The Prism: Every Side of the Story

Lilli Article

This is the weirdest of times. That may not be the most glamorous way to put it, but nothing about the COVID-19 pandemic is. Nothing about it is normal. It is the perfect virus. It attacks silently but quickly and leaves you breathless. As a nerdy, soon to be pre-med student in college, even the structure of the virus is “perfect” with its crown-like shape, almost ironic in that it shows you that it can even attack the highest status of people. Kids say these are “textbook times”: an era our kids will be learning about in the years to come. This moment in our lives will follow us, and haunt us, to ensure that we make the most of our time on this planet. It shows us how important being social is for human beings, and that we can barely survive without human interaction. Besides the virus attacking our lungs, it has the utmost power to destroy our mental health. 

While the entire world seems to have shut down, the entertainment industry has been upheld through shows being shot in the living rooms of some of our favorite celebrities. You hear people on TV asking famous people how they are doing. The simple answer is “You know, we are just trying to hang in there.” All of us are just trying to hang in there. If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it has been that a virus does not discriminate. The people we so look up to and put on a pedestal have been brought back down to earth like the rest of us. People like Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon have to work with their kids jumping up and down around them. They have to endure the same things that us “normal” or “average” people are enduring. Yet, they have the ability to continue to reach their large audiences to depict that this is serious, and that everyone needs to stay home. This pandemic has humbled our world, who had become so caught up in the idea of classes and money. Right now, none of the material or social things matter. What matters is that we band together and stay inside, and if this virus has not proven that celebrities are real people and are just as likely to get sick as we are, I am not sure what will. This virus does not pick and choose its targets. It goes for whatever is in sight. So at a time like this, we need to remember that human beings are just human beings, and no race, gender, or sexuality changes that. 

My friend had the Coronavirus. He is turning 18 on May 8th, and when the country began shutting down, so did he. When he felt sick, he immediately knew it was not strep or the flu. He just felt different. He was one of the first 1000 detected cases in New York. He had it for about a week and a half, and it was a week and a half of hell. He had bizarre fever dreams that kept his body from moving from his bed. The virus made its way throughout his home, and his mother and father contracted it not long after him. 

We do not know what will happen. We do not know if the people that already had it are immune to getting it again. There is currently no vaccine, and one doesn’t seem to be coming soon. People are restless and feel lonely, like we are living in some twisted version of the movie “Groundhog’s Day.” Each morning I wake up, brush my hair and teeth, go to online class, fit in some sort of exercise, and repeat every day. Life has become predictable in such an unpredictable period of time. It is fascinating, and I think about it constantly. One day, people will be asking us questions about that time in our lives when we were quarantined in our homes for months in fear of a quickly spreading virus. What will you be able to say? Will you express what you learned and focus on the positive aspects of this insanity? Or will you only think of the negatives that have come from being locked inside? For me, I know what a chunk of time I am missing out on. Senior prom, a trip to Ireland, graduation, and maybe even the first semester of my Freshman year at Tulane. But I am trying, just the like rest of humanity, to get through it and come out stronger than I went in. 

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The Coronavirus epidemic has taken a massive toll on people, but also families as a whole. People are built on habits and how we live our lives on a daily basis. This virus has stopped people’s daily activities and forced us to quarantine and stay home for months. Families have been forced to spend more time with one other. This extra time spent together could be a positive as it is a bonding experience, however, it could also be a negative because it could cause more conflict.

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In Lawrence Woodmere Academy sports is a majority of the schools’ spirit and culture. In the schools sports, there is a difference between the number of boys participants in sports and the number of participants in girls sports. The girls divisions of sports usually has a much harder time at recruiting players than the boys division.

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Most people are conscious of the substantial wage gap between men and women. On average, for every dollar a man earns, a woman makes earns only seventy cents for that same job. However, an important aspect of the wage gap that a bulk of people are not informed about, is that race also factors into the wage gap.

The comparative rate between how much a woman makes for the amount that a man earns is the same for how much a white man earns compared to how much a black man earns for that same job. According to TIME Magazine, that is twenty-one dollars for the white man and fifteen for a black man.

There are various and controversial reasons for the difference in pay. One of those reasons according to The Atlantic is, “The persistent inequality of educational opportunities (of African Americans).” Without there being the same level of education, employers are not paying for the same level of work, which in turn means that employees get paid less.

Another contributing factor to the difference of pay is, “The result is a black populace that tends to earn lower wages, which keeps the cycle going.” Without being able to break away and earn more, the amount they earn will remain constant rather of increasing as it should.

Initiatives that can be taken to prevent the continuation of the wage gap are to combat poor levels of education and to fight back against unfair hiring practices that are carried about by some companies due to certain biases. All aspects of wage gaps between all people are unacceptable, all people regardless of race and gender deserve to get paid all the same for the work the preform.

