A Win-Win Solution for Paper Waste
Hailey Jackson | Staff Writer
Double sided printers not only save money, but they also save the environment. Printing on both sides saves paper costs and storage,and reduces energy costs as well. The estimated cost for 600 sheets of printer paper is $4; however, if we used double sided printers, Marymount could cut that almost in half. The cost of replacing the main printers at Marymount (TeaHouse, Math Center and Library printers) with double sided printers would be approximately $350. In the long run, double sided printers would not only cover this cost but also save money for the school, which it could put to use.
Millions of trees are cut down worldwide to produce paper. You may not think Marymount alone can help this incriminating issue; however, every solution starts somewhere, and somewhere is much better than nowhere.
Double sided printers would also make a student’s life easier. Fewer sheets means less clutter. In addition, printing pages double-sided is less time consuming and less likely to cause backups, and printer malfunctions. The paper tray won’t have to be filled as often either.
An even better solution to saving paper is to use our laptops more! If it’s not crucial to print something - don’t. We have access to Google Drive, Keynote, Word, Pages and more. Using printers has come to be something we take for granted, and most often we only use the papers for one year, sometimes even only one day.
In conclusion, installing double sided printers would be a win-win situation.
Tanner Talk: “Cancelling is Cancelled”
Katie Tanner | Editor-in-chief
There’s a phenomenon on the internet called “cancelling,” when a celebrity’s actions or statements cross the line to problematic or they’re found to have abused their power. Cancelling someone labels them irrelevant because of their behavior, and encourages all of their fans to drop them. Most notably last year, Kanye West’s infamous “slavery was a choice” comments earned him cancellation, with hashtags trending on Twitter for days after the story initially broke. Is problematic behavior that celebrities like Kanye exhibit acceptable? Absolutely not. But unless someone had made a major, unforgivable mistake, I don’t think cancelling them is the solution.
Harvey Weinstein? Absolutely cancelled. Allegations of sexual assault are the kind of major, unforgivable mistakes that warrant cancellation, and I wholeheartedly agree with them because they help dismantle a corrupt and toxic system of male-dominated power. But cancelling celebrities for offensive comments and smaller missteps won’t solve anything. Cancelling someone allows them no possibility to amend their actions or address the hurt they have caused; it immortalizes a person as evil and cuts off the communication that could potentially lead to a celebrity realizing their wrongs and genuinely growing from a negative experience. In a way, it doesn’t even hold public figures accountable for their mistakes, instead cutting ties right then and there, and as role models, this lack of a model of growth can massively impact the people who look up to them.
There’s a difference between deciding for yourself that a celebrity’s actions are too hurtful for you to keep supporting them and deciding for the entire internet that they should be permanently shunned. Yelling at someone over the internet and telling them why they’re a disgusting person won’t accomplish anything; if anything, it will only make the cancelled person more secure in their problematic beliefs. There’s a blatant lack of empathy and effective communication when anyone starts typing in all caps and declares someone cancelled, and it’s understandable when a celebrity’s comments are so ignorant and disrespectful that it’s hard to respond calmly.
But I think we have a responsibility to have respectful, informative debates, to educate people after their missteps rather than condemning them forever with anger and spite. In the end, cancelling nips growth in the bud and doesn’t allow any room for mistakes, and without allowing the most prominent public figures to learn from their often ugly mistakes, we’d wind up with an unforgiving culture of perfectionism without acknowledging that atoning for mistakes is the only way to actually grow out of problematic behavior.
Broadway Broadcast: The Legacy of Parade
Eleanore Jenks | Featured Columnist
Regis High School recently presented a production of Parade, the Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown musical that premiered on Broadway in 1998. The show dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and later convicted of raping and murdering thirteen-year-old employee Mary Phagan. The trial gained major media attention and began a rise in anti-Semitic feelings and actions in Atlanta, where the trial took place, as well as the rest of Georgia. While Frank’s sentence was eventually reduced to life in prison rather than the death penalty, he would be seized shortly after the sentencing by a lynching party and hanged in Phagan’s home town. In 1986, Frank was granted a posthumous pardon, and it is widely believed by researchers that janitor Jim Conley, who testified against Frank, actually killed Phagan. Though it’s been a long time since Frank was killed, his story still lives on in popular culture, music, movies, TV shows; and most notably in Parade.
While Parade won awards for its original Broadway run, the run only lasted for 84 regular performance (not including previews), and it has not been back on Broadway since. It tackles issues of racism, anti-Semitism, yellow journalism, and mob mentality, among other things. If there’s one thing to say for the show, it’s that it’s never been more timely, despite the events happening over a century ago.
But how does a show that covers these issues play out on a high school stage? Especially in a show where the townspeople wave Confederate flags and praise the values of the “Old South,” the production can be tricky no matter what. As it turns out,the very act of putting it on was an important statement unto itself. And not just because the Regis production was well-performed. For the fact is,I wouldn’t know nearly as much about Leo Frank if I didn’t know about Parade, and if other shows that are based on history can be used in class discussion (such as Hamilton), then why shouldn’t Frank’s trial and Parade be used as teaching moments?
I believe that the show has one of the best musical theater scores ever written, and thanks to the fact that is was performed very well overall, Regis’ bold choice in putting on Parade as their musical worked. While some of the images are jarring, such as the waving of Confederate flags or songs like “Come Up to My Office,” it promoted discussion. And this discussion should be had, especially with the relevance of the issues in the show. Parade’s story needs to be taught - in the classroom, and indeed, on the stage.
Broadway Broadcast: The Cher Show
Eleanor Jenks: Staff Writer
Cher is, in a word, iconic. So, it was only a matter of time before the pop legend had her own bio musical on Broadway. It has arrived, with the title The Cher Show, and with not one, not two, but three Chers, referred to as Star, Lady, and Babe. And much like Cher herself (or at least her tweets), the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and instead of arguing that Cher revolutionized the music industry, it tells the story of a girl who just wanted to be famous and sing.
