Hallway Staff Editor: KK Gilbert Assistant Editor: Gina Parducci Advisor: Austin Stember Staff: Elizabeth Mundell, Katelyn Trimble, Morgan VanDeLinder, Sofia Parducci, Peyton Short, Caroline Murphy
Winter Edition 1
The Hallway staff has started a new video series that follows editor KK Gilbert as she tries things. Some things are new, fun and exciting while others will push her out of comfort zone. The first episode features KK and co-editor Gina Parducci as they go bowling.
Fall Edition 1
The Toxic World of USA Gymnastics
By: Elizabeth Mundell
Once known for Olympic gold medals and consistent performances, USA Gymnastics has been exposed for the corruption and lies that accompanied that excellence. Winning consecutive Olympic golds in London 2012 and Rio 2016, in addition to world championships in 2011, 2014, and 2015, the USA is still a powerhouse in the gymnastics world. But in 2016, The IndyStar newspaper changed USA gymnastics forever. IndyStar exposed that USAG had been lying for years. Starting in 2001, the Bela and Martha Karolyi’s Texas Ranch was the official gymnastics training center. It was every gymnast’s dream to get invited to the Ranch. They trained to be on the national team, which was considered an honor and a tremendous opportunity. They were not prepared for the mental and physical abuse that they would have to endure for that honor.
The ranch was advertised as having, "three gyms, 66 motel-like dorm rooms that can house up to 300 athletes, a cafeteria, an elegant lodge and a rustic residence adorned with moose and deer heads." In reality, the ranch was a dirty, old camp that created a culture of fear and an easy way for gymnasts to be abused and tormented. The dorms where the athletes stayed were crammed with old, stained bunk beds that were crawling with bugs. Aly Raisman, a former USA gold medalist, said about the ranch, “They weren’t even provided with bottled water, and those bathrooms lacked soap. When they ran out, they were terrified to ask for more because U.S. coaches and officials made them believe those who were noncompliant or complained would be left off the team.”
On top of the mental abuse, athletes said they were hit and slapped as punishment. Dominique Moceanu, who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, said Karolyis used the threat of Moceanu’s abusive father as a means of control. If she didn’t perform to expectations or complained about injuries, Moceanu said, they would threaten to tell her father, knowing that he would beat her. A former member of the Karolyi staff told AP that he witnessed a beating of Moceanu by her father.
Gymnasts were required to train six to seven hours a day, with minimal food and water. If the gymnasts didn’t perform well that day, the coaches would blame it on the girl’s overeating. Larson, who began training at the ranch when she was 10, said she feared even drinking water because of possible weight gain. She took laxatives daily for six years to keep her weight down. Even with eating disorders being extremely prevalent in the sport of gymnastics, it seemed as if the coaches and staff encouraged them. Simone Biles, with 32 world championship and olympic gold medals , told interviewers that she would break into the kitchen late at night and steal food because of how hungry she was. Gabriela Geiculescu, who now runs a gymnastics program in Nashville, Tennessee, told AP,"You would get so hungry you would eat toothpaste, and when you were injured you had to hide the pain or they would beat you."
Injuries were considered an excuse at the ranch, and gymnasts would have to practice with broken bones, too scared of what would happen if they didn’t. "One time, I was so desperate not to go, I thought faking an injury bad enough was the only way out," Larson said during Nassar's sentencing hearing. "I was taking a bath when I decided to push the bathmat aside, splash water on the tiles, get on the floor, and bang the back of my head against the tub hard enough to get a bump, so it seemed like I slipped." Her parents rushed her to a hospital, fearing a concussion. "I was willing to physically hurt myself to get out of the abuse that I received at the ranch," Larson said. When Larson returned to Karolyi Ranch for the next training camp, "Martha Karolyi approached me and said, 'You know what? (1991 World Champion) Kim Zmeskal fell out of the top bunk of the cabins here, and she didn't miss practice the next day.” Larson said.
After the truth about the abuse at the ranch was uncovered, many people would question what would happen with USA Gymnastics. Steve Penny, USAG’s CEO, was forced out in 2017 along with the entire Board of Directors. Sponsors left, almost all gymnastics clubs cut ties, and the USOC threatened to decertify USAG as the sport's governing body. It wasn’t just USAG that received major backlash. The head of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee stepped down for what was described as “medical reasons” as the scandal evolved.
