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The Chronicle published on December 13, 2019.

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Published by The Chronicle, 2019-12-13 07:40:02

Edition 17.4

The Chronicle published on December 13, 2019.

2 Feature December 13, 2019

Transition to adulthood influenced by culture

Anusha Vadlamani | Business Manager way to India so that he could have his Photo contributed by Alexa Garcia
Upanayana with his grandparents.
Turning 18 isn’t the only way to be- Sophomore Alexa Garcia celebrated her fifteenth birthday with a quinceañera, a traditional Latin
come an adult. “My grandparents were [in India]
and they wanted to see it, so I had American celebration of the occasion. She said that the event helped bring her closer to her
Easing the transition from childhood mine fairly early,” Srinivasan said. “It
to adulthood, coming of age traditions was a massive two-day event, and all family.
celebrate the milestone that is becom- my extended family came, as well as a
ing a full-fledged adult. Varying from bunch of priests.” childhood behind; it’s kind of sad,” party around their dress or a theme,
culture to culture, almost every society Garcia said. “But you also get your first but I just chose colors, so everything at
has designated rituals, ceremonies, and The Upanayana, also known as a pair of heels which is a symbol of be- the party was red and gold. I loved it.”
customs to honor the journey from Sacred Thread Ceremony, ends with coming older, and becoming a woman.”
adolescence to adulthood. the boy receiving a Janoi -- a sacred While the planning process has
thread made up of three strands. Each Although the quinceañera itself is a been stressful, Garcia said that she is
The Bat Mitzvah in Judaism is a of the three strands represents a core one-day event, planning one takes up- extremely grateful for it because it
coming of age tradition, specifically value that the wearer is supposed to be wards of a year because details, such as brought her closer to her family.
for Jewish girls turning 12. In Jewish mindful of -- purity, words, and actions. finding a venue, require over 8 months
culture, a Bat Mitzvah is a girl’s rite of Srinivasan said that a thread is added of preparation. The most important “At first I didn’t really want a big
passage into the Jewish community as after every major milestone in the detail, however, is the dress. Garcia said celebration because I didn’t think it
an adult. Freshman Sydney Kraus said wearer’s life. that the dress is a major influence in was important,” Garcia said. “But then,
that having a Bat Mitzvah opened up determining the outcome of the event. I saw that it meant a lot to my parents,
opportunities that she otherwise would “The threads signify that you’re ca- so I decided to have one. I took three
not have. pable of performing certain traditions,” “The dress is one of the most expen- mother-daughter classes, where we
Srinivasan said. “I know that once you sive and important parts,” Garcia said. spent time together so that my mom
“One of our youth group programs, get married you get a second thread, “The dresses are customized so it’s could better understand me. There’s
to be involved, you have to have done and when you have kids you get a third special to you. Once you choose your also a father-daughter dance, which
a Bat Mitzvah,” Kraus said. “I’m allowed thread. It just signifies that you are dress, it kind of decides how the rest of meant a lot to me because I’ve been
to come to services, and I can help lead capable of performing certain Hindu your party will be. I changed my color through a lot with my dad. Dancing
some of them. I’m actually a student- practices.” like five times, but in the end, I chose with him brought everything back
teacher for my Sunday school program red and gold. Most people plan their together.”
and help read aliyahs.” Although his Upanayana was in
India, Srinivasan has had responsi-
An aliyah is when a member of bilities that have followed him back
the Jewish community is called upon home. Among these responsibilities is
to read from the Torah, commonly a Sandhyavandana, a daily ritual that is
referred to as the Jewish Bible. Dur- performed three times a day.
ing a Bat Mitzvah, the girl has to read
aloud a portion of the Torah. Although “It’s a ten-minute ritual that you
Kraus has been learning Hebrew, the have to do,” Srinivasan said. “In Hindu-
language of the Torah, for six years, ism, the sun god is really important so
she still had to get a tutor to prepare there’s [a ritual] in the morning, one in
for the reading. the afternoon, and one in the evening.
Theoretically, you’re supposed to pray
“I had a tutor, who helped me learn to the sun god at each of these times of
my Hebrew parts,” Kraus said. “I’ve the day, and you face specific direc-
been learning Hebrew since third grade tions depending on where the sun is at
but you’re learning a totally differ- that time.”
ent handwriting because the Torah
is different than modern Hebrew. It’s Being able to partake in these rituals
totally different. You have to read it in has meant a lot to Srinivasan because it
a certain way. I had to learn all this new has brought him closer to his heritage
stuff that I didn’t know.” in India.

Although the weeks leading up to “My family is extremely orthodox in
the Bat Mitzvah were hectic, Kraus said India,” Srinivasan said. “Even though
that she was grateful for the process be- I’m not as orthodox, it signifies that I
cause it brought her closer to her faith am able to participate in every-
and the purpose behind Judaism. thing they do, which is an impor-
tant thing there. It’s a pretty cool
“People are like ‘oh, I’m only having thing because when I go there I
a Bat Mitzvah because of the money,’” get to participate in all the rituals
Kraus said. “But it’s like, you should and basically share the same ideas
want to be involved in your culture. they do.”
[A Bat Mitzvah] is a way for us to be
involved and share how we’re involved Similar to both Bat Mitzvahs
in Judaism.” and Upanayanas, a quinceañera,
native to Latin America is the cel-
While some coming of age traditions, ebration of a girl’s 15th birthday.
such as Bat Mitzvahs, revolve around a A quinceañera is the last event a
specific age, others such as the Upanay- girl experiences with her fam-
ana in Hinduism are not focused ily before officially becoming a
around a set age; rather, the ceremony woman. Sophomore Alexa Garcia
is conducted when a boy is able to said that while it was sad letting
demonstrate a dedicated commitment her childhood go, she was excited
to Hinduism. The Upanayana, native to finally become a woman.
to South India, is a two-day event that
brings the entire community together. “At the quinceañera, you get
Senior Tejas Srinivasan traveled all the your last doll, and it’s a symbol
of growing up and leaving your

December 13, 2019 Feature 3

Bygone clubs reinstated by interested students

Jessica Wang | Staff Writer of the Record Club. Despite the name, Photo contributed by Connor Telford
Out with the old, in with the old. however, the club is not limited to just One of senior Connor Telford’s hobbies is collecting records, which inspired him to restart the
Driven by their interests, students at records. Record Club.

Mason High School have taken it upon “I collect records, and so do a lot of to Telford, despite the fact that this club collected cellphones to the Cincinnati
themselves to bring back old clubs. For in- people in the club, but Record Club is once existed, Mendu said she had to go to Zoo to recycle and resell old electronics,
stance, seniors Connor Telford and Chris more so about general music,” Telford great lengths to ensure that the revived where the profits went into environmen-
Lee, fueled by their love for music, initi- said. “The way a typical meeting goes is club truly made an impact. tal conservation efforts. While projects
ated the comeback of the Record Club. I’ll post a prompt on Schoology like ‘bring like this require a significant amount of
a song with a saxaphone it’ or ‘a song “Last year was the first time we held effort, Mendu said she believes there is an
“Chris Lee remembered that [the that makes you think of winter time.’ an E-Waste drive,” Mendu said. “We spent urgent need to protect the environment,
Record Club] was a thing and he asked And then everyone will go around at the so much time planning for it, research- making her time and energy worth it.
me if we wanted to just restart it in our meeting and share their songs. Then, one ing everything. It just took us way longer
own version,” Telford said. “We started it person will sign up for a meeting and than [expected] because a lot of times “It’s important to stay aware of [envi-
because we wanted a place to talk about pick an album and we’ll just sit there and we were just discussing, like ‘wait what ronmental issues],” Mendu said. “I know
music that wasn’t just us texting each vibe. It’s pretty fluid.” should we do? What are the problems? that it gets very politically charged but
other or us talking to each other in our Getting to the action part was kind of dif- the environment, how we treat it, what-
friend group.” For Telford, his motivation to revive the ficult. Discussion are important but you ever the consequences of our actions are,
Record Club was fueled solely by passion. also have to act.” is an issue that affects everyone. [That is
The original Record Club, once advised However, for senior Maanasa Mendu, her why] we try to implement projects that
by Greg Roach, discontinued during the efforts to revive the Environmental Club After successfully conducting the can energize students in the community.”
last school year. However, even though were also fueled by necessity. E-Waste drive, Mendu and members
the club existed relatively recently, of the Environmental Club sent the
without any guidance from the original “Before this year, they had an environ-
members, Telford and Lee were essen- mental class, and Ms. Distel taught it,”
tially forming a completely new club. Mendu said. “They had a club with that
class that was called the ‘Go Green Team’
“At first, it was hard because it was and they handled recycling and they had
almost like we built the club from the projects. [The club] was brought back
ground up,” Telford said. “We didn’t have around 5 years ago,but it never really
an advisor and we had no idea what the grew. We had multiple efforts to bring
old Record Club was like. So, it was just it back, but we were never really able
me and Chris inventing our own club to. But the environment is just such an
with the same title as the old club. We important thing to have awareness about
knew what we wanted, so that made it a and right now, it is affecting us more than
little easier, but finding the advisor was ever -- it’s a necessary component of our
probably the hardest part.” education.”