In the opening, Star (Stephanie J. Block, who is magnificent as the main narrator and has her incredible vocals on full display the entire show), declares that thanks to a little theater magic, we are going to “Turn Back Time” and revisit her life, with two of her younger counterparts, Lady (Teal Wicks) and Babe (Micaela Diamond). The story begins with Cher as she decides she wants to be famous, and covers how she meets and falls in love with Sonny Bono (Jarrod Spector), her close relationship with designer Bob Mackie (Michael Berresse) her marriages, children, foray into both stage and screen acting, her return to music, and her “farewell tour” that turned out to not be that much of a farewell.
The three Chers bring all of Cher’s star power to the stage of the Neil Simon Theater. While both Block and Wicks have several Broadway credits under their respective belts, there is no denying that The Cher Show will make their stars even brighter. Diamond, despite making her Broadway debut with the show, will likely catapult to a level of Broadway fame that will see her make her mark on the stage immediately.
All through the show, the Chers discuss various aspect of their life, in conversations that feel like the real Cher could have written the script. Additionally the writers have woven in 35 songs from Cher’s extensive career, using the three actresses in the same role to fully show her music evolution, while still having them sing together in some of the best moments of the show. All of the Chers shine on stage, often quite literally, thanks to both their talent and the costumes of Bob Mackie. Aside from being a character in the show, Mackie made a fantastic addition to the creative team, as no one else could have done Cher’s style justice.
The rest of the creative team has continued the Broadway trend of LED screens replacing sets, though it works quite well for The Cher Show. With a lot of the story covering her years on the Sonny and Cher show, or working on her concerts and acting jobs, grand sets were not necessary. That said, the smaller set pieces that move on and off stage do their job perfectly.
While I am usually of two minds about “jukebox,” “bio” musicals , I have nothing but love for The Cher Show. It utilizes all three of its leading ladies wonderfully, and is a tribute to an amazing artist and her life, while not trying to drive home a message about the impact Cher has had. Instead, it lets Cher speak for herself, and it should not be any other way.
Tanner Talk: Will You Do the Fandango?
Katherine Tanner: Co-Editor in Chief
Apart from being one of the most frequently used phrases at Marymount (right after “tea”), Queen is also my favorite band. Queen has lately been attracting more attention than usual since the Bohemian Rhapsody movie came out in November, and I want to take this opportunity to explain why I feel so strongly about this band and its frontman.
I have Dr. Dell’Olio to thank for introducing me to Queen. When I was in the fourth grade, our spring concert was ‘80s themed, and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was a part of the “Awesome 80s” medley we sang. It’s honestly a song that I still don’t even like that much, and it definitely didn’t have that much of an impact on me as an eleven-year-old. For years after that, I knew all the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but couldn’t tell you much else about Queen. But at the beginning of this year, I stumbled upon Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance on YouTube. There’s a reason it’s considered one of the greatest performances of all time; watching the way Freddie Mercury had complete control over an audience of 70,000 people for the 20 minute video sent me into a months long Queen binge that I have yet to emerge from.
I think I love Queen so much because you can’t pinpoint a single “sound” that defines them; everything they did was experimental and different, and, for the most part, really good. Freddie Mercury is also hard to define as an individual. Despite having the stage presence to make 70,000 people sing his every syllable back to him, he was an incredibly shy person in private and loved his ten cats so much he wrote a song about one of them—it’s called “Delilah,” and it’s so weird, please give it a listen. He was an LGBT icon, but refused to be labeled; he was just himself, and that was enough to make him iconic. He proved that he wasn’t defined by AIDS as he continued to perform for years after his diagnosis; in his last appearance in a music video, “These Are the Days of Our Lives,” shot just months before he died in 1991, he looks frail and visibly ill. But he was still the star, with his classic charisma, larger than life personality, and impressive ability to capture an audience’s attention.
Freddie Mercury set an example that makes me want to be bold. I’ll watch any Queen performance and sit in awe at the way he was entirely authentic to himself, passionate about his music, and just so, so good. He makes me want to take my passion, devote myself to it completely, and never apologize for being myself or make excuses. Most of the songs he wrote were genius, but a lot of them were just plain weird. Again, “Delilah”; It’s not the most pleasant to listen to by any means. But I love it because it’s absolutely fantastic in its originality and authenticity, and this inherent goodness, rooted in pure passion and drive, leaves me hopeful.
From Your Editors-in-Chief
Juliet Davidson, Katherine Tanner: Editor in Chiefs
Dear Class of 2019,
Whatever happened to that “M19TY” poster? We always liked that one. There was an authenticity to it, an ironic realism that captured the hilarity yet tenacity of our class. It was misspelled, but it was nice-looking: some bubble letters, a fish, a wave or two. “M19TY” is great. It’s what we in the biz (that being editorial/publishing field) like to call close enough. Close enough isn’t a bad thing. It means the effort, intention, and ardor were there, just not the desired result.
A lot of us will be close enough in regards to college admissions.
Applications are almost all submitted, early decisions are coming real soon, and we anxiously wait. We’re almost there, ladies. Maybe some of us already are. Maybe some already have correctly spelled “M19HTY” posters, shining in their congratulatory glory. Maybe some of us don’t, and there’s even more work to do. But that’s still alright. We still love you and your “M19TY” selves. Whether you get into your top choice or not, whether you leave out that “H” in “MI9HTY” or not, you’ve all made us proud of this class. A “M19TY” poster isn’t any less mighty.
We love you all,
Katie and Juliet
Kristin O'Donoghue: News Editor
The concept of affirmative action is a necessary one: it allows us to cultivate the society we claim to endorse as Americans - one of equal opportunity for all, despite race, class, gender, or any other identifier. Indeed, it entails an active effort to improve educational and employment opportunities for minority groups and women. Diversity enriches the college experience across the board; it is beneficial for everyone to be exposed to people of different backgrounds, experiences, and with different perspectives. The policy is also a way to counteract the seats filled by legacy applicants, friends of board members, or children of faculty members, most of whom are products of a system of privilege that has pervaded our society for all of its history. That said, the execution of this vital program is complicated and may require some reform.
