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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. theblackandwhite.net. 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


4+$")&-*@A&'($)*+ A$*"-%&'!"#$%&' !"#$"%&-*@A&'($)*+3 K*-'E"$.;"-/'K*$$"'D*"&B+1C6&01"12%+ 0";*6'+"&3%$OC+2$$*& D%1)5+%&'($)*+3 <";'+>$O%&./'+**&"'<5&%P/'0*66*'=2.*& E%F3&'($)*+3 K*-'<,&21@*&/'K*-'K"262-8*&C=%6*-/'AB"'D*B# !@$"$*"&'($)*+3 4*$2-"'J&",3615*&/'0"1@'+19>2&*' =@*+)3&'($)*+3 9")*'<15"-*&/'+2"'J&2*.;"-/'F-.&*M'A"8$* D%1)5+%&;+$)%+3 Q*O-*'F6$"-/'F$*#.26'K"&-*6/'<"65"'K$"@*/'<@#$"&'45"6*-/' L*-."$$'(*".$*#/'=*-"':"-'D**>M*-/'N>*-,2-'4%&H>*$/' ?2$'R3.*;2& E%F3&;+$)%+3 S%*'4"-,%&/'9&"1*'4%&)*,,/':265->'Q"-.2/'+",,5*M'A26-*&/'D2$#' J&**;"-/'4$"2&*'D"-*/'45&26,2"-'D"&6%!@$"$*"&;+$)%+3 !"&"'Q"B%%.2/'T;"-'T$2"6/''4",*'?"B"&&*,*/'F.";'?".2U/' F$*I"-.*&'<15>H"@/'J*$2I'D*%-5"&.,/'+"#"'9%*$;"-/' 4"2,$2-'4%M"-/'9&"1*'4")&"$'/'?"."'J".>$ =@*+)3&;+$)%+3 F-.&*M'F>."6/'="O*'AH6,*2-/'Q"-2*$'+2$$*&/' 0%5-'+19%M"-/'4"2$*#'!5"$;"-/'Q"--#'L%,*$"-6@2 -*#59$3)3 45&26,2"-'(2$$/'(*",5*&'E"-8/'0";*6'+"&3%$OC+2$$*&/'<"&"5'!%-8/' FO6%%-'+%B"5*./'A,5"-'E"8-*&/'AB*'!2,$*)">;/' A$2'G>,-";/'0"1$#-'+%&8"-/'D2-1%$-'G%$"-/'45$%*'D*66*&/' K*$$"'K&%.# 8(G$3%+ =#"-'Q*&*-)*&8*&

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 theblackandwhiteonline@gmail.com. Annual mail subscriptions cost $35 ($120 for four-year subscription) and can be purchased through the online school store.

LE T TER FROM THE EDITORS For one writer, the complex puzzle pieces of her background make her so much more For another, her struggle reconciling her biracial identity and learning to embrace her ChiBut identity goes beyond just ethnicident band “One Way Out” discovered their

to the stars to answer questions about them-

has gained popularity among Gen Z-ers on social media, students have found ways to relate their zodiac sign’s characteristics to their own And for the three of us, working as student journalists on The Black & White for the past two years has been a major part of each of our

Eidolon, a student literary and art publication, provided a space for students to explore their

In what we thought would be an impossible year to do so, our staff worked tirelessly to continue publishing hard-hitting investigative stories and news analyses alongside more

writers used her identity as a hockey fan to both create a stronger relationship with her dad

From uncovering Whitman’s racist roots to demanding more communication from ad-

Many Whitman students have even turned

the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel, about the state of the pandemic, and we tion member Lynne Harris, a consistent advocate for student voices throughout this unusual -

We’d like to thank our supportive adviser Ryan Derenberger, our dedicated editors, our enthusiastic writers and our creative production team for their efforts in producing this mag-

on our time at The Black & White and pass on our journalistic duties to Volume 60’s staff, it’s safe to say that The Black & White will forever


Emily London

Managing Editor

Sammy Heberlee Editor-in-Chief

Holly Adams

Managing Editor



LEFT TO RIGHT: The Eisenberg sisters take on mermaid cupcakes. These cupcakes’ decorations are homemade, and the popular baker Nick Makrides inspired the design. photo courtesy OLIVIA EISENBERG; Featured on the @eisenbergcakesandbakes Instagram page is a pink confetti birthday cake. The business’s Instagram account has amassed almost 500 followers since its launch on Feb. 25. photo courtesy OLIVIA EISENBERG; A writer and her mom on a trip to a China when she was a young child. For the writer, understanding her biracial identity was difficult at a young age, especially when some of her classmates saw her as a white person and others as Chinese. photo courtesy ZOE CANTOR; A cloudy early afternoon sky reflects off of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Freshman Zahra Hamdani snapped the photo, called “Reflected Nature,” in December. photo courtesy ZAHRA HAMDANI; Junior Jake Schaefer, lead guitarist of local band One Way Out, poses for a band picture at District Wharf. One Way Out formed in 2012 at local music school Bach to Rock. photo courtesy Carter Louthian




Cupcakes, Cookies and Cakes, Oh my! Eisenberg Cakes and Bakes is history in the baking Eisenberg Cakes and Bakes doesn’t make Senior Oliva Eisenberg, sophomore Sadie Eisenberg and Pyle eighth grader Lily Eisenberg started the family business to sell cus-



RS SAM NICKE graphic by

Happy y Birthda

“The production of it was really fun for us, because it felt like we were a business,” Olivaged the gifts really nicely and we made larger

sisters showcase their unique creations on their Instagram, @eisenbergcakesandbakes, which

thinking about selling our stuff for a while, and that was the extra push for us to start really

Though they only recently launched their business, the girls had been toying with the

Within a week, the Eisenbergs created an Instagram page, made an ordering form on Google Forms and bought a small amount of initial ingredients, enough to make one large

friends’ birthdays, the Eisenbergs would make beautifully-decorated baked goods, and the girls constantly received compliments, their friends and family urging them to start selling For “Galentine’s Day,” a holiday the day before Valentine’s Day that celebrates friendship, the sisters decided to bake cupcakes and cookies for their friends in the name of platonfrosting and hearts and adorned the packaging with pink bows and a letter that read “Happy Galentine’s Day!” They thoroughly enjoyed the larger-scale baking experience and began to seriously consider starting a business, Olivia


