November 10, 2017

Super Computers & Super Mario: Computer Science at GOA

Nina Robins ‘19

Room 302 is no longer filled with posters memorializing the Dust Bowl, Beowulf or classic literature. Instead, it is adorned by artifacts of a different kind: a 1983 Apple 2, a System 6 Macintosh and a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
This change in decor is only one of several developments in GOA’s computer science program. While the curriculum is new, however, the introduction of computer science to GOA has been a goal for some time.
“Computer science has been something that’s been on the school’s mind,” Principal Mrs. Stodolski said. “We’re happy to have some computer programming to support the STEM and engineering work that goes on.”
Stodolski also emphasized the benefits of integrating computer science into GOA beyond gaining programming knowledge.  
“Skills like logic and reasoning, attention to detail, collaboration and working with other people, accuracy, those are all things that are very important for students to be able to do when they leave the school,” she said. “Computer programming seems like a great opportunity for them to work on it skillwise.”
All aspects of computer science have proven to be critical in today’s increasingly digital age.
“I have the sense that it’s going to be a core subject that every high school student is going to come across and be required to study in the near future,” Dr. Shira Kelmanovich said. “If Golda Och wants to keep up, we have to have a budding computer science program.”
Mr. Adam Michlin, the spearhead of GOA computer science, is keenly aware of the importance and utility of computer science in our society, namely in the form of computer security.
“You can’t open a newspaper without seeing one group or another getting hacked,” he said. “There is an industry right now that is begging and pleading for people who can help with that.
“So I do teach students how to break into computers, but what I’m really doing is teaching them how eventually work with our government to help protect people and infrastructure.”
The new computer science program provides many opportunities for students of all skill levels to explore their computer science potential. GOA has introduced several new coding clubs for both middle and high schoolers.
“Coding club is great because we generally don’t have time during the week to have in-depth discussions on computer science and programming,” junior Sophie Goldman said. “Being able to spend two hours a week doing that is something that was never possible before.”
In addition, the existing Girls Who Code club has undergone massive improvements. “I’m really excited that we’re branching out more in Girls Who Code this year,” Goldman said. “Right now, we’re learning to create websites with HTML.
“We're also going to have speakers from universities and tech fields visit to talk about women in computer science... I’m looking forward to seeing different possibilities for computer science careers.”
It is incredibly important to GOA that many students be inspired to pursue computer science. STEM students in particular, according to Dr. Kelmanovich, would benefit greatly from coding enrichment.
“We do have a little bit of computer coding in the STEM program, but just a little bit, and they do a little bit in robotics,” she said. “I think in order to enhance those experiences, though, you need a core computer science curriculum.
“STEM and computer science complement each other. They have different focuses, but being able to use both really rounds out a student.”
Michlin has employed his dated consoles – “part history lessons, part recruiting tools” – in order to encourage other students to learn computer science. He describes using classic video games with simple programming as a mechanism by which to teach computer science and other mathematical concepts.
“You have a student taking trigonometry in math class and they don’t want to do another problem. You take the same student and put them in a computer science class and tell them to make a video game,” he said.
“They’ll want to move their sprite in a circle and then proceed to spend the next three days mastering the trigonometry they need to perform that function.”
As expansive as computer science at GOA may be, Michlin’s goal is not to provide it as a standalone resource. While students marvel at the Room 302 consoles and toil over 2D programming, the academic benefits subconsciously reach far greater.

“The hope is that computer science will be permeating the curriculum, and not just be a curriculum unto itself.”

