Spokesman Vol. 59 Issue 1

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Tips for the

Semester Two

Page 4


Junbi vs.

Kung Fu Tea

Page 10


PDS Faculty

Crossword Puzzle

Page 12

The Spokesman



JAN. 2023 VOL. 59, ISSUE 1

Goodbye, White Christmas

PDS considers the impact of climate change on our




“An Explorer, A Tracer of Lost Tribes, A

Seeker of Clues to Feelings”

The Anne Reid ’72 Gallery

at Princeton Day School is

displaying a new exhibit

featuring the stop-motion

animation artworks of Carrie

Hawks, Gabrielle Tesfaye,

and Jordan Wong until March

24. Upper School art teacher

and Gallery Club advisor,

Gwen Shockey explained that

she decided upon this unique

form of art because “lots of the

students from the art classes

are interested in stop-motion

animation.” These animations

incorporate a wide range of

materials, such as fabric, hair,

drawn and painted puppets,

and natural materials. The title

of the exhibit, “An Explorer,

A Tracer of Lost Tribes, A

Seeker of Clues to Feelings,”

was adapted from Betye Saar’s

poem, “A Remembrance of

Ritual in Serious Moonlight,”

where she explores the ritual,

spirituality, and cosmologies

of Africa. Each piece of the

featured artwork explores

identity, ancestry, mythology,

and the body.

continued on page 2


Hawks tells the story of

the queer BIPOC experience,

grappling with self-harm and

the healing journey. These

stories are often overlooked

and ignored in mainstream

conversations about the

LGBTQ+ community.

speak honestly about their

experiences through three

different styles of stop-motion


Hand-painted puppets play a

very important role in Tesfaye’s

artworks. She explores

historical, personal, spiritual,



Over the past few

weeks, extreme storms have

swept through the country,

leaving destruction in their

wake. These major storms

occur more frequently

than ever, from significant

flooding in California to

blizzards in New York.

Director of Sustainability and

Environmental Education

Jessica Clingman observes,

“What we are seeing now is

storms and events that used

to happen only once every

100 years happening multiple

times in ten years.” Even

the weather in Princeton has

changed: usually, Princeton

sees an average of 31.5 inches

of snowfall—this year, we’ve

seen none. Additionally,

freezing rains are common,

with the temperature cold

but lacking the moisture

necessary to generate

snowfall. Though the events

in Buffalo and California

may seem unrelated at first

glance, scientists agree they

are all due to climate change.

A seemingly endless

chain of storms in California

has ravaged homes and

infrastructure, causing

catastrophic flooding and

damage. Senior and co-head

of the Environmental Action

Club (EnAct) Maddie

Weinstein comments, “many

people have had to evacuate

the state, and lives have been

lost.” At least 19 people have

died in California due to

mudslides, flash floods, and

debris damage. Across the

country in Buffalo, New York,

residents spent Christmas

preparing for a brutal

incoming storm. Buffalo’s

storms began at the end of

December and continued

for four days. These storms

brought snow squalls and

white-outs that kept first

responders from reaching

people in need, leaving more

than 30,000 people without

power. Forty people lost

their lives in Buffalo due to

the weather event. Scientists

are constantly trying to find

how and whether the the

rapid increase in storms

relates to climate change.

Mrs. Clingman remarks,

continued on page 2

TikTok: Finally Banned?



TikTok, the global

platform for creating short

videos, has about 1 billion

monthly active users and

around 90 million in the United

States alone. This videosharing

app supports content

creators and small businesses;

the TikTok Creator Fund pays

creators depending on the rate

at which users interact with a

creator’s account and offers

customers. People also use

TikTok as an outlet to express

themselves. Since December

2022, there has been discourse

among U.S. lawmakers on

whether TikTok will be banned

in the United States, the main

continued on page 2

reason being concerns over its

China-based parent company,

ByteDance. The U.S.

government worries that China

is using TikTok to hack into

people’s devices and steal their

information. Banning TikTok,

however, might do more

harm than good, considering

the number of users and the

amount of income it brings in

(Artwork/Madeline Cook ‘25)


Goodbye White Christmas (cont.)

From page 1

“As the air gets warmer, it can hold

more water, so rain and snow events

can be even bigger than they were

before.” This explains the abnormally

high frequency of storms across the

country but not the lack of snow.

All over the world, the weather is

changing, and our erratic weather is

TikTok: Finally Banned? (cont.)

From page 1

for creators.

When rumors spread that

this app was being banned last year,

content creators and normal users

alike expressed confusion and distress.

Sophomore Sophia Zhou states, “the

current generation in the U.S. runs off

of TikTok so there’s no way it is being

banned.” With 60% of users being

GenZ, this app is such an integral part of

young people’s lives. If the government

were to ban it, they would have to deal

with backlash from the public.

“I don’t think TikTok will be

banned because many people have

started using the platform as their main

source of income,” junior Elena Sichel

creators, and content creators make

money solely through TikTok. Content

creators who have about a hundred

thousand followers can earn from $200

to $1000 a month.

Deliberations in the U.S. government

have been in process regarding TikTok

Gallery Draws Crowds

From page 1

and mythological realms of human

knowledge, beauty, and pain. Her

puppets connect to her characters’

bodies, visions, and souls in her

animation. Wong’s artworks pulsate

with color, texture, and sound. The

material in each frame is restless

and dynamically switches between

microscopic views of thread and yarn

and a variety of zoomed-out designs,

many of which are hand-dyed.

