By Tahaara Gazali
Two photographs: different years; women, men; students, staff; diverse races, colors, ages, and religions. What do these people have in common? They are celebrating International Hijab Day.
A hijab is a veil worn globally by Muslim women. It reflects their lifestyle of modesty and shows their devotion to their god, Allah.
February 1st celebrates Muslim women, their religion, and their culture. Non-Muslims honor the Muslim faith; women wear hijabs and men wear head coverings called imamas or white clothing called khamees.
Maryam, Safiya, Nasra, and Amina Gazali introduced the tradition to RCSD in 2015 through the Rochester International Academy. The celebration has spread to other RCSD high schools, including East High school and World of Inquiry #58.
Muslims and participating non-Muslims compared their experiences. Vicki Casarett, an ENL teacher at East High, shared, “at first, I worried about revealing any hair; but then it felt cozy.” Shafiqa, who converted at the age of 19, says, “I feel honored and protected in it.” Manasha, who was born Muslim, claims, “I feel comfortable. I would not consider going out without it.” In sharing tradition, Muslims and non-Muslims alike have gained cultural understanding.
By Jaheim Jones
With ninety-six years and counting, the United States of America has given African Americans the honor to have a black history week since 1926. Like we always do, we rose above and elevated our respect and recognition. Since 1976 we officially have been celebrating black history month, which means it’s only been forty-four years.
When I speak of black history please know I’m not trying to shed light about slavery in America. Black history means so much more because obviously there was a history before Africans were held captive by Europeans for malevolent purposes. Often uneducated people mistake the continent of Africa for a country when that is completely wrong. Africa is a continent and within the huge continent there are fifty-four countries.
Africa held large amounts of gold and diamonds that the Europeans wanted so they took advantage of Africa's diamonds and gold and put its people into hard unreasonable labor. This took time however because Africa was too big and complex to just take over multiple countries and that hard labor would be the first step towards slavery, the one we recognize in late America. I had to watch a lot of documentaries on Africa before colonization because according to google Africans “have no history.” PLEASE don’t ever believe that black people have no history because of lack of books.
According to Wikipedia, “The earliest humans developed out of australopithecine ancestors after about 3 million years ago.” Everybody knows about ancient Egypt because of its involvement with ancient Rome but what about the city of Kilwa. According to Wikipedia, “At one time, it was probably the most powerful in the whole East Africa.” South of Tanzania it was a very diverse community that was a port for trade for multiple cities. Moving from shore to land we can also show the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe in the town of Masvingo appreciation. Here was a bunch of hard working Africans who crafted weapons made from iron. Overall more than that the city of Great Zimbabwe was a main attraction city which according to britannica.com “The largest of more than 150 major stone ruins scattered across the country of Zimbabwe.”
Shorted in black excellence for generations we only focus on the surface of stereotypes. Black is not wild and ignorant; black is beautiful, resilient, intelligent and consistent. Black people have so much rich tragic and inspiring history. Even though we celebrate it in one month our history shall live on forever in a culture, books, and youth.
By Keren Montero
Teachers have no control over the temperatures in their classrooms at East and it is very important for them to do so. As of right now, it is no lie when I say that the classrooms at East are all different types of temperatures. When it's cold outside the AC is on in the classrooms and then when it's spring and it's hot the heating is booming. Some are as hot as the sun and the one down the hall can be as cold as Antarctica.
Brain principle 8 of teaching is “Environment matters.” Our surroundings impact our brains for good and for bad. That is why teachers usually have flexible or some different type of seating arrangements, purposeful music when kids are doing work, and/or posters and different colors on the walls to bring a good feeling in the classroom. Classroom temperature also falls between those lines. It is proven that students focus less and retain less when they are too cold or too hot and don't feel comfortable. Not only does the student not feel comfortable enough where they can sit and learn but it also can be a block in a teachers way because they can't teach up to their full potential when they also aren't feeling good in a class that's too cold or too hot.
The students and teachers aren't the only ones who have complained about this issue and support the idea of teachers having control of the AC and heating in their classes but the secretary of the counselors also agree with it. Irene Turner expressed, “These classrooms are like a sauna or an igloo so if the teachers had access to the thermostat we can have a comfortable learning environment.” I have also sparked this conversation with my journalism teachers, Mrs. Conroy and Dr. Bak, and they agree all the way that it is hard to have a comfortable learning environment when students can't focus or feel comfortable because of the temperature in the class. It is important to make this change because we need to create a better, healthier, and comfortable learning and teaching environment for the students and teachers here at East.
