial as it was in August, at the start of this school year, with educators and parents alike adamantly voicing their opinions on the subject. about returning to school?


high schools. Students attend class four days a week for up to four hours lunch break. Our survey found that many students enjoy the shorter school days. the later start to the school day has allowed her to sleep longer, improving her learning experience. period,” she said. “During in-person school, I would never be able to focus because I was so tired.” The later start time and shorter school days that have come with virtual school do not necessarily translate to less stress for students,

times harder than physical school, which leads to a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety,” junior Diego Quijada said. “Online schooling is not about

Not affected



students to collect their opinions about online learning, second semester plans and the future of education.

Is online school effective?


learning; it’s about meeting deadlines. These assignments aren’t there to enrich our learning.” versity study found. Students were more likely to multitask during online classes, whether it be using their phones or the Internet. Our survey ing that online school has worsened their performance. “When I’m in person, it’s a lot easier to communicate with teachhave drastically gone down because, in online school, I have way more distractions.” Yet online learning is not academically harmful for everyone; school. For junior Julie Tilimian, setting her own pace and being in a relaxed environment in her home has helped her focus. “I feel like online school is different for every person,” she said. “Since I’m in the comfort of my own home and the computer is sitting in front of me, I’m able to listen to teachers better. I like it more when teachers post the lessons because I can go through them myself and do the assignments at my own pace.”

How conc ern complianc ed are you about ot her studen e with safe ts’ ty protoco l for in-per son schoo l? Not conce rned 8% Somewha t concerne

d 28%

The return to in-person school

At the beginning of November,

a phased return to in-person school, transition back to the building for all students. But even if schools reopen, will students come back? sponded that they would prefer fullmeets its guidelines to reopen to all would want to continue full-time re-

Very conc e

rned 64%


would prefer a hybrid model, where limited groups of students attend class in person for part of the week. The hybrid model is a compromise between

Reasons students are considering when making decisions about returning to school


Family safety

safety and normal learning, junior Will Rasovic said. “Staying at home is detrimental to learning, and there are so many distractions,” he said. “Since the number of students in the building would be limited, it would be safer than going back completely in person.”


their families would not support their decision to go back into the school building. Whitman parent Elif Ayhan is evaluating multiple factors when deciding whether or not to send her son back to school. “Of course we’re freaking out about COVID, but we’re also concerned about our kid’s mental health,” she said. “We wouldn’t prefer a full in-person education

Student’s own safety


School staff safety


The belief that in-person learning is more effective than remote learning


a solution. The most doable thing could be a hybrid system.”

Concerns and considerations

Family safety was the greatest factor for students to consider when deciding whether

Desire to see friends


Chloe Eisenberg’s mom is high-risk for COVID, so safety takes precedence over other factors, she said. “Even though it’s my senior year, I wouldn’t want to go back to school,” Eisenberg said. “I would get so scared that if I brought something back to my mom, I could, in the worst case scenario, potentially kill her.” “very concerned” about spreading the virus to high-risk teachers and classmates.


Frustatration and anxiety


Benefits of remote school


Parents back to work

“I think it’s become a lot more normalized for people to be indoors in large groups, not wearing masks,” so if we went back, I would be concerned that other people would not be taking the virus super seriously.”

The future of schooling


After the pandemic, it’s presumed that schools will return to “normal.” But do students even want to return to the pre-COVID method of learning? -

Full-time remote

26% Hybrid

If the virus was completely contained in the future, what permanent model of school would you prefer?


Full-time in-person

“Now that I’ve seen what online school is like, I think that it’s really good to have a break from having to worry about what you look like or waking up early,” Elkin said. “It would be less stressful to have a hybrid schedule in the future.” Other students, like Tilimian, feel that if school is permanently virtual for future generations, it would keep students from reaching their academic potential and fully experiencing high school. in person because I think it’s more of an experience,” Tilimian said. “You learn a lot from school, not only knowledge-wise but socially. You need those social skills for your whole life.” The pandemic has provided schools with an opportunity to reimagine education. But no matter what the future looks like, this pandemic will never be forgotten, Quijada said. “This pandemic has given everyone a new perspective on life,” he that in many ways, these times will go down in history books.”


sco p Here’s the

Bethesda’s ice cream hot spots


n the coldest day of the school year yet, the three of us resident ice cream enthusiasts at The Black & White trekked to downtown this ice cream was.