Once the club got running, Telford and Despite past failures to bring back the
Lee saw their vision successfully ex- club, Mendu was determined to make
ecuted: every other Wednesday, members things work. After a significant amount of
meet up and spark conversations about advertising through flyers and announce-
music they find intriguing. Telford first ments, Mendu said she was able to bring
became interested in records through his in more students -- all with the goal of
sister. tackling and raising awareness on envi-
ronmental issues within the school and
“My sister used to listen to records with the community.
me before she went to college and then
she left and took her record player with “Environment is so much more than
her and all of her records,” Telford said. saving nature,” said Mendu. “Whether it
“Then a couple years ago, she got me a is individuals versus large corporations
record player for my birthday. It can be or looking at something a some sort of
a good way to hang out and vibe. Some societal need versus nature -- it’s really a
meetings, we actually bring in a record balance. These are really complex issues
player and listen to it together, though that we need to discuss and get an idea
the records are a secondary part of [the about.”
However, Environmental Club goes be-
Records are no doubt an integral part yond simply igniting discussions. Similar

4 News December 13, 2019

School board votes to put levy on 2020 ballot

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

Fifteen years. That’s how long since Photo by Henri Robbins
it’s been since Mason passed their last Superintendent Jonathan Cooper proposes a new levy for the Mason school district, which will appear on the ballot in 2020.
levy, and the Superintendent has said
that it’s time for another. would come into effect after a year, ing to compete effectively as I’m hiring schools in the nation. People move to
would bring 5.25 mills. The second would directly from high school.” this community because of that, and we
After a recommendation from Mason come into effect at the same time that have an expectation in the community
City Schools Superintendent Jonathan another tax of the same value wears off, After Moran spoke at the meeting, that the schools maintain their quality
Cooper, the Mason School Board unani- resulting in a monthly increase of $13.75 community member Sharon Poe spoke education.”
mously voted ‘yes’ on a resolution of for every $100,000 of home value for out about her opposition of the levy. She
necessity for a 2020 levy at the Novem- taxpayers. said there were many members of the Cooper specified that the levy would
ber 19 School Board meeting, moving community who were forced to move be put in place to uphold the current
it past the first step to appearing on the “Ohio funding for schools is set up after the last levy passed, and that this operations of the school, as opposed to
2020 ballot. for schools to come back every three to would put many under additional finan- expanding. Were the levy not to pass, he
five years,” Cooper said. “Mason has not cial stress. said the school would potentially need
Before the vote, Cooper gave a pre- passed an operating levy in fifteen years, to make cuts to class offerings and trans-
sentation explaining why he supports so we have tried out very best to stretch “The taxpayers are taxed out,” Poe portation, along with increasing class
the operating budget levy, discussing the dollar as long as we can, but we’re said. “The taxpayers need a break, and sizes and sports participation fees.
the financial needs of the school, the just at a point now where we need to you are saying that there will be a 13
changes that have happened since the have this conversation more seriously.” million dollar deficit in 2021, so instead “By law, you do not have to transport
last successful levy, and the state of the of finding additional ways to cut costs, high school students,” Cooper said. “That
other schools in the area. After the presentation, many com- you’d rather cut families budgets, cut is something we do because we believe
munity members spoke about their their grocery bills, cut vacations, cut in that and want to do that as a service.
“New revenue or new reductions stances on the levy. General Electric (GE) buying their kids school clothing? This (...) If we have to cut six million dollars
are needed at this time,” Cooper said. Operations Vice President Casey Moran school board has, in the past, constantly this summer, what we’ll do is we will
“Those are the only two ways that we said that the levy failing would put the asked these taxpayers for more money.” look at the classroom first and say ‘what
can address that, either pulling in new school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, can we do to protect our students and
revenue or, as [the community] saw in Engineering, Arts, Math) program in While some opposed the tax, incom- the programs?’”
2010, making significant reductions to jeopardy, something which has been ing school board member Desiree
our programming here at Mason.” beneficial to students entering the Batsche, who attended the school board After his presentation at the school
workforce. meeting, said she was in support of the board meeting, Cooper said that the
The last levy to pass for the Mason levy. She felt that the levy was the only decision is ultimately in the hands of the
school district was in 2005. When a “I’m very concerned about the things viable option for the school to continue community.
second levy in 2010 failed, Mason had that are at risk,” Moran said. “As vice their operations without having to make
to make changes to academic offerings, president of one of the largest com- cuts to specific aspects. “The purpose of it was really to give
extracurriculars, and school staff. panies in the world, General Electric, our community every piece of informa-
I need STEAM. I do not have enough “I had a meeting with [the] superin- tion that they need, in terms of the facts,
“We stopped some of the models in qualified candidates coming out of high tendent, Jonathan, and I really feel that so that they understand why we’re going
our schools that were good for [them] school and college right now to meet the they have done everything they can do at this time,” Cooper said. “I believe
at the time because it wasn’t something needs that I have at General Electric, and at this point to make the most out of the wholeheartedly that our community
we felt like we could afford,” Cooper when I see things putting that at risk, I resources that they have,” Batsche said. needs and deserves to have all the infor-
said. “We changed the Mason Middle am concerned about this school continu- “I think there is an expectation that Ma- mation so they can make an informed
School teaming and went to a traditional son City Schools excels as one of the best
junior high model and we changed decision.”
from trimesters to a traditional model
[semesters] at our high school. We
closed Mason Heights to save money on
that, went to wage freezes for all of our
staff for 12-13 and 13-14, introduced pay-
to-participate, and we consolidated bus
stops and changed the whole transporta-
tion format.”

Due to the operating costs of the dis-
trict and the failure of the previous levy,
the operating levy was deemed neces-
sary by the board. Cooper specified that,
while the school district has recently
spent a large amount on the renova-
tions to Mason Middle School, those
come from a capital budget for building
construction, maintenance, and other
expenditures, which is separate from the
school’s operating budget.

“You cannot mix these moneys
together, they are two separate buckets,”
Cooper said. “It’s the way that our funds
are set up as a public school, so we’re not
asking for money on this levy for capital
pieces. We’re looking for people and pro-
grams to continue to support the things
that we’re doing at Mason City Schools.”

With the current levy, taxpayers
would see two separate tax increases.
The first would bring 4.75 mills to the
school’s funding and the second, which

December 13, 2019 Feature 5

Student led clubs promote independence among members

Archie Barton | Staff Writer as they lead the club. If the captains made me stay after every single day filled by a coach. Joshi said students
decide to enter a competition, the advi- this week,’” Joshi said. “Just being able can learn from event leaders and there
Student-run and student-led, high sors are there to make sure they get to say we don’t have a coach shows is a more relaxed peer to peer learning
school clubs are redefining the tra- approval and have hotels booked for that the people we have are so self- environment.
ditional atmosphere of after school students to sleep in. motivated and that all 260 people in
activities. our club love speech and debate.” “Event leaders are very motivating
“Whatever their vision is, we just and they provide instructional support,
Speech and Debate are primarily help make it happen,” Hansen said. Senior Captain of Science Olympiad but they aren’t like a head coach,”
led by four students: the President, in “The captains tell us what invitationals Alisa Zhang said that success in tour- Joshi said. “I like that it is student-
charge of the logistics and the roster, they want to go to and we try to say naments is the goal of any competi- led and that everyone works hard by
the Vice President, who handles judges yes as often as we can. Whatever their tive club, but building strong bonds themselves because they want to. I
and two secretaries, the Secretary goals are, we are going to back them among the team is the most important think it helps that they have event
of Fundraising, and the Secretary of up.” lesson any student leader can hope to leaders their age because it is easier to
Curriculum, who organize activity at teach. learn from them that way.”
practices. All four students are crucial Student leadership is still a strong
in the success of the club and making factor in the success of the Science “At the end of the day, no matter For Science Olympiad students,
sure each member is supported. Olympiad and has a huge impact on how well you do, you need to stay mo- Hansen said that those who compete
determining who is ready for compe- tivated,” Zhang said. “You need to help need little help from teachers. The
Senior Diya Joshi, President of the titions, according to Junior Captain the people around you so the team as drive to do well and win in competi-
Speech and Debate team, said the lead- Kevin Ren. Captains study events, a whole can do better, that’s what has tions surpasses the need for advisors.
ership has changed during her time as organize mock tests and even grade kept me in the club.”
a member. In Joshi’s first year, there tests themselves. “These kids are so competitive that
was a teacher advisor who led the club, Event leaders play a role in both we really can’t help them,” Hansen
and students were co-captains. “The coaches have their day jobs Science Olympiad and Speech and said. “By the time we get to the state
teaching,” Ren said. “What we do after Debate. In Science Olympiad, these competition, the chemistry com-
“Miss Donahue was the advisor my school is studying and understanding leaders provide students with the petitors know more about chemistry
freshman year and she helped every- all the events that we compete in. By help and knowledge they need on a events than I do.”
one, but there was also a student leader reading their work and testing we can particular event or project. Having
of three captains,” Joshi said. “Miss Do- help decide who’s ready for a competi- students in these roles can aid students Whether they have an advisor or
nahue stopped advising my sophomore tion.” in their events but also their all-round not, both clubs have leaders that take
year, and that was the first year where performance. on the work themselves, ensuring the
we didn’t have a teacher advisor with The Mason Speech and Debate team clubs continue to run. Joshi said that
us to every single tournament.” brings an element of student leader- “We have event leaders for all of not having a coach does not limit the
ship not seen in other schools when our events that teach the kids how to club, and student leadership has been
Similarly, Science Olympiad has competing in tournaments. Joshi said improve,” Ren said. “They also teach a contributing factor to their success.
four student captains who make all the having a unified team despite the general stuff like how to study and
decisions involving competitions. Be- absence of a coach demonstrates the hopefully how to have a good work “[Student leadership] has made the
sides this, the club has three advisors. commitment and passion of all mem- ethic, all of those skills.” team feel more like a family,” Joshi
Chemistry teacher Aimee Hansen, bers when they compete. said. “I think we’re successful because
one of the advisors, said her role is to Students in Speech and Debate are everyone loves it so much and having
support the students in their endeavors “Whenever I go to a tournament, allowed to provide leadership and student leadership has helped in that
everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God, my coach mentor roles that would usually be and being a team as a whole. ”

Photos by Archie Barton and Lily Geiser
Junior Kevin Ren (right) and senior Diya Joshi (far left) are both leaders in their respective clubs. Science Olympiad and Speech and Debate are both nationally ranked teams at Mason High School, and
the students say that the ability to work more independently than teams at other schools can be a contributing factor to their success.

