The Hawk's Eye

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Your Social Media News Outlet

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People often speak about how the internet “changed everything” with regards to the free flow of information. While this is true, it was not until Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media networks became popularized that the flow of information really changed. Before this happened, people just got their news from CNN, NBC, and Fox, or read the online versions of these or popular newspapers or magazines like The New York Times or USA Today. When social media became more readily available to people, people shifted from actually visiting these websites on their own to relying on seeing a link to a story from one of these websites on their Facebook feeds or completely excluding traditional news outlets from their lives. There is no doubt that traditional media has taken a hit from the rise of social media.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing for media consumers. Now, instead of relying on just a few news sources, it is easy to read and rely on many different ones. People are now able to read articles from independent, smaller news sites and ones that have a wider array of opinions. While, yes, reading 140 characters on Twitter does not give a reader a nuanced look on a topic and can cause many misreadings due to a lack of ability to explain oneself, there are many other outlets where longform journalism and articles can be shown and expressed. Youtube is a great example; it allows for essentially as long a video as one wants to be uploaded. It would seem that overall social media has led to a freer society, in which information can be openly shared and transferred.

So, why the cause for concern? It seems that lately everyone has been talking about so called “Fake News” and its influence on society. There is some truth to this. With great freedom comes great responsibility and people who are going to prey upon those who are not capable of such responsibility. Due to the internet being so free, consumers of news media must be wary of fake news articles. These have essentially existed since the beginning of news. Untrue rumors are nothing new, but they have found a special home on the Internet. The reason being that the money generated from news comes from ad revenue, the more people that see the ad on the page the more money the news site makes from the advertisement company. More clicks equals more money. This opens the door to clickbait titles like “You Won’t Believe what Hillary Clinton Did To This Baby” or “Donald Trump Pees on 12 Russian Hookers”, the latter being an article that Buzzfeed ran only a week ago. Some of these titles are dishonest to what the actual article is about and just aims to get the reader to click and end up being disappointed, but others are true to what the story is. However, many of these stories are fabricated, like the Buzzfeed one.

On the other hand, it is important not to be fooled by the term, “Fake News”, as it comes from old, outdated, biased, mainstream media. Yes, it is true that there are blatantly false news stories out there, but it is not especially hard to sift through the crap in order to find real news, so I find it highly unlikely that too many people are being manipulated by “Fake News”. In addition beginning to label certain news as “fake” opens up a whole new can of worms. Who decides it is fake? How do we know it is fake? Who is stopping anybody else from calling real news fake whenever they want to? It seems that this term was really created for old media to grapple with the fact that irrelevancy is coming sooner and sooner by the day. All in all, social media has allowed for the people to have better not worse control over the media they observe. They have more options, better options, and more honesty. Social media will no doubt be an important part of every American and likely every person’s news because it allows for more truth it is an extension of Western liberty.

Filed under Opinions, Showcase

Women’s March

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The Women’s March on January 21, 2017 sent a strong message to President Trump that many were concerned with his rhetoric and policy plans. The Women’s March movement spawned from a Facebook post by Teresa Shook of Hawaii just after Mr. Trump’s election. Though it is a ‘Women’s March,’ marchers are taking to the streets for a variety of reasons. Some are marching to promote LGBTQ rights, others for workers, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, and many other issues.

Over five million people around the world participated in the march. Washington D.C. had the largest turnout of more than 470,000 people. Attendance in New York City was more than 400,000, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. Attendance in Boston was 175,000, according to Nicole Caravella, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The Bay Area also had a strong showing with over 60,000 marchers in Oakland and over 100,000 in San Francisco.

During the march, both male and female marchers could be seen wearing pink “pussy hats” complete with cat ears as a unique visual statement. The collective use of these hats was a unifier among those who view the new President as a misogynist.   

Additionally, celebrity speakers such as Scarlett Johansson, Madonna, Michael Moore, and Alicia Keys were among the thousands activists that came out to support the march. A great quote by America Ferrera summarizes some of the ideals that the march was fighting for: “It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country, But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay.”

Signs and phrases like “Get your Tiny Hands off my Body”, “Women Rights are Human Rights”, “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance”, and “You are not my President” could be seen at rallies held for the Women’s March. These signs motivate the demonstrators and represent their cause.