Jocie Mintz: Ever since traveling to Florence, Italy, gelato has been my favorite dessert. It doesn’t even seem fair to compare the silky, delectable gelato to its mere ice cream counterpart. And ies” added bursts of sweetness and festivity. Huge fan. Only downsides are that it’s pricey, and the Sam Mulford: This fun Christmas-themed gelato is a perfect treat for the holiday season. The red and green swirls and crumbled cookie chunks made the gelato both aesthetically pleasing and Sarah Tong: Although I’ve never been a huge fan of ice cream in the winter, this was an excepI do think that it was a little overpriced considering the small serving size. Another downside is that

Overall: 8.8/10


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream






Overall: 7.7/10

Henry’s Sweet Retreat & Bakery JM: We went a little out of the box and tried a sundae, which was…fairly solid. The chunks of cookie dough and Oreos were delicious, but otherwise, it just felt like an indistinguishable explosion of sweetness. for her, I would’ve accidentally eaten pecans and probably wouldn’t have been able to write this story. And the store is absolutely charming. If you don’t like their ice cream, there are plenty of other sweet treats you SM: Our experience at Henry’s was phenomenal. The store was super cute, the baked goods smelled amazing and our scooper was extremely helpful and accommodating — she even cleaned the scooper for Jocie so that she wouldn’t die from pecan exposure. The sundae tasted perfect, but I just wish it had looked ST: As soon as we walked into Henry’s, we were welcomed with the delicious smells of cookies and fudge. The store itself was so cute, and I loved how they sold a wide variety of sweets, such as fudge, cookies, -

Overall: 8.1/10

Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream JM:


SM: Sarah’s has always been one of my favorite ice cream places, so I went in with high expectatried something new. Next time I visit, I’m going to stick with my usual order: a scoop of Peanut Butter ST: Normally when I go to Sarah’s, I order a combination of Pistachio and Chunky Cookies &

Overall: 8.5/10



STUDENTS FORM LEARNING PODS DURING ONLINE SCHOOL inutes before the school day begins, sophomore Addy Singer sits with three of her friends at individual folding yard. They spend the morning chatting about schoolwork, watching TikToks and

classes. And when 9 a.m. hits, they open their Zoom tabs to join separate virtual lessons. Singer and her friends meet up three times a week for online school in a “learning pod,” each time gathering in a different friend’s backyard. This system has made it easier to cope with the negative effects of online school, she said. “I miss seeing people at school every day,” Singer said. “Being able to do online school with my friends makes it more bearable.” In response to the challenges of virtual school, learning pods have sprung up nationwide. Whether it’s allowing for much



needed social interaction between students during the school day, pooling money to hire tutors to enhance the learning experience or creating a homeschooling group, learning pods alleviate many of the strains online schooling has caused for families, Harris’ daughter participates in a daily learning pod with four other students in her grade. “Learning pods are a silver lining to a horrible situation,” Harris said. “They’ve given families an ability to lean on each other.” While many families have created pods with friends and neighbors, others have used outside sources to match them gomery County, has added learning pod services to her business. She helps families form their own learning pod by matching them with educators, but the expectations parents have for the pods differ, she said.

“Families who have decided to pull their kids out of schools — who want them to have a more hands-on experience can facilitate their learning,” she said. “I also have a lot of families who come to me for support for their kids who are at home doing virtual learning because they need someone to help their kids stay focused, access the different assignments and just help them through their work.” Similar to Weinstein’s services, companies like Outschool, which offers over sponse to the high demand for learning pods. Weinstein gets calls from dozens of families each week interested in forming a pod for their children, she said. “I have been working nonstop since the pandemic started,” Weinstein said. time in online school.” With virtual learning, the parent’s role in their children’s education has increased younger students often have to set up their children’s Zoom classes, make sure they understand the material and help them with their homework. Finding the time to complete these tasks can be a struggle for many parents, said Burning Tree Elemenchange to home-based work because I saw tention the kids need, especially when both to an hour every day. This adds pressure on parents to take care of their children and diminishes important aspects of prepreschooler in a learning pod. “One of the most important reasons that you send a child to preschool is for social-emotional learning — learning how to share and how to become friends with people,” she said. “We wanted to be able to give her that interaction.” Private tutors who manage pods can cost hundreds of dollars per week, pricing many parents out of a comprehensive learning pod opportunity and adding to coverage, inconsistent computer access and overlapping class times with multiple students in one household. munities also don’t have the facilities to host a learning pod with neighboring families. According to recent research from

