Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and H.E.R win big at this year’s music awards.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The 63rd Grammy award show took place on Sunday March 14 in the heart of Los Angeles. In an effort to bring some normalcy to the world, after what seem to be years of Zoom events and canceled shows, producers allowed an in person event for the annual show. An outdoor stage was set under a large tent in Downtown LA, where the view of the Staples Center acted as the backdrop to the evening. Host Trevor Noah, most known for his show The Daily Show, began the night with a short tour of the space. Artists were seated with one other guest of their choice, at socially distant tables. Everyone wore a mask and were only able to remove it for acceptance speeches. Noah even threw a cheesy joke in the mix, stating “This is going to be the rare award show where the white stuff going up people’s noses is cotton swabs” (Pitchfork. 2021).
Once concerns about COVID related issues were addressed, the night finally began with an opening performance by Harry Styles singing Watermelon Sugar, quickly followed by Billie Eilish and her song Everything I Wanted. Because of the small event space and limitations from COVID, these first performances were quite intimate. Styles and Eilish were limited to bringing on just their band when performing their nominated songs. The larger production performances were saved for artists who went on later in the night like Dua Lipa, who performed her hit songs Levitating with DaBaby and Don’t Start Now. She later received the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year, which featured these two songs.
New features were added to compensate for the smaller show and less extravagant acts. Producers created a short trailer of artists as a preview to their performances. For instance, Post Malone talked about his childhood and how music played a huge role in his life. He mentioned his parent’s appreciation for music and how he ended up being the only member in his family to carry a tune. These confessional style clips before performances was something not traditionally done at the Grammys.
In light of the impacts COVID had on small businesses, the Grammys showed their appreciation for historical concert venues across the country. It has been a challenging year for the entertainment industry as theatres and indie locations have had to close their doors for over a year. But the Grammys hopes to keep these names alive by allowing the owners of places such as The Troubadour, Apollo Theater and the Station Inn, to reflect on the history they each hold. Along with the short tributes to these places, the owners of these venues were given the opportunity to present the awards for some of the special categories.
In the end, the Grammys were still able to put on a successful show with true in person performances and celebrity appearances. If you missed the show, here’s a recap on some of the artists who emerged victorious this year.
And lastly, two historical moments were made from Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy. Beyonce became the most-winning singer, male or female, in all 63 years of the Grammys. She now holds 28 trophies, with one being shared with her daughter. Blue Ivy earned Best Music Video for Brown Skin Girl along with her mother, and becomes the youngest person to have taken home a Grammy.
President Biden has nominated two female generals for the promotion to the rank of Four-star General. These nominations, if confirmed, would add these women to the list of only six other women to achieve this rank continuing the push for equality in the military.
By Benjamin Noel
This month President Biden has nominated two female generals for promotion to Four-star Generals. If confirmed by the Senate, they will join the other four star female general currently commissioned in the entire US military, and will join the ranks of only 6 women in history to achieve this position. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson have had this promotion on their horizon, but due to political reasons, their promotions had not been brought up to the then-President Trump for consideration. According to The Hill, DoD officials, including the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper hesitated bringing their names up for nomination during the Trump administration, to protect their careers, for fears of the President not looking kindly on women in such high ranking positions in the military. These two generals were highly qualified for their promotions, and their merits were overlooked due to the perceived bad optics of having more women in high ranking military positions.
The history of female Four-star Generals is rather new, with the first one being pinned in 2008. This brings to mind the Obama era push for more roles to be open for women in the military, especially combat roles. This was a rather recent push, and fell in line with the gradual acceptance of women in the armed forces. While women were only allowed in the military after the Second World War, into the military service academies in the 70s, and could only work on Navy combat ships starting in the 90s, the history of women in the American military much precedes that (Brookings). As early as the Civil War, women served as nurses, spies and even disguised themselves as men to fight as soldiers. And in both the World Wars, women served again as nurses, spies and even intelligence officers in the second.
