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THE PARKER WEEKLY Merry Thanksgiving !!

Volume CVIV, Issue 4



Saslow Discusses Book About Transformation of A Former White Nationalist

Actor and Author Hill Harper Presents at Morning Ex

By Molly Taylor



eady to talk about racism?” This was “The New Yorker” writer Andrew Marantz’s first question for Eli Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize winning “Washington Post” reporter and author, at the November 6 Chicago Humanities Festival event. In Parker’s Heller Auditorium, Saslow discussed his latest book, “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of A Former White Nationalist” in conversation with Marantz. “Rising Out of Hatred” tells the story of Derek Black, the son of white nationalist leader Don Black and godson of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. As a kid, Derek was homeschooled because his parents wanted to isolate him from racial and ideological diversity in public schools. He spent his youth attending white nationalist conferences. By the time he was 11-years-old, Derek had created a “white pride” website for other children. “Derek existed within the bubble of this racist world,” Saslow said. As he grew older, Derek worked to redefine the “branding” of the white nationalist movement on the internet. “He convinced his father and David Duke to scrub Stormfront, the massive white nationalist online community that they’d built, of racist slurs and to take down some of the Nazi ensignia,” Saslow said. “Instead he tried to talk about this issue in a way that would market to white people who still hold on to the false idea of white grievance, promoting a terrifyingly mainstream and insidious racism.” Derek used his “mainstream racism” tactic to appeal to voters while campaigning for a seat on the Republican Council of West Palm Beach at only 19-years-old. “He’d say things like ‘Isn’t it too bad that there are so many signs around in Spanish now in our neighborhood?’” Saslow said. “He would spread these false, racist ideas and stereotypes without announcing himself as a racist. In that manner, he got elected.” Seeing that he would need to continue his education to advance the white nationalist movement, Derek enrolled at the New College of Florida in his early twenties. However, according to Saslow, the college

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November 25, 2019

Lincoln Park Neighbors protest outside of Parker’s Middle School Open House. Photo by Celia Rattner


LP Residents Protest Potential Parker Expansion


By Celia Rattner

ith colored signs reading “Stop taking our homes” and “Parker stay in your lane,” among other phrases, approximately 15 adults and three children stand before Parker’s iron gates, chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Parker leave our homes alone,” “Six acres is enough,” and “No means no.” Some hand out paper flyers to passersby, and the occasional car honk elicits a cheer from the small crowd. At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday November 9—the same time as Parker’s Middle School Open House—a crowd of Lincoln Park residents gathered in front of Circle Drive to protest Parker’s acquisition of several condominiums in the 300 West block of Belden Avenue. Another protest followed the next Saturday, outside of Parker’s Upper School Open House. “Parker secretly bought condominiums in our building, and they are planning to take over our building” Daniel Silvoy, who has lived with his family in his Belden condominium for a year, said. “As I understand it, they purport to be a model democracy, and a model democracy, in my view, is one that approached their neighbors transparently.” Silvoy says that Parker did not do this. Principal Dan Frank ‘74 denies any allegations that Parker has been secretly acquiring property on Belden. “We’re as clear as can be,” Frank said. “We only respond to people who are interested in us. We’re a deeply embedded and important part of this community for more than a century, and we want to conserve and keep those vital qualities that make this neighborhood a thriving environment for people.” The protest follows a series of speculations of Parker’s potential northward

expansion, ignited by a “Chicago Tribune” article published July 31. The article detailed how Parker offered more than $20 million to purchase two residential buildings on Belden: $11.2 million for Belden by the Park and $9 million for the adjacent 19-unit building at 317-325 W. Belden, as told by residents of the buildings. In an email sent to the school and neighborhood community on August 8, Frank emphasized how Parker is “responding on a case-by-case basis basis to solicitation we have received” and “Parker is not and has no intention to purchase any other properties, including the Shakespeare Apartments, or any of the town houses on the 300 block of Belden.” Parker became interested in the Belden property last spring, according to Frank, after neighborhood residents initiated a conversation with the school. Yet, many of the protestors from March insist that Parker is covertly buying the Belden condominiums. “One of the things that I think is important to remember, too, is that Parker did not do this on the up and up,” Jerry Savoy said. Savoy has lived in in the 327333 Belden condominiums with his family for a year, said, “they secretly acquired properties in order to get a foothold in the building, and by doing so, they effectively prevented us from marketing our apartments for sale.” The “foothold” Savoy is referring to is Section 15 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act. This law states that, if the owners of units representing at least 75% of the units in a condominium association vote to sell the entire condominium, then all the individual condominium owners must sell

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By Julia Marks

man in black jeans, a black sweater, and white and black sneakers crouches on the auditorium stage. With a microphone in hand, award-winning actor and author Hill Harper rises and enthusiastically skips across the stage. With his arm around students in the audience, he smiles and loudly proclaims how we are all “active architects of our own life.” On Friday, November 1, Harper presented during Morning Ex in addition to being the keynote speaker at the Young Men of Color Symposium on November 2. During Harper’s presentation, he explained the steps to becoming “active architects of our own life.” “The main goal is fundamentally that they are in control of their life, and no matter how young or how old they are, it’s their life, they have agency, they have power,” Harper said. “Often times young people are told that they don’t have agency, which boggles my mind, and that’s why I think there’s a lot of frustration in education. Because they are not even told why they’re studying.” Junior and Men of Color Heritage Alliance (MOCHA) Head Angel Bustamante enjoyed Harper’s enthusiasm. “I thought the MX was great, and I liked the way he expressed his ideas,” Bustamante said. Harper’s method for achieving this takes place in four steps, all compared to similar steps in the construction of a building. The first step is to create a blueprint of one’s goals in life. “Over the course of your life, you will continuously be making modifications to that blueprint or that plan,” Harper said. The second step is to build a foundation in education. “I think education fundamentally is that piece that is so important,” he said. The third step is the framework, making choices that align with one’s blueprint, and the last step is building a door. “Doors open up,” Harper said. “And we need to open ourselves up to new ideas and new information.” During the Morning Ex, Harper pulled students from the audience up to the stage to answer questions as part of the presentation. One of these students was Junior Matthew Garchik, who was asked to explain the final step, building a door. While some students

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“The Weekly” is supported by an endowment created in memory of Brad Davis ‘98 “Weekly” Staff ‘96-’98, “Weekly” Editor-in-Chief ‘97-’98


Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Associate Editor Online Editor Online Editor News Editor Features Editor Opinions Editor Photo Editor Sports Editor Culture Critic Culture Critic Columnist Columnist Columnist Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor

Avani Kalra Alex Ori Ian Shayne Paige Shayne Molly Taylor Zach Joseph Nick Skok Julia Marks Celia Rattner Ava Stepan Anna Fuder Oliver Marks Abri Berg Leila Sheridan Lindsay Carlin Grayson Schementi Matthew Turk Jacob Boxerman Lauren Hughes Tess Wayland Gabe Wrubel

In Issue Three of “The Weekly,” we identified the group demonstrating at the Climate Strike as the “Green Team.” Only two of the members featured are part of the “Green Team,” Raven Rothkopf and Molly Taylor. The others simply attended the protest, and are unaffiliated with the “Green Team.”

Letter From The Editors Hi Parker! Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are all excited to gorge on Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and looking forward to your two-and-a-half days off (we know we are). In your free time the next few days, we encourage you to take a look at some of the journalism we’ve produced for this issue. Be sure to check out Tess Wayland’s article on the Athletic Department, along with Sam Graines’ article on NaNoWriMo and Abri Berg’s on David Alex’s new play. We’ll be back at 12 Days, so hang in there for the home stretch! Stay warm, and save us some pumpkin pie :) Love, Ian, Avani, and Alex <<<333

The Editorial Board of “The Parker Weekly” consists of the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Associate Editor, News Editor, Features Editor, Opinions Editor, and Online Co-Editors.


Abri Berg ‘20 Lindsay Carlin ‘20 Avani Kalra ‘20 Oliver Marks ‘20 Alex Ori ‘20 Celia Rattner ‘20 Ian Shayne ‘20 Paige Shayne ‘20 Ava Stepan ‘20 Molly Taylor ‘20 Matthew Turk ‘20 Zach Joseph ‘21 Rosey Limmer ‘21

Julia Marks ‘21 Lilly Satterfield ‘21 Grayson Schementi ‘21 Nick Skok ‘21 Gabe Wrubel ‘21 Jacob Boxerman ‘22 Sofia Brown ‘22 Tess Wayland ‘22 Emma Manley ‘22 Sam Graines ‘23 Eli Greenwald ‘23 Alya Satchu ‘23 Eden Stranahan ‘23

contributing faculty Faculty Advisor Faculty Advisor

Kate Tabor Eric Rampson

Quote of “The Weekly” Thanksgiving? When is thankstaking? - Max Antoniou

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Photo Gallery

Hill Harper onstage with freshman Peyton Pitts. Photo by Anna Fuder.

Young men of color at the Saturday 2nd conference. Photo courtesy of Ava Ori.

Ruth Jurgensen speaking to other administrators of color. Photo by Ava Ori.

The set of “The N-Word,” David Alex’s new play. Photo courtesy of Jared Saef.

Protesters gather outside of Parker’s circle drive. Photo by Celia Rattner.

Sarah Vowell smiles for the camera. Photo courtesy of Jared Saef.

Have something to say about what was published in this issue of “The Weekly”? Email our Managing Editor at and write a Letter to the Editors to be published in our next issue!

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YOUNG MEN OF COLOR SYMPOSIUM Hill Harper Gives Keynote Speech at Second Annual Event By Ava Stepan

O n S a t u r d a y, N o v e m b e r 2 , approximately 130 young men of color from various independent schools across the United States found themselves in the blue cushion seats of the Heller Auditorium, anticipating a day of vulnerability and dialogue about topics which are seldom at the forefront of their typical classroom environments. With months of preparation leading up to this date, information about the conference had been disseminated through social media, word of mouth, and to schools with which Parker has direct affiliations, such as the Illinois High School Association’s Independent School League. The Symposium began promptly with a presentation from Keynote Speaker, Hill Harper. Despite graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School, Harper decided to pursue a career in acting and moved to Los Angeles after graduation in 1992. Now, with 26 years of acting in television and movies under his belt, Harper has also added to his list of accomplishments several books including “Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny” and “The Conversation: How (Black) Men and Women Can Build Loving.” “I hope when young men of color see

me, they think, ‘this isn’t what I usually see,’ or ‘he doesn’t fit this box,’ and hopefully seeing it is enough motivation to say ‘I, too, can think d i ff e r e n t l y, ’ ” said Harper. Head of Upper School Justin Brandon says that it is valuable for young men of color to be exposed to role models with interests and goals which are multi-faceted. “He has done a lot of great work in so many different areas. He, in a lot of ways, is a modern Renaissance man,” said Brandon. “Yes, he’s a TV and movie star, but he also has a JD from Harvard. He’s an entrepreneur and owns real estate, while also being a father. In addition to that, Hill is also a cancer survivor, which is something he shared in his small group.” In deviating from what Harper refers to as the “force-fed” image for men of

color in the United States, he is determined to assist participants in expanding their own narratives, regardless of the societal expectations imposed on them. “I try to break down the notion that you can only be successful during certain types of activities. So many young men of color that I’ve talked to believe that if they’re not rapping or bouncing a basketball, there is a limitation on their ability to achieve,” said Harper. “How did we get to a place where the only real success, if you’re a young black male, is to be a rapper or a basketball player, or a drug dealer, depending on your community?” On the Friday morning preceding the Young Men of Color Symposium, Harper took to the stage during Morning Exercise to speak about what it means to be an architect of your own life. On Saturday, Harper

“I hope when young men of color see me, they think, “this isn’t what I usually see,’ or ‘he doesn’t fit this box,’ and hopefully seeing it is enough motivation to say ‘I, too, can think differently.’”

drew from a similar concept, presenting the idea of a “life blueprint” with the focus of young men of color in mind. “The real fundamental challenge with any distinct group that his been historically marginalized is that everything I’m talking about has been magnified,” said Harper. “Whether you’re an immigrant population, a person of color, or a man of color in this society, you feel extremely vulnerable in terms of violence, police, potential achievement, and opportunity. All of this magnifies your conscious and subconscious decision making. You have to work even harder.” Following the keynote speech, participants were split into age-appropriate groupings, with a distinction made between boys in grades 6-8 and 9-12. “It’s valuable to have sessions like this because during the school year it’s easy to get lost with other things,” junior and co-Head of Parker’s Men of Color Heritage Affinity group Aviel Acevedo said, “We were able to talk about specific issues that we, as men of color, come across in private institutions.” According to Acevedo, participants engaged in various icebreaker activities, one of which began with the upper school

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For two days, over 80 administrators from independent schools across the United States visited Parker, many for the first time, to participate in the Administrators of Color in Independent Schools conference, organized and held for a second year by Parker administrators and staff. The Administrators of Color in Independent Schools (ACIS) conference was held for the first time last year. According to its website, the conference is meant for “senior administrators of color in independent schools,” and provides opportunities for “connection, mentoring and sharing.” This year, the two-day ACIS conference began the night of October 25, with participants hearing from keynote speaker Dr. Anthony A. Jack, Harvard Assistant Professor of Education, before getting to know each other at a dinner hosted in the Kovler Library. The second day of the conference included keynote speeches from author and sociologist Dr. Eve L. Ewing and author Anand Giridharadas, both of whom have appeared on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Attendees also participated in workshops both in Parker and across the street at the Parker Development Office, one of which was facilitated by Parker counselor Binita Donahue and Upper School English teacher Stacey Gibson. Participants also had a chance to network and meet other administrators during a luncheon hosted in

ACIS Conference in its Second Year at Parker By Jacob Boxerman

Eve L. Ewing speaks to administrators of color. Photo by Ava Ori.

