Reflecting on the Day of Silence
By Clara Alger ‘22
In 1966, students at the University of Virginia organized a Day of Silence as a way to raise awareness about the ways in which LGBTQ+ people in schools are silenced. Day of Silence is now held on April 12 at colleges and high schools all over the U.S. The Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, GLSEN, organizes the day nationally. According to GLSEN, “more than 8 out of 10 LGBTQ+ students still experience harassment at school each year because of their sexual orientation and 6 in 10 because of their gender expression.”
GA has been observing Day of Silence for around ten years. J Fassler ‘20, a leader of SAGA, says, “Day of Silence for me is a protest, and (in the most ironic way) a way to get the conversation started.” They also point out that “anyone can participate regardless of orientation or gender.” Students and faculty are able to participate by staying silent or by getting a supporter sticker. There are also boxes with notecards on which people can write to “break their silence” by reflecting on the issues that people in our community face.
This year a new activity was added to Day of Silence at GA: a Break the Silence lunch. Ms. Krouse, one of the faculty advisors of SAGA, reported that “our lunch meeting this year to Break the Silence led to one of SAGA’s livelier and more interesting discussions.” Tara Babal ‘20, another leader of SAGA, says that during the lunch they were able to “tell Mr. Schellhas what we could do to help make the GA community more supportive and more open.” Students also talked about the idea of having a Day of Noise next year on the Monday following Day of Silence. J explains it would be a day “in which we teach about LGBTQ+ people in every subject and show just how many important people and how many important ideas and discoveries we lose when we silence LGBTQ+ voices.”
Ms. Krouse believes GA has made progress. She says, “In my view, it has become more of an accepted tradition. I think that says a lot.” And, with the prospect of a Day of Noise, there’s more progress to come. Tara highlights why this is so important to better our GA community: “We’re thinking about it, we’re talking about it, this is important, it’s not just something to sweep under the rug.”
Recap of the Government Shutdown
Caroline Paik ‘20 & Jonathan Fineman ‘20
The government shutdown that arose from a disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over border security will go down in the record books as the longest Government Shutdown in U.S history. Beginning on December 22, 2018, and ending January 25, 2019, the shutdown lasted a total of 35 days until a temporary spending bill was passed through Congress and signed by the president.
Originally, President Trump had agreed to compromise on December 18, 2018, to a spending bill without money for his border wall. However, on December 19, 2018, he changed course and demanded that, within the appropriation bill* to fund the government in the coming year, $5.7 million would go towards constructing a 21-mile wall along the Mexican border, one of his key 2016 presidential campaign promises. However, under the leadership of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats were unified in refusing to support the President’s efforts. After he rejected the compromise bill that had passed through the Senate, Trump ordered House GOP leaders to pass a spending bill that included money for his border wall. The law passed through the House on December 20, 2018, and was sent to the Senate, where it was defeated by a unified Democratic opposition. Though the Democrats had offered to allot $1.3 billion towards continuing current funding of border security, they did not believe that a border wall would be an effective use of money. A last attempt at compromise failed again, which led to the government shut down.
As a result of the shutdown, many federal agencies were closed, including the Environment Protection Agency, The Food and Drug Administration, Health and Human Services, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Moreover, 380,000 non-critical federal employees were placed on “furlough,” meaning that they were sent home unpaid and out of work. Furloughed employees faced challenges such as providing for their families during the shutdown due to the loss of their main sources of income.
The shutdown ended on January 25, 2019, when the House of Representatives agreed on reopening the government for three weeks. During these three weeks, the House plans on negotiating an appropriation bill that both parties will agree on.
*Note from the Editors: An appropriation bill is a piece of proposed legislation that establishes what the government may spend money on and how much they may spend. Appropriation bills are typically necessary in order for the government to spend money.
Sources Used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdowns_in_the_United_States, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/government-shutdown-faq/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.78231ec90530, https://www.thebalance.com/government-shutdown-3305683
Beyond the Pink / Why We Wear Pink
Jade Dohner and Christina Nguyen ‘21
Each October, countries all over the world come together in support of breast cancer awareness. Many people across the world take part in walks, donate and raise money, or wear something as small as a pink ribbon to show their solidarity. But what does it mean to wear pink? Long regarded as a feminine color, the pink ribbon has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness. The first Komen Race for the Cure logo design depicted a female runner outlined in a pink ribbon. Pink ribbons were distributed to survivors and participants of the Komen New York City Race for the Cure, solidifying the symbol’s widespread use today. The need to be aware of breast cancer is widely recognized and supported because of how many people and families are and will potentially become affected by breast cancer.
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Although breast cancer publicity revolves mainly around women, in rare occurrences men too can contract the illness. The American Cancer Society estimates that 2500 men will develop breast cancer this year, resulting in 480 deaths. They also estimate that 330,080 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, of which 40,920 will be unable to beat the disease. Because of this large percentage, new research -- funded not only by government grants but also by public and private donations -- is constantly being conducted to fight for a cure.
Aside from the well-known method of detecting breast cancer through a mammogram, there is a lesser-known, relatively new option called scintimammography, in which a slightly radioactive drug, known as a tracer, is injected into the vein. The tracer attaches to cancer cells which can then be detected by a special camera. Because the tracer can be injected in specific spots, it is more effective than traditional x-ray mammography at locating the cancer. Other breakthroughs in cancer research include the ability to more effectively determine the spread of cancer cells in the bloodstream, known as CTC, or circulating tumor cells. The ability to detect CTC allows doctors to determine sooner whether the cancer is metastatic or spreading.