The debate of women in combat roles is an entirely different subject, and extremely nuanced, but the core argument of the detractors explains why the military is as it is now, in regards to the gender disparity. One aspect of militaries over time is their inherent “macho” factor which is a result of the fact of entirely male fighting forces since the dawn of conflict. Men were, and are, seen as having the ability to be doers of violence, while the women held the role of a nurturer and caretaker. Any female warrior of old is an exception that proves the rule. This globally held gender norm might be what is killing women’s interest in joining a fighting force, even in auxiliary roles. As Churchill wrote to his secretary of war, “I fear there is a complex against women being connected with lethal work. We must get rid of this.” The fact that fighting and violence is a role relegated for men continues to permeate even our modern, progressive militaries. While minorities make up nearly half of the military despite being 30% of the population, women still only comprise 17% of our armed forces.
While there are different entry level requirements for male and female recruits in boot camp, there is no special treatment afforded to women at advanced schools, such as SFAS, Ranger School, etc. as grading and success is based on proven merit. This enables women to try out for roles traditionally held by men, without compromising the strength of the force. A notable example is a woman becoming an Army Special Forces operator a few years ago, who underwent equal treatment to her peers, proving ticking off diversity boxes is of the least concern in a role where lives are on the line. This proven merit is what has brought Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson into the spotlight this month, while traditionally held norms prevented them from being assessed on their character and merit.
Dylan Farrow bravely tells her story of sexual abuse at the hands of her father Woody Allen when she was seven years old. This series is a must watch for anyone who wants to know about the experiences of survivors, displaying how strong they are and how they must be believed.
By Maia Pagán
Allen V Farrow is a four-episode miniseries on HBO chronicling Mia Farrow and Woody Allen's relationship and life with her 12 children. The show centers around Farrow’s daughter Dylan’s accusations of molestation at the hands of Allen when she was seven years old. This series reviews the constant injustice women face when reporting sexual assaults and the lack of belief and support, especially when the person who committed the crime is famous, has lots of money and is a white man. Add the recognition as a prominent and renowned director in New York, and justice is severely hindered.
At the beginning of their relationship, Farrow shares how Allen had zero interest in her children, and he just wanted to be with her. She followed along, thinking the separation would give her adult time with her boyfriend and kept their homes separate, at least for a while. As the relationship grew, so did Farrow's family, and she planned to adopt another child. Allen asked if this time she could not adopt from another country; instead, he would like a beautiful blonde hair blue-eyed little girl. Dylan Farrow was adopted, and Woody's obsession with her took on an unhealthy, obsessive, and often inappropriate relationship. Dylan thought all daddies were like him until she met her friends' fathers, and she tried to create more space between them. He hovered over Dylan, and friends and family started to warn Farrow that this behavior was disturbing.
While this is all going on, Allen began having a secret affair with one of Farrow's children, Soon Yi Priven who was then 17 and in high school. She was underage, and Allen was a father figure to her. The affair was found out by Farrow when she found naked photos of Soon Yi at Woody Allen's apartment. Unfortunately, the story only becomes worse. Allen hired a team of private investigators to follow Farrow and began taping their conversations. Farrow became aware of his tapings and decides to tape her conversations with him. After Dylan was interviewed nine times by the New Haven Hospital team, the notes were destroyed against all protocols. The smear campaign started against Farrow, saying that she was an abusive mother, and Allen tried to take custody of the three children. Allen's legal team uses "parental alienation," a process through which a child becomes estranged from a parent due to the psychological manipulation of another parent. However, the parental alienation system has no scientific evidence still used in court today.
The miniseries documentary is from award-winning investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy. Dylan believes that she was able to find her voice in the #Metoo movement. She felt the pain and humiliation suffered by so many women by men like Harvey Weinstein. With Weinstein's arrest, she courageously spoke out to the societal failures of America's rape culture. She wrote an open letter with the support of her brother and mother. She shared her story and the parallels to Harvey Weinstein and other sexual predators in Hollywood. She questioned the Tribute to Woody Allen on television; she wrote that Hollywood figures have turned a "blind eye" to the accusations and specifically asked Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Louis C.K. -- who appear in Blue Jasmine -- "What if it had been your child"?
Allen still denies to this day the accusations from Dylan about her molestation. Jeffrey Epstein's best friend Allen has never been formally charged. Watch the HBO series to find out why and so much more. I will never watch a Woody Allen film again. I hear you, Dylan Farrow, and I believe you and thank you for speaking up for millions of women whose voices have been silenced.
The final installment of the beloved trilogy To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a beautiful ending to the newest major romantic comedy that gives viewers the fairytale ending they all want.
