Jesuit Chronicle

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Please, stop buying toilet paper.

As+the+panic+surrounding+the+COVID-19+virus+grows%2C+people+are+panicking+and+buying+up+important%2C+life-saving+supplies

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As the panic surrounding the COVID-19 virus grows, people are panicking and buying up important, life-saving supplies

We have all heard the stories. We have all seen the pictures. We have all gone to the stores. Walls of empty shelves where life necessities like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks once sat. People, staring at the face of a global crisis, ran to the stores to buy as much of these as they possibly could. Many people bought out these items to resell online at a higher price, but most simply wanted to prep for the future, stockpiling on goods they heard were selling out fast.

If you have paid attention, you likely will have seen listings online for these products selling at crazy prices. People selling toilet paper by the square, selling doomsday prepping kits, or $1 bottles of hand sanitizer at $20. This practice is referred to commonly as price-gouging. It is common whenever a high-demand item comes out. Concert tickets, limited-edition collectibles, and other items have all combated this practice for years, but the hygiene industry did not prepare for this. There’s no way they could have.

In an urgent effort to reduce this practice, eBay has banned the sale of these items, and Amazon is taking down any sellers listing these products for extreme prices. This has resulted in many of these sellers simply stockpiling these products in their homes, unsure of what to do. They want to make a profit, but no one will let them sell for the prices they want. A New York Times article details one such seller who has tens of thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks, and other hygiene products stacked up in his home (New York Times).

Many user comments on the article criticize the seller, pointing he could easily get rid of these items by either giving them to a local hospital or simply selling them for a fair price, and he did donate the supplies on Sunday, a day after the article was published, and people can see the ethical issues with price-gouging, especially for items that could potentially save people’s lives, but the broader issue here is not necessarily the price-gouging.

As mentioned before, many people—-normal, average people—-have gone to stores to buy large quantities of these items for their own personal stock, afraid they may not be able to get them in the future. Hoarding like this presents the real problem. Buying huge quantities like this is practically completely unnecessary. COVID-19 is not going to close all stores, it’s not going to shut down the roads, and it’s not going to cancel all hygiene product production.

Instead, when you buy out local supplies of hygiene products, you make it drastically harder for people who actually need these supplies to get them. Not everyone can afford to buy bulk orders of toilet paper, and not everyone can afford to pay the gouged prices online. Not everyone has the time to travel the city in search of basic necessities, so buying out these items only puts more people at risk.

You also make it harder for medical professionals to care for people actually infected with COVID-19 and people at higher risk of getting it. Only a couple of weeks ago the United States Surgeon General urged people on twitter to stop buying face masks (New York Times). He pointed out that across the country, stores had sold out of face masks, making them incredibly difficult for hospitals to find. Most normal people do not need face masks, and buying them is typically pointless, so buying large quantities only made it harder for hospitals to do the job we need them to. Right now, nothing is more important than ensuring that the healthcare system can operate at its maximum efficiency to fight COVID-19, and buying essential healthcare supplies prevents hospitals from doing this.

The best thing we can do right now is to spend like we normally do and not put any more stress on the retail system. Stores and suppliers are only equipped to handle a certain amount of demand and rapidly increasing the demand could put the entire system at risk. Doomsday prepping will only put us closer to an actual doomsday where stores will not have the items people need to live.

We are currently living in the middle of a global health crisis and it is easy to start thinking about doomsday, and what you might need to survive, but a global crisis is not the time to start selfishly thinking about what you might need in eight months. It is the time to start thinking about how your actions will affect the other people in your society and what other people need right now, especially those who cannot afford to spend as wantonly as you can.

About the Contributor
Photo of James Martini
James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

The ramifications of cancelling events

As+events+across+the+world+cancel%2C+many+people+will+be+left+without+jobs%2C+recreation%2C+and+sources+of+income

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As events across the world cancel, many people will be left without jobs, recreation, and sources of income

March Madness. Disneyland. School. OSAA championships. Coronavirus has left many people wondering what will happen. So many places and events have closed their doors in the past couple of weeks, no one can quite predict what the long-term effects will be.

To begin with, the most immediate closure relevant to students is school. While Jesuit can adapt quite well to digital days, not all schools have the same luxury. In many schools, students rely on the school for two meals a day and parents rely on the school to watch their kids while they work. At the very least, Oregon schools will continue to offer meal services, even while classes are closed, addressing some of these issues (KGW).