HOTTER THAN A CRUCIBLE


There aren’t words to describe Hadestown! I saw it right before it opened and my first reaction was that I wanted to go see it again! For the uninitiated, Hadestown is an original musical by Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 / The Royal: A Play in Six Rounds) based on the myths of Hades and Persephone, and Orpheus and Eurydice. But what makes it so good?  

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Students of the class of 2019 announced their college decisions to the whole Upper School on National Decision Day, May 1st. On this day, every senior going to college makes his or her deposit for the college of their choice. This was a big day for every senior and even a big day for the underclassmen,  giving them a glimpse of their future.

The seniors dressed in their college apparel or printed out the name of their college to present to the upper school and show their school pride. This event is extremely important as it recognizes the hard work of all the seniors. It also gives the underclassmen a chance not only to appreciate their classmates, but also to inspire them to work hard and look forward to senior year.

The event was exciting for both seniors and underclassmen. Allison Siegel (CO 2019) said that it was “really nice to see everyone so happy.” She added, “Going through this process we all really have to help each other and I think that being able to help each other and then seeing the product of all the hard work was really a special experience.” Another senior, Patrick Smith (CO 2019) shared this view by saying, “It was a great experience to see the achievements of my classmates and being able to celebrate what we (CO 2019) have all worked for.”

Not only was the experience a nice recognition for the seniors it was also beneficial to the underclassmen of the school as well. According to Josie Cannon (CO 2021) the college decisions assembly was “a nice reveal to see where everyone is going to college.” Cannon also added that it “shows that hard work pays off.”

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The United States faces a major issue with gun control, or the lack thereof. This issue has not gone away, mainly because of the lobbying of politicians.The National Rifle Association “and its affiliates spent a record $54m to secure Republican control of the White House and Congress, including at least $30.3m to help elect Donald Trump” (The Guardian).

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Talk of college admissions has reached national news recently as big universities and celebrities have been involved in a college admissions scandal. The U.S Department of Education has recently launched an investigation of UCLA, USC, Yale, and other universities due to fraudulent acceptances into these top colleges. Also involved in this scandal are many wealthy individuals who pay the schools an absurd amount of money for their child’s college acceptance. While both celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been involved in this scandal, about 50 other people have been charged with fraudulently influencing admissions. Together, those charged with these crimes paid a whopping 25 million dollars to William Rick Singer, a man who manipulates test scores and bribes universities to get the children of his clients into top colleges. However, with a scandal like this, it is important to look at all the socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages, with respect to the college admissions process and attending college.

It's no secret that the wealthy have an easier time with the college process. Regarding test scores, the wealthy have access to better prep books, tutors, and more tests, as all of these steps in the standardized testing process together cost a large sum of money. As for college admissions, applying to college is an expensive feat as well. Generally speaking, college application fees are around 50 dollars each, and it is becoming increasingly popular to apply to 5 to 10 colleges, sometimes even 15. Wealthy parents also have a leg up in terms of boosting their children’s applications because they have the means to send their kids to summer programs, pay for tutors, and cover the costs of expensive extracurricular activities that are appealing to college admissions offices. Sometimes wealthy parents pay for a special admissions counselor, which is another added cost that less fortunate parents simply cannot pay for. All of these costs add up, and they add up quickly. Even after being accepted into college, the real disadvantage comes with paying tuition. Private universities like USC and Yale cost 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year without aid. With financial aid, these schools still cost around 30 thousand dollars. These figures simply are just not an option for poor and middle-class families. Even if their children apply to state schools, with cheaper in-state tuition, it is still very expensive and requires the student to take out student loans. UCLA in-state tuition is around 12 thousand dollars, which can still break the bank for families when adding up with the cost of all college prep and admissions materials, and the cost of things like textbooks and other school supplies. The majority of families have multiple children, and are still looking at around 30 thousand dollars annually even if they have just 2 kids. This is only an outline of the kind of money colleges require these days, even for just admission to their university. It is clear wealthy parents have a leg up.

While the scandal is far from a typical college admissions experience, it still highlights the inevitable advantage that rich families have. It brings to light the lengths colleges go to for an extra 50 thousand dollars, and exposes the ever growing competitiveness of college admissions. When surveying this larger than life scandal, it is important to notice the real life aspects of the college admissions process, and the disadvantages of the poor and middle-class when it comes to getting their children an education.

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The popularity of makeup is a phenomenon used by people worldwide, regardless of age, gender or who they are. People  use it and apply it on their faces for various reasons, whether it is to express themselves, cover a blemish, or to boost their self-confidence. It has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years, with social media makeup trends coming in and out weekly. Social media icons such as James Charles and Kylie Jenner’s have made makeup’s popularity soar even more. It is no secret that the makeup business is at an all time high but the makeup business isn’t as inclusive as it should be. People of darker complexions constantly  find themselves limited in foundation shades and brands they can purchase from.

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The PRISM Press

The PRISM Press is the student written, edited, and published newspaper of Lawrence Woodmere Academy © 2019