By Remy Zerber
The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever is the third and final installment in the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series, based on the best-selling novels by Jenny Han. This final film is a great ending to the trilogy. In the first movie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean Song Covey’s sister, Katherine Covey, sends out her sister’s old love letters to her past crushes in an effort to get Lara Jean to go out more and LJ (Lara Jean) has to deal with the situation at school. One of the boys, Peter Kavinsky, convinces LJ to be in a fake relationship with him in order to make his ex jealous. At the end of the movie, LJ and Peter decide to be in a real relationship. The second movie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: PS I Still Love You is about a love triangle that forms between LJ, Peter Kavinsky, and another boy, John Ambrose. The third movie is about LJ and Peter Kavinsky trying to navigate their senior year while being in a real relationship. The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a satisfying end to the trilogy because of the way they end the story, deal with the characters and make it relatable.
The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever has a really great full-circle ending. The trilogy starts with a letter and ends with a letter. LJ introduces the audience to her love letters at the beginning of the first movie and Peter ends Always and Forever with a love letter to LJ. Another full-circle moment is when the LJ and PK heart from the second movie appears in Lara Jean’s dream of her future with Peter.
The casting and character development in the movie is great. The actors in the movie are great, especially the actors who play Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo). Lana Condor looks so much like Lara Jean and Noah Centineo looks a lot like Peter. Gen, Lara Jean’s former best friend and school rival, has some great character development over the course of the trilogy. She is mean to LJ in the first movie but by the third movie, she seems to have matured and become friends with LJ again. Their heart-to-heart moment in the second movie helps them through their issues. Kitty, Lara Jean’s little sister, also has some great character development over the course of the trilogy because she matures a lot. She is seen as a little kid at the beginning of the trilogy but she becomes a teenager by the end of the third movie because she meets a boy in Korea and develops a crush on him.
Even though Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship is unrealistic, the movie is still relatable. Lara Jean is a very relatable character because she says she is afraid to fall in love and be in a relationship. Many kids and teenagers have this fear because they are afraid that they will get heartbroken. LJ also says she is afraid of commitment, which is how many young people feel. LJ is also a big introvert and homebody like many people.
The To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy and the To All The Boys: Always and Forever movie are so good. The story completes a full cycle in many ways. It uses iconic moments and images from the trilogy to make it come full circle in the end. The casting director and the screenwriter did a good job with the casting and character development. A final reason why people love this movie and trilogy is that it is extremely relatable. To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a very pleasing end to the trilogy.
The Pope in Iraq
By Benjamin Noel
Last week marked a historic event for the Catholic Church, and Chrisitianity as a whole, as Pope Francis made an unprecedented visit to Iraq. This fist papal visit to Iraq was groundbreaking not only for the greater Church, but more so for the Iraqi Christian community. Their persecution by the Islamic State since 2003 had made practicing their faith an impossibility until the recent fall of ISIS. In Iraq, the Pope celebrated mass in the Chaldean rite, the major Church in Iraq, met with Muslim leaders and officials and talked of unity. The importance of this trip is twofold, lying in the land’s Biblical importance, as the land of Abraham, and also the reflection on modern day persecution and conflict that has dwindled the Iraqi Christian population.
While previous papal visits to Iraq had been in the talks before when Pope John Paul II had to pull out due to mounting tensions in 2000, Pope Francis had planned this voyage over one year ago, and was determined to not let anything get between him and his mission. The effects of the trip had manifested even before the March visit, as just last December, the majority Muslim country declared Christmas a national holiday (CruxNow).
The trip is part of the Vatican's efforts to create unity between the Church and the Muslim world (Associated Press). While the noble intentions behind the papal voyage were clear, so were the concerns about the potential for this to turn into a superspreader event. Cases had surged as of late in Iraq, and with their not-so robust healthcare system, the COVID-19 concerns were very real. And just days before the visit, the papal point man in Iraq had come down with a mild case of the virus, and self-quarantined while the rest of the nunciature was cleaned pending the pope’s presence. Even this close call did not stop Pope Francis, who along with his Vatican envoy of 70 had all been vaccinated. Since the event, while it may be too early to tell, there has not been a rise in cases, nor has any member of the Vatican convoy tested positive. So far, the only waves caused by this visit have been the emboldenment of Iraqi Christians, and a vision of a more peaceful and unified future amongst the People of the Book.