President Trump Wants to Have His Iranian Cake and Eat It Too

Nina Robins ‘19

Friday, October 13 certainly lived up to its inauspicious expectations. Early in the afternoon, the world came one step closer to witnessing a nuclear Iran.
This change was initiated by President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after a quarterly evaluation. More commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, JCPOA was negotiated by the Obama Administration and six other countries, including Iran, in 2015. The bulk of the deal calls for Iran to temporarily halt its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Trump called the agreement “one of the most incompetently drawn deals I've ever seen” in part because of its failure to clearly outline its “benefits” to the United States. He believes that pledging $150 billion to Iran, whose government funds multiple terrorist groups, is foolish.
Despite Iran’s concerning alliances and threatening behavior, it is important to value its cooperation with the United States in any capacity. JCPOA was monumental, in part, because it was a step toward the recovery of American-Iranian relations following the disastrous Iranian Revolution in 1979. Given the shattered state of diplomacy between these two nations, JCPOA was a crucial leap forward, but on Friday the 13, we took an undeniable jump backward.
Although Trump’s decertification of JCPOA does not technically guarantee that the United States will withdraw from the deal entirely, the prospects of negotiations with Iran seem slim for a number of reasons, the most obvious being a press conference in which Trump voiced blistering criticism of the Iranian regime
Moreover, President Obama originally negotiated JCPOA as a strictly nuclear deal. Even the agreeable Obama and John Kerry, his secretary of state, could not manage to negotiate a deal with Iran that was free of loopholes and could guarantee nuclear-free Iran forever. How, then, could an aggressive Trump be able to convince an obstinate Iran to accept further nuclear concessions as well as other, non-nuclear demands, such as the call to cease funding to terrorist groups.
Obviously, no sane person wants to gift billions of dollars to an anti-western, terror supporting dictatorship. However, I would much rather negotiate with a somewhat cooperative country without nuclear weapons than with a hostile one that could potentially be receiving nuclear arms from another hostile source. In addition, if the United States could have continued civil relations with Iran, perhaps the regime would have been more likely to stop funding terrorism in the future.
Trump should not kid himself into believing that Iran will readily acquiesce to American desires. The scars from the past are still prevalent, and the United States is in no position to demand concessions from Iran without expecting severe rebuttal.
Trump’s decision has not only garnered opposition from the Iranian government and the President’s political rivals in the U.S., but it has also been criticized by American allied nations as well as some of the President’s political allies. Regardless, Trump has insisted on following his own advice and harshly attacked Iran’s leadership and the deal.
Trump’s dismissing the advice of his cabinet and other experienced diplomats should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his first year in office, but it is no less disturbing. Trump himself selected his cabinet members and should have trusted their expertise when they said that toying with the deal would only lead to dangerous repercussions.
The European diplomats who criticized Trump’s brash actions were just as qualified as his cabinet to offer guidance. European leaders have a much more tangible grasp on the Iranian nuclear crisis than American leaders because of their geographical proximity to Iran and the rest of the volatile Middle East. While a nuclear Iran is far more than an ocean away from the United States, Europe has a cushion of just hours.
European leaders recognize that Iran is unstable and disagreeable, but if they insist on retaining the deal for the sake of their own safety, the United States should follow suit. Instead, Trump has recklessly followed his own path of “America first” policy, which may result in severe damage to longstanding American diplomatic relationships.
Trump’s claim that the United States does not see any immediate benefits from JCPOA is severely misguided. Although America has not received any revenue from Iran as a result of the deal, one major benefit jumps to mind: Iran’s nuclear program has been suspended, or, even if Iran is continuing nuclear operations covertly, the international community is now paying attention and holding Iran accountable.
By choosing to decertify JCPOA, Trump alluded to a clean break from the deal in the future. If this were to occur, Iran would most likely place their nuclear agenda in high gear and directly target the United States and our allies. In a worst-case scenario, a break in diplomatic efforts with the United States could even prompt Iran to seek an alliance with North Korea.
Concerns regarding JCPOA’s “sunset clauses” – loopholes in the deal that would allow for Iran to accumulate massive stores of weaponry at the deal’s conclusion – exist in conservative circles. However, if the United States and Iran hypothetically follow through on the deal to its end, it is more likely that Iran will be willing to abide by the deal’s terms that permanently prevent Iran’s accumulation of nuclear weaponry. Even if Iran does not obey, reinstituting crippling sanctions (at this point with the support of the greater international community) would be an effective strategy.
An optimal solution to JCPOA’s flaws would not have been to bulk up the deal and make it harsher toward Iran. Rather, Trump could have instead kept the nuclear deal as-is and addressed the sunset clauses and support of terrorist groups as separate issues. In this way, the United States could have kept the other JCPOA signatories, most importantly Iran, on the negotiating table and further limited the prospect of an active nuclear Iran.
Ultimately, Trump decided to follow through on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice to “fix [the deal] or nix it.” However, his failure to wholly address the benefits of a flawed but existing compromise may ultimately lead the United States or its closest allies to become nixed by a nuclear Iran.