6 December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019 Art & Entertainment 7

Alex Lisa | Staff Writer years old, and they’ve been in the hos- to be helpful, and she said why don’t go deliver babies in the home if people
Though quite a distance away from we come over to tea. But this was right couldn’t afford to go to the hospital,"
Mason High School students, old age pital a lot of their lives,” Colburn said. after the war, and despite everyone’s Colburn said. "I knew some other doc-
comes to us all, and along with it a “So I wanted to make sure they knew
number of challenges. That does not that even with hardships that happen at hospitality, not everyone had food, so tors there, male doctors, whom I went
mean, however, that no one can put up a we were worried it would be a lot of to dinner with, and I said ‘tell me about
fight and, with a bit of creativity, turn it such a young age, you can still have a trouble. That family wouldn’t hear of Susan Kennedy,’ and they said ‘she’s
into something to be appreciated. wealthy and full life -- I myself lost my
The National Arts Honors Society has father to illness at age five, and that was it, so we stayed. We sat with them and the most skilled surgeon you’ll find,
been volunteering at the Christian Vil- we listened to Wagner on the radio, but she’s an idiot, because she goes out
lage to do art projects with the elderly a lot to deal with. We don’t get to see and the whole family rode with us on and does things for free, in the home.’ I
for several years. It is through this each other and I can’t talk to them
volunteering that Senior Taylor Kling think they were the idiots.”
became friends with 90-year-old Lois “ Compared to what was available to
Colburn, who uses every opportunity
to express herself. As the two became Even with hardships that happen at such a young her in her time, Colburn said she is
closer, Kling began helping Colburn excited for where young people today
with one especially unique form of can go, and wishes she had those same
expression: writing an autobiography. chances growing up.
Colburn said there are a number of “I love speaking with young people,
things which contributed to the start age, you can still have a wealthy and full life. it invigorates me and helps to keep me
of this project, including the desire to
preserve her memories even after they -Lois Colburn burn thinking clearly, and I think about my
have begun to leave her. grandchildren and want them to know
“There are a lot of people my age who about the opportunity in front of them,”
don’t have the memory I have,” Colburn “ Colburn said. “I think youngsters have
said. “I am 90 years old, and I hope to so much more opportunity. I think it is
have as clear a mind as I do now for a a very hard time for young people and
much longer time, but I also want to also a very exciting time.”
make use of my memory while I still A message Colburn wants to extend
have it and get it down onto paper. Or both in her autobiography and in person
a computer, actually, which I am not about this as much as I would like to, their bicycles down the road, and we is the need for persistence because every
computer-literate. That’s why I need so that’s actually why I started thinking stopped and shook hands and they
young people like Taylor who’s been so about writing this.” went back home and we went on... hard moment in life becomes some-
kind and helped me.” thing different down the road.
Another important reason that Col- The autobiography itself recounts We came to a pub eventually and we
burn wants to write her autobiography is a number of experiences Colburn has WisstbhtwtmmohhhtueaoeeeaeB“lkrpsrSptitnebinra.ash”eeyyitcootssdkeotohtaweedbtnhwrionhddliodpnezedaaaaertarstethhtrsohwdsaswrreptooreowirhtoletshueghamehlejiegnroaiufmselaehdonUhes,ndtdeweaalntodhwhnltaiwmluovieedshc“eoeadyeapIsottrfrohhtllheasytSimEmkweiiaoineoaontsuevnepmyyddpasdaterdpuulEhredhoahooegrasmoskeluiseca,ifipanehomnoensttrsdgehidaMaouogtohnowrem,epdarpeumhraedgrgirhescaewntasutfaefwiefhhlt,RuanskdtgthhfinaceCtikoteeenyeigeneoriicbuueeomn.tsas,iepl,llnegnbcd-osetuaah.onitneGmesygsonoooaachmruittMytstRpAmciedam’ohhiapehoernoellttzaeuoeio“lrouichmmnanlanWsdtekjapydlmu;idhkeehtylcee[lorsiydyhtesetaL,tovewhutioiah,reiavaodhenmeydentue.nneoros]ii,eofFdem’eananiieci”onuntmdnvilaionghrccdCgeejiseelsonurwstaeeyalvt-ieoy‘yjnsrytlwwbetbiausclfdrslwhtetreebnahhlhieesuenaciaecituteak’sstamcoor’rhdtahtiterchnnue-fnmmeIowndhaseenogoctrhgiulhneudaeennwedsmiaoepthcisnsrgav,,’eeugeymstitueeoddc“nn’etrotpdSsiorieantgoernatieukhdvksamnhsealfcmerodstreeehvewerebeouiaaraealeedndasaptavynadnwiturdgiafrreicetyulyaenurakiiohlkrrm,efrdbtneyoamtoiuhsmtlutno.kb.ftuie”snioshimnsmglnhynurrtea.mgi”eaiaeelttli.-.l,n.y
to get a lasting message out to her two had, including stories about her trips to
grandchildren. Europe and reflections on the people
“I have grandchildren who are four she has met.

“My husband and I went to Europe
in 1953,” Colburn said. “We rented bikes
from England because that’s how you
got around back then. In Germany, we
met a young woman who came over to
borrow our bicycle pump for her bike,
but her German bike was large and
our pump didn’t work. We wanted to
make sure she understood, we wanted

8 Feature December 13, 2019

Gymnasts bend over backwards to maintain busy schedule

Kaelyn Rodrigues | Staff Writer important,” Sulek said. “Prioritizing is For junior Annie Riegert, the new block schedule makes it easier to manage school along with
When it comes to balancing school a big key. I always go up to a teacher gymnastics.
ahead of time, and say, ‘I’m going to
with other activities, student gymnasts be gone for these next couple days, is Photos by Mia Sweitzer
are sure to stick the landing. there any work that I can have?’” Senior Kelly Sulek misses about 10 school days each year for gymnastics meets; setting a sched-
ule allows her to keep up with both committments.
Junior Annie Riegert and senior Another factor that eases this
Kelly Sulek have both been gymnasts struggle, according to Riegert, is the
for over a decade. The athletes, who new block schedule that was intro-
both compete level 10 in the USA duced this year.
Gymnastics Junior Olympics program,
attend Perfection Gymnastics School. “Taking study hall and communicat-
ing with my teachers makes it better,
Riegert said she started gymnastics especially as the year goes on, being
at the age of five. As she improved, able to compensate,” Riegert said. “The
coaches noticed her potential to new schedule makes it a lot easier,
pursue the sport competitively, so she like, ‘maybe I can save this for later so
committed to an intense schedule of I can focus on sleep tonight.’”
up to 26 hours of practice a week. In
elementary and middle school, Riegert On top of the demanding schedule,
sacrificed the beginning of the school gymnasts who plan to pursue the sport
day to attend morning practices. after high school must begin reaching
out to colleges and building an online
“I experimented with a couple presence in order to be recruited.
other [sports], but at the end of the
day [gymnastics] was what I fell in “You put your name out there,”
love with,” Riegert said. “The more Riegert said. “You can do social media,
time went on, the more I would go to like I have an Instagram account
practice, and I would end up compen- and a YouTube account where I post
sating my time by going to practice updates of my [skills]. You can email
instead of school, so I would just come coaches by sending them some of
in late. I did that from fourth grade your highlights, and as it gets more
until eighth grade, and freshman year serious you can have a conversation
I started just [practicing] after school.” with them over the phone. They can
come watch you practice, you can go
Like Riegert, Sulek has had many on an unofficial [visit], and it can be
absences over the years due to gym- very fun.”
nastics practices and competitions.
Sulek said she misses about 10 school Sulek said the college recruitment
days each year for gymnastics meets process, which can begin as early as
alone. freshman year of high school, is very
lengthy and requires a lot of network-
“I have to miss school a lot,” Sulek ing in order to be well acquainted with
said. “You have to take in travel days, a variety of schools.
especially if there is a chance for
cancellations or delays, and practice “The process is really long and
days into consideration. You also draining sometimes,” Sulek said. “On
don’t know what day you’ll compete top of having to balance schoolwork
[until] the week of, and you have to and gymnastics, you have to post
make your flight reservations way in videos, email colleges, make websites,
advance. With all of that, the number make Instagram accounts, and all this
of days you miss really add up.” stuff to get your name out there to
colleges. People that are best in the
Many of these absences occur dur- nation will have colleges reaching
ing competition season, which usually out them, but a lot of the time people
takes place from January until April. have to reach out to colleges. It’s a
Each competition season differs for ev- long process, like three years of trying
ery individual gymnast, depending on to figure out where you want to go to
whether or not one qualifies for state, school.”
regional, and national competitions.
At the end of the process, Sulek
“With competition season in second chose to continue her gymnastics
semester, we travel a lot,” Sulek career at Ball State University (BSU).
said. “We always have to fly out on Sulek said she committed to BSU
a Wednesday or Thursday, and with because of its comforting atmosphere
that, always having to miss school and gymnastics program.
and having to make up work with our
teachers. It’s all just a big balancing “When I stepped onto campus, it felt
act.” like home,” Sulek said. “The coaches
were so welcoming, and they genu-
While Sulek said it can be difficult inely have the athletes’ best interests
to balance schoolwork with a rigorous at heart. The team was so welcoming,
athletic schedule, communicating with and the environment was just one that
teachers in advance helps to organize I couldn’t refuse. The facilities are
and complete all of her tasks. absolutely amazing, and being given
the opportunity to be able to compete
“Sometimes it can be hard, but it’s at a school like Ball State is beyond
all about time management, setting anything I could’ve ever imagined.”
a schedule, and realizing what’s most