It still does not solve the problem of parents now needing to watch their kids during the day, making working considerably more difficult, especially with many daycare facilities closing due to fears over COVID-19, and the few remaining open filling up quickly. This does not even account for the people who cannot afford daycare, to begin with, though. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of childcare for a 4-year-old in Oregon is $838 (EPI). While the cost for older kids is less, it is still a substantial increase in expenses for a family to take, especially with many parents losing their sources of income.

Students will also quickly feel the effects of canceling sports. Spectator sports like the MLB and the NBA and local school sports do an excellent job of bringing people together under a common cause and interest, but unfortunately, they also physically bring people together and negate social distancing, making it difficult to justify keeping them going.

Closing schools and sports will result in many people losing a sense of community, as many people bond over these topics very easily. The same goes for other events like conventions and concerts. Perhaps the most tangible downside of closures to most people will be this loss of community as they become isolated from other people, often literally as they get stuck in their homes.

Arguably the larger problem with these closures though is their negative effects on the economy. As already hinted at, the closures will make it much more difficult for people to work, as their places of work are closing, and they need to look after their children while school is off. With most closures being in places like retail, restaurants, and schools, most people affected will be hourly workers, substitute teachers, and other employees without contracts guaranteeing them a certain amount of pay.

This means that the brunt of the negative economic effects will be taken on by people with lower incomes who already struggle to get by. Because of this, many people have criticized the federal government’s response to the effects of COVID-19 so far. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that it would offer $1.5 trillion in short term loans to banks to offset the effects of the stock market plunging, but many people point out that this will only help banks and the wealthy, while average people are losing their jobs and receiving little to no compensation for it (Vox).

To address these issues, many have called for more Keynesian responses to the issues. For example, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, alongside New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called for the implementation of a universal basic income (commonly referred to as a UBI) to help people who have lost their sources of income as a result of these closures (CNBC).

Yang’s big platform while a presidential candidate was implementing a UBI, but the support from Ocasio-Cortez and others, including Republicans like Mitt Romey (Vox) has made a lot more people to think seriously about a UBI as a solution, especially considering how many people have lost their jobs.

It is not like there is no evidence to support a UBI, either. The current mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs has piloted a UBI plan in his city, sending $500 each month to residents who earn less than $46,000 a year (NPR). Admittedly, the policy is small in scope, helping only 125 residents as of October 2019, but Tubbs’ initiative does create a precedent that one can look to when considering whether or not to apply it more broadly as a response to COVID-19.

About the Contributor
Photo of James Martini
James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

    What do Jesuit students think?

    This+survey+sent+out+in+March%2C+asked+students+about+their+political+preferences+and+what+they+thought+about+the+upcoming+elections

    James Martini

    This survey sent out in March, asked students about their political preferences and what they thought about the upcoming elections

    In a survey created by The Jesuit Chronicle, we asked students about their party affiliation, what they thought about the upcoming primary, and what they thought about the general election. In the survey, the majority of students identified as Republican. The results in the primary and general election were more interesting, where all the candidates appeared almost equal in their support. Biden and Sanders had nearly equivalent support in both questions, and Trump fell only just behind the two in the general election. See the full results below:

    James Martini
    This question asked students to say how they identified politically, to help us judge the results of the following questions
    James Martini
    This question asked students what they thought about the upcoming democratic primary. Biden and Sanders had nearly equal support
    James Martini
    This question asked students who they would support in the general election, between Biden, Sanders, Trump. The results were similarly split between the candidates

     

      Who has the remaining delegates?

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      The third place candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out shortly after Super Tuesday

      Biden and Sanders do not have all the delegates, though. Other remaining candidates also have some from before they dropped out. (Note that all the below candidates have dropped out with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard)

      Elizabeth Warren – 71

      Mike Bloomberg – 61

      Pete Buttigieg – 26

      Amy Klobuchar – 7

      Tulsi Gabbard – 2

        Bernie Sanders Overview – 725 Delegates

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        Wikimedia Commons

        A picture of Senator Bernie Sanders, the current second place in the primary election

        Most people are already familiar with Sanders, but as a close second in the race, it’s important to review him and his policies. Sanders’ big platform is universal healthcare, advocating a public system to replace the private healthcare system America currently has. His plan would include healthcare, dental, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and more. The most obvious and immediate question to ask about this system though is how Sanders plans to pay for it. Because people as well as companies who provide health insurance would no longer pay healthcare premiums, Sanders’ plan is to redirect the money that would be spent on the premiums to the government in the form of taxes. He also plans on raising taxes on large businesses and people with high incomes. Despite his plan, it is important to remember that this change would be large and incredibly complex, so estimating its actual cost is nearly impossible.

