Spring Issue

March & April 2018

A letter from

the editor.

Sonali Sanjay, Founder & Editor

Dear reader,

I am so proud to present our 2018 Spring Issue!  It's a collective of two month's worth of work, beautiful photography, and indefatigable dedication.  

As the school year is inching closer to its long-awaited yet bittersweet finale, I can't help but reminisce on the wonderful year I've had.  Whether it was playing long matches during tennis season, competing in two Model United Nations conferences, finishing an 80-hour course with Virginia's NASA scholar program, or launching Steward Ink, I have made so many unforgettable memories. 

 

It seems that as each year goes by, I meet people who change my life, embark on endeavors that help me find my future , and find myself falling deeper in love with the world and my community's place in it.  

Launching Steward Ink, without a sliver of a doubt, has been one of the biggest highlights of this year, and an absolute dream come true.  I've loved to write and read for as long as I can remember.  I have vivid memories of sitting against the metal library shelves and absorbing thousands of pages, stopping only to pick out another book.  Galaxies, heroes, 450-lb Bengal tigers, demigods, star-crossed lovers, and stories of resiliency, were the very planets I revolved around.  Steward Ink was something I wished I had in every school I went to, and to have the chance to bring that opportunity to future writers and politicians and inventors and revolutionaries, is an absolute honor.

Thank you all for your support of this paper, I can't thank you enough.  This year couldn't have finished on a sweeter note, thanks to the wonderful contributors in the club and the Steward faculty/administration.

Please check our website in the next few weeks for updates on our charity goals, advertisement opportunities, and plans for next year.  Happy reading!

Sincerely,

Sonali Sanjay, '20

Jellyfish in Toronto

By Sonali Sanjay, '20

rad-x's role in cosmic ray research.

 

April 28th, 2018 / Sonali Sanjay, Founder and Editor

The Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X) aimed to provide insights into the high levels of ionization energy in the atmosphere using scientific balloons (“About RaD-X,” 2018). The high concentration of ionization energy in the atmosphere emitted from cosmic ray energy, can cause the risk of cancer to pilots and passengers traveling on aircrafts through the harmful radiation-packed atmosphere.  It was launched on September 25, 2018, and was a successful mission. The data contributed greatly to public safety efforts, research in physics, and the payload reached the NASA facilities safely.

The objective of the RaD-X mission is to use scientific balloons to measure cosmic ray energy at different points in the atmosphere.  High cosmic ray energy on Earth is a very relevant problem to today’s world. The high ionization energy on Earth can pose many health risks such as cancer, damage to DNA, and also exposes pilots to large amounts of radiation (“Health Effects,” n.d) .  The objective of the RaD-X mission is to figure out how cosmic rays input ionization energy into Earth’s atmosphere. By collecting data in this energy field, scientists can help to improve airplane safety and lower radiation in the atmosphere.

The mission type of RaD-X is an Earth-based and high altitude mission.  It is executed by using a scientific research balloon to observe the ionization energy in Earth’s atmosphere.  RaD-X was launched in 2015 from Fort Sumter, New Mexico. The payloads safely reached the NASA research facilities and are being analyzed to provide answers to the abundance of ionization energy emitted by cosmic rays in the atmosphere.

RaD-X provides benefits to medical and scientific research, but also to the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety model (NAIRAS).  NAIRAS is an initiative created by NASA to increase public awareness of the radiation exposure to pilots and passengers on planes. It also is making strides to develop a predicting technology to analyze real-time radiation levels and its impact on aircraft pilots and passengers (NAIRAS, 2018).  The duration of RaD-X was 24 hours, as the durations on scientific balloons are very short but effective.  The balloon was launched on September 25, 2015, and the payloads were received the very next day by the recovery crew.  RaD-X flew at an altitude of 110,000 feet during the mission and was an overall success.

The platform used by RaD-X were scientific balloons.  Scientists are using scientific balloons to research and study the producers of high energy matter located in the entirety of the universe.  These scientific balloons are filled with helium, and carries the payload cargo underneath it. After reaching its goal altitude, the balloon moves with the winds in the stratosphere and collects data.  After the data collection is complete, the payload falls from the balloon with a parachute to make sure the data reaches the research facilities safely.  RaD-X had no evident mission constraints, as the entire mission went smoothly in terms of the data collection and payload drop off.  In terms of launch obstacles, the RaD-X launch had to be rescheduled multiple times due to high winds and air conditions (“RaD-X,” 2015).  These problems delayed the launch dates, but they didn’t affect the mission outcome or research.