They weren’t expecting the business to take off as quickly as it did, and they wanted to avoid ing the Instagram account to their friends and through their personal social media accounts, The girls take on separate roles in the baking and business processes, playing to their creating the frosting, stacking cakes and icing ing processes and is responsible for inquiries

those jobs, which we usually stick to, we all collaborate and work together to design all of the cakes and cupcakes that we’re going to cusWorking in the kitchen together frequentThe three all have different music tastes, but one type of music reigns supreme on the speaklective favorite, and for the Eisenbergs, it never Customers order through the Google Form link in their Instagram bio, providing at least a three days’ notice for cookies and a week for plete, Olivia will either drop the package off at the customer’s house or place it outside of her Senior Sophie Monroe ordered a blue cake decorated with the phrase “I demand a recount” for her father’s 59th birthday, and the quality of the cake and the simplicity of the ordering

me back a sketch of what they wanted it to look

bake all the time with my other grandma and al-

their house, and the whole process was really recipes with them, and many of the things we sell All orders are customized, like Monroe’s, “Since our cakes and cupcakes are fully customizable, a lot of our customers say ‘surprise me,’ and leave it up to us to design their prodis getting to design the cakes and cupcakes because we always get to try out new things and be The opportunity to use their creativity results in extensive shopping trips to search for frequently leave the store with multiple different The sisters bake using both new recipes and recipes that have been passed down in their famdecorating skills, Sadie said, they’ve also gotten closer to perfecting their recipes in the last “Most of our cakes are recipes that we found on the internet that we’ve tweaked over time,” the past few weeks that we can point out what we While the business takes up a growing part of their daily schedules, the girls still make time on the Whitman Poms team, while Olivia interns for The Fem Word, a digital global storytelling Sadie said, as their separate roles allow them to “We have a calendar on a whiteboard where meetings almost every morning before we get started with the day, and we write down what orders we have and when and if each one of us The Eisenbergs’ love for baking dates back to the minute they could reach the kitchen countdoesn’t remember a time that the girls weren’t interested in whatever their mother or grandmother “They’ve been involved in baking in one form or another as early as they could sit around the table and watch someone make Christmas probably doing more watching and making a can’t count how many ‘Baking Championships’ The girls also love to bake with both of their grandmothers, and the three noted that their love “We go over to one of my grandma’s houses for Christmas and Easter, and every time, we

Sondra Eisenberg, their grandmother on their father’s side, is extremely talented, Lily sisters quickly picked up the processes of meatheir new creations to Sondra for help with per“I do what I do well, but I am nowhere near artistic, and while my stuff tastes good, it doesn’t see them enjoying what I enjoy and sharing that While the girls have always been knowledgeable about baking, starting the business has provided them with new learning experiences outside of perfecting recipes and decorating, Bob “They’re more mindful of budgeting and what ingredients cost –– there’s an awareness of it now –– and they’ve learned a lot about priordown and knock these things out in an hour like jobs are in the pipeline and what parts of each job While the skills that they picked up from lessons are widely applicable and can be useful “They took it upon themselves to create a sort of entrepreneurship will be something they ing a sense of what it takes to make something –– the process, the scheduling –– those are all good life skills, whether it’s in school, in terms of planning appropriately for projects, or in busiLooking to the future, the girls plan on continuing Eisenberg Cakes and Bakes next year, make their business operate seasonally, coordiThey also hope to expand their recipes to include vegan options, before she goes to college, Olivia While it’s been amazing for the girls to be able to turn a passion into a job, Bob said that one of the best things that has come from the business “It’s wonderful to see them working on something together, and there’s never any bickbicker like sisters bicker, but they’re really good to see them baking, planning and having fun with really well together as a team and come together

LEFT: The Eisenberg sisters, (from left) Sadie, Lily and Olivia, decided to start a baking business after encouragement from family and friends. The three each have a separate role in the baking and business processes. TOP TO BOTTOM: The sisters design a custom chocolate peanut butter cake adorned with Reese’s peanut butter cups and homemade frosting. They baked and decorated this cake just a month after starting their business; The Eisenberg sisters take on mermaid cupcakes. These cupcakes’ decorations are homemade, and the popular baker Nick Makrides inspired the design; Featured on the business’s Instagram is a pink confetti birthday cake. The @eisenbergcakesandbakes Instagram account has amassed almost 500 followers since its launch on Feb. 25; This chocolate cake with caramel buttercream was another birthday treat. It was the first time Olivia had worked with caramel buttercream. photos courtesy OLIVIA EISENBERG


Administrators: Keep students informed and connected Prior to March 2020, “normal” meant waking up at 6:45, packing up our backpacks and arriving at school then, we’ve adapted to a new normal, settling into the desk chairs in our bedrooms, sometimes just sitting up to school, we don’t know what “norBecause Montgomery County’s COVID-19 status is ever-changing, nobody can predict what our daily life will be like even a week into the been left partially in the dark about what’s happening behind the scenes at school — how administration will make some of the more subjective decisions for the student body during COVID-19 and beyond, what changes they’re implementing day-to-day based on what they see happening in Even if administration is just as unsure as we are about what comes next in the return to school, we want to hear that news from them, too, and to be updated extensively and as often as possible so that we feel as prepared to adapt to new changes in our learnIt’s undeniable that communication with the entire school becomes

social interaction has been tough for

when the community discusses return-to-school procedures and administrative decisions amongst themselves, the consensus is too often a conglomeration of clipped facts from administrators and hearsay from our community that doesn’t have a clear understanding of what’s happening tive success, in a pandemic where being in the know means staying healthy, depends on open communication between administrators, staff, Beyond alleviating students’ anxiety from uncertainty, administration is missing out on an opportunity to unite the community while we’re has missed out on meaningful relationships that typically grow out of

community, administrators have the power and reach to show students that they aren’t alone in feeling isolated and that the school recognizes can’t gather, administration can provide new, social virtual spaces for students to get the interaction we all Coming together is vital to help students to feel the sense of communievents, drama productions, club gatherings or even when talking to others may go beyond administrators’ job descriptions, they’re what ultimately will set them apart from other educators and align them fully with, instead of partially hidden from, the Whitman Administrators have been working hard to get us back in school and keep us safe, and we’re grateful for

through an extracurricular activity or a class period, our social networks extend beyond our traditional friend

is recognizing their responsibility

The pandemic revealed just how vital this time with our peers at school is, even if we wouldn’t consider many of

mile with transparency and compassion, especially now, when students

great goes beyond doing everything

The absence of these types of

graphic by MAYA WIESE


ro ts OF graphics by LEAH GOLDSTEIN

A dive into the community’s past by Caitlin cowan 9

grainy pictures of football games and outdated

of them — Austin and Stanley — who were

In the 1983 Whitman yearbook, a Confed-

But those same pages also prove that many current issues in the community are hardly

they both lived, one thing stood out: the road to their houses, unlike any around it, wasn’t