Hispanic, Latinx and Black students will face the greatest learning setbacks during the pandemic. Not everyone is able to atcome students were found to engage in students regularly log into online classes. Because of their exclusive nature, private learning pods will only widen the gap in education between socioeconomic classes, according to a Washington Post analysis by Emily Oster, a professor of dress this concern, inclusive and accessible learning pod programs have formed in


Black Lives in Education and Educational Not everyone can afford extensive learning pod services, but they have become increasingly accessible to lower income families, Weinstein said. “You have to be more privileged to be able to hire teachers and tutors, but there’s actually a ton of resources to join pods,” she said. “It’s more and more about our kids supporting each other and less about tutors.” fected students’ mental health. According

their mental health. For eighth grader Julia Reiskin, though, being in a pod with her friends reminds her that she’s not going through hard times alone. “It’s more fun to be with people in person instead of just sitting there in your room by yourself, staring at a screen,” she said. “It’s more interaction than you would get when you’re alone.” Although Singer says learning pods can alleviate school-based stress, families also have to take into account risk facparents have implemented safety rules and regulations for each family to follow, such as limiting the number of people with whom the families come into contact and making sure the students wear masks and sanitize their hands while together. Although there is no complete protection against COVID-19 in learning pods, the “Pods are a way for families to try to learning while being as safe in the pandemic as possible,” she said. “This school year would have been impossible without pods.”

graphics by EVA SOLA-SOLE


Letting go of societal expections: My eating disorder recovery by Cate Navarrete


Content warning: This story contains language that pertains to eating disorders.

he night of my freshman year homecoming, I remember getting dressed with my friends, laughing at my minimal knowledge of makeup and being excited to take those coveted corsage photos. The next day, when I looked back at pictures from the night before, I didn’t recognize myself. The girl I saw in those pictures was ugly. She was fat, and she didn’t compare to her thinner, prettier friends. She wasn’t “model-skinny” like she had previously been. For most of my life, I was naturally thin and received validation on the basis of my appearance. I didn’t give much thought to food and exercise. I swam daily with my club team and ate enough food to fuel my active lifestyle. I got dressed, looked in the mirror and took pictures with friends without anxiety or dread. I didn’t struggle intensely with body image before high school. But, during my freshman year, I developed two eating disorders: binge-eating disorder, characterized by consuming large amounts of food in one sitting and feeling that eating behavior is out of control, and orthorexia, an obsession with healthy eating. I refused to accept my matured, changed body. I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be happy until I had the “perfect” body that society convinced me I needed. That fall, I spent months cycling between restricting and binging foods until I was able to acknowledge that my obsession with and dependence on food was


an issue. When I brought up my habits to my parents and doctor, they told me it was the result of increased hunger — nothing to be concerned about because my weight and vitals were normal. I spent three more months punishing my body with irregular eating habits, gaining weight and not improving in my sport.

I got professional help in the fall of my sophomore year. I wanted to recover, I told my nutritionist. I wanted a meal plan, and I wanted a linear path to my previously

my concerns but only because I had gained

I created the Body Positive Alliance at Whitman. I preached self-love, size-inclusivity and anti-diet culture sentiments, but I refused to absorb the messages I spread. I believed that everyone was beautiful and worthy, except me; I didn’t even think I was normal looking, let alone beautiful. For the duration of my sophomore year, I continued to struggle with binge-eating, and after taking a step back from my sport, I struggled to be physically active. The COVID-19 pandemic gave me time to organize my life and eventually get etician, once again attempting “recovery” with the pursuit of weight loss. She gave me a meal plan but taught me something more valuable: balance. ed intuitive eating, which encourages listening to the body and developing a good relationship with food. But I believed I wasn’t capable of changing my mindset surrounding food. Like many people with binge-eating disorder, I struggled with the “all or nothing” mentality; I would insist that I have no cookies, which would later result in me eating all of them, as opposed

