October 2020 Magazine





Mock Presidential



Local Businesses Struggle

But Survive



The Local Candidates


Students Behind the

Separation: The Effects

of Divorce


Mad Libs: Political Edition



Politics in the Social

Media Era


LHS Hosts Events to

Engage Student Body


Divisiveness in American

Politics is Nothing New


Unity and Division


Social Conditioning and

the Gender Divide







Contact us at doi@lhswildcats.org

Contents by Olivia Poell

Cover Illustration by Dimitrios Mitsopoulos


America Needs More

Political Parties


Morning Showers > Night




Seeking Our Own Political

Voices, Not Those of Our



Drops of Ink is a student-written, edited and

produced high school publication. Our publication

functions as a service to the school and greater

community of Libertyville, first and foremost delivering

open-minded, informative content that is

relevant to our readership. While not our primary

motive, Drops of Ink also looks to provide entertainment

to our audience. We aim to challenge

readers to see different perspectives and gain

knowledge of the world around us.



Molly Muscatio Paige Vang


Maddie Handrich

Peyton Rodriguez









Katherine Thomey

Paige Vang

Sarah Wuh



Editors in Chief




Faculty Adviser



Managing Editor


Online Editor


News Editor


Features Editor


Opinion Editor


Sports Editor


Photo Editor


Layout & Design Editor


Social Media Editor


Simon Amyot

Katherine Barry

Jack Birmingham

Dino Bougiotopoulos

Andrew Brooks

Ariella Bucio

Alex Clark

Ellie George

Maddie Handrich

Amal Hasan

Rowan Hornsey

Natalie Isberg

Jasmine Lafita

Dimitrios Mitsopoulos

Kajsa Murphy

Molly Muscato

Olivia Poell

Hannah Sachs

Jacob Short

Elise Stouffer

Lyann Tam

Johnny Thames

Katherine Thomey

Liam Tucker

Avery Vang

Paige Vang

Sarah Wuh

Sophia Zumwalt








Pavan Acharya

Avery Vang

Over the course of a three-day period in

early October, 374 LHS students participated

in a “Mock Presidential Election” sponsored by

Drops of Ink. This survey revealed that 75.4% of

participants voted in favor of Democratic presidential

candidate Joseph R. Biden and his running

mate, Senator Kamala D. Harris. Republican

presidential candidate and current President

of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and his

Vice President, Michael R. Pence, received 19.8%

of the participants’ votes. Beyond the baseline

presidential vote in the mock election, the

survey also revealed certain differences in how

various demographics within LHS voted.

Information to Note

This survey does not reflect the beliefs or demographics of all

LHS students, just the 21% who chose to participate in the survey.

Furthermore, about twice as many females responded to this

survey as males.

Total Votes

Consistency Among Classes

The grade level with the greatest amount of participation was

the junior class, which made up 28.2% of the total vote. The senior

class lagged close behind, making up 27.9% of the vote. The freshmen

and sophomore classes made up the remaining 43.9% of the

vote. Voting trends were similar among each of the classes. Each

grade level overwhelmingly supported former Vice President Joe

Biden with limited support for President Trump.

The Gender Gap

Ninety-five percent of the gender distribution from the survey

was made up of males and females. Of these males, 50.4% were in

favor of Joe Biden, with Trump garnering 37.8% of their vote. The

other 11.8% of males voted for third-party candidates. These figures

are a far cry from the trends of the 2016 presidential election,

in which 52% of men voted in favor of Trump while 41% voted for

former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton, as noted

by NPR. On the flip side, 88.1% of female participants in the LHS

survey favored Biden over Trump. As noted by election polls from

NPR and the Pew Research Center, women typically vote in favor of

the Democratic candidate for president.

Sexual Orientation

Students who identified as heterosexual voted 70.4% in favor of

Biden and 24.9% in favor of Trump. Meanwhile, 93.8% of students

who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community supported Biden. Just

3.1% of those in this same demographic favored Trump. Members

of the LGBTQ+ community typically vote for Democratic

candidates in major elections. For example, 78% of the LGBTQ+

community voted Democrat in the 2016 Presidential election,

according to NBC News. One factor that may be the cause of

these trends is the condemnation of the Supreme Court ruling

Obergefell v. Hodges in the Republican party platform. The

aforementioned case guranteed the right to marry for same-sex

couples in 2015.

Racial Diversity

White students -- who made up 72.5% of all voters -- supported

Biden’s candidacy by an overwhelming majority of 73.1%.

The support for Trump among this same demographic was 22.5%.

These percentages were close in proximity to those of the overall

presidential vote. Non-white students -- 27.5% of the total

voter base -- leaned more heavily towards the Democratic side,

with 83.5% of students from this demographic voting for Biden.

Support for Trump among non-white students was nearly half of

that of white students, at 11.8%. The voting trends of non-white

students reflected the results of the 2016 presidential election, in

which racial minorities leaned in favor of Clinton.

Liam Tucker also contributed to this story.





Ariella Bucio Amal Hasan

E-learning has not stopped LHS from encouraging school spirit

and bringing students together during these confined times.

Either through Zoom or carefully monitored in-person events, students

have been able to express their school spirit while getting to

reconnect with their peers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated health risks and

restrictions, the usual homecoming festivities could not happen this

year. Junior Paige Bleck, a member on the Student Council executive

board, shared that instead of the usual homecoming week, Student

Council decided to do a “homecoming month.”

Toward the start of this, instead of an in-person assembly, this

year it was virtual. There was an announcement video for each day of

the week featuring cheer, choir, poms, guy poms and marching band.

Prior to the assembly videos, there was a senior drive-in movie,

where a large screen was set up in the back parking lot and students

were invited to watch “High School Musical” from their cars.

Hot chocolate, popcorn and goody bags were given to those who

bought tickets.

During the event, the homecoming court was announced.

“I definitely think it’s just been super fun to get back to kind of

semi-normal in a safe way, and the school is allowing us to do that,”

said Annalese Chudy, a senior on the homecoming court.