December 13, 2019 Feature 9

Sometimes it
can be hard,

but it’s all
about time

setting a
and realizing
what’s most

Photo by Riley Johansen

10 December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019 Feature 11

High school Boy Scouts strive for Eagle award

Scott Reckers | Staff Writer lot of my good friends are in the really shaped my personality,” Clab- rank is very helpful outside of Scouts
troop, it’s larger than most troops. bers said. “One of the fundamentals and being a role model. He said that
It takes eagle-like vision to spot The guys really pushed me through of scouting is leadership, and it’s all the long process of becoming an
these high ranking scouts among the the tough times while I was try- scout lead, [although] the scouters Eagle Scout, which demonstrates
others. leadership, determination, and persis-
“ tence, is something that colleges and
Established in 1910, the Boy Scouts I'm able to lead and guide a group employers love to see.
of America are a well-known orga- efficiently. I am so thankful for that.
nization that has stood the test of “I don’t have a job yet,” Wright
time. Some students at Mason High Jason Clabbers, Junior said. “But I think my Eagle Scout
School are active members of Scout rank will for sure be a nice help in
troops, but few make it to the coveted ing to get my Eagle Scout rank. It “ [adults] obviously organize events the job search. And as for college, it
Eagle Scout rank. There are several helped me a lot and I hope I can do and fundraisers, the handle the was at the top of my resume for ex-
requirements to becoming an Eagle the same for some of them in the finances, keep the chaos under wraps. tracurricular activities. It really takes
Scout -- for instance, 21 merit badges future.” But I have picked up leadership several years of commitment to get
are required, 13 specific to the Eagle skills through scouting and scouting Eagle Scout.”
award. Junior Jason Clabbers remem- Clabbers, who is only a few merit events, and have transferred them to
bers some of those require a serious badges away from becoming a full other parts of my life. I’m a leader in Wright achieved the rank of Eagle
time commitment. Eagle Scout, thinks the whole process marching band now, and I have been Scout roughly a year ago. He plans to
has left a positive impact on his char- able to apply them in any program I stay involved in the organization as
“One of the hardest badges is a acter, whether it the tedious process get involved in, I’m able to lead and much as he can, even when he is in
three month long budget you have to of getting merit badges or the long guide a group efficiently. I am so college. Wright wants to be the role
stick to,” Clabbers said. “There’s also nights under the New Mexico stars thankful for that.” model that his troopmates were for
a three month long workout plan, with his troopmates. him when he was just a Boy Scout.
which has to be individual workouts. Senior Ian Wright believes the
Those badges teach you how to be a “I think being an Eagle Scout has “After you get Eagle Scout, some-
better version of yourself. A big part times guys just leave, but I never
of scouting is becoming self-sustain- really liked that idea,” Wright said.
able and becoming an adult, because “I still show up to meetings, I am
you have to achieve Eagle Scout still active. One of my friends in
before you’re 18. If you don’t, you can my troop, who is a Mason alumnus,
still be involved in Scouts, you just is still as active as he can be with
can’t get the Eagle Scout rank.” colleges, so he is a good example of
what an Eagle could do after they get
Achieving the rank is not only the rank.”
hard because of the badges and time
commitment, but the Eagle Scout Photo contributed by Jason Clabbers
project. This is a lengthy project that Junior Jason Clabbers (center) led his Boy Scout troop in a group canoeing trip. Being an Eagle Scout not only entails working on a project to serve
the Scout trying to become an Eagle the community, but also being a leader both within and out of a scout's troop.
must organize -- some projects are
done in a few days, while others take
weeks. The Scouts have few restric-
tions on what they choose to do for
their project, as long as it has an
impact in the community. For Junior
Evan Hill’s Eagle Scout project, he
went the hands-on route.

“The project can be anything you
want, it just can’t directly benefit the
Scouts,” Hill said. “It is straightfor-
ward, but hard work. My Eagle Scout
Project was building a trellis for Fort
Ancient in Oregonia. It is a large
box-like structure built from sticks to
grow viney plants.”

Along with all the hard work
comes the fun times. Camping trips,
overnights, hikes are all in the con-
versation. Scouts do all these activi-
ties in their troops, with the same
group of people. Hill remembers how
his troop and the people in it pushed
him to get Eagle Scout. The Scouts
do all of the activities, and more, in
their troop. The troops grow close
together, like a family.

“I am in Troop 750,” Hill said. “A

12 Feature December 13, 2019

Teachers readjust to classroom after return from parental leave

Ann Vettikkal | Staff Writer long-term substitute since she was
gone for months, rather than days. It
For teachers who double as parents Photo contributed by Sheila Nimer was more than just giving a substi-
at Mason High School, it’s what to While Chemistry teacher Sheila Nimer cherished her time off with her newborn son, it was difficult tute directions, especially since they
expect after expecting that proves the for her to leave her students in the middle of the school year. become an extension of the classroom
real trials, tribulations, and ultimate after teaching for so many weeks.
rewards of having a baby. again with her daughter last school For English I teacher Tim Navaro,
year. his experience as a father created a “I was very involved in the hiring
Kristin Stoll, who teaches Honors whole different set of circumstances. process for both long-term subs,”
English II, came back to school at the “It was tough because all of your He was given 10 days for paternity Nimer said. “So I felt like I got a say in
start of November after having her students turn into your kids and you leave, and he took five days off, using who was going to fill my shoes when
child in June. The typical duration of care about them,” Nimer said. “At that the other five as “flexibility days,” I was gone. It was [about] finding the
maternity leave is six to eight weeks, point, you have such a strong rela- which let him help his wife later on. It right person. They don’t have free rein
but Stoll took extra time to raise her tionship with all of your students. It’s also helped keep the flow of his class to teach what they want -- there’s a
daughter. really hard to just walk away.” going after his daughter was born on calendar I expect you to follow. Your
September 20. coworkers are the unsung heroes when
“It’s tiring, but also incredibly worth Even though Nimer had the entire you’re out on leave and when it comes
it,” Stoll said. “It’s super fun because summer off for both kids, finding the “It’s hard to make lesson plans while to having a successful long-term sub.”
you get to be a little kid yourself. I balance between work and home life you’re away, trying to keep the cur-
took additional time to be with her. If I was not easy. Her love for both meant riculum moving forward at the pace Navaro noted key differences be-
wouldn’t have done that, I would have that she had to figure out a happy you’re supposed to,” Navaro said. “I tween his role as a father and that of
come back at the beginning of the medium between the two spheres of would have loved to have been there the mother, starting with the lack of a
school year. Some advice that I have her life. kept them moving with my instruction, long-term sub, which would have been
received from other teachers was that but I don’t feel like I missed too much. superfluous for his five days of ab-
the best time was the time they took “It’s still hard,” Nimer said. “I feel It did slow down. It was kind of hard to sence. He also said he believed his role
off with their child -- you can’t get that like many parents will relate where get [my students] back up to speed, but as a father did not measure up with the
back." your kids here are super important and it wasn’t terrible.” effort and energy required by his wife.
your kids at home are super impor-
This extra time meant that Stoll was tant. And sometimes you feel like you Nimer had to deal with finding a “ [Fathers] play a role to an extent,
able to properly enjoy those irreplace- might be letting one of them down.” but not that much,” Navaro said. “For
able moments with her daughter. But me, it’s like a supporting role. I have
it also meant that she didn’t come back two other younger kids, so for me,
to school until a few months after the my job was really to come home and
start of school. Stoll said this shift was give my wife a break. The mom needs
tricky but necessary -- it gave her the time. But every family has a different
balance of being a caretaker and inter- dynamic.”
acting with coworkers and students.
According to Navaro, the time he
“It’s challenging, but in a good way,” was given off to spend with his daugh-
Stoll said. “When you’re at home with ter went by far too quickly. However,
your baby all day, you obviously enjoy he said he understood why he received
being with your child. But when you so much less time off than his female
came to school, you get to interact co-workers.
with other adults and be around other
people who are academically minded.” “I think that women need much
more than men,” Navaro said. “I’m
In terms of her students, Stoll said all for women getting more time [off
the key to the transition was about how work]. Dads...just have to deal with it.”
she presented herself and her confi-
dence in what she was teaching. She Regardless of the amount of time
loved her job and missed her students, they had initially, all three teachers
which meant she didn’t have to force a shared the value of placing importance
particular dynamic with her class. on taking the time to focus on their
newborn. For Stoll, those moments
“I miss the beginning of the school with her daughter were priceless -- and
year because I love that time of the fleeting.
year,” Stoll said. “I feel like there could
be [a disconnect with students] but I “I really do think that it’s important
try not to emphasize that. I think as a to put the needs of your child first for
teacher, if you feel comfortable with a time period,” Stoll said. “As a teacher,
what you’re teaching then you auto- you don’t often get that time during
matically feel more comfortable with the school year to spend with your
your students.” child. It may not seem like it’s conve-
nient, but the time is worthwhile to be
Chemistry teacher Sheila Nimer, on spent with them. I don’t regret spend-
the other hand, had to deal with leav- ing that time away just because I’ll
ing toward the end of the year, after look back on that and remember how
she had already formed a connection awesome it was to see her when she
with her students. This happened twice, was so little.”
once with her son in 2017, and then

December 13, 2019 Entertainment 13

MOVIE 2 RATING: 8.75/10


REVIEW BY Alana amaya

DIRECTORs: jennifer lee & Chris Buck

REVIEW: out problems on her own, without being able to rely on anyone else. While the first ¼ is
mostly singing, the rest of the movie toned it down, with a good amount of both talking and
Every rumor you’ve heard about this movie is false. The theories, from those about Elsa and Anna’s singing throughout which was a relief. Although this was an outstanding film, I do feel as
parents to Elsa’s relationship status, were all proven wrong in Frozen 2. Frozen 2 properly addressed though it was directed a lot more towards the now older audience compared to younger kids.
the same audience as the original six years later by confronting different issues teens today are facing Yes, kids would still enjoy the film and love to see the princesses and Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven
in the real world. This amazing film showed the development of animation and the growth the charac- go off into another adventure, a younger kid would not be able to truly follow all of the plot
ters have had since the first showstopping film. Specifically, Anna was definitely a matured character in points of the movie, nor understand all of the messages in the film. Honestly, I feel like it was
this movie, not just through her looks, but also in how she mirrored exactly what some teens are going a good move to actually take this turn with the audience because we are really the ones that
through in their everyday lives through her character development and lessons learned throughout the are going back to watch part 2 of the movie we watched 6 years ago. Even then, looking at it
film. There are key moments in the film that many teens if looking at the deeper meaning, can personally from my perspective, I feel as though they were able to keep the film in the same story as it
connect to, such as one of the songs she sings towards the end of the film. Along with that, the charac- was in the first movie but just at a matured level with credit to the teens watching it.
ters in the movie were very different from what Disney has done with the past characters in their movies,
and I loved it. Anna represents a whole different type of Disney Princess, one who has a lover yet is a TV SHOW
strong independent woman who is learning how to grow and figure