Although this was a massive turnout for the Women’s March, their goal is not close to being completed.  They have a campaign to do “10 actions for the first 100 days”.  The goal is to have a separate action every 10 days for the next 100 days to promote issues that matter to their individual supporters.  The first action is to, “Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you- and how you’re going to continue to fight for it.” They will continue to post new actions on their website in the weeks ahead. As it says on their website, “our march forward doesn’t end here.” 

Top Albums of 2016

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  1. Black Star-David Bowie

“Black Star” is truly a masterpiece. As we all know, David Bowie passed away this year and this album is essentially the story of his battle with cancer and reconciliation with death. I am uncertain that there has been an album made by a dying man and released after his death. This album is possibly the most heart wrenching and possibly one of the best albums in the last decade. David Bowie has delivered one of the best musical swan songs in history.

 

  1. Coloring Book-Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” is a fantastic follow up to 2011’s Acid Rap.  It seems that Chance has really matured as there is a clear improvement on the production.  Chance beautifully blends gospel music and contemporary hip-hop.  However, it was slightly disappointing to see that Chance chose to go with more generic features on his album.  Instead of Ab-Soul and Twista, who were featured in Acid rap, his features in this album were Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. Despite this, Chance seems to have gotten the best out of his features. This album is great.

 

  1. untitled unmastered.-Kendrick Lamar

2015’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” was highly acclaimed, so following it up is a challenge. While this is not a new album in the same way, it seems “untitled unmastered.” is a continuation of the “To Pimp A Butterfly” era. The album is for all intents and purposes is a B-sides album. The cuts on the record are rough around the edges, but for the patient listener are worth it. It is truly amazing to see that even when Kendrick is not “trying” persay he is making better rap than most others out there.

 

  1. 4 Your Eyez Only-J. Cole

Once again J. Cole has tried to go double platinum with no features and he very well could be successful. “4 Your Eyez Only” embraces the modern jazz rap sound that has become so popular over the last few years. J. Cole delivers some great pop rap tracks, while also tackling some heavy topics. This album is a great successor to 2014’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive”.

 

  1. Views-Drake

Drake, while not delivering anything groundbreaking, has delivered another album ripe with hits. He exercises the same R&B/ Rap sound we are used to from him. However, unlike “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” the album focuses less on rap and more singing. There’s a reason the 6 God is held to such high mainstream acclaim and this album is a perfect reason why.

 

Split Movie Review

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The Last Airbender is often a film that one would associate with director M. Night Shyamalan and not in a good way. Known for his out-of-nowhere plot twists, Shyamalan is back with another movie: Split, the story of a man with twenty-three different personalities who abducts 3 teenage girls, but little do they know, his twenty-fourth personality is about to be unleashed. I had the opportunity to see an early screening of this movie with my brother, Elliot Farinaro, at Regal Hacienda Crossings in Dublin. Elliot got the tickets for free and said that there was a sixty percent chance that they were actually legit; luckily, they were indeed real. When we got to the theater, we were given a poster of the movie and directed toward the theater. When we walked in, the entire theater was filled, so we were forced to sit in the second row. We then waited about ten minutes, and a man came out and told us that we were not allowed to video or take pictures during the film, especially because it was an early screening. This proceed with a video of M. Night Shyamalan talking about how excited he was to show the film, and he kindly asked that we don’t spoil Split for anyone else who hasn’t seen it. After this, the film started. I have very mixed emotions about Split because although it doesn’t have the strong, satisfying ending that I was hoping for, it has unbelievable cinematography and superb acting, specifically from James McAvoy, who plays Kevin, and all the personalities inside him, and Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays Casey Cooke, one of the girls abducted. I would give Split a B, meaning that if you are in the mood for a thriller, go ahead and see it, but if not, don’t go out of your way to watch Split.

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What is Challenge Success?