Because this was an in-person event, many precautions were

taken in order to keep students and staff safe. Andrea Lara, a coadvisor

for Student Council, stated, “Lots and lots of attention was

put into how far the cars were parked and how many kids could be

in a car. The fact that we can still be outdoors, we know that that

makes it even safer, and everyone is in a mask.”

Similar safety precautions were taken at the in-person events

that followed the senior drive-in. These events included Homecoming

window painting, senior handprints and the reverse parade.

“[Window painting] was actually really successful,” Bleck said. “It felt

like how it would usually feel, which was nice.”

A few days later, Student Council gave seniors the chance to leave

Senior Jane Arnold, wearing a can costume to promote the canned food

drive, hands off a Student Council souvenir at the Homecoming drivethrough


Senior Cate Sanders signs and leaves her handprint on the mural wall

dedicated to Class of 2021 seniors.

their handprints and signatures on the wall outside the new dance

studio and multipurpose room building, where the old pool used to

be located.

Amanda Comeaux, another co-advisor for Student Council,

explained how the mural of handprints would be like a time capsule

for the class of 2021 because they are intended to last as a memory

to look back on.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the original date of the homecoming dance, a

reverse parade was set up at LHS. Around 19 clubs and sports teams

were assigned a space around the school campus and anyone from

the community was welcome to drive by.

After these homecoming festivities, there are still more events in

the making. To kick off the yearly canned food drive, the junior class

is hosting a “trunk or treat” event on Friday, Oct. 30 from 6-8 p.m.

This will allow kids from the community to go trick-or-treating on

the LHS campus with an entry fee of canned goods.

Mrs. Comeaux explained that this is a very important event for

people in need: “Especially during this time when a lot of people have

been hit, we find that it’s a really important time and event to collect

food and help support our community.”

According to Ms. Lara, another Halloween-related event being

planned is the pumpkin walk, which will take place on the same day

as the “trunk or treat” event. There will be a pumpkin carving contest

and students will bring their pumpkins to school to light them up

with glow sticks. The students will then get to see the pumpkins all

lined up as it gets dark and maybe even have the fire pits at Butler

Lake going.

“We keep bringing up the phrase ‘Stand Together,’ and that’s really

just what we want to do,” Bleck said. “We want to bring everyone

together. We want to make LHS feel like home again, and I feel like

we’re just doing the best we can to make everyone feel like we are

still LHS, we are still Wildcats, we are still one.”




Ellie George Kate Barry

The Liberty Restaurant has drawn back many of their regular customers with abundant

outdoor seating. They utilized their large parking lot to create this new space.

Since the shutdown of restaurants and retailers in March due to CDC guidelines

in response to COVID-19, most American businesses -- particularly small businesses

-- have taken a hit, including those in Libertyville.

Heavily relying on foot traffic and walk-ins, many downtown Libertyville shops

had to dramatically adapt and change their business tactics to be successful in this

new world of social distancing. Without having a blueprint for managing a global

pandemic, the small business community has been under a lot of pressure.

“It started off rough,” executive director Jennifer Johnson of Mainstreet Libertyville

explained. “We didn’t really know how to approach it at first.”

This was the case for businesses across the country. According to the U.S. Census

Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey conducted on August 20, 83.5% of the local

food sector and retail businesses experienced a negative impact from COVID-19. In

addition, 51.4% of those business owners surveyed have the expectation that it will

take more than six months for their business to return to normal.

These numbers can seem alarming and discouraging, but Johnson said local residents,

aware of how businesses have been impacted, have tried to help Libertyville

businesses: “With having such a tight-knit community, our local businesses were

[relatively] lucky, even though the numbers don’t show that.”

Donations through the Mainstreet Libertyville website became more popular

during quarantine, Johnson said. She said many people got together and donated

available money to local businesses to help pay employees as well as for other costs.

In addition, the Lake County Small Business Recovery Grant Program was developed

to help.

Businesses could apply to see if they were eligible

to receive grants to cover occupancy costs and other

related expenses. Proof of severe loss of revenue and

business was required to apply. If accepted, businesses

received money to cover up to four months of

mortgage, rent and utilities costs.

Johnson went on to describe the different efforts

Libertyville restaurants and retailers took to “stay alive”

during COVID.

“All shops downtown had to find their advantage,”

she explained. “Outdoor seating, online orders, curbside

pickup, catering menus. Everyone had to change

aspects of their businesses in order to stay afloat.”

Restaurants like O’Tooles and The Liberty utilized

their large outdoor areas and patio to seat people

outside. This allowed for social distancing and more


For The Liberty, a manager who asked for her name

not to be used explained that the idea of using a big

tent in their parking lot “was pretty obvious, honestly.

We have [such] a big parking lot that wasn’t being

used. It really helped business and we got to see our

regulars again.”

With the main crowd of The Liberty being older, a

population at higher risk for COVID-19, getting those

customers back was more difficult than for some

other restaurants downtown.

“Making everyone feel safe and comfortable was

our top priority,” she explained.

Other restaurants, including Mickey Finn’s and

Cluckers, adapted their takeout and catering menus

to fit a family-style meal.

Junior Jasmine Seay is a hostess at Milwalky

Taco, and explained their new QR code menus: “We

changed the menus to QR codes to keep [everything]

sanitized,” she said.

Customers are given a slip at their table that they

can scan with their cell phone cameras, and it shows

them the menu on their phones. This significantly

reduces the amount of cleaning and sanitizing that

Milwalky Taco would have to do with reusable menus.

“We take the virus [very] seriously. Our workers are

all safe about what we are doing outside of work as

well,” Seay explained. “It’s a little stressful, but our customers

are [pretty] understanding and for the most

part follows the rules. That’s all we can really ask for.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused lots of

small businesses to change the way they operate,

including those in the downtown Libertyville area,

Johnson explained that the main factor that kept so

many local businesses open was “the undeniable and

consistent support from the people of Libertyville.