In 2020, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation — the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act — that added funding for the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The law put more athletes on the boards of the USOPC and Olympic governing bodies such as USAG. It also strengthened reporting requirements, and penalties, for sports officials. With new board members and CEO, the question now is there really going to be a change? In a world where winning is considered the only priority, will USAG finally put the athletes first?
The Cooper Bison Skull Unknown Cooper Bison Kill Site, Harper County, OK >10, 000 years ago Red paint on bison skull
The Cooper Bison Skull is the oldest piece of painted art found in North America. It was found in the Cooper Bison Kill Site, archaeological ruins in which Native Americans hunted bison 10,000 years ago. The skull is an ancient species most closely related to the bison, adorned with lines painted using hematite.
Kiowa Buffalo Dancer James Auchiah 1930 Gouache on paper
Created with gouache on paper, the piece details a dancer performing in the Buffalo Dance, an annual tradition in which Kiowa men adorn themselves in clothing created using bison skin. In Kiowa culture, art is an honoured and important tradition; however, their work was usually created with beads or embroidery, and its main purpose was to document important events in Kiowa history. The Kiowa Six are a group of Kiowa artists who introduced new types of art to their tribe. James Auchiah joined this group as the sixth member, and much of his art especially was some of the first to be recognized and respected by European Americans. Among those European Americans is Oscar Brousse Jacobson.
Emerald Lake No. 1 Oscar Brousse Jacobson 1970s Oil on canvas
Oscar Brousse Jacobson was an artist who worked at the Louvre and received a degree from Yale before moving to Oklahoma. As the first member of the art faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Jacobson worked inexhaustibly to grow its art program. In addition to this, Jacobson had a passion for promoting less recognized art. He helped introduce the Kiowa Six - and Native American art in general - to white Oklahoman art society. His own art is some of the only post-impressionist work created in Oklahoma, but very little of it is of Oklahoma itself. Emerald Lake No. 1 is one of his most popular pieces.
Mural No. GU-43752 (All Rights Reserved) William Alvin Blayney Thomas, OK 1969 Oil, pen, and pencil on masonite
Mural No. GU-43752 (All Rights Reserved) is a mural depicting Saint John’s vision of the apocalypse. The artist, William Alvin Blayney, for a large part of his life, lived in Pennsylvania and ran an auto repair shop. However, after experiencing “profound religious conversion” (Smithsonian, para. 1) by a local televangelist, Blayney left his family and business and moved to Thomas, Oklahoma. He believed he was fulfilling a prophecy by preaching. Another way he did this was by creating art, filling it with biblical events and his own supernatural creatures. He even practiced speaking in tongues. Despite his practices, Blayney was still well-respected as a minister.
Dead 1970” Larry Clark Tulsa, OK 1971 Photographic print
Larry Clark is a prolific photographer in Oklahoma. His art focuses on drugs, violence, and other things of that nature. His most iconic pieces are a collection of images entitled Tulsa. When reading, Clark’s concentration on the sleazier sides of his subjects’ lives lures the audience into the position of voyeurs rather than sympathetic viewers. His work is neither critical nor complimentary, which only pushes the boundaries between the subjects and the audience farther. The photograph “Dead 1970” shows a man named Billy Mann holding a gun and smirking at an individual out of frame.
Pictures for Charis focuses on the relationship between Edward and Charis Weston in conjunction with Kelli Connell and her wife, Betsy. The photobook explores how both couples experience the dynamic between photographers and their subjects, and what happens when that dynamic turns romantic. The couple travels across California, going to the same places as the Westons and mimicking their photographs. Betsy is photographed as both herself and as Charis, as Kelli takes the role of Edward. She describes it as “eerie” and really did feel as though she fit into Edward's place.
Divorce, and How It Affects A Child's Everyday Life
By: Morgan VanDeLinder
My parents divorced in March of 2019. Divorce has affected many people and is typical for the vast majority of children and teens to struggle with that pressure every day. Most that deal with families going through divorce suffer from depression.