The issue of affirmative action is quite divisive. Some opponents call the policy reverse discrimination, and white students at schools may even view minority students as less qualified. A common misconception about the policy itself is that it utilizes quotas; however, quotas are unconstitutional. Instead, many colleges state they practice a holistic approach when reviewing applicants, meaning that race is never the sole criteria that will guarantee or deny admission. An applicant is viewed on many different levels: academics, character, extracurriculars, so race acts as a part of this.
Herein lies the issue and debate at the heart of the recent Harvard lawsuits. The plaintiffs complain that Harvard is discriminating against Asian American students by denying them admission to the university based on their race, even though they may have higher standardized test scores or GPAs than an applicant of another race. If schools are using a holistic approach, which Harvard claims to be doing, then there are other reasons besides race that caused the Asian American students to be rejected.
One solution that critics of affirmative action suggest is race-blind admissions. But there are a few problems with this concept. Firstly, in an ideal world, all applicants would be applying on a level-playing field, but this simply isn’t the case. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a utopian meritocracy. The claim that we no longer live in a discriminatory, racist world is a dangerous falsehood. Additionally, an individual’s race informs her experiences and defines many aspects of her character. Disregarding class entirely makes it much more difficult to fully understand an applicant and her circumstances.
The question of how to best represent the under-represented comes down to the question of what most impedes a person’s path to success. Two common answers to this inquiry are socioeconomic status and race. I will argue that both issues are inextricably linked, and therefore, both must be used in judging an applicant based on the sum of her experiences and achievements. Admission based on class has the potential to manufacture a more inclusive group, but it cannot be used without also taking race into account. Because of the way that minority groups have often been affected by poverty and low incomes, and because of the increasing wealth gap in this country, the median incomes of black or Hispanic households are significantly lower than those of whites - notwithstanding the high percentage of poor white applicants concentrated heavily in rural America. In order to best execute a policy of class and race-based affirmative action, colleges and universities should expand scholarship opportunities to a wider range of students and incentivize high school students who would not typically consider applying to apply.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that we live in an inequitable world. There are extreme disparities in education, starting from Pre-K and existing far beyond. These gulfs are direct results of this country’s treatment of minority groups for its entire history. That said, it is not an issue that is impossible to solve. We can begin at these root causes and attempt to reform the educational system so that it is not so segregated and unjust. Affirmative action as a program enriches our country with an element necessary for its progress: diversity. By allowing all Americans to access higher education - an institution we have made key in achieving future success - we are paving the way to a more equitable society, reflective of the values of our great nation, deemed the land of the free.
From Your Editors-in-Chief
In this issue, our poll question was whether Black History Month should be celebrated. To that, Nina and I say that it should be celebrated, because it has a specific purpose to fulfill. The purpose of Black History Month is to remind and inspire. February should serve as a time to remind people of the important work and legacy of legendary black figures, of the wise words proclaimed in speeches by black activists and abolitionists, and the actions that compose black history.
But what’s just as important, if not more important, than this purpose of reminding is the purpose to inspire. The study of black history should result in an inspiration to act in bold ways (as the figures we study have done) and to create change for our communities. Part of the importance of black history is that its message is universal. The work of Harriet Tubman, for example, can inspire anyone — black, Asian, white, Native American, Pacific Islander, etc. — to act in similar ways and with similar values and passion in mind for their own communities.
Too often Black History Month simply becomes a time when pictures of Martin Luther King are posted, the “I Have A Dream” speech is played repeatedly, and people make mention of slavery. All of that is certainly important. But Black History Month has the power to do so much more: to remind us of the rich history of black people but also inspire us to challenge the current systems and practices of our society and then use our voice and talents to try to change what we don’t like. In reality, Black History Month should spark action that lives beyond February. But the education that occurs during February is necessary to this process.
So to our beloved readers, please allow Black History Month to inspire you to learn and then create change regarding whichever issue in our society you see that needs fixing. If everyone works at this, maybe one day Black History Month will be obsolete.
Amayah and Nina
Let's Talk: The Logan Paul Controversy
By: NAZARETH BATTICE, Staff Writer
As most people know, Logan Paul recently faced a backlash for a controversial video he posted on New Year’s Eve. For those who are unaware of the video and its content, Paul recently visited Japan with some of his friends. During this trip, he visited Aokigahara Forest, or the Suicide Forest, located at the base of the northwestern corner of Mount Fuji. Here, Paul vlogged with his friends, originally planning to spend the night in the forest in order to catch suspicious activity. However, things quickly took a turn for the worst when Paul and his friends discovered the body of a man who had recently commited suicide. In the video, Paul continued to film close-up shots of the victim’s body, hands, and even the items the victim left behind. When coming to terms with seeing the victim, Paul and his friends began to laugh and even crack jokes about seeing the body.
Many people who had seen the video or have heard of the situation were angered with Paul. Some of the particular aspects of the video that people were upset with included the video’s “thumbnail image.” In it, the body was shown with a partially blurred head and Paul’s shocked face in the corner. Viewers were just generally perturbed by Paul’s approach to the video. Despite his stated goal of raising “awareness for depression, mental illness, and suicide,” some viewers argued that the video was only exploiting the body for views and fame, rather than genuinely posting for awareness on the subject matter.
Personally, my initial feelings about the video amounted to disgust. Some of the thoughts I had included: “Who posts videos of suicide victims for entertainment?” “Does he realize his demographic of viewers and how this might affect them?” “Why post such a video in the first place?” “How exactly was this video made to ‘raise awareness’?”
But in time, I decided to look at both sides of a situation. So, I inspected further by watching response videos, from fellow YouTube creators, to Logan Paul fans, to natives of Japan. I concluded that while Logan Paul might have had good intentions, he nonetheless approached raising awareness for suicide and mental illnesses in the wrong fashion. While that doesn’t make what he did justifiable, I’d like to think that he didn’t post the video explicitly to exploit the victim for views and hits.
All of which is to say: what Logan Paul did was not acceptable, whether he had good or malicious intent. What’s more, if you are ever victim to suicidal thoughts or tendencies, please do not hesitate to talk to someone you trust for support. We all deserve to be loved and to be given our best chance.