By Amina Hassan
Attention class of 2021: there's a hoodie design competition currently going on for next year's hoodie design. Any designs can be submitted through the class of 2021 google classroom by March 1. The top 10 designs are going to be put into a google form and voted on. The 1st place design will be the hoodie and the 2nd place design will be on a t-shirt,
Junior Anna Mukeshimana says, “The hoodie design competition is something I’m looking forward to because instead of 1 or 2 ideas, there may be many to choose from and it's really nice that we get to have a say in how our hoodies may potentially look.” Senior Amina Gazali says, “It's really cool that the juniors get to design their hoodies and have a t-shirt. I was not a big fan of our class of 2020 hoodie, because the whole Uno Out idea was new and different. I didn't really understand the whole concept. It would have been really nice for the seniors this year to have something like a hoodie design competition. That way we could've all have had a variety of designs to vote on. Also a t-shirt would have been a nice back-up design for those who were not a fan of the hoodie.”
By Ho Mach
Humanity, a word that means to have human characteristics, dignity, and human emotions. What happens if that was applied to an android or artificial intelligence? Would it have a “humanity” too? We are growing in a society where the future would be dominated by technology. What does it mean to be human? I believe that things that are artificial can become human.
That question relates to a film called Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve and a sequel to the original 1982 Blade Runner made by Ridley Scott. The film gives us striking visuals and beautiful cinematography while shrouding the themes and characters in mystery and ambiance. The synopsis of the film is about a Replicant (Android) officer named K, whose job is retiring (killing) older models of Replicants that are long gone. Yet throughout the film, K seems to go against what he is programmed to do. He develops sympathy and a sense of justice by disobeying his actions, even though he is an android. This rounds back to the question of what it means to be human.
In an interview with philosophy professor Timothy Shanahan of Loyola Marymount University, he stated, “At various points in the film, the idea that somebody is born rather than made seems to carry a lot of weight.” Shanahan shows us that the idea of being procreated from humans rather than being made by machine gives us a sense that androids are no more than just pawns to us, yet K is that one pawn that seems to defy everything. K is an example of how A.I. can have humanity, despite being different from a human. It gives the audience that though they aren’t human, they can have humanity and be like one.
By Ashley Kerwin
Love. The definition of love is as follows: a feeling of strong or constant regard for and dedication to someone. But love is something you can't describe even with words such as passion, adoration, affection, bliss, desire, infatuation, trust, tenderness. It’s something you must feel to understand. There are 7 different types of love that a person can feel. There is Agape (Unconditional Love), Eros (Romantic Love), Philia (Affectionate Love), Philautia (Self-love), Storge (Familiar Love), Pragma (Enduring Love), Ludus (Playful Love), and Mania (Obsessive Love).
On Valentine's Day, we celebrate all these kinds of love. Everything is hearts and flowers for that period. It's a day to celebrate those who you love the most. In an article titled “One Love,” Zane describes what love is to him. “A healthy relationship could describe a plethora of different types of relationships, but the most important aspect of being in a relationship is being in-sync. Whether you both talk through every hour of your waking day, or whether you agree that you’re both busy and you’ll just talk on the phone at the end of every day, as long as you both agree, that is what’s important.” Everyone has their way to describe love and on Valentine's Day it's the day to show it.
By Elisha Jenkins
Kobe B. Bryant was a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2016). Bryant has many accomplishments, including 5 NBA titles, 2 NBA Finals MVP, and 2 Best NBA Player ESPY Awards.
Sadly Bryant passed away with his daughter Gianna (Gigi) and 7 other people in a fatal helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. He and 8 others were on their way to a game tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy.