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As we continue to move towards a more competitive business model in the world, it is important to take a step back and consider when this drastic change occurred. Being competitive is seen as a trait in the workplace, but has been seen to have less than desirable effects on people causing stress, integrity issues, and much more. So, if it’s such a bad thing, where did this drive begin, and how can we fix the problem before it gets out of hand? A lot of these emotional and academic problems can be found in students across the nation. In response to these developmental issues affecting children, a dream team of child developmental specialists met at Stanford University to hash out solutions to this growing problem. During the conference, groups dreamt up a coordinated action plan for schools and families struggling with the health of their students and children, this plan would push schools to implement alternative success models approved by and aligned with child development specialists.
It is from this original meeting that three concerned individuals got together and developed Challenge Success. Madeline Levine, Ph.D., Jim Lobdell, M.A., and Denise Pope, Ph.D., expanded on the ideas of the original project at Stanford University to create their own business, now known as Challenge Success. Through Challenge Success, these individuals have strived to implement practical curriculum, conferences, and programs all aimed at helping the education community.
Their mission, as found on their website, states that: “Challenge Success partners with schools and families to provide kids with the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed now and in the future.” They believe that by following a narrow definition of success, as we are currently doing at the School, does not allow for all students to thrive and only provides a narrow skillset. For the last 12 years, Challenge Success has helped push educators to implement systems that foster elements of the student that are typically not valued in more than 130 middle and high schools across the nation. Traits like creativity, collaborative skills, and thinking on your feet are just some of the many areas in which Challenge Success wishes to focus on and cultivate in students. They state that all of their solutions and programs are research-based and are all aimed at helping to improve the health of students while increasing their motivation.
In response to the implication of Challenge Success at the School, a student committee was put together to better connect the decisions made by Challenge Success and students’ opinions on the matter. The committee is comprised of two upper school students: Xena Wolf, class of 2017, and Andrew Burwick, class of 2018. When asked about what he believes Challenge Success is, Burwick stated, “Challenge Success offers new insight in defining success for high school students all across the world. At Head-Royce, we are looking to combat the students’ workload, mental and physical health, extracurricular schedule and more in order to bring a more balanced and healthy high school experience to students of all ages at the school. Part of what we are doing is making sure that students daily concerns are heard by the faculty in order to facilitate a more dynamic and healthy Head-Royce experience.” Overall, it will be interesting to follow the developments of the relationship between Challenge Success and the School as they unfold.

Filed under Showcase, Sports

Fan Recruitment

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During sports games, many students come out to watch our School’s teams. However, we should be wondering is how to get more people to the sports games. The spirit masters have taken responsibility of recruiting fans to games into their own hands. There are many different ways that students can find out about sports games. For examples, the spirit masters have many different social media accounts that they use to broadcast messages to the students. Some of the social media sites that they use include Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail, and Facebook. However, information about sports games are also announced during Monday Morning Meeting, Thursday Morning Meeting, and at the start of Assembly. Just this past week, we were told that there was going to be a tennis match and a volleyball game on the upcoming Saturday. The students were told this information through the morning meeting announcements. However, students could also find information about these events through the social media sites that the spirit masters are on. One student’s, Junior Wyatt Clancy said, “I heard about the volleyball game through Snapchat”. Snapchat is a very dominant media source for students so it is no surprise that Clancy heard about the game through it.

The spirit masters started to use social media as a primary source to educate students on school events. For example, each grade has a Facebook group where people can post messages about upcoming events. Even though these groups are separated by each grade, the students in each group get notified about events. Furthermore, each of the grades deans sends out grade wide emails updating students on events that are coming up in the near future. Just this last week Mr. Scott send out a variety of emails letting the 11th grade know about when and where the volleyball games were going to be held.

Fan recruitment does not just stop at this, the spirit masters have an Instagram account that posts pictures of sports teams with information about where the game is and at what time it starts. Finally, there are constant posts on Snapchat stories during the actual sporting games that can get students to come. During a game, there are usually a large amount of students posting pictures and videos on their Snapchat stories. When other students see these Snapchat stories they see how much fun the game is going and will want to attend. By doing this the students are spreading the news about the game to students.