Journey to the Past: A Review of Anastasia
By: ELEANORE JENKS, Staff Writer
How many people actually know the story of Anastasia Romanov and her family who were killed in the Russian Revolution? Probably not many. On the other hand, how many people have seen the animated movie Anastasia? Hundreds of thousands of people have, many of whom call themselves "Fanastasias." I consider myself one such Fanastasia, and when I heard the movie was being turned into a Broadway musical, I was dying to see it. While I was biased going into it, seeing as I adore the source material, I never could have expected what unfolded in front of my eyes.
Anastasia follows Anya, a young woman who finds herself without her memories. With the help of a handsome conman named Dmitry and a lovable ex-aristocrat named Vlad, she takes herself from Russia in the aftermath of the revolution to 1920s Paris, where she hopes to discover who she really is, all while being pursued by a Soviet officer who is determined to put any rumors of the Romanovs being alive to rest once and for all. She embarks on a journey to find home, love, and family. The film and musical are based on the legend that Grand Duchess Anastasia escaped the firing squad that killed the rest of her family. The musical replaced the original villain, Rasputin, with Gleb, a Soviet officer. Additionally, they also gave the Dowager Empress a lady-in-waiting, named Lily. In my opinion, these additions add to the show, and play out well in the musical staging.
The set and costumes are only two of the many things that set this show apart from others. Each dress is more magnificent than the last, glimmering in the lights that shine down on the stage. I can't begin to describe the beauty of them, so please go and look up the images for yourselves; you will not regret it. The sets transport you to St. Petersburg and Paris for two and half hours, and you will likely find yourself as lost in Anya's world as I was both times I saw the show.
While Anastasia is one of several shows that I've seen multiple times, usually my reason for returning to a show is because I loved it so much the first time. After first seeing the show last June I didn't plan on returning. However, when my sister wanted to see the show, I took her for Christmas and loved it even more the second time around. The voices and the music hit me in an even greater way, and I was a bit surprised that I hadn't been back before that.
The actors in the show not only have incredible voices, but they sing the work of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty as if they wrote each song for the actor singing it. Some of the standout songs include "In My Dreams," "Land of Yesterday," "Still," "My Petersburg," and the two that anyone who has seen the movie know: "Journey to the Past" and "Once Upon a December." Christy Altomare, who plays Anya, and Derek Klena, who plays Dmitry, have incredible chemistry onstage. Along with the rest of the amazing cast, they help transport the audience to the world their characters are in, leading to one of the best theater experiences I've had.
Tanner Talk: Lady Bird to a Seventeen-Year-Old
By: KATIE TANNER, Columnist
During the last week of winter break, I had the sudden realization that I would have to go back to school soon and started watching every movie I could. The Truman Show, Juno, and I, Tonya were among my favorites, but one movie stood out and is possibly my favorite movie of all time. Lady Bird made me laugh, cry, and I’m ready to see it twice more. I first only wanted to see the movie because of the attention it was getting and because it centers around a seventeen-year-old girl, so I went in with no expectations as to how much it would affect me. Only after sitting down in the theater did I find out that Lady Bird, the protagonist, goes to an all-girls Catholic school in Sacramento where girls wear grey skirts and white polos and partner with an all-boys school called Xavier—you can see why I connected to the story.
It’s hard to describe what exactly happens in Lady Bird because it’s simply about the life of an average seventeen-year-old, but I don’t think that takes away from the story’s significance. It’s a coming of age story beautifully told, focusing on friendships, family, and relationships, and I think everyone around my age should see it. I’ve never been able to relate to a movie in the way I related to Lady Bird; one of the biggest themes of the movie is going away to college and leaving your hometown, something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I get ready to apply to college. There’s a scene at the end of the movie after Lady Bird has left Sacramento, a place she claimed to hate while she lived there, and she describes the feeling of home during a call to her mother. While Sacramento is different from New York in almost every way, I understood exactly what she meant and was hit by how much I’m going to miss New York, as well as my family, when I leave.
Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother, struggles with her friends, and mixed sadness and excitement about leaving for college make the movie particularly impactful for my age group, though I recommend it to others as well. Lady Bird is touching, relatable, and real, and it made me appreciate what a truly good movie can do in a way I’ve never experienced.
My Thoughts on Senioritis
By: MARINA BIEN-AIME, Columnist
Applying to colleges has been a surprising process. Although I did predict some aspects of it - such as not applying early anywhere - I never expected that I would apply to sixteen schools, or any conservatories (colleges for the study of classical music), for that matter. There’s something else, though, that I never gave any thought to as well, and that’s being a second semester senior. After all, life after January 1st is easy and stress-free, right?
For me, the experience of being a second-semester senior has been another series of unexpected twists. The relief of getting through applications was replaced with the stress of waiting for results. Finding the motivation to be proactive with work became near impossible. And after my applications were done, I realized how much time I spent working on and thinking about them, and how a huge part of my life suddenly came to a close. The college process had ruled my life for over two years, and honestly, I didn’t want to let it go.
So instead of devoting my every thought to colleges and how arbitrary the admissions process is, I am deciding to spend more time doing the things I care about. For example, I stopped taking piano lessons at the end of sophomore year in order to focus more on school, but promised myself that I would take it up again when I had more time. A few weeks ago, I decided to try and learn a new song, and ended up spending hours at the piano perfecting it. I realized that although schoolwork and colleges are important, my happiness and health matter as well. I’ve worked hard to get where I am now, and I’ve decided to devote more of my time to truly enjoying the end of high school, because I deserve it.
From Your Editors-in-Chief
Dear Joritan Readers,
Since the new year is typically a time for many to implement lifestyle changes for the sake of self-improvement, we thought we might offer our readers a little food for thought. We choose the word “food” intentionally, as the experiment we are sharing with you involved a radical makeover of diet. We’ll let Nina take it from here:
So, encouraged by a friend's recent foray into vegetarianism, I decided to try limiting myself to a plant-based regimen for two weeks.