We couldn’t have done it without them.”




The Local Candidates

Liam Tucker

Jade Foo

This election, Lake County voters have the chance to weigh in on 15 ballot items. They can vote on the president, legislators, judicial

retention, countywide offices, a state constitutional amendment and the potential merging of two offices. Here is a rundown of a few

of the choices voters get to make. Unless otherwise stated, all quotes are taken from the candidates’ campaign websites.

Fair Tax Amendment

This proposed amendment would grant Illinois the ability to set a graduated tax rate. Currently, Illinois has a flat tax rate of

4.95%. In a graduated tax system, different income levels can be taxed at different rates. If the amendment passes and the

Democrats’ initial plan is enacted, the first $10,000 of income will be taxed at a rate of 4.75%, with successive income taxed at a

higher rate, until income beyond $1 million will be taxed at a rate of 7.95%. Those rates can be changed with future legislation.

Supporters of the Fair Tax Amendment believe it creates a more fair tax system. Illinois has a large state debt and deficit, and

they believe the Fair Tax Amendment would allow Illinois to raise more funds without increasing taxes on those most in need.

They cite that, initially, taxes will not go up on the first $250,000 of income. Opponents point out that the new tax rates aren’t

necessarily permanent. If the amendment passes, legislators will be able to raise taxes on those with higher incomes again. They

believe the amendment will inevitably lead to higher taxes on the majority of Illinois citizens and hurt the economy.

US Senate

Richard J Durbin Jr. (D)

Richard “Dick” Durbin has represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate

since 1996. The second-ranking Democratic member in the

Senate, Durbin has fought to “defend and build on the Affordable

Care Act.” Durbin prioritizes creating jobs and fostering

economic growth in Illinois. He introduced the Dream Act into

the Senate in 2001, which protects the legal status of Dreamers,

and introduced the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice

reform bill signed into law in 2018. Durbin is the incumbent.

Mark C Curran Jr. (R)

Mark C. Curran Jr. is running for the Senate for the first time.

A former Lake County Sheriff and county, state and federal

prosecutor, Curran supports “building the wall” and merit-based

immigration reform. Curran opposes tax increases and prioritizes

reducing the national debt. He stresses that he is pro-life,

pro-gun, pro-law enforcement, pro-capitalism and supports

school choice and term limits. Curran is for “expanding choice

and competition in our health care system.” Curran claimed in an

email that he has been “showing independence” his whole career,

citing that he first ran for Lake County Sheriff as a Democrat.

Curran is the challenger.

IL 10th House District

Brad Schneider (D)

Brad Schneider represented the 10th District, which includes

Libertyville, in the House of Representatives from 2013-2015 and

again since 2017. Considered among the most bipartisan

members of Congress by Quorum Analytics, Schneider

prioritizes creating economic growth to aid the middle class

and is a member of the Small Business Committee. He supports

protecting the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Social Security.

Schneider is pro-choice, pro-environment and pro-LGBT rights.

He believes the U.S. must “combine a strategic defense policy

with diplomacy and development” and believes the U.S. should

remain influential in foreign policy. Schneider is the incumbent.

Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee (R)

Ramirez Muhkerjee is running for the House of Representatives

for the first time. A first-generation college graduate, she

promotes her background as an entrepreneur, not a politician.

Ramirez Muhkerjee prioritizes creating well-paying jobs,

improving educational outcomes and decreasing taxes. She is

a “pro-choice, pro-climate, moderate Republican” -- socially

moderate and fiscally conservative. Ramirez Mukherjee believes

in personal responsibility and that everyone deserves the

opportunity to succeed. She supports transparency and

accountability in politics. Ramirez Mukherjee is the challenger.



IL 51st State House District

Mary Edly-Allen (D)

Mary Edly-Allen was first elected in 2018 to represent

the 51st District, which includes Libertyville, in Springfield. A

former teacher, she supports strengthening public schools

and “investing in our children’s future.” While in Springfield,

she co-sponsored Fair Maps legislation designed to limit

gerrymandering and legislation capping the price of insulin.

Edly-Allen supports gun-control laws, ethics reforms and

women’s rights. Some of her other priorities include protecting

the environment, creating a fair tax and protecting community

values. Edly-Allen is the incumbent.

Chris Bos (R)

Chris Bos is running for the state house for the first time.

He focuses on issues affecting voters’ daily lives, including

the safety of communities, supporting local businesses and

strengthening Illinois fiscally. Believing Springfield to be corrupt,

Bos supports ethics reform and term limits on House leadership.

Bos has called on Speaker Mike Madigan to resign. He opposes

the Fair Tax Amendment and other tax increases, arguing

instead that Springfield should look for “common sense ways to

consolidate expenses.” Bos is the challenger.

Lake County State’s Attorney

Eric Rinehart

Eric Rinehart is running for Lake County State’s Attorney for

the first time. A public defender from 2003-2009, Rinehart is

running because he believes the prosecutor’s office is wasting

resources and time prosecuting victimless crimes. He vows to

“ensure every prosecution is smart, fair and just.” Rinehart plans to

increase the size of treatment courts and prioritize rehabilitation,

which will free up resources to better prosecute violent crime.

He supports increasing transparency and oversight on

prosecutors and lists specific measures to increase police

accountability. Rinehart plans to prioritize prosecuting violent

crime and will empower law enforcement to arrest violent

offenders. Rinehart is the challenger.

Michael G “Mike” Nerheim

Michael G. “Mike” Nerheim has been the Lake County State’s

Attorney since 2013. Shortly after being elected the first time,

Nerheim created an Independent Case Review Panel to review

possible cases of wrongful conviction and develop best practices

for future prosecutions. His Lake County Opioid Initiative,

including the “A Way Out” program, which allows those with addictions

to seek help without fear of prosecution, has connected

over 750 people to treatment, and saved over 400 lives, his

website says. It adds that, under his leadership, Lake County safely

disposes of 18,000 pounds of prescription drugs annually. In an

email, Nerheim revealed plans for a “mental health and substance

abuse center” to provide care to those suffering from substance

abuse, mental illness and homelessness, while also allowing more

resources to address violent crime. Nerheim has served as both a

prosecutor and defense attorney. He is the incumbent.