 

Overall, the Radiation Dosimetry Experiment was a successful mission.  It helped to provide crucial data on the ionization energy present in the atmosphere and emitted by cosmic ray energies.  The research can help to provide more safety for pilots and passengers exposed to such high levels of radiation in the atmosphere, which can help to lower the risk of cancer from these ionization energies.

References:

About Rad-X. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from https://science.larc.nasa.gov/radx/about.html

Ionizing radiation, health effects and protective measures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs371/en/

NAIRAS. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from http://sol.spacenvironment.net/nairas/

RaD-X, N. (2015, October 28). NASA RaD-X (@NASA_RaDX). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from https://twitter.com/nasa_radx

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/ne0909_rad-x.jpg

learning french is hard.

 

March 26th, 2018 / Thomas Halsey

I’ve been learning Spanish ever since I was a 6th grader at Pocahontas Middle School.  At the beginning of my 10th grade year at Steward, I decided to turn things around by learning a new language. I was considering Italian, Greek  and French. Since my ancestry is 2% French, I made the decision of teaching myself French. Even though I know the basics like “puis je avoir s’il vous plaît” which means “can I please have...”, and other conversational phrases, French is definitely way harder than I thought it would be.  Here’s why.

 

In my opinion, the toughest part about learning a new language is always the “r” sound. In Spanish, you roll your tongue, in Portuguese you do the “h” sound, and in French, you try your hardest to roll the r’s, which in my case, ends up with me choking on my own saliva.  Pleasant right? I’ve been trying to master the art of r’s for over a week now, and it’s tough as nails. My friend Noreen, who is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, has been trying to teach me, but it’s still very difficult. I downloaded Duolingo to help me practice French, and it’s actually getting a little better.  Since I’m a beginner, I talk slow, which is normal and perfectly fine. However, on my French tutorials, they talk extremely fast. Even though it is expected that native speakers are much faster and fluent than beginners, it still makes it very hard to understand the listening portions. The last reason why French is a hard language to learn, is the part of their mouth in which they speak. In English, we tend to speak from the front part of our mouths when speaking. In French they speak the sounds of words form from the lower part of their mouths, almost from their throat. That’s one of the biggest transitions that is hard to adjust to by French language students.

 

Even though French is very difficult to learn, it’s extremely useful. 300 million people around the globe speak the language, including countries like Canada, Haiti, Belgium, Cameroon, Madagascar, and many more. I hope to go to France to study abroad in college, to learn more about the language of love, and also experience life in France!

A Waltz.

 

March 23rd, 2018 / Anonymous

Love, antiques I was forbidden to touch

It was the whispers of what could have been

It was the night and day and just as much

Stark as doves on black sand, her long lost skin

Love skipped and danced and cried inside my walls

She sat and stayed for dinner every night

Love waltzed with the stars and my mother’s shawls

I was fireproof, her lungs had frostbite

For Love’s breath extinguished fires within

The chess game of torture and tenderness

Men became infernos, enemies, kin

Check, checkmate, pawns fall into the abyss

Love was gold at a glance, pyrite up close

Love was delicate, like a thorny rose

Change of pace.

 

April 23rd, 2018 / Anonymous

I dipped my foot in waters blue

Created hints of things that flew

And wrote of one, blent fear and love

Who bound the worlds with feathers through

 

Dissolved myself in words like night

While in my head glowed candlelight

And so immersed had I become

That worlds and stories intertwined

 

I drifted far and far away

And lost a new friend day by day

I wondered why I’m all alone

While sailing off on my own waves

 

But this time I have found a friend

To write in verse and words that blend

Of writing, running, thoughts as poems

And search for truth through beauty’s lense

 

I wonder still at words like stars

And sink through tales of who we are

And grin like sunshine at the hope

Of those in which I have a part.

By Julia Monroe, '20

By Matt Lane, '20

Hana, Hawaii

the 2008 financial crisis.