Accompanying depression is anxiety, either that is over relationships (of any form) or just with simple tasks. Studies show that nearly 50% of people with depression struggle with anxiety. Indications of depression can include sleeping more than usual, not doing certain activities you usually love, choosing to stay home over going out with others, not doing homework, getting into bad habits, watching television, and being noticeably sad. Dealing with anxiety, might result in overworking yourself, over-think everything that someone tells you, feel nervous, uncontrollably shake, get anxious over having the thought of doing something, feel worried people will leave, have the feeling of not being enough, fearing relationships, not believing when people compliment you. I developed depression around three years ago, it started when my parents split up. Even to this day, I struggle with getting out of bed and keep pushing myself. I lie around all day, not cleaning up, and often sleep in till noon. I won’t shower or brush my hair. It takes motivation and effort to exist.
According to https://yourdivorcequestions.org/how-common-is-divorce/ “Divorce is estimated that 40%-50% of first marriages end in permanent divorce.” This article reads that divorce has always been a thing, but it has been more common in families within the past 50 years. There are a lot of reasons for divorce Getting married too young, lack of commitment, unequal partnerships, and abuse of any kind.
Some of the main reasons a teen or child can suffer from depression are family problems, anxiety, and abuse. Studies show that depression rates increase for children or teens when they have families that are split up versus teenagers whose families are together. In many divorce cases, the kids always wind up getting pulled into the middle of it, which makes them feel like they have to choose sides between their parents. No child should have to feel this way. Divorce has an impact on every kid or teen that goes through a divorce, even if it is a good situation to get out of. Some children do not even remember having two parents in the same household. For those that think of it as a good thing, it might be a relief. Perhaps a parental figure was abusive, an addict or they were never around in the first place. The child may still suffer from depression if they were previously in a toxic household.
Adults having depression can be very different from a younger child to a teen having depression. In adults, it looks more like having a loss of appetite, getting aggravated easily with close ones, or having trouble sleeping/ sleeping too much. Adults who are divorced can have depression for the same reasons kids do: the lack of having someone there. Some can suffer PTSD from divorce. Those that struggle with PTSD might have flashbacks or night-terrors from their previous situation. What you need to realize is that all people have to deal with a problem of their own. Either it is a family problem, school problem, or self problem. We are all human, and no matter what, there is a bright side to things. You will be okay. It might be rough now, but trust me, it gets easier. I’ve been through it myself. Everyone is worthy of love and happiness. Everyone is NOT alone.
1920s to 2020s POP Culture
By: Gina Parducci Pop Culture Phenomenons over the Centennial America’s impact on global pop culture started in the 1920s and is still influential today. Entertainment, fashion, and technology are ways that pop culture affects societies. There are definitely some major differences between pop culture in the 1920s and the 2020s. Today, Tik Tok, social media, and smartphones exist while the television was not officially invented until 1927, and not in homes until the 1940s and 1950s.
1920s Music Live Jazz, Blues, and Dance music were starting to become some of the most popular music genres at the time and radio shows were still a huge source of entertainment and influence.. Famous artists and songs including: “Ain’t Misbehavin'”—Fats Waller, “Dark Was the Night”—Blind Willie Johnson, “Downhearted Blues”—Bessie Smith, “In the Jailhouse Now”—Jimmie Rodgers, “My Man”—Fanny Brice, “Swanee”—Al Jolson, and “West End Blues”—Louis Armstrong were favorites. The most popular radio show of the 1920s was Amos ‘n’ Andy airing in 1928. This radio show was a comedy skit featuring Black comedians. Amos ‘n’ Andy was a big part of pop culture at the time, later criticized for its negative racial stereotypes.
Movies A world with no Netlflix is hard to imagine but in the 1920s, silent films were very popular. Charlie Chaplin, a famous actor, was in many movies including The Circus and The Gold Rush. While movies of the 1920s did not have spoken words, they were accompanied by live music to keep viewers engaged. Movies portrayed comedy and topics that included leisure to give workers a relief from long hard days.
