By Sterling Alic, Senior
Trump Cabinet Picks: What You Need to Know
Donald Trump, real-estate mogul and reality TV star turned Republican presidential nominee, is now President-elect Trump. This comes after a shocking upset victory that defied political norms and nearly all polls that had him trailing behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Now in the midst of transition, Trump has met with President Obama, contacted foreign leaders, and created a team to achieve his presidential agenda to “Make America Great Again.” Here are his picks so far:
Attorney General: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo
National Security Advisor: Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn
In his closer circle, Trump has also made two picks for White House Staff––Reince Priebus, the chairman of the RNC, as the Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon, head of Breitbart News, as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor (Trump’s pick of Bannon has also caused some outrage on social media, with some criticizing him for racist and sexist posts).
In the meantime, while we wait for further cabinet picks to be announced, Trump has released a video on Youtube outlining his policy plan for the first 100 days. Click here to watch.
WHO: Zika Virus No Longer An Emergency
The WHO has lifted its declaration of a state of emergency, released nine months prior, for the Zika virus outbreak. This update to the earlier statement indicates that Zika is here to stay. The mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to birth defects, is now in over 30 countries.
Head of the WHO emergency committee on the virus, Dr. David Heymann, emphasizes that Zika still poses a “significant and enduring threat,” and the WHO will now focus its efforts on a long-term approach to combatting the virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Japan Shook: 7.4-magnitude strikes near site of Fukushima disaster site
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan early Tuesday morning. The government has issued a tsunami warning on parts of the coastline, urging residents to seek higher ground.
However, Japanese Minister for Disaster Management Jun Matsumoto has said that there have been no reports of deaths or significant injuries (one woman although sustained a head injury from falling dishes).
This earthquake brings traumatic memories to one of Japan’s worst earthquakes, which was 1000 times more powerful than this most recent one. In 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the same nuclear reactor, killing more than 20,000 people. It also triggered tsunamis of up to 40 feet that flooded the power plant and caused a nuclear meltdown. Fukushima, to this day, still has lingering effects on some of Japan’s residents and goes down as one of the costliest natural disasters recorded in history, even managing to shift Japan’s entire coastline 8 feet.
Paris Attack Anniversary
Nov. 13, 2015
Sirens blazing. 24-hour broadcasts reporting a higher death toll by the hour. Screams from crowds and sounds of explosions. That was the day that left a cacophonous scar in France’s history as one of pain, terror, and confusion. That was the day of the largest terrorist attacks in France’s post-war history, the day that ISIL terrorists systematically carried out an attack on Parisian street cafes and the Bataclan Music Hall.
One year later, after all of this noise and confusion, only one sound permeated the large European city: a deafening silence. Thousands of people gathered to memorialize the victims of the attack, the 130 people massacred and over 300 injured. President Francois Hollande of France, too, remained silent. He quietly lifted the Tricolour to reveal the name the memorials, which an announcer read off one by one. There were other events throughout the day, including a Sting concert for the reopening of one of the halls where the attack occurred.
During the concert, he told the audience that he had “two jobs: to remember those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago and to celebrate the life, music, which this historic concert hall represents.”
And he ended the speech by saying, “We will never forget them.”
By Boris Spektor, Senior
I remember my trips to Russia during summer. I have memories of rolling up the bucket at the well and carrying the water to the Dacha, in the absence of any plumbing. Running through the back of the Dacha, I became infatuated by the crisp smell of strawberries hanging onto the bush. I enter the wood-heated Banya and experience the cleansing smell of eucalyptus leaves in the intense heat of the steam. I recall learning how to ride a bike in Russia, as my dad pushed me along on the dirt road that was barren for miles. Even though I was born in America, my Russian heritage defines me.
Or does it? Well, of course it does. The way I act compared to fourth-generation Americans is totally different to the extent of comparing two different types of plastic: They feel exactly the same but are different because the scientists tell us that they are.