April 28th, 2018 / Sachin Sanjay

In 2008, The United States of America experienced a major recession in the economy. Other parts of the world, including Europe, also faced economic downturn during this period. The United States accounted for about 25% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). The primary cause of the recession in the U.S led by the housing crisis, was due to the implosion of subprime mortgage.  The housing crisis and the subsequent collapse of subprime lending market was due to the lack of stringent mortgage underwriting guidelines, inadequate controls and risk management, and ethical issues in the value chain including brokers, lenders, credit rating agencies, and consumers.

 

After the 2001 recession triggered by 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S, the Federal Reserve  Chairman, Alan Greenspan, and the board of governors, cut the federal rates from 6.5% to 1.75% to stimulate the economy.  As interest rates fell, the demand for housing market also started to pick up. The congress in late 90s had directed the U.S Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to enable low income and minority families to get home ownership.  As a result of this directive, HUD required that the two government sponsored finance entities (GSEs), namely Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, should purchase far more "affordable" loans made to these borrowers by various lenders.  HUD stuck with an outdated policy that allowed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to count billions of dollars they invested in subprime loans as a public good that would foster affordable housing. The housing market was thriving and in 2006, and almost half a billion worth of mortgage bonds were sold by major banks.  The agency neglected to examine whether borrowers could make the payments on the loans that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae classified as affordable. From 2004 to 2006, the two purchased $434 billion in securities backed by subprime loans, creating a market for more of such lending. Subprime loans are targeted toward borrowers with poor credit, and they generally carry higher interest rates than conventional loans.

About three to four million families lost their homes to foreclosure because they could not afford their high-interest subprime loans. Lower-income and minority home buyers -- those who were supposed to benefit from HUD's actions, were falling into default at a rate at least three times that of other borrowers.  Prestigious firms like Bear Stearns was acquired by J.P. Morgan in 2008 and Lehman Brothers had to file for bankruptcy.  Several leading financial institutions had to be bailed out with taxpayer money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Housing experts and some congressional leaders now view those decisions as mistakes that contributed to an escalation of subprime lending that is roiling the U.S. economy.  

The housing bubble in the U.S. was created due to major flaws in the mortgage underwriting standards such as making loans with no income verification, no major documentation, lower FICO scores, greedy and unethical behavior by brokers, lenders, officials, and consumers, which all contributed to millions of Americans of losing their homes and jobs. The rating agencies did not thoroughly review mortgage-backed securities and subprime bonds and gave them high credit ratings, making them more appealable to investors when in reality they were risky investments. The selling of these risky bonds by major banks were made by Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs).

 

To prevent a similar crisis in the future, key aspects including regulatory oversight, controls, risk management, consumer protection, free market economy, lending standards, and affordability have to be taken into accounts.  Consumers should be provided education and literacy on how the mortgage system works, including short, long terms, and adjustable interest rates, and consequences of default.

 

The proposed solution is to the ensure proper oversight of lenders and lending practices with a regulatory agency such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  There should also be proper income verification regarding affordability of mortgage. The brokers, intermediaries, and lenders have to have enough capital to provide cushion in the event of defaults.  In the past, brokers could easily qualify a borrower with no documentation and income verification to obtain loans from lenders. These brokers were incentivized to generate business on volume and not necessarily on the credit quality of the borrower.  By introducing tighter underwriting standards based on credit quality, affordability to service the debt on a regular basis, better risk management, and classifying the mortgage bonds properly by their credit rating, will be critical in preventing or minimizing losses in the future.  The credit score rating process can be improved further to not only indicate the “credit-worthiness” of a borrower but also the ability to service debt over a longer term basis. One can also develop sophisticated analytical tools to determine default risk.

 

The GSEs have to also ensure that they don’t simply purchase all loans from lenders without proper documentation, checks, and controls.  The rating agencies also have to be accountable in their credit evaluation process of mortgage-backed securities. Having correct ratings on mortgage bonds are pivotal because before the 2008 crisis, many AAA to A rated bonds were actually subprime and riskier than a B level bond. If the governments across the globe monitor the lending institutions through regulatory body banks in this way, the chances of witnessing major economic crisis due to housing and mortgage related issues will be mitigated. These should help lower the crisis probability which will also keep inflation in check.

By Sydney Johnson, '20

Carefree

By Sonali Sanjay, '20

Running.

 

March 30th, 2018 / Blue

i am running away.