        Sanders’ platform is not just universal healthcare, though. While that is certainly his biggest talking point, he also talks a lot about free state college and the Green New Deal. His free college plan, called College For All, aims to do just about exactly what you would expect: provide free public education to all citizens. The plan’s theory is that making all college education paid for by the government would force prices down on college education, similarly to his healthcare plan, as the government controlling the market would give it more control over profit margins and overall cost, so the cost of this plan on the government would not be as great as it initially seems.

        The Green New Deal on the other hand is a talking point of many politicians, and Sanders is a big proponent of it. As the name implies, it is a plan to increase the use of renewable energy in the US, and create jobs in doing so. The allusion to FDR’s New Deal also implies the scope of the plan. More than just moving to renewable energy, it also aims to protect forests, hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the harm they do to the environment, and more.

        The big caveat to everything Sanders proposes is how he plans to pay for it, though. His plans usually include clever ways to reduce the cost, but at the end of the day, tax raises will be necessary. Sanders points out that he only plans on raising taxes on the wealthy and on big businesses though, and the average American will not see any large change in their taxes, but many critics are skeptical and say that taxing the wealthy will not be enough to pay for everything he plans on. As noted with his healthcare plan though, his plans are huge and trying to estimate the exact cost of everything is incredibly difficult.

          Joe Biden Overview – 881 Delegates

          The+current+front-runner+in+the+election%2C+Joe+Biden%27s+picture+from+his+time+as+Vice+President+under+Obama

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          The current front-runner in the election, Joe Biden's picture from his time as Vice President under Obama

          The undeniable current leader in the primary, Joe Biden bears very few similarities to his opponent, Bernie Sanders. Biden is much more moderate and his campaign centers less around a few key plans like Sanders and is more about an idea. Joe Biden’s campaign website even claims “We’re in a battle for the soul of America” (joebiden.com). Similar to Sanders, however, Biden has a long, deep history in politics. Most notably, Joe Biden talks a lot about being Vice President under Obama. While critics often say that he exploits this fact to appear more similar to Obama and tie himself to that presidency, holding the VP position for eight years is no small feat. The Obama administration remains wildly popular among liberals and the fact that Joe Biden was second-in-command for it certainly speaks to his ideals, policy, and, most importantly, his experience. Biden’s position as VP gave him a closer look at the presidency than any of the other candidates. Despite his experience though, a look at Biden’s plans and policies in order to get a feel for what he would be like as a president is definitely important.

          Biden’s biggest talking point by far is the middle class. A brief glance at Biden’s website will get you several references to how America was built by the middle class, and that it’s time to get power back to the middle class. To do this, he plans on things like raising the federal minimum wage to $15, removing tax cuts on the wealthy and big businesses, and putting more money into education to ensure that everyone gets access to a good education.

          Biden also has plans on healthcare, as that has emerged as one of the biggest issues of this primary cycle. Biden, as a moderate Democrat, would like to expand the Affordable Care Act, the plan Obama implemented to help subsidize healthcare for people who cannot afford it but also do not qualify for Medicaid. As VP under Obama, Biden does not hesitate to mention that he also played a big role in creating and rolling out the Affordable Care Act, an important fact to note, as Biden is already well-familiar with the plan, and knows the ins and outs of not only changing it but how to actually get it past conservatives in the government and get changes implemented.

          The important thing to note about Biden as a whole, especially when comparing him to Sanders, is that he is a moderate Democrat. This means that he has no grand plans of getting all Americans free healthcare and education, but his plans also will not require large budget increases, with tax increases to go along with them. Biden’s biggest strength in this race is that he is a moderate Democrat with deep knowledge of the presidential position, meaning that he knows how to get changes passed, probably more than anyone else in the primaries right now.

          What’s Coming Up in the May Democratic Primary?

          As+the+democratic+primary+comes+to+Oregon%2C+take+a+look+at+the+remaining+candidates+and+their+policies

          James Martini

          As the democratic primary comes to Oregon, take a look at the remaining candidates and their policies

          With the 2020 Democratic primary election coming up, here is a look at the remaining candidates. Delegate counts are current as of 3/13/2020.

          Miss Anthropocene by Grimes – Review

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          4AD

          The album art to Grimes' first studio since 2015 album, Miss Anthropocene

          In February of this year, Canadian artist Grimes released her fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene, her first release since her 2015 album Art Angels. Her latest release features heavy, electronic sounds and dark, morbid lyrics and imagery to criticize the way people have abandoned their values in favor of technology.