the school. First held in 2018, the Administrators of Color in Independent Schools conference was the brainchild of Head of the Upper School Justin Brandon and Assistant Principal Ruth Jurgensen. “Coming back, I said to Dan [Frank], ‘I’m not going to any more conferences, because of those very reasons,’ and he said, ‘Well, that’s fine. You don’t have to go to any conferences. Why don’t you do something about it?’,” Jurgensen said. Brandon and Jurgensen discussed

both the possibility of a conference geared towards administrators of color, as well as their shared experience of being administrators of color. “When Ms. Jurgensen returned, we kind of debriefed that experience, and we shared that kind of common story of, as an administrator of color, there are very few –– we are very few and far between,” said Brandon. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, only about 8% of administrators in independent schools are people of color. So Jurgensen and Brandon, with

the support of a few others, began to brainstorm ideas for a possible conference for administrators of color to connect and share experiences, ideas, and knowledge as members of a small community and minority. “This work as an administrator, regardless of who you are, what you are, can be isolating and lonely at times, because of the kind of work that we have to do,” Brandon said. “And then when you add your, in this sense, racial-ethnic identity to this work, it’s even more so from my experiences kind of being part of that 8%. So it’s great to see other people that are doing the same kind of work.” The conference has grown in size from last year when it was first held — attendance nearly doubled, with almost 90 attendees and representation from 23 states and the Virgin Islands. Brandon credits this growth to a few factors. “I think we had a little bit of an educational celebrity factor — two of the three keynote speakers were actually on The Daily Show,” Brandon said. Within the conference, Brandon and Jurgensen both work towards making the conference a better and more valuable experience for all attendees. Jurgensen does the majority of outreach for the conference, which includes finding keynote speakers, contacting administrators of color, and

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ISL COACH OF THE YEAR Field Hockey Coach Misha Geller Wins Title By Alex Ori

I t ’s a T h u r s d a y a f t e r s c h o o l , approximately one month after the Upper School Girls Field Hockey team ended their season, and Varsity Head Coach Misha Geller ‘97 is in the Draft Gym. Around five of her players accompany her–– she’s timing them for a baseline fitness requirement for a clinic over the winter. As two sophomores girls in athletic attire wait to be tested, their conversation about homework drifts to their past season. They start recapping the highlights: 16-3 in their regular season. Defeated Loyola Academy for the first time in over a decade. Defeated Oak Park River Forest for the first time. As they say their last accomplishment, they look over at Geller. To end the season, the Independent School League awarded Geller with Coach of the Year. Geller is the first Parker coach in over seven years to receive the award. Geller was nominated, according to ISL, because of the field hockey team’s progression up the state ranks through the years. When Geller first took over as coach, the team was 12th in the state. After her first year they moved up to 11th, and they continued to move up her second year to seventh. This year they ended the season being ranked sixth in the state.

Geller has been coaching field hockey for the past 18 years. During her time at Parker, Geller has been a middle school coach, JV Head Coach, Varsity Assistant Coach, and finally, Varsity Head Coach. In addition to coaching, Geller also played field hockey at Parker in the Middle and Upper School. Geller thinks the team’s improvements are related to her competitive nature. “I play to win,” Geller said. “I think that inspires the players to play as hard as they can to win. I know that my team is dedicated to me, and they don’t want to disappoint me, and they know that I really want to win.” Geller has partly credited her close relationship with her players to their success. “I love them, and I hope they know that,” Geller said. “Whenever people ask me how my girls are, I’m like, ‘are you talking about my children that I birthed, or my girls on my field hockey team?’ Because that’s

how I consider the team, and I think that they feel that.” When describing her coaching philosophy, Geller uses the word “fairness.” “I have three basic asks: show up on time, work hard, and be prepared, and then I’ll be fair,” Geller said. “It’s all about fairness, and making sure everyone gets what they actually deserve.” Physical Education teacher Patricia “Pat” Pagnucco, G e l l e r ’s h i g h school coach, has influenced her coaching. “She taught me to be proud and professional, and to never be afraid to fight for what you believe in,” Geller said. “She taught me to step up and put expectations on the girls, because they will live up to them. And that’s important.” Pagnucco was the person who first offered Geller a coaching position eighteen years ago. “After college, I was running one day up Webster and Ms. Pagnueco ran up to the fence and asked me what I was doing,”

“She’s the total package, and our student athletes do a great job under her leadership. She makes Parker a better place.”

Geller said. “And she was asked me right there if I wanted to coach.” Athletic Director Bobby Starks believes the award will strengthen the program. “It’s another feather in the cap for Coach Geller,” Starks said. “And it puts our program within the conference in a better light, where we are getting even more respect from the top four teams in the league.” Starks sees the value in Geller as a coach. “Coaching wise, she obviously knows her X’s and O’s of the sport, but she also has everything else–– the youth development side, the knowledge in social and emotional learning, and the awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Starks said. “She’s the total package, and our student athletes do a great job under her leadership. She makes Parker a better place.” Senior Field Hockey Captain Senna Gardner has been coached by Geller for the past three years. “She tries to be there for her players, which is really important,” Gardner says. “But she also is tough when she needs to be, which is also very important.” Gardner has taken Geller’s coaching to heart. “She always says ‘control what you

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Historian and Author Sarah Vowell Comes to Parker for the Chicago Humanities Festival Citizens of Chicago slowly took their seats in the Diane B. Heller Auditorium and removed their heavy winter coats on Sunday, November 10th. Some looked up, some talked to their neighbor, and some stared at their phones. All of them sat in anticipation, ready to see Sarah Vowell speak. The program began with a quick video created by the Chicago Humanities Festival titled, “2019 Is The Year of Power.” This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chicago Humanities Festival, and they chose to commemorate that by inviting author, historian, journalist, and actor Sarah Vowell to come speak. Vowell is the “New York Times’” Bestselling author of seven non-fiction books on American history and culture. She makes connections between the past and present, often offering personal and humorous accounts of the events she writes about. She was a contributing editor of NPR’s “This American Life” from 19962008 and has appeared on numerous talk shows such as the “Late Show with David Letterman,” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” to name a few. Aside from her professional career in writing, she played the role of Violet in “The Incredibles” (2004), a Disney Pixar movie, and “The Incredibles 2 (2018).” As she walked to her blue chair in the

By Nick Skok

middle of the stage, set up directly next to another blue chair as if for the set of a talk show, the audience was on their feet roaring. Justin Kauffman from WGN Radio immediately followed and took his place in the other chair. The style of presentation was to be an interview between Kauffman and Vowell. Kauffman asked what she liked about having her work in print, and Vowell responded by saying her writing can sound the same as Ernest Hemingway. “What I love about print is that everything looks the same,” Vowell said. “The reader can bring their own imagination to that, and they can read it however they want.” Upper School history teacher Andrew Bigelow teaches US History to juniors, and is familiar with Vowell’s books on the American Revolution. “What I like about her is she personalizes history,” Bigelow said. “She doesn’t trivialize them, she makes them real. It’s almost as if she has met these people herself.” Vowell’s most recent book, Lafayette In The Somewhat United States, was released in 2015 and Kauffman asserted that she had become somewhat of a celebrity from it. “It’s still the narrative, non-fiction level of celebrity,” Vowell said as the crowd roared in laughter. “So it’s pretty manageable.” Her accounts of her own career and

upbringing had most of the crowd laughing at almost every answer to each question. Her personality showed in this casual setting, and Vowell seemed to just roll with whatever she wanted to say. Kauffman stated that he noticed she had become a persona that her readers would want to listen to and be entertained by, and he asked if that was her goal when she began her work. “I mean, I have a Masters Degree in Early Art History,” she said. “Does that sound like someone who wants people to like her? No!” Vowell has become a recognizable persona and has appeared on many talk shows. When she was brought onto shows like “David Letterman” and “Conan,” not many people were familiar with her. She joked about how the programs would introduce her, and no one would know who she was. “Here’s the narrative non-fiction author, Sarah Vowell,...” she said impersonating how the show would introduce her. Vowell has found that to get people to listen to you and like you, you have to start your expectations at the bottom. “The great thing about coming from media that hardly anyone cares about is that you just assume no one gives a hoot,” she said, “so you can start from that place and win them over.” H e r r o l e a s Vi o l e t f r o m “ T h e Incredibles” definitely played a part in her

fame and how people perceived her. The role has made her so popular that often at events like the Chicago Humanities Festival, she gets asked about what it was like being Violet instead of her career as a historian. A boy at one of her last speaking events asked her if she thought being the voice of Violet was fun, expecting her to answer to be an enthusiastic yes. Instead, she went on to tell him how she was trying to be an actor that had never acted before. There was a lot of pressure on her, people staring at her, and she thought she was going to get fired everyday for three years. The boy’s response was, “Oh. Well, the movie is fun.” When Kaufmann asked her about this, all she had to say was, “I mean the lunches were pleasant. I’m still friends with those people, but they were at the top of their game, and I was just trying to hold my own.” Through all her early fame from “The Incredibles,” telling stories of history in a personal and humorous way is most important to her. She wants her audience to read her books and get a more detailed account of the actual people behind history, that they aren’t just names. “When you’re an author, your job isn’t just to sell your own books, it’s to be an ambassador for literature,” Vowell said. “You have to go out there and say, ‘This is why books are important.’”

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Even More News PARKER A.M.

Parker PM Provides Childcare for Children of Faculty and Staff During Strike By Avani Kalra

In the week before the Chicago Teachers Union strike, Lower and Intermediate School Technology Education Specialist Sarah Beebee and her husband sat nervously together, brainstorming a childcare plan for their two daughters: first grader Adaline and second grader Rose. “It was nerve wracking for us,” Beebee said. “Both my husband and I work, so I figured I was going to have to miss some work. We found some childcare, but it wasn’t consistent. So although we support the teachers, we were nervous. We were concerned.” For nine out of the eleven days of the strike, Beebee’s children participated in a completely free Parker program designed for children of faculty and staff who attend CPS. The program was the brainchild of the administration, and was run by Director of Parker PM Stacie Newmark along with Director of Auxiliary Programs Alex Franke and the rest of the Parker PM team. “Ms. Newmark and I had both been thinking about this very issue before it even came up,” Franke said. “We pretty much put our heads together and thought, ‘What can we do and how can we staff it?’”

Beebee first heard about the opportunity through her role on the Faculty Association. Later, when the strike was announced, Jurgensen sent an email to all faculty and staff, welcoming parents to bring their children to school. “It was such a relief,” Beebee s a i d . “ We were––we are–– so grateful.” Rose and Adeline’s days in the program usually started around 8 a.m., and could end as late as 6 p.m. “What a nice thing to be able to offer to our faculty and staff,” Newmark said. “We live by Parker’s motto. Everything to help, and nothing to hinder.” Five children, including Beebee’s girls, enrolled in the program each day it was offered. Newmark said one kindergartner, one first grader, one second grader, one third

grader, and one fourth grader, attended. “We did a lot of field trips in the morning,” Newmark said. “Then they came back and filtered into Parker PM. They had the option to eat lunch and recess with their respective grade, or spend that time with us.” The group also spent time in the library and participated in “snack-time” each day. “Our biggest concern was staffing, because Parker PM doesn’t start u n t i l 11 : 4 5 , ” Franke said. “We wanted to provide care first thing in the morning.” Parker PM’s teachers opted to come as early as 8 a.m. throughout the two weeks of the program. Newmark said she never had trouble organizing two adult chaperones for each field trip. “The Parker PM team was amazing,” Newmark said. “Every single

“It was nerve wracking for us. Both my husband and I work, and I figured I was going to have to miss some work. So although we support the teachers, we were nervous.”

one of them volunteered to come in early and stepped up. It’s community. It’s what you do for your colleagues. It was amazing.” The program was also supported by a number of local businesses. “enerGEEwhizz,” a kids fitness gym whose motto is to “get children to exercise without them even realizing they’re doing so,” hosted the group for free one morning. On other days, the group’s destinations included Pump It Up, Glazed Expressions, Lincoln Park Zoo, Green City Market, and Regal Webster Place. Newmark said she utilized Parker PM’s budget for these activities. Newmark also felt a lot of support from Parker students who regularly attend Parker PM. “It was hard for these students to be at a school, but not really in school,” she said. “Everyone was very welcoming, and very happy to have new people here.” Beebee’s children, who previously attended Parker, reconnected with old friends. “It was so exciting to be able to bring them somewhere everyday where I feel comfortable, and I know they feel comfortable as well.”