In the past few years, there have been several racist incidents causing students and administrators to re-evaluate the culture of hate

“When I think about prejudice, I always thought there were some weird things with county politics and people not treating others

April 2019 — when two students posted selfies of themselves in blackface on Snapchat and included the n-word in the caption — to the drawing of nooses and the n-word on Whitman property in both March and June of 2020, to the more recent discovery of anti-Asian graf-

“My good friends Austin and Stanley lived on

community has demonstrated that prejudice is still very prevalent within the “Bethesda bub-


the past few years, deep into the school’s hisWhitman isn’t alone among schools in having a checkered past, but instead of shaming prejudice, Whitman in part continued to


Paul Cisco (‘77) moved from the western

when he was seven years old, in 1967, during an era that promised a transition toward equalwatched as demonstrators on the National Mall nailed up tents built of plywood and old cloth as part of an ongoing sit-in to demand justice gestion that Americans bring their grievances “I didn’t know what was going on,” Cisa place in Chicago where Thanksgiving was driving out to Grandpa’s house in the counwe had dinner at my father’s eldest brother’s from the Midwest and they were all big Thanksgiving, we were sitting down when my aunt rang a bell and a Black woman came out with a turkey underneath a silver platter and started serving At the time, there were fewer than a dozen Black students attending Whit-

Because smaller incidents of racism were so frequent then, most unaffected students didn’t even notice it, said Jon Rosen (‘77), a school, he did recall that a student had one in the back of his car window — but the display

only road in the county I have ever seen that a symbol of southern heritage, it symbolizes white supremacy and the painful history of what the Confederacy defended their states’ In a 1967 issue of The Black & White, then-B&W reporter Kendra Heymann wrote an opinion article arguing in favor of keeping Whitman’s annual “slave auction” of student leaders, held on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday One student quoted in the article called it

“While everyone understood that the South had a history of prolonged racism, we high school in the ‘70s, you watched the race integrated as we are 45 years from then, so

Heymann recorded criticisms of this event that claimed it was “indecent” and a disgrace she rebutted those criticisms, writing, “if you article highlighted the intolerant environment at Whitman in the 60’s, depicting a culture that brushed off criticisms of blatant and frequent racist traditions as just being oversen14 years after that article was published, two B&W reporters wrote a news story in 1981 about hate in the Whitman community and how in Montgomery County, reports of racial discrimination incidents as of November were The article details swastikas drawn on multiple synagogues from Bethesda to Poolesville and a librarian at a county high school who reported the defacement of several books As a response to the increase in obvious and harmful instances of prejudice in the area, then Whitman administrators in the early ‘80s decided to combat racism through staff leaderConnoley advised her department to deal with racism as it arises in literature, while former history resource teacher Ashby Bryson developed plans to deal with prejudice and hate groups in the community — one of these plans included adding a special group to deal with “There’s no doubt it’s worse this year than any year I’ve been teaching in Montgomery County,” Bryson said in the 1967 article, burning and the desecration of Jewish ceme-




In 1968, Stephen Mitchell (‘71) cheered

professional baseball team, on what seemed a riot had erupted across the city in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, zone” with the National Guard deployed to being one of the scariest experiences of his life and, as a white teenager from Bethesda, it was Then, at a Whitman football game in 1970, he witnessed the reality of racism even closer losses in that season so far, and their next game was against Perry High School, a strong team As the underdogs, Whitman managed to pull “They were the number two ranked team in the area, and we were winning the game,” cause they lost, they started a rumble, and the and started beating up our two Black football others, all of us, just rose to the occasion and In the 50 years since the game, Mitchell “It was not a pretty situation,” he said,


At Whitman, prejudice and racism are still very much apparent in the school’s culture, said sophomore Sophia VanLowe, a Black

“I think a lot of people have become more sensitive and more aware of what’s going on,” comfortable situations like language used in English or history books or articles and it’s uncomfortable because there’s usually only one The Whitman community has been working to combat the racism that students of color school year, Whitman will offer students the opportunity to enroll in its new Leadership dents enrolled and to all students, Whitman will begin running classes in African American History, LGBTQ+ Studies and Women’s StudFor the past two years, Whitman has run its OneWhitman class, a joint effort from administrators and student leaders to hold and encourage conversation as a means of combating then optional during remote and hybrid learn“Everyone’s been working really hard on dents should make an effort to go to it because it’s easier to understand what people are going through when you hear from the perspective of Junior Mady Boyd transferred from Whitman to Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School in 2019 after experiencing the great amounts of intolerance and racial tension embedded in the ly Black people, would hang out together and then white people were in their own bubble,” During her year at Whitman, Boyd was targeted because of her race and dealt with man, some upperclassmen would harass me and call me racial slurs, such as the n-word,” reotypes of Black people, or would make fun of features I have such as my hair or my nose or other features that are mainly seen on Black Junior Austin Mboijana, an active member of the Minority Scholars Program, agreed that the racial climate at Whitman needs major im“It’s an environment of ignorance, and it’s an environment of lack of knowledge and lack of education of the experiences on African Americans throughout this country’s history,” own biases, and then have the desire to be better, have the desire to educate yourself and be

Two archived Black & White articles focus on racism in the Whitman community. The “Area, nation fight hate and intolerance” article, published in 1981, includes the ways Montgomery County tried to combat racism during that time.


My struggle with identity by Zoe Cantor “Are you adopted?” When my mom picked me up from dance rehearsals and swim practices as a kid, so many of my peers would ask me that question, and every time I would reing, so people were often shocked to ry schooler, though, I didn’t understand why people only recognized my appearIn my early childhood, my Lao Lao and Lao ye — my maternal grandparents — lived at home with me and my famlike there was a divide between us, even though the only three words they knew in English were “hello,” “goodbye” and,


started to recognize my white-passing appearance, isolating myself from my Understanding racial identity was some of my classmates saw me as a white person, while others hurled rabegan to lean into my father’s white side more instead of addressing those disparaging remarks, gradually pushing away My mom sent me to Chinese school on the weekends to make sure I kept isolation of being the only white-passing kid in the building — other fully Asian students would stare at me in the hallways, and teachers would baby me —

me an appreciation for black vinegar when she prepared my lunches, and my Lao ye walked me to the playground ev-