 

running from the tears that don't solve my problems.

running from the ones that hurt me when I try not to hurt them.

running and running, trying to find

someone to trust.

someone to hug.

someone who will listen.

someone who will be the bandage to my wounds.

more wounds, more tears, more running.

more wounds, more pain, keep running.

more wounds, more anger, still running.

 

i want to stop running.

dance.

 

April 27th, 2018 / Anya Bhargava

It was an ordinary Saturday in 5th grade and I was at my friend’s house. Her favorite show at the time was Dance Moms. She was watching an episode when I came over and I thought it looked interesting. The following day, I found the first season on Amazon and I’ve been hooked ever since. I binge-watched it all summer and by August, I decided that I wanted to take dance lessons. In the fall of 2014, I began dancing at Dance Destination. The funny thing is, I thought I was good. Thanks to five years of gymnastics, I was fairly flexible (which means I could do one split), but dance flexibility and technique are so different from gymnastics.  However, even with the initial hardships, I began to fall in love with dance, slowly, but surely.

Now let’s flash forward to December of 2015.  I had just joined my first lyrical class with less than eight people and a new teacher. The first day of class, two girls ran towards me excitedly and told me, “We are going to be BEST friends.”  After that, I was a little freaked out and was going to tell my mom that I didn’t want to join the class, but then realized that it would be a good opportunity to get more practice time. As the year went on, one of those girls actually became one of my close friends, and the following year, we made the dance competition team together.

Eighth grade was a good year. After two years of working hard, I was so excited to make the competition team.  The team required a whole new level of commitment and dedication. I went from dancing two hours a week, to dancing about 9 hours a week. That year, Chloe (the friend in my lyrical class) and I made a new friend, and the three of us have stuck by each other ever since. Not only did I have amazing friends and great dance instruction, I also had the best teachers. They’re sweet, hardworking, and always believe in us. All of this put together has made my dance experience incredible. Those of you who are on any sort of team know how stressful it can be when you’re competing. At one of our competitions, we were backstage and one of the girls in my dance realized that she forgot her costume. Immediately, she started panicking, called her mom, and left to go get it. My teacher was also extremely stressed and was scared that she wouldn’t be back in time. Unfortunately, the girl didn’t come back in time for the dance and she felt so guilty in the moment, but now we laugh about it. Unforgettable memories and experiences like these make it all worthwhile.

Lastly, this year.  This year has been the most hectic year ever. I added even more hours to my dance schedule, more difficult classes, and many new clubs. Despite my packed schedule, I have continued to love dance, and I hope to do it for many years to come. A few days ago, the girls at my studio found out that the owner was moving and we were shocked!  Later, we understood why, and we are very happy and excited for her! However, the shock still hasn’t worn off, and it has made me realize how much I cherish the dance community. A community I am fortunate to be apart of. In the next few months, many girls from our studio, including myself, are on a search to find a new studio.

 

This new studio will never replace the first one, but now it is time to start a new chapter of my dance life.

Something to love.

 

March 24th, 2018 / Allison Langenburg

It’s impossible that there isn’t a pun to make with this name. That’s been the thought itching the back of my mind since I heard of Kevin Love, about a week ago. I’m impressed with myself for remaining oblivious to the name of Kevin Love, especially since there are two of them. After hearing his name, I decided that he must be a football player, since he sounded vaguely familiar. Neither Kevin Love is a football player. But one of them is an incredibly talented basketball player, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He turned twenty-nine last September and had played for the Cavaliers since being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves, for whom he played from 2009 to 2014. Love is a five-time All-Star team member and was a member of the Cavaliers’ NBA-winning team in 2016, and those are just a few of his accomplishments. Kevin comes from a happy, practicing-Christian home, with an older brother and a younger sister, Collin and Emily. His father, Stan, also played in the NBA. Kevin is 6’10’’, a phenomenal player with a loving, healthy family and a strong faith who, to all in the world, was living an absolute dream. That being said, he was as much surprised as anyone when he experienced a panic attack last November in the middle of a game.