NIGHTTIME POETRY CAFE Poetry Night at Parker By Sofia Brown “Be a part of the beautiful people because we are beautiful in the beginning, end, and every time in between.” There’s a split second of silence, then resounding applause echoes off the walls as freshman Litzy Tafolla finishes reading her poem. Three generations are gathered on comfortable couches and tables facing a podium, enjoying warm hot cocoa and delicious pastries. For this one night, the Kovler Family Library has transformed into a cozy cafe. Poetry Night at Parker is an annual Nightviews event, where poets from the Parker community come together to share and listen to original poetry. This event provides an open, inviting space for students, faculty, and parents to share poems with the Parker community. The poems can be new, old, or still a work in progress. Everyone is invited to share, listen, or both. This year’s Poetry Night took place on November 4th in the Parker library. It used to take place in the Heller Auditorium but was later moved after much debate. “We like it where it is now in the library because it feels less formal and less intimidating,” upper school English teacher Matt Laufer said. “It’s meant to be the kind of thing where you can just show up even at the last minute and read. There’s no preset program or order and so on.” Poetry Night is designed to be a

supportive space to share. Snaps and applause filled the room after each performance, with an occasional laugh during the reading. “It depends on the poem, but I would say that if a younger person has a poem that’s in that slam style, we get more of that participation, not the dry room,” seventh grade English teacher Kate Tabor said. “But, I think that when it’s a parent or when it’s a teacher sometimes it feels a little more dry, there’s not as much audience response. It depends on the poems.” M o s t students who read said that they felt fully supported by the audience. “I was pretty calm, there weren’t that many people there and it wasn’t really a space to be nervous because everyone was doing the same thing, and there weren’t any standards to reach,” junior Grace Conrad said. This year, 15 poets read pieces in front of more than 40 audience members including parents, faculty, middle school students, and upper school students. The poems ranged from comedic tercets to Postit note brainstorms to birthday wishes to page-long poems diving deep into society’s flaws. Some poets read their own work while others shared for those who couldn’t

make it. “I thought it was awesome that there were 6th graders and then there were seniors reading poems, and teachers, which is like a thirty-year age difference at least,” junior Matthew Garchick said. For Tafolla, seeing younger kids read reminded her of when she read poetry at that age. For some, this night is a space to try out new poems. For others, they’re sharing an assignment from one of their English classes. For Tafolla, it’s an opportunity to share a deeply held passion. “I’ve been writing poetry since 5th grade, so going on four years,” she said. “I really just performed in my old school and at an open mic that was at a cafe that my poetry coach had done.” Tafolla has also performed in festivals and is part of the Slam Poetry club at Parker. “I like performing. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and to share a piece of poetry especially being new to Parker is a different way for people to know me.” This night of community sharing is organized and run by a committee of faculty members and some alumni, including Principal Dan Frank, Sarah Butterfield, Elise Paschen, Mike Mahaney, Kate Tabor, Matt

“The making of a poem is one of the most hopeful acts.” -Natasha Tretheway

Laufer, and occasionally other members of the English department. They started planning the dates, layout, and advertising for this year’s Poetry Night last spring. Many of them also share poetry each year at this event. Poetry Night first began at Parker seven years ago when Dr. Frank approached Parker alum, parent, and professional poet Elise Paschen about creating a poetry series at Parker. This conversation ultimately led to the Poetry at Parker program, which includes the autumn Poetry Night as well as Jeanne Harris Hansell Visiting Poet-inResidence in the spring. The poet-in-residence is sponsored in part by the Jeanne Harris Hansell Endowed Fund for Poetry, established in the name of Jeanne Harris Hansell ’45, to ensure the continued success of the “Poetry at Parker” series, as well as to allow the school to host renowned guest poets, many of whom are poet laureates. Paschen not only helped create Poetry Night; she has also read a piece at each event until this year. Her favorite aspect of the night was “just seeing the vibrancy of poetry and what it means to the Parker community.” “I take part in many many readings, and the poetry at Parker is very special because it is the only one I’ve taken part in which has

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“By far one of the most interesting things about the human race is the way we communicate with each other. Not only have we created our own personal method of speaking with everyone, but we’ve also elevated communication beyond the basics.” These were not words written by Oscar Wilde or James Joyce but rather by Parker sophomore Tess Wayland. These were the opening lines of the novel that Wayland wrote in seventh grade for the NaNoWriMo 2016 event. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is an opportunity for students fifth grade and up to write a novel in a month. This year’s NaNoWriMo group is comprised of 70 students. NaNoWriMo is a club that meets once a week for a month straight. It is completely voluntary and all work for it needs to be done outside of school time. “NaNoWriMo provides these students with a sense of community,” Eric Rampson, a library assistant and the head of the Parker NaNoWriMo program, said. NaNoWriMo is important because it “gives them a space to think about writing as something other than schoolwork,” Rampson said. He believes that, because up until middle school these students have only ever thought of writing as schoolwork, it’s important to give them a space to write that is not for a grade. The NaNoWriMo club meets every Friday in the month of November. Participants meet in the library and engage in a write-in or other activities. The club meetings are productive, but students also Covered in sticky notes and pictures, the doors of the TIDES Garage in the library are being used to improve lives. The sticky notes have different problems those with food allergies face every day, from issues with traveling to the medical consequences of eating food that is an allergen. The photos show pictures of different meals and a prompt is scrawled on the whiteboard. All of this is the beginning steps of creating an invention for Project Invent. Project Invent is a program where student teams research, design, and create a product that helps a marginalized group. The program’s goal is to empower students to invent and engineer to help others. Over 40 schools with maker spaces around the country choose a topic to focus their inventions on. This is the first year that Parker is participating in Project Invent. The program was founded by Connie Liu in January of 2018 as a way to create an educational program that prioritizes realworld problem-solving. Liu taught design thinking and engineering at the Nueva School, a Pre-K through 12 private school in California. She created a class where the students worked with a man named Jimmy, who was visually impaired, as their “community partner.” The students interview the community partner to learn and empathize with the problems he or she faces. Then, they design a product to help their partner with a problem they face. “It is giving students the opportunity

STARTING THEIR STORY Middle Schoolers Participate in NaNoWriMo By Samantha Graines

Eric Rampson starting the second work period for the NaNoWriMo in the Colab-lab. Photo by Lia PalomboSchall.

have fun at them. “I just remember laughing and typing really fast,” Wayland said. The purpose of the weekly meetings is to get help with your writing and interact with other kids who are participating in NaNoWriMo. “The librarians did a great job of creating a supportive environment where you felt comfortable taking risks,” Wayland said. Wa y l a n d p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e NaNoWriMo program for all three years of middle school. NaNoWriMo “created a good work ethic for me,” Wayland said. The structure of the program is very individualistic and self-motivated, making participation voluntary. “It was the

structure of a competition that made it very engaging,” Wayland said. “The book I am writing about right now is about a girl who is playing a game and the stuff she imagines comes to life,” Lula Notz, a sixth grader and current participant in NaNoWriMo, said . Last year she had a word count goal of 8,000 words, and this year her goal is 10,000 words. This year is Notz’s second year participating in NaNoWriMo. When Notz is starting a book for NaNoWriMo, she tries “to not really plan what I am going to write about and just start writing and not doubt myself and just write as fast I can, and usually it evolves

DESIGNING CHANGE Parker’s Project Invent Helps Others By Emma Manley

to make a real-world impact on somebody who could benefit from something in their lives being improved,” Middle and Upper School Library and Information Specialist Annette Lesak said. Students “have to use design thinking, coding, inventing skills, and entrepreneurial skills to go through the process of designing and creating something for somebody to improve their lives.” The class interviewed him to learn about the challenges that Jimmy faced and ultimately created a belt called the “Stria.” The belt vibrates when the user stops walking straight. The purpose is to help blind people walk in a straight path, especially in a city, so they don’t walk into traffic. “I saw Connie speak at a conference maybe two or three years ago,” Lesak said, “and I was immediately so enchanted and so struck by the program because it’s a win-win across the board.” The topic for Parker’s team this year is helping people with severe nut allergies. Lesak worked with Lower and Intermediate School Library and Information Services Specialist Mary Catherine Coleman and Educational Technology Integration Specialist Sarah Beebe to choose the

community partner for this year. The three researched different organizations, including social services and retirement homes. “I’m excited to bring this empowerment experience to Parker,” Lesak said. “I saw it as a good opportunity to focus on social good and forming relationships with your community partner.” Coleman and Beebe decided to find a community partner within their own community, reaching out to junior Grayson Schementi. “I’m excited to be able to use a student made product–whatever it ends up being–to help me live a fuller life,” Schementi said. “I decided to join Project Invent because I’m really interested in anything related to the medical field,” freshman Krystal Xu said. “I have really enjoyed Project Invent so far.” This year, the Project Invent team consists of four freshmen and five sophomores. They meet on Wednesdays during MX. Some students meet in the morning from 7:30 to 8:00 and some meet during H5. They will continue to meet until April. If all of the components are completed, the team will visit New York for “Demo Day” to pitch their inventions.

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into something I really like,” Notz said. In NaNoWriMo you write “so fast that the little editor in your head doesn’t have time to tell you it’s bad,” Rampson said. “I tried writing books outside of NaNoWriMo, but I just stop doing it because I don’t feel the pressure to do it,” Notz said. According to Notz, NaNoWriMo provides the right amount of pressure so that you get things done. There are currently 78 books in the library written by Parker’s middle and upper school students. “After this month, we will have over 100 books published,” Rampson said. In order to be published, you just need to reach your personal goals. Fifth-grade participants need a minimum of 8,000 words to be published. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade participants need a minimum of 10,000 words. There are currently no upper school students participating, but if there were, there would be a 12,000-word minimum. If a student has participated before, the word minimum is higher. “I think it will be harder to do in high school because I will have more homework, but until I don’t have enough time to do it, I will definitely do it,” Notz said. “It’s not the type of thing I would ever have time for again in high school,” Wayland said. “But it was really a great experience for me then because I think that you got the chance to be around kids who are similar to you.”

During Demo Day, the teams present their inventions to top investors and tech executives. Each invention is given the opportunity to receive funding from these investors. Last year, a team from Washington created an adaptive keyboard and mouse to let people with limited motor skills use a computer. The project received an award of $1000. “It’s very exciting to see if what I make with my teammates would actually help some people in the world who suffer from food allergies,” Xu said. Currently, the team is brainstorming, interviewing, and creating lists and diagrams to understand the issues that Schementi and others with severe food allergies face. “Project Invent is finding ways to improve my life, living with food allergies, by inventing something that can benefit me,” said Schementi. For one project, they took photos of everything they ate, in order to feel what it is like to analyze every piece of the food that they ate in the way Schementi does. They have begun learning how to code and use Arduino hardware to assist them in their designs. “It’s powerful for students who are part of it because they get to really change somebody’s life for the positive,” Lesak said. “It’s empowering for them because they get to use creativity and use empathy and use coding and design skills that maybe they didn’t think they had to build something.”

The Parker Weekly, Page 8

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FWP Model UN To Attend EmpireMUNC in NYC By Ian Shayne A majority-underclassman delegation of 15 Parker students will travel to New York City to attend EmpireMUNC, a New York University-hosted high school Model UN conference, which begins on Thursday, November 21 and ends on Sunday, November 24. Parker’s annual participation in a national Model UN symposium, according to senior and Model UN co-captain Natalie Daskal, stems from national conferences’ ability to improve new delegates’ confidence in public speaking and familiarity with parliamentary procedure, the framework of Model UN. To maximize student improvement, the four Model UN captains— Daskal, senior Lindsay Carlin, junior Alex Schapiro, and sophomore Eli Moog—and the two faculty advisors, upper school history teachers Jeanne Barr and Kevin Conlon, chose EmpireMUNC because of the symposium’s small size, which Barr believes allows for considerable participation. “Our students want to talk,” Barr said. “They don’t want to sit in the back of a conference room and observe, and a conference that gives us that opportunity is a much better fit for us.” The conference’s size was not EmpireMUNC’s sole benefit. Barr believes that the location of New York allows for an enriching trip. “I love student trips to New York because New York offers so many unique cultural experiences,” Barr said. “You just walk out of your hotel, and you’re just right there. Transportation is so easy. There is a whole host of opportunities to expose students to interesting things.” The unique New York activities that Barr and Conlon organized include a food tour in Greenwich Village, a United Nations Headquarters tour, and an underground railroad tour. EmpireMUNC is not just unique for its proximity to the locations of these culturally enriching experiences but also for its inclusion of six crisis committees. Instead of simulating United Nations committees, crisis committees simulate more specific, occasionally fictional bodies like the EmpireMUNC committee on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. “Although it may seem like make-believe fan fiction, which of course it is, you’re still getting that experience of debate, you’re still learning parliamentary procedure, you’re still meeting new people, writing resolutions,” Daskal said about crisis committees. “The topic may be a little different, but the process is still the same.” Barr is conflicted about the value of

crisis committees. “I’m kind of in two minds about it because I really value how Model UN is a global politics program, and how students, by participating in our program for a couple of years, end up gaining this very broad appreciation for global issues,” Barr said. She also agrees with Daskal that crisis committees still lead to student improvement in public speaking and help delegates greater familiarity with parliamentary procedure. Freshman Leo Auerbach, a member of the Parker delegation to New York, chose not to join a crisis committee. Instead, he selected the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency. “I’m just very interested in health and medicine,” Auerbach, who will represent China in the WHO, said. “I think having a big country in that committee would be a good experience.” Barr believes that, regardless of the Parker delegates’ committee assignments, the students will take their experiences and improved skills to the classroom. “Model UN allows kids to gain a comfort level of expressing themselves on a serious topic,” Barr said. “The kids who do Model UN get a lot of practice doing that in a safe space in the sense of there’s forgiveness that people are learning and aren’t the best at this, so if you get up and they’re not that good, so what?” Daskal agrees. “Model UN kids at Parker do really improve themselves as a student,” Daskal said. “They get better at speaking in public because they are doing it so often. Class presentations start to come easier, research starts to come easier. Group work comes easier.” Daskal has observed that, by virtue of attending Parker, delegates from Parker generally perform better than students from other schools. “Parker kids have to give class presentations starting in third grade, so Parker kids know how to speak, they know how to research,” Daskal said. “We’ve been taught that since we were very little.” Barr concurs. “Students at Parker have an expectation that they will be in the driver’s seat of their own learning, that they won’t be answering rote questions—that just not the style of our education,” Barr said. “Model UN is all about constructing knowledge. When our kids go to these conferences, trust me, they kill it because other kids in other contexts don’t have that confidence. They haven’t been bred to feel as though their voice is crucial to a full discussion. They haven’t been trained in the style of how to raise a contradictory point

“When our kids go to these conferences, trust me, they kill it.”