As he spoke amongst remains of destroyed churches, the Pope called for Iraqi Muslims and Christians to unite as brothers. Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and the resulting war with ISIS, the Iraqi Christian population fell from 1.5 million to under 250,000. Consoling the women and girls who had been sold by ISIS as property, Pope Francis prayed that they may heal from their hurts and continue to give life to the country. He reflected on the founding of civilization from this region, then Mesopotamia, and the trade and intellectual center of Baghdad. The Pope's message was a simple one, together, as friends we grow and prosper. During this trip, Pope Francis rode around in an open pope-mobile, without bulletproof glass, bringing his presence that much closer to the people. While speaking in Mosul, a former IS stronghold, the pope made calls for fraternity, “You are all brothers.” He celebrated mass in the Chaldean rite, based in the ancient Assyrian rite, showing that even in their minute differences, all churches are one. In both his actions and his words, the pope sends a message for unity amongst the people who for so long have known nothing but conflict.
Image courtesy of Google Images.
Disney’s newest animated film Raya and the Last Dragon is an inclusive and vibrant film that represents many viewers.
By Remy Zerber
Disney has added a new racially diverse princess to their collection. Disney’s new animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon, is about a Southeast Asian warrior princess who saves her kingdom from being frozen in stone forever. This film has broken many barriers starring a transgender cast member and centering around the story of a Southeast Asian princess. Her name, Raya has deep Indo-Malay roots. In Indonesia and Malaysia, Raya pertains to grandness or greatness. We often hear it also following the word hari which then altogether means "a great feast" or "celebration.” Raya’s story is inspired by Filipino, Malaysian and Indonesian culture.
This film has many references to Southeast Asian culture. For example, there are references to Thai, Malaysian, Filipino and Vietnamese culture. Raya’s pet and mode of transportation, Tuk Tuk, is inspired by a rickshaw (Thai mythical animal). Her sword is a “kris (or keris in the Indonesian language), a type of double-edged sword with a distinctive wavy blade that is used in Sulu and Maguindanao by Moro warriors.” She also wears a salokut, which is “a large hat of palm leaves in the manner of a parasol, with a crown about it of the same leaves like the tiara of the pope.” These are worn in most Asian cultures to shield people from the sun.
The film references Filipino culture because it includes a “bakunawa, the sea-serpent dragon in Filipino myths.” The dragons in the movie look just like bakunawa, with “an elongated and slender body with a horn at her forehead and manifesting the same power over water.” There are also floating markets in the film just like in many Asian countries. Also, ancient Manila (Manila is the capital of the Philippines) by the Pasig River used to be an economic center like this even up to the American Colonial Period. We also see paper lanterns that are very distinctive of the Philippines where houses are adorned by parols (giant lanterns) during the Christmas season. Several shapes in the film resemble pendants and ornaments from Vietnam.
One of the voice actors, Patti Harrison, who plays the Chieftess of Tail at the beginning of the film is transgender. This causes excitement among fans because she is the first transgender voice actor that Disney has had in one of their animated movies. Disney has only had one other character be transgender before and the character did not have that big of a role. Usually, transgender actors only get parts for transgender characters, which makes their job opportunities limited.
The protagonist Raya has also sparked fans to believe she is a part of the LGBTQ+ community with Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who voices Raya, claiming that she thinks her character is gay. She says she thinks Raya could have a relationship with Namaari her nemesis in the film. When she was asked about Raya and Namaari, Tran explained, “how queer people might feel represented by them on-screen, even if a relationship between the two isn't explicitly shown.” This inclusion from Disney would contribute to making characters that show the diversity within our world, and how important it is for children to accept others.
Disney’s new animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon is a beautiful film that tells the story of characters and cultures that are not usually present on the golden screen. Representing Asian cultures, and female empowerment Raya and the Last Dragon is an educational and fun film for anyone to see.
The film Moxie! is a fun and feisty display of women’s empowerment, that all should sit down and see.