Ella Marsden Natalie Isberg Sara Bogan

Politics is constantly changing and adapting in order to adjust

to the modern world. However, its fundamental aspects have

remained the same from the time the United States was

founded nearly 250 years ago to today. For one, the party system

has remained a defining factor of American politics.

But as integral to the government as political parties may seem, a

two-party system is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, and

George Washington even warned against their creation in his

renowned farewell address.

Why, then, do political parties in the U.S. hold so much weight in the

political process? According to the Library of Congress, the answer

extends all the way back to the late 18th century during the struggle

to ratify the Constitution. The nation’s first party system was made

up of Federalists fighting for a strong centralized government and

Democratic-Republicans (also known as Anti-Federalists) who

advocated for states’ rights.

This unintentional formation of two distinct groups fighting to

define the government and, consequently, the future of the nation,

set the precedent for politics today. The parties themselves have

changed a number of times since this norm was first adopted in the

late 1770s, yet its structure has remained a

consistent and influential part of American


The first major change in the U.S. party system

was the dissolution of the Federalist Party,

leaving the Democratic-Republican Party as

the only viable option for voters. Gradually,

the existence of only one major party created

a divide among voters. After President John

Quincy Adams lost reelection in 1828 to Andrew Jackson, the party

split: Adams became a prominent leader of the Whigs, or the

National Republican Party, while Jackson’s party became known as

the Democrats, according to Britannica. President Quincy Adams was

the last Democratic-Republican president.

Another major shift in political parties and alignment occured in the

late 1920s through the early 1930s, with the realignment of southern

Black voters from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. The

southern Democratic Party had historically suppressed the rights

of African-Americans, thus becoming an unattractive option for

Black voters. As the Great Depression disproportionately harmed

Black communities, Republican President Herbert Hoover failed to

implement economic reform to support those communities. Yet

this demographic continued to support the Republican Party rather

than realigning with the Democrats, according to the U.S. House of


Mississippi representative John R. Lynch, a Black Republican, explained

this phenomenon in the mid-1930s: “The colored voters

cannot help but feel that in voting the Democratic ticket in national

elections they will be voting to give their indorsement [sic] and their

approval to every wrong of which they are victims, every right of

which they are deprived, and every injustice of which they suffer.”

Elected in 1932, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat,

then implemented the New Deal, which offered economic

relief from the depression to Black communities and many others

throughout the country. This relief, while minimal, as well as the

Republicans’ refusal to pursue civil rights legislation, alienated Black

voters, who then began to shift to the more progressive

Democratic Party. An already divided nation was split even deeper




Image from Flickr under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

One of the founders of the Federalist party was Alexander Hamilton.

Supporters of him and his party included John Adams and James Madison.

after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to the Heterodox

Academy, a non-profit advocacy group. This act prohibited

discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin,

making it the most progressive civil rights legislation since the end

of the Reconstruction Era (post-Civil War). The voter trends following

the passing of this act have shaped the parties today; many white

Democrats joined the more conservative Republican Party, while minorities

tended to flock to the more liberal Democratic Party. These

two parties were — and continue to be — dominant over American


AP Government teacher Matthew Wahl credits the existence of

this distinct two-party system to the winner-take-all voting system

present in the U.S. In this system, a single party or group (i.e.

Democrats or Republicans) can choose every elected official if they

gain a majority of votes — no matter the margin between the

winner and the runner up. This winner-take-all approach enables

large, powerful parties while smaller and

weaker ones are put at a disadvantage; Mr.

Wahl attributes the lack of traction gained by

small, third-party groups, such as the Green

Party, to this voting system.

Naturally, a system with only two widely

accepted options for voters to choose

between enables conflict and divisiveness —

not only conflict in policy but also conflict as a

threat to basic decency.

Today, the polarization between the two

sides is strengthened by the pervasiveness

of social media and the accessibility of the news: “[Social media] just

kind of puts people into their camps and really creates this divide,”

Mr. Wahl said.

But the hostility in today’s political climate is nothing new, Mr. Wahl

explained. Nastiness in politics dates back two centuries to some

of the earliest presidential campaigns; for example, during Andrew

Jackson’s campaign in the 1820s, the opposing party ridiculed his late

wife as a political tactic.

Mr. Wahl compared this sort of personal attack to the ones seen

today. He’s noticed that today, politicians and voters aren’t quite as

forthright about the dirty tactics they’re using, but these tactics are

certainly still being taken advantage of.

While it’s unlikely a politician would be ridiculed for being a widower

in the 21st century, it’s certainly common to see a tweet making

fun of a politician’s physical appearance — be it their weight, their

hairstyle or their outfit.

With the tension and divisiveness caused by the two-party

system, one might wonder what benefit this system serves and

how it has lasted nearly 250 years. A commission report from 1986

by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations on the

transformation of American politics credits the two-party system’s

ability to turn ideas into legislation as an explanation for its

continued existence: “No republic can flourish without enduring

political instrumentalities which transform the public’s wishes into

governmental actions, and despite shortcomings, American political

parties have historically fulfilled this vital function.”




Students Behind the Separation:

The Effects of Divorce

Sara Bogan Kajsa Murphy Paige Vang

Almost 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, according to Time

magazine. While this statistic disproves a near-universal

misconception that half of all marriages end in divorce, many rightly

perceive divorce as fairly common. As reported by Psychology

Today, people incorrectly assume that divorce has become

normalized, and therefore, has less of an impact on the children from

these unsuccessful marriages. However, divorce affects many LHS

students and their families in both negative and positive ways.