Literature Globally renowned literature was produced during the 1920s. Historically Famous novels such as The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie , and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, are just some of the most notable texts of the time period. Even today, The Great Gatsby is taught to students across America. Newspapers and magazines were the primary way to receive news in this decade even though 50 million people listened to the radio. New York Tribune, Washington Herald, and Tulsa World were all important sources for the News on local and global levels. Magazines were sources of entertainment, news, fashion, art, technology, trends, and advertising. Time Magazine started in 1923 and is still around today in 2021. Additionally, Reader's Digest, Vogue, and Vanity Fair are still popular magazines today. The 1920s was a turning point in all types of literature and publications.
Technology Technology was rapidly changing in the early 20s and evolved through the end of the decade. The Ford Model T Car became more accessible to families in the 1920s and was produced through 1927. The first traffic light, Band Aid, and vacuum cleaners were introduced to society. All of these items changed norms and values of society and they affected how people performed tasks and lived their lives.
“Pop Culture is very different now from what it was even in the early 2000s. It has changed a lot over time. I love how much of an effect it has on people today. There is something that could change a whole generation. Sometimes I do have mixed emotions about it. I love making pop culture references.” Emma Lewis 2022
2020s Music All genres of music are popular today but especially pop, rap, and songs that become famous from Tik Tok. Streaming songs from apps like Apple Music and Spotify has become the primary way people listen to songs in contrast to radio, especially the younger generations. Pop culture influences the songs we listen to and how overnight a song can become an internet sensation. For example Drivers License and good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo.
Movies/TV Just about any movie, documentary, or TV show is available from the comfort of your home with subscriptions to Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Hulu. TV shows like Outer Banks have been a huge part of the 2020-2021 pop culture, and the cast has become social media icons. Social media brings a lot of influence over what shows and movies are popular. During the summer of 2021, the Friends reunion brought so much laughter and memories to people around the world.
Literature Pop culture has definitely influenced the way society gets information. News and magazines have started to shift to more online platforms and slightly less print versions. Now each news source typically has a website or an app to make access to information quicker and more accurate. Books are still important but there is now such a wide variety of genres and novels to choose from like graphic novels.
Technology Social Media, Tik Tok, and smartphones are just some of the new technology of this era. Without technology the world would look very different. Trends and popculture are heavily influenced through social media apps like instagram and TikTok. Smart Phones have given us a away to quickly share information and news.
Field Hockey Traditions
By: Sofia Parducci
Field Hockey has been a Holland Hall tradition for 90 years. It was first taught in PE classes and then changed into a competitive school sport for girls. “The founder of Holland Hall, Winnifred Schureman was from Holland and knew about field hockey and brought it to this school,” says Holland Hall’s field hockey coach Christy Utter, “I’ve been a Holland Hall field hockey coach for 10 years”
Coach Utter has been involved in field hockey for most of her life. She first came to Holland Hall as a rising 2nd grader. Her dad was a teacher at Holland Hall, and shared an office with Greg Gephart, a former math teacher and one of the field hockey coaches. “He was so engaging, and the high school girls were always hanging out in their office. I fell in love with the sport.” Coach Utter also shared some of her favorite past field hockey memories. “We had some very strong teams in high school. I played alongside our current assistant coaches, Romney McGuire ‘94 nee Nowlin and Lindsey Bristow ‘95 nee Hawkins.” When Coach Utter was in the 11th grade at Holland Hall, Greg Gephart was coaching at Durham Field Hockey Academy in North Carolina, “He urged me to come to the summer camps at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. I fell in love with UNC and was lucky enough to get a spot [thanks to Greg].” Coach Utter played at UNC from 1992-1996. She won 4 ACC Championships and 2 NCAA Championships. After she graduated, Greg Gephart again encouraged her to apply for a field hockey coach position at the Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. “I coached field hockey there for 2 years before getting a coaching job at the University of Louisville. I coached at University of Louisville for 8 years and was the Associate Head Coach. I left there to coach at Brown University for 4 years, and then came back home to coach at Holland Hall.”
The many traditions that come with Holland Hall field hockey are team dinners, bus rides, making class song parodies. Team dinners are held every week, the day before a game. On bus rides we watch movies and eat lots of snacks. Each class makes a parody of a popular song and changes the lyrics about field hockey and their upcoming games. This tradition started in the early 1990’s. The field hockey team traditionally plays teams from St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and cities in texas. “Those rivals remain and we can count on them each year to play. We are the only athletic team at the school that gets to travel on a regular basis and it’s a fun part of what we do,” says Coach Utter
Field Hockey makes Holland Hall a distinctive school because it is one of two schools in Oklahoma that offers it as a girls’ sport. “We can carry a big roster so it gives so many more girls the opportunity to compete.” Many Holland Hall players go on to play at the NCAA level.