The growing motivation and support to find a cure has allowed researchers to make impressive strides in cancer research, and the greater awareness has motivated more women to go for annual breast cancer check-ups. Check-ups are imperative so that the cancer can be detected and treated as soon as possible. Although October is recognized as breast cancer awareness month, we must support the cause year-round, and understand the true reasons beyond the pink.
How to Use the E-dition!
By: Jakob Slifker ‘20
This past month, the staff of The Edition launched a brand new website for the newspaper, called The E-dition. The product of months of planning and design by the Editors-in-Chief, layout editors, and blog editors of the Edition, the E-dition was created as an online platform for the student body to read news, enjoy new online content, and find information about clubs and events on campus. The E-dition has articles from the print versions of the Edition, as well as new articles written exclusively for the site. It also features the brand new “Humans of GA” and “Overheard” sections. In “Humans of GA,” the Edition staff interviews various members of the GA community, who share their stories and perspectives on GA and life in general. In “Overheard,” students are asked to submit various comical or notable quotation they hear around GA. Both of these sections live under the “Special Features” section of The E-dition.
One of the main purposes of The E-dition is to limit the volume of school-wide emails and morning meeting announcements in order to streamline the dissemination and access of information about clubs and events. Through the announcement board on the main page of The E-dition, as well as on the “Clubs and Announcements” page, students can find information about upcoming events, due dates for applications, and clubs meeting throughout the week. The E-dition provides a platform to which clubs or organizations can submit their announcements to be processed and uploaded by Edition staff on a very short turnaround. Also listed on the announcement board are the week’s sports events so that any student can see at a glance when and where they can support their favorite GA team.
A Walk Through the Archives
By Harry Hou ‘21
Germantown Academy’s history spans over two hundred fifty years, and many traditions, memories, and stories have been intertwined throughout many generations. While much of GA’s past has traveled through word of mouth, the archives play an instrumental role in its collection and preservation. Dr. Rabuck manages the archives - 2019 marks his eighth year of doing so - which sit behind the Honickman Auditorium. The archives hold a multitude of objects and documents. The original archives resembled a bank safe, and once stored artifacts and documents, such as land deeds and report cards from the nineteenth century. A rack across from the original archive contains antiquated collections of yearbooks and class collages. Inside each book, decorated pages of class photos (in black and white), senior pages, and grades from past students blend together and capture some of the stories from each year. Various objects sit on another shelf to the right the the rack of books. The left side of the shelf displays an original cannonball from the war during the early years of GA and a plaque of the school seal, originally created by Headmaster William Kershaw. On the right side of the shelf, ornaments from Japan, China, and Croatia illustrate GA’s connection to foreign schools through past student exchange programs. Additionally, many paintings, ranging from portraits to depictions of dinosaurs, are scattered across the room and have remained untouched for many years after being taken down. On the right side of the room behind a doorway “the vault” secures important documents. Boxes of full of business-related documents, kept for a period of time before being destroyed, lie on one side of the room while an array of cabinets line up against the other side of the wall. Each cabinet includes various types of files such as transcripts, deeds, and other important documents, organized for safekeeping. Several years ago, a Chinese teacher gifted the oldest artifact inside the archives, a piece of paper money from the Yuan Dynasty. Furthermore, the vault also stores the original land deed from the first location of GA, containing seals of important trustees as well as Joseph Galloway, one of the members of the founding board. In recent years, an influx of new artifacts has entered the archives, highlighting the increasing importance of preserving information. Dr. Rabuck plans to increase awareness of the archives in the coming years through possible initiatives such as displaying more from the archives, and he welcomes other students interested in learning more to explore the archives with him.
Deadly Polar Vortex
By Maddie Gamburg ‘21 and Jenna Rothenstein’ 21
Across the northern United States, temperatures have dropped from cold to frigid due to the recent polar vortex. A polar vortex is a collection of powerful winds very high up in the atmosphere that carries freezing cold air locked around the polar region during winter. This year, the polar vortex split into two different sections, bringing the chilliest weather in decades to areas in the midwest of the United States, especially Chicago, Illinois. On January 23rd, this record-breaking polar vortex left Chicago about ten degrees colder than Antarctica. At least twenty-one people have passed away, and many others have had frostbite, heart attacks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even broken bones due to this extremely frigid weather. These plunging temperatures bring a risk of hypothermia and frostbite for people who usually spend their days out in the cold, especially mailmen, construction workers, and the homeless.
The recent polar vortex may be another sign of climate change. Even though the temperatures dropped to below freezing, this extreme temperature is related to the increasing global temperature, and this trend is continuing. Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting and atmospheric and environmental research at Verisk, a data analytics company, said “Even in a warming world you can still have extreme cold.” In the Arctic, the climate change rate has become two to three times faster than the average global rate of climate change. Scientists are able to link this Arctic warming to the recent polar vortex. These scientists discovered a strong link between the extremely warm arctic temperatures and the brutal winter weather in the U.S. A polar vortex is distinguished as the mass of low-pressure cold air that surrounds Earth’s stratosphere located above the arctic and antarctic. These masses normally stay put, but due to the weakening of the air pressure system, the brutally cold air can drift southward. Many researchers are linking this issue to the warming of the arctic, and, since the temperatures are rising faster than the rest of the planet, the differences in temperature between the arctic and the rest of the continents is constantly decreasing. Researchers also noted that the primary cause for the increasing temperature trend and the melting ice in the arctic have to do with the concept of the polar vortex. The polar vortex will start to show up more frequently as the rate of climate change increases due to how the warm Artic and Antartic temperatures are the primary cause of the recent weather that we have seen.