The Whittier Miscellany The student news site of Wilmington Friends School Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:20:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Prism Night: A Celebration of the Arts Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:20:21 +0000 On Friday, March 6th, WFS held its yearly Prism night. Prism night is when people in the WFS community share their artistic talents. Whether it’s singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or reading a poem, you can do anything. It’s all about showing off your artistic abilities. 

The planners of Prism night were Upper School art teacher, Cynthia Stan Mellow and senior Blue Koenig ’20. They helped determine the number of people showing up, the order of events, and more. When asked if it was stressful planning it, Koenig responded, “Yes, it was pretty stressful especially in the last few days leading up to it. It wasn’t that bad though, it’s not a huge event and it’s very straight forward.” 

One of the performers of Prism was sophomore Hannah Carter ’22. It was her first time singing for Prism, but she has been performing since she was 6 years old. She performed the song “Like A Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae. When asked how she decided on what song, Carter said, “I wanted to perform a song with a chill vibe and that’s one of my favorite songs. I also wanted to perform something that allowed me to really connect with my audience and that song does just that.” Carter plans on performing in the future for Prism night. 

There were a total of 10 performers and one art class that shared their work for Prism night. When asked about the number of people that performed, Koenig said, “I expected more to sign up to perform as we have had better turnouts in the past, however, I did speak with a fair amount of people who wanted to perform but couldn’t for various reasons.” Because each year is different, the planners have to make adjustments. Koenig continued, “We have never really changed the format of Prism Night, it’s always been like a talent night and the performing arts companion to Prism Magazine. In years past we used to have a tradition of a make your own waffle station but we phased that out over health concerns and the huge mess it made.” Other than the changes from before, Prism followed it’s normal ways. 

Prism night was a huge success, and if you have any type of talent that you would like to share that couldn’t be shared normally during school, sign up for Prism night next year.

]]> 0
The Rise of Zion Williamson Sun, 08 Mar 2020 21:58:31 +0000 The 2019-2020 NBA season is already half-way done, as the all-star break just came to wraps on February 21st. This season has lived up to the “hype,” per-say, as the 2019-2020 draft class is living up to their expectations. In general, many seem to think that the amount of young talent in the NBA is laughable, as teenagers who lack any sort of professional qualifications in the sport are competing against, and beating, some of the best basketball players in the world. One of these teenagers is Zion Williamson, a six-foot-six, two hundred eighty-four pounds small and power forward for the New Orleans Pelicans. He was the projected number one pick going into the 2019-2020 draft, and that prediction has thus far been confirmed. He was drafted number first overall and has proved worthy of this title. He did not start the season at the same level as the rest of his league, as he missed the first twenty games due to a torn meniscus as a result of a summer league game. Zion bounced back from this injury, however, as he dropped twenty-two points(seventeen in a row) during his debut game, and made an indomitable impact for his team. Since this rather memorable game, he has been working to meet his heightened expectations as a talented rookie. He is now the first player in the last thirty years to score at least twenty points in seven of his first nine games. 

In addition to his already exceptional skill, Zion is currently on a streak of scoring at least twenty points in twelve consecutive games. This streak is considered rather impressive, as it is the most consecutive games with twenty points in NBA history. He surpassed Carmelo Anthony’s 2004 record, which endured nine straight games. It is also important to note that, if his streak continues, Zion will be on pace to be one of two players in NBA history to average more than twenty-four points per game while playing fewer than thirty-one minutes per game. The only other player who has ever done this is the reigning MVP of the league,  Giannis Antetokounmpo. One could say that Zion almost has taken the league by storm, as NBA superstars have expressed their excitement over Zion’s game. Lebron James, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, was asked about the young superstar last year during the all-star break in Charlotte. He said, “His ability to jump well beyond the ten-foot rim in incredible, What’s also incredible is at his size, his speed, agility, and quickness – he really is the complete player. What makes him even better is how great of a kid he is, he is humble about the fact that he gets to play the game that he loves every day, I love everything about him from the outside looking in, I’ve never met him, but he keeps things straightforward. The future of the NBA is in great hands with guys like Zion.” 