Belgian Students Visit Parker for a Week By Lilly Satterfield Eleven Belgian students and two teachers traveled, on Friday, October 25, over 4,000 miles from Barvaux, Belgium to Chicago to spend the week with Parker students. For all of the Belgian students in the program, this was their first time in Chicago, and, for many, it was their first time in the United States. Barvaux, Belgium is a village in Belgium, with a total population of just under 12,000 people, a fraction of Chicago’s population. Parker has been participating in this exchange with the Institut du Sacré Coeur, in Barvaux, since 2009. When the program began ten years ago, Parker students traveled to Belgium to stay and study with students from the Institut du Sacré Coeur, but recently, the exchange has been one way, with Parker students hosting the Belgians. Based on the logistics of the program, the students from Belgium come to Parker every other year to stay with hosts. T h e exchange is organized by the Language and Cultural S t u d i e s Department Co-Chair Cynthia Marker. M a r k e r teaches French in the Upper School and has found the program to have had a great deal of success in the past. “They really are a great group,” Marker said in reference to the Belgian students. “It was an especially nice group this year, and I think people really connected with them, so that was fun.” This year a variety of upper school students hosted the Belgian students. Although the opportunity to host was open to anyone in the high school, students taking French were encouraged to have a student stay with them. While the students were in Chicago they attended Parker for two days, toured the city three of them, and spent time with their host families for the rest of the time. Senior Max Antoniou hosted a student named Luca. Antoniou takes Spanish at Parker but was eager to host a Belgian student based on past experiences he has had hosting foreign exchange students in his own home. Antoniou attempted to host

a Belgian student when they came in the 2017-2018 school year but was unable to do so as he was out of town during their stay. “It was a really good experience hosting Luca,” Antoniou said. “I learned a lot about where they come from, how their schools are different, and I loved seeing the reaction on his face when he saw how different Parker is compared to the school he goes to.” Sophomore Julia Ashworth was also among the students who hosted Belgians. Ashworth opened her home to three different Belgian girls for the ten days that they were in Chicago. Ashworth takes French at Parker and is interested in studying abroad next year, and believed that hosting a Belgian student would be a good way to improve her language skills and get a feel for living with someone new. While the students were here, Ashworth did a variety of activities with them, showing them around Chicago. “They were such amazing people that I would not have gotten the chance to know if they had not stayed at my house,” Ashworth said. “It was a week full of happiness, friendship, and laughter. It was just really fun.” While they were here Ashworth took them to Navy Pier, introduced them to Mexican food and deep-dish pizza, and celebrated their first American Halloween with them. Jil Liekendael stayed with Ashworth while she was in Chicago. It was Liekendael’s first time in the United States. “Chicago is much bigger than where we live and we have never been to America before,” Liekendael said. “We have been all over Chicago and it’s been incredible. We have loved everything we have been to and all the people we have met.” Marker hopes to soon be able to travel to Barvaux, Belgium, and stay with the students who visited Chicago. Marker believes that if enough students are interested in going to Belgium, making the trip as a group could be possible in the near future, making the exchange more meaningful for students involved.

and pivot. They don’t have that skill set.” The number of awards Parker delegates have received at national conferences demonstrates the success of Parker students at these symposia. Winning awards, though, was not Auerbach’s motivation for attending

EmpireMUNC. Improvement is his goal. “I’m not the best at it, but, hopefully, I can build on my skills,” Auerbach said. “I think this trip will definitely improve my skill set and improve how other people think about my Model UN skills.”

“They really are a great group. It was an especially nice group this year, and I think people really connected with them, so that was fun.”

The Parker Weekly, Page 9

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Captains and Other Athletes Reflect on the Year By Eli Greenwald The fall athletics season has come to a close, and athletes have headed back to P.E., many of whom are waiting for winter sports to start. The fall season included Boys Soccer, Girls Field Hockey, Girls

made it to Sectionals, beating Josephinum 2-0 and Holy Trinity 2-1 at Regionals. Their playoff hopes ended when they lost to Immaculate Conception College Prep at Sectionals. The team was led by junior captain Asha Wright and senior captains Ren Habiby and Alex Ori. Wright was generally satisfied with the result of the season. “It was a great season and we were able to win Regionals for the first time in six years,” Wright said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get very far in the Sectionals, but overall I’m very proud of how we played this year.” The Girls JV Volleyball Team finished without a win this year. The Golf Team finished with a record of 2-6. The team was led by senior captain Scottie Ingall, and junior captain Nick Skok. “The golf team had a great season,” Ingall said. “With the addition of new coaches, each player improved immensely. Although our record wasn’t great, each player made great strides to improve their game. I am also very happy with the captains’ postseason performance.” The Girls Tennis team had a strong season, finishing with a record of 6-3. This team was led by captains Lily Koltun and Lindsay Carlin. Sophomore Rebecca Bellick finished

“This season has been one of the best seasons in Parker field hockey history.”

Volleyball, Boys Golf, Girls Tennis, and Cross Country. The Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey Team was one of the highlights of this year’s fall season, finishing with a record of 16-4. The team made it to Sectionals, after beating Highland Park 2-1 in the regional game. They eventually lost to Lake Forest High School by a score of 5-0. The team was led by senior captains Senna Gardner, Lauren Hughes, and Lauryn Rauschenberger. Captain Senna Gardner thought the season was a total success. “This season has been one of the best seasons in Parker Field Hockey history,” Gardner said. “Over the course of the whole season we only lost to two teams, and they were ranked both second and third in the state. Our team worked well together both on and off the field, and we all got super close by the end of the season. We were like a family.” The JV Field Hockey team finished with a record of 4-2-2. The Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team finished with a record of 9-84. The team made it to Sectionals, winning both of their regional games, one against Rickover Academy with a score of 4-1 and another against Latin 3-1. The team also won against Latin at their homecoming. Parker’s rally came to an end in the Sectional Semifinal when they lost 2-0 to North Shore Country Day School. Captains Tomas Catoggio, Oscar Fardon, Daniel Mansueto, and Ryan Humphrey, who was also the leading goalscorer, led the team. Sophomore Tyler Maling was also a notable player this season. Four freshmen played on the Varsity team: Charles Fardon, Gray Joseph, Lucas Daskal, and Emre Emanet. Captain Daniel Mansueto had mixed feelings about the season. “It ended earlier than ideal, but everybody had a great time and the team culture improved,” Mansueto said. “There are a lot of positive things to come.” The JV Blue team finished with a record of 7-7, showing promise. The JV White team finished with a record of 1-6. The Girls Varsity Volleyball Team finished with a record of 8-11. The team

“With the addition of new coaches, each player improved immensely.” fourth at Sectionals, advancing to the State Finals, where she finished in the top 16. The Cross Country Team’s eight boys raced at Sectionals, along with sophomore Kate Allen-Study. No runners this year made it to state. The Boys Cross Country team was headed by captain Nathan Siskel. According to several captains, it was a solid start to the year for Parker athletics.


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brainstorming possible workshops for attendees. “We want to make sure that it’s worth the time to travel to be away from your schools, and that it allows for affinity and community, and mentoring opportunities and connection,” Jurgensen said. One attendee, Eric Jones, Head of School at an independent Pre-K-Fifth Grade school in Philadelphia and a friend of Brandon, attended the conference last year. Jones said that he found the conference to

The Boys Varsity Team practices in their white shirts. Photo by Ava Ori.

The Varsity Field Hockey team celebrates their Homecoming win against Latin. Photo courtesy of Anna Fuder.

be a worthwhile and valuable experience and returned for this year’s. When Brandon first shared the idea with Jones, he found the idea compelling. “I don’t think that there is, that I’m aware of, a gathering set aside specifically to address administrators and independent schools around the country who are people of color, and to talk about what the experience is like,” said Jones. Jones felt that this year’s conference was a beneficial experience, giving him both practical knowledge to take back to his school, as well as emotional knowledge and support from other administrators. “When the conference was done, I felt like I was walking on cloud nine,” said Jones. “It was such an uplifting experience to connect with ideas that are really meaningful for me … and to connect to do that with a network of people who have a shared experience.” For Jurgensen, this connection is one of the most important goals of the conference — building a sense of community between administrators of color in independent schools all around the United States. “The connection is everything — connecting with colleagues from around the country, people I haven’t met,” Jurgensen said. Jurgensen

says that the conference is not only a valuable experience for its attendees, but for her as well, as the conference gives many opportunities for learning and connection. Discussions have begun between Jurgensen and Brandon on what the third Administrators of Color in Independent Schools conference might look like. “There seems to be some success and a sense of affinity this conference has generated that has created a very strong reputation for the conference,” Brandon said. Jurgensen said Parker has an unusual number of administrators of color. “The school can do it because we have many administrators of color. That makes a huge difference,” Jurgensen said. “And we have the support of the head and the board chair. We’re lucky to be able to host it.” Jones also appreciates that Parker is willing to host such a conference and says it is a willingness that is not mirrored everywhere. “I do appreciate that Francis Parker is hosting this—a school, not a regional or national association. It speaks, I think, to values that are worth celebrating about Francis Parker, so kudos to the school for doing this.”

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How Bobby Starks Assembles Coaching Teams By Tess Wayland

Parker ’s progressive philosophy focuses on the “whole child,” a student who is nurtured in academics, advisory, and athletics. At a small school that doesn’t recruit athletes, Athletic Director Bobby Starks looks for coaches with expertise in every part of the child. Starks searches, externally and internally, for coaches to fill the regular vacancies in his department that can come up during or right before a season begins. A few months before each season, Starks talks to coaches to see who will return and begins planning for vacancies. Starks needs a team of 38-40 coaches in the fall,

variables, we make the decision, so that they can continue or if we decide to move on.” Outside of their philosophy, the availability of applicants is considered. Eighth Grade Assistant Teacher and Upper School Boys’ Soccer Assistant Coach Pattrick Stanton recalled that the majority of his interview, in 2014, was focused on the logistics of the positions. “Can I be at the practices? Can I be there on time?” Stanton said. “Do you understand that sometimes we’re taking a bus back from Elgin and you might not get home until 9 p.m.?” Stanton became a boys’ soccer assistant coach through a connection to former

“Starks cites cultural competence, a love for community, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as key values for coaches. ” 20-22 in the winter, and 28-30 in the spring. Typically, he makes about 4-10 new hires every season, primarily in the Middle School program. The Athletic Department posts these empty positions to the employment tab of the Parker website, as well as outside coaching associations and colleges. Currently, Starks and the department have two applications posted to the Parker website – one for an Upper School Boys Basketball Assistant Coach and one seeking six new Middle School basketball coaches for the Middle School. The basketball season began on November 11, but the assistant coach position is still vacant after the departure of Head Coach Kevin Snider, whose spot was filled by former Assistant Coach Paul Samano. At the bottom of each application, the department includes quotes from the school’s mission. “We’re looking for coaches to not only have the sports knowledge and skills and be able to coach the X’s and O’s of the sport,” Starks said, “but we want them additionally to have the same values and alignment as our values.” Upper School Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach Minnie Skakun agrees. “Your expertise matters, especially at the high school level where students are running against the best in Illinois,” Skaun said. “Your enthusiasm matters just as much, maybe more.” Starks cites cultural competence, a love for community, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as key values for coaches. “We’re evaluating our coaches throughout the season, as well as their formal evaluations at the end of the season,” Starks said. “We hear the feedback from our student athletes and parents as well. Through the evaluation process of all of the

Athletics Director Dawn Wickstrum. “With Dawn having already known me as a person, how I interact in public or just my general disposition, she was less concerned about certain things,” Stanton said. Stanton noted that Wickstrum also made sure he was aligned with the school’s mission. “As much as results at the high school level are great, there’s also the idea of not wavering from the school’s mindset of students first, athletes second,” Stanton said. In contrast to Stanton, eight grade math teacher Tim O’Connor became a coach after being hired as a teacher. O’Connor had coached golf at a different school and asked Wickstrum to participate in Parker’s program. “At the time, there was a head coach who had been here for a few years,” O’Connor said. “We chatted on the phone and made sure that we got along, then the position was essentially mine.” Skakun was hired in the fall of 2016 to be the head Coach for the middle school running program because of a connection with Parker faculty. “Leslie Webster knew about my coaching and running,” Skakun said about upper school science teacher Leslie Webster, “and recommended me personally for

after the departure of former Head Coach Caleb Flack. Starks often makes internal adjustments like these when there’s a sudden departure. “Due to the part time nature of the position,” Starks said, “we will always have some movement.” “In the past year we’ve had situations happen where coaches have decided to move on one way or the other,” Starks said. “It was very late and very close to the start of the season. When that happens, fortunately we look to the pipeline that we have of coaches internally.” Stanton was one of those coaches last year when he took over the Varsity Girls’ Soccer Team. Coming into the position with 12 days notice, Stanton told Starks that he wanted to have his coaches assembled from day one and was involved in their hiring process. “It’s hard to develop a team culture and then introduce a new body,” Stanton said. O’Connor has had less influence over the hiring process for his assistant coaches. “Every year that I’ve been a head coach, I’ve had a different assistant coach,” O’Connor said. “That usually gets figured out right before the season starts, which can make planning or team organization a little bit challenging. I have pretty much complete autonomy over the way the season runs, my goals, practice setups, all of that is under my control.” Running a season like this is a large time commitment, one of the reasons for such high turnover. O’Connor estimated that he spends an average of 15 to 20 hours coaching for golf, mostly due to transportation time as all golf practices and games are off-campus. Stanton spends around 23 hours a week on assistant coaching, an additional 11 to scheduled hours. “You throw in making rosters, communication with parents, and casual conversations with student athletes to make sure that they’re prepared.” For Skakun, that time commitment is worth it. “I look forward to seeing my athletes every time I step into the building,” Skakun said. What my students are studying and their extracurricular activities are as important as the miles they run for me,” Skakun said.

“Every year that I’ve been a head coach, I’ve had a different assistant coach.” the job to Mr. Starks.” Starks spoke with Webster and Director of Parker P.M. Stacie Newmark before interviewing Skakun with former Assistant Athletics Director Laura Gill and Operations and Substitute Coordinator Ellen Sandquist. Skakun was promoted to head coach

Stanton agreed.“Parker coaches need to know that results can sometimes come at the cost of the student athletes, what’s best for them,” Stanton said. “It’s better to come away from Parker athletics having grown as a young individual than it is with a state medal.”


Continued from page one their condos. Simply put, once Parker owns 75% of the total condominiums, other private owners will be obligated to leave at Parker’s request to convert the condominiums into school property. As of now, Parker owns four of the 15 condominiums at 327-335 W. Belden. “I just want to emphasize that there are alternatives for Parker to grow on its existing footprint and they don’t seem to be any interest in doing so,” Savoy said. “Rather, their interest is in displacing families who really just want to exist in peace and quiet in their apartments.” Some alternatives that Savoy and others proposed were building on the staff parking lots, using vacant lots on Clark Street, building up from Parker’s existing buildings, or creating underground parking lots upon which an expansion could be made possible. “I’m very much in favor of Parker expanding,” Savoy said, “but I don’t think they need to displace families to do so. They have ample space within their six acre footprint to expand.” As prospective families trailed through Circle Drive for the open house, they were handed paper slips which quoted the same phrase splayed across the auditorium: “A school should be a model home, a complete community, and embryonic democracy.” Below, the slip said: “Parker is spending your tuition money to expand its campus by tearing down our homes and destroying our community. Is this a model home?” Some of the protestors believe that Parker’s aquisition of properties directly violates the school’s mission statement. “It hurts me a lot to have to do this,” Julian Kerbis ‘70, who grew up at 353 W Belden Avenue and attended Parker, said, “but it’s kind of a sham of the motto we all grow up with that you probably know by heart—a school is a complete community, an embryonic democracy. And here… something Donald Trump would do. It’s legal, but it’s unethical and it’s immoral.” Frank disagrees. “The sense of respecting people’s own volition and their own choices in life is an important value that we have at Parker,” Frank said, “and we’re living in accord with those values.”