 

Many readers may have heard of the article that Mr. Love published quite recently, titled: “Everyone is Going Through Something”. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. In this down-to-earth and expressive piece, Love discusses how his sudden and unexpected panic attack led him to consider his sport, himself, and everyone else with a novel perspective, especially since he began to see a therapist afterward. To Love, this was unheard of in the NBA; no other players seemed to need to discuss their feelings, neither to each other nor to a professional. He describes the doctrine of internalization as part of a “playbook” all males, including himself, are pressured to learn and follow, centered around the famous command: “Be a man.” To Love, this included keeping feelings to oneself. The star forward was embarrassed that he’d experienced a panic attack during a game, and he didn’t want anyone to know. Love states in his article that: “I was running from room to room, like I was looking for something I couldn’t find. Really I was just hoping my heart would stop racing. It was like my body was trying to say to me, You’re about to die. I ended up on the floor in the training room, lying on my back, trying to get enough air to breathe.” Afterwards, Love was concerned. This is not extraordinary; if I experienced anything like this, I’d be concerned, too. But, Love was not concerned about his attack, he was instead concerned that he didn’t want anyone to discover it. He wondered why he was so reluctant to publicize it, and finally concluded that it was just himself adhering to the “playbook.” Dissatisfied with uncomfortable secrecy, he published his experience.

 

There are several aspects of Mr. Love’s article that inspire and fascinate me. First of all, he is a prominent basketball player. He’s famous, beloved, and, really, quite a star. But now, the first fruits of a Google search of his name alone yield his article about mental health, which relates his inner convictions and struggles. I admire that. I admire that he was willing to be known for his weakness, because admitting weakness is strength. I admire him for reaching out to the world, for being willing to relate to those suffering and to associate himself with the struggling by his testimony. What is stronger than supporting someone else when your own problems and pressures are heavy, too? I admire him for having courage, for being one of the first to accomplish something like this in his field. It’s not courageous to speak when you know you’ll be heard, to stand up in defiance and say “Me too!”. It’s brave to take a risk such as this. It’s brave to know that next time you’re on the court, instead of being invincible, unfeeling, and larger than life, you’ll be the man that discussed his mental health, the one that had a panic attack, and to stand up anyway. It’s easy to be callous, it’s easy to be hard. It’s difficult to make yourself vulnerable. But it’s strong.

 

The quote in Love’s article that stood out most to me is the root of the title: “Everyone is going through something that we can’t see.” Everyone. Even you, even me, even him, even his fellow players, friends and enemies. Even the ones that look perfect. We shouldn’t gloat over this fact when we feel inadequate, but instead this should serve as a reminder to us that no one is alone. But, “no one” and “everyone” are quite vague words. “Kevin Love”, however, is very specific. I don’t know much in the realm of basketball. But I do know I’m not alone because a 6’10’’ professional male NBA player isn’t perfect either, so I’d like to thank Mr. Love for sharing his valuable story with the world.

 

I guess his problems are really just something else to Love about him.

 

There, that’s what I’ve been looking for.

 

-Allison M. Langenburg

Jellyfish

By Thomas Halsey, '20

the things i can be.

 

April 25th, 2018 / Anonymous

I am a mountain

High in the sky

I am a river

Flowing freely down a stream

In the jungle deep in the jungle

I can be the king of something

Somewhere I matter

Somewhere I feel like I’m worth it

Somewhere society doesn’t matter

I can be alone and think

I can be alone and dream

I can be alone and fly

I can open my eyes and mind

Somehow escaping this matrix I’m stuck in

Where I’m told what to be

In this place I can choose what I am

No Rules and No Norms

I can just be Me

I’ll just follow my own beat

And I’ll make a song no one will forget

I’ll finally be set free

From this matrix I’m stuck in

In a way I think I’ll rule this Jungle

I’ll be the one they’ll look at for hope

I won’t just be some silly guy being told

What to be and what not to be

I’ll follow my beat until I can’t flow anymore

And that beat is in my heart

Spartabots.

 

April 24th, 2018 / Libey Eynan

What makes you think of robots? Metalwork, coding, zip ties, legos? When I think of robotics, I think of the great times I’ve had with my wonderful teammates. From almost making it to states (twice) to making blue and gold zip tie hats to attempting to learn some code, I have truly had some amazing times with my lovely teammates. This year, we had an awesome season. We received the Judge’s award, which means our team stood out during team judging. You could also say we received an award for being awesome. We placed second at our last competition of the season, but unfortunately we did not make it to states. There is always next year and new possibilities. As of last year, we pick a yearly theme and design spirit wear around it. Last year, our theme was Harry Potter, and this year our theme was zipties. We had zip tie name tags and zip tie hats for the competition. We even had a team bonding night, and we ziptied the entire team together. I don’t recommend doing that again, but it really did help with our team dynamic.