I continued school there despite the dif-

When I was six years old, they returned to China, and I felt like I lost a

started to hide away so much of my Chinese half that I couldn’t even see it when

WeChat calls turned into irregular check-ins, and my Chinese skills began to diminish, burning off the last tie I had

they could see the features in my face,

resonate with my father’s Jewish heri-

The world’s perception of me made

I wasn’t “Chinese enough” to embrace The only times I still felt truly connected to my culture were weekend trips with my mom to Asian grocery stores, where we would scope out ethof durian, a large, spike-covered fruit, may make me grimace to this day, but my mom always rewarded my good behavior with Asian treats like Sachima there, always greeted by a melting pot of By the time I started middle school, I had dropped out of the weekend classes and started taking Chinese at Pyle, but even then, people said that I shouldn’t stuck with me, and I refused to let my mom help me with my Chinese homework, motivated not to use any advanThe struggle worsened early last fore school closed in March, a troubled As news of COVID-19 led to an increase in anti-Asian sentiment, it felt easy to hide and rely on my appearance to dodge the racial remarks, but I knew the injustices in our country hurt my

before nationwide COVID-19 restrictions kicked in, my mom showed me a news article of a man who had been attacked in the city because of his Chinese if anyone asked, she was Japanese or Watching parts of my community be attacked because of the spread of the coronavirus enraged and upset me news to see the exponentially increasing headlines plagued with anti-Asian hate crimes, the stomach-dropping feeling Study of Hate and Extremism has found that since the beginning of the pandemic, the Asian American community has seen an increase in hate crimes by nearly My mom didn’t want to go outside, worried about the spike in hate cial Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 77% of Chinese gets of racial discrimination because of

pandemic began, a shooter killed eight innocent individuals at three beauty sapearance, I’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced race-related violence — but I still felt the shooting’s American community, concerned more than anything that the people I loved As time went on, I felt things start to building, and we continued to go groher sense of safety slowly start to return I love my Asian American identity, and I can no longer allow hatred from others to quell my adoration for the difstill take Chinese at Whitman, and I still frequent Asian stores like H Mart and battles for acceptance, both with others and with myself, to come to terms with my individuality, but I know who I am part of my identity — and I wouldn’t

Then, on March 16, a year after the

My family and I on a trip to a China when I was a young child. Understanding my biracial identity was difficult at a young age, especially when some of my classmates saw me as a white person and others as Chinese. photos courtesy ZOE CANTOR

77% of Chinese American mothers were targets of racial discrimination because of COVID-19. 13


with NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines co-chair

!"#$%& '()*$ by Claire Lane


Dr. Henry Masur, director of the Critical Care Medicine Department at NIH, serves as one of three co-chairs of the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. Masur and his colleagues lead a group of approximately 40 physicians and public health experts in writing guidelines regarding treatment of patients with COVID-19. In 1982, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who at the time was spearheading research on the AIDS virus, recruited Masur to his team at NIH. Working together, the pair explored and developed treatments for the novel infections seen in AIDS patients, including HIV. Masur later became chief of the Critical Care Department at NIH in 1989. The department has since published several studies related to sepsis, the safety of the blood supply, microbial diagnostics, emerging infections and pulmonary immunology. Currently, the department’s focus is on caring for patients with COVID-19 and researching new COVID-19 therapies. The Black & White sat down with Masur March 14 to talk about school reopenings, the vaccine rollout and plans for the near future. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. The Black & White: What are your thoughts on kids going back into school buildings — and also in that push, some teachers being forced to return to schools without being vaccinated? Henry Masur: Kids going back to school is a very desirable goal, but is it safe? There are plenty of schools where returning to in-person learning has been safe in terms of the number of cases that have occurred among students and

cialize with friends? HM: I think there can be responsible socialization, which is one of the main can socialize and still be six feet apart, careful and follow the proper protokeeping distance and avoiding crowds B&W: How will new vaccines impact the DMV area? HM: If you look at where school-age children get COVID, they don’t get it

There’s a downward slope in terms of cases per day in this area, and that can be used as a reason to start opening would urge people to be patient rather than premature, but the important thing is to urge individuals to be safe and

going to public places in their commua community, the lower the chance of students getting sick and infecting their

&&&&&&&&&&./"&&&&&&& 01$"&



&&&7/"& &&:"77"$;;;

COVID cases in the community is not extremely high, as long as the students and staff take COVID safety measures sible, the county will have to close the

vaccines are healthy and safe, and it ting vaccinated is the responsible thing to do in order to protect your family,

don’t want to return to school because they are concerned or have underlying medical conditions, schools just need

B&W: Larry Hogan has lifted capacity limits in public spaces such as restaurants and bars. What is your reaction? Do you think he’s acting prematurely? HM: My preference would be waiting

B&W: What do you recommend kids do inside schools? Can they so-

month, there will be around 60 million more people vaccinated, which means there will be a much lower risk of ing patient and waiting for a large number of people to be vaccinated makes nor, if you make everyone angry, peo-

B&W: What is your reaction when you see images of students partying or participating in huge gatherings? HM: They should talk to nurses and doctors who are being exposed to students don’t understand the misery of being sick, and it’s very disturbing that they don’t recognize the consequencthat younger people would be more sophisticated and look at data and understand what the responsible thing to groups, they not only run the risk of getting themselves sick, but getting It’s infuriating, but all we can do is try to educate them and encourage them to B&W: If you could send one message to students who have been in virtual school for a year now, what would you say? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? HM: For a long time, we’ve been hopeful that this disease would dissipate, but we didn’t really have any vaccines and people are getting vaccinated every day, so there’s reason to safe after they’re vaccinated because we don’t know what’s going to happen

we still just need to be responsible so

Dr. Henry Masur sits at his desk at the National Institutes of Health. Masur is one of three co-chairs of the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. photo courtesy HENRY MASUR


REDEFINIG THE “RACE” QUESTION by Tara Davoodi I paused and hovered my cursor over the six checkboxes on my The information gathered from the and ethnic makeup of the country, reapportion seats in Congress and guide leaders in adjusting funds for I answered that question: “What is person 1’s race?” dents to list the races of all members clude white, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian and After some internal deliberation, question, which I had encountered countless times before, still brought up feelings of doubt surrounding my I’m half Sri-Lankan and half Ira“Asian” box since Sri Lanka and Iran are both technically in Asia, but many forms classify Middle Eastern ethnicconnotation of being “Asian” often only coincides with being a descendent of East Asian countries like Chiright to see “Asian” checked in a box It’s still important that we recognize the racial and ethnic makeup of