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Blind Date Stereotypes

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Womens Soccer

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Well, it is about time for the women’s soccer season to start. At the School, we take pride in all of our sports and women’s soccer is no different. Men’s soccer had a great season, and that has done nothing but contribute to interest and excitement about most of the other sports at the School. The success of the men’s soccer team will likely bring a lot of momentum into Coach Miottel’s consecutive soccer season. The approaching season is no doubt exciting for the seniors on the team as it will, of course, be their final season on the team. These seniors include: Madeline Dyke, Ruthie DeWitt, Lauren McCormack, Bea Rose, Madeira T, Kathryn T, and Isabel Wrubel. Seniors of every sports team are tasked with leadership roles and the women’s soccer team is no different. The rest of the team consists of Essemena Atherton in 10th grade, Maclaine Bamburger in 10th grade, Anya Batra in 10th grade, Sophia Cavalieri in 10th grade, Joanna Fisch in 10th grade, Dana Gillis in 11th grade, among others. The seniors of the team will be tasked with being the moral and physical leaders of this bunch, not an easy task given the strength of competition at the varsity level. One concern for the soccer team ever since it has moved from the spring to winter season has been rain. Already this winter, there has been plenty of rain. Getting practices in can be difficult; in addition, games often get rained out at the last minute. When this happens, it becomes difficult to stay focused and interested over the season because the team is not getting game experience and the practices get canceled. Although it is still possible to get individual practice, the team cannot develop chemistry because the field is often too wet to play. Regardless, the players and coaches must stay focused and play through wonky practice times and difficult weather. “It’s looking good, for the first week” says Junior Dana Gillis. “Everyone has been getting along really well.” Good luck to the women’s soccer team on what will hopefully be a super exciting and successful season

Microfinance Club Loans

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Clubs are an important part of the School’s academic culture, and Microfinance Club is no different.  Microfinance is a source of financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses lacking access to banking and related services in the form of micro loans. Micro loans are relatively small amounts of money that have little to no interest. Senior Maddi Thayer, one of the presidents of the Microfinance club, says that the purpose of the club is to “choose people to make those micro loans to, through something called Kiva, which then helps the people do the most they can do and later pay us back.” Kiva is an international nonprofit organization, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco with a mission to connect people through lending loans to people for their interests. They celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.  The School’s Microfinance club has been around for quite some time; Thayer said, “We started a really long time ago, so I don’t know how we started. It’s been going on for like ten years.” With a mysterious past, but a bright future, the School’s Microfinance Club is filled with dedicated members. With over $700 loaned, Microfinance has been very successful in their goal to “make good investments” and play a role in helping other people’s goals.  With a club that is based off of money and loans, one would think there would be profit, or interest in the loans that they give.  However, “it is a charity club, even though a lot of people don’t know that.”  Each of the club’s loans range from $25-$100.  The club is very unique in Microfinance, within the program Kiva, because they raise and loan money as a group and not as individuals, which is the most common way to give micro loans. In the bigger picture, the club wants to expand inside and outside the School.  In addition, Junior Belinda Tucker says that their “ goal is to branch out from just Kiva, and find new ways to help out the community.”  Finding a positive way to impact the community has always been the goal of the School, and the Microfinance club has found a way to impact the School’s clubs, and, hopefully overtime, impact Oakland. “We want to help people, and as many people as we can.” If anyone wants to join Microfinance club, it meets on Tuesdays in the Institute.

From The Wishing Wall

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Why Did Trump Win?

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  Donald Trump shocked many when he won the presidential election. He came into the Republican primaries as an underdog, became the Republican nominee for president, and overcame even bigger odds when he won the presidential election against Hillary Clinton. In fact, Nate Silver, a prominent statistician and writer, gave Trump a 28% chance to win the election on his website FiveThirtyEight; even that number was significantly higher than many preliminary polls. The big question that many are asking is, “How did Trump win?” What demographics did Trump appeal to that gave him the edge in those important swing states? Through statistics gathered from a number of (mostly) unbiased news sources, I will attempt to shed some light on these questions. Keep in mind that extrapolations from the data are speculative–there are still many unanswered questions There is no one right answer, but the facts stated in this article would be crucial in gaining a better understanding of how Trump won.

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-48-32-amFirstly, Trump appealed to white, non-college educated voters.

Among them, there was a +39 point margin of support towards Trump, compared to only +25 points towards Romney last election. Thus, there was a huge shift of non- or partially-college educated white voters towards Trump. This shift may have helped Trump win many key swing states, such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, which all have white voter populations of well above the national average. The vote among white college graduates and postgraduates shifted a little bit towards Hillary since the last election, but Trump still had a larger influence on non-college educated white voters.