Me: So, the question is, what is patriotism to you?
Fondren-Bales: Patriotism! Okay. You’re going to hear my French teacher come out a little bit because for me, the word patriotism has the word "La Patrie" in it. Which is straight from the French and it’s really about one's fatherland. Pater is from the same root as "Padre", right? So “father”. So I really think of patriotism being about acknowledging the water in which you swim. Acknowledging that we all live in a culture that shapes who we are. And so being aware of that, being proud of parts of that, but also being willing to be critical of parts of that is all a part of patriotism, for me.
River: To me patriotism is not having pride for your country but I see it as enjoying your country and wanting to improve it and make it better. I’m pretty liberal, so to me, it’s looking for improvement and wanting [your country] to be the best it can be. For a lot of people it’s, you know, loving it the way it is. And I think no country is the best that it could be, and so for me, I really just feel it’s trying to make [your country] better.
Fondren-Bales: I think this definition is relatively close to what I said in terms of being proud of certain aspects of the culture, or the water you're swimming in. But also being willing to be critical of it in the moments when you feel that it could be better. And so I think this definition is relatively close to my own. I think the one thing that neither I said nor the person said in this quote, is that part of patriotism is also knowing the history of your culture, knowing the history of your country. The good and the bad. Meaning, that in retrospect, sometimes we can see that something might have been a mistake. It's okay, I think, to name that while also acknowledging that hindsight's 20/20 and that those who were leading the country at the time the mistake was made, might not have been able to see that clearly. So it’s not about necessarily thinking of it as criticizing our forefathers, or judging choices that were made, as much as it is learning.
Faith Koontz: I think patriotism can be portrayed in many different ways, but I think, to me, patriotism is standing up for what you think is right. And the morals- let’s say you use patriotism as a way to support your country, well rather than just saying, “I’m a patriot, I support my country, I support everything about my country no matter what”- being a true patriot would mean that you support your country but you also acknowledge where it needs to improve. And you acknowledge what’s bad about it, and you acknowledge the steps that you need to take to improve it. You have to acknowledge what's good about it, but also acknowledge what's bad about it and what could be improved. Because sometimes patriotism... when people hear it they think, “oh, to be a patriot you have to love everything about [your nation]. You can’t point out any flaws. You just have to love everything everyone does all the time.” And I think that does more harm than good. I think to be a true patriot you have to stand up for the true values and the morals and you have to acknowledge what's good, but you also have to acknowledge what you want to get better.
Nancy O’Neil: Okay. So, when I think about... I think that patriotism is this. It is love of country and it is wanting your country to be the best, not think that it is the best. So when someone talks about how a country is the most important thing- and it is, you should think of your country first, always- I think of that as not patriotism but nationalism. And so patriotism is love of country but it doesn’t excuse the bad stuff that your country has done. [Patriotism] wants to make it better.
Me: So, the question is, what is patriotism to you?
Richard Hart: I’d say it is believing and supporting a cause. Often it becomes a nationalistc supporting of a nation but, I mean, I think people can be patriots for all kinds of different causes whether its a nation or otherwise. So that probably has to do with you know, the mores the customs, what they wear, what they eat, the things that they support in that culture, but I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say that it has to be something for which you’d give your life, but certainly being supportive of a bigger identity and cause for which you are supportive. While I think Americans are very interested in church or in sports or in music, I think that patriotism is, by definition, just loyalty to one's country. And I was thinking about this because I used to live in Chicago, I think that Americans tend to be very patriotic. Although that varies from region to region. Some parts of the country and some parts of the world are different. I used to live in Chicago for a long time, and when you go to a hockey game for the Blackhawks, everyone full voice sings the national anthem. 22,000 people full voice national anthem. And I had a friend visiting from Australia, where- this was back in the 80s, they had a new national anthem most people didn’t even know the words- they were a little surprised by the whole thing. I think Americans, in general, are patriotic. They are different worlds, I think that it has to do with loyalty, zeal, for one's country.