Even here in the Friends community, Zion has made many lasting impressions on the student body. Connor Satterfield ‘20 had much to say about his game, “Zion Williamson a 285-pound man can get off the ground like it is nothing, making a fool of guys the same height. I watched him play at Duke last year, and not knowing much about the NBA I know he will make an impact for years to come. Even watching this year, I can tell he will have a long-lasting and successful NBA career as long as he avoids injury.” Zion plays next on Sunday, against the Timberwolves. Hopefully, he continues to make strides in the right direction and continue on his successful path.

]]> 0
There’s an app for that! Wed, 04 Mar 2020 23:26:26 +0000 We’ve all heard from parents or peers that cellphones are damaging. Technology is dangerous. Innovation is… bad? 

Not really. Cell phones themselves aren’t inherently harmful. Originally created as more efficient landlines, cell phones were clunky and only useful for making calls. With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 came educational possibilities and the chance of digitizing everything. Phones were and still are revolutionary. Instead of big,heavy dictionaries or encyclopedias, we have it all in our back pocket anytime. Instead of letters or memos, fast communication became more and more accessible. So where did phones go wrong? 

Well, it isn’t exactly the phone that one addresses the issues of, but rather the apps that are regularly downloaded by users. Sure, many of you have probably been nodding along knowing about this twist, but many don’t know the real cost of social media through phone apps can have on our society. Social media and its effect on adolescents in the 2000s has worsened dramatically in recent years, making apps like Instagram and Snapchat a pressing yet overlooked issue.

You’ve most likely heard of the household catchphrase: “there’s an app for that!” This phrase, while possibly meant to be sarcasm, is completely true. Whatever work or purpose you may want to be solved by an app, can be. However, human problems and issues cannot be solved by apps, and this problem has become apparent amongst our generation. When “every need” seems to be covered by these apps, complete reliability seeps into the minds of our generation, or the “iGen” as it is called by many now. 

There’s a reason that Tim Cook, the C.E.O of Apple, would not let his nephew join social networks, Bill Gates banned cell phones until his children were teenagers, and Steve Jobs would not let his young children near iPads. Upper School Chemistry teacher Rose Gnade states, “I’m not giving my kid a smartphone until college, she’ll have one to make calls and such but nothing more.” Good luck! Persuasive technology, or persuasive design, is the phrase that comes to mind. It works by deliberately creating digital environments that users feel to fulfill their basic human drives to be social or obtain goals more efficiently than real-world alternatives. 

The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on-screen activities are more likely to be unhappy. Multiple students here at Friends spend that time and more on their phones. Siba Sharaf ’21 reportedly spends 6 hours a day on her phone. Finn Butler ’21 spends 2 hours on weekdays and around 5 hours on weekends. “I like the quotes that I find on insta, and the memes always make my day, however sometimes when I see people’s life on social media I start comparing myself and my life with theirs which makes me so disappointed and even depressed ” comments Sharaf. Research shows that those who spend more time than average on non screen activities are more likely to be happy.

With these two realities in combination, the endurance of our mental health becomes an issue. Social media is dangerous, as it can put a physical number on your “popularity” and social status in your environment. According to Butler, “I believe social media has changed my life for the worse because sometimes it stresses me out like how many likes I get or how many followers.” Yet even those that reach their estimated “like goal” may feel lonely. According to The Atlantic, “Teens who visit social-networking sites every day but see their friends in person less frequently are the most likely to agree with the statements ‘A lot of times I feel lonely,’ ‘I often feel left out of things,’ and ‘I often wish I had more good friends.’” Teens’ feelings of loneliness spiked in 2013 and have remained high since. 

However, it’s not just loneliness. Depression and eventually suicide can be caused by the combination of the relentlessness of social media’s “call” to adolescents and the forever increasing anxiety in social spaces. Depression and suicide rates have shot up compared to other generations from past decades, and all of this is connected to our reliance on social media and smartphones. 

Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35% more at risk of suicide or making a suicide plan. Just by “living our lives” as many of us would put it, we increase the risk of taking our own lives. That is when phones are considered to be dangerous and harmful to this generation. Athena Chavarria, who worked as an executive assistant at Facebook said: “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.” She also said that she lives by the mantra that the last child in the class to get a phone wins. “On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine,” Chavarria said about screens. 

So the next time you pick up your phone for the umpteenth time today, think about the effect your decisions are having on your mental health. 