While writing As an excerpt from a draft of a college essay:
I achieved my goals of learning, at the expense of becoming isolated from my class. The textbook insults soon followed: “nerd” - “geek” - “why aren’t you like everyone else”. The last one hit hard on my heart. (Like for every other student in America) Maybe, I thought, conforming to what people expect from me would give me the best chance at friendship. (Duh) Over the next couple years and well into middle school, I would try to suppress my “nerdy” intuitions and replace them with the generic “smart” student, actively choosing to hide my passions in favor of making friends. (Just like every other generic American student chooses to do).
After looking over that essay, I could just tell that it screamed with individuality, even my teacher Ms.Keller commended me on it, stating how even a fourth generation American could write that unique piece.
As another example of my heritage, during Russian holidays I celebrate vigorously by doing nothing. However, on the last 4th of July, my family went for the full shebang. They bought fireworks and charcoal briquettes and created a family bbq to really show how much we haven’t assimilated in American culture.
All the spending sprees, family gatherings, holiday celebrations, are so clearly hallmarks of the average Russian family. Or are they?
Looking back at how I grew up in the US, I see a marked difference between other peers and me. That marked difference was the perception of difference that I tried to create, pushing for the perception that being an immigrant in America made my outlook on life different, when in reality it was the ease of assimilation that America provides that allowed for me to flourish in this country.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may our country and our relationships with one another prosper in the wake of the election!
By Gabi Lecusay, Senior
Have you ever wanted to contribute to the Thanksgiving feast, but never have known with what? Or, maybe you’ve wanted to make your own miniature feast for yourself, but the recipes are too difficult? Fret no more, I’ve composed a short list of some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that you can use to add to the party this fall season! Each recipe is and is under thirty minutes preparation time.
Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake Via. Kirbie’s Cravings
Nothing says November like Pumpkin Spice! Cooking can be difficult, however, Mug recipes are simple and quick- one of the most delicious treats you can make yourself under five minutes! If you’re in the mood for a quick sweet treat, give this recipe a go at home! This recipe is a single serving.
What You’ll Need
Sally's Spinach Mashed Potatoes Via. AllRecipes
Tired of sweets? Want to try something different? This unique mashed potatoes recipe is a different take on the familiar dish, so it’s bound to really surprise your friends and family! It’s an easy meal that will take about twenty to thirty minutes to prepare-- the perfect amount of time to be able to make it fresh for Thanksgiving!
What You’ll Need
Cornbread Via. Betty Crocker
Cornbread is one of the most traditional, typical Thanksgiving dish you can bring to the table. Considering this recipe is about fifteen to twenty minutes in preparation time, it’s a quick and easy and a holiday favorite for everybody! Why buy your cornbread when you can make it? The best dishes are made at home!
What You’ll Need
By Dawson McNamara-Bloom
“To me, this isn’t just any election. This election was unusual in the sense that it wasn’t decided on which candidate would create more jobs, grow the economy, handle international incidents better, combat poverty at home, deal with entitlement programs, or even really which candidate had the best temperament to serve as president. Watching those results trickle in from the states I was overcome with a feeling of helplessness that I had never experienced before in my life. Previously, I thought my country had the mental capacity to understand the rising threat of climate change. We don’t. I thought my country would rise up and reject the overt discriminatory policies advocated for by him. We didn’t. I prayed that my country would elect a president who comprehends the complex foreign policy issues facing us today. Those prayers went unanswered.
As someone who is proud to identify as a queerspawn (child of an LGBT couple), I am left in fear of what the President-Elect’s policies are going to do to my family. The Vice President-Elect has been one of the most vehement opponents of the Gay rights movement and the fact that he is a heartbeat away from the presidency is quite frightening to me, to say the least. His backward support for Indiana’s religious “freedom” laws and fervent support for conversion therapy coupled with his newfound ranking in the White House has made him the single greatest threat to the LGBTQ community.