Amber Yu: [Patriotism] is pride in one's own country and I think that, in a sense, it’s kind of what keeps a country together. But while you maintain a love and a spirit and a fighting sense for your country, you also have to recognize its flaws and imperfections. We should feel pride in our homeland but call out injustices and imperfections, in order to build an even better, brighter future.
Richard Hart: I like the part about the flaws and imperfections because I think that we’ve seen a number of people who are patriotic and blindly supportive and just figure that's how it's going to go regardless. And so the fact that there's some question, there's a realization that there are imperfections, I think that's sensible.
Me: So the question is, what is patriotism to you?
Justin Butler: Oh gosh. I’m going to think about that for a second. [Long pause] I’d say it’s always trying to do the right thing in consideration to where you're from and what you love.
Ike Walker: Wow! That is a big one! Oh, patriotism to me, is a love of your country. But not in the kind of, I hesitate using the word passion, but a kind of loving passion... if that makes sense. What I am trying to get at is that it's not a violent emotion; “my country is better than yours!” I think it’s just pride. To be an American, for example, or for whatever country. I think that’s what patriotism is, to me at least. Just a pride in the place that you live.
Justin Butler: I really, really like the notion of love of country and a loving type of passion that is not a violent emotion. It is not about being better than someone else or something else. But I do get a little wary of the notion of pride at times, just because I think that sometimes when we are overly prideful it leads us to the space of thinking that we are better than others. As opposed to just having that love of who we are and who each of us are within the bigger picture and why that’s important from a unification standpoint.
Aadya Kathuria: Patriotism to me is being proud of your country and also not- I don’t know, not being overly proud and not overlooking everything that’s wrong. It’s having spirit for your country and being able to recognize faults and what is wrong and being able to come to terms with those issues and not trying to block them out just because you love America. We need to learn to not accept the flaws, but work towards fixing them, helping us continue to grow and improve as a country.
Justin Butler: The biggest thing I take away from this response is working towards fixing things. I think a lot of times when we are in situations where there is a perceived issue or problem based off of whomever is perceiving it, right? There's something that's wrong when we spend so much time trying to figure out who is to blame for the thing that's wrong and talking about all the reasons we are going to blame whomever for that wrong, as opposed to looking for ways that we can collectively improve upon whatever the issue is to make a better place for everyone. So that's the part of it that- I do think it’s important for us to be realistic about certain issues that are there or certain sentiments or feelings that people have because those things are very real, but I do think there's a way to collaboratively work toward improvement.
Me: So the question is, what is patriotism to you?
Mr. Carey: Patriotism? Okay so I’m going to make a distinction between state and country, I think of those as two different things. So if I’m patriotic, it’s to the country and people as opposed to the government.
Morgan Arnold: Patriotism is not as much a series of actions as much as it is the expression of a belief. In this case a patriot is one who loves, believes in, and acts in, ways that benefit their country. So, flying a flag or partaking in fourth of July alone is not what makes one patriotic. Patriotism comes down to ones belief in their country, what it does, what it stands on, and what is stands for. No country is perfect right? But, a patriot knows that when they are being patriotic and are aware of both the good and bad of their country’s goals. Yes countries should be held accountable for being orientated towards bad things, but they can be orientated towards good too. The good of a country can only come from patriots moving the country in the right direction through expression of their patriotism. Like, say for example the American patriot who would express their patriotism by working in the rights and freedoms that they have within the country. So that’s where I think patriotism stems from. It’s not necessarily the individual acts that people could point to, um, but rather the heart of the people towards their nation. And it doesn’t- it doesn’t have to be blind. Patriotism can be very self aware. Who is it that says, “Who watches the watchers?”. [The representatives] who look over our country and look out for it’s safety, who watches them? The people, and the people who do what I described are patriots; which is required for patriotism to be productive. Such people cannot be blind… and cannot let their nation become something that is destructive. So I think it really stems, I suppose as I said, from the heart of the people towards their nation.