Ms. Shockey states that, “one aspect

that makes our exhibition so unique

is that each of our artists come from a

linked to climate change. So, what

can everyone in the PDS community

do? Mrs. Clingman says, “I urge

PDS community members to make

their voices heard and demand

our community be ready for more

intense weather events.” Students are

preparing for the onslaught of new

for years now, but the current uptick in

worries about this app being banned

stems from Congress’s decision in

December of 2022 to ban the use of

TikTok on federal government devices.

Although many people are worried

about what this might mean for the

general public in the future, sophomore

Clara Grissom says, “Every year people

say it will get banned for one reason

or another and it never does. The fact

that it got banned from all government

devices is different from the app being

banned in the whole country.” Many

people echo this sentiment and think

that the government’s restrictions are

wholly separate from those of the entire

United States.

Concerns over TikTok being banned

are legitimate, but with unsuccessful

attempts at banning the app during the

presidency of Donald Trump, the PDS

community agrees that we do not have

much to worry about.

diverse background.” Hawks, Tesfaye,

and Wong are all people of color of

different ethnicities and tell inspiring

stories about identity, family, and

ancestry. Junior Ashlyn Du commented:

“It is really cool for our gallery to be

featuring artists from outside of our

[in-school] artists. It allows us to gain

experiences and exposure to the outside

world of art.” Many students within

the PDS community believe that these

exhibitions are a crucial part of our

diverse culture.


weather events as well: sophomore

Maddy Cook says, “These events

relate to all of us because even if

those specific storms aren’t affecting

us now, we will be affected soon.” In

terms of helping the community and

the planet, Cook says, “I plan to help

change this by doing small things

every day, such as recycling.” One

thing is for sure: these recent weather

events have been intense and are not

going away. As scientists attempt to

discern global warming’s causes and

the consequences on the world, our

Christmases may start looking more

green than white.

(Photography/ Krish Saxena ‘25)





The Brain Exercise Initiative’s First High School Chapter Begins




T he Brain Exercise Initiative

(BEI) is a registered 501(c)(3)

nonprofit organization that uses

simple math, writing and reading

aloud exercises as a way to improve

cognitive function for those who

suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

BEI’s goal “is to help more seniors

remember and thrive.” There are

several studies that you can find on

the BEI website of clinical trials

supporting that the exercises help

with dementia.

The BEI was started by an

undergraduate at UCLA, who is now

a medical student. Her grandfather

had Alzheimer’s disease, and she

stumbled across this research,

which prompted her to take action

on the issue. After discovering that

something similar was being done in

Japan, she thought of implementing

it herself in the United States.

Consequently, she started this

organization, and it has grown to

include over fifty chapters around the

world, many of them concentrated in

universities in the U.S.

One of the co-heads of the new

BEI group at PDS, junior Aadi

Shankar, heard about BEI at a

Model UN conference, where he

met a woman who was a member of

the NYU chapter of the BEI. After

this experience, Shankar did some

research on the organization and

was intrigued. Shankar wanted to

involve himself further in the issue

and began the newest chapter of

BEI at PDS. Shankar shared, “One

of my grandmothers suffered from

Alzheimer’s before she passed away.

That was my main motivation for

starting BEI at PDS.”

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and

Thursdays during C&C, PDS students

join a Zoom call with a group of

senior citizens from an assisted

living home. Another co-head of

the club and also an EIC of the

Spokesman, junior Sam Elkin shared,

“We work with Maplewood Living

Center in Plainsboro, New Jersey.”

With about 30 active members, the

group is truly making a difference,

while also enjoying their work. BEI

volunteer and sophomore Bodhi

Ghoge discussed his experience with

BEI: “I had a great experience at BEI.

It was challenging and yet fun. I had a

great time speaking with the seniors,

and it really opened my eyes to a

whole other world.” Similarly, BEI

volunteer sophomore Parth Khera

shares, “I had a good experience

because it taught me the difference of

thinking in different generations, and

it gave me a new perspective on [a

disease that is] usually overlooked.”

(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ‘24)

(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ‘24)

(Image/Brain Exercise Initiative)

What Makes a Good Team?



C ollaboration is a crucial part of

the PDS experience. Whether it is

playing in a sports team, performing

a skit for Spanish, or planning a

grade-wide bake sale, students often

find themselves working in teams.

Sometimes, however, working as a

team can be challenging. No group

chats are made and everyone is

disagreeing with the slide designs on

SlidesCarnival. Once the enthusiasm

has dissipated, the main goal becomes

handing in the assignment on time.

After the work is done, the most

important question comes up: whose

name comes first on the title slide?

However, the question we don’t ask

enough is: what makes a good team?

In classes, some students are able

to work in a group that collaborates

well and completes their work in a

timely fashion. Success from such

assignments depend on many factors,

whether it is effective leadership or

straightforward communication.

Sophomore Casey Kuma, who is

active in the PDS theater and choir

program, said, “I think that a sense

of respect within a group of people,

knowing your place and position

within the team but also not being

afraid to step out of it when possible

makes a great team.” Because of

the teamwork effort fostered by our

theater program, along with hard

work and long hours of rehearsal,

our plays have a reputation for being

entertaining and engaging.

Furthermore, effective teamwork is

necessary outside of the classroom

as well. Student Council President

and senior Ziya Brittingham shared,

“I think qualities of a good team are

definitely being open-minded and

receptive to others’ ideas as well as

being eager to help others. Also, being

open to constructive criticism and

accepting the fact that sometimes your

first draft of ideas isn’t going to be the

best way to make your idea a reality.”