Why Kneeling is Good for the NFL and Roger Goodell

Aryeh Lande ‘18

This was supposed to be it: the year fans, players and owners came together to fight decades of oppression and silencing at the hands of an overbearing force. No, I am not talking about kneeling for the national anthem or raising a fist before kickoff, but rather I am referring to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Before the 2017 football season started, an alarming study published by Dr. Ann McKee confirmed all suspicions about the link between football and head trauma, revealing that 99 percent of players surveyed had the crippling condition.
Initially, this study sent ripples through the average American’s world, but within NFL communities, this study was entirely unsurprising. Since a widely publicized settlement of $765 million between the NFL and 18,000 retired players in 2013, research has uncovered the true extent of CTE. It is now a fact that playing football is directly linked to symptoms such as memory-loss and depression. In a PBS documentary, “League of Denial,” released the same year as the lawsuit, the NFL admits to the existence of a connection between CTE and football.
It would be bad enough for any sports league if it came out that it was directly linked to a deadly disease. To make matters worse for the NFL, however, evidence has come out that league commissioner, Roger Goodell, has even attempted to silence and influence the outcomes of surveys on head injuries with bribes. This revelation, along with the 2017 study, should have been appalling enough to put the final nail in the coffin of the NFL’s dominance and certainly Goodell’s tenure. Still, a few months later, the NFL is still the highest-earning sports league in the world, profiting $13 billion annually and Goodell still sits atop his throne, garnering a hefty contract keeping him through 2024.
But why?
Goodell’s power stems from three sources: the players, fans and owners. This triumvirate keeps the NFL in check and, historically, if two of the three components are overwhelmingly unhappy, change will occur. For the past few years, Goodell has managed to keep owners happy, supporting stadium expansions and team relocations rather freely. Goodell, however, has been losing support from the fans ever since the league began to, rather brazenly, hand out hefty suspensions to popular players, most notably Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. To remain comfortably in power, therefore, Goodell needed the support of the players.
From the outside, one would be led to believe that the players would be the most upset with the new findings, demanding the league address the issue so they could enjoy their stardom and salaries far into the future without fear of chronic illness.
Nevertheless, answering the prayers of Goodell, President Donald Trump decided to revisit the forgotten topic of kneeling for anthems. An issue that had limited coverage on SportsCenter the day before suddenly became a topic on which everyone felt they were entitled to have an opinion. Sportscasters were arguing with each other, players were confronting prominent leaders and worse, players were arguing with fans.
When an external force in the form of the President’s Twitter account entered the equation, Goodell no longer had to convince his players they would be safe, but rather he found a common enemy. This distraction has been miraculous for the league, as no players are kneeling for their health, no players are boycotting games for their brains and no players are locking arms for their futures.
In essence, this season will go down as a victory for Goodell and his board, who only care about the money coming in and not about the fate of the people their league spits out. This season will never have a movie made about it, nor will it gain a reputation as a defining season in history, but rather it will be seen as the time when politics sadly seeped its way on to the field.
A perfect microcosm of this could be seen Thursday, September 29 on live television. Green Bay Packers fans locked arms prior to kickoff, giving people at home something to argue about. Meanwhile, a hit to the head sent Packers wide receiver Davante Adams to the hospital. Instead of equal outrage, it was celebrated by the Chicago Bears defense and fans alike. This dichotomy cannot continue to exist if the league wishes to survive 20 years into the future. Either it must confront the issues head on or fall apart trying, as politics cannot serve as a distraction forever.

Tefillah Tidings

Maddie Herman ‘19

Now that the popular Minyan Havaya is only available for one marking period, this year’s iteration of the Tefillah program is a hotly debated topic within the halls of Golda Och.
The start of any new school year brings many changes. Students have seen it all from the death of WOXX Chinese cuisine to the addition of shorts to the dress code. While these alarming events incite much short-lived conversation among students, an everlasting topic of discussion around the halls concerns the Tefillah program.  Although Tefillah in the school is constantly being modified to engage the students, this year in particular, it has changed in a drastic way.
Since the beginning of his position as the GOA head of the Tefillah program, Mr. Metz has devoted significant time to perfecting the program around each student’s religious and spiritual needs.
The new program this year aims at helping our high school students both to see Tefillah as an integral part of Jewish spiritual practice, as well as understand that there are many Jewish paths,” Metz said.
Mr. Metz’s perspective on Tefillah strikes a chord with GOA students. Sixty seven percent of the 87 students polled said that they love the new program. Some noted it captures the way that students want to pray, rather than confining them to traditional forms of prayer. Others stated it  allows students to shape their own religious path; a very modern approach to the issue of conserving Judaism in a contemporary generation.
Ian Rosen, a junior, said that the program allows him to explore his spiritual path and his individual connection to prayer. Rosen said the new program exposes students to new, unique forms of tefillah that stray from the traditional roles taken in the past.
Senior Alissa Lampert echoed Rosen’s sentiments.
“It shows that the administration is ready to listen to us and try new things,” she said.
Junior Ayala Jones also noted that the flexibility of the program is enticing.
“We arent forced into a box of Judaism,” she said. “Instead, it makes it so that everyone can connect in their own way.”
While students may not be able to choose their exact Tefillah class for the year, they are exposed to a variety of different approaches to modern prayer. The five different paths are designed to help students develop a spiritual connection within the traditions.
“Minyan Derech Eretz offers me an opportunity to talk about things that I would never have previously been aware of,” freshman Adina Solomon said.
However, while most students enjoy the freedoms of the new Tefillah program, many still fear that it may be straying too far from the needs of the community.
Solomon also voiced her concerns, saying that “Tefillah is a necessity [and] we need some form of connecting to it.”
Students had varying opinions when asked how this shift in Tefillah would ultimately affect the school's affiliation with the Conservative Movement. While some students expressed concerns over how the Conservative Movement jibes with the new program, some said that it would only affect the school in a positive way, as it shows prospective students that we are accepting of many different forms of Judaism.