Up Next: Movie

Little Women The mandalorian

BY Anushka mukherjee BY scott reckers

Little Women is an upcoming coming of age drama Disney+ exclusive, “The Mandalorian,” exceeded my expecta-
movie based off of Louisa May Alcott’s book by the same tions. Taking place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force
title. It follows the lives of the four March sisters Amy, Jo, Awakens, the series follows the journey of a bounty hunter. The
Beth and Meg in America during the aftermath of the Civil bounty hunter is not a Mandalorian, but he is heavily involved
War. Regardless of being quite different from one another, in the culture and is a follower of their religion. The Mandalorian
they stand as one as they face the challenges that come religion being one of war, armor and firearms is like a second skin
with love, loss, and the trials of growing up. The movie to Mandalorians. One of the best aspects of the show is when the
stars Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen, and Mandalorian is in the forge, getting new armor made of beskar
Florence Pugh as the March sisters. steel, a very valuable metal. Perhaps just as strong as beskar
is the show’s directing. Elements like stand-offs and tense stare
downs resemble a western. The soundtrack, as for most Star RATING: 9/10
Wars pieces, is iconic. The shows composer Ludwig Göransson
has composed other great movie/TV scores, like Black Panther.
He uses distinct and lonely tones to compliment the character of
the Mandalorian. The supporting characters are fantastic as well
-- a simple farmer, a robotic, emotionless, killing machine, and the
most adorable alien you will ever see. Jon Favreau hit it out of the
park with this one, it has everything you want from a show, action,
emotion, flashy effects, a great score, and of course a baby Yoda.
I have spoken.

MUSIC Everyday Life by Coldplay


Coming into this, I expected to be absolutely unenthused. I had a list of quips to make about how bland Coldplay is, how generic their music sounds, and
how little I reacted to the tracks of the album. I had it all laid out, ready to take the shots, but this album ended up surprising me. Moving past the expected,
unchallenging, Super-Bowl-Halftime-show-esque stylings of their previous works, Coldplay’s Everyday Life has some genuinely great moments. As a strong
delve into politics, something which the band isn’t exactly known for, it’s able to tackle broad issues with a minimizing, human perspective. Tracks Trouble
in Town and Daddy touch on well-known sociopolitical issues in a humanizing, if still expected perspective. Similarly, the commentary throughout is able to
hold meaning, and is a promising delve into social awareness. Instrumentals in tracks such as Arabesque, along with incorporations of multilingual lyrics,
are unexpectedly compelling and serve to make the double LP feel much more cohesive than it would be otherwise. The sound is, of course, the same that
Coldplay has typically promised. While it may not be perfect, it’s still pretty good if you like their brand of easy-to-listen rock, and has many tracks which are
a comfortable departure from the expected. Overall, while this album may be pretty good in a lot of senses, the most surprising twist was that it was able to
get me to listen to a Coldplay album all the way through.

14 Feat

Nostalgic and new favorites combine for gen

Della Johnson | Staff Writer its content from Netflix, a more popular service. people often decide betwe
“A couple months ago, I saw a bunch of commer- while Netflix and DisneyPlu
For $6.99 a month, students are reliving their Dis- have a few key differences
ney Channel childhoods. cials for (DisneyPlus),” Sami said. “And everybody
was talking about how Disney’s gonna take stuff off “It’s like very similar beca
DisneyPlus is a new media of Netflix. So, I knew that they’re going to have their format,” Sami said. “Disney
streaming service that was own platform. I wasn’t really excited about it because There’s one section that’s ju
launched on November 12 of I knew that I wanted to see Disney on Netflix.” and it’s from the 90s and 80
shows and movies.”
this year. It includes Families tend to purchase more streaming services-
classic movies, -much like channels--after a switch from cable. Sopho- A large part of the childh
discontinued more Eric Freeburg said he immediately wanted and early 2000s sources from di
television shows got DisneyPlus following its announcement, after a Disney and Nickelodeon. Sa
originally shown switch from DirecTV. service features many old s
through cable youth that bring back mem
“It was definitely a big deal,” Freeburg said. “Be-
on Disney Channel, cause there’s Netflix and Hulu, but everyone loves “My dad got it because he
and new DisneyPlus- Disney. It’s all one place now. I think I just thought, Marvel and DisneyPlus has
exclusive content. Since ‘I need that.’ My family stopped using DirecTV, now said. “It has basically everyt
its announcement, the they’re on YouTube TV. And so with that, they decided on Disney. So, it’s kind of no
service itself has gar- to also get DisneyPlus.” shows and stuff. I definitely
nered large amounts verly Place a lot, That’s So R
of feedback on social Many people’s reasoning behind not purchasing memories of Lizzie McGuir
media, whether it be DisneyPlus is their
excitement or annoy- earlier purchase of an- Though not that far
ance. other streaming ser- apart in age, a culture
Junior Yamha Sami has vice, such as Netflix gap of sorts with media has
a three year subscription or Hulu, which they appeared between older tee
to DisneyPlus. However, still use. Purchasing and their younger counterp
she said that she wasn’t more adds Often times, titles that are s
initially happy about the an extra nature to today’s teens do n
streaming service due cost, ister with those that missed
so of television. Sophomore C
to Disney removing Rodway said having Disney

ture 15

nerations to come with new streaming service

een a few. Sami said that her realize her increasing age, as well as her younger anyone who hasn’t already.
us are comparable, they brother’s unawareness of the shows she grew up with. “When I’m in my room watching the shows, it’s
in organization.
ause they have a similar “When I opened (DisneyPlus), I had a flashback and pretty glorious,” Rodway said. “I’ve been watching
y organizes really well. I was thinking, ‘I’m so old now,’” Rodway said. “Last it, binge watching it. And I love it. If you don’t have
ust called out of the vault night, I was in my bed and I was really sad because I DisneyPlus, I suggest you get it.”
0s and Disney princess just turned 16. I was watching this stuff 10 years ago.
And now my brother, he said to me when my boy-
hoods of those born in the friend are talking about Wizards of Waverly Place,
iscontinued shows through ‘What’s that?’ That made me so sad.”
ami said the streaming
shows she watched in her A main issue between differing streaming compa-
mories. nies comes from the sparking of competition as more
e knew that I really liked come into the public eye. Some people are choosing
s all the Marvel stuff,” Sami favorites between them. Rodway said not only has she
thing and also I grew up used the new Disney service more often than Netflix,
ostalgic to watch Disney but it has essentially replaced the older app.
y watched Wizards of Wa-
Raven, and I have big “I honestly could delete the Netflix app and not
re.” really care,” Rodway said. “I haven’t even touched
Netflix because all the shows that I wanted to be on
ens Netflix or that I have hoped to be on
parts. Netflix are all on Disney-
second Plus.”
not reg- Though the
d this era service hasn’t
eileigh been around
yPlus made
long, it certainly has
made a large impact on
the way the streaming
industry works, as well as
its viewers. Rodway recom-
mends buying the service to

Design By Riley Johansen

16 December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019 Sports 17

Senior bowler knocking down more than pins for the Comets

Davis earns all conference accolades, respect in the alley

Indranshu Das | Staff Writer “Jonathan has earned

Recently, Kent State basketball player everything he has gotten
Kalin Bennett made headlines by becom- out of bowling through
ing the first athlete with autism to play a hard work, as well as the
division one college sport. His story was respect of his teammates.
national news.
Mason senior bowling stand-out Jona- Joe Riestenberg, Head Coach
than Davis has Asperger’s, a milder form of
Autism. He’s been one of the top bowlers ”
in the Greater Miami Conference his entire
career. His feats didn’t make national news, huge, because it was the first time
but that doesn’t mean his accomplishments Johnathan felt that male camaraderie
are any less important. with his teammates and the additional
Davis is a three-year varsity member of confidence of working even harder to get
the Mason Men’s bowling team. He earned better,” Davis said. “He had been working
second team All-GMC recognition in 2019 tremendously hard on bowling and this
and has the third highest average score was a proud moment for me as a mother as
on the team. Davis was diagnosed with As- I saw him achieve success in something he
perger’s syndrome when he was three years is very passionate about.”
old. Some young people on the Autism
spectrum avoid, or choose not to partici- Joe Riestenberg, Johnathan’s varsity
pate in competitive sports. bowling coach, believes that every player
Davis is not like those people; he em- is unique in their own way and like Johna-
braced the challenges posed by Asperger’s than, bring something abstract to the team
Syndrome and even uses the condition to which benefits them as a whole. Riesten-
his advantage. Davis said that he originally berg said that Jonathan sets an example for
chose the sport of bowling because he the rest of the team, and his dedication is
Photo by Mia Sweitzer enjoyed playing video games. something that all his teammates strive to
“I actually started bowling, because I match.
Senior Jonathan Davis bowling in a match, Davis has been a varsity bowler
for three years, and is both a prominent scorer and leader for this year’s started playing Wii Bowling,” Davis said. “Johnathan has earned everything he has
group. “Once I gained interest I started going gotten out of bowling through hard work
and determination as well as the respect
to the bowling alleys, signing up for the from his teammates,” Riestenberg said. “He
leagues, and put more time into the sport.” has been very positive and supportive and
Davis said he started to bowl competi- grown into becoming a leader.”
tively at the age of five. Davis’ mom, Cari
Davis, said that the sport opened up so Riestenberg said Davis is going to play
many opportunities for her son to develop an integral role in shaping the team’s
despite his condition. success this season, and that starts with his
“Johnathan was always intrinsically mo- leadership. He also said that he has wit-
tivated to get better at the sport and we as nessed Johnathan’s confidence grow by the
parents never really had to push him,” Da- year and it shows with his consistent scores
vis said. “He tried to get involved in team each game.
sports at a young age such as t-ball but it
just didn’t fit his style and his personality.” “Leaders lead in one of two ways, by be-
While Asperger’s impacts Jonathan in ing vocal and telling people what to do and
day to day life, he believes that bowling secondly by leading by example--Johna-
allows him to hone in and center his focus. than leads by example,” Riestenberg said.
Davis said that because bowling requires “He does not lead by delivering motivating
his complete attention, it’s critical to rely speeches, but by being the best he can be at
on practice and repetition so that he isn’t all times.”
distracted or thrown off by his condition.
“Asperger’s doesn’t really affect my Cari Davis said that she is impressed by
bowling, I still feel normal when I’m in the way the program has treated her son
the middle of a game or during practice,” for the past four years. She said that Johna-
Davis said. “I like to stick with my routine than was respected like any other athlete
and not change it too much or else it can and was expected to perform to his capabil-
throw me off my own game, which could ity each and every game, no exceptions.
be bad, but in general I do my best so that
the syndrome doesn’t really bother me in “I am so glad that our family made the
bowling.” decision to put Johnathan in the bowling
Cari Davis said that one of the most- program, he has received so much support
Photo by Mia Sweitzer memorable moments came when Johna- and room to grow into the best he can be,
than broke his own personal record by and I believe that the team contributes to
Davis chats with an assistant coach prior to his turn in a recent match. scoring 279. She said that it marked the his development a lot,” Davis said. “Johna-
than may have Asperger’s from a medical
first time he proved not only to everybody perspective, but from his teammates and
else, but to himself, that he could perform our eyes, he is just like any other kid.”
at the same level as any athlete.
“When he hit the high score that was