or nutritionists; many times when a patient is concerned about their eating habits, primary care physicians will default to the scale for answers, which can invalidate someone’s struggle and worsen the issue. No immediate solution presented itown. Without professional help, I stopped binge-eating — not to regulate my body, binge-eating disorder relapse occurred two months later after not getting the results I wanted, and I fell back into a restrict-andbinge cycle. One month after my initial relapse, I went through an intense restrictive period leading up to a spring break beach vacation. I refused to go out to restaurants, didn’t eat meals with my family and panicked at the thought of certain foods. I often ate as few for larger meals I would have at night. Diet culture instilled in me that food to take pictures at the beach. But no matI felt sick; I was pale, cold and malnourished. I took one picture of myself on that trip and hated it. Diet culture had lied to me. I was formally diagnosed with binge-eating disorder and orthorexia in daily and did strength training three times a week. I continued to binge-eat, compensating for it with exercise, and I eventually lost my period, a common symptom of overexercising. This cycle was routine for me, and I no longer felt like I was suffering. This had become my new normal.

mon ground, but ultimately, I couldn’t commit myself to her suggestions. I was too focused on weight loss.

just a few. eating little throughout the day, followed by extreme hunger at night. I lacked regularity. With a dietician, though, I found the balance I needed. I had a loose meal plan to go along with my intuitive practices, a compromise I was unwilling to commit myself to with my previous nutritionist. One month into recovery, I unfollowed people on social media who made

me feel unworthy and instead followed accounts that inspired me. I’ve been on social media since I was ten years old. I’ve spent hours a day scrolling through images of airbrushed, carefully-posed women and girls, worshipping and envying them. Decreasing my likelihood of comparison removed so many of my negative feelings associated with social media. I got rid of clothing

stagram and proudly show off videos of my bloated stomach on TikTok. I still sometimes feel self-conscious and uncomfortable posing for pictures, but, if I relapse, I know that I’ll have the strength to pick myself back up. Recovery isn’t always linear, but it is possible.

health is a number on the scale. Less than a year ago, there were hardly any pictures of me on my Instagram page. Now, I’m more comfortable posting on In-

graphic by SAMA NTHA RU B

ligence, my kindness, my passion and my courage. None of that depends on whether I have a thigh gap. covery when I feel as if everyone around me is talking about their new diet, workout plan or insecurities. Disordered behaviors are so normalized in our society that we don’t even realize how damaging they actually are. I’ve realized that insecurity is the result of expectations that the diet and cosple make billions of dollars by convincing


I now wasn’t spending comparing myself to others. I started noticing positive differences in how I felt both mentally and physically. I started accepting my body, not necessarily loving it, but not hating it either. Now, I’ve stopped binge eating. When a negative thought surfaces, I make an acly remind myself why I’m recovering: I’m taking back my self-esteem, my physical health, my relationships with friends and family, my enjoyment of life and my ability to do things that I love. For people who suffer from an eating disorder, so many of their thoughts are occupied by food — what they’re eating and how much they’re eating. But when I began buying clothes in the correct size, I realized how much I missed fashion. When I successfully started eating intuitively, I remembered how much joy food can bring. When I began to exercise in moderation, I learned to value moving my body for pure enjoyment. riences with eating disorders and low self-esteem to advocate for societal change regarding body positivity, eating disorder recovery and fashion inclusivity. I expanded the Body Positive Alliance I started at Whitman to allow students, employers and staff at other schools and companies to start their own chapters. I never believed I would recover. I thought that I would either wake up one day with the perfect body or spend a lifetime trying to achieve it. But I came to