Mr. Carey: Yeah, so, for me I’m not sure I would define patriotism in terms of flying a flag, or celebrating a particular holiday. I guess for me, patriotism is an actionable thing in which you’re trying to put into practice the best ideals that the founding fathers had in mind. And even going back to the Declaration of Independence. To me, that is the most revolutionary document. Not only in terms of our own history but in terms of, almost world history. If you take the notion that all humans are created equal. That implies a certain belief in equality. Which implies an anti-racist attitude, an anti-classist attitude, an anti-sexist attitude, and I guess that comes closest to what I would define patriotism as. Perhaps it's about becoming the best people that we can be and in doing so becoming the best society that we can be.
Leah Beakey: Patriotism to me is being proud of what your country has accomplished, even when you're going through hard times. Patriotism is being confident that we can get through things even if we are having a hard time.
Mr. Carey: Yeah, I guess after reading these definitions, interpretations of patriotism, I guess I’m a reluctant patriot if you're asking me to be proud of what your country has accomplished. There are certain things I could certainly point to, but being a history teacher, I can’t ignore the genocide of Native Americans or the enslavement of African Americans, so I’m not sure I’m proud of that, just the opposite. I think being a patriot is taking your other sober realistic look at the history of the country. Yes, what we’ve been able to accomplish, the good things, but also to be able to come to grips with the darker sides of our history. And in doing so, not to wallow in a negative or the dark side but to realize that we still have agency and we’re still capable of making the changes that we want to see in our country to make it better. Maybe in the long run that's my definition of patriotism.
*** Me: So the question is, what is patriotism to you?
Mrs. Williams-McKnight: Okay, this may be a long-winded response. I probably interpret patriotism a little bit differently than what we tend to expect. Because when we think of it, the first things that come to our minds are all of the symbols: a flag, a salute, the military. It comes from the word pater, father, country, father country, you know, all that. When I was younger, I lived in South Africa for 3 years, and I was interested in dual citizenship. And even maybe, you know, just citizenship, period. I was young, in my twenties, and loved having a worldview like that, a global worldview. And it was when I began to study - I was also reading of other Americans who had gone abroad and things like that - and I want to say there were two people who came to mind: one was Denzel Washington, don’t laugh, but when I was in South Africa they were undergoing their first democratic elections ever, and he had gone to the country, you know, and was amazed at people’s dedication to voting, and dedication to standing in line. These were, you know, Black Africans- never in their lives had they had a chance, or their parents had never had a chance, and their parent’s parents had never had a chance, to vote and count in their country. And when he saw that dedication - and these were not just Blacks, but Blacks and Indians and what are called “mixed race” or “Coloreds” - they were just standing in lines. Hours, if it took, so that they could vote. And he was so impressed by that dedication to a larger cause. He compared that to being at home where at the time, people were kinda lackadaisical, you know. Yeah, they voted, they didn’t vote, whatever, right? Then, there’s another figure that comes to my mind - I promised you this was gonna be long-winded but I’ll bring it to an end - and it’s the poet Maya Angelou. She also had traveled the world in her life, and was asked to be the first Inaugural Poet for, I think it was President Clinton, and so when he had his inaugural ceremonies he asked a poet to read, and so she did that. Like, we know Amanda Gorman, well, it was Maya Angelou who did it for him. And in that poem- I don’t remember it by heart- but I do remember about how she was bringing in all this variety of what makes America America into the poem. At this very symbolic ceremony. And what she taught me was that, I don't have to think of patriotism as the traditional way of thinking of patriotism, I can think of it in a way that makes more sense to me. Right? So I still don’t go around saying “Hi, I’m patriotic,” you know what I mean? But what I do have is a deep appreciation for all the people and all the blood, all the lives it took to make this country happen. The ideals of a higher way of democracy for all, that happens here; we don’t live up to it but it is our ideal. And when I think of that, and I think of how my ancestors are part of that story by force and by, you know, choice when they became citizens of the country, you know, being African American, then that makes me swell with a kind of like, “I’m a part of this story.” Does that make sense? And I think that story is very complicated, and I don’t have a very black and white view of patriotism, you know what I mean?