As with most new projects, my initial enthusiasm made it relatively easy for me to stay on plan, especially since cheese, nuts and vegetables have always been a part of my daily fare. After several days, however, I did have to make a conscious effort to eliminate foods that I routinely enjoyed, such as ham and cheese sandwiches and pasta bolognese. The PB&J sandwich and pasta marinara that I ate instead were different, but no less enjoyable. I was presented with the greatest challenge when my family and I were shopping for some tailgating staples for a football game, and I had to find a replacement for my beloved chicken sausage and cheeseburger sliders. For those of you who may not be aware, vegetarians can cheer on their favorite team while chowing down on “chick'n” sausage instead, as well as an endless variety of veggie burgers.
It wasn't my ability to follow through on the short-term experiment that surprised me; it was more the benefits I reaped after only two weeks. My skin was clearer and brighter, my mood lightened significantly, and I slept more soundly than I have in months. I noticed an improvement in digestion, and I even lost a couple of pounds. Although I have since reintroduced meat into my diet, I am finding that choosing meat over vegetarian substitutes is more habit than taste preference.
Now that I've dabbled in this alternative way of eating, I am not surprised that some of our greatest leaders and thinkers were vegetarians. Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs all abstained from eating meat, as do Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, and Ellen DeGeneres. Even if the ethical aspects of plant-based eating do not resonate with you, the potential health benefits should be an appealing incentive. Based on my positive experience, I encourage you to consider revamping your own diets, and take notice of the myriad vegetarian options that are made available in grocery stores, restaurants, and even our own cafeteria. For those who can't conceive the thought of life without Shake Shack, observing Meatless Monday may be a manageable concession. As the new year approaches, let's resolve to make 2018 our healthiest year yet!
Nina Curran, with Amayah Spence
Sexual Assault: An Epidemic
By: KRISTIN O'DONOGHUE, Staff Writer
In the past few weeks, we have been flooded with horrendous stories of sexual assault that caused many to sympathize with not only the specified victims, but women on a larger scale. This sympathy, however, has come much too late and without necessary action. Now is the time for both inquiry and action: it is the time to question why we have allowed rape and assault culture to prosper and to discuss how to end it. There is one paramount lesson to be learned from these recent events: sexual assault can no longer be deemed an inconsequential mistake, it must be treated as the epidemic that it is. Of course, this is easier said than done. This is in part because of the accusations currently swirling around the man holding the highest office in the land, Donald Trump - and, directly correlated to that, the fact that it was both men and women, including 53 percent of white women voters, who chose to overlook those accusations and put President Trump into office.
Indeed, fifty-three percent of white women voted for Donald Trump in our most recent election, just months after hearing of his practice of sexual assault. While women across the nation bow their heads in dismay at the multiple sexual assault allegations that have recently surfaced, we are presented with an opportunity to evaluate the plight that Trump’s supporters have helped to perpetrate. It is important to note that other presidents have had mistresses or allegedly harassed women. However, the extent to which President Donald Trump assaulted women, and then admitted to it, is striking. Sixteen women have claimed to have been assaulted by Mr. Trump. This reality is a testament to our priorities as a nation: we, women, are willing to look past the fact that one of Mr. Trump’s defining characteristics is his disrespect for women. To top it all off, Trump ran against a more qualified female candidate, and still, he was elected. Most importantly, this occurrence should be alerting feminists to the fact that men are not the only obstacle in our fight for equal rights -- women are posing another, nearly equivalent threat.
The only way to begin solving this issue is to ask a very simple question: why? Why did such a substantial portion of our population vote for a man who appears to be a sexual assailant? Unfortunately the answer is not so simple. Many women answer, “I don’t vote with my vagina.” In other words, gender isn’t their priority issue. What matters to them is who could accomplish more. Under normal conditions, if Clinton had been running against someone else, or if two men had been running, this answer would be accepted as a very feminist reply. However, this was no normal election. A woman was running against a sexual assailant - and she lost.
The central point we must confront, then, is that a shift in the attitude of the human race is necessary. There are three key points that have magnified this issue immensely in recent times: the normalization of sexual assault, the ignorance of people on this matter, and a society that blames the victim. We allowed a culture that is both unconcerned with and is uneducated about the nature of sexual assault to prosper. Ignorance has allowed this epidemic to spread, and therefore worsen with each person it infects. In order to transform a mindset, we must begin with our most powerful tool: education. Our first task should be the reform of the sexual education system in America. Empowering the youngest and most impressionable generation with knowledge will allow for a more action-oriented society. Most importantly, we cannot simply regurgitate statistics, we must teach a child that she or he can always say no, and that there are no blurred lines when it comes to consent. Not only does this mean “no means no,” or “yes means yes,” but it also means each individual has the right to say no, and no one can take this away. We have created a system that makes it difficult for victims to come forward and a society that persecutes those who do. It is too often the accuser who emerges unscathed while the accused is shamed. Unfortunately, the administration that we have elected does not seem to care enough for the safety nor value of women. Through electing this administration we have further incited a vicious cycle. It will be difficult with the leaders we have chosen, but we must stop delegitimizing victims and blaming them for “asking for it,” because this is never the case with sexual assault. Sexual assault is assault — it is a criminal action and must be dealt with as such — immediately.
We are in a state of turmoil, both politically and socially. During a time of such disappointment and embarrassment in the actions of some men who served as idols in society for a long time, women across the nation bow their heads. At this time, however, I encourage you to lift yours and question both these men and these women. It is time for action, and there are no better candidates to challenge, shape, and change the world than the girls of Marymount.
“Why We Tell the Story”: Once on This Island Review
By: ELEANORE JENKS, Staff Writer
My first exposure to the Ahrens and Flaherty musical Once on this Island came during my freshman year at Marymount. That spring, the Chamber Choir sang a medley of songs from the show at our second concert of the year, which was performed at Regis. Months later, at the Open House, when I was a sophomore, the then-seniors who had been a part of Chamber Choir the previous year sang the medley themselves, and my love of the music was pretty well cemented.
Coincidentally, my next experience with the show happened in the same room my love of the music itself started: Regis’ auditorium. I was there because students there were doing the show as their winter musical, and several of my friends were in it. Since then I have absolutely fallen in love with the music even more than I originally did, and I have listened to it on a loop for days in a row, committing all the words to memory, and annoying my sister in the process. So, naturally, when I heard in the spring that the show was being revived on Broadway for the first time, 27 years after the original production, I jumped at the chance to get a ticket as soon as I could.