]]> 0
Why Isn’t Climate Change Fully Accepted? Wed, 04 Mar 2020 18:22:39 +0000 In the last 200 years, Earth has changed substantially. The surface of the planet has risen in temperature by around 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 1800s. This increase in temperature has most notably taken place in the last 35 years with 2016 being the hottest year on record. Additionally, the oceans have warmed 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. And though these numbers don’t seem substantial, they are. Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice per year during the years of 1993 and 2016, the global sea level rose by 8 inches in the last year, and the acidity of the surface of the ocean has increased by 30%. Climate change has negatively affected our world in more ways than one. However, even though these facts have been brought to the attention of the world, there are still people who don’t believe that climate change is a problem that we should be worried about.

Why do some people not believe that climate change is a problem? This question can have a lot of different answers. When asked this question, Hannah Carter ’22 responded, “People don’t believe in Climate Change because they don’t want to change their ways. There’s irrefutable proof that Climate Change is real. But for so many, it would change the way that they live and that makes them uncomfortable. It’s horrifying that there are still Climate Change deniers, but they do exist. We have to show them that changing their lifestyles might be odd at first, but it is so worth it in the long run.” This perfectly summarizes a large reason why some people refuse to not believe that climate change is a problem. Whether it’s as simple as changing from plastic straws to paper ones or as complex as switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, people don’t want to make changes in their lives. However, even changing one small aspect of your life can help change our world for the better and lead the Earth down a path of regrowth.

Another reason people don’t believe that climate change is important is that they believe that someone else is going to take care of this problem for them. The truth is that most people know the basic facts, they simply believe that this horrifying problem will be solved by themselves and the people around them. After all, if renowned scientists can’t solve this problem, then how can we, simple people, solve this problem. However, the truth is that we can make a difference, and we can’t rely on anyone else to fix this problem but ourselves. If we all believe someone else will solve this problem, then the problem will never be solved.

A third reason people don’t believe that climate change is an important problem is that they refuse to acknowledge its existence. Despite a large number of scientists who have shown this problem exists, some people are so set in their beliefs that they won’t listen. This is because people don’t see the problem right in front of them. For people who live in cities that are threatened by rising sea levels or in countries that are ravaged by fires, climate change is easy to see. But for people who haven’t seen the effects of climate change first-hand, it’s very easy to dismiss it as fake news. There are many reasons why people might believe that climate change is fake. Upper School Global Peace and Justice teacher, Betsy Renzo, states many of these reasons perfectly: “Is a result of a polarized political climate, in which being contrarian is seen as being loyal to a political party, rather than focusing on facts. Our media, which profits from drama, has supported the perpetuation of fake news. Denying climate change is a result of this fake news, as scientists are clearly in the overwhelming agreement of its veracity.” If we ignore the facts and simply believe everything that is being put out in the News politically, someone might believe that climate change is fake or simply doesn’t matter. This can be changed by spreading awareness about climate change yourself.

However, sometimes people don’t want to believe that anything is wrong in the world they live in. Some people don’t live in an area that is affected by climate change yet. And after all, “seeing is believing.” Emma Slease ’23 explained, “They’re in denial. They don’t want to believe what’s happening to our planet is real.” People who completely don’t believe in climate change may bring up different arguments stating their opinion. These arguments may include things like “there is no real evidence that climate change is real” or “there is no known cause of climate change.” And though, indeed, humans cannot account for all of the changes in our climate, we must take responsibility for the large portion that we did cause. When discussing with people who refuse to acknowledge climate change as a problem, it’s best just to restate the facts. Show the damage done to the rest of the world. Just because it’s still cold in North America, doesn’t mean glaciers aren’t melting and raising the sea level. Share the problems that cannot be seen with them such as the unnatural amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere which raises the temperature of the planet. Just because you cannot see climate change doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.

At the end of the day, it isn’t too late to save our planet. It all starts with you. Make a small, eco-friendly change to your daily life, share this deadly problem with someone unaware, and make clean choices for the sake of the Earth.

]]> 0
Can we weather the storms of climate change? Wed, 04 Mar 2020 18:21:29 +0000 Climate change is an established threat. It has already affected the planet in a multitude of ways and will continue to threaten civilization for decades. But what disasters can humanity expect to face in the coming years? Along with higher temperatures and rapidly rising sea levels, Earth will be subjected to more dangerous categories of hurricanes, heightened chances of drought and catastrophe, and world hunger caused by loss of agriculture. 