Due to Brittingham’s ability to lead

a team, many resolutions have been

passed by Student Council concerning

PDS students. Other students echo

Brittingham’s sentiments on the

importance of healthy collaboration.

Varsity squash player sophomore

Parth Khera states, “Teamwork is

defined as a group effort . Only when

the team has good communication is

when the group effort will succeed.”

Even in individual sports like squash,

support from other teammates leads

to a player’s success in the game.

So, when being assigned a team,

don’t forget to communicate, display

respect, and most importantly, share

the workload so that it would not

matter whose name is first on that


PDS male acapella Y-Chromotomes exhibiting excellent teamwork during


(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ‘24)


Tips for Semester Two




O n January 20, the first

semester of the 2022-2023 school

year ended. Students have varying

thoughts on the first semester.

Sophomore Grace Ulrich expressed

how the semester had highs and lows

and much of that was, “consisting of

grades that varied.” A common theme

of having a “good” semester is whether

one was happy with their grades.

However, Ulrich also noted the shift

from ninth to tenth grade, stating that

she has accumulated numerous skills

that have helped her tremendously.

For example, dedicating extra time to

studying has become more important.

Time management becomes more

difficult when some classes require

extra effort, along with the pressures

of parents and balancing a club sport.

Ulrich balances her extracurriculars

by making a schedule and putting

reminders on her phone.

Many students within the Upper

School shared the lessons and ideas

that Ulrich expressed. Sophomore

Addison Figel stated, “Sophomore

year is a lot more work than

freshman year, but I think that the

first semester was pretty successful.”

Figel’s semester went well because

of the skills she had in place.

She consistently wrote all of her

assignments down and made sure

not to procrastinate because she, as

well, has a very busy schedule. One

experience shared by many students

is the initial belief that all the

assignments and tests are extremely

challenging. When one eventually

steps back and takes a breath, this

stress and anxiety can be undertaken

once hard work, effort, and timemanagement

skills are applied.

When asked “which semester do

you think you will like better?” Figel

shared, “I really don’t think I like

one semester more than the other. I

appreciate them both.”

It is important to take the lessons

that you have learned from the

previous semester, and apply that to

your learning agenda. Take your time

and have fun in school.


Insights into Chef Brian’s Culinary Mastermind



M any of us look forward to

lunchtime and much of Princeton

Day’s student body purchase their

lunch through the Flik dining plan.

Director of Flik Food Services

Brian Mochnal is responsible for

determining many of the lunch


Mochnal began his career with

Flik in 1995. He started working at

Princeton Day School when Flik

took over the contract to serve lunch

in June 2005. Mochnal grew up with

parents who both enjoyed cooking and

making food from scratch. He literally

“cooked” his way through college

and went into the food industry after

graduating from Rutgers. He and his

wife do a food tour in any city to

which they travel. This provides him

with inspiration about regional foods

and different local cuisines.

Mochnal, who began working at

Princeton Day School through Flik

in 2005, explained what the factors

he considers when planning a lunch


1. Will people enjoy it?

2. Is it cost-effective?

3. Can it be served to the community

in the limited time that PDS has for


Mochnal serves lunch to hundreds

members of the PDS community every

day, with the goal to have something

available for everyone, regardless of

their dietary restrictions. Nutritional

value factors into every meal he

plans, and, to keep things healthy, he

does not use fryers. Almost all of the

dishes available in the PDS cafeteria

are made from scratch. Mochnal

approaches running a cafeteria like

running a business; he takes into

account costs and budget, especially

recently, with inflation on the rise

and food shortages resulting in more

expensive produce.

Mochnal explained that the

cafeteria’s most popular lunch item

is his special meatloaf. This may

be surprising for some, especially

considering the fact that many people

in the PDS community are vegetarians

or limit their consumption of beef.

But, according to Mochnal,

meatloaf has been the most popular

lunch item for years. He has even had

parents ask for the recipe after their

students graduate. So, in many ways,

the recipe is not quite so secret after


Freshman Andrew Dai, who has

been on the meal plan since sixth

grade, noted that his favorite lunch

is not the meatloaf, but instead curry

chicken with rice. Dai remarks that

he is not extremely conscious about

nutritional value when selecting his

lunch, but does try to add fruit and

vegetables to his plate at every meal.

He also tries to eat something from

all five food groups, with his favorite

being fruits. Like many students at

Senior Kyler Zhou ‘23 with his peer group (Photo/PDSFlickr)


PDS, he is well aware that meatloaf

is the most popular food item on the

lunch menu.

Regardless of your favorite dish

on the PDS lunch menu, we all

appreciate the filling and nutritious

lunches that Mochnal and his

hard-working staff prepare for us

daily. Mochnal and his staff feed

a thousand people a day, Monday

through Friday. We want to recognize

all the hard work that goes into this

endeavor every week.

Campus Center during lunch (Photo/Alexander Chia ’26)

Tuning Into PDS’s Jacobson Music Scholars



This school year, Princeton Day

School is overflowing with musical

talent. From instrumental concerts to

open-mics, students are able to share

their artistry with the community in

a variety of settings. For especially

talented students, PDS offers a unique

opportunity to assist their pursuit

of music beyond their high school

careers: the Jacobson Music Scholar

Program. The current Jacobson Music

Scholars consist of juniors Thomas

Poljevka and Nathan Campbell, as

well as seniors Ben Maschler, Zoë

Latanision, Kyler Zhou, and Albert


Named in honor of Frank Jacobson,

a former PDS Music Department

Head who died last year, the Jacobson

Music Scholar Program provides

juniors and seniors with time during

the school day to hone their music

skills and perform before a faculty


“The Jacobson Music Scholar

Program really excited me because

not a lot of [high] schools have

something like that, so I was really

drawn to the idea of just getting time

to work on music,” said Latanision,

who cited the program as one of the

main reasons why she chose to attend


Due to the selective nature of

the program, those who are able to

participate usually have extensive

backgrounds in music. Poljevka began

Spring Gallery Exhibition

his musical journey in first grade

with the violin, and he continued to

pick up other instruments along the

way before discovering the art of

composing. “I really like the story

that goes with music,” remarked

Poljevka. “I feel like almost every

song is a story.” Now, he writes

arrangements for the Upper School

Orchestra and composes pieces for

short films with the time and support

he receives from the Jacobson Music

Scholar Program.