          The album opens with the track “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth”, immediately hitting the audience with light, breathy vocals, and heavy, electronic production. The lyrics describe the speaker held down by her love for someone, and the slower, heavy beat builds that feeling well in the listener. This song evokes a similar experience to something by Tame Impala, but with more aggressive instrumentation.

          The next track “Darkseid” bears much heavier lyrics, as the speaker talks about how the ghost of someone they lost haunts them, even though they have nothing more to offer. The extremely heavy instrumentals add to the feeling of discomfort and fear described in the lyrics, accompanying them well. The song presents a dark look at death as the speaker rejects people’s attempts to comfort them, attempting to create more similarities than differences between the living and the dead.

          In a shift from the darkness of the first two songs, the third track, “Delete Forever”, moves to a dreamier sound, with more upbeat music and vocals, even though the lyrics do not shift much upwards. The speaker discusses how they feel lost and empty after trying to recover from losing someone. The references to technology throughout the album begin to take a clearer shape in this song, as the speaker starts to criticize the way society handles death today, an idea they fill out later in the album.

          Violence, the fourth track, continues the upbeat tempo, presenting something resembling a dance beat, keeping with the darker lyrics. The song presents an abusive relationship, and while the situation is straightforward, paring it alongside the strong themes about technology allows for many less straightforward interpretations. Many people see this song as a metaphor for the relationship between humans and the Earth, though the song can be related to many people and situations.

          The next song, “4ÆM”, blends happier beats with heavier, electronic ones, moving between seamlessly. The lyrics reference falling down, calling back to the first song, and building the idea that when the speaker is vulnerable they are more susceptible to falling into traps of past relationships.

          In a thematic shift from the past couple of songs, “New Gods” takes shots at the way people have abandoned traditional values in favor of turning to technology and fame. The speaker seems to directly address God, telling him that they are going to let go of him, as he cannot give them what they want. The airy, soft vocals and productions create a somber, almost ambient sound, making the lyrics more reflective than aggressive like some of the other songs.
          “My Name is Dark” quickly shifts back to the earlier sound with hard production and some of the harshest lyrics on the album. The song basically embodies chaos, as the speaker threatens to turn to drugs and violence as a response to their anger. The song possesses a clearer call to action, more obviously pointing out the failure of society to properly help people in need, allowing them to turn to less productive, more dangerous ways of coping with problems.

          Continuing the themes from “My Name is Dark”, “You’ll miss me when I’m not around” presents easily the darkest lyrics on the album, presenting a clearly suicidal speaker, criticizing the way society fails to care for people before they die, only becoming aware of any problems after a person is already gone. This song was likely inspired by the recent string of celebrity deaths, particularly in the music industry, caused by drugs, suicide, and other problems. The song has more standard vocals and production, again calling more attention to the lyrics. The song carries the powerful message that we need to care for people before the problems become too strong, not wait until after and reminisce on how we could have done better. This song is easily the most poignant, heavy song on the album, carrying an incredible amount of emotional weight on it.

          Keeping with the heavier reflection on death, “Before the fever” focuses on the experience of someone as they die. The song begins with a somber, reluctant tone, slowly moving onto acceptance. The song has compressed vocals, but deeper, not high pitched like most of the rest of the album, and features heavy drums and baselines, aiding the depressing, slow tone the song takes.

          The penultimate song on the album, “IDORU”, takes a more upbeat tone, presenting an almost classic love song. The song’s lyrics and production are quite straightforward, without any complex or abstruse imagery, which builds a certain charm into the song. Coming from the darkness of the past few tracks, this song creates a nice change of pace before the finale, and the simplicity makes it easy to understand and get behind.

          “We Appreciate Power” finishes the track going back to the heavy sound of the start of the album one last time, concluding album and presenting its ultimate idea. The speaker abandons God, ultimately abandoning past values, in favor of technology, makeup, AI, and modern technology. The song criticizes the way that people treat social media and project their life onto the internet as dangerous and not truly living. Super aggressive, metallic and electronic sounds color the song, conveying the speaker’s transition from traditional human values to worshipping technology.

          Miss Anthropocene combines unique and well-crafted sounds with brilliant lyrics that shift between deep symbolism and metaphors to more straightforward lines to convey an experience that criticize problems in modern culture and how we deal with them. Grimes’ new album is easily one of the best of the year so far and every track on it is intentional, well-made, and interesting to think about.