whether it’s for the census or for colrace is how we begin to deal with inin MCPS, for example, that might mean addressing the higher rates of Black and Latino students arrested by misbehavior being equivalent to that I have to recognize that my heritage and identity are tied together in order to see the obstacles that linkage creThe path forward in addressing complex concepts, with race referring to the broader umbrella of skin color and ethnicity accounting for cultural is certain: we need a more nuanced ethnicity question with more options than Hispanic or non-Hispanic and expanding the existing race question to include those from the Middle East and North Africa region and HispanI’m not alone in feeling like I the “one-drop rule” served as a mistion, asserting that if a person had even one Black ancestor, they were “Black,” according to the governCentral American countries, the opwhite blood, that meant they were result, many people might personally classify themselves differently than

the way the government does even now, exposing an underlying issue with the restrictive and obsolete, yet reau did begin to include an additional ethnicity question, which asked respondents if they were Hispanic, that question is separate from the regular race question, most individuals who fall into these categories end up selecting “other” in the standard race question, propelling “other” to become the third largest racial category In 2010, there was an internal push in the Census Bureau to include Hispanic as part of the primary race agement and Budget blocked the proResults from the Census Bureau’s test project — which grouped a Hispanic and Latino option with the other racial groups — found that the number of white people dropped dramatically, since people of Hispanic origin no longer had to check the of Latinos marked “Latino” or “Hispeople would dramatically drop, the Census Bureau elected against the change, a former Census Bureau emQuestions about race that turn up on the census and other forms also fail to include Arab Americans and people from the Middle East and question effectively erases the identities and experiences of those peo-

question is to gather accurate data to combat discrimination, but we can’t accomplish that if these forms force the MENA group, like Lati-

Without proper demographic information, the government is unable to collect data on the Middle Eastern population or note hate crimes,

form or application and end up at the expected race question, whether I come from a generation comfortable with diversity or not, I’m sure

This unique struggle that Arab Americans and other people of Middle Eastern origin face

ed preconceptions of race will struggle to keep eration yet, and between 2010 and 2020, the population identifying with two or more races increased by 36% — the fastest of any racial group — according to the Population Refer-

will continue to wonder if this is all I am — a single check mark to account for millions of diverse backgrounds and stories, a box that

els through airports, especially when he’s visitInvisibly, in the eyes of the law, people from the Middle East are the same as red-blooded

The reality is, human identities are comWe should celebrate deep histories, racial back-

Other What is person 1’s race? White

“Other” has become the third largest racial category in the country, with the census’ ethnicity question remaining separate from the race question.

Black or African American American Indian or Alaska Native Asian

oth er




1. denoting a person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about 2. further, additional


A write-up of Whitman s literary and arts magazine, The Eidolon

by Aleydis Barnes

Sitting in her backyard, freshman Zahra Hamdani positions a burgundy autumn leaf so that dani raises her phone and composes her shot, angling the lens so that one tree with yellow-tinged branches crosses from the left and another with green branches ar-

moment for the image to focus, and After showing the image to friends and family, Hamdani submits her work to a publication where many more will be able to view and appreciate it: Whitman’s 54-year-old student-run literary “I take photos that either inspire me or that I think tell a story, not just to me, but for others,” experience that with me, the beauNamed after Walt Whitman’s poem, “Eidolons” — which explores the permanent and yet ever-changing nature of artistic

creation — the magazine encourages student self-expression and individuality by featuring student year, The Eidolon has focused on creating an online presence by publishing submissions to its website and will produce one mini physical magazine set to be published Eidolon’s social media director and contributor, junior Isabel Ostheimer, said that the magazine motivates her to pursue creative “I love writing, and I’ve always wanted to share it, especially since I’m proud of my work,” Osreally get an opportunity, so I’m remember I have somewhere to put my writing, I have people who can see my writing, and that inspires me to take time out of my day to For senior art contributor Madison Zhao, the magazine offers a space to share her paintings with -


ly, Zhao has experimented with more non-traditional work, including her foray into vibrant and abstract landscapes — a departure from her previous real“When I started getting more abstract with my work, I was like, ‘Will people like this as much as my realistic Eidolon is so open to all artists and all styles is great because art shouldn’t be this very competitive, rigid thing that The opportunities that the publication in artistic pursuits such as music, dance, visual art and drama are linked to increased productivity and higher grades in school, a 2019 study from the George Mason University Arts ReSurveys completed in 2016 by ganization dedicated to sustaining arts overwhelmingly support the impleof Americans believe education in the according to USA Today, experts now the pandemic on school budgets nationwide, art-focused classes are at risk of future, as some consider them to be less In light of this, Eidolon’s capacity as a act with art in a community outside of the classroom is more important than ever, said Eidolon sponsor and English Glass values the magazine for its role as an outlet for students to exper-

iment with creative writing, a focus which tends to be overlooked in Whit“Creative writing and art allow for self-expression and for exploration of structures or forms that are intriguing writing is every bit as important as analytical or argumentative writing and should be given as much weight in the Former Whitman English, journalism and creative writing teacher Louise Reynolds, who’s now retired, served “There are kids who write every enough opportunity in school for creneeds to be an opportunity for students to share that writing, to say, ‘Look at what I can do!’ An arts magazine is something that is a physical product, and it’s sharing a product to be proud

LEFT TO RIGHT: Freshman Gwendolyn Wiley contrasts aged bones with a soft pastel blue background in a piece featured on The Eidolon’s website. The arts and literary magazine has focused on creating an online presence this year. artwork courtesy GWENDOLYN WILEY; Peering down at viewers, butter-yellow buildings in Lisbon, Portugal, split the frame of junior Felipe DeBolle’s photograph, which is showcased on The Eidolon’s website. DeBolle snapped the picture while he walked with his family over the summer. photo courtesy FELIPE DEBOLLE; Brightly painted watercolor grapefruits adorn a delicate porcelain plate. Junior Sydney Spottiswood decided to complete the piece during lockdown, later submitting it to The Eidolon’s website. artwork courtesy SYDNEY SPOTTISWOOD; Freshman Zahra Hamdani poses an autumn leaf in her backyard. The photo is featured on The Eidolon’s website. photo courtesy ZAHRA HAMDANI; A cloudy early afternoon sky reflects off of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Hamdani snapped the photo, called “Reflected Nature,” in December. photo courtesy ZAHRA HAMDANI; Softly painted oranges and yellows warm the depiction of an evening at the Uncle Julio’s restaturant at the RIO Washingtonian Center. Senior Madison Zhao’s exploration of a vibrant and abstract style can be found on The Eidolon’s website. artwork courtesy MADISON ZHAO.