At the end of the school year,

Jacobson Music Scholars will perform

a solo recital—and everyone in the

PDS community is invited to attend.

“It is really a highly participated-in

event and will be a milestone in my

musical career,” expressed Kyler

Zhou, a pianist for the Upper School

Band. “I’ve been looking forward to

[the solo recital] since day one.” As a

senior, Zhou will perform for half an

hour, and the juniors will perform for

fifteen minutes.

It will be up to the underclassmen

to fill in the seniors’ shoes after

graduation. As the sole female and

vocalist in the program, Latanision

urges younger musicians to hold onto

their aspirations. “Don’t let anyone

discourage you from pursuing

music,” stated Latanision, “Music is

a real job. There are a lot of different

career paths that can go with music,

and I don’t think a lot of people know

that.” Kyler Zhou shared similar

sentiments: “Just keep going. If it’s


your passion, don’t let anything

affect you from pursuing it.”

Most Jacobson Music Scholars end

up continuing their involvement in

music throughout their adult lives.

Kyler Zhou plans on joining musical

ensembles in college, Latanision

aspires to release her own album in

the future, and Poljevka hopes to

eventually write music for movies.

Even to those who do not participate

(Artwork/Ashlyn Du ‘24)

in musical activities, music is an

integral part of everyday life, serving

as a universal language capable

of stimulating the imagination

and expressing emotion. Whether

it is through singing, composing,

or playing an instrument, PDS’s

music students always bring joy to

the campus. Music knits the PDS

community together in a way that

nothing else can.

(Photo/Dylan Powers ‘25)


W hen the movie “Everything

Everywhere All At Once” was

released in theaters in March 2022,

it had a massive global impact.

Directed by Daniel Kwan and

Daniel Scheinert, it featured Asian

actors and actresses Michelle Yeoh,

Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and

James Hong. In contrast to other

Hollywood films, the cast featured

mostly Asian American actors.

The Golden Globes have a history

of discriminating against certain

groups, and it was not until this year

that they finally had a Black host.

The host, Jerrod Carmichael, opened

his speech with the phrase, “I’m here

because I’m Black.” He goes on to say

that the Golden Globes had not had a

single black host until after George

Floyd’s death. The Golden Globes are

also notorious for their controversy,

including one of their board members

writing a racist email that later got

him fired. The 2023 Golden Globes

had lots of memorable moments, and

one of the highlights was Michelle

Yeoh’s win and her following speech.

Yeoh won the award for Best

Actress in a Musical or Comedy,

a very prestigious award. English

teacher Dr. Karen Latham noted,

“Michelle is amazing. She’s able

to be both funny, serious and

tragic. Showing skills as a dramatic

actress, comedian and superhero is

absolutely incredible.” Yeoh’s skill

set contains all sorts of strengths

and emotional intelligence, and she

perfectly captures all of that when

in character. Dr. Latham continued,

“What’s significant is that the main

theme of the movie is about [the]

ridiculousness of life. Everything is

hard to figure out and the challenges

we face make [life] feel meaningless.”

The theme of facing challenges was

not only prevalent in the breathtaking

film but also at the awards ceremony

of the 2023 Golden Globes. During

Yeoh’s speech, she was almost cut off

as the pianist began playing the outro

music, but Yeoh refused to have her

moment silenced. She proudly stated,

“Shut up, I can beat you up!” Yeoh

was clearly joking, but the action

of silencing the musician in order

to finish her acceptance speech was

remarkable. Her speech didn’t just

cover her trials and tribulations in

Hollywood, but also in life. Senior

Kyler Zhou states, “It’s amazing—I

feel that this is really trailblazing

for Asian Americans especially as

one … it really brings me hope for

[Asian American] youth.” Michelle’s

win did not just touch the souls of the

audience, but also members in our PDS

community. Zhou also went on to say,

“Growing up, films were dominated

by white leads and Asian characters

were secondary.” His story about

growing up in America and watching

these types of films are experiences

all people of color can relate to.

Michelle Yeoh’s performance

was not just captivating because

she was playing different versions

of her character, but also because

she was playing a mother. Freshman

Armaan Singhal expressed,

“Sometimes my mother and I will

have disagreements—and [the

movie] puts me in the perspective of

the other person. Her performance

was memorable because I felt as if I

saw my mother in Evelyn.” Singhal

also said, “The movie made me feel

sad at times because some of the




situations were somewhat relatable,

even though it takes place in the

multiverse.” It’s truly amazing to

see the extent of acting and how

far some actors or actresses can go.

As the Golden Globes came to an

end, articles created about Michelle

Yeoh’s victory rapidly surfaced. It is

a sight for sore eyes to see a minority

being put on a country wide stage

and being nominated and awarded

for something so prestigious as the

Golden Globes. As time goes on,

many hope to see more occasions

like this and see different faces

win such honorable awards.