Senior Cade Apton was 8 years old when his parents filed for

divorce. As his mother returned to work and his father moved out

of the house, their family structure altered drastically. Apton said he

has not received communication from his father since right after

the divorce.

He recalled that his young age fostered an ignorance to the social

cues in the house. As a result, the split was more surprising to him.

Although Apton was upset, he tended to mimic the behavior of his

older siblings, who better comprehended the situation.

“I couldn’t really understand the

complexities of losing a parent or

something as big as that in life. It hits

you intrinsically no matter what”

- Cade Apton

“I couldn’t really understand the complexities of losing a parent

or something as big as that in life. It hits you intrinsically no matter

what,” Apton remarked.

The process of his parents’ divorce took slightly over a year to

finalize, and he said it almost required separate attorneys for each of

his siblings to negotiate visitation terms.

Apton stressed the importance of having some sort of outlet

when dealing with a divorce or other challenging times. As a travel

soccer player, Apton has utilized the sport as a way to relieve his

stress and to cope with the situation.

Another option for relief is confiding in a parent, teacher,

counselor or friend “if you have someone in your corner, which you

always do,” Apton commented.

He said he relied on his sister for support because they were

experiencing similar feelings.

Junior Chloe Frecking depended on her grandparents after her

parents’ divorce, which occurred in 2013 when she was 9 years old.

Driving the children between her parents’ two houses, her grandma

took care of them when there were difficulties. For example,

Frecking stayed with her grandma in March and April this year

because both of her parents needed to work during the pandemic.

Frecking expressed that she was relieved after the divorce: “It was

a lot more peaceful. I had to mature a lot faster because I was the

other parent in the house. Because I’m the oldest, that’s just how it


However, the new living arrangement was arduous for Frecking

and her siblings. Unable to recall specific details, she explained how

she suppressed a portion of her childhood due to the divorce.

Additionally, Frecking mentioned the issue of traveling between

her homes and sometimes forgetting her belongings,

especially when her father lived in Wisconsin. She also dislikes

dividing her clothes across two locations.

Mrs. Samantha Avila, an LHS social worker, emphasized that one

of the main effects of divorce on students is their ability to trust

others. Since many do not possess a parental example, they fear that

their relationships will lack stability too.

Frecking could relate to this: “I was never taught to rely on anyone

because things can change in a split second, like with [my parents’]


Looking at the positive side, she believes that the divorce has

established easier circumstances for Frecking and her sisters than

before in many ways. Appreciating the ability to design two

bedrooms, she was able to express some “creative freedom.” She

further explained that students with divorced parents shouldn’t

blame themselves for the situation.


“Something happened between

their parents’ love for each other

that just isn’t working out now,”

Frecking said. “[The alternative] is

not necessarily going to be a bad


Apton shares a similar

outlook. While his parents’ divorce

is important to reflect upon, he

does not believe dwelling on the

issue is the answer. Instead, he

utilizes the situation as motivation

for future obstacles.

“I remind myself that if I was able

to get through that, then [a new

challenge] is just a barrier in my life

that I can jump over,” Apton said.

Apton appreciates his mother’s

sacrifices through the process. As

the head of the household, she

greatly impacts his life. Ultimately,

Apton and his siblings are happy

with their parents’ decision to

divorce, especially now that as he

matures, Apton better understands

the situation.

“My perspective on [the divorce]

was that everything was for the

best and I think with most cases,

the reason why you are going to

resort to something is because

it needs a resolution,” Apton


“I was never taught to rely on anyone

because things can change in a

split second, like with [my parents’]


- Chloe Frecking

COVID-19 has created additional disputes between co-parents

According to The New York Times, the pandemic has created a

struggle between divorced parents on safety procedures. Frecking

remarked that her dad is more lenient regarding the safety rules,

while her mom expects her to carefully follow them.

Mrs. Avila explained that with students in divorced families, “this

time has been extremely difficult. Think about having to bounce

around during this and trying to stay safe but still wanting to see

your mom or dad.”

Mrs. Avila and Greg Loika, another LHS social worker, are

moderators of LHS’s support groups, including Changing Families,

a group that consists of LHS students who have a different family

dynamic than nuclear families, and the majority come from a


divorced home. Meeting weekly on a rotating basis, the social workers

provide prompts to spark conversation.

The support groups are beneficial, according to Mrs. Avila, because

students can give advice based on their own experiences. In addition,

the groups allow for students to widen their social circle.

She described it as a way “to own their story and work with it in a

positive way,” and to provide students with more autonomy and the

opportunity to advocate for themselves.

To join Changing Families, students can contact

Mrs. Avila at samantha.avila@d128.org.

“I remind myself that if I was able

to get through that, then [a new challenge]

is just a barrier in my life that I

can jump over”

- Cade Apton




politics in the

social media era

DOI Staff

Lily Hieronymus

Avery Vang

Note: This piece is a staff editorial, which is an opinion article meant to reflect the opinions of the Drops of Ink staff. Because of this, the author’s name does

not appear alongside the story, as the opinions shared in here are based on class discussions about the topic among the 40 DOI staff members. The staff is

composed of students of all grades from a variety of backgrounds and experiences; therefore, the editorial speaks to the publication’s view on a subject and is

not representative of each staff member’s exact view on the issue at hand.

There is no doubt about it — social media has seen a large

increase in political-related posts between the 2016 and 2020

elections. Whether you believe this is for better or for worse, it is

clear that social media has been increasingly used as a campaign tool

by politicians and their communications teams.

There are certain parts of political involvement in social media that

have been great, like the ability for candidates to share their views in

a more casual way or for people to organize political events.

Since social media is accessible to virtually everyone, it has become

easier to post your views on any topic to the world. On the flip side,

social media platforms show you content based on your posts and

what you view, which can lead to confirmation bias.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, confirmation bias is “the

tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting,

information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs.” So the

more you look at articles or posts that correspond to your personal

beliefs, the more likely you will be shown more articles that go along

with your thoughts.