Even more surprising to many, however, were the election results by race.screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-50-39-am

Clinton lost support from minorities compared to Obama last election, and many of those votes went to Trump instead; he actually gained more support from minorities than Romney last election, gaining about 5 points on average. Although minorities largely voted Clinton, the increased support for Trump was a surprise to everyone, as he had made controversial remarks towards minorities throughout his campaign. There is not a definite explanation for this, but one contributing factor may be that minorities that supported Obama in the previous election did not vote for Clinton, if at all.

Lastly, Clinton underperformed among women voters.screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-49-31-am

Before the election, many expected that Hillary would counter Trump’s increase in white, male support by garnering more support from women. Although Hillary had a slight increase in female support compared to Obama, it did not outweigh Trump’s male support. This was also a bit surprising, considering Trump had also made derogatory remarks towards women. An explanation of why Clinton underperformed would require closer analysis of women demographics.screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-56-04-am

Trump won white, female voters by 10 points, and he won white, non-college graduate, female voters by a huge 28 points. As expected, he dominated the male vote as well. Thus, there are underlying reasons as to why she did not have enough female support, or rather, why Trump had more female support than expected. Further exploration into those reasons would be beyond the scope of this article.

However, even though Trump saw an increase in the percentage of white, black, Asian, Hispanic, and female voters since Romney, he still lost the popular vote to Clinton. The only conceivable way that such a result could happen would be if Clinton lost more support than Trump lost, which is exactly what happened. What exactly is going on here?

The only cause of this lack of support would be a decrease in voter turnout, especially for Clinton. In 2016, Trump got 61.0 million votes to Clinton’s 62.1 million, and still won the Electoral College vote despite losing the popular vote. Trump got nearly the same amount of votes as Romney, but Clinton got about 4 million votes less than Obama?. How did Clinton lose all of those votes?

One theory for the cause of this dropoff is a decrease in voter turnout, which was at a 20-year low for the election; only 55.4% of eligible Americans showing up to vote, according to CNN. Granted, that number will increase a little bit once all the provisional and overseas ballots are counted, but it would still be much lower than the turnout in 2012, when 60.0% of eligible Americans voted. Despite this downturn, however, there was a higher turnout rate in swing states, most of which Trump won. For example, Florida cast about 9.4 million votes this year compared to 8.5 million in 2012. Although there was a relatively high turnout rate in swing states, the low overall turnout was caused by the low turnout rates in uncompetitive states. 64.2% of eligible Americans voted in swing states, while only 56.8% did so in uncompetitive states.

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-9-00-29-am

A possible reason as to why Clinton saw a decrease in the popular vote was the decrease in turnout in very Democratic states, such as California, which saw a staggering 8% drop. Thus, more Trump supporters showed up in swing states to swing the Electoral College vote towards him, but there were less Clinton supporters that showed up in states that they knew they would win.

Another theory includes the roles of third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in this election. Together, they were responsible for roughly 4% of the total popular vote. Although they did not gain any Electoral College votes, they may very well have influenced the outcome in key swing states. There is currently not enough evidence to conclude that either Trump or Clinton would have won if they had played a lesser role, but once more information comes out, their role will become more clear. For the time being, there is only evidence that more voters affiliated with an independent party voted for Trump than Clinton:

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-9-02-27-am

According to an exit poll by Edison Research, 48% of those affiliated with an independent party voted for Trump, compared to 42% for Clinton. The remaining 2% of Democrats and 3% of Republicans and the 10% of independent voters either did not respond, or voted for a third party candidate. Because that proportion is unknown, it remains to be seen how many people who identified with those three parties actually voted for a third party candidate.

In conclusion, a combination of these four causes allowed Trump to barely win the election against Clinton. Trump outperformed Romney in nearly every demographic, especially white, non-college educated voters. Combined with an increased turnout of swing state voters, Trump was able to snag many close swing states. Clinton, on the other hand, did not meet expectations in terms of women and minority voters. Of course, there is still the question of how those 4% of third-party voters factored into the election, and whether they tipped the election in Trump’s favor.

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Sophomore Boat Races 2016

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