Pieces of fan art dedicated to Dune (Artwork/Amy Lin ‘26)





The Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team’s Comeback



T he Boys’ Varsity Basketball

team has shown much improvement

from last year, having already

tied last year’s number of wins

halfway into the season. Many of

the players attribute this success

to their work ethic and effective

collaboration. On the court,

players pass to each other often,

with few teammates excluded

from the flow of the game. Varsity

basketball player and senior Jaden

Hall said, “our team chemistry on

and off the court is great, we all

talk to each other like brothers and

it translates well into the game.”

Off the court the team exhibits

great chemistry as well. During

the girls’ varsity basketball game

against Somerville High School,

the boys’ varsity team could be

seen supporting the girls team and

inspiring others to do the same.

They started chants, celebrated

when the girls scored, were

always laughing and smiling,

raising the positive energy of

those surrounding them. Their

excitement got to the point where

they were told to quiet down.

This year’s team extends their

positive energy to the three

freshmen on the team: Danny

Rozenblat, Jordan Owens, and

Collin Myat. According to

Rozenblat, “All the upperclassmen

have been helping out. They’re

all understanding if you make a

mistake, they’re always willing to

help you out.” All players expressed

their belief that their teammates

are incredibly understanding and

try to motivate each other in any

way possible; this is also reflected

on the court, where you can often

see teammates high-fiving each

other and celebrating together.

Players on the bench will cheer

for their teammates on the court,

creating an atmosphere which

helps them to be more confident

on the court and play better.

Looking ahead to the rest of the

season, players seem optimistic for

their success. Regardless of their

record, Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Head Coach Eugene Burroughs,

commented, “This team has really

progressed, and has gotten better.

The great thing is that we have a

bunch of games to go, so I hope

we win more games, but I think


we’re on track to. Our guys are

playing well enough to win.” The

close bonds and chemistry this

team shares helps them play the

game in an effective manner, and

they are able to trust each other

and themselves because of this.

The chemistry of the team built a

bond among these players, but with

seven seniors, the majority of their

team, leaving next year. It leaves

the question, how will the rising

seniors and the rest of the team fill

their shoes in creating a welcoming

environment to the new members,

and keeping up the chemistry

built with this team? The current

seniors have set a great example

for the rest of the team to follow.

Boys’ Varsity Basketball vs. CAPS Central (Photos/Rhea Ajmera ‘26)

NFL Fan Predicts 2023 NBA All Stars



Note: This article was written before the

All-Stars were announced and is for satirical


T he NBA, the peak of the male

sports industry, has entertained

viewers since long before my time,

and it will continue until long after

I’m dead. The ratings are sky high,

and it attracts more fans than ever,

foreshadowing the massive wave of

basketball that is soon to be raging

across the world. In this article,

I will be predicting the rosters of

the NBA All Star game, or as I

like to call it: the NBA Pro Bowl.

Then, I’ll match up my predictions

to the actual results to see how

well they bode against reality.

The NBA Pro Bowl selects 24 of

the league’s best players (12 from

each conference), and they play

against each other during the midseason

break. The NBA is broken

up into two conferences, Eastern

and Western, and even though 24

players are selected to the All Star

Game, I will just be predicting the

starters. Starting with the Western

Conference, my first pick is the

best 3-point shooter on both sides

of the Mississippi: Wardell Curry

II. My next pick for the Western

Conference is the notorious PDS

alum, Ja Morant. For my third

pick, I predict Zion Willliamson

to make the Pro Bowl. Zion played

college basketball for the same

school as one of the NFL’s top 10

quarterbacks, the New York Giants’

Daniel Slimes.

When asked about Zion’s future

in the league, LeMickey James

said, “yabadabadoooldnavy.” When

asked about how he reacted to this

quote after hearing it, senior Nick

Somogyi said, “it inspired me

deeply to become a better person.”

Speaking of LeFlop, he is my fourth

pick to start in the NBA Pro Bowl.

Finally, to round out the squad, I

have the fifth man as another PDS

Alum: Davon Reed.

Now for the East; I predict the

Macedonian Menace, Giannis

Akumpo to be selected first. Second,

I have Donovan Mitchell, the pride

of Cleveland. Mitchell recently

put up a 71 point game which is

quite an impressive feat. When

asked for his reaction, once again,

LeBron said, “I was just sitting

at home with Bronny and I saw

Donny make a couple 3s, and I said

to myself, man Mitchell is gonna

score 71 points.” A truly incredible

prediction by LeKidfromAkron, the

likes of which I can only dream of.

With the third pick for the East,

I’m predicting the second best

3-point shooter B.S.O.T.M. (Both

sides of the Mississippi): Benjamin

Simmons, a truly incredible talent.

Now, you could not pay me to make

an NBA Pro Bowl prediction article

and not take the savior of Houston,

the current leader of the prestigious

Houston Rockets, the man who

shaved his head and glued the hair

to his face, James Harden. To round

out both the Eastern squad, and this

article as a whole, my final NBA Pro

Bowl prediction is the man who does

not run his Instagram and son of the

prestigious Lamelo Ball, Lavar.

NBA All Star Giannis Antetokounmpo at the

2022 NBA All Star Game (Photo/Erik Drost)

NBA All Star LeBron James (Photo/Wikimedia)





T he College Football Playoff

format has been a topic of heated

discussion lately, with many

analysts and fans calling for the

number of teams to be expanded

from four to twelve to increase

competition. Last month, to the

delight of many, the Playoff

Committee members agreed to

implement a twelve team playoff

with hopes of including it for

the 2024 season. The goal of

expansion is to avoid lopsided

championship games such as this

seasons’ 65-7 blowout win for

the Georgia Bulldogs over Texas

Christian University (TCU).