Confirmation bias has been a negative effect of social media. It

keeps people from discovering other opinions and further divides

them. This divide has only grown more as politicians use social media.

In this election, social media will be a key factor in determining

not only the results of the presidential election, but also local races,

according to the United States Department of State. It has become

almost essential for candidates to have a presence

on social media; however, the content they post

is more important than the fact that they are

posting anything.

In the case of President Donald Trump’s controversial

Twitter account, some believe it’s an

ingenious campaigning tool, while others think it

is only widening the divide in the United States.

His tweets often make promises to the American

people or are used to share news, which is

an effective way to communicate his ideas and

promote his campaign, especially with how much

news coverage they get. He often outlines a plan

for the future in his tweets, which he only sometimes

follows through on.

These tweets can also serve as a way to connect

to the people, which Trump has done well at times. In some of his

more general tweets, people can see their own views and relate, so

they would be more likely to vote for him.

Because of how widely spread his tweets are, though, they create

conflicts, like with other politicians and foreign countries. A study by

The New York Times found that one in eight of his tweets are

insults, showing how social media is being used to degrade people

and hindering the possibility of civil discourse.

Compared with other political figures, his tweets are far more

hostile and are often used to criticize and insult his opponents, such

as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or former Vice President Joe


Misinformation has become one of the most prevalent problems

on social media, and the site most responsible for fueling this is

Facebook. During the 2016 election, they were heavily criticized for

the propaganda being spread on the site, which has only grown since

then, according to The New York Times.

On Sept. 3, Facebook took some steps to stop efforts to undermine

the 2020 presidential election. Their new policy does not

prohibit political ads but will not accept them in the final week before

the election, according to CNN. It is unclear how effective this

will prove to be, with early voting and mail-in voting already underway,

so this election may prove to be just as influenced, if not more

influenced, by Facebook.

TikTok has also helped to spread misinformation,

but there are also many videos on this platform

calling out falsified information or fake news.

Unfortunately, on any social media platform,

fake news posts are seen 70% more than posts

calling out or correcting this misinformation,

according to a study by MIT, leading people to

believe or even to repost the fake news.

Overall, social media is a revolutionary tool that

can help and hurt both average people and politicians.

There needs to be some form of regulation

on political posts and ads on social media, and

platforms should work to minimize misinformation

and fake news. Until then, all we can do is stay

on the lookout for falsified information and do our

research about what we see on social media.


Social Conditioning

and the Gender Divide


Amanda Black

Peyton Rodriguez

Jade Foo

Our whole lives are made up of choices: whether it’s

choosing to eat eggs or cereal for breakfast, to more

significant aspects of our lives, like where to go to college and what

kind of person we look for in a spouse.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that these important choices

stem from a subconscious idea, burned into our minds by society

since we were children. Wanting to be accepted and loved, we have

continued to conform to these norms, no matter how outdated and

misleading some are.

The pressure to conform is known as social conditioning.

According to Kara Bosman, an AP Psychology teacher, “Social

conditioning is social learning. It happens through observing the

world around us and how people around us behave.”

As a white,

straight, middle-class

girl, gender is the

most obvious part

of social conditioning

I can relate to.

Throughout our

entire lives, girls

and boys have been

steered towards

different paths: girls

to the standard 1950s

housewife ideal and

boys to getting an

education and finding

a job. Although

conditioning efforts

have become less

obvious, the effects

of these ideas are still


My entire life, I’ve

had magazines telling me what the latest fashion was, how to lose

weight, what haircut looks best with the shape of my head, and how

to bake “fun foods” with an Easy Bake Oven. Sure, boys also had the

same things thrown at them year after year, but their magazines are

covered in planes, sports and Legos, inspiring them to be creative

and active.

The older girls become, the more we feel pressure from society.

We’re expected to look and act a certain way, and if we don’t follow

society’s norms, we’re “slutty” or “ugly” or “reckless.”

An LHS coach once told my team that we looked “sleazy” in our

uniforms. And now, I’m sure you’re wondering, what do those

uniforms look like? I am not going to describe them to you. Who

cares what they look like? How is it, in any way, okay for a man to


to a group of teenage girls that they look like sluts? What gives him

the right to comment on how we look?

After this incident, I talked to a couple other girls and

discovered that some of their coaches at LHS have commented on

girls’ bodies, too. One told me about a former LHS coach who

basically told her she was fat and “needed to stop eating

cheeseburgers.” Again, I am not going to describe to you what she

looks like. That doesn’t matter. A grown man should never comment

on a teenage girl’s body. We already hear enough about it on social

media and in school. However, because society has a picture of what

girls should look like, people think they have a right to comment and


Obviously, boys are also expected to act and look a certain way --

never be emotional,

be tall and muscular,

don’t care too much

-- and these

definitely still need

to be addressed.

The main difference

is that men

have society to back

them up. Women

are still fighting for

their rights to work,

be paid equally and

choose what to do

with their bodies.

First, women must

be systemically

equal to men before

society addresses the

Gender stereotypes have been instilled in children since their early childhood and the issue continues

throughout their lifetime.

must occur.

cultural change that

This cultural

change must start from the moment a child is born. In reference to

all types of social conditioning, Ms. Bosman believes that “the more

parents encourage kids to be true to themselves, the more schools

and peers encourage individuality, the better.”

No matter how wrong these stereotypes are, they’re going to be

in our society for the foreseeable future. The best we can do in a

world in which marketing and social media control acceptance is to

start in the home. If parents try breaking gender boundaries by

buying their daughters Legos (not the kind that are made for girls

and have bigger pieces, as if we can’t put together a Lego with

smaller pieces) or allowing their sons to wear pink, that will help to

decrease the divide. If this is then adopted in schools, by encouraging

both genders to challenge themselves in STEM and English fields, we,

as a society, will be one step closer to equality.