All around the world, many people including other professional basketball players made a tribute for Kobe. Shaq, Dwyane Wade, and Jennifer Hudson are just three who paid a tribute to Kobe Bryant. The basketball team here at school also paid a tribute to Kobe by making a shirt with #24 and his name. Senior Zechariah Harris-Scott and the team decided to do that because he said, “We all knew about what Kobe brought to the table as a basketball player. He was a legend and after his death, we just felt like it was the right thing to do.” Moving forward in basketball Zechariah mentions that he will “remember what Kobe taught me and just have a mamba mentality to the game.” According to Bryant, the mamba mentality means a constant quest to find answers. It’s that infinite curiosity to want to be better, to figure things out. Mamba mentality is you’re going, you’re competing, and you’re not worried about the end result. Kobe’s contribution to the sport moved people in many different ways such as motivation, dedication, ambition, determination, and so much more.
By Nazier McDonald
One critical issue facing our society today is the opioid crisis. You may be wondering what an opioid is and why are they a crisis? Opioids are a class of drugs for pain relief and they include oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), fentanyl, codeine, morphine and heroin. They are highly addictive pain medications. This addiction leads to mental issues, crime, poverty, drug overdoses and even death. The real problem is the crisis of too many overdoses and deaths from addiction. Only recently, in the past two years, has there been any decrease in the trend of opioid overdoses and deaths in Monroe County. The following data, compiled from the Monroe County Heroin Task Force website, shows the trend of fatalities decreasing, however, overdoses remain a critical problem in our county.
In an effort to reverse the growing epidemic of opioid use in our community, leaders in Monroe County formed an Opioid Action Plan. According to the MonroeCounty.Gov website, this extensive plan includes: lawsuits filed against opioid prescription companies to help get funding for addicts; forming an advisory panel on opioids led by Monroe County Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza to identify barriers to those seeking treatment for addiction; coordinating and consolidating opioid abuse data to help guide county response to the opioid crisis; adding toxicologists to the medical examiner's office to help with the caseload and accelerate postmortem toxicology reports; investing in awareness, education, and prevention including seminars in local schools; expanding Narcan1 training and distribution; and a drug court response partnership to streamline treatment for low-risk and nonviolent defendants who are diverted from Drug Court.
1 Narcan - drug used to treat narcotic overdoses in an emergency situation.
By Adelisa Badzic
February break is here, and there’s much to do. Things such are traveling, going to visit family and even staying here in Rochester. Staycations are fun with the right things planned. You can stay home, book a hotel or even get an Airbnb for the real vacation feeling. Staycations are great for many reasons. For one, they are cheaper than an actual vacation, but you can still experience everything. Instead of losing time and energy to plan a vacation, do a staycation to relax if you are not the energetic type.
Rochester has many things to do, less in the winter than summer but still a wide variety of options. If you do choose to pick and Airbnb, you want to make sure it is the right ambiance and the host is a superhost. Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.
You can make an entire itinerary for your staycation just like a regular vacation. Some ideas for a staycation in Rochester include escape rooms, Lasertron, Dave & Busters, Radio Social, AMF lanes and Comedy @ The Carlson. There is also a very nice coffee shop in downtown Rochester called Javas.
Rochesterian Liannis Benoit definitely believes Rochester is one of the best upstate New York cities. She stated, “We have a lot here, a lot to do and such. Buffalo really only has Darien Lake and Syracuse has a big mall. We have much more.” If you are on a budget I definitely recommend trying to do a staycation because it is worth it.
By Anna Burton
I am officially a 4 grade student teacher, all thanks to the Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI) program. I would not have guessed that I would be in a teacher's shoes. I thought I wouldn't like it, because personally I don't think I would do well with the kids. In all honesty so far my time as a teacher has been fun. I have 19 wonderful kids who have things that make them loveable but also things that make you want to pull your hair out. So just like any other job, it has both a bad side and a great side. Part of the good side is how happy the kids are when they see me walk in. I get greeted with smiles and hugs every time I come in. With the good comes the bad. Some days they are a bit out of control and do not listen as well as the other days. These kids have drama just as we do and I was in charge of trying to solve the problem.
I am the student teacher of an amazing teacher named Ms. Doell. She has been allowing students in TLI to come into her class for 2 years now. This experience has allowed her to remember what it was like in the beginning as a teacher and also to see how much more she knows now than in the beginning. If she had to change anything about the program it would only be the timing, since students have specials when I am interning. She believes it's not the best opportunity for me, but in all she wouldn't change the program itself at all since it gives students great opportunities.