This years FTC challenge was called Relic Recovery. The main way to earn points was to stack brown and gray blocks in designated patterns. Other ways to score points included knocking off the opposite colored wiffle ball or jewel in autonomous mode and balancing on the balancing stone during the last 30 seconds of the game. It's harder than it seems and it takes focus and practice.

At the beginning of each school year, the team divides up into three sub-teams. The sub-teams are build team, coding team, and design team. Each group has either a captain or a set of co-captains. The build team work really hard to design the robot, and later builds it. Building the robot is a vital part to our success. Coding team codes the robot. They put life and love into it. This year the team decided to take on a new challenge: mecanum wheels. Mecanum wheels are difficult to assemble and the coding is even more complicated, but they have serious advantages to them. They can strafe, which is great advantage with time constraints in the competition. The design deals with many things including spirit wear, t-shirt design, the design of the robot, fundraising, and documenting the process of everything.

To wrap up, we had an amazing season this year. I would like to thank all of the great Spartabots for making it an enjoyable experience. We worked hard, played hard and did their our very best. I would like to give a huge thank you to Mr. Gallo for guiding us throughout the year.  We could have not done it without him. He is our mentor and our guide. His support and endless hours of patience is one of a kind.

 

We will continue to do our best next year and we could always use more dedicated Spartabots on our team. Come and join us if you are into coding, zip ties, innovation, or even if you love being part of a team.

The VMFA

By Sonali Sanjay, '20

By Abby Dwelle, '19

Guayaquil, Ecuador

By Matt Lane, '20

Warm Serenity

By Emory Sutton, '20

By Abby Dwelle, '19

My Minimester trip: Ecuador & the galápagos

 

April 25th, 2018 / Julia Monroe

The trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos with Steward was probably one of the most exciting and eye-opening experiences that I have ever had. Since this was my first time traveling out of the country, I was very interested in learning more about the culture of a South American country and its differences compared to the society of the United States. When I discovered that I would be staying with a host family while we were in Quito, I was fascinated by the idea of communicating with them in Spanish, as they were not familiar with many English terms. The experience of talking with and understanding someone who spoke in their native language was difficult but also wonderful at the same time, since I was able to comprehend most of what my host mother told Alex Wilkerson and I, who was another Steward student in tenth grade who stayed with me.

I would say that my favorite part of the trip was spending time on the beach while we were on the Galápagos islands. Before this experience, I had never seen water as blue as the ocean there. Additionally, we were able to go snorkeling in the middle of the ocean, which was extremely interesting because of the different underwater wildlife that we could see as we were swimming above them. Other animals such as large iguanas and huge tortoises were spread all along the islands in many areas near the water. The weather was so hot and sunny while we were in the Galápagos, which was ultimately the perfect climate to swim at the beach there.

While we were in Quito, I had an incredible experience at the school that we visited and the time that we spent talking to the students throughout the day. Although it was sometimes difficult to communicate with other students, anyone would have been able to notice the connections that we all made while playing soccer and basketball and laughing with them.  It definitely showed that people of all backgrounds and languages could come together and have an incredible time! This was a great first time leaving the country, and I could not have had a better trip with Steward!

Student advocacy in rva.

 

April 27th, 2018 / Hannah Frank

March and April were busy times for youth activists in Richmond and around the country.  On March 23rd, 2018, students all across the country participated in the “March for Our Lives,” a political rally mainly centralized in Washington D.C., protesting gun laws in honor of those killed at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The main segment of the march began at noon with participants gathering at Pennsylvania Avenue and then marching to the capitol. The march is being led by survivors of the shooting in Parkland, such as Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez.  Student activists all around the country were invited to participate, and if students couldn’t make the trip to D.C., many large cities around the country had sister marches. There were over 800 sister marches taking place in cities around the country and around the world, such as Tokyo, London, Madrid, and Seoul. The march in D.C. was funded by donations from celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and Steven Spielberg. Three million dollars was raised through a GoFundMe campaign.