Christian Roberts Dimitrios Mitsopoulos Alex Clark

In the 1960s, the United States political system was a healthy, functioning

democracy. While both sides, Democrats and Republicans,

disagreed on most issues, they could usually find a common middle

ground, like during the signings of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and

1968, where Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the


In the 1960 presidential election between John F. Kennedy and

Richard Nixon, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 62.8 percent

of the population voted. High civic involvement is an indication of a

healthy republic, and the ‘60s saw some of the highest voter turnout

in American history. In fact, the turnout rate has been below 60

percent in every presidential election since the ‘60s.

Now, in 2020, the United States political system is on the verge

of complete downfall. The 2016 presidential election saw only 55

percent of the population vote, and while voter turnout is expected

to be high in this election, many people do not seem excited

about their choice of candidates. This could be in part due to the

nastiness of the campaign, the candidates’ ages and the disgustingly

large amount of sexual-assault cases that have been brought against

president Donald Trump (26) and his opponent, Joe Biden (8).

This is the problem we’re faced with now: people are no longer

voting for candidates who they feel represent their values; they’re

voting for the lesser of two evils. Why should we have to choose

between a candidate who sponsored a 1975 bill that would limit the

power of courts to order school desegregation and a candidate who

has openly bragged about sexual assaulting women?

In a country with over 300 million people, I believe we deserve

better candidates.

To make matters worse, the two-party system currently in place

is entirely centered around beating out the other party and passing

a partisan agenda. There’s no middle ground, no negotiating. Just a

complete lust for power. This can be seen when Republican Senate

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that if a Democratic president

wins in 2020, he will refuse to pass any law that is somewhat

progressive for the next four years. These are just small examples in

the massive sea of ongoing political warfare. The guilty party is not

trying to do what’s best for the American people; they simply want

the opposing party to lose. The polarizing, zero-sum politics are

dividing the country further than anything we’ve seen since the Civil

War. Frankly, if something doesn’t change, we could be looking at

the removal of the United States as a global power.

While third parties garner a small amount of votes every election

year, like Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016 gaining 3.27 percent of

the national vote, in the winner-take-all system, it is impossible for a

third party to truly emerge.

These parties don’t attract enough voters for simple reasons.

Often, voters don’t want to gamble on their vote being wasted

when they know a third-party candidate won’t win. Plus, voting for a

third-party candidate could potentially help the candidate you dislike

the most. This traps people into voting for the two big parties,

which furthers the problem even more.

My solution to this problem? More political parties. While George

Washington argued for no political parties in his 1796 farewell speech,

that is simply impossible at this point. The development of political

parties is almost inevitable in a functioning republic. If we’re going to

have these partisan groups, let’s have ones that fit each American’s

interests. Let’s get people in office who actually represent us and

give other parties the chance to hold major positions.

Since 1950, only eight U.S. representatives and three senators have

come from a third party, these being the Green and Libertarian parties.

With the dissolution of the two-party system, these third-party

groups would have the chance to hold higher positions, ones that

they’ve never gotten the opportunity to.

In a multi-party state, each group would have to work together

to effectively govern, meaning more viewpoints are heard. The

implementation of a system like the ones seen in New Zealand and

Germany would be beneficial to the American people and their politics,

which will ultimately save the future of our country.




Lily Hieronymus Amanda Black Hannah Sachs


When we were younger, our

parents made all of our decisions

for us. Whether it was which

shoes we wore or what time we

went to bed, how we lived our

daily lives was up to them. We

were dependent on them, trusting

that the decisions they made

for us were in our best interest.

As we got older, this dependency

began to fade. We started

to do things on our own and

develop our own opinions about

what shoes we wanted to wear,

what time we should go to bed,

and eventually, which political

ideologies we would uphold.

Sometimes, these newly formed

opinions wouldn’t line up with

our parents’ views, and that’s

okay. Disagreeing with your parents

isn’t the end of the world,

and it definitely shouldn’t turn

you against each other.

In recent years, the internet

and social media have become

information hotspots. Controversy

is always trending, so it’s

no surprise that younger generations

have become increasingly

involved in politics over

the years. While this increased

involvement can be a good thing,

it can also cause our parents to

wonder if our research is taking

us in the right direction.

Social media especially can be a

polarizing source of information,

so it’s natural for them to worry

about whether our views will

be negatively affected by this

polarization. But the problem

starts when this concern for

our well-being clouds out any

possibility of productive conversation.

We need space to learn

from our mistakes and expand

our views, but we can’t do that

if our exposure to social media

causes immediate concern and

disagreement when discussing politics.

Our parents want the best for us, and our political involvement

is no exception. But we have to be prepared to accept the fact

that we may disagree with them on some issues after doing our

own research. Our engagement online and our exposure to the

polarization of social media does not stop us from finding other

sources and still ending up with differing views.

Doing your own research beyond just headlines and Instagram

infographics is so important, and finding sources other than the

ones your parents use in their arguments is essential. Developing

confidence in your own political views cannot truly happen until

you’ve been exposed to more than just these sources. But if you

come out on the other side in disagreement with your parents,

don’t let it turn into an issue that prevents any future political

conversations from happening.

Avoiding discussing politics with your parents in order to

prevent tension eliminates any chance of productive conversation.

Understanding and challenging opposing views allows us to expand

our ideas and gain the confidence to discuss politics beyond the

comfort of our own living room, but if we don’t even have these

discussions in the first place, there’s nowhere for us to take our


The comfort we gain from agreeing with our parents stems

from the idea that disagreeing with them will always cause painful

conversations and heated arguments. In reality, we can take a step

back and understand that having the confidence to challenge your

parents’ beliefs without fearing that all of your conversations will




turn into a screaming match is

what will lead to real progress.

Allowing this fear to prevent

us from standing by our views is

a step backwards, as it stops us

from having open-minded conversations.

If we’re worried about

the outcome before we even

start talking, defensiveness and

deflection will prevail. Unhealthy

conversations like these only

confirm our fears, and they lead

to an endless cycle of fear, avoidance

and close-mindedness.