18 Sports December 13, 2019

BEAST MODE... Margo Mattes


GAME COMING UP: 12/13 Boys Basketball @ Sycamore @ 7:30


948.8 pin average by the boys bowling team,
third in the GMC

.929 win percentage by the chess team on their
way to a fourth straight GMC title

56.3 points per game by the boys basketball

Stats and ranks as of November 9, 2019

On The Rise

Marilyn Popplewell Ogden Nijikowski Gabby Razzano

16 Rebounds/Game 220 Pin high 2.3 Blocks/Game
First in the GMC Fourth on team Fourth in the GMC

December 13, 2019 Sports 19

Q & A with head Boys Basketball coach Greg Richards

Cody Allgor | Staff Writer
This season marks Greg Richards 25th as the head coach of the boys basketball team. Richards has been extremely successful in his tenure, amassing a
record of 358-167 in his career. Richards has led the Comets to 6 total league titles (FAVC and GMC), including 2 GMC championships. Richards has ef-
fectively silenced the doubters who criticized Mason’s move to the GMC, as he’s won the conference twice despite many saying the program never would.
Sports Writer Cody Allgor sat down with Coach Richards to talk about his career at Mason, and what coaching means to him.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job? Q: What has been your funniest moment coaching?
A: I graduated from Mason, we won’t say what year, but the best A: It was probably my fifth year as a coach. My son and one of his
part for me is to come back and hopefully, make a difference in friends were our ball boys, and they would come over to practice. I was
players and even coaches that coach for me. To be able to do that getting a little upset at our players and saying how they weren’t getting
after I left and came back, I think that’s the biggest part. in their stance correctly and I was backpedaling and just so happened
that my son’s friend was bent over, so he just flipped me backward. Here,
I’m trying to yell and then they just started laughing and I had to laugh.
He dropped me.

Q: The game of basketball has been changing throughout the
years. How has your coaching style changed with it?

A: We really do a lot of the same stuff that we’ve done for a long time,
but we’ve tweaked here and there and high school is different than col-
lege so you can’t recruit the exact style you want every year. So you got to
go with the kind of players that you have. We’ve taken the foundation and
just adjusted it along the way. I would say the players are a little bit more
physically strong than when I first started. Weightlifting wasn’t even a part
of the program because everybody said you’d get too strong, which
now obviously, has changed in all sports.

Q: What is your favorite coaching memory?
A: Winning the district title. A couple years ago was the first time
that we’ve ever won a district title in division one. It was an incredible
feeling, and definitely a moment the program won’t forget anytime

Q: Is the idea of leaving a legacy important to you?
A: To be honest, that’s not a big deal to me. I don’t really feel
like I will have a legacy. You know, it’s just part of your job. It’s just
doing your job every day, me doing my job for the last 24 years, and
knowing that you’re doing it the right way -- that’s what it’s really

Q: How critical is it for you to develop young players
through your camp?

A: What’s really fun about that is to see, more often than not,
someone that went to my camp six years ago now playing at the
varsity level. I would say that besides move-ins, 95% of the guys
that have ever played varsity basketball here have come through
our camp. So I mean, that speaks for itself.

Q: What makes your current 2019-20 team special?
A: Well, it’s kind of hard because we’ve just started out, but let’s
just say that we hope they’re really, really special. We have a lot
of talented kids this year. But this is their team, they have to show
their legacy or their foundation and see if that’s what they want,
to get their numbers up on the board, to win that first regional
final and get us to Columbus. So, we’re hoping that they are that

20 Sports December 13, 2019

New hockey team members not afraid to mix it up on the ice

Juniors Grove,
Stoughton use
hockey to enhance
Lacrosse, Figure
Skating skills

Abby Miller | Staff Writer

Multi-sport athletes are fairly common at Ma- Photo by Mia Sweitzer
son High School. It’s not all that uncommon to Despite the physical nature of Ice Hockey, Juniors Mikal Stoughton and Sara Grove still choose to play because
see football players also suit up for the baseball of the valuable skills that hockey has to offer.
team or girls soccer players hit the basketball
court when winter sports season rolls around. within lacrosse. but Grove said that because of the nature of
“Hockey helps a lot with reaction time because the hockey team and the connections with her
However, there are two athletes who are taking teammates, the transition was an easy one. Grove
a unique route to being multi sport athletes. the puck moves a little bit faster than the ball said that she wouldn’t change her decision to
does in lacrosse, and it’s a little bit harder to see play hockey for anything, and it’s the perfect way
Juniors Mikal Southgton and Sara Grove are with everyone’s skates and sticks so it helps me for her to enhance her lacrosse skills, while also
playing the rough male dominated sport of ice focus on the puck, which teaches me and helps having fun and being part of a team on the ice.
hockey in hopes that they skills they acquire on me focus on the lacrosse ball,” Grove said. “I’m
the ice will help improve in their primary sport. a goalie for lacrosse so it helps me with focus “For me, as a new player coming in, the team
and reaction time as well. And in conditioning, has been really supportive and accepting,” Grove
Stoughton has figure skated since she was it helps me get my speed up, especially with the said. “I had wanted to play hockey since I was
little, but was approached to try hockey last year. colder air in hockey, I feel like I can last a lot really little, but knowing that it helps me with
Stoughton said she was a little nervous to try out longer doing sprints for lacrosse.” lacrosse too, it really gives me the best of both
the new sport, but her background in skating worlds.”
helped make the transition smooth and allowed Joining a completely new sport after little pre-
her to fully enjoy all that hockey has to offer. vious experience isn’t easy for any athlete,

“You can’t get the puck in hockey unless you
know how to skate and that was the majority of
what I knew,” Stoughton said. “Everything in
figure skating was basically footwork so I had the
footwork to be able to go get the puck because of

For Stoughton, team camaraderie is clear for
her to see through the accepting atmosphere
and team culture, but also through the competi-
tive nature and natural bonding of a team sport.
Stoughton said she appreciates the toughness in
hockey and the opportunities to play hard with
her teammates.

“I love that hockey is a team sport, I’ve never
been able to be on a team with anybody,” Stough-
ton said. “I did do synchronized skating when
I was younger, but it was nothing similar to
hockey - for hockey there’s a game plan. It’s so
different because it’s so physical. It’s nice to be
able to take the puck and run with the sport.”

Stoughton isn’t alone in using hockey to build
her skills for her favorite sport. Grove is a goalie
for the women’s lacrosse team, as well as a mem-
ber of the hockey team this year.

Grove was approached by a teammate to play
hockey this year, and said she had always wanted
to try hockey out, and this was the perfect oppor-
tunity to give it a shot.

Grove said the connection between hockey
and lacrosse was obvious for her, and she can see
how hockey aided her through multiple aspects

December 13, 2019 21

22 Feature December 13, 2019

Bringing ideas to life

Artists combine drawing with writing to create digital comics

Meghan Dincler | Staff Writer drawing to create a story that allows him to show- school during junior year, but hopes to move her
case his character’s personalities better. webcomic from where it is published now, a website
Worlds are sketched into existence as students called Tapas, to the more widely-known app and
draw on their abilities to take advantage of the “Originally it was just going to be a normal website Webtoon. Along with Acosta and Mullinger,
traditional comic’s modern update. book,” Acosta said. “Then I realized that as much Lysko adds elements of her own knowledge, as well
as I do like writing prose, I also really like drawing as imagination, into her story.
Thanks to apps and websites like Webtoon and expressive poses and people talking. I decided that
Tapas, people can publish their comics online, usu- it was going to be easier for me to draw the story I “I wanted to implement things that I really
ally drawn digitally and known as webcomics. With wanted to tell, because it’d be a lot harder for me to like into my story,” Lysko said. “I got on the fix of
so many different artists and styles of art, there are get what I’m trying to convey through just words.” adventure stories, of characters going on a quest.
a wide variety of webcomics that people can read That’s the idea I’m working with now and tweaking
for free by doing nothing more than making an When she was crafting her first drafts, Mullinger that, trying to find what I wanted the story to be
account. also considered how pairing art and stories could and focusing on world building and the adventure
add more depth to the story. She said she is very itself.”
Anna Mullinger, a senior at Mason High School, passionate about art history, and was interested
is in the process of creating a webcomic she aspires in incorporating that aspect into her story as well, With so many different stories and art styles, web-
to publish herself. She said she has always been a which she was able to do more easily with a web- comics are an adventure of their own. But accord-
fan of webcomics, and finds inspiration in the varia- comic. ing to Acosta, it’s worth it. He encourages anyone
tion in art styles showcased on the media service who’s passionate about art and storytelling to start
Webtoon. She said she hopes her comic allows her “I think marrying the storytelling element with a comic, though they take much longer to make
to branch out and explore new styles that she hasn’t me being able to draw is really fun and cool,” Mull- than they do to read.
tried before. inger said. “I always have ideas for little stories, and
I think the best way I would be able to get them out “Start small,” Acosta said. “Don’t just immedi-
“Part of why I want to [make this webcomic] is be- into the world is also putting them with art.” ately into this huge trilogy… making [webcomics]
cause I think it would be fun to draw, because you can be a lot of hard work, but I found that you
have all of these different art styles right next to Junior Larissa Lysko uses art to aid character actually meet a lot of really cool people through
each other in the same panel,” Mullinger said. “As development better than she would be able to it. We connected over webcomics, and that was a
artists, we all have our little thing that we feel is through just writing. Her webcomic, “Undaunted,” really cool experience. Overall, the community is
safe. But if I had to force myself to make it look like has been a work-in-progress for her for the past just awesome.”
watercolor, or like neoclassicism, which is beautiful two years. She is taking a small hiatus to focus on
and super hard to do, it’s partly a really fun thing
to do and also a challenge for me
artistically, because everyone
has to break out of their
shell every once in a
while, especially with