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Rami Nashashibi Speaks as 22nd Annual Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecturer By Gabe Wrubel

A crowd of faces – some familiar to the Parker community, and some visiting for the first time – gathered in the plush blue seats of the Diane and David B. Heller Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 18. They chatted amongst themselves; some caught up with old acquaintances, while others made new ones. As Principal Dan Frank Ph.D. took the stage to give an introduction, the crowd fell silent in anticipation. Dr. Frank was introducing Rami Nashashibi, a Parker parent and activist who was selected as the 22nd Annual Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecturer. The Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture held at Parker that honors Rosenberg as one of Parker’s most dedicated and active volunteers. Nashashibi’s lecture centered around the idea of what it means to be a responsible social citizen, and the importance of being aware of the disparities among the many different demographics within the country. Nashashibi currently serves as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a non-profit organization he founded in 1997 that is based in Chicago. “The work of IMAN is committed to improving the quality of life for all Americans,” Nashashibi said. “Especially those who are struggling in inner-city urban neighborhoods who are often at the lower end of all of the challenges that exist in society.” It also has a full-time chapter on the West end of Atlanta which is now approaching its fifth year. “The core of our work is this idea of working for health, wellness, and healing in the inner city,” Nashashibi said. The organization also works to reintegrate people who are returning from long prison sentences back into their neighborhoods, specifically young

engagement through the rest of their work. “Together, IMAN is trying to create some very meaningful change in the community around issues that have been at the core of a lot of pain and suffering in inner-city communities for decades,” Nashashibi said. Nashashibi received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2017 in recognition of his work with IMAN. “It was an extraordinary

“The work of IMAN is committed to improving the quality of life for all Americans.

moment,” Nashashibi said. “One of the best parts of the experience for me was receiving calls and texts from people across the globe, people who saw it not just as my award, but they saw it as a validation of the work in the community. Any acknowledgment of our work is really the acknowledgment of the work that came before us.” Since receiving the grant, Nashashibi has utilized the money to have the flexibility to take on new projects, such as writing the first draft of a personal memoir. As Nashashibi took to the podium to speak, he was met with roaring applause from the audience. His lecture covered the vast array of discrepancies that he sees in cities across the United States. In the city of San Bernardino – a city that was once a classic American middle-class thriving town in the 20th-century – the concentration of prisons is higher than anywhere else in the country. The city also has the worst air pollution in the country. For Nashashibi, “minding the gap” means more than just realizing that there are gaps, but acting on that realization.“These gaps are a rallying call that really undergird the question of what it means to build dynamically engaged, spiritually

“One of the best parts of the experience for me was receiving calls and texts from people across the globe, people who saw it not just as my award, but they saw it as a validation of the work in the community.” men, mainly 18-25 years old, caught up in the cycle of crime. Through their Green ReEntry program, vacant vandalized homes are revitalized into training sites for a range of skills in various trades including electrical work and carpentry. While in the program, IMAN provides access to a range of behavioral, emotional, and spiritual health aid, as well as artistic

that gap than Chicago is. We have real gaps.” Nashashibi pointed to a study conducted by New York University that found a 30-year gap in life expectancy between the neighborhoods of Streeterville and Englewood in Chicago. Of the five hundred largest cities in America, this gap is the largest. “30 years, eight miles,” Nashashibi said. “Anyone who lives in Chicago knows

aspirational, creatively talented global citizens of today’s world,” Nashashibi said. Nashashibi decided to focus his efforts in Chicago particularly because it had the most potential for growth. “I don’t think there is a city in America,” Nashashibi said, “quite frankly I don’t know a city in the world that is more well-positioned to challenge ourselves and one another to close

that we live not only in a tale of two cities but perhaps in three or four cities; we live among divided realities.” The notion that simply minding the gap is not enough was evident in Nashashibi’s lecture. “Until and unless we invest meaningfully in the neighborhoods that we know are feeling the most amount of pain,” Nashashibi said, “they will simply feel like passive victims in a larger narrative that is being written for them, not with them.” Dr. Frank believes Nashashibi is a model of how a socially responsible citizen should act. “Rami is an individual who is completely in touch with his internal spiritual emotional resources, and this skill helps to garner real change,” Dr. Frank said. “He fits the theme of being a resourceful citizen very well, and we were very lucky to get him to speak.” Francine Rosenberg’s three children – Harry ‘78, Sally ‘79, and Ralph ‘82 – are all heavily involved in the decision-making process each year. “We keep our ears close to the ground, we do a lot of reading, listening, and being attentive to what’s going on in the world,” son of Francine Rosenberg, Harry Rosenberg ‘78 said. “We call Dan and decide whether or not an individual is going to be a good fit.” Nashashibi was chosen as the 22nd annual Francine C. Rosenberg Lecturer not only because of his accomplishments but also because of his Parker-esque message of being a good global citizen and of being proactive in causing change. “Nashashibi was a good fit because he has something very important to say about how much work there is to do in society,” Harry Rosenberg said. “He made it happen. I like to say that there are three kinds of people in the world: people who let things happen, people who stand around and ask ‘what just happened?’ and people who make things happen. Rami Nashashibi makes things happen.”

The Parker Weekly, Page 11


Continued from page six do with an entire school coming together and sharing their work,” Paschen said. “You see the whole range of what a community produces in terms of poetry.” Paschen also commended the English department for their dedication to this event. “I just love the fact that Parker has all these English teachers who feel passionate about poetry and who actually write poetry themselves.” English teachers attempt to time assignments so that students have recent poems that they might consider reading. It’s not required by any teacher to attend the event, but students are encouraged to at least come if not read a piece. Upper School English teacher Matt Laufer has recently been playing with the idea of offering extra credit to students who take part in Poetry Night. “I default to students just wanting to be there and have it be out of the love of it as corny as that sounds, and sort of a pure desire rather than coerced… I think it’s my job to try to make a culture such that they want to be there.” As far as middle school participation, timing poses a bigger obstacle. “The challenge, of course, is that it’s at seven o’clock at night, and most middle school students need to get their parents to bring them back,” seventh grade English teacher Kate Tabor said. The timing does have some benefits. “I liked that it was after school so I didn’t have all my homework on my mind,” seventh-grader Uma Morris, a Poetry Night attendee, said. Students will have plenty more opportunities to flex their poetry muscles throughout the year. The middle school English curriculum builds on their writing skills each year. In the upper school, numerous poetry extracurriculars are offered such as the Slam Poetry Club and Poetry Club. Upperclassmen can enroll in a poetry elective taught by Mr. Laufer. And, in the spring, the entire Parker community will hear from this year’s visiting poet laureate Natasha Trethewey. Poetry Night at the cozy Kovler cafe was a great way to kick off a year of poetry.

The Parker Weekly, Page 12

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Playlist of “The Weekly” WEEKLY THANKSGIVING By Alex Schapiro

This is the perfect playlist to jam to this Thanksgiving! The full mix can be accessed at

THANKSGIVING THEME by Vince Guaraldi Trio mcar9sX6gk7hi6PwZ?si=L-TOjIuoRFDkbf7hhP6ww or by scanning the code below. For now, enjoy a preview of the music that awaits you.


PUMPKIN PIE by The California Honeydrops

THANK YOU FRIEND by Big Star SWEET POTATO PIE by Ray Charles and James Taylor

THANKSGIVING SONG by Mary Chapin Carpenter

IT’S MONK’S TIME by Thelonious Monk MASHED POTATOES U.S.A. by James Brown & The Famous Flames

I WANT TO THANK YOU by Otis Redding

THE MONSTER by Earth, Wind & Fire

THANKFUL by Meltycanon

The Parker Weekly, Page 13

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Copies of a magazine with a dark, glossy,black background and the iconic “Ghostface” mask from the 1996 movie “Scream” adorn the Upper School tables. In front of the sorrowful eyes of the mask are two sketched red hearts, above large yellow text that reads: “Phright Phest.” Eight letters lie in a bright red color along the bottom of the ‘spooky’ cover: Phaedrus. The student-led literary magazine Phaedrus announced on October 17 that they will be experimenting with a ‘cut policy’ for their upcoming issues. The policy was suggested by Upper School English teacher and Phaedrus sponsor Matt Laufer. Phaedrus’ second faculty sponsor, U p p e r S c hoo l English teacher Cory Zeller, said the move was in an effort to “make sure we have high quality content.” The intention behind the policy was to change the traditional way that students submit to Phaedrus. “If everybody just gets in, does it lose its cache?” Zeller said. “And so we were thinking that we absolutely want enough material, but we also want the best material to be published, and so I wouldn’t really say it’s a policy, but we were saying if someone submits four images, we pick the best one or two.” The decision to bring up this policy was spurred by Laufer’s previous experience with literature magazines at other schools in his life. “I’ve never come across a magazine that published everything it gets. I’ve never heard of that, so I guess I entered that with some skepticism,” Laufer said. “My sense is, it may feel like the norm here, but that it’s not the norm, in my experience, in other high schools, and certainly in other kinds of publications, so for me, it seems worth just asking.”


Phaedrus Moves Towards Centralized Staff By Zach Joseph

This idea, however, was not due to any issues Laufer may have had with Phaedrus and its content in the past. “So my thought, it was in no way a judgment of the quality of Phaedrus so far,” Laufer said. “I’ve enjoyed Phaedrus for years, but more just a conceptual idea on how to generate a publication that is serious and intentional and beautiful and captivating for readers and not just any old place to publish any old thing. I think if you make it really beautiful, and exciting, and varied, as a publication, and partly through being selective, that you’ll drum up more interest rather than less.” The Phaedrus heads recall this meeting in particular when Laufer suggested this new idea for a possible policy. “I think he just brought it up in one of the meetings, and he brought up a lot of good points with it, like encouraging higher quality submissions,” Phaedrus head and sophomore Star Rothkopf said, “and also, mostly with our first issue, we just had too many submissions but that wasn’t an issue with our second issue, so we didn’t cut anything in our second issue.” The move was not originally met with agreement from all members of the Phaedrus team. “I think there was some hesitancy from the Phaedrus heads because we had never done something like that before,” Zeller said, “but for our first issue, which was ‘Phaedrus Girl Summer’, I think what ended up happening is it really solidified

“I’ve never come across a magazine that published everything it gets.”

Community service and charitable giving are big components of Parker’s mission as a school. From the Parker Partners community service in the Middle School to the money being raised for charities in Student Government, Parker gives back to outside communities. Many of the clubs in the Upper School spend their time meeting to discuss how they can work to help outside of the school. The Asian Alliance is an Upper School affinity group that meets weekly. The club focuses on bringing Asian-indentifying students together to discuss topics and themes related to their heritage. They discuss issues regarding the Asian community at Parker, in Chicago, and all over the world. “It’s a place for students who are Asian or Asian-American to come together, to share their cultural heritage, and to share their personal experiences with their cultural heritage,” Upper School Science Teacher and Asain Alliance Faculty Advisor, Xiao Zhang said. “Also, to find ways to share with the larger community.” On Friday, November 22, in the

into a publication of twenty-eight pieces that were really high quality.” Those who regularly contribute to Phaedrus have mixed feelings about this new policy. Regular contributor and junior Maddy Leja feels that this policy is not a good idea. “I’m personally not a fan. I see why they implemented it, because, for the first issue, I know that they had a ton of submissions.” Leja said. “I think they overestimated how many submissions they would be getting after this one because people get busier during the school year, so there aren’t going to be enough submissions.” The heads feel that this will not be a policy enforced for every future issue, but will depend on the number of submissions collected from the student body. “I feel like it’s going to be on an issue by issue basis just because we never really know how much we’re going to get from the student body at any given point,” Rothkopf said. “No matter how much we advertise, some people might just submit an eight-page story, and we’re just going to account for that.” After receiving feedback from the heads, Laufer felt that the term ‘cut’ was misleading. “If you actually read the email, it doesn’t say we’re going to cut people,

“I think they overestimated how many submissions they would be getting after this one because people get busier during the year.”

POTLUCK OF POWER Asian Alliance Hosts Potluck Fundraiser By Alya Satchu

Sheridan Cafe, the Asian Alliance will host a potluck. The event will include a raffle for a gift-certificate to an Asian restaurant. There will be music and possibly a movie as well. The entire time is meant to serve as a social hour. There will be catered food, people will bring food from home, and some food might even be made on site. The potluck’s purpose is to raise money for Smile Train. Every year, over 200,000 children with cleft palates are born around the world. Smile Train is an American nonprofit organization that provides cleft palate

it says if you submit multiple pieces, we are going to try printing one, maybe not all, and the ones that are not published will go online. So to me, that’s not a cut,” Laufer said. “It’s rather to select fewer, not necessarily every single one of the submissions by one artist, and to privilege it into a special place of print publication, and the others to still have a place online.” Laufer feels that some hesitancy to consider this policy may have come from the culture of inclusion at Parker. “I think that you know that there is a spirit at Parker of inclusivity and a no-cuts policy on the athletic front, but in fact, that’s not exactly true when you get to the top levels of athletics,” Laufer said. “Maybe there are no cuts but nobody’s guaranteed minutes, nobody’s guaranteed to be published, so to speak, on the soccer team.” For future issues, Laufer thinks that this policy will improve the thought put into each and every submission. “So I was just asking, is it the case that, for example, if an artist submits ten photographs, that Phaedrus will always, definitely, publish all ten photographs. What if that means that there’s a lot of photography in that issue? Is that okay? Maybe it is. If not, couldn’t we select, maybe, the strongest

surgeries for children. Smile Train provides free cleft palate surgery for children in 87 countries, including countries in East Asia. “The group of students who started the Asian Alliance made Smile Train a component of their club charter,” Z h a n g said. “They raised a lot of money last year so we are hoping to successfully continue our work with Smile Train this year. One of the students also had raised funds for the organization before and she wanted to continue to raise more funds

“We thought that an organization that helps children would be a really good organization to stick with.”

photograph?” Laufer said. “Is it a crime for editors to think about quality? Is it a crime for editors to encourage people to take a lot of care in what they’re composing, rather than just snapping an iPhone shot and submitting it?” for the organization, and everyone was on board.” “We thought that an organization that helps children would be a really good organization to stick with,” sophomore and chair of the Asian Alliance Aydin Young said. Cleft palate is a common birth condition that causes a baby’s upper lip to seem as it’s attached to the bottom of their nose. There is a long hole in the roof of their mouth that stretches all the way to the top of their upper lip. In order to fix this birth condition, surgery has to be performed, but some families in East Asia don’t have the money to provide this surgery for their children. The potluck will be raising money to help these children get the surgery needed. The Smile Train slogan is, “Give every child the chance to smile.” Tickets for the potluck start at a minimum of $10. “The whole school community is welcome to come,” Young said, “Parents, students, anybody.”