Once on This Island follows a young girl named Ti Moune who falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of the island after she saves him from a car crash. When she wishes to be reunited with the boy she’s fallen in love with, Asaka, Mother of the Earth; Agwe, God of Water; Erzulie, Goddess of love; and Papa Ge, Demon of Death, guide her on her quest for love through the prejudice and hate that comes from the world.
The show is performed at The Circle in the Square Theater, which means that the seats surround the stage. The entire theater is used for the production, creating an immersive space where you feel completely surrounded by the magic of the story. The stage itself is turned into the island with sand, water, and even a chicken and a goat. The cast performs incredibly well during every single moment of the show, especially Lea Salonga, who is returning to Broadway for the first time since being in Allegiance in 2015. Also, Hailey Kilgore makes her Broadway debut as Ti Moune, with a beautiful and pure voice that makes you believe she is really the character.
I was crying within the first five minutes of the show. The music was arranged beautifully, and there was no doubt in my mind that each cast member was enjoying himself and herself on stage. When I was at the stage door, one of them even told me that how fulfilling it was to bring such feeling to the audience. Amid everything that is going on in the world today, this story brings a magical escape. Indeed, I recommend this show to anyone because it is truly for everyone.
The entire story is a beautiful lesson and incredible piece of theater. At the end of the production, the cast tells us why they tell the story. Each reason is one that can have an impact on every person. Life is why. Pain is why. Love is why. Grief is why. Hope is why. Faith is why. You are why.
Tanner Talk: In the Wake of Weinstein
By: KATIE TANNER, Columnist
It seems like every day, new allegations of sexual assault and harassment are emerging against admired, popular actors and producers in Hollywood. Since accusations against Harvey Weinstein first came out in October, countless men and women have come forward with stories of misconduct from other prominent Hollywood figures. Actors like Ed Westwick, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey have all been accused of sexual assault, with Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey’s projects put on hold indefinitely as a result. I know many who have been fans of these actors’ work, including Westwick’s Gossip Girl, Spacey’s House of Cards, and many of Weinstein’s movies. We now face a dilemma in regard to these TV shows and movies; can we still enjoy an actor’s work when the actor’s behavior and conduct has been inappropriate and immoral?
I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to separate artists from their art for a while, and now that this question has a greater moral meaning, it’s been even more pressing for me. Even my mom, whose love for Colin Firth is unmatched, is conflicted about supporting his movies, since—even though he has not been accused of any misconduct—the Weinstein Company essentially built his career. Personally, I don’t think I could watch a show like House of Cards knowing that I’m supporting a man who has harassed and assaulted at least fifteen young men, several of whom were minors at the time.
There’s a valid argument that bad people can produce good things, which we should be able to enjoy as separate from the individual. It’s true that people are complex, make mistakes, and are deeply flawed; the world is not black and white, and there are many shades of gray in which a morally corrupt person can create a beautiful piece of art. But accusations of sexual misconduct are a rather dark shade of gray with which to reckon, and once we know the dark truths behind beloved movies and TV shows, can we ever view them without that tainted image? For me, the answer is no. However, I think that as long as one is aware that the beauty of the work is offset by acts of its creators, one can continue to enjoy movies and TV shows produced by these accused people.
On New Year's Resolutions
By: MARINA BIEN-AIME, Columnist
As the year draws to a close, people once again think of New Year’s resolutions. Vows to go to the gym to work off the food people ate throughout the holiday season, promises to not procrastinate as the new semester approaches, and pacts to become more organized to make spring cleaning less difficult all suddenly become as common as the decorative holiday lights that line the city streets.
However, I don’t necessarily buy into this “new year, new me” mentality. I never really set resolutions for myself, and if I did, I was never serious about them. I don’t understand the idea of using the start of the year as an incentive for bettering yourself; if there was a specific date to set goals, I’d much rather have it be when I have time to focus on myself, or at least when the weather is a little bit more agreeable. That would make the option of ditching my goals and lying under a pile of blankets with a cup of hot cocoa much less tempting. Also, New Year’s resolutions seem to me more like ploys to get people to spend money on gym memberships and health supplements – which they may or may not end up putting to good use – than a way to completely transform yourself for the better in the new year.
That’s not to say I don’t believe in self-betterment. I just feel that setting a resolution should be something that people can do at any time of the year, or anytime they feel they are able to. I have my own set of goals, but saying that they’re New Year’s resolutions won’t give me further incentive to complete them. I’d rather achieve my objectives at my own pace than set a time to start them. Self-improvement should be a year-round activity, not just something saved for an arbitrary date in the dead of winter.
From Your Editors-in-Chief
Dear Joritan readers,
We recently had the privilege of visiting Class VII and VIII homerooms to introduce them to the Joritan. To our delight, the students were engaged and enthusiastic, and loved hearing about our process and mission. As we always say, our purpose is to offer a platform for student opinion and allow community members a place to share their thoughts.
However, since assuming our positions as co-editors-in-chief, we have come to realize that opinions are often silently restricted in our community. In our last issue, we included a quote in the History of the Americas Day article that contradicted the stance taken in the piece. It was also a minority opinion within the broader Marymount community.
For this reason, the speaker requested that the quote remain anonymous, sparking a serious discussion among our editorial staff and the moderators: does including an anonymous quote help or harm the already contentious atmosphere that surrounds opposing student opinions? On one hand, keeping the speaker unidentified allows her the freedom to express an opposing viewpoint without the fear of backlash. On the other hand, why should the student be afraid to share an idea that is completely valid and not harmful to any party?
In the end, we decided to include the anonymous quote to start a conversation about unwarranted censoring that takes place within our community. Because we are the newspaper of the entire Upper School, it is our job to represent that student body as a whole, not just those who are more vocal and forward with their opinions.