          About the Writer
          Photo of James Martini
          James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

          James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

          I Disagree by Poppy Review

          Artist+Poppy+in+her+iconic+white+studio+used+in+her+YouTube+videos

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          Artist Poppy in her iconic white studio used in her YouTube videos

          Known for her bizarre, creepy music and YouTube videos, Poppy released her new album “I Disagree” this last month, her first album without her co-creator and collaborator Titanic Sinclair.

          This album takes a sharp turn from her past work, featuring a strong amount of hardcore and metal instrumentals and much darker, nearly apocalyptic imagery. “I Disagree” undeniably features a much angrier version of Poppy’s character than previous music.

          This album is also much more candid as well. Poppy’s character and music typically critiqued celebrities and celebrity culture, but “I Disagree” generally critiques one specific person: Poppy. The first and last few songs on the album feature very abstruse imagery, but the middle part of the album quite clearly depicts the artist’s negative perception of Poppy.

          Songs like “Fill the Crown” and “Sit / Stay” attack Poppy’s producers, and possibly her former collaborator Titanic Sinclair, condemning their obsession with success and declaring that she won’t follow their will anymore.

          Denouncing producers and fame by attacking her own team not only criticizes celebrity culture, but points out that Poppy’s character is no different from the other celebrities she criticizes. Poppy reveals that her producers tricked the people who followed her for her satire of fame in the same way she satirized.

          “I Disagree” ultimately represents a much more candid depiction of the artist behind Poppy, creating a more personal experience for her and her listeners. The production and songs do an excellent job of building the sense and engaging the listener in Poppy’s anger.

          While Poppy is no stranger to hard breakdowns and instrumentals, she has never made an album so overwhelmingly metal before. The production fits her anger on the album, but it is also very well done. Every track on the album features strong instrumental and vocal production, never holding back the artist’s ultimate intent and message.

          Between the unique criticisms and lyrics presented on the album and the fresh metal sound, “I Disagree” represents the best of Poppy’s work, and is definitely, and perhaps surprisingly, well worth a listen.

          About the Writer
          Photo of James Martini
          James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

          James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

          JACKBOYS by JACKBOYS Review

          Travis+Scott%2C+founder+of+Cactus+Jack+Records+and+member+of+JACKBOYS%2C+a+rap+collective+signed+to+his+label

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          Travis Scott, founder of Cactus Jack Records and member of JACKBOYS, a rap collective signed to his label

          Travis Scott recently released his new EP JACKBOYS with the rap collective JACKBOYS, made up of multiple artists signed to Scott’s record label Cactus Jack Records.

          The EP features a trap sound common to both modern rap and Scott’s personal sound, and the first song, “Highest in the Room” is largely a Travis Scott song, likely to get the listener on board with the EP as Scott’s name holds the most power among the contributing artists. The song itself also embodies the EP as well. The instrumental and vocal production are all good, but Scott’s verse clearly holds the most substance.

          The next full song, “GANG GANG”, does not have as much going on, however. The production and rapping are all good again, but the song just does not have anything interesting enough to keep the listener’s attention. The production, while good, is too one-note and does not do enough to differentiate itself, and the vocals, again, are good but lack any real substance, largely due to its nature as a collective EP, not the EP of one specific artist.

          The final two tracks of the EP, “WHAT TO DO?” and “GATTI”, feature the most dynamic and interesting tracks on the EP though. “WHAT TO DO?”, while a little long, had lyrics that pull the listener in with an interesting situation and story. Travis Scott’s name on this track further indicates that he carries the most weight lyrically on the EP.

          The final song, “GATTI”, has by far the strongest beat and flow of the album. Pop Smoke’s opening verse flows naturally and creatively, making a much more interesting experience than the rest of the EP. The track is well placed as the musical peak of the EP.

          Despite these good final tracks, the lack of anything really meaningful permeates most of the EP. Once the freshness of new music wears off, there are still several songs of simply more of the same. This is not a Travis Scott album, or any other artist’s album, so the EP obviously will not tell an overly personal story, but the album still leaves something to be desired.

          About the Contributor
          Photo of James Martini
          James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

          James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

          Christmas in the 2000s

          Christmas+in+the+2000s

          Christmas in the 2000s

          JJ Gray and James Martini

          Staff Writers

          Holiday Entertainment

          As the 2010s wrap up, celebrate the holidays the 2000s way with these Christmas classics

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          How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

          While the 1966 animated film is a classic and a new Grinch film was just released last year, Tim Burton’s contribution to the Grinch mythos in 2000 remains one of the wildest, funniest, and most underrated Christmas movies of all time. Jim Carrey gave a classic Carrey performance with exaggerated actions, speech, and emotion, and Burton created the movie to compliment the actor’s unique style.