By Maia Pagán
Moxie! Definition: A force of character, determination, or nerve. The film Moxie! fits this description perfectly. Moxie! is a Netflix original film that was released on March 3, 2021, directed by Amy Poehler. This movie focuses on the constant silencing of women's voices in education. Moxie! centers around Vivian, a shy girl (Hadley Robinson), whose inspiration is her mom's (Amy Poehler) rebellious past and calls out the sexism within her school. Her revolution begins when she starts working on a college application, and the essay question is, "what is something you care about and why?" Vivian isn't sure what to say. All her life, she keeps her head down and just goes through the motions, but now she must look within and find her Moxie.
Looking back at her mother's teen years, Vivian finds her mom's favorite song, "Rebel Girl" by Bikini Kill. Her mother talks about her involvement in trying to crush the patriarchy. Vivian is inspired to create an anonymous zine named Moxie. Her zine calls out sexism at her school. A new friend Lucy played beautifully by actress Alycia Pascual-Pena, a bilingual sensation who helps introduce feminist thinking to her new school. Her best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai) struggles with the new Vivian, reaching to define herself as a feminist in a culture clash of her own. The upbeat defiance rounds out with many other actors of color, a nice change! This comedy is full of interesting LGBTQ+ characters, even the classic bad boy and ideal boy.
Moxie starts with the first day of school and the sexist rating system where girls are rated for "best ass" or "most bangable," depicting a real-life scenario in many schools. The main bad-boy character, Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger), plays a mansplaining chauvinist who turns out to be a (spoiler alert!) rapist. Lucy tries to engage the school principal played by Marcia Gay Harden but minimizes her experience and chooses to do nothing. Lucy and Vivian question the school system's lack of response. This movie shows oppression, and an example is Patrick's response, "There are bigger things to care about in the world than feminism." Patrick is a male football player and knows nothing about feminism, and he's also one of the biggest problems in the school.
On the flip side, Vivian's love interest Seth is positive to Mitchell's negative. Nico Higara is a huge hit and has many conversations worldwide since Moxie debuted. Seth completely supports the feminist movement and his girlfriend, Vivian. Seth treats Vivian with respect and showcases his commitment slowing the relationship when they start dating. He has quickly become an example of a man who is not afraid to be a feminist. All girls who want to smash the patriarchy want a supportive partner, as Seth is in the film. Often in movies about feminism, there isn't a positive view of males supporting the feminist cause. Instead, they're always some kind of villain, so it's refreshing to see a man of color so supportive of a movement that created a lot of commotion in the school.
Although this film had many great points, there were a few issues. The film chooses to ignore disabled people. A girl in a wheelchair is the comedic relief. This portrayal shouldn't happen in a movie that is about women and inclusivity.
Another issue that I have with the movie is that the film shows the primary character lacking courage, and she expects everyone else to be willing to risk it all. Vivian is even afraid to admit that she is the creator of this revolution in her high school, and the only time she does is at the end of the movie when everyone else has lost everything.
As a Chicana, I question the main character, the girl who starts this whole revolution, is white and makes me wonder why? When Vivian witnesses Lucy's harassment, she chooses to remain silent, but in the end, she is a white savior. I'm not sure why this movie's main character is not a woman of color who helps other women of color rise, and even other white women. I know it is hard to cover every social aspect possible in a two-hour film, but I walked away disappointed in the same version of an old story of the white savior complex in cinema.
Does a feminist story need to be told? Always! Movies like Moxie! spotlight people's stories and the essential message of inclusion, justice, and diversity. A women's strength in a patriarchal society is a story for all members of society, and they remind us that society's injustices are normalized. I hope this movie inspires women and young girls everywhere who are smashing the patriarchy, being a rebel, and remember having a little moxie is powerful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, I'm going to pose a question to you, the reader, do you have Moxie?
How Marvel changed the pace of the Avenger universe with their first miniseries on Disney+.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is kicking off phase four with WandaVision. With the last Marvel movie released in 2019, fans have been yearning for any type of superhero content. The company’s first sitcom debuted on Disney+ on January 15 with two introductory episodes to the series. Each episode after was released each Friday, following the organization of traditional TV. Marvel’s specialty in action packed movies didn’t hold them back from creating a miniseries. Their expertise in storytelling was evident in WandaVision, gaining a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes’s Tomatometer along with an 81% audience score.