Anne Kennedy: I think patriotism can be a positive or a negative thing. It’s interesting how the word has that type of duality to it. Some people hear the word patriotism and think, like, of the American civil war and confederacy and the wrong side of things or what our society perceives to be morally the wrong side of things. But then there's also this side of patriotism where it's an expression of nationalism or it's an expression of how you are passionate [about your country] and it can be a very good thing.
Anne Kennedy: I think patriotism is a topic that is definitely the cause of some pretty big arguments. [Those arguments can] corrupt a person's reasoning, again positively or negatively. Basically, there's a lot of- for me, let’s go personal, there's a lot of negativity surrounding patriotism. The idea [of patriotism], because it often goes hand in hand with politics nowadays and being proud of your country, when that country is America, is often difficult. [Patriotism is] somehow frowned upon by popular culture. I don’t appreciate that. You can focus on the positives of your country's history but you can also recognize the negatives and the absolutely horrible things that have happened, and still love your country for recovering from those or for actively working on them. I see a lot of people get into arguments with other people because they have specific views about their country, or displays of patriotism. Whether it should be expressive or something you just believe in your heart, and these people that get into these arguments completely overlook the millions of other aspects to that person as a whole. It’s easy to get caught up in a fundamental belief if you disagree but, I think that we should work on it. We should be able to just sit down at a table, disagree in a heated way, but then afterwards just accept that you're going to disagree, you're not going to come into a conclusion that you both love, maybe ever. And still recognize that everything about that person that you liked is still in them, have some patience.
Mrs. Williams-McKnight: I was struck by how it acknowledges that the word itself is a charged word, in our current political moment, because there is a kind of duality. In some people's minds you are patriotic or you are anti-American. To some people you are patriotic or you are anti-democratic, you know? It’s like a very charged thing, and I think it is true that we have to actually talk about what we mean when we say things. And I think it’s true that we have to accept that we are going to have divergent views about why we believe what we believe because, quite frankly, America was founded on that. It was not founded on everybody having one idea, right? And so throughout the generations that continues. When America gets it right is when we actually openly speak to these things and still understand that across the table from me is sitting someone who is my co-american, you know what I mean? And that if you stick to the higher ideals of what America could be- and I spend a lot of time thinking about what could be, right? That is going to move us forward. I agree that it goes hand in hand with politics and I don’t think that that’s incorrect. I think that that's just germaine to the idea of patriotism, it always has been, right? And you have to remember though, at the end of the day when you're sitting down at the table you’re sitting across a person. A human being. And we just happen to be born where we were born, our families happen to be here where they happen to be. I could have been born in Siberia. Well, probably not, but you know what I’m saying. This is where we are sharing space, right? This makes sense to me. The act of citizenship is more interesting to me and the act of citizenship is a, I guess, patriotic act, but what you’re talking about as you sit across a table and figure stuff out, that's an act of citizenship. I think that's how you figure out how to live in a shared country.
Why is Journalism Important?
“The purpose of journalism is not defined by technology, nor by journalists or the techniques they employ. Rather, the principles and purpose of journalism are defined by something more basic: the function news plays in the lives of people.” (Rossenwell, 32) The world is constantly changing. Journalism is the mechanism by which we observe the world. It allows people to view the world from other peoples’ perspectives. Journalism is empowering. It empowers people to make the right decisions, to vote, to change their opinions and views. It empowers people to grow. While important, journalism does have drawbacks. Journalism allows a free expression. which can lead to the spread of untruthful information. Fake news leads people to stop supporting companies, to vote in a certain way, and even can divide countries. Stephen Glass worked for the New Republic (an online magazine) from 1995-1998. Stephen believed the only way he could make it in the world of journalism was to fabricate stories. so that's what he did. He wrote 41 articles, and 36 of them were proven to be fake. Stephen spread lies about politics, racist cab drivers, and career damaging quotes about politicians. How an author presents a story can shape culture. Journalism can change a society. New York Times authors Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan, published a story about a school in South Africa. Two boys had drowned in pit toilets (a hole in the ground), the two journalists investigate. The journalist went to check out the schools, the failing education system, and what led to the two boys' deaths. The article implacates South Africa's Deputy President, David Mabuza, who had embezzled millions of dollars that was supposed to go to the school, on himself. Not even ten days after the article was published, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a new sanitation program for the school. These examples are just a fraction of journalism that has changed people's lives.