by Quentin Corpuel toward senior James Jabara. He hits a shot back that barely lands between the two out lines on one wall of the giant glass box surrounding the impressive shot. The competitors rally until Jabara hits the ball softly off the front of the wall, landing just out of reach of his opponent. It’s only been one point, but the two players look like they’ve run a marathon. a local gym when he was in sixth grade, and from that moment, he was hooked. Jabara was immediately addicted to the game’s fast pace and demand for technical skills, he said. “It’s such a dynamic game,” Jabara said. “You’re in a room and you’re hitting this ball around, so you have to learn all the angles. There’s a ton of footwork involved, there’s a ton of conditioning, and it’s good for you because your heart rate gets really high throughout the match.” played with two or four players, depending on whether it’s a singles or doubles match. While er and bouncier than a tennis ball, and prior to a match, the rubber ball is heated to increase its air pressure, giving it even more bounce. This adjustment ensures that players are able to return shots off the walls more easily. devote several hours of the day to mastering the sport. “He started playing almost every day, studying it and watching championship matches on video to learn how to get better,” John said. James started playing competitively in

ation. Learning hands-on from a professional player inspired James to make the leap to the competitive level, he said. “He’s a crazy player,” James said. “The smooth movements around the court, how fast he was, how perfect his shots were — I’d never seen anything like that before.” is a very lighthearted experience. Competigame, James said. “The ball moves so fast,” he said. “Players are diving all over the court, and it gets kind of crazy.” Once he entered the competitive circuit, day, and weekend practices often exceed two

“There were huge bleachers, including a second story viewing area for people to watch you play,” James said. “There was also live scoring on a big TV above the court. I thought that was pretty cool.”


“It’s an intense sport with very quick movements, the highest levels of physical exertion and no room for error. Add a screaming crowd and prizes, and it’s a great game to watch.” - JOHN JABARA

According to James, the game is much faster when playing adults than when he plays competitors his age. Like any sport, the more you play, the better you become. Footwork, for example, can be the difference between a won and a lost point, he noted. “Once you get to a higher level, it’s really he said. “The ball moves so fast, so you have to establish good footwork habits early on in order to perform well at the competitive level.” The bleachers at competitive tournaments are typically packed with spectators, and crowds play a large factor in the outcome of crowd was on the side of my opponent, so whenever he made a point, the crowd would go crazy,” James said. “That was kind of demoralizing, and it gets in your head. That’s just something you have to deal with.” In addition to playing on the competitive circuit, James has also played for Whitman’s ed out because of COVID-19 concerns. Junior team. said. “Some people fool around, but James is calm and serious and just focused on the match and playing to the best of his ability.” When the coronavirus pandemic upended ly ended, too. While some sports, such as golf and tennis, can be played following social disJames said. “You’re playing in a closed box, so it’s not months.” Despite not being able to play, James has stuck to a fairly serious workout routine over

for sure,” James said. “A lot of colleges have

utes; it can be very entertaining, he said.


movements, the highest levels of physical exertion and no room for error,” John said. “Add a screaming crowd and prizes, and it’s a great game to watch.” conditioning, footwork and mental toughness, James said. “It gets so hard toward the end of matches when you feel like you’re going to throw up sometimes because your heart rate has been so high for so long,” James said. “It’s like, who can stay in there the longest, who can keep calm while still hitting accurate shots.”

great conditioning workouts, and boxing has become an excellent coordination exercise as well, he said. Despite the rigors the sport presents, even when tensions are unbelievably high. “Sometimes, there’s so much pressure on you, almost like there’s a gun to your head,” James said. “But when you win those tough situations with the whole crowd against you, it’s so satisfying.”

Senior James Jabara hits a shot during a squash match. When squash matches reach crunch time, remaining focused while hitting accurate shots can be the difference between winning and losing, he said. photo courtesy JAMES JABARA


Game Development Club offers students an artistic approach appro ach to programming by Andrew Audas meeting of the school year, and the club is holding a competition to see who can create the most realistic-looking donut on Blender, a 3D modeling software used in the development process. After a close competition, senior had created the donut with the best texture and detail. There’s no prize for the winner of this contest, but the competition creates an energetic atmosphere that breaks the ice for new members who were expecting to jump straight into learning how to program. other Whitman students how to program using a new approach: video game development. Video game development involves a combination of programming and modeling to create used in video game development help each club member build upon their basic knowledge of game design and expand their programming skills. “Teaching through game development is the important part of the club since gaming


than other parts of programming since you

development. While video game development

Although a large focus of the club is on the programming component of game devel-