In 2005, The United States suffered severe losses for many years afterward due to Hurricane Katrina. Floodwalls and levees came crashing down, drowning cities and killing nearly 2,000 people. Katrina caused $108 billion in damage and displaced over one million people in the Gulf Coast Region, according to Live Science. Katrina was a category 3 storm. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions states, “For the continental United States in the Atlantic Basin, models project a 45-87 percent increase in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes despite a possible decrease in the frequency of storms.” Katrina, as a Category 3, was extremely destructive, but caused nowhere near the devastation Category 4 and 5 hurricanes will be. 

A Category 4 hurricane is classified by the National Hurricane Center as having winds reaching 130-156 mph that can cause severe damage to well-built homes. These strong winds can tear off roofs and even walls, snap most trees and power poles, cause power outages that can span months, and render most of the affected area uninhabitable for weeks or months. A Category 5 hurricane has winds upward of 157 mph. In the event of these winds, “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas,” in addition to the uninhabitability and power outage effects of a Category 4. Additionally, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says “scientists expect a 2-11% increase in average maximum wind speed,” and, according to NASA, a nine-year period with no hurricanes Category 3 or higher hitting land in the United States will only occur once every 177 years. 

Additionally, climate and weather expect that “Greater sea levels will threaten the low-lying coastal areas such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh, millions of areas of land will be at danger from flooding; causing people to leave their homes. Low lying areas in cities will be hugely affected by the rising sea.” Climate change could also cause more shortage of water in already dry areas, and increased rainfall in wet ones. Bryce Young ’21 is “most concerned about agriculture and how the places to farm viably will decrease due to the rising sea levels and shifting environments. Our world already has troubles with world hunger and if the land we can farm on decreases, then food prices will skyrocket and more people will be impoverished leading to a higher death rate.” Brazil, most of Africa, and southern Asia’s agriculture will be slammed due to heat waves, and rising water levels will swallow agricultural land in coastal areas across the globe. In 2018, trade between Brazil and the US was estimated at $105 billion by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, as well as being the US’ 17th largest supplier of goods. A blow to Brazil’s agriculture could result in the loss of billions of dollars in trade for the United States. 

Climate change will not come cheap. While industry benefits from the pollution caused to the earth now, governments and private organizations will suffer heavy financial losses in disaster control, damage repair, and preventative measures over the coming decades. Courtney McKinley, Upper School Physics teacher, says, “Having these big climate events costs a lot of money, and eventually it [comes down to] how much we can really spend to keep mitigating the effects. How many levees can we build? How much damage control can we do?” Yale Climate Connections writes about two potential scenarios for climate change. Essentially, in one scenario, global warming is reduced to a five degree change by the end of the century, and in the other, eight degrees. The report states that the second scenario would cost the United States economy $224 billion. By comparison, $224 billion is the cost of over 4 billion barrels of crude oil, 725,250 Lamborghinis, over one million average homes, or more than a third of the US’ total trade exports in 2017.

What can be done to stop it? There are many things the average citizen can do, starting with making smarter consumer choices such as cutting out red meat, switching to sustainable energy, or growing food in a garden. However, large-scale global change needs to start with the government, corporations and other institutions. “I would like to see the government pass the Green New Deal and other legislation that would address the full scope of the climate emergency,” says Rohan Mandayam ’23, “it’s essential that we as human beings collaborate to stop the climate crisis before we reach a global temperature rise that cannot be reversed. I am confident that once people understand the scale of this crisis, they will help to combat it.” While the world is rapidly deteriorating without a doubt, it is not beyond saving. McKinley believes there is still hope — and that that hope resides within the next generation. “I think [it] is so powerful, that the youth — the people that this is going to affect the most — are saying ‘No,  we’re not going to stand for this, we’re about to be old enough to vote, so you’re either going to get it together and put the rules in place that we want to see, or you’re not going to be around to be in these positions of power.’” Though prospects are grim, it isn’t too late to work against the deterioration of the weather and the planet. It’s crucial for any hope of a brighter future to stand on the side of the earth and to refuse anything less than a life unburdened by the shadow of climate change.