Sadly, the LGBTQ community is nowhere close to being the only community marginalized by the President-Elect. Immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, and Women have all been the target of his offensive rhetoric. Hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan recognize him as the candidate who is going to bring America back to being a “White Christian Republic”. And that is why I am so fearful because contrary to the election results America already is great. We are great because of who we are, together. I want to live in an America with people of every race, religion, and ethnicity. One where everyone is recognized as an equal. I can empathize with those who feel harmed by the incoming administration.
Last night in an attempt to feel better I went to a protest. At its peak, there were over 5000 people there. They showed me that despite my state going red there is a vast amount of people ready to take to the streets, peacefully, to denounce this bigotry. And that gave me some hope for the next 4 years. It showed that yes he may be the President-Elect, the incoming leader of the free world, but he does not represent us. The people who don’t condone his bigoted attacks. The people who have sympathy towards the refugees needing a country. So yes, he will be the President, but these four years are going to be marked by grassroots efforts to prevent this man from carrying out his disastrous plans.”
Published on November 13th, 2016 on The Huffington Post
By Natalie Balladares, Junior
(With expert help of N’agelie Lazo)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s your friendly astronomer/turkey consumer, Natalie, giving you your holiday horoscope. We all have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. (Let’s be honest: the only thing we’re excited for is Christmas, but let’s shout out to the turkey!)
As Thanksgiving rolls around again, wouldn’t it be fun to already spot your sign at the dinner table? Well, I thought so. Read on to find you, your friends, and your family member’s sign to see if they match!
Aries (March 21 - April 19)- Bossy: You are assertive and the host of the Thanksgiving dinner you have held for your friends. EVERYTHING MUST GO AS PLANNED. You have written down to the T what salad dressing must be brought to the table, as well as the seating chart you assigned so your Crazy Uncle Lou doesn’t ask you for money anymore.
Taurus (April 20 to May 20)- Stubborn: You are headstrong and even though you get placed at a seat, you will pick whatever seat you choose. You don’t want to be seated by the Aries. You wouldn’t move from the seat you took because it is near the electric socket, so you can charge your phone.
Gemini (May 21 to June 20)- Talkative: You are the Chatty Cathy of the party and the one who everyone waits to start the conversation. YOU WILL NOT HUSH DURING THE PRAYER. Everyone will get an earful from you, and you will spread the tea about your aunt Sylvia and her new boyfriend like wildfire.
Cancer (June 21 to July 22)- Altruistic: You are the kind spirit who genuinely likes everyone at the dinner table and you ALWAYS put family first. You will serve the food and make sure everyone is taken care of while you will eat last...as usual.
Leo (July 23 to Aug. 22)- Egotistical: You are worse than Narcissus himself and you bring your own Armani model headshots to the party to show off. You expect compliments from EVERYONE. Yet, there is no denying that you are the best dresser in the room because you are serving looks.
Virgo (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)- Analytical: You are the food inspector of the party food and you will always be checking the food, not to mention criticizing it if it’s not held to your unreachable standards. Overall, your negative nature will lead you to push others away, so try to look on the bright side of Thanksgiving.
Libra (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)- Charming: You are sweet talker of the group and everyone loves having you at parties because they love your positivity. You will give compliments to everyone and you will definitely leave with at least 10 people’s numbers by the end of the night.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)- Introvert: You are the quiet observer of the dinner while secretly passing judgement on others. Even though it seems like you are ignoring everyone by being on your phone, you are hearing the tea being spilled by the Gemini.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)- Freespirit: You are the life of the party and you definitely will be having fun with everyone. You are the dance machine that knows every dance and will know every party song by heart since you have been invited to so many.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)- Work-a-holic: You are the workhorse of the signs and extremely dedicated to a project or to your job to even think about having a break. You will DEFINETLY text everyone saying that you will be there in 5 minutes. But, you’ll most likely show up once the dinner is over.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)- Rebel: You are the class clown of the group because you pull pranks on everyone. Your whoopy cushion pranks are LEGENDARY in any holiday party, so your guest better watch out! Your immature behavior can get you in a lot of trouble throughout the night.
Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20)- Tenacious: You are persistent in getting everyone to hug and cuddle with you (p.s. Everyone acknowledges you as the “clingy” type.) Everyone will try to avoid you at the dinner but hey don’t be offended! You keep being your fun loving self! Someone WILL cuddle you don't worry!
Thank you for reading your signs at a Thanksgiving dinner party! Tune in next time!
By Jelani Scott, Junior
My interest in architecture began in my childhood years. My father’s line of work—construction and urban planning—led me to a more “conventional” career; however, my mother exposed me to an alternate yet artistic point of view. In the present day, I enjoy traveling and taking pictures of the architectural feats of other cities and states. While on vacation, I tend to fall in love with these pieces and take pictures for remembrance. I feel as though this photograph represents this because this happens to be one of the structures that I noticed and saved in my memory as well as my camera roll.
By Kristie Rodriguez, Junior
If cooperation was a currency, it would be measured by the supportive acts people give one another with the intention of attaining common goals or mutual benefits. By offering a helping hand in everyday situations, a seed of goodwill is passed on to the giver, and therefore, creates an expanded awareness of one’s positive impacts. Ways of cooperating with others could be equated to following road signs—keeping order. A way to cooperate with one’s family is doing chores to keep your family’s home clean. On a greater scale, when developing countries suffer from natural or social disasters, other countries with more resources cooperate by sending medical assistance, goods, such as food or clothing and other economic support in order to achieve a more prosperous society.
This month’s featured ethic from the “Values Matter” program, cooperation should be recognized in every action people make for the sake of aiding others. As the season of “giving thanks” approaches, we should acknowledge everyone who has helped our school achieve a unifying environment, including students and staff. By contributing positive acts in our work environment such as giving advice, tutoring, or even participating in teamwork in classes, we are creating small steps towards a collective benefit.
By Jethel Hernandez, Senior
To the Juniors who are anxiously waiting for senior year:
Many students will find comfort in realizing that their academic efforts are simply outlined by the months between August and June. Senior year, ironically, begins during junior year.
As this is an advice column, I feel compelled to let you know that the college process is rapidly approaching, and you, juniors, will have to catch up with it.
To begin, as a junior you should start your college applications by taking the abominable standardized testing: SAT and ACT. The best time to do so, is March. Nevertheless, do not approach the tests without studying—every score will be used for your highest composite. To explain it as a direct relationship: the more you study, the more you master the tests skills. Notice that I said “skills,” most students mistakenly think that mastering math equations and vocabulary terms will guarantee them a high score; this test is about skills. To ensure your success you need to read fast and accurately, obtain context clues easily, correlate graphs to text, and revise all mathematical concepts from Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Only with previous practice, can these skills be perfected.
And now to finally burst your bubble, your first score might not be your best. When you have your first sour taste of testing and you will realize that SAT math isn’t really math, but mental tricks; you must not forget that colleges want students that transcend the academic realms to evoke changes and leadThe dreams of a perfect 1600 will be shattered, but someone smarter than you once said that “with practice comes perfection.” Hence, KEEP ON PRACTICING.
This summer, 2017, is the perfect time for you to set your mission, and be that leader. Joining summer programs, internships, conferences, and community outreach programs will allow you to distinguish yourself before the eyes of the admission officers. Through your extra curricular work, you can showcase your personal traits, passions, and values that tell about you beyond the singularity of test scores. You want to seem like an asset to their institutions. The summer of junior year is a time for you to explore your academic interests and perhaps experience a real college education at some prestigious summer program.
With all the anxiety that you might have accumulated until the end of this letter, I wish to leave you with a positive note: junior year will go by incredibly fast. Your dreams of independence and academic success at far away places will be here before you know it. Buckle up juniors, you are on for a challenging ride.
Sincerely and with a genuine wish to see you make it,