 

Ethan Williams, a senior at the Steward School, attended the march in Richmond.  He said, “It was quieter than I expected. Last year, the Richmond Women’s March was this loud and empowering march, but this one had far more power in the silence which followed it as we all crossed the bridge. I think the silence of the crowd hit harder than any chant could.” Along with the march, students were invited to participate in a student walkout on April 20th, in honor of the Columbine shooting in Colorado in 1999. Fifteen students were shot and killed on that fateful day, with 24 injured. Students in Richmond left school at 10:00 am and gathered at Brown’s Island. At 1:00 pm, participants marched from Brown’s Island to the Virginia State Capitol. At 2:00 pm, the official rally began on the steps of the capitol.  Corinne Brager, a junior at the Steward School, attended the rally. “I think it was a really good experience,” she said, “The elected officials that showed up were very responsive and nice. I went because I believe in stronger gun reforms.”

https://marchforourlives.com/

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RICHMOND's murals.

April 8th, 2018 / Kennon Cummings

Have you seen the beautiful murals all over Richmond? If you haven’t, I’d suggest that you take a drive and see at least a few - they are super cool! These projects must have taken days, if not more, and the number of these murals is quite impressive. The addition of these wonderful works of art really liven up the already unique city of Richmond, and certainly make artists like me very happy to see them. No two murals are the same; you can find a lot of variety and different art styles throughout the paintings!

 

A few of my favorites are the more cartoony pieces, but multiple styles of art are used all over the city, including abstract colors, realistic humans and scenery, simplistic but automatically identifiable animals, and so, so much more. It’s really exciting that the artists behind all of these keep coming up with new and interesting topics, while new artists become inspired by these works and join the growing creative force that details the city.

 

These murals make use of wasted space, making ordinary walls and buildings into a colorful explosion of art. It’s obvious that I’m not the only fan of them, either-- the popularity of these works of art is causing new murals to appear all over Richmond. A good example of these new installations is in Greengate, one of the newest additions to Short Pump, where several murals were painted for the suburban area to feel more ‘city-like’ (and it works! It definitely feels very urban) . Hopefully, in the future, more creative decorations like murals can spread throughout the city, capturing both the feel of Richmond itself and the amazing artists that inhabit it.

Somewhere in Greece

By Thomas Halsey, '20

By Julia Monroe, '20

DEAR EVAN HANSEN.

 

March 25th, 2018 / Courtlyn Dranoff

When you think about Broadway, what do you think of? Is it the bright lights? Is it the ballads?

When I think of Broadway, I think of the incredible stories being told right in front of me. Recently, I went to New York and saw the phenomenal musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen is about a boy, Evan, who becomes a social media sensation overnight. It has everything you would ever want to see in a play!  One day, Evan is printing out one of the daily pep-talk letters to himself that his therapist wanted him to write in the computer lab. As he is printing the paper, a boy named Connor Murphy snatches the paper from the printer and puts it into his pocket.  That scene starts the action and plot build up during the musical!

 

Dear Evan Hansen not only has a perfect soundtrack, but also has a perfect story. The musical has hard hitting subjects and inspirational moments.  Dear Evan Hansen has inspired so many people. The fans of this musical feel so emotional and positive while watching, especially after hearing one of the most inspirational songs, You Will Be Found.  Dear Evan Hansen is being adapted into a book called Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel. The book will be written by Val Emmich with Steven Leveson, Benj Pasek, & Justin Paul.

If my review doesn’t show you how incredible the musical is, then let me tell you that this musical won six Tony Awards last year.  I personally can say there were very few dry eyes in the Music Box Theatre the night I saw it, and probably every other night!

TOP 10 songs of march.

 

March 19th, 2018 / Courtlyn Dranoff

1. The Middle - Zedd, Maren Morris,and Grey

 

2. Him & I - G-Eazy & Halsey

3. Found/Tonight - Ben Platt & Lin-Manuel Miranda

4. Give Me Something - Calum Scott

5. Dance You Off - Benjamin Ingrosso

6. My Church - Maren Morris

7. Gold - Kiiara

 

8. FRIENDS - Marshmello & Anne-Marie

9. Wild Love (Acoustic) - James Bay

10. Wolves - Selena Gomez & Marshmello

*We endorse only the clean versions of these songs!

TOP 10 songs of march.