]]> 0
Jeff Bezos and his climate pledge Sun, 23 Feb 2020 21:31:33 +0000 As of late, students and teachers have discussed at length-or exhausted, according to some- the topic of climate change. This discussion has not taken place in isolation, . This Monday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to commit $10 billion to fight climate change, which he called “the biggest threat to our planet” in the Instagram post announcing this pledge.

The pledge is intended to go towards funding for scientists, activists, and nonprofit organizations involved in environmental work. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet.”, Bezos’ post explains. This donation has garnered significant support as well as surprise among the public- as the Amazon CEO has not made any significant donations in the past.

Significant criticism has arisen in response to the post. Many pointed out the fact that Amazon has a massive climate impact, which Bezos’ post failed to address. Amazon did, however, make a climate pledge this September to meet the Paris Agreement’s carbon neutrality by 2040 amid pressure from employees.

Bezos’ pledge is a prime example of the private sector becoming significantly involved in the effort against climate change. In the post, Bezos writes that preventing climate change is going to take “collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. 

The Friends community engaged directly with this issue earlier in the winter, when Weldin Dunn ‘20 and Pier Paolo Ergueta ‘22 debated the merits of a governmental centralization and mobilization in order to combat global warming. This was a debate hosted by the World Affairs Club and open to all in the library at lunch. Debater Pier Paolo recognized that this pledge was not consistent with his position in the debate: “I don’t believe it quite embodies the point I was trying to prove. The visionary mobilization I imagined was one led primarily by the government…What Bezos is attempting to do is simply raise all-around awareness on the issue, believing that unlead individual action is enough to solve the problem.” Yet, despite his views on the most effective methods to combat climate change combated, Pier Paolo was still excited by this event: “The entire day was lightened because of it, as it is a huge win.” It was clear that Pier Paolo was simply grateful progress was being made, regardless of whether. His opponent in the debate, Weldin Dunn, summed up this point: “Regardless of our debate positions, I know Pier Paolo and I are very happy to see large scale attention given to climate change. I know I appreciate the fact that while our government is doing nothing to slow down climate change and doing multiple things to speed it up, people still care about climate change and want to stop it.” 

While certain WFS students are avidly discussing environmental issues, a large portion of the student body feels that the issue is somewhat exhausted. A combination of the aforementioned debate, the fall climate strike, and frequent communications from the umbrella club “Fridays For Future” tends to feel excessive to certain students, especially when they feel the majority of the school already believes climate change is a problem. Luke Fahey ‘20 had an opinion to share on this matter. “I’d say that while it (climate change) is an important problem that needs addressing, it needs to find interest organically, and these constant forced efforts just create artificial interest, which gets people less interested in the issue as a whole.” Friends students recognize the threat of climate change, but at times feel as if the constant engagement is forced and disingenuous.

Javier Ergueta, history teacher and faculty founder of Fridays For Future, was asked how he felt about those who feel that the climate issue is forced and worn out, he stated that, “Scientists tell us it’s not an issue that we can set aside.  It’s a life-or-death issue for humanity, and it threatens the lives of all young people.”

Mr. Ergueta says he understands that students feel pressured.  The climate crisis is a “bitter pill to swallow, and psychologists around the world report a surge in “Climate Grief” among young people, brought about by rising anxiety and fear”.  But he says FFF has worked hard to make all of its activities voluntary: “No one was forced to go on the climate strike or to sign the pledge. It took a lot of work to structure our activities that way”.  He says that he respects that some fellow WFS community members will choose not to take part in climate activities. “A chief FFF goal is to provide a wide range of optional projects to students, so that through constructive activity and fellowship they can overcome climate despair.”  

Mr. Ergueta invites the WFS community to review the online lists of ongoing or completed FFF Projects  and also of FFF New Project Ideas.  “I think students should be very proud of what we’ve already achieved.  I don’t know of any high school in Delaware that is doing more.” He also suggests a visit to the FFF Group page, for answers to many other questions about how to approach the climate crisis. 

Bezos’ climate pledge came as good news to the many Friends students passionate about climate action, and serves to continue the discussion on climate issues and how the school should be engaging with them. While there might be slight disagreements, many students are happy simply to see progress being made.