Sophomore Bron
Acosta is developing
his art style through his
webcomic, “Monsters
and Freaks.” He has
been working on it
since winter of last
year, and is hoping to
publish it on Webtoon
by next October. Acosta
said he combined his
love of writing and

Art by Bron Acosta (left) and
Larissa Lysko (right).

Artists Bron Acosta and Larissa
Lysko both created orginal
characters for their respective
webcomics, "Monsters and
Freaks" and "Undaunted."

December 13, 2019 Feature 23

Photo by Anushka Mukherjee
Teacher Reena Puri (right) works with freshman Jessica Pappachan (left). Puri said that she loves being able to learn new things from the kids she works with, as well as working with her fellow staff.

Teachers aid students with special needs

Anushka Mukherjee | Staff Writer Reena Puri, a paraprofessional, has been in the de- the program and is hoping to be a special education
partment for three years. She’s been through teacher teacher soon. Because he is also a football coach, he
Mason High School’s special education department training and volunteer work in the field. She said that said that it helps him decompress after coming from
takes pride in aiding students with special needs she loves working with the kids and they keep her a specialized classroom.
throughout their high school education. motivated every day.
“When I get to football practice I get in the zone
Christopher Kilgore, an intervention specialist, has “I learn so many new things from them every day right away,” Rettinger said. “I love working out and
been at MHS for the past four years. His interest in like sign language,” Puri said. “They are so passionate using that to transition from work and back into my
the field peaked at a young age when he worked at and seeing them makes me want to improve myself. personal life. Especially with this job, it’s important
an inclusion summer day camp. Every day we do various activities on rotations like to have an activity to keep you balanced. I prefer to
we go for job classes where we take them to Mat- leave work at work and I try not to bring it home
“I just got a lot of experience working with kids thew 25, Lifetime to fold towels, and Dominos to fold with me.”
with special needs and it made me realize that this is boxes. Some of them who are more mobile go to
something I want to do,” Kilgore said. “I got my mas- gym, math, English, and science with all the other While maintaining a work-life balance, Rettinger
ters in special education and then started working in students.” said that he still finds his job worthwhile. He said that
a private autism program, and then moved over to his job requires patience and passion, but he likes
the public school system after that.” As much as she enjoys working with the kids, there that he is able to make a difference.
are some difficulties that come with the job. But Puri
Being in the field of special education can be emo- said that the experiences have made her stronger “I just find it really rewarding to be able to help
tionally demanding at times, but Kilgore said that emotionally. kids every day and this is something I want to do,”
the rewards balance it out. Rettinger said. “Yes the student can be a bit unpre-
“Sometimes it gets a bit tricky because they can dictable, but you have to adjust and adapt to that. I
“Because it is a specialized classroom, I love see- get out of control and it becomes hard to handle,” think you have to have a lot of patience because it
ing the kids improve on life skills or learning a new Puri said. “But my staff is great and they make it easy can be a lot more than what a typical teacher does,
task at a job in the community,” Kilgore said. “It’s to keep the kids under control. They help whenever but I think if you're somebody that's this passionate
a big deal to the parents and me, given the bigger something goes wrong and I’m so thankful for this about helping people and making the world better, I
picture. Seeing them improve on things that are experience.” think it's absolutely for you. It’s a good feeling going
going to help them out and further their enjoyment home every day knowing I’ve done something to
in life helps me through day to day. They keep me Ricky Rettinger, a student teacher from the help somebody and make the world a better place.”
grounded.” University of Cincinnati, is also in his third year of

24 Feature December 13, 2019

Self-tanning students face judgement from peers

Evelina Gaivoronskaia | event, however, isn’t the only rea-
Staff Writer son for people to use self-tanner.
Sophomore Madeline Brutvan uses
The tan line between stylized self-tanner during her Irish dance
and stigmatized is a thin one. competitions. She said she self
tans exclusively for competitions
Tanned skin is considered a stan- and only tans her legs.
dard of beauty in today’s world.
Yet not everyone becomes tan by “I self-tan for dance,” Brutvan
laying in the sun. Some Mason said. “For dance, I tan my in-
High School students choose to ner legs because it makes your
use self-tanner as a way to bronze muscles look bigger when you’re
their skin. on stage. It makes the judges pay
more attention to your legs.”
Senior Allie Filippi participates
in Color Guard and said their long Although self-tanning is of-
practices in the sun often lead to ten marketed as an easy way to
tan lines. She said self-tanning is achieve tan skin, it can sometimes
a way to cover them up before big turn against the user, making their
events like homecoming. skin splotchy or orange. Filippi
said that if she puts too much self-
“The first time I self-tanned was tanner on it can lead to orange
freshman year before homecom- streaks on her skin and make her
ing,” Filippi said. “I had really bad self-conscious.
tan lines from being in the sun
with the marching band and I had “If I have an orange line, my
a strapless dress, so I wanted to mom might say some negative
make the tan lines even.” things, but for the most part I
don’t really get any negative com-
Looking beautiful for a big

Photo contributed by Madeline Brutvan
Sophomore Madeline Brutvan tans her legs for her Irish dancing performances, to draw atten-
tion to her legs. She said that although she sometimes gets comments, she doesn’t take them as

Infographic by Riley Johansen ments,” Filippi said. “Sometimes, and I don’t really take it
if my tan doesn’t come out the negatively.”
way I wanted it to, it can make me
self-conscious and I will try to just Filippi said there is a double
cover it up.” standard when it comes to self-
tanning. According to her, beauty
Sometimes Brutvan’s self-tanned standards of today’s world can
legs can lead to remarks from lead to young girls wanting to be
her peers, but she said she doesn’t tan and attempting to achieve that
think they are meant to hurt her with self-tan, but being shamed
feelings. She said she usually when it does not look natural.
interprets those comments as
friendly jokes, not hateful com- “I know people who are very
ments. pale, like me, because I am a very
naturally pale,” Filippi said. “Pale
“I guess some people make fun people are seen as less pretty and
of me, but they are just joking it can drive them to self-tan. But if
around and it’s not really hateful,” you self tan wrong and get super
Brutvan said. “They say things orange, you can get made fun of.
like, ‘Your legs look really dark’ But I think if you do it in a natural
or, ‘You kind of look like Donald way, most of the people don’t even
Trump.’ I just think it’s funny notice.”

December 13, 2019 Opinion 25

Connect Staff Editorial

Time is A symptom of our streaming service problem

changing DisneyPlus was released one month ago yes- This fragmentation of the system, the require-
terday. And already, how many people have it? ment to buy more and more subscriptions to have
Meghan Dincler | We don’t know, because Disney won’t release the access to fewer and fewer shows, is only going to
Staff Writer numbers -- but we do know that the day after it get worse. Soon, we’ll have to pay a $7/month fee
launched, it had already gained over 10 million just to watch one or two shows that we like from
Connect Time. Designed for students to be able to have subscribers. That’s not even taking into account the Disney, or NBC, or whoever else decides next that
fun with their friends during the school day to improve no doubt millions more who stole their friends’, co- it would be more profitable to create their own ser-
their mental health. Or at least, that’s how it started. workers’, and family members’ accounts (don’t deny vice. Soon, we’ll only be able to watch Netflix shows
it: We’ve all done it at some point). on Netflix, Disney shows on DisneyPlus, HBO shows
I’ve had some doubts as to whether Connect Time is on HBO.
actually helping in the way that it was designed to. With DisneyPlus is already well on its way towards
the amount of meetings that students are being required becoming one of the biggest names in streaming And if this system sounds familiar, it’s because
to go to, and the large amount of advisory sessions, I’m services -- if it isn’t already. And yet, that once-elite we’ve been here before. We called it cable.
not sure if the hour of “free time” we get is actually im- list seems to only be growing bigger and bigger, as
proving anyone’s mental health. more and more services become widely available That’s what we’re slowly going back to -- a more
and used. Netflix. HBO. Hulu. Ring any bells? expensive, less convenient version of cable. A ver-
Now, I’m not trying to say that it is harming student’s sion of cable where you have to log in to a different
mental health. I just don’t think it is helping anymore. I, Remember when it seemed like you could find account every time you want to watch a different
like many other students, was devastated when they an- everything on Netflix? It used to be a one-stop-shop show. A version where you have a million crappy
nounced that they were ditching Primetime. Ok, maybe for everything your heart desired. But now, it seems Netflix originals to sift through before finding the
devastated is an exaggeration, but I was pretty upset. like more and more of the shows we know and love one good one out of the bunch. A version where
have been leaving the service. And where are they even if you wheedle your way into stealing your
I was against Connect Time solely because it was going? New, different streaming services. The Of- friend’s HBO subscription -- oops! The show you
replacing Primetime, but when we had our first session fice will be leaving in 2021 for a new NBC stream- wanted just moved to a new niche streaming service
and I got to see all of the cool things that were available, ing service. Friends will be leaving to be available no one’s ever heard of.
I was actually on board with the idea. I really enjoyed exclusively on HBO Max, a streaming service by
having an hour in the middle of the day where I could go WarnerMedia, the company that owns the show. We probably won’t go back to the days of cable
watch Marvel movies with my friends, or go write in Mrs. And with DisneyPlus itself, who knows how many television. But it’s also not entirely impossible that
Bross’ room. It was fun, and I was singing the praises of Disney shows have been pulled? Who knows how the golden days of streaming are behind us. The
those who came up with it. many are yet to leave? precedent has been set -- we can’t undo the creation
of DisneyPlus, and other company-specific services
Then that changed. Every time I went to schedule my The problem seems to be that these companies like it. And so a new system has been created -- one
Connect session for the week, I would see it was already can create, own, and distribute these movies and that wasn’t created for our benefit.
filled up. Between mandatory meetings in the auditorium television shows -- everything involved in the
and advisory sessions, I know that I haven’t been able to filmmaking process. And it makes sense, from a If you’re upset by this system too, there’s only
pick my own Connect Time for the entirety of November business standpoint -- why not control the distribu- one thing you can do: Stop subscribing to all these
at least, and I know other students haven’t either. tion of your own movie as much as possible? Why different companies. Don’t get a DisneyPlus account
not make even more money by getting subscribers -- don’t give them the money that they want, and
Even in the case that you do get to schedule your own directly every time someone wants to watch your they’ll stop doing what you don’t want them to.
session, your options are getting more and more limited. movie? That’s our power as consumers: The power of our
As I’m scrolling the Flexisched site, I’m seeing more and dollar. Just don’t subscribe.
more “Algebra help sessions” and teachers who take For the consumer, of course, it’s not all fun and
advantage of the time to continue teaching. games. But yeah, we know that you will. And so will we.