As the end of her senior year approaches, Zhao said she will cherish the artistic community she has found “Just being able to see all of the other artists’ work is really nice because — especially if you’re at Whitman and you don’t have the freedom in your schedule to take an art class — it can be really hard to see the artwork of year, without that, I think Eidolon has been really nice and just been a way to see students still creating artwork even Lily Freeman, Editor-in-Chief for The Eidolon, currently serves as a news writer on The Black & White.

graph ic

s by E




Lynne Harris WHERE brings ARE THE student voices STUDENTS? to the BOE

by Tara Davoodi Working as a trauma center nurse in the late ‘80s, Montgomery County Board of Education member Lynne Harris learned how to

said, never knowing what was going to come yer, she learned how to prepare and study every al Counsel at the Department of Justice, Harris mastered the argumentative arts of writing and winning simply by knowing her cases better health, Harris learned how to identify solutions by partnering with communities and looking at Straddling several careers might not seem like the typical background for an MCPS BOE member — but her different experiences are what Harris believes makes her so uniquely poised to advocate for the over 160,000 stuHarris, the newest member of the board’s at-large seat, decided to run out of a desire to help with the changes MCPS would cember 2019, former BOE member Jeanette Dixon announced that she wouldn’t be seeking the time, the county was at a tipping point, as issues regarding the MCPS-conducted boundary analysis — which would analyze the current school boundaries based on diversity, school capacity and student proximity to schools — While many opposed the initiative, students were at the forefront of the advocacy for ognized the importance and power of student voices, and she wanted to make sure their ideas


“I didn’t think I would see any other candidates coming forward who knew and truly valued what students bring to the table when it comes to all of our problem-solving, poli“It was about time that somebody stepped up to that board table and said in every conversation, ‘Where are the students?’” Part of Harris’ core platform is contingent on the voices of students, whom she includes in her campaign, Harris assembled a group of stuteer program, which spread Harris’ message at different locations across the county leading up meets with students regularly to discuss MCPS Harris never does anything without consulting her student intern team or student advisory board, said MCPS parent Gillian Heubner, who served with Harris on the Montgomery County Council of PTAs and worked on her

Harris also has her own student advisory board, a relatively new initiative that allows any MCPS student to talk to her one-on-one about issues or concerns they may have, and has an entire section on her website dedicated Wootton High School junior Ellie Cowen, who “She was one of the most approachable know how to get involved with the others, and I agreed with a lot of her platform, which is and student advocacy in 2010 when she was PTA of her son’s elementary school, one of the dents and parents to become more knowledgeable about the school system as a whole, so she started tuning in to the community through the

“She always makes sure that she’s grounding her positions based on student feedback,” or at the board table is very noticeably different

Vice President of Advocacy for the MCCPTA,

Albert Einstein High School senior Luca Utterwulghe, one of the leaders of local climate advocacy group MoCo Students on Climate, worked closely with Harris while advocating

That’s when Mark Eckstein, chair of the

2019, MoCo Students on Climate was planning a rally, and through the contacts Harris gave the group, Utterwulghe was able to connect with “Lynne is always super resourceful,” Utopportunities for newcomers is really import-

After serving in that role for three years, she

the time, and he wanted to know if the MCCPone he asked seemed to know if one existed, he said, but Harris shared Eckstein’s concern proposed that Eckstein chair the new commit“No one thought we could pull it off, since not every school district was doing a

“But she was very insistent with senior leadership When she decided to make the move to the BOE, Harris embarked on a largely virtual campaign, which long campaign against 12 other candidates in the primary — the highest number in the history of the didates resorting to fearmongering and name-calling, but Harris prides herself on being a candidate who “I’m so proud of the way that we ran that campeople who I trust and people who are issue-area exSome of Harris’ priorities, especially as MCPS schools reopen, include addressing environmental health issues, improving indoor air quality and implementing safe disinfecting practices in school tion from students and teachers alike, as MCPS data shows that they disproportionately arrest Black and Latino students despite those students’ misbehaving tices, Harris said, are at the crux of both the SRO As a BOE member, Harris wakes up every mornly decentralized body, unlike the County Council or state government, she doesn’t have her own staff or sues with PTA members she’s met over the years and

include developing the summer school program and deciding how to use Congress-appropriated stimulus Even though her job is far from easy, Harris constantly looks to student activists and leaders for “These kids are working to improve a system County, our students are uniquely empowered and

graphic by MAYA WIESE


“I DONT EVEN KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE NEXT DOOR TO ME” Whitman alumni navigate the ups and downs of a unique college freshman year




by Kendall Headley

ic b y SA MA NT


school, Marr didn’t feel comfortable breaking the restrictions and hanging out in groups, even stores and think, ‘Oh whatever, I’m young, I’ll

grap h

and didn’t want to put myself or others in dan-

After completing her mandatory two-week quarantine prior to starting in-person classes, Becca Marr (‘20) sat by herself in her New she arrived on campus in the fall, she was alfound herself alone, overwhelmed and lost on even now Marr isn’t allowed to leave her door open, have other people in her room or spend outside of her building is stepping into the heart


Alex Silber (‘20) experienced a different at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Silber appreciated the distance his school “It was so easy to be so isolated,” Marr allowed in dorm rooms, and Marr lived withpended, and Marr attended all of her academic classes via Zoom, with the exception of her vi-

eryone was required to show one negative test before coming on campus and one negative test pretty good COVID bubble because not many

“It was really extreme because it’s in Man-

Lehigh imposed less extreme restrictions on student activity, keeping campus restaurants graduate class size of 5,178 is considerably

already so high, so the administration wants to

implement these more lenient restrictions, Sil-

Although many college students still met

However, there were still COVID-19

dorm buildings, it was really helpful to have so Despite these rules, Lehigh made an effort to compensate for the lack of the usual two-week freshman orientation by hosting outdoor movie

really clicked with a lot of the people on my

a dorm room without consequence, providing Silber many opportunities to make friends, he

The weather in Georgia stays on the warmer side throughout the year, averaging in the mid-50s in the winter months, and Colonna found that the warm weather made it easier to socialize with people while still following the

“When it was warmer, Lehigh had movies out on our front lawn, and they had food trucks “Now that the weather’s getting better, they’re planning on trying to do more in-person outBut during the winter, Pennsylvania’s harsh weather limited what opportunities remained for social interactions and provoked

were kind of the only people we were seeing

“There have been tons of things outside, like picnics, hanging out on the quads and going to Lake Herrick, which is right near camthings all year, and it’s so much easier to meet people that way so we aren’t breaking restric-

“We aren’t allowed to go in other dorm buildings, so thankfully I had friends in my dorm who I could go hang out with when it