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          Christmas with Weezer (2008)

          Weezer, one of the biggest bands of the modern era, released their Christmas EP in 2008. While certainly a shorter set of songs, this EP features some of the same tracks as other famous Christmas albums while retaining Weezer’s signature sound of the early 2000s.

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          The Coolest Kidz Bop Christmas (2007)

          No discussion of the 2000s would be complete without mentioning Kidz Bop. The infamous child collective known for creating kid-friendly covers of popular music burst to popularity in the 2000s decade and, of course, made a Christmas album in 2007. Be sure to check this one out for some all-ages fun.

          2000s Gift Ideas

          A 2000s Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some fitting gift ideas to spread the Christmas spirit

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          Beyblades

          Their catchphrase, “Let it rip!”, is one of the most iconic phrases of the 2000s, immediately identifiable by anyone who grew up in the decade. A great way to memorialize the 2000s for someone is gifting them the product that classic line was designed to sell.

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          Pogo Sticks

          A child of the extreme sports craze, pogo sticks came into and fell out of popularity all in the span of a single decade. Everyone has used a pogo stick at some point, and many could likely reminisce on days in their childhood where they were the undisputed champion, so why not get them one now so they can make their claims into legend?

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          Robosapiens

          Everyone remembers seeing the commercials for these, even if they couldn’t remember what they were called. Not to worry, “Robosapien” is their name and they were born out of the time when everyone still thought that robots would take over the world by 2020. What better time than now to gift one to your once-robot-crazed friend?

          Ignite JHS sparks student-directed talks

          IgniteJHS+coordinators+Eoin+McDonagh+and+Rishey+Shenoy+introducing+Ignite+and+the+talks.

          James Martini

          IgniteJHS coordinators Eoin McDonagh and Rishey Shenoy introducing Ignite and the talks.

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          Organizers Rishey Shenoy and Eoin McDonagh

          Courtesy of James Martini

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          Speaker Yosan Tewelde

          Courtesy of James Martini

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          Speaker Akash Bindal

          Courtesy of James Martini

          Ignite JHS sparks student-directed talks

          Written by James Martini, staff writer

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          You have probably seen the announcements: “[Ignite JHS is] a series of fast-paced 5-minute talks using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds”. Many are likely not aware of what what Ignite events look like in practice, though.

          Ignite events are similar TEDx events, but with shorter talks that are all constrained by the limitations of 20 auto-advancing slides. The subjects of the talks have no set parameters and speakers are able to speak about whatever they want to.

          Senior Eoin McDonagh and senior Rishey Shenoy organized Ignite JHS, which featured a set of six Jesuit student speakers, all speaking on topics relevant or important to them.

          “It’s used in a lot of businesses for presentations on different things like new products,” McDonagh said.

          One of the speakers, senior Yosan Tewelde, wrote in an email, “I wasn’t planning on participating in it at all until Eoin, one of the planners, assured me that the presentations could be really open ended and the formality was up to me.”

          One of the nice things about Ignite that drew in many of the speakers was how freely they were able to talk about their subject.

          “[T]here are not many opportunities to present on something we are passionate about that doesn’t have to be an argument or debate,” Tewelde said.

          McDonagh and Shenoy took care to get a wide range of speakers who would help to bring out the unique nature of Ignite.

          “We wanted to have interesting speakers and people who have different things to share with the audience,” McDonagh said.

          Before Ignite at Jesuit, there were no other events that allow students to openly discuss a topic in this lecture format. If students wished to give a speech about something, they would have to go somewhere outside the school, like TEDxYouth or another larger event.

          From an audience perspective, Shenoy and McDonagh liked the short form speeches for keeping the audience’s attention.

          “It was better for the audience to keep up with what was going on,” Shenoy said.

          The smaller, faster paced talks helped to make the students more comfortable speaking on whatever they wanted without feeling pressured to have a talk relevant to those attending.

          “There was such a wide array of topics: from cancer research to playgrounds, from sports replay to bilingualism. It was really cool to see students’ personal interests and passions,” Tewelde said.

          McDonagh and Shenoy said that they hope to host more Ignite events in the future, including possible events next spring and in following years.

          About the Writer
          Photo of James Martini
          James Martini, Alumni 2019-2020

          James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

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