]]> 0
The Iowa Caucus Fri, 07 Feb 2020 22:14:58 +0000 This Monday, February 3rd, the results for Democratic Primary for Iowa were supposed to be released. The problem was, the app “failed.” Instead of publicly communicating who won how many delegates on Monday, Iowa did not release the results until Tuesday. Despite the delays, it was still a momentous occasion, because it is the first Democratic Primary. When Anninna Lapalainnein ’21 was asked about it, she said, “I am extremely disappointed in this Iowa Democratic Party, this is completely unacceptable.” This was partially due to an app designed by a past Clinton campaign member, which has led to some suspicion, even if it is not actually justified. As we see with Lapalainnein, not everyone is satisfied with the process. 

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders clearly have come out as the winners, as they both got ~26% of the votes, while some of the more obvious losers have been Joe Biden with ~15.8% and others. That includes who failed to receive many notable votes (Bennet, Delaney, Patrick, and Gabbard). One exception with that is Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and media billionaire who entered too late to enter Iowa. This led to a lackluster performance in Iowa. However, due to Democratic National Committee rules changing, he will now be allowed to partake in the debates, despite single handedly funding his campaign.

While Iowa is very important for momentum, it does not represent the entire country. The current national polls have Biden- 27%, Sanders- 21.8%, Warren- 14.4%, Bloomberg-10.6%, and Buttigieg- 7% nationally despite  the Iowa Caucus. This momentum could help Buttigieg in future primaries. On the contrary, Iowa also might show a weakness in Biden’s campaign. In regards to Buttigieg’s campaign, one demographic in which he has a weakness is African-American support. Considering that Iowa’s population consists of only 8% African Americans, his success in the Iowa Caucus was not entirely surprising.

Overall, the Iowa Democratic Caucus was a logistical nightmare, but shows both the strengths and weakness of various campaigns. Teddy Devoll ’21 said, “This will be a crucial moment for American History. It will be interesting to see what happens next.”

]]> 0
The Passing of a Legend Mon, 03 Feb 2020 00:37:27 +0000      It can’t be, it just can’t be, but sadly it is. On the morning of January 26th, 2020, a Sikorsky, S- 76B helicopter carrying former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven other passengers plunged into a mountain in Calabasas, killing all on 9 board. The basketball star’s unforeseen death sent the NBA and the world into a sense of shock and despair. Wyatt Nelson ‘20 was distraught over the tragedy saying “It was the first celebrity’s death that hit me this hard”. 

      For over twenty years, Kobe was at the pinnacle of sports in the city that ruled the world, Los Angeles, and just like that, he is gone. From the time he was drafted into the NBA as a wide-eyed seventeen-year-old out of Lower Merion High School, Kobe Bryant was already a household name in American basketball. Despite his young age, Bryant quickly became a fan favorite by helping lead the Lakers to a three-peat in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Bryant went on to win two more championships in his prestigious career.

     During his time with the LA Lakers, Kobe scored a staggering 33 thousand points, which placed him third overall, until Lebron James passed him the night before his untimely death. Bryant’s other achievements include winning NBA MVP in 2008 and making eighteen all-star games, to name a few. But for Kobe, his biggest accomplishments were far from the glitz and glamor of Figueroa Street and the Staples Center.

     For Kobe, his life’s achievements were his family; most notably, his four daughters, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri. After his retirement from basketball, Kobe spent countless hours with his children. In an interview with Barstool, Bryant said that he loved nothing more than to able to pick up his kids each and every day from school just to spend some extra time with them. When asked why he did this, Bryant referenced the fact that “road trips can make it really hard to see your kids.” However, the traffic in Los Angeles ranks as some of the worst in all of the world, and Kobe was constantly late getting around the city, hence why he started taking helicopters everywhere. Kobe would often take his daughter to her games, and on the morning of January 26th, the unforeseeable happened.

     Last week, the world lost one of its greatest NBA players of all time. However, Kobe was so much more than that; he was a son, a father, a husband, and an inspiration to us all. Farewell Kobe, your legacy will live on forever. 

]]> 0
Australian Fires Fri, 17 Jan 2020 15:40:45 +0000 Australia is burning, and it has been for over 4 months. This is no secret, as many horrific images have been consistently projected across international news and various social media outlets, depicting the tragic events that are currently unfolding throughout the nation, with no end in sight.