While Colonna and her peers at UGA have found ways to socialize while following re-

in other buildings became a bit loose with re-

“The time management portion was really hard for me because a lot of my classes are

because interaction is such a key aspect of hu-

“It feels like you’re teaching yourself the content, and you have to stay on top of all of your assignments or projects with no one reminding

Silber contracted COVID-19 on campus earlier this year and was required to quarantine an apartment complex that Lehigh converted to a designated space for students who had tested his dorm, but the lack of medical attention con“Every day in the morning, they sent me breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I had my own room with a kitchenette, shower and bathroom doctor at the beginning, asking how my health was, but then I didn’t get any calls or check-ins help, but no one took initiative to check up on At Lehigh, only the freshmen were invited freshman himself, Silber saw advantages and “A big positive is that every single person I see, I can assume they’re freshmen, and that weeks because I could walk up to any single disadvantage, though, is that Lehigh is a smallsized school, with 5,200 undergraduate stuMadison Colonna (‘20) had a similar experience at University of Georgia –– a much larger university of 29,765 undergraduate stuprovided more opportunities for her to make cluded a one-visitor limit in dorm rooms and social-distancing guidelines in most of the “The dorms at UGA have a lot of students, and because we weren’t allowed to go in other

Tess Cohen-Dumani (‘20), a freshman at Miami University, has also struggled with the hen-Dumani found that the postponement of in-person college brought many challenges, “With the beginning of college being online, there was no in-person help, no preparation –– I had no idea what I was doing,” for different clubs and events were all online, which made it harder to immerse myself in the During her second semester, Cohen-Dumani found a more normal sense of community the almost exclusively Zoom-run rushing process, she still had a personalized experience, deciding where to pledge by having extensive one-on-one conversations with girls in various make friends despite the tough restrictions and and meet so many new people in my grade opened up so many new doors, and the friends On the other coast, Mateo Gutierrez (‘20), a freshman at the University of Southern Cali-

Like Cohen-Dumani, Gutierrez feels as though having classes entirely online has caused him “The one thing that I really don’t like with Zoom classes is that there’s minimal interaclot of the time, you make friends with people in classes because of group projects or study groups, and because of Zoom, no one can talk it’s just very awkward because no one wants Despite USC’s elimination of on-campus housing, Gutierrez decided to move to CaliforLiving there has given them freedom, but it’s still hard to connect with other students, he “It’s a lot different than dorms because regular people also live in these apartments, so you can’t just go and knock on anyone’s door cial media has been a big help because you can connect with other students and form networks can hang out outside in the courtyards and play spikeball, and there aren’t any enforcements of Like in Georgia, Southern California’s warm weather allows Gutierrez to socialize ment also allows him easy access to urban areas near USC like Hollywood, which is around “To have places to meet up and go eat “There’s even a big GroupMe for USC students There were tons of pictures of people spread out or walking around with masks on, socialIn a year dominated by Zoom-led college orientations, Colonna advises current high school upperclassmen to learn about the envi“Take advantage of those online tours and dent tours or vlogs and reach out to people who go to the schools you’re interested in to get a know any seniors or upperclassmen, even if While Cohen-Dumani recognizes that administration and students, adaptation and communication have made this school year the best it can be given the current conditions, she “This year was almost the opposite of what you would expect for a normal college everyone at Miami are trying to make things

allowed a limited number to return to certain


“Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini”: Astrology breaks through with teens by Sasha Blake is a Gemini, a zodiac sign astrologists and their followers often characterize as lively, expressive and charming — an accurate encapsulation lie or being too loud, my excuse is usually that I’m a Gemini — I can’t Although justifying patterns of behavior with an astrological sign may seem bizarre to some, astrology remains very popular among port, almost 40% of Gen Z-ers and Millennials reported turning to asastrology functions on spiritual intuition and personal experience, using the positions and movements of celestial bodies to explain human afAccording to those who subscribe to it, astrology can explain hutrology, the zodiac — the sun’s path over the course of a year — is composed of twelve such signs, all of which occupy a certain ring of area in the sky and correspond to the constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius pinpoint the location of each planet at the exact moment of your birth,


part of a person’s personality, leading to a complex chart with up to moon sign controls emotions and the rising sign indicates external pre“My moon placement is Cancer, which says a lot about how I han-

Bazan started learning about his zodiac sign through TikTok, and as astrology-related TikToks began to overpower his feed, it was easy “I started seeing videos about birth charts, and I was even more

videos about what signs I’m compatible with or what signs I should Ashley appreciates the surge of astrology content on social media, she said, because it provides the opportunity to learn more about and “Now on Snapchat, there’s an option that shows you everyone’s zo-

a compilation of studies on astrology that each attempted to verify asbelievers, their zodiac sign remains an accurate representation of their it’s a coincidence, but I also think a lot of people are exactly like their Others, like senior Lucas von Keitz, simply can’t get behind astrol“I don’t think the month you were born determines anything about There’s a psychological explanation for the large astrology followof a person’s sense of self and allows for introspection, as The Atlantic reported in 2018 when considering the strong resonance astrology has Though junior Mira Kisslinger doesn’t believe in astrology, she “My friends are always talking about why they like certain signs kind of funny because they’ll make assumptions about people based on Regardless of belief in astrology, it can be an interesting way to “Even if people don’t buy it, I love trying to persuade people and point



Hockey created an

unbreakable bond

between me and my dad BY CAILEY THALMAN

I still remember everything about the night the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup morial Plaza to watch the historic game on a the Golden Knights in Las Vegas, but the energy across the country on Pennsylvania Avenue After what felt like the longest ten seconds of the game, the clock hit zero and the entire eryone was undeniably happy, celebrating the I turned to my dad and saw his expression

physical aspects of hockey as well as the general environment of the rink — the sound of sticks clashing against the ice, the extremely

different players’ strengths and weaknesses and Hockey became the highlight of every week not only because I anticipated watching my team play, but also because of the time it let We would park at a garage two blocks from Capital One Area, arrive at the arena two minutes before the doors opened and get the spot down in section 120 next to the Caps’ bench, the warm-up, we would get on the escalator to

I fell in love with watching hockey when

honey mustard and sit in seats eight and nine in

game in 2007, and, although at the time I didn’t know much about the actual game, I had a

But the most important step in our routine happened during the game, when my dad and I had the chance to talk not only about hockey, but about where I wanted to go to college, any recent atrocities in politics and my plans for the

glass surrounding the rink, I loved the electric season tickets ever since, allowing me to attend As I learned more about how the game worked, I grew to appreciate the fast pace and