WandaVision begins in a 1950s style television show. Inspired by shows like I Love Lucy, the couple is featured in a black and white world featuring silly comedy gags and old fashioned clothing. Much of the episode feels very scripted, making no reference to the past happenings of Infinity War and Endgame. Wanda and Vision still have their powers though, showing Wanda’s abilities to cook dinner by levitating multiple objects and Vision’s ability to transform into a human. With little known about how they got there and the reason behind why they are acting so strangely in a 1950s environment, the series starts off with a puzzling pilot.
As the series goes on, we can see how Marvel producers pay homage to popular sitcoms throughout the years. Each episode moves through each decade, starting from the 50s, 60s, and so on. Things like the theme show song and character mannerisms demonstrates the era that they are set in. The show even features commercial breaks between scenes, making witty references to past events related to Wanda’s reputation in the MCU. These commercials also aligned with the given era, making sure to include details and production styles relevant to the setting. Although the plot of the show seems to feel like an incomplete puzzle, the series offers a nostalgic feeling to viewers with references to The Brady Bunch and Full House. Each episode begins to slowly unravel the truth about Wanda’s and Vision’s life in these television shows.
Following Endgame and Spiderman: Far from Home, Marvel fanatics had to make adjustments to this new series structure. After watching twenty three action packed movies and rapid plot lines through the years, fans were left with a weekly series of episodes and a slowly progressing story. Although this wasn’t ideal, WandaVision provided viewers with a new experience into the Marvel universe. The wait between episodes served as an opportunity for fans to theorize about what was to come in the next week. It also allowed time for fans to dissect and hunt for easter eggs in the episodes, which is something Marvel is best known for.
Many superfans and comic enthusiasts used these opportunities to create content and get fans more engaged with the series. Youtubers within the comic realm released videos that broke down each episode and what the different scenes could actually mean. They also made predictions about future episodes based on the trailers that were released. An abundance of fan theories also took over Tiktok feeds. Fans quickly got over the agonizing wait in between episodes and used that time to further investigate the plot and how this story contributes to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Although the anticipation for WandaVision has ended, the series will remain available on Disney+ for fans to revisit. Marvel will continue to fill the void between movies with a second miniseries release. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney+ this March 19th. This series focuses on the partnership formed between Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Their trio with Captain America was broken after the life changing decision he made in the conclusion of Endgame. As the series unfolds, we will get to see how these shows play a role in the upcoming phase four movies to come this year.
Exploring how students are feeling a year into distanced based learning, their mental health and struggles surrounding virtual learning.
Who would have thought that our beloved internet would become the enemy when we entered Zoom school? It sounds ideal at first: stay at home all day in a pair of sweats does sound like a perfect day for most of us, then having school canceled - yes, please give me more time. Unfortunately, the flip has happened; now, going on Zoom for a class is something students dread. Every day, students try to find new pockets of joy since they can’t see their friends, are stuck at home and feel Zoom fatigue.
What are the symptoms of zoom fatigue? Some symptoms include tiredness, worry, and burnout associated with overusing Zoom or other platforms of communication. Zoom and Zooming are part of our vocabulary, anxiety, lack of motivation, isolation, and inequity, which creates a mental health crisis.
I know I have felt exhausted and anxious after Zooming, and I never want to turn my camera on. I prefer asynchronous days instead. Many students feel that they do better when they do not have to have their cameras in a Zoom class. Most students prefer their work to be asynchronous. These students meet with their teachers during office hours for assistance. According to an anon survey on Instagram, some students took a gap year because they couldn't handle the lack of teaching mixed with their ADHD, making it hard to focus on the assignments. They felt that there was no off time, and had to be on their computer frequently, which is not an optimal learning situation for students with ADHD and anxiety, creating barriers. Often on zoom with back-to-back meetings all day, students feel less motivated to do their work and less excited to join their class and talk with their peers.
Zoom is now the primary platform for contact with family, friends, teachers, and classmates. Humans are social beings, and being isolated can have a substantial negative impact on mental health. Not communicating with people face-to-face makes it difficult to understand specific coursework and results in a mechanical classroom setting, making participation a dread. Many students have reported a rise in laziness and disconnection because of their constant computer exposure. They don't feel as motivated and are distracted because Zoom happens at home, and home life can be noisy and busy. However, in classrooms, the whole focus is on the class, so there are no outside distractions.