However, there are still many

people out there with doubts on

if an expanded playoff is the right

move for College Football. Junior

Sam Salguero believes that even

with an expanded playoff, “The

same four teams will make it to

the semifinals every year by pure

dominance. Georgia, Alabama,

Ohio State, and maybe a few others

are just so much better than every

The Rise of International Players in the NBA



G iannis Antetokounmpo,

Joel Embiid are undeniably among

the most-respected names in the

National Basketball Association

(NBA), and all four of them are

international players. According

to a study from the NBA Social

Media Department, “Across NBA

Europe’s social media channels,

content featuring Antetokounmpo

performs 100% better than the

other team.” Dominance from top

tier programs is, and always will

be, a big part of college football,

but the influence of “name, image,

and license” (NIL) deals has taken

football supremacy to another

level. NIL deals are a way for

college athletes to earn money,

which was previously prohibited.

In many ways, this benefits college

football programs; but the value of

average post, while Jokic content

does 10% better,” suggesting that

international players are taking the

league by storm.

Last season, following yet

another remarkable year, Denver

Nuggets’ Jokic was awarded his

second straight MVP title, and in

the process, he became the second

international player in a row to

receive the award in successive

seasons. In fact, an NBA player

born in America has not won

the KIA Most Valuable Player

Award since the 2017–18 season.

NIL has spread to recruiting, with

some highly scouted high school

recruits getting paid by colleges

to attend their schools. In this new

age of college football, money

certainly talks, and the schools with

the most resources are often the

schools getting top ten votes in the

AP Poll. Essentially, in the realm of

college football, the rich get richer.

With this in mind, a twelve team

Michigan University’s football stadium, the largest in college football (Photo/Unsplash)

Preceding Jokic, Antetokounpo

from the Milwaukee Bucks won

the award in the 2018–19 and

2019–20 seasons. Furthermore,

every Defensive Player of the Year

Award from 2017 to 2021 has been

given to an international player.

The NBA is a professional sports

league that is predominantly made

up of American stars. Therefore,

having a Greek, Serbian, Slovenian,

and a Cameroonian as the league’s

best players is a complete

breakthrough for the NBA. When

asked if international players were

(Artwork/Hannah Park ‘24)

playoff could produce similarly

lopsided results when a potentially

twelve-seeded Tulane with zero

five-star recruits play the mighty

Alabama Crimson Tide, whose

whole starting lineup is composed

of some of the best former high

school players in the country. As

discouraging as this may sound,

there are always two sides to one

coin. Junior Tom Poljevka believes

that “a twelve team playoff truly

establishes who the best teams are.”

Certainly, the road to be a champion

in a twelve team playoff is not easy,

and even if Alabama or Georgia are

crowned as Champs once again, at

least we know that they were, in

fact, the best team. . Junior Max

Glasgold is also on board with

expanded playoffs, “It makes the

playoffs diverse and fun. TCU was

America’s team because of how

unlikely their championship run

was; a twelve team playoff gives us

more Cinderella-story type teams.”

Whether you want, or don’t want,

a twelve team playoff, one thing

is for certain: College Football is

changing, for better or for worse.

taking over the NBA, junior Sara

Appleby noted, “There’s a lot more

international players especially in

recent years, but they’re not taking it

over in a bad way;Antetokounmpo,

top players this season.” Junior Mia

Hartman shared similar sentiments

about the success of international

players: “I definitely do believe that

international players are taking over

the NBA. But, for the good. I love

the diverse playing style and the

way the game has evolved with the

presence of these players.”

The number of international

players in the NBA currently is

unprecedented. There are eight

international players featured in the

upcoming 2023 All-Star Game, with

one international player as a captain:

Giannis Antetokounmpo. During the

NBA’s first-ever season, in 1946–

47, only five international players

were a part of the league. In 2023,

however, that number has risen

to 109 players from almost forty

different nations. With the famous

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and

Stephen Curry nearing the end of

their careers, there will be room for

an influx of international players,

especially after the NBA continues

to broaden its global prestige. The

future of the NBA is truly exciting ,

with international talent competing

against young superstars from the

States, such as Jayson Tatum, Ja

Morant, and Zion Williamson. This

new wave of competition adds onto

the framework of an entirely new

generation of the NBA.

In early January of 2023,

co-creator of the childhood classic

“Phineas and Ferb” Dan Povenmire

announced the return of the hit TV

show for two more seasons. While

I, and many others, rejoiced at

this announcement, the return of

the show also means the return of

Baljeet, taking myself and other

South Asian Americans back to

our childhood and reminding us of

the pain inflicted by this supposed

joke of a character.

Growing up as a South Asian

American, I spent my days

watching TV like any normal kid

would do. I would scroll between

the Disney Channel and Disney

XD for hours, watching mindless

television. However, I never saw

characters that looked like me.

This was until I found “Phineas and

Ferb.” I remember the first episode

I watched when the short character

with a high-pitched voice made an

entrance. I was immediately taken

aback. Why did he have an accent?

Why was he getting bullied? Why

was he always studying math?

“That is nothing like me,” I

thought. I continued watching the

show and witnessed Baljeet get

harassed, bullied, and made fun of

by Buford, the strong, white bully

in the show. Why was no other

character getting bullied?