 Many of the images that have been released are nothing short of tear-jerking, as some depict the horrible ecological catastrophe that is still happening in Australia. To augment the message of sadness that is spread by those horrible images, a recent figure shows that over one billion animals have been killed as a direct result of the wildfires. Luke Munch ‘21 commented on, “how horrible it is to see such an event have such a large effect on human and animal life,” and how he, “hopes to see Australia bounce back from this horrible disaster.” Munch is not alone in his wish, as millions of people across the globe have supported efforts to help combat the wildfires. Teddy DeVoll ‘21 commented on how he, “hopes to see many donations go toward the necessary cause that is wildfire relief,” and that, “spreading the word to not only make sure people donate but to make sure that they donate to a source that will actually have an impact on the people, such as the Australian Red Cross.” DeVoll makes a good point, as many different Instagram accounts and fake websites have been popping up boasting that they will help Australia when in reality they do nothing of the sort. 

One thing that is certain about these fires is that they will leave a permanent scar on the country and its people, as this season is shaping up to be the most intense fire season in Australian history, with species literally going extinct as a result. Furthermore, the previous preparations that have worked to stave off the fires have proven ineffective. For example, areas that have been “pre-burned” in order to prevent being burned again are, ironically, burning throughout these fires. Many farms and homesteads surrounded solely by short grasses and fields are burning, unlike they ever have before. This is a direct result of the extremeness of the fires that Australia is facing currently. This, unfortunately, is becoming the new normal for Australians. As climate change becomes more of a prevalent issue, Australians will have to adapt to the new normal of extreme temperatures and droughts, which results in a more prevalent and destructive fire season. This has been shown in stark detail during the 2019-2020 season thus far. 

Australia is in dire need of assistance, and that need is, unfortunately, going to be present for much of the foreseeable future.

]]> 0
Remembering Juice WRLD Sat, 14 Dec 2019 17:37:40 +0000 his past Sunday, December 8, popular hip hop artist, Juice WLRD passed away. After suffering a seizure in an airport, Juice WRLD (real name Jarad Higgins) was pronounced dead at age 21. Even in the few years that he spent on this planet, he accomplished so much and touched many people.

Jarad loved music from a very young age. After expressing this love to his single mother, she paid for lessons in piano and guitar. One thing that is interesting is that being very religious, his mother did not allow him to listen to hip hop music. As he got older, his love for music shifted towards the hip hop genre and his career began when he started recording songs on his phone and uploading them onto SoundCloud in his first year of high school. The first song he uploaded under the name JuicetheKidd was called “Forever” and was uploaded to SoundCloud in 2015. He later changed his name to Juice WRLD, inspired by his love for Tupac Shakur in the movie Juice. He said it “represents taking over the world.”

Juice WRLD did indeed take the world by storm, beginning to blow up in 2017. His song, “Lucid Dreams”, first released on SoundCloud, dominated the summer of 2018. “Lucid Dreams” debuted at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 3.  Juice WRLD, himself, was familiar with the pain of the world losing talented young artists with potential. After the deaths of Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, Juice WRLD released an EP dedicated to the rappers. He collaborated with many famous artists including Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, and Future. After releasing his album “Death Race for Love” in March 2019, he was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard music awards in May.

Juice WRLD spoke to many young people partly due to the reason that he was not scared to be vulnerable with his music. While many rappers write about their material belongings and status, Juice WRLD commonly wrote about being heartbroken and his struggles with drug abuse. Many students at Wilmington Friends expressed sadness at his loss. Aine Grubb ’21 stated that she “thought it was really unsettling that someone that big and prominent in a lot of people’s lives and cultures all of the sudden is no longer with us.” Robby Friz ’21 even said, “I felt torn. I felt like a little part of me died.” Unfortunately, it is not uncommon enough for young people to have to deal with the loss of their favorite musical icons. High school Chemistry teacher Sarah O’Brien reflected on the loss of Kurt Cobain when she was in high school saying, “People were shocked. In retrospect, he was clearly depressed and struggling but when he killed himself it was shocking. There was deep sadness because there was a group of people who loved Nirvana. Cobain’s music spoke to them so deeply and people found his death to be tragic and personal.” The effect of Juice WRLD’s death is very similar, as many people resonated with his music on a deep level.

Juice WRLD was a young man with unlimited potential. His career was only beginning and it is a sad time for his mother, his girlfriend, his brother, his friends and his millions of fans around the world who he inspired. He will be missed and never forgotten.

]]> 0