All the Best,
Amayah Spence and Nina Curran
Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere:
Review of Come Away From
By: ELEANORE JENKS, Staff Writer
Come From Away is not what you would expect a Broadway show to be. To many, a 9/11 musical seems like something most New Yorkers would shy away from. However, it has proven to be one of the most successful musicals of the past season, recouping its investment in less than 8 months. Why is it beloved, you may ask? Because it’s a heartwarming tale that only few knew until now.
I’ve seen the show multiple times now, which isn’t something you would think a sixteen year old would want to do. After all, isn’t it about 9/11? Well, yes and no. As noted on a poster outside the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (where it plays), Come From Away is a “9/12 story.” Everyone knows what happened on 9/11, but how many of us actually know what happened when U.S. airspace was closed and diverted mid-flight planes all over the world? I didn’t until June, when I saw the show for the first time, and have since gained a huge amount of appreciation for the story.
The show is like one giant hug, wrapping you up in the story and making you want to go back again and again. When I was outside the stage door at my most recent visit, an actor remarked that it’s a show you can see repeatedly without getting tired of it, and I can certainly vouch for that! Another actor said that you can see small differences in the performances each time you go, another thing I can say is very true. All of it is absolutely incredible.
As described on the Come From Away website, the show “takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them”. The writers, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, went to Gander, where the show is set, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to interview those who had been stranded there and the people who had taken them in. After several years, the show landed on Broadway, becoming a surprise success of the season, and charming not just those who lived through the event it’s based on, but everyone who came to see it. I love this show because it’s real and honest. While it’s nice to immerse yourself in the world of Disney at Aladdin or The Lion King, this is a true story. It welcomes everyone who sits in the theater to a place on the edge of the world, where from September 11 to September 16, 2001, lives were changed and unbelievable kindness was shown to 7,000 people who didn’t have much hope.
One of the songs in the show, “Prayer,” represents so much of the world today. It displays different religions as they worship, touching on discrimination and prejudice. It is one of my personal favorites because of its equally beautiful message and melody. The song “38 Planes (Reprise)/Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere” describes the return of the stranded passengers to their homes. One of the lines goes as follows: “Somewhere in between the pace of life and work and where you’re going, something makes you stop and notice and you’re finally in the moment!” This speaks to me on so many levels because it’s about realizing what is going on in the world around you and appreciating it.
This show holds a special place in my heart, and if I could bring every person I know to see it, I would. I highly recommend getting tickets to Come From Away so that you can appreciate the beautiful work of the writers, cast, and crew who share this incredible story night after night.
Tanner Talk: A President "Joke"
By: KATIE TANNER, Columnist
In a recent New Yorker article, “The Danger of President Pence,” President Trump, when asked about LGBTQ+ rights, was quoted as saying, “don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” (motioning to Vice President Mike Pence). After reading this, I was in utter disbelief, and I could not comprehend that the leader of our nation--which prides itself on liberty, equality, and diversity--would even think to make light of mass murder. This kind of behavior would be shocking for a high school bully, but for the President of the United States, it’s absolutely unbelievable. My shock quickly turned into anger, and I was struggling to appear calm while sitting on the bus going to school. It will never be funny to make light of murder, especially when it concerns an already oppressed minority. Also, the fact that the president speaks so freely raises serious concerns about the moral foundation of our nation’s administration.
Besides the obvious moral baseness, the problem with “joking” about targeting the gay community is that “gay purges” are actually happening every day. Since February, several reports from Chechnya, a republic in Russia, have surfaced of gay men being illegally detained, threatened, and tortured. Approximately one hundred men were tortured, three of whom sadly died, and yet the state never conducted a formal investigation. In an interview in July, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic said that gay people are “devils” and “not people,” asking the interviewer to “take them away.” The situation in Chechnya is real, serious, and a direct result of the homophobia of its leaders and their influence over the people.
So, if President Trump can speak so casually about the blatant homophobia of his vice president, what makes him any different from Kadyrov? I like to think that Americans would never take part in the violent persecution of LGBTQ+ people, but the administration certainly does not seem to be considering the torture in Chechnya a serious or worthwhile problem to solve.
The horrific torture of gay Chechens has gone unacknowledged by Russian authorities, and Trump’s “joke” about violently targeting LGBTQ+ Americans comes a little too close to Chechnya’s neglect for comfort. Russia has been known for its harsh treatment of gay men and women for years, but the United States has had a considerably more open attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. As Americans, it is our duty to consider ourselves above treating the slaughter of minority groups as an unimportant issue; events like those are the hateful struggles that form America’s fundamental values of liberty and equality.
Pieces of My Mind
By: MARINA BIEN-AIMÉ, Columnist
Music is something I can’t imagine my life without. I listen to it when I commute to and from school, during my frees, and while I’m home alone. I feel incomplete when I don’t have my headphones on the train or have to do my work in silence. I also love the music I listen to. Because of the way I feel about music, I am dismayed when I hear others boasting about their music taste, or saying that artists or genres other than the ones they listen to are inferior. I believe that all music is good in some way. I know people have different tastes in music and can dislike other genres, and that’s totally fine. But saying that your music is superior is generally a bad move.
Frankly, I don’t care if someone’s music is “too deep” or “complicated” or that someone else’s music is “pop” or “too mainstream;” everyone has different preferences in music, and we should respect that. Conversely, if someone’s music taste doesn’t match up with how you perceive them, don’t talk about it! People are all unique and can do what they want and be who they want, even if the aspects of their personality don’t fit into one category. Also, you can like your music, but don’t be a gatekeeper and tell others that they wouldn’t understand the music you like; it comes across as elitist and snobby.
It goes without saying that you should listen to music you enjoy. But you also shouldn’t feel like you can’t listen to certain songs or genres of music because others will judge you. And if you’re judging others for their music taste, that’s a problem you should work to fix.
The Columbus Controversy, an Update
By: NINA CURRAN, Editor-in-Chief
If you haven’t already heard, the Marymount administration supported a student proposal to change Columbus Day to “History of the Americas” Day within the school community to recognize in an inclusive way the many stories that are part of the ongoing history of this continent. Around this time last year, I wrote an article about the controversy surrounding Columbus Day - a day that traditionally has honored a man who arrived in the Americas in 1492, but who also owned slaves and murdered mass groups of Native Americans, while simultaneously appropriating their land. As a person who does not condone Columbus’s actions and believes that his cruelty towards the native peoples outweighs his positive contributions to the foundation of modern civilizations in the Western Hemisphere, I consider this change a victory.