When I started going to school

and talking to my friends, they

would always call me Baljeet. But

who could blame them? Baljeet

was the only Indian character they

had seen in the media, and I was

their only Indian friend. I usually

laughed it off, but deep down it

wasn’t funny. They were calling


The Problem With Baljeet: South Asian Representation in Children’s TV



me Baljeet because that was the

only Indian character they saw.

Meaning, in their eyes, I was a

short, skinny, Indian kid with

an accent who loved math. But I


As I got older, I grew more

frustrated. I tried everything to

not be like Baljeet. I purposely got

math problems wrong, I tried to not

be the butt of every joke, I tried to

act more “American,” and I would

tell everyone that I never went to

the temple and that I was “barely”

even Indian. It really affected the

way I saw myself as a young South

Asian American boy, and it made

me hate my culture. By constantly

being equated to Baljeet, it took

everything I was, my entire being,

and equated it to, according to the

“Phineas and Ferb” Fandom, “an

Indian boy who always gets good

grades and is constantly bullied

by Buford. He’s considered a nerd

and, for him, to get an F on a math

test is the scariest thing known to

man. Baljeet is also the leader of

a group of science fiction fans,

and is the only sixteenth level

Space Adventure Trivia Master

in the world. He speaks without

contractions, perhaps due to his

studious background or because

English is his second language…”

Many argue that Baljeet’s

character is just a funny joke and

that there is no malicious intent.

While this might be be true, the

fact that Baljeet was the only

representation of South Asians in

children’s TV shows is wrong — it’s

the fact that he, an amalgamation

of every stereotype about Indian

people, was one of the only forms

of representation we had. There

were no heroic Indian characters in

children’s TV shows. Forget saving

the day; they couldn’t even save

themselves — they were all weird,

nerdy, and got bullied. Take Ravi

from Disney Channel’s Jessie, for

example. He was this “exotic,”

nerdy Indian boy whose character

was written to be constantly made

fun of and outcast by his peers.

Or take Chirag Gupta, the (only)

Indian character in Diary of a

Wimpy Kid. He was the unathletic,

overly studious reject who took

the brunt of every joke. Notice the

pattern? The only representation of

South Asians were all just versions

of the same character. This is

the problem. The producers and

writers of all these shows didn’t

change the character up at all.

Hollywood continued to feed into

this “Baljeet” character for laughs,

which negatively affected young

South Asians.

This poor representation feeds

into the marginalization of the

South Asian community. Baljeet,

and other similar characters,

perpetuate the stereotypes towards

South Asians and keep the

community invisible. They equate

all South Asians into one character,

which is immensely damaging to

the incredibly diverse community,

as it makes us all blend into one

character, when in fact, all South

Asians have their own unique

identities and interests.

Overall, characters like Baljeet

are extremely problematic and

negatively impact the entire South

Asian community, but especially the

youth. So as you all turn your TVs

back on to watch the new seasons

of Phineas and Ferb, I urge you to

think about the impact Baljeet has

had and will continue to have on

the South Asian community.

To learn more about South Asian

representation in the media, I urge

you to watch “The Problem with

Apu” by Hari Kondabolu or feel

free to reach out to me at


(Artwork/Ishnoor Kaur ‘26)


Should Balenciaga be Canceled?






Balenciaga has been one

of the world’s top fashion brands

for decades and served as a model

for many in the fashion industry.

On November 16, 2022, however,

Balenciaga received backlash to an

ad campaign for their 2023 spring

collection. Many viewers accused

the brand of sexualizing children who

were surrounded by graphic content

in these posts, which have since

been removed. Another campaign,

featuring the collaboration between

Balenciaga and Adidas, included

what appeared to be official

looking court documents regarding

child pornography laws from the

Supreme Court case United States

vs. Williams. This has left some

consumers pondering whether these

posts were coincidental.

Many fashion designers and labels

are known for their risky and edgy

looks, which is why brands such as

Gucci, Prada, and even Marc Jacobs

are so popular and well known.

Many say that the fashion industry

is all about those bold designs and

campaigns; however, there is always

a limit to a designer’s daringness.

Upper School English Teacher Dr.

Leila Estes states, “To say that I was

appalled by the Balenciaga scandal

would be an understatement. I would

go as far as to say that the company

is morally reprehensible.” She goes

on to explain how the brand should

be permanently canceled since there

is no excuse for what they did. Many

can understand if a brand wants to

try something new and different, but

if that includes doing something like

putting children’s safety and wellbeing

in danger, that crosses a line.

Sophomore Sohah Kulkarni notes,

“I feel disturbed and confused as to

why these campaigns were passed

through Balenciaga.” As a large

brand, Balenciaga requires a series

of teams, including the creative

team, the advertising team, and

the legal team. With that said, the

whole company must have approved

its collection campaign prior to its

passing. From the past, we have seen

other cases that portray inappropriate

usage of children in advertisements

or campaigns. For example, Brooke

Shields led a Calvin Klein campaign

in 1980, dressing in a half-worn shirt

and jeans. It also resulted in negative

public reaction around the portrayal

Junbi vs. Kung Fu Tea: Who Makes the Better Boba in Princeton?



of a young girl; Shields was only 15

years old. “When seeing Balenciaga,

history is repeating itself, and

crossing the line,” Upper School

English teacher Dr. Karen Latham


The luxury world is small; brands

like Alexander McQueen, Bottega

Venta, Gucci, and Balenciaga are all

under the same corporation. Thus,

it is never possible to predict which

brand will break out with disturbing

content. The inappropriateness

and immorality of Balenciaga’s

campaigns have made its audience

reconsider purchasing from the

brand. Look in your closet: you

might even own brands that have

been “canceled” recently. Who

are the brains behind what you’re


Do you wonder whether you

should go to Junbi or Kung Fu

Tea for boba in Princeton? This

burning question will now finally be


“Kung Fu Tea has more flavors,”

says freshman Max Levy, who is

an experienced boba connoisseur.