The Parker Weekly, Page 14

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Parker’s Global Community

PARKER SUBSTITUTE TEACHER X LOCAL CHICAGO THEATER David Alex’s “N” premieres in Chicago By Abri Berg

David Alex works with the cast on the play “Adrift.” Photo courtesy of The Daily Herald.

While most students recognize David Alex as an enthusiastic substitute teacher that possesses knowledge in many subjects, only some know that Alex is also an award-winning playwright. I was among the latter group for most of my time as a student at Parker. It wasn’t until I read Ian Shayne’s article “Kryptonian Substitute,” published in 2017, that I learned of Alex’s contributions and avid participation in the theater community. Certainly, after reading the list of full-length plays Alex has published, I was thrilled to find out that one of his pieces, “N,” was set to premiere at the Greenhouse Theater Center this fall. “N” is categorized as a political drama that focuses on the exchanges between Eddy and Mrs. Page, two opposite individuals in terms of appearance and views on the world. Mrs. Page is an older, conservative, African American woman who is a devout follower of the American Constitution and constellations. Eddy is a young, liberal, exceedingly naive, white male who is hired by Mrs. Page’s son to take care of her. In exchange for his help, he is offered a room, board, and a monetary reward. As a struggling actor who aspires to make it big on stage someday, Eddy takes the job to help pay off his student loans and additional expenses. Mrs. Page, portrayed by Stacie Doublin, forces Eddy to follow the rules of her household such as using no profanity or communicating with her son. Eddy is also required to go on grocery runs and perform basic household tasks for Mrs. Page who refuses to leave her home. In the time that Eddy stays with Mrs. Page, he is exposed to a perspective that is often overlooked in society: an older, conservative African American woman. Through the unlikely pair’s dialogues on social issues, political situations, lifestyle choices, and economics, Mrs. Page educates Eddy on the importance of recognizing the ways in which he benefits

from the current system. In return, Eddy challenges her to step outside of her small world and move past the pain she has experienced from the loss of her husband. Eddy, played by Ryan Smetana, is presented as an extreme liberal who is confident in the ways in which he believes he understands the world. He is so passionate about his political correctness to the point where he refuses to buy “Land O Lakes” butter for its depiction of a Native American woman on the box. While living under Mrs. Page’s roof, Eddy scores the opportunity of his acting career to perform in a one-man modernized production of “Oedipus Rex.” However, after a decision is made by the show’s playwright to include the use of the n-word in the show, Eddy refuses to comply with the change in the script and storms out of rehearsal. This is the moment in the show that resonated with me the most because I feel like I have witnessed and experienced it myself on various occasions in my own reality. When I have been prompted to discuss race in an educational environment, typically, the previous activity in the room dissolves into a cold silence. Often, uneasy looks appear on people’s faces at the thought of discussing a topic with considerable potential to misspeak. I have also witnessed students who identify as liberals justify why they are not bigoted by openly expressing their distaste for the underlying problems in American society, hoping to distance themselves from the favored party. “N” challenged me to recognize the ways in which the elements of systematic racism both favor and hinder me from achieving success in this world. It has caused me to rethink the boundaries I have established in my own life and investigate the reason why I have set these limitations on myself. I applaud Alex for demonstrating through his work how conversations regarding race between people of different

STUDYING ABROAD SUCCESS AFS Students’ Life After Parker By Eden Stranahan

You step off a plane, look around at new unfamiliar views, and hear a somewhat familiar language that isn’t your own. You are then greeted by a new family and set up to attend a new school. Every year this experience is what an American Field Service (AFS) student faces when they land in Chicago. They are placed with one of Parker’s families and often rotate through multiple families over the course of the year. “When students return from an AFS exchange, moreover, they are excited by what they’ve discovered—about the world and themselves,” said the AFS-USA website. What does this mean for Parker’s very own AFS students when they return home? How does it affect their own lives after the experience is over? Each year a Parker Upper School family hosts a year-long Parker Upper School student from another country. They share a house, a school, a city, and many experiences with this highschooler. Community members around Parker take various roles that involve the AFS students. “I became the AFS faculty liaison probably I would say about 12 years ago,” Upper School French Teacher Lorin Pritikin said. Students from many countries come as AFS students to a city potentially very different than their own. “So much of how students survive and succeed into assimilation of the many different aspects of culture had a lot to do with the kind of people that sign up to participate in this kind of program to begin with,” Pritikin said. “A lot of the students who sign up for this from countries all over the world already have the courage to put themselves

in a very difficult, stressful situation, but they don’t know how they are going to really deal with it until they are there. They have been amazing and resilient to all the challenges they have to deal with,” Pritikin said. These students include Peeraya (Minnie) Rujjanavet, from Thailand. She has graduated from highschool. “Now, I’m a BBA freshman student at the International College in Thailand. My plan for the future is to finish my BBA degree and continued with an MBA degree,” Rujjanavet said. Her year at Parker influenced her life back home. “I improved my English Language skills when I was at Parker, and it’s helping me in my high school and college because the subjects are all taught in English. My year at Parker impacted me in a positive way in high school because I enhanced my self-esteem which makes me more confident to go talk to the friends that I never talk with, and I also engage in more school activities.” Muhammad (Eja) Hamid is Parker’s current AFS student, who joined the senior class for the year, 9,291 miles from home in an unfamiliar city and school. “I think my year at Parker definitely helped me because what mostly is a surprise is that a lot of kids at Parker are very expressive and vocal about their opinions, which is what I really want to bring back to Indonesia. People are very comfortable with their opinions in Indonesia, but people are just not really that vocal about it because at Parker is very active with activism,” Hamid said. Hamid participated in the recent climate strike along with other Parker students. “We just had the environmental strikes,

backgrounds can be productive. Every time I attend a production for “The Weekly” at a local theater, I discover nooks and crannies within Chicago that I have been overlooking for the past sixteen years. It was a delight to attend The Greenhouse Theater at 2257 N Lincoln Ave and I hope to see more of their productions in the near future. Additionally, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to see Mr. Alex’s work performed in a live theater. “N” is a relevant piece of theater that presents diverging personalities who experience individual growth by tolerating each other’s differences and turning the situation into a learning experience rather than running away from them.

Even if you did not have the chance to see “N” during its run in four and a half week run in Chicago, I ask for you to do one act to expand your knowledge of members within our school community. As someone who has attended Parker for nearly her entire schooling career, I often forget to reconnect with people outside of the education setting I see them in and ask them what they are up to. Members of the Parker community are multifaceted beyond who we think we know them as. Maybe you will discover that your Spanish teacher is also a part-time actress? Or your gym teacher enjoys coding apps in their free time? The possibilities are endless.

“I improved my English Language skills when I was at Parker, and it’s helping me in my high school and college.”

Continued on page 18

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The Opinion Pages


Can We Separate Athletes’ Achievements From Bad Behavior? By Oliver Marks

I can recall countless times last year where I jumped off of my couch, cheering as Kareem Hunt, the second year running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, drove the ball into the endzone. Later in the season, the headlines about Hunt did not describe gamewinning drives. Instead, he was accused of multiple counts of assault. I felt betrayed and sad but most of all, conflicted. I know it may sound ridiculous, but I feel a personal connection to Hunt. I have followed his career since his rookie season, drafted him in fantasy football two years in a row for my team. Yet, when he was suspended and ultimately released by the Chiefs, I felt a sense of shame. I thought to myself, “Can I really root for a player who has done so many awful things and gotten away with them until now due to their success?” Sadly, the circumstances surrounding Hunt are not unusual. In the past several years, countless athletes have been accused of crimes leading to a change in public opinion about otherwise revered athletes. And this is true not solely in the case of famous athletes, but also with popular musicians. Some of my favorite rappers and singers have committed crimes that

have ended their careers and caused me to reevaluate my support of them. I have been left wondering: Is it really possible to separate a person from their work, whether it be athletic achievement or chart-topping

acts, they are sending out a message to all their fans. Millions of people, including young children who look to these athletes as role models, see their behavior and normalize it.

“Some of my favorite rappers and singers have committed crimes that have ended their careers and caused me to reevaluate my support of them. I have been left wondering: Is it really possible to separate a person from their work, whether it be athletic achievement or chart-topping musical ability?” musical ability? On one hand, many of these athletes play sports where their success is not only personal, but also part of a team accomplishment. But at the same time, this success benefits them directly, boosting their value as a player, ego, and even public appeal. When they commit these heinous


At first, I attempted to separate Hunt’s actions from his performance and hoped he would not be suspended or penalized. I tried to convince myself that because he was part of an organization bigger than himself, and because he had contributed so much to his team, that his athletic contribution should be considered apart from his personal actions

Sexual Harassment is Not a Single-Sex Issue By Celia Rattner

Merriam-Webster defines sexual harassment “as uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate.” Let’s contextualize this. At a party, I watched a girl repeatedly approach a boy, touch him in a sexual nature, and protest when he rejected her sexual advances. I also witnessed the boy being chastised for rejecting such advances. Nobody protested these actions. Nobody even batted an eye. This is not an isolated incident. After last March’s Gender Week, a number of conversations about sexual harassment arose within Parker ’s walls, mostly centering around women’s experiences. Yes, sexual harassment has and continues to be experienced by women, especially when a power imbalance arises. But we consistently disregard how boys can be victims of the same type of harassment when such imbalances are present. We often think of power imbalances as a physical presence. Since men are usually taller and physically stronger, they are often the villian in stories of sexual harassment or assault. Power imbalances, however, can manifest themselves through social dynamics, like the relationship between a

boss and an employee, or between students from varying levels of social status. With movements like #MeToo, we’ve seen how people of a lower social rank are manipulated, often by force, into sexual interactions by their superiors. While #MeToo shined a spotlight of the horrific experiences of women in Hollywood, the narrative of the men who are victims of sexual harassment and abuse was completely neglected in the public’s discourse. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What isn’t spoken of, however, are instances of toxic femininity. Women are capable of exhibiting the same predatory behavior that is often associated with men. In high schools, girls often feel obligated to engage in sexual behavior with boys that are older or more popular. Due to their smaller size and generally weaker physical strength, we assume that female students aren’t capable of intimidating or pressuring their male counterparts into sexual activity. We fail to acknowledge how the same dynamic can be reversed: women of a higher social status can use their power to persuade boys to engage in the same behavior. When we see scenarios of girls using social—or maybe physical—power over a man, we remain silent. We dismiss these acts and brush them under the carpet in the same way as stories of female sexual harassment victims are ignored in schools and workforces. As we “Gen Z’ers” strive to eradicate sexual harassment from Parker and halt its progression into our professional lives, we women have to practice what we preach when we say “no means no.” We need to hold one another accountable, regardless of gender.

“What isn’t spoken of, however, are instances of toxic femininity.” suggests that nearly one in six males have experienced sexual abuse or assault by the time they turn 18. Due to long-standing societal norms about what makes “a man,” many male victims of sexual abuse or assault do not seek help,. Some may say that Parker breeds an environment of toxic masculinity. In a community where news of peoples’ sexual conquests spreads like wildfire, it’s easy for competition to arise. Without realizing it, we enforce the idea that men must be sexually domineering and frown upon the refusal of potential “hook-ups.”

off the field. But it is important to acknowledge that athletes are public figures. They are often members of a team and represent an organization that millions support. And they are considered heroic figures by their countless fans. How an athlete, or any public figure, behaves in his or her personal life has an impact beyond what can be considered personal. Many in the Parker community are avid sports fans. The halls are filled with students and faculty proudly wearing their favorite team colors and player jerseys. However, I challenge students to look beyond performance and truly take a deep dive into learning more about the players they support and look up to. I’m not saying don’t root for sports teams. That would be ridiculous and you would probably stop reading here. But think about what these organizations values are when they employ players like Hunt and then proceed to cover up their crimes in order to keep them eligible until it reaches the public. Think about what you are supporting when you root for players who have committed controversial and immoral acts during their careers.


Continued from page five

can control,’ and focus on what you can do to get better,” Gardner said. “I remind myself of those things when I’m in games.” Gardner wished more people knew about Geller’s award. “I think she should’ve been recognized at the banquet by the Parker community,” Gardner said. “Not a lot of people outside of the team know about her honor, and I think it’s something that most people should know.” Although the field hockey team ended their postseason run on October 26th, losing to Lake Forest High School, Geller’s season is far from over. On the weekends she coaches a Windy City Field Hockey travel team, in January she’ll be hosting clinics for 1st through 5th graders, and in June and July she’ll be hosting field hockey camps. As for the future, Geller hopes that her award will continue the program’s progression. “I just want to make sure that this program grows,” Geller said. “Not just in the Varsity team, but in the JV squad, the eighth grade squad, the seventh grade squad. I want all the girls to think they own the sport.”


The Parker Weekly, Page 16 Harrison.