It doesn’t really matter

whether you agree with your

parents or not; you shouldn’t be

afraid to do your own research

and develop your own opinions.

Disagreeing with your parents

isn’t the end of the world, and

having those tough conversations

is a necessary part of becoming

confident in your views.

Don’t let fear discourage you

from branching out and forming

your own opinions.




Morning showers


Night showers

Lilly Williams

Lilly Williams

Rowan Hornsey

Showers—a time to clean off, relax, and maybe even sing a little. Everyone

takes them (hopefully), and most people have a specific point in their day when

they choose to do so.

Many people think that there’s no right or wrong time to shower, and that as

long as you’re getting clean, it doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I firmly

disagree. I am a strong advocate for morning showers, and once you’re introduced

to the evidence, you’ll see exactly why.

What’s a better start to any given day than a nice, warm shower?

For me, not much.

I wake up and instantly hop in the shower. The feeling of the

toasty water waking me up and rinsing my fatigue and morning

grumpiness away in seconds is simply incomparable bliss.

It’s essentially like being born again.

Don’t get me wrong, coffee is a great picker-upper, but there’s

nothing quite like being able to just wash off the sleep (and the

intense bedhead for some) that gets me up and ready for a new day,

and experts agree.

Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in

New York, told New York Times magazine that morning showers

also make a big difference for those who have trouble waking up, as

they boost alertness and stimulate the senses.

Additionally, Dr. Shelley Carson, a psychology lecturer at Harvard,

said to Time magazine that because a shower lowers cortisol levels

(which lowers stress) while you’re awake and active, your brain is able

to think without being pressured, which leads to new and creative


We all know that the best thoughts are shower thoughts, and now

we have science to back it up. Not only do morning showers give us

a fresh start to the day, but they give us extended imaginations and


Not only that, but for bearded readers, I have a perk for you

too—a hot, steamy shower can help soften hairs for a much more

comfortable morning shave.

It’s clear that morning showers rank superior to night showers for

a multitude of reasons. However, there is a small case to be made

on the side of the monsters (also known as night showerers) that I

should address and debunk.

The heathens who shower at night may think that it’s necessary

to wash off your day before you go to bed at night. After being out

and sweating all day, night showerers claim that washing the grime

off is essential, and to skip a shower before bed is simply unclean.

Science, once again, knocks this argument down a peg. Night

showerers, you’re not sleeping in your sheets as fresh as you think

you are.

Dr. Gary Goldenburg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor

at the Icahn School of Medicine, points out a glaring counterargument

to this misconception.

“Humans tend to perspire at night,” Dr. Goldberg noted to The

New York Times. “When you wake up in the morning, there’s all this

sweat and bacteria from the sheets that’s just kind of just sitting

there on your skin.”

Still want to wake up without showering?

Not only is it less hygenic to shower at night, but much less

healthy for your scalp and hair. Dr. George Cotsarelis, professor of

dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, noted to The New

York Times that going to sleep with wet hair is bad for your follicles,

as laying against a pillow can trap moisture into your hair.

“You have different layers to each follicle, and the inner cortex can

swell with water if not dried properly,” he explains. That swelling can

cause the hair cuticle to rupture, and over time, lead to extensive


For those who can’t sleep without a shower, or feel that their

night routine is incomplete without being able to clean off and relax,

I have a best-of-both-worlds compromise: shower twice. Showering

twice a day is generally okay for your skin, stated Dr. Goldberg, as

long as they are not too lengthy.

So if you are a monster/night showerer, I strongly urge you to

rethink your routine, as it could do wonders for your cleanliness, hair

health and most importantly, your shower thoughts.



OCTOBER 2020 19




OCTOBER 2020 21


crossword: unity & division

Dino Bougiotopoulos

This crossword puzzle focuses on events and ideas that have contributed to division or unity around the world in 2020.


2. Climate disasters along the West Coast that have harmed many

American families

4. A political group symbolized by a donkey

7. Platforms where people often share personal content and get

their news from (2 words)

11. A lack of fairness; many people struggle with this around the


12. Abbreviation, in initials, of the Supreme Court Justice who died

in September

13. An event that occurs every four years. U.S. citizens above the

age of 18 have the right to participate in this

14. An ongoing, devastating global event that has occured in 2020,

which has affected the health of many as well as the normal daily

routines of others


1. An event held involving political candidates and a moderator

3. Something that is coming soon, according to scientists, to help

the COVID-19 pandemic; however, many Americans are skeptical and

do not trust this

5. A view on something, not necessarily based on facts. Sharing

this may often lead to conflict and disagreement

6. A political group symbolized by an elephant

8. An over-generalized belief or label placed on someone and/or a

specific group

9. Many people in 2020 have participated in this activity to fight

for what they believe in, hoping the end result will be a change for

the better

10. A style of work or learning that many people have adapted to

around the world to accommodate to changes from the pandemic




Anika Raina



Have you heard that ______________ is running for president? With the election only days away,


this candidate plans to ___________ alongside President Donald Trump and former Vice President


Joe Biden.

The candidate has many goals they hope to achieve once in office. Rather than __________________

verb ending in “ing”

the economy, building a ________ between the United States and Mexico, investing in ____________



energy or raising the minimum wage, this candidate ensures that _____________ ___________ will be

adjective noun

granted to all Americans.

Furthermore, this candidate promises to give ________________ to all children as well as hosting

animal (plural)

socially distant ____________ parties on Friday nights at the White House.

type of food

The first presidential debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees was ____________.


Tensions between both candidates escalated quickly. “Will you ____________, man?” said Biden as


he lost his _________ to President Trump. _________________ did not show up at this event.


restate celebrity

Both Trump and Biden can agree, possibly the first time since _________, that having ______________


restate celebrity

as president would be disastrous for America.

Although the outcome of the election is still unknown, American voters are encouraged to go to

the ___________ and fill out a ballot.


photos from Wikimedia Commons



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