Zoom and online learning also have socioeconomic inequities for students who cannot afford a computer or have Wi-Fi. The alternative was public computers at libraries that are now closed due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is common not to consider these barriers in education. Some schools lend out laptops to their students, mostly for elementary, middle, and even high school, but not commonly for college students. College students already have a hard time paying for college tuition, room and board, and daily living expenses, and having a computer is another expense not readily available or afforded. Not every student can afford to live on campus, especially during the pandemic when there is a loss of jobs.
Mental health has an enemy in Zoom. Zoom negatively affects students' mental health and creates a greater struggle to navigate an education. Recently on a student Anon-Instagram survey, people shared their ideas on what can be changed:
These ideas aim to create a more student-friendly environment for students to prevent zoom fatigue and mental health. Pandemic, Zoom, Zooming, and mental health are creating a dangerous cocktail of despair. Let’s look at one another with empathy, tolerance, and an awareness of one’s privilege. Zoom is an enemy to mental health and can be treated effectively to minimize the symptoms and allow the individual to function in work, school, and social environments.
KimYe: The End of an Era
A look back on the Kardashian-West reign, what could have contributed to the fall out, and their futures as individuals.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
One of the most influential couples of our generation has officially filed for divorce. Sources like NBC News, Cosmopolitan, and TMZ have confirmed the couple’s split in early February. After six years of marriage, the power couple have agreed to call it quits. In remembering the couple’s time together, let’s revisit their individual forces in the industry, and how their relationship took their influence to another level.
Kanye West began making his presence in the entertainment industry in the early 2000s. His album, Graduation, put him on the map in 2007. His lighter, more technical sound behind his intelligent flow changed the game of rap and hip hop. In a sea of heavy hitters and rappers who branded themselves around gang activity, West seemed like the new kid on the block with his different approach. He not only had an ear and knowledge for music production, but also an eye for fashion. West put many trends on the market. In 2009 the artist designed his first shoe in collaboration with Nike making a priceless shoe in the market, the Nike Air Yeezy.
Kim Kardashian took a more different approach to achieving fame. Kardashian was first known as Paris Hilton’s assistant, a socialite during the early 2000s. She made several appearances on Hilton’s reality show, The Simple Life, a foreshadow into what was in store for her later on. Keeping Up With the Kardashians first aired in 2007, which featured the daily lives of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. With social media on the rise the Kardashians not only changed reality TV, but the online culture and influential presence a person can have.
The 2014 marriage between the two celebrities caused a ton of controversy in its early stages. Many didn’t believe that the two were a compatible match. A genius in the rap game wed to a reality TV star? It was something the public had to wrap their head around, but their love deemed real. West constantly showed his love and appreciation for Kardashian by gifting her extravagant gifts. For example, West bought over $100,000 worth of stocks under Kardashian’s name as a Christmas gift. He also hired a string quartet to play live music for her among a sea of roses the morning of Valentine’s Day. As their family grew to six, so did their individual careers. Kardashian added “West” to her name brands, and was able to jump start KKW Fragrance, KKW Beauty and SKIMs, while West himself released new music and continued to take over the streetwear game with Yeezy.
The public began to see West’s decline in 2016. Fans became first hand witnesses to the artist’s mental breakdowns during his Saint Pablo national tour. He became known for starting shows late, ending them early, and calling out bold statements towards fellow artists. He never got to finish the tour as he became hospitalized for mental health observation, which led to over twenty shows to be refunded to fans. Since then, West has only ever been in the news for controversial reasons. He used Twitter as an outlet to express his unpopular opinions and even spoke negatively of mother in law, Kris Jenner. Beside raising her children and running her multiple businesses, Kardashian was left to clean up all of West’s incidents in the media.
Since then the rapper has stayed out of the spotlight, making a limited number of appearances on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. His public presence became overshadowed as the younger generation took over. As there are no true facts released about the motives behind divorce, we can only look forward into what this means for the family. As a fan who has always kept up with the Kardashians, I am interested to see Kardashian in her own spotlight. Many have claimed that the celebrity would not be where she is without West. But with this divorce and freedom from the reality show, Kardashian has a chance to prove herself to the millions looking down on her. But besides the separation, I believe perspectives on mental health can be taken away from this as well.
Ryan Ford '23,