Payot gave way to the interest expressed by the

experience before joining. Video game development is a way to create interest in programsaid. Video game programming may seem complex to beginners, but it’s rather simple when compared to more advanced forms of opment is a fully interactive process for the programmer, unlike most other forms of programming. “Any changes that you make into the code you see directly on the screen, which is really video game programming is more practical.” Originally called the Programming Club, the group’s initial plan was to educate students on the basic skills that are most commonly used in video game programming. Once the whelmed with the number of people eager to learn about the broader subject of video game

The skills involved in video game development allow students to gain experience said. Now, the club also offers more artistic opportunities for those not interested in procharacters, scenes, game levels, music scores and scripts. Payot is currently working on level designs and characters for a horror game, the objective of which is to avoid ghosts that periodically frighten the player throughout each level. Horror games are enjoyable to make since they rely heavily on character and level design to remain interesting, Payot said. “You don’t necessarily need to learn how to code in order to develop games,” Payot said. “I don’t even know how to code, and I’m still in that process of making games.” While Payot, with the help of his team, leads the development of each character and level for the club’s yet-to-be-named horror

Some level designs extend past indoor sets and explore complex open world scenarios. Payot constructed this open world design over the summer.

mechanics — the movement, physics, gravity and controls — and teaching the new programmers. “I expected that when I joined the club, there would be experienced members, but the only people that were experienced with video game development were Ethan and Ben,” Ndashimye said. “I didn’t think we would have this phase of learning and tutorials, but it’s always great to try to get more people involved.” Ndashimye is new to Whitman this fall and experience in game modeling. After following a link that he initially thought was spam sent during one of his Zoom classes, Ndashimye discovered the club and was immediately interested in joining. someone was just playing a prank, but I opened said. “They actually have deadlines and an agenda, so I joined and thought I might be part of something great.” -

club leaders teach members the basics of the members have the basics down, they move into their own games. These games will serve as a foundation for what the group wants to include when the whole club works together during the lish a game on Steam, a free computer gaming platform where users may download and play multiplayer or single player games. The club’s aim is to create games that engage players through stories and interesting er Tetris, where the player must dodge blocks After schools shut down last spring, the lost at the school. However, the team worked hard over the summer to create level and character designs for various types of games that

they could start producing in the fall. Because the club functions online, members are able to progress toward their yearly goal of publishing a game on Steam on their own time, which sets the club ahead of schedule for this school year. As the club evolves in its aim, the artistic aspects of the game have become just as important, if not more so, than the programming aspect, something a lot of people forget when whether it’s brainstorming game ideas or creating characters and scenes like Payot does, game development allows students to exercise their creativity. of expression because as long as you have the Waldman said. “The medium of creating a game is so conducive to expressing yourself and doing what you want.” Students interested in joining the Game Development Club should contact club leaders Ethan Ma at or Ben Payot at


POLITICS OF 2020 by Kaya Ginsky and Mathilde Lambert ACROSS

39. Eligible elector

6. Fibrous material from the phloem of a plant

16. Taiwanese computer company

61. Aim or purpose ligence and Law, abbr.

67. Otorhinolaryngologists, for short 37. “From then, __ ___� 69. Idiots in Australia DOWN the

B&W 3. Word before burn or break 6. Whitman pre-homecoming event Pakistan 9. Cream of ______ (ingredient) 11. Debaters, at times 13. Long ago, archaically







































































Across 1. Unstressed vowel - SCHWA 6. Fibrous material from the phloem of a plant- BAST 10. Word before news, ID, or out- FAKE 14. One leg bone- A HEEL 15. A soldier from the Ottoman Empire- ORTA Ontario, abbr. 16. Taiwanese computer company- ACER 17. The U.S. has an east and west one- COASTS 18. Equal to 133.32 pascals- TORR 33. Harmony of opinion 19. School district next to MCPS- LCPS 20. Letter Careerfollowing politicianBUREAUCRAT 36. alpha 22. Presidential debate outfit- SUIT 23. Nonresident doctor- EXTERN 24. “Minimum” issue for politicians- WAGES 26. Region of Southwestern Germany- SAAR 31


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