 

March 19th, 2018 / Courtlyn Dranoff

1. The Middle - Zedd, Maren Morris,and Grey

 

2. Him & I - G-Eazy & Halsey

3. Found/Tonight - Ben Platt & Lin-Manuel Miranda

4. Give Me Something - Calum Scott

5. Dance You Off - Benjamin Ingrosso

6. My Church - Maren Morris

7. Gold - Kiiara

 

8. FRIENDS - Marshmello & Anne-Marie

9. Wild Love (Acoustic) - James Bay

10. Wolves - Selena Gomez & Marshmello

*We endorse only the clean versions of these songs!

Cute clothing pieces under $50!

 

March 19th, 2018 / Emory Sutton

Maren Morris:

Maren Morris is a new up and coming singer/songwriter from Arlington, Texas. Morris started songwriting when she was just eight years old, and has been touring the United States for a decade, singing at festivals and small pubs. When rejected from both American Idol and The Voice, she was about to give up on her dream of becoming a professional performer, until she wrote her smash hit “My Church.”  She wrote this song in just 45 minutes in her small studio apartment in Nashville, Tennessee, and dropped it on Spotify. The song amassed more than 2 million hits in just one day. This gave her exposure to the country music world, and her life blew up. She then went on to release her first studio album titled, “Hero” on June 3, 2017. Some songs you should definitely check out are “Second Wind,” “Just Another Thing,” “Sugar,”  and “80s Mercedes.” Due to the great reviews and the overwhelming success of this album, Maren Morris went on to be the opening act of Sam Hunt’s tour in 2017, which appeared in over 30 cities including Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, and even Virginia Beach! At the 2017 Grammys, she was nominated for 4 awards including Best New Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and took home the statue for Best Country Solo Performance for “My Church.”  Morris later sang in Zedd’s 2018 dance/electronic song, “The Middle,” which is currently number six on iTunes’ top 100 songs. Morris is definitely the next big thing in country music, so make sure to give a listen to her songs!

Maggie Rogers:

Just a year ago, Maggie Rogers was a student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, with the dream of becoming a professional singer.  After her first year of school, she made the journey all the way to Alaska to start writing music again while escaping the outside world to get away from her intense course load at school. While wandering through the last frontier, Rogers wrote “Alaska”, a song about how to make the thought of a lover disappear from a person's memory by hiking through dreary terrain.  When she arrived back at NYU for her second year, Pharrell Williams made a visit to her class. The teacher brought in Williams in to give feedback to the novices pieces of work. However, when he heard Rogers “Alaska,” he was awestruck. She was the only student who didn’t receive any feedback from the Grammy winner. Williams fell in love with the folk/pop song, and offered to give Rogers guidance through her bright and promising career. From there, she performed on Jimmy Fallon, and has been putting an album into works. Some songs she has released include “On + Off,” “Dog Years,” and “Split Stones.” The album is suspected to drop sometime in late 2018. Don’t miss out on the new artist to watch in the pop world. You don’t want to be the only person who doesn't know who she is!

Xavier Omär:

This young talent broke though the R&B scene during the middle of 2017. Omär is from San Antonio, Texas and started dabbling in music when he was twelve years old. He used to create mix tapes in his house basement, and started performing in local restaurants during the same time. When he told his family that he wanted to pursue music as an actual profession, they were initially shocked. Both of Omär’s parents took part in military services, so they wanted their son to follow in their steps. However, they gave in to his wish because they saw how much it meant to him. He released “The Everlasting Wave” EP in late 2016, which gave him major recognition from audiences around the United States.  In 2017, his tracks “Blind Man” and “Grown Man,” from his EP, captivated more listeners. That was when he decided to go on a country tour, visiting 16 cities, including Sacramento and Oakland. In the same year, he reached 2 million Spotify followers, which shows how popular he has become in just a year. Omär is the next big thing in the R&B/Soul world of music.

New artists to watch.

March 19th, 2018 / Thomas Halsey

Galápagos Gecko

By Matt Lane, '20

By Julia Monroe, '20

This is the end of our spring issue! 

We have new articles updated constantly, so please stay tuned for changes and uploads on our site.  If you wish to print this issue, please do.  We hope you enjoyed reading our articles as much as we enjoyed writing them!

Love,

The Steward Ink Team

Thank you for reading!