Given both of my parents’ full-time work


unique opportunity that I didn’t get all the time at home: to catch up with my dad and spend sport together and discuss anything and everyFamily bonding aside, watching hockey helped cultivate my interest in sports in genquestionable trades, bad referee calls, players on bad spells and the performance of the penalty kill helped me realize what I’m passionate I discovered how many opportunities there are to turn this raw passion into something that It was an automatic relief to know that I had applicable interests and talents, even if I had ey, and my dad, helped me discover what I am truly interested in, and I will forever be grateful Most importantly, the opportunity that hockey has given me to further my relationship with my dad is something for which I could shared bond like that to open up, and I’m glad that one day I can use hockey, sports or any other interest to develop that same close rela-

One Way Out rocks the D.C. music scene

artwork courtesy Geist Topping


by Alex Schupak close in June 2019, the energy of summer for now-junior Jake Schaefer, lead guitarist of local band One Way Out, freedom had ranged to take their last day of ninth grade off to start a musical road trip, eager to per“Just to be in a truck, on the way to Schaefer said, “it’s


just learning to do math yesterday, and now I’m

my was

practices at Bach to Rock, no one went because we all had baseball or whatever we “No one was there to pick a name, so they

The band debated different names for Out” at the recommendation of bandmate and drummer Geist Topping, a current freshman at Rhode Island School of Demusic was their “one way out,” the band In 2016, they decided to leave Bach to Rock, feeling a fresh sense of indepenquickly got to work on their debut EP, “Black & Rock greats such as Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin influenced the sound of the EP, Schaefer said, and those bands continue to inThe group’s mentor Rob Wolk, a music teacher they found online, helped shape their “He did the mixing

playing That was just sort of One Way Out’s performing The band formed in 2012 after Schaefer’s parents, as a birthday gift, signed him up for music lessons at Bach to Rock, a local muhim to a group with two other young musia few years, the group — initially dubbed “Ferrari ” — had recruited a drummer and


Their EP “Black & White” debuted then, One Way Out’s musicianship has sigrecord, “Cosmic Beat,” which came out in 2019, the band changed recording locations to Ivakota, a studio on Capitol Hill, conveniently located at a walking distance from “Cosmic Beat” became their debut studio album, showcasing much greater songwriting collaboration between members ally, Ivakota gave them a completely new process of recording that consisted of layering multiple sessions of instruments, vocals “We were really just getting in the weeds with different things and different effects to give it a different sound,” Schaehave to create something that wouldn’t necshifted from primarily classic rock into oth-

from hip-hop to musical theater, the instrumentals take inspiration from Schaefer and Topping’s shared love of blues and rock and

that contemporary artists such as King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall and Tame Impala are also in frequent rotation Although recording is a crucial part of their creative process, for the band, nothing compares to the experience of performing

“He moved to LA to pursue music right after we released FaceTiming him pretty regular-

One Way Out really thrives on stage, Gaba said, standing in contrast to strictly

Although there wasn’t much extra production on the EP, the band believes their -

at Union Stage, DC9 Nightclub, Tally Ho Theater, Rock & Roll Hotel and a number

“Creating our own music, recording it, mixing it, mastering it and releasing it — we [managed] that on our own,” said lead vocalist Josh Gaba, a senior at Georgetown us at a very young age — like, ‘Wow, we

perform with other bands and have become good friends with groups much older than “Until the pandemic hit, we were going to shows every other week, just meeting

During their summer 2019 tour, One Philadelphia alongside Philadelphia-based rock group Soraia, who have opened for Bon Jovi and worked with Steven Van Zanwere put on the same bill at a venue in College Park, but soon, One Way Out was “I could see the raw talent and the hunger and the desire in the group,” Soraia’s

At the release party of “Cosmic Beat” at Rock & Roll Hotel on March 8, 2019, Soraia, as well as the bands Black Dog Prowl and Unsullied, played alongside One

writi n g lyrics and me and Geist writing the music,”

of shows, there’s sort of this high, like, ‘Oh

“With coronavirus, that shifted a little bit because we all can’t be in the

These other bands have helped One Way Out learn the ropes of live perfor-

Schaefer would create a demo track in his own house and then send it to the en- tire

“We owe everything to bands like Soraia, Black Dog Prowl and Bluewreck,”

would layer different instruments and

that — these are the people who walked us

able to get together to practice again, every member brought something new to the song that changed it for the better, Schaefer

“It was really cool to have all that ener-

cording studios, One Way Out is incredibly self-reliant, said Rob Schaefer, Jake’s

“Me recording ten different tracks in my attic isn’t going to sound the same as

“The parents, we really never get in-

inevitably a different song when we’re all

in our attic, but beyond that, we’re not in-

For the past year, this creative process has been leading up to One Way Out’s

COVID-19 has brought major challenges for the band, as well as the live closure of many music venues, One Way Out couldn’t perform for months, until an opportunity arose last September for a COVID-safe outdoor performance at Jam“It’s sort of weird to see everybody so-

to be the same as live performances where everybody is packed like sardines, but I The pandemic has also affected One

been affecting us personally,” make this record about seeing the whole of things as opposed to just the good or the Although many of the members have graduated from high school or are about to graduate, Schaefer is still optimistic about “This fall, at least three of our members will be in different cities,” Schaefer go on with our lives, but we feel like this Gaba shared a similar sentiment on

“I’m incredibly excited to show ev“We’re constantly evolving, we’re conFor their upcoming record, the band experimented with different sounds, branching into the genre of spacey psyelectronic musical instrument, created “out-of-this-world” electronic harmonies, while Schaefer used the metal end of a screwdriver to brush the strings of his guitar, lending to some of the album’s distinct

pandemic, the band would meet once a

Additionally, the band has incorporated their pandemic experiences into the lyrics of their upcoming record, most notably

“For the most part, it’s Josh and Geist

“We write a lot about things that have

LEFT TO RIGHT: Guitarist Jake Schaefer performs at the release party for One Way Out’s debut album, “Cosmic Beat,” at Rock & Roll Hotel in D.C. photo by ALEX SCHUPAK; Singer Josh Gaba poses in a band picture at District Wharf. photo courtesy CARTER LOUTHIAN; Schaefer rocks out at Union Stage on Feb. 28, 2020. photo courtesy ALEC BERRY; Gaba sings during a live performance at Rock & Roll Hotel. photo by ALEX SCHUPAK; Drummer Geist Topping poses for a picture at District Wharf. photo courtesy CARTER LOUTHIAN


AWARD SEASON by Kaya Ginsky and Mathilde Lambert ACROSS



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Answer questions online and complete a virtual interview about substance use and related issues Everything is done on your own devices Answers kept confidential (not shared with parents/others) and fluent in English Participants must be aged Must have used nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs

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