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Colonel Columns


CARLIN’S CONVENTIONS JOYS OF LIFE TheTHE Thanksgiving Paradox Henry By William Lindsay Carlin



It Goes Both Ways By Caroline Conforti

By Grayson Schementi Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. For as long as I can remember, it’s gone like this: I go for a run or play two hand touch football then spend all day cooking for the 15-or-so people who usually end up seated around our dining room table. But Thanksgiving can also be a source of great stress, both for me and for others who celebrate the holiday around the country. For people who don’t find the same joy in cooking that I do, the holiday brings massive anxiety surrounding meal planning and preparing. And the idea of extended family-time––and extended-family time–– tends to clench the fists and heighten the heart rates of many people I know. Basically every popular TV show ever has a Thanksgiving episode where tensions boil over between hungry or intoxicated dinner guests. Whenever I hear the words of Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say,” I’m brought back to freshman year, when I listened to the song as the soundtrack of Season 3, Episode 11 of “Gossip Girl” (“The Treasure of Serena Madre,” if you’re interested). The drama in that episode

the Pilgrims broke bread at the expense of Native Americans, who continue to suffer the consequences of colonization over 500 years later. For some families, it may be even more difficult if attempts at affection are marred by polar politics or touchy topics. I don’t know how to rectify the disparities that exist in the theory and practice of Thanksgiving. In an increasingly complex, cynical, sensitive time, I wonder if such a solution is even achievable. It feels to me as though society is out of practice when it comes to giving thanks. We are increasingly skeptical of others’ motives. Kind words or gestures seem few and far between or are repudiated on the basis that the gesture is in it for personal gain. So this Thanksgiving, I implore everyone to interpret the meaning of Thanksgiving literally. Recognize what you usually take for granted, and say “thank you” for it. Thank the cashier bagging your groceries, whether you’re a week early or taking a last-minute shopping trip because you forgot the cranberries. Thank your uncle

“I implore everyone to interpret the meaning of Thanksgiving literally. Recognize what you usually take for granted, and say ‘thank you’ for it. Thank the cashier bagging your groceries...” mesmerized my fourteen-year-old mind and is unforgettable to this day. (Without giving specific spoilers: Lies. Secrets. Affairs. Dished ALL OVER THE PLACE.) When you dig below the stuffing–– both the Thanksgiving side and your face––Thanksgiving seems to be rife with self-contradiction. We’re told Thanksgiving is a celebration, an observance of gratitude, but the holiday is rooted in the pillage and plunder of Native American towns by the Pilgrims, a fact which is discussed at few dinner tables, and these days it seems more about indulgence than giving thanks. We’re told to surround ourselves with loved ones and simply enjoy each other’s company, but oftentimes, a family gathering around the dinner table ends in uncomfortable conversation at best and full-fledged family fights at worst. It’s undoubtedly hard to reconcile what we want Thanksgiving to be––a happy, appreciative occasion––with the fact that it is rooted in ruthlessness, that

for bringing green bean casserole. Thank the person sitting next to you at the dinner table for the conversation you had during dinner. Thank your parents for doing the dishes. As you give these thanks, consider that reverting to the simplest way to exhibit gratefulness may make your Thanksgiving all the more pleasant.

YOUNG MEN OF COLOR Continued from page four

boys standing in a circle facing one another. “Someone would say something about their experiences and if you had experienced something similar, you would take a step into the center,” said Acevedo, “This exercise was a visual representation of the thoughts and feelings of people who are going through the same things as you.”

Scrolling through my snapchat subscriptions, I clicked on the small rectangle, labeled “People.” Although I certainly do not rely on this publication as a source of news, mindlessly tapping through the stories has become more routine than I would like. The publication’s imitation of a magazine cover showed a shirtless man, with “can you guess the steamy celebs

men are also subject to over-sexualization in the media. However, when the latter occurs, it appears to receive an entirely different response, if one at all. I realized that the parallel article about women would likely have had a title along the lines of “can you guess the steamy celeb’s butt pic,” or “can you guess the steamy celeb’s boob pic.” But, it immediately seemed clear to me that

“Evidently, just like women, men are also subject to over-sexualization in the media.” ab pic” written over it. The publication proceeded to display pictures of mens’ abs; their heads were not pictured. The conversation around double standards within the realm of gender is usually centered on the systemic diminishment of women. Specifically, these conversations often relate to how women are habitually sexualized and objectified while men are not. And yes, the harsh double standards that women often face are truly concerning and must be addressed. However, those, including myself, that decry the over-sexualization and objectification of women often give little to no regard to that of their non-female counterparts. To me, this is analog to how the #MeToo culture has largely excluded male victims of sexual assault from its narrative. When this article popped up in my feed, it engendered an outlook on the double standard that seems to be uncommon, or just not talked about. Evidently, just like women,

such an article would not be published, and if it incidentally was, the story could be expected to receive a considerable amount of backlash. Although I have called attention to a single instance highlighting the difference in reception to the sexualization of men versus women in media, this example is not unparalleled. Nick Jonas’s case of being groped during his performance last month seemed like an outlier in receiving the appropriate amount of attention, and I am confident that similar events have taken place but with no reprisal. My friends and I exchange social media pictures of attractive male celebrities or the occasional Tik Tok star while simultaneously grimacing upon hearing our male peers swap of bikini photos from Instagram. This reality presents a clear imbalance–– I wonder if I am taking part in this double standard.

Brandon says exercises such as the one described by Acevedo are intended to form a sense of unity among participants. “It gives the boys a chance to be in the majority in a space where they are always a minority, in terms of percentages of student body,” said Brandon. According to Brandon, the number of males of color in independent schools is significantly less than that for females of color. “For boys of color this program creates a space for them to be honest with each other and to talk about feelings and emotions that they might not be willing, or able, to share in their school environment,” said Brandon. Following age-appropriate dialogue sessions and a lunch period, participants were separated into affinity groups based on race and ethnicity. “I am multi-racial, so I was able to go to a group made up of all multi-racial students,” said Acevedo, “I think it’s really important to have strong

bonds with people who look and think like you.” In comparison to the first annual Young Men of Color Symposium in 2018, Brandon said that administrators integrated significantly more dialoguebased engagement into the programing. “Last year it was more education-based, as there were lessons that the adults were asked to teach,” said Brandon. “This year we took a lot of that out so that there was a chance for more dialogue.” “It’s up to all of us to make sure that everyone feels a part of this environment. It’s important that we don’t try to single students out for their experiences and to make them be the spokesperson for that kind of experience.” said Brandon. “We need to recognize that we are one of something, but not the something. We can’t speak for all people that look like us, whatever your identity may be.”

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Colonel Columns

The Parker Weekly, Page 17



By Grayson Schementi

By Matthew Turk

Today, now that Thanksgiving is happening, we’re gonna look at a real turkey, not the country, or the bird, or three strikes, but the one that means “dumb person,” and show the gratitude that we feel towards his indefatigable legacy: William Henry Harrison. Just wanted to point out that “indefatigable” is a really long word Ms. Seebold taught me and that’s what I’m putting my Parker education towards. So, who is William Henry Harrison? Glad you asked. I have to set the stage first, though. Imagine: 1841, Hong Kong is taken over by the British in January (P.S. ROOTING FOR YOU GUYS! (P.P.S. That could either be a reference to Brexit or Hong Kong protests and you’ll never know which)), there are volcanoes in Antarctica apparently, I didn’t know that and neither did the people before 1841 (that’s insane, are they, like, ice volcanoes?), Groundhog Day is created by James Morris in his diary, which, also, he just made Groundhog Day by writing it in a book… I wish I had that much power, Canada turns into one big Canada, the U.S. Senate uses the first piece of groundhog poop known as the filibuster, and El Salvador poofs into independence. And that’s all before William Henry Harrison was sworn in on March 4th. He was to be the ninth president of the United States of America and rule over all 26 (Florida was still out of the union… ). But how did he get to be the ninth president of the United States? Glad you asked. Harrison was a military man. He enlisted in the army in 1791 at 18 and built a reputation for massacring Native Americans and forcibly and violently kicking them off their lands in what are today referred to as “wars.” He won the battle of Tippecanoe and became nationally recognized and acclaimed. He then served in the War of 1812, fighting off Native Americans in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. I mentioned this last time—these aren’t wars, they’re genocides and they are despicable and I’m not excusing his actions, and the trauma and dehumanization continued and proliferated by Harrison carry on the ways that Native Americans in modern society are treated. I will most likely be addressing this in a future column. Ok, so after his big bad stuff, what did Silly Willy, as I’m calling him, do next? He ran for the House of Representatives from Ohio and won that. He ran for the Senate and won that. Silly Willy was feeling pretty confident. So he ran for President in 1836 against Martin van Buren, which is actually the best name ever. He has a type of car in his name, the only president besides Gerald Ford to have that. AND HE LOST! Silly Willy then was sad for three years. But he ran again in 1840 and won because (repeat after me): Martin van Buren was bad at his job! The campaign got super heated. Silly Willy called Martin van Buren

After reflecting on the first few months of my tenure, it is quite apparent that transparency between the Cabinet and the entire student body is key in a functioning democracy. That is why some weeks ago we held a Plenary session during which students were able to voice their opinions on what they like about Student Government this year and where there is room for improvement. One particular critique to which I would like to respond is the lingering skepticism of whether or not Senior Month can be implemented. Not long ago, I had a meeting with Principal Dan Frank, Dean of Student Life Joe Bruno, and Upper School Head Justin Brandon in which we discussed the feasibility and logistics of such a program. A f t e r gathering necessary documents and timetables, I can say with confidence that this will ideally go into effect in May 2021. Although I will no longer be a student here at that time, I hope that students will dive into what interests them with the same voracity with which this program is being formed. In that meeting, I learned that Dr. Frank was a student at Parker during the time a program called “May Month” was active. As I have mentioned before, this was a period in the spring where seniors would finish their studies in April and then pursue their passions, typically through an internship, outside of class. If something similar has been done once, something similar can be done today.

William Henry Harrison.

“Martin van Ruin,” because he was bad at the economy, which, like, ROASTED! And Farty Marty, which is my name for him, called Silly Willy “Granny Harrison” because he was OLD, boom, roasted. But, unfortunately for Martin van Ruin, Granny Harrison ran a better campaign and won the election. So, it’s the day of his inauguration. He’s 68 years old, the oldest president until Ronald Reagan who was the oldest until Trump. His birthday was 23 days ago and he thinks people don’t respect him (which they clearly do, they just voted for him). His wife is sick so he’s there with his dead son’s wife Jane. Which, like, Jane is just the best. Good for Jane. It’s 33 degrees, let’s say. It’s raining. And so Silly Willy thinks it’s a great idea, with his 68-year-old aging body, to travel a mile on horseback to the inauguration, even though a carriage was provided for him. But wait! Silly Willy thought he’d look tough if he didn’t wear a coat! And even tougher if he didn’t wear a hat. And, would you look at that, he gave an 8,445-word speech that took him two hours to read, the longest in history, while he stood in the rain and cold with no coat or hat. “I’m so tough,” thought Silly Willy. “They all think I’m the same war hero from Tippecanoe.” Except, NO, no one thought that because he got a cold and reportedly had walking pneumonia. Two weeks later, it was raining super hard and he AGAIN went out into the rain with no coat or hat and then got really bad, you have to skip school and work, pneumonia. The doctors gave him stuff that made him lose blood, throw up, and he was literally given petroleum, not jelly, like liquid. That made him sicker, and one month after his inauguration on March 4th, on April 4th, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, was dead, the first president to die in office. Thirty-one days. According to the Siena College Research Institute’s Presidential Expert Poll, William Henry Harrison had the WORST luck of all the Presidents and is still ranked higher overall than Andy J., Jimmy B., Donny T., Warren G., AND Franky P., so he had a lot of unused potential. So, this is going to be a big jump, but I’d argue that what actually killed Silly Willy is a pervasive need to prove that he is “manly” enough. Some call this toxic masculinity. I think that colloquialism is overused and does not capture nearly enough of the issue. It’s not that us being masculine is toxic. It is that harming others or ourselves, physically or emotionally, because we want to fit into ideas of masculine dominant identity, is toxic. Priding ourselves on sports ability and providing for our families are not “toxic” behaviors. Womanizing,

How are we doing?

Incidentally, I also received a number of references from archivist Andy Kaplan for places to look deeper into how exactly May Month functioned. A definition of May Month from 1974 by English teacher Marie Kirchner Stone, says, “Time allowed a more extensive and richer use of personal resources, the development of important skills, the utilization of the city as a classroom, new approaches to teaching, and a close concentrated interaction between students and faculty.” In the archive there are also images from the time, depicting students engaging in myriad activities, such as Fortran c o m p u t e r programming, bioethical roundtable discussions, and sketching botanical and zoological diagrams at the Field Museum. Now that I have met with Dr. Frank, I have scheduled weekly meetings with Upper School Head Justin Brandon to continue this effort at implementation after we pass the proposal through the Assembly. In December, I hope to meet with the Senior Committee, a group of faculty who discuss the senior experience. As previously stated, this column is a forum for feedback and accountability. From the feedback received during Plenary and the Senior Committee meeting, we hope to compose a formalized proposal that will ensure that every future Cabinet gets regular positive criticism from their peers.

“I hope that students will dive into what interests them with the same voracity with which this program is being formed.”

abusing, and resorting to violence and anger because “society says so” are. It’s the need to “dominate” over other people, and this creates misogyny and homophobia. That is toxic. William Henry Harrison, Silly Willy, Granny Harrison, made a bold choice to prove that he was still a man. He could brave the cold and ride a horse just like in the good old days of his Native massacring youth. This behavior, this need to prove himself as “tough,” literally got him killed. Similarly, because masculine stereotypes ask us to repress our emotions, we suffer from higher cases of depression, stress, and substance abuse than our gender-binary counterparts. To reiterate, MASCULINITY IS NOT TOXIC. But the idea that there is only one way to be a true man, dominate, and assume the “alpha-male” position, is toxic. There are so many ways to express masculinity that confining the entire identity into “dominate and take power” is toxic. When we do that to ourselves and to each other, that is toxic. Parker tried to have this

conversation during Gender Week and it failed. If you present toxic masculinity as a need to break the entire concept of what it means to be masculine, we aren’t going to listen to you. If we are to change behavior, attacks that cause defensiveness are not the way to go. Diagnosing the problem is the first step, which I hope I’ve helped with. The second step is changing behavior. If we consciously say to ourselves, “I can’t cry right now because that would make me look weak,” which I know I’ve done, and I know a lot of people who have, then we are perpetuating the idea that we all have to fit into a mold. So I ask Parker to begin to break the mold. Crack away at the pieces. If you aren’t comfortable to cry around your friends and you are bottling stuff up, ask yourself why. If you perform micro-aggressions to women, why? If you think it’s a weak thing to do to not wear a coat when it’s below the freezing point of water, ask yourself why. Let’s break this mold.