A student-led movement, this change was instigated last year by Student Government. Brigit Lapolla (XII), the student body president, said about the name change, “I think it’s great that students saw an opportunity for change and fought for what they believed to be best for the Marymount community. Since celebrating leaders such as Christopher Columbus is such a relevant topic that many leaders in our country have a hard time navigating, I find it very admirable that the Marymount students found a respectable and easy way to change the name of the holiday while still celebrating America and its history.”
Not all Marymount students, however, support this change. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, argues, “As an Italian-American, I want to keep its name Columbus Day. Even though Columbus did bad things, it's important to celebrate his accomplishments. If it hadn't been for Columbus, I don't think we would be where we are today." In fact, this view is held by many Americans because, especially in recent years, the holiday has been transformed into one celebrating Italian heritage in this part of the world.
No matter how you feel about the change from “Columbus Day” to “History of the Americas Day,” this controversial topic has brought to light larger issues in our community, with regard to opinions, speech, and national memory.
#YouWillBeFound: How Dear Evan Hansen Charmed an Entire Generation
By: ELEANORE JENKS, Staff Writer
I’ve seen Dear Evan Hansen twice. The show, which earned six Tony Awards, is about a letter that was never meant to be seen and a lie that was never meant to be told. The plot is set into motion when Evan Hansen, played by the incredible Ben Platt, is assigned by his therapist to write letters to himself about why “today is going to be a good day.” One of these letters is stolen by his classmate Connor Murphy, who later commits suicide, and whose parents find the letter in his pocket. Because of this, they believe that Connor wrote his suicide note to Evan. As the show progresses, the audience learns more about the characters of Evan and Connor and comes to understand how both characters struggle with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
With these relevant mental health issues appearing as large themes in the show, the end of the first act shares a message of acceptance in the song “You Will Found.” This song has since become the show’s anthem, reaching out to people all over the world who struggle with similar problems to the characters in the show. Social media, something that is so relevant to our lives, also plays a substantial role in the show. It serves as a catalyst of conflict, and Evan’s series of lies grows out of control thanks to the explosive power that social media has.
With our generation largely concerned with the Internet and the positive and negative effects it can have on self-esteem, fans of all ages find Dear Evan Hansen to be one of the most powerful shows on Broadway. In my opinion, this is very true. Anyone who has ever experienced large levels of negativity from others or suffered from anxiety or depression can find something in the show that speaks to them, and this tends to make the audience very emotional. My friends, the people around me, and I were all crying by the end of the first act, and it’s clear to see why: emotions run high onstage, and many of the actors themselves cry.
This musical raises important questions about the impact of harmful social media use and disregard of mental health problems on teenagers in our society today. In a world where these issue are often overlooked, Dear Evan Hansen opens doors for fans to have conversations about them and see that they have deeper consequences than we may realize.
Tanner Talk: Speaking Out
By: KATIE TANNER, Columnist
For my first article as a Joritan columnist this year, I wanted to make things a little more personal and help other students in any way I can. As anyone who has ever taught me or been in a class with me will know, I am always the quietest person in the room; I almost never share opinions or speak unprompted, and if I do, it’s with great anxiety and reluctance. But I’ve recently been thinking about how I can change this, and more importantly, why I should, and Mrs. Alvar’s speech on the first day of school only cemented my reasons: now is not the time to be meek. Not when the rights of women, immigrants, African-Americans, the LGBTQ+ community, and countless other minorities are threatened. The events in Charlottesville showed me that it is too dangerous to assume that everyone shares my belief in equality, and we have to communicate these beliefs—which I think are basic, unspoken standards of human dignity—and speak them out loud to make them heard.
We, as teenagers, are also at a time in our lives when we’re in between the naivete of our childhoods and the responsibility that comes with being adults, making it difficult to participate in debate and discussion on current events and feel like we’re being taken seriously. Instead of giving up on trying to keep up with politics and the news, I realized the importance of talking to friends about current issues, because some of the most important lessons we learn are those taught to us by our friends. I am very grateful to my friends for the hours-long discussions in the back corner of our local Starbucks, talking about diplomacy, current events, or how to effectively make an argument around a sensitive topic. Many of us often don’t have time to watch the news, let alone closely follow current events, but I’m rapidly learning the benefits of having a conversation with a peer about what’s happening in the world. So as one of the many goals we’re asked to make in September for the rest of the school year, I am going to work on being a more outspoken person, on being less afraid of voicing an opinion, and on listening to and respecting different perspectives, because peaking my mind is the one way I know how to work towards making my views on social justice as widespread as I once believed they were.
By: MARINA BIEN-AIMÉ, Columnist
There has been a multitude of natural disasters that have hit North America in the past several weeks, including four major hurricanes, two catastrophic earthquakes in Mexico, and a multitude of earthquakes near the Pacific. Meanwhile, devastating forest fires have spread across the West Coast, and flooding around the Gulf Coast has left many neighborhoods decimated. The damage from the hurricanes in some places has been so catastrophic that on some islands, there’s barely anything left that can be rebuilt.
Some people are interpreting this as a sign of the apocalypse and citing passages from religious texts as proof, whether as a joke or in seriousness. The sustained intensity of these meteorological events are certainly unprecedented, and most definitely a testament to the presence and significance of climate change and global warming.
However, many of the people who can make a difference in how we address global warming are not prioritizing it, or simply don’t even believe in it at all. The overwhelming majority of scientists believe that climate change is real and pertinent to our society, but that belief doesn’t seem to extend to members of our government. Climate change and global warming may not directly affect them in their lifetimes, so whatever legislation they pass against environmental regulation they often see as having no relevance. There are plans from the Oval Office to cut the budget of the National Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, FEMA, and many other organizations that help monitor and predict weather, as well as help life go back to normal for those affected by inclement weather. Cuts to these programs, especially during events like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria are detrimental to public safety, and also will leave many people without help in getting their lives back to normal.