Levy doesn’t require much beyond

the flavor of the drink to indicate

a winner. However, the price is

also a consideration for some when

choosing where to get their boba.

“Junbi is more expensive than Kung

Fu Tea,” says freshman Ishaani

Singh, “but I like Junbi better

in taste.” Though Junbi is more

expensive, price is secondary for

most when it comes to boba. Taste

is crucial.

Though the arguments made for

Junbi are reasonably strong, Kung

Fu Tea is a clear winner. The taste

at Junbi is quite nice, but I find their

options to be limited. Junbi is also

very matcha forward and definitely

lacking variety in other drink

options. I am not a big fan of matcha,

and as a result, I find the choices at

Junbi restricting. They also have

limited options when it comes to the

composition of your drink. Kung Fu

Tea, on the other hand, has slush,

classic, punch, and milk tea, among

other options . Kung Fu Tea also has

popping boba as a choice in your

drink, which makes the drinks more


Many people come to Princeton

to shop, and Kung Fu Tea’s prime

location on the same street as many

popular stores, such as Urban

Outfitters and Lululemon, makes

it much easier for people to grab a

quick refreshing drink on their way

down Nassau Street. There are many

choices on Witherspoon Street,

making it harder to choose between

just a drink at Junbi, or a nice meal

at one of the nearby restaurants.

The answer has now been found.

After careful analysis, we can now

safely conclude that Kung Fu tea is

the better boba joint in Princeton. (Artwork/Elena Sichel ‘24)

(Bubble Tea Survey Results from US Announcements on Schoology as of Feburary 1, 2021)




Check out our website


F ast Fashion is the mass

production of clothing, shoes,

and other accessories at the least

possible expense, which often

leads to human rights violations

and poor conditions for workers

in the garment industry, including

the rape or harrassment of

thousands of female laborers.

I completely understand that

clothes are extremely expensive —

extraordinarily so right now with

our current inflation. However,

there are better alternatives to

exorbitant spending on poor

quality clothing that allows for

the exploitation of workers in

developing nations.

One such option is shopping at

thrift stores, which is essentially

where used clothes are purchased.

Thrifting is not only more

sustainable compared to following

fashion trends by buying fast

fashion products but is also helping

to attain safe conditions for

laborers by divesting money that

would be going to the producers

of fast fashion garments and

accessories. Additionally, prices at

thrifting stores are more focused

on providing affordable clothing

options for people that would

otherwise have to rely on the fast

fashion industry and their cheaply

made garments.

Another alternative to supporting

the fast fashion industry is handme-downs

from family members

and friends. While they are often

seen as embarrassing, hand-medowns

are actually a great way

to recycle clothing at little cost

(especially because current trends

are quickly coming and going)!

Many Princeton Day School

students agree with the importance

of sustainable fashion as opposed

to the dangers that supporting the

fast fashion industry pose to the

fabric of our society. One such

student is junior Jen Lightman,

who argues that “Following quick

trends and saving a few dollars on

clothes is simply not as important

as preventing child and worker

abuse. I don’t think they are even

comparable ideas.” I completely

agree with what Jen is saying

here. If we don’t value people

over clothing, what does that say

about our priorities? Junior Ana

Konakanchi agrees, stating that

“We must refocus and remember

that the sanctity of human life

should not and can not be disrupted

by our desires to over-consume an

unreasonable amount of clothing.”

I agree, and think that this also

applies to making an economical

choice at the cost of lives.

The fast fashion industry poses

many dangers to the fabric of our

society. I urge you to consider your

choices in terms of buying clothing

and decide whether you care more

about children being abused or

being fashionable for a day. I think

you know my answer!

Scan here to read an online article about the best pizza in Princeton!

the Spokesman






(Artwork/Lucinda Peng ‘25)

Jamie Creasi, XI

Adya Jha, XI

Sam Elkin, XI

Arun Patel, XI

Benjamin Masia, XI

Cynthia Shen, X

Michael Arnwine, XI

Ruth Mehreteab, X














Gloria Wang, XI

Michelle Xu, X

Parth Khera, X

Cyril Pandya, XI

Hart Nowakoski, X

Laasya Kanumuri, XI

Clara Shin, X

Ethan Wang, X

Ronin Bae, XI

Anagha Konakanchi, XI

Justin Elkin, XI

Amy Lin, IX

Hannah Park, XI

Ashlyn Du, XI


Amy Matlack

Michael Kideckel







F requenters of grocery stores have a new gripe (don’t

they always?), and among these shopping warriors is

my dear mother. A few days ago, she told me about

of 2020, while we were in the middle of dealing with

since the general public is only now hearing about this

with the pandemonium a lot better than we did.

However, due to immense loss of life, an astonishing

52.7 million casualties, egg production has hit a

up prices—some areas are experiencing an increase of

200%. People are forced to turn away from their favorite,

here. After all of this death, one can imagine that these

to regain some semblance of normalcy amid the still


you approach, do it in a calm and collective manner.

H ow does one possess more charisma?

interesting, my friend. Charisma is something that cannot


Good question, friend. Firstly, you need to


W hat does the fox say?

that? Reach deep into your brain and pull the answer

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