The Parker Weekly, Page 18

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The Boxing Ring!

SHOULD VOTING BE REQUIRED IN AMERICA? Voting Should Be Mandatory in America By Paige Shayne

On the morning of November 9, 2016, more than half of America was devastated, struggling to understand how their conservative counterparts had elected Donald Trump the night before. Although many Republican voters wholeheartedly supported him, the Americans that handed him the election were those who did not vote twenty-four hours earlier. In 2016, this was more than 60 percent of the country. After the election, numerous “blue wave” promises of sweeping Democratic wins filled the country, but less than 50 percent voted in the 2018 midterms. As a result, Democratic voters managed to tip the Senate only one seat in their favor, meaning that the Senate now stands 53-47 for the Republicans. Voting should be mandatory in the United States. Voter participation is extremely low. According to Vitanna, out of 35 countries polled, the U.S. is 28th for voter turnout. States average around 50 percent for turnout. In Australia, e n f o r c e d mandatory voting leaves rates above 90 percent. I n a democracy where politicians must represent the interests of all their constituents, the small minority that votes controls leadership and policy decisions. Elected politicians are often able to ignore low-income, younger, and non-white voters who have more difficulty finding a polling place or registering to vote. As a result, our representatives do not reflect their interests. Mandatory voting allows the government to reflect the opinions of the majority, as they should in a democracy. In 2015, Barack Obama proposed compulsory voting for the U.S., arguing that “if everyone voted, then it would completely change the political map of this country.” America has a long history of denying voting rights to citizens based on their race, sex, religion, age, and health. When citizens do not vote, they are dismissing the legacy of those who committed or lost their lives to fight for this fundamental right. Dismissing the Constitution’s demand for equality, America prohibited African Americans and women from voting for almost two centuries. For more than one hundred years, women fought actively for their place in democracy until 1920, when Congress ratified the 19th Amendment. On March 7, 1965, six hundred soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement marched from Selma to Montgomery to continue their battle for voting rights, leaving 58 severely injured. Today, a combination of discrimination

and violence prevents millions of American citizens from voting. Through gerrymandering, strict voter ID and registration requirements, and poll closures in certain precincts, voter suppression purged more than 17 million eligible voters between 2016 and 2018. According to Obama, people who do not tend to vote are young, lower-income, and belong to immigrant or minority groups. Instead of overturning voter ID laws or implementing automatic registration—all of which are commendable ideas—America should aim for a simpler, holistic, and viable solution. Mandatory voting also reduces election costs. In the U.S., costs range from $40 to $130 for each voter. According to “The Economist,” American elections are expensive because reaching a population of 314 million requires a significant cost. In Australia, costs for major elections are $15 per voter. If the law requires everyone to vote, doing so would be much more convenient. Voters could mail in their ballots, which eliminates the need for judges, vote counters, and a voting space. With mandatory v o t i n g , candidates, parties, and outside groups would not have to devote their resources to turn out voters. Some argue that the impact of one vote is so small that there is no reason for them to cast a ballot. Living in a democracy means voting is not individual, and each vote carries its own distinct and important weight as part of this democratic nation. One individual voter does not have a significant chance of deciding an election, but a large group of individual voters does. Others argue that mandatory voting brings a huge responsibility to a swarm of uneducated, clueless voters. With traps like clickbait and Facebook, uninformed Americans could be easily susceptible to fake news about candidates and politics. Each individual voter has the responsibility to stay informed about each election, and mandatory voting will urge citizens to educate themselves on the issues so they know for whom and for what they are voting when they cast a ballot. If you did not vote in 2016 or 2018, you have no right to complain about the administration’s handling of women’s rights and immigration, about Trump’s economic policies or how he chooses to spend his presidency. Do not complain that one party doesn’t hear you—by refusing to cast your vote, you’re refusing to let them.

“Do not complain that one party doesn’t hear you— by refusing to cast your vote, you’re refusing to let them.”

Voting Should Not Be Mandatory By Rosey Limmer

In a democracy, citizens have the power to decide the people who represents them in government. Everyone in the United States of America over the age of 18 is given the responsibility of electing representatives so that the government represents the wants and needs of the people. When one turns 18, they are given the right to vote. This, however, does not mean they are required to vote. A large problem in the United States is voter turnout. The 2016 presidential election marked a 20-year low in voter

you are still voting in a way by not showing support for either candidate. While this does not mean neither candidate wins, polls of voter turnout relay the shortcomings of politics to society. This can lead to stronger future candidates and reform within the views of a party. Voting is seen as a way to let all the people of this country participate in their government. Not casting a vote can be the most accurate way to voice your opinion for what you believe is best for the government. If you believe neither candidate is fit to run the country, having to vote for

turnout: only 58 percent of eligible voters marked their ballot. This led to the question of how voter turnout affects the results of elections, and whether or not voting should be a requirement. As citizens, we have many requirements: we must pay our taxes, serve jury duty and obey the law. These requirements are necessary for keeping our country running. However, I do not believe it is democratic to require voting. In the 2016 election, many people were faced with a personal conflict: they felt as if neither candidate would be able to accurately represent the people of this country. Furthermore, many people felt that with so many flaws, neither candidate was fit to run the country. Rather than deciding to vote for what they thought was the lesser of two evils, many chose to vote for no one. However, even if you do not cast a ballot,

one of them would silence that opinion. Some people do not feel educated enough on the candidates and their positions to vote. Some people feel like they don’t know which candidate represents them. Some people simply just don’t care enough about politics to vote. However, no matter the reason you chose not to vote, that is your choice and you understand the ways in which it affects you. If you understand a candidate will be elected anyway but still decide to not vote, you are giving the power of selection to the people, much like the government is. Making voting a requirement takes away the freedom it allows. If people are forced to vote for a candidate that doesn’t accurately represent them, it hurts democracy as a whole.

“Not casting a vote can be the most accurate way to voice your opinion for what you believe is best for the government. If you believe neither candidate is fit to run the country, having to vote for one of them would silence that opinion.”

AFS STUDENTS Continued from page 14

which I think is very amazing for a high school student to organize that, because in Indonesia it is so rare to see students doing something like that,” Hamid said. Hamid will not be receiving school credits for high school in Indonesia, but he has plans for his future back home. “After my year at Parker, I hope to go back to Indonesia, and then I need to finish one more year of high school there, but after I finish my high school in Indonesia I would really like to try to apply to a lot of universities, not only in Indonesia, but right now I’m also kind of preparing to go to university in the US which I also like. I am trying

to search for a lot of colleges that accept international students that give a scholarship for International students,” Hamid said. He has been fully immersed in English, a language that isn’t his mother tongue. “My English speaking ability has definitely been increased because when I first got here, I was still thinking in Bahasa Indonesia, my native language,” Hamid said. “But after several weeks I’ve started to think in English, and even had my first dream in English. This will definitely help me with my English classes back in Indonesia.”

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Penultimate Page

The Parker Weekly, Page 19


In the previous issue of “The Weekly,” we published an article written by senior Andy Wessman titled “Why I Quit the Basketball Team.” Wessman describes his experience with Parker’s former Varsity coach, recounting multiple instances in which he used homophobic and sexist language while talking to players. In the days following the newspaper’s distribution, the Athletic Department announced that the coach would not return for the upcoming season. “Why I Quit the Basketball Team” was upsetting to many members of the community, including those criticized in the article, players who support their coach, and readers appalled by Wessman’s story. However, “The Weekly” sees itself as a reinforcement of the importance and power of student journalism to confront issues within the school. Before writing the article, Wessman brought his concerns about the coach to the Athletic Department. and other players on the Basketball Team had also done so. At one point, the majority of players even signed a petition, collectively requesting to

replace the coach. Parker publicly addressed his severely inappropriate behavior when the situation was presented to the entire school, leveraging pressure on the Athletic Department. This pressure caused the school to carry out a solution

responsibility, courage — that are framed and hung in dozens of rooms in the building, that are theoretically the backbone of the school. As citizens and journalists, then, it is our duty to call attention to deviations from our mission, not out of disdain or anger,

that it believed readers would see as a reasonable, critical response. While “The Weekly” isn’t commenting on the coach’s departure, we would like to acknowledge that we feel the article contributed to change within the community — leaders attempted to better align our reality to the one stipulated by our mission. We value the ideals — empathy,

but out of hope that such deviations can be rectified. Without publicity, issues can be quietly disregarded and remain unresolved, slowly eroding Parker’s moral foundation. Articles on controversial subjects often criticize members of the community, and we recognize the pain they can cause. The justification, though, is that Parker’s mission is so much larger than individual reputations

“We value the ideals— empathy, responsibility, courage— that are framed and hung in dozens of rooms in the building, that are theoretically the backbone of the school.”


Continued from page one

was “the ideological opposite to white supremacy” due to its values of diversity and inclusion. To fit in, Derek concealed his identity as a white nationalist from his peers. Still, he’d routinely sneak out to the quad, call into the radio show he hosted with his dad, and voice his racist ideas to thousands. After about a year, though, another student discovered Derek’s role as a white nationalist, and the campus erupted into conflict. A number of students vehemently protested against Derek’s place on campus, resulting in the school closing for a day. “The campaign of exclusion was really successful,” Saslow said. “They made Derek, for the first time in his life, feel a little bit vulnerable. He also thought, ‘can this many smart people all be wrong?’ He started to feel a little bit more shaky about his ideology.” Other students, though, took an approach of inclusion. Initially, two Jewish students invited Derek to their Shabbat dinners, and as time passed, more and more students attended to convince Derek to redefine his beliefs. Among these students were immigrants who spoke of the discrimination they faced and a girl who debated Derek on the merits of his “data” that led him to his conclusion that white people are superior to people of color. The efforts made by the New College community were effective. “Because Derek trusted and liked the other students, he opened his ears,” Saslow said. “Little by little, over the course of three years of really active, hard work by the students on this campus, both by civil resistance and discourse, the scaffolding of Derek’s

— especially those of administrators, whose high platforms warrant a reasonable amount of scrutiny. Such scrutiny is necessary to identify and address problems within the school. “The Weekly” takes substantial measures to ensure that our reporting is fair and accurate. Writers confirm their quotes with interviewees and objectively consider their subject from multiple angles to capture a varied set of perspectives. Multiple editors review each article before it’s published. In obligation to the truth, though, we do not omit pieces of stories that could portray people negatively — the community deserves the full account. While it may be difficult to accept, “The Weekly” acts in the best interest of the school—not of its individuals, but of the possibility of what Parker could be. We urge readers to embrace controversial articles with an open mind and to engage in critical dialogue about the ways we can bring our mission to reality.

HILL HARPER ideology fell away.” Now, as a “former white nationalist,” Derek is committed to anti-racist initiatives — He’s collaborating with Ibram Kendi at American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center, with Facebook to curb extremist content, and with Life After Hate, an organization which focused on deradicalization in online spaces. Saslow said: “He eventually decided, ‘I have to speak up, not because it’s the courageous thing to do, but because it’s the only fundamentally decent thing to do.’” However, Saslow emphasized that Derek’s impact cannot be undone. “This is not as much a redemption story as a transformation story,” Saslow said. “Much of the damage that he did cannot be redeemed. Derek doesn’t know how many people went marching in Charlottesville because they visited his white pride site for kids. He does know that when some of these white nationalist shooters commit atrocious acts, they come out spreading his talking points that he said 10 years ago on the radio.” For Saslow, reporting the story was difficult — both because he strongly disagreed with the racist sentiments of many interviewees, like Don Black, and because he’s Jewish, and most white nationalists believe Jews are conspiring to weaken their power. “The ways we build trust, not just as journalists but as people, is by being empathetic and by listening actively,” Saslow said. “That is not something you want to do when somebody is saying, “by the way, the Holocaust didn’t happen.” I tried very hard to not allow myself to let

them feel like I was confirming what they were saying or on their side. When asked, I would say ‘no, this is not what I believe. Let’s get back to what you were talking about.’” After the conversation, one audience member, who preferred not to disclose his name, felt discouraged. “What they’re saying is that smart people can deny things in a very dumb way,” He said. “What we’re working against is people who are denying climate change, who are denying differences. You can’t change them. They have to decide not to deny themselves.” Upper School History teacher Dan Greenstone, who teaches the sophomore “Nations, States, and Terror” Modern World History course, believes it is critical to study and understand white nationalism. “It’s a major threat to the safety of the country,” Greenstone said. “White nationalists have killed more Americans after 9/11 than any other type of terrorist has. It’s also important because it reflects the divisions over identity that are sadly growing in the United States. Saslow intends for his book to spread awareness about white nationalism to the entire country. “I hope it would be the sounding of an alarm in terms of how massive this ideology is, particularly right now in the extremist fringe and in our political spaces,” Saslow said. “But also in some ways it points the way out, if the future of the movement can move so far to the anti-racist side.”

Continued from page one

felt uncomfortable with the audience participation, Garchik disagreed. “I think people are greatly overreacting about his physical touching,” Garchik said. “I think that it was a really good experience to have people brought up on stage because I think it made everyone more excited and more engaged, and I know it held people’s attention more.” Although Harper received a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, “I have never practiced law a day in my life,” he said. “The only thing experience should do is allow you to modify your blueprint to make different sets of choices,” Harper said. “Every experience is valuable if I’m following my heart.” In addition to presenting during Morning Ex, Harper spoke to the students in MOCHA. “I thought it was interesting because as a man of color he was saying how we as a society have been lied to and because minorities come from the worst parts of Chicago, we always have to prove ourselves to everyone,” Bustamante said. “Part of some of the stuff I talk about challenges some fundamental notions that they’ve been taught or heard, and I think it’s hard sometimes to even begin to think that way, because some of the stuff I’m saying is new for them, but it’s very liberating,” Harper said.

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Volume CVIV, Issue 4  

Volume CVIV, Issue 4