This is to no fault of the teachers, of course. They have
so much coursework they have to get through, and often
the goals of the sessions are to try to keep students from
drowning in homework. However, no matter how pure
the intentions may be, the amount of Connect sessions
that are actually fun for the students are slowly dwin-

Connect Time is already starting to decline into
something that is more of a chore and an obligation than
something that is actually enjoyable for students. I’m
hoping that it will turn back around, but I’m concerned
that it is only going to get worse as the school year

Maybe it’s time to go back to Primetime.

The Chronicle’s Policy Matthew Smith
Ann Vettikkal
The Chronicle is the official student Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for infor- The National Scholastic Press Asso- The Chronicle Staff Online Editor Staff Writers Jessica Wang
newspaper of William Mason High mation regarding advertising in The ciation, Quill and Scroll International Editor-in-Chief Henri Robbins Cody Allgor Adviser
School. Chronicle. The Chronicle reserves the Honorary Society for High School Jour- Lily Geiser Business Manager Alana Amaya Dale Conner
right to refuse advertising it deems in- nalists and the Ohio Scholastic Media Managing Editor Anusha Vadlamani Archie Barton Connect with
The Chronicle promises to report the appropriate for a high school publica- Association. Andrea Hefferan Indranshu Das the Chronicle:
truth and adhere to the journalistic tion. Contact Information Sports Editor Staff Photographer Meghan Dincler
code of ethics through online and print The Chronicle Rahul Parikh Mia Sweitzer Evelina Gaivoronskaia @mhschronicle
mediums. As an open forum for students, let- William Mason High School Visual Design Editor Della Johnson
ters to the editor are welcome, but are 6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd. Riley Johansen Staff Designer Anna Kinasewitz
The Chronicle is produced by students subject to be edited for length, libel, ob- Mason, Ohio 45040 Aadrija Biswas Hannah Libby mhschronicle
enrolled in Journalism I, II and III. scenity, clarity and poor taste. Letters to (513) 398-5025 Abby Miller
the editor may be dropped off in room Anushka Mukherjee @mhschronicle
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion C103 and must be signed. Shravani Page
but do not necessarily reflect the opin- Scott Reckers
ions of the school administration or the The Chronicle is a member of The Kaelyn Rodrigues
Mason City School District. Columbia Scholastic Press Association,

The Chronicle is published monthly.

26 Opinion December 13, 2019

One size Editorial Cartoon
doesn’t fit all
Let’s talk stantly live in fear. It’s about being human. Has our
Shravani Page | about it society become so vulturous that even a divine power
Staff Writer is afraid to intervene?
Anushka Mukherjee |
One size fits all. Staff Writer Rape culture is pervasive because society has
Italian brand Brandy Melville is known for welcomed it with open arms. And with the increasing
marketing its clothing under the “one size fits I always thought that 2020 would be my year number of cases with no action, it’s up to us to start
all’ headline. because I would finally get to be on the field and not channeling our angst to cure rape culture.
Now, Brandy is rather controversial because just observe from the sidelines. But with less than a
of this. Like, I’ve even seen TikToks complain- month left to go, there’s a part of me that fears what There are many little things we can do as individu-
ing even about the employees who work at is to come ahead. The political and socio-economic als that can help our society become more apt to
the store and how they glare at girls who they state of our world is going downhill day by day. Every handle such cases. Victim-blaming, for instance, is
think won’t fit into their clothes. time I open to a news channel all I see is bloodshed often an idea that prevents sexual assault and rape vic-
Their “one size fits all” only fits a size small. and disputes all around. I can’t even remember the tims from speaking out because they feel as though
A lot of girls are not size smalls. last time I walked away from a news article that made they are the problem. And along the same lines, the
At first, this really bothered me. me feel proud to belong to this generation. way such cases are handled and approached is another
I mean how discriminatory could a company issue in the system. Instead of commenting on the vic-
be? And it’s not just the headlines in America, but even tim’s sobriety, sexuality or clothes, society should be
We live in a world where, as girls, as women, in my home country – India. A few days ago I woke focusing on the rapist. We should be questioning men
are taught to come together and support each up to the news of a young girl, Priyanka Reddy, who who see violence as the ideal method for obtaining
other regardless of our size. Like, why can’t was gang-raped and burned on her way home from power and who believe that sex is an entitlement.
companies oblige to this? Do they have to lead work in Hyderabad, India.
to more division? One of the biggest issues with rape is the role of
I would look at brands such as Aerie, which I was appalled by this news. Every time I feel that “masculinity.” We allow rape culture to grow because
promote body-positivity and emphasize the we have made progress towards a better world, stories we are brainwashed by ideas of masculinity that de-
beauty of all bodies regardless of shape or size. like this make me ashamed to belong to such a soci- fines violence and dominance as “male.”
Brandy’s models consist mainly of high ety. The ghastly crime led to a chain of social media
school age girls. I learned that this was because rants by people. As a society, we need to redefine the term “mas-
high school age girls tend to be underdevel- culinity.” And educate others through community
oped which makes fitting into their clothes But to be quite honest, I don’t believe that simply conversations. As teenagers, we are exposed to various
easier. Like I’ve read of girls not eating for days expressing your anger and condolences in 125 char- stereotypes regarding masculinity, rape, feminism,
on end to fit into a pair of Brandy’s jeans. No acters is enough of an action. There have been over etc. But instead of blindly accepting what society has
girl should have to stop eating in order to fit 30 horrific known rape cases in India alone. There been feeding us, we should challenge these ideas.
into a certain style of clothes. are thousands of women who have been sexually
If Brandy made more sizes, they would be assaulted or worse and all society has done is crib on Consent is another major player in this issue, and so
more widely accepted, have higher profits, and social media on how change is needed. There are so it’s important to teach the upcoming generation about
become popular for a reason not being contro- few who actually care enough to take action and fight it at a young age. We can’t keep using “protection” as
versy. Like, it’s a win-win. for change so that incidents like these don’t happen an excuse to not inform children about sexual vio-
I was talking with a friend about this earlier again. lence. Instead, we should work to establish a safe place
and she brought up a good point. in our homes, schools, and communities for everyone
The size they sell is not up to us as custom- And the issue is about more than rape or sexual to talk about such devastating issues.
ers. It’s up to the company itself. It’s the com- assault, it’s about being a better society. It’s about
pany’s product, which means they have every creating a world where women don’t have to con- It’s time to stop talking about rape and sexual as-
right to choose their target audience. If their sault behind closed doors. Even if person starts the
goal is to market to super skinny teenage girls, conversation, we’ll be one step closer to cancelling
then so be it. rape culture. So, will you start the conversation with
They get to choose the customers, not vice me?
versa. Wow, such a power move.
Yes, it’s mean, but it isn’t technically wrong.
It’s not wrong for them to want to have certain
girls wearing their clothes.
But regardless, I stand by my initial opinion...
and here’s why. Having a more specific target
audience is kind of stupid in terms of mak-
ing profits. Employees have quit due to sizing
ethics and customers have literally pressed
“pause” in their diet to fit into their clothes.
But why?
They are cute clothes I guess, but what
makes the idea of fitting into them so desir-
At this point, I’m left even more confused. Is
it still about the clothes themselves, or has it
become more about fitting into the company’s
idealization of a “perfect woman?”

December 13, 2019 27

As 2019 comes to an end, the members of the Chronicle
present their "bests" of the decade.

2012 2015 2018

"Gangnam Style" becomes most Whip/Nae Nae trend takes off Yanny vs. Laurel
watched video
The Blue/Black and White/
Gold Dress Debate begins


End of an Era: The Office Finale
"Harlem Shake" goes viral

"What Does the Fox Say" becomes

a Sensation

"Gucci Gang" Craze was unleased

U.S. Women's Soccer wins 2nd
World Cup

Best of the decade

Sports Highlight: OBJ Catch

meme: Distracted BF Mistakes of the '10s

Annoying Orange
Yodeling Kid
Bottle Flipping

Fidget Spinners
Tide Pod Challenge

28 December 13, 2019

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