Despite these contrasting opinions, it remains a popular belief that, as Jews, there needs to be some basis of Jewish prayer. How that will be executed is the real challenge.


Poll Finds That Most Students at Golda Och Academy are Not Worried About North Korean Threats

Samantha Rigante ‘21

Despite increasingly frightening rhetoric by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, most Golda Och Academy students say they are not afraid of a North Korean threat to bomb the U.S. mainland.
The majority of students at GOA disagree with President Trump's handling of the North Korean situation and most are not worried about North Korean threats to bomb the United States, a new poll finds. More than 50 percent of the students – 62 percent – believe that North Korea will not follow through on its threats to send nuclear missiles over to the U.S. mainland if so prompted.
The United States’s relationship with North Korea was never good, and the conflict became worse when President Trump took office. Trump’s language has been harsher than past presidents regarding the conflict and he has issued many more threats to them. On January 2, 18  days before his inauguration, he stated that “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!”
On February 11, North Korea tested their first Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile under the Trump administration. This brought harsh reactions from Trump and his administration, with their threats getting more dangerous as the missile tests increased.
This poll comes in the midst of fiery new tensions between North Korea and the United States. On October 7, President Trump tweeted that “Only one thing will work!” with North Korea and that “Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years.. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
Two days after that, on October 9, the President again took to Twitter to voice his opinion, claiming that “Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars and getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!”
Out of 16 students interviewed – of which ten identified as Democrat, four Independent and two Republican – the poll found that feelings on the issue were not partisan, with GOA Independents, Democrats and Republicans expressing a lack of fear regarding the threats.
“It’s really not that scary to me,” freshman Aaron Gutterman. “North Korea is far away and Kim-Jong Un is just trying to scare Americans because he doesn’t like them.”
The poll, taken by students ranging from grades nine to 12, also shows a large majority disagree with the President’s handling of the issue. Again, party lines were not evident here, with both Independents, Democrats and Republicans disapproving of the President’s handling of the situation.  

“I think that the President doesn’t have a good understanding of the situation,” freshman Marin Gold said. “I also think he doesn’t really understand the consequences of his actions.”
Ninety one percent of the students believed that a diplomatic solution was the correct response to the North Korean threats. No one prefered a military solution, and only one student had no opinion on the subject. On all issues, every grade felt similarly.
Trump’s feud extends to his cabinet, top military generals and Congress. On September 26, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – a board of senior generals who advise the President, the Military Department and Homeland Security on issues pertaining to the military – told Congress that his views on the North Korean issue are the same as the State Department’s and Congress’ rather than the President’s.

Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State, is attempting to start talks with North Korean diplomats in hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the issue.

From Uruguay to Golda Och: The Story of Soccer Coach Juan Pintado

Josh Kalet ‘19

GOA boys soccer coach Juan Pintado pulls into the school parking lot in his small green car at 3:40 p.m. Practice for the boys soccer team starts in 20 minutes, and Coach Juan – or “Coach,” as his players affectionately call him – has come to school to pick up all the equipment in preparation for the practice. It is the first day of school and just a day before the team’s first game.
Pintado grew up in Uruguay during the 1960s. He always dreamed of playing soccer and fell in love with the game at a young age.
“We used to have a gravel field at our school,” Pintado said of his time playing soccer as a kid. “We didn't even have goals. We would just put two stones on the field as goal posts.”
Pintado started playing during a time when the game of soccer was a dirty sport.
“Uruguay’s team used to get in trouble for playing dirty,” Pintado said. “They used to hook players’ jerseys to the goal post during corner kicks. It was a completely different game [from] today.”
Pintado came to the school 15 years ago. Since coming to the school, his coaching has brought the school success that it's never seen before. Under his coaching, the school has qualified for county and state Prep-B tournaments several times, and, in 2014, it won its first ever division title.
“The school always had the talent,” Pintado explained, “it was just about organizing [that] talent.”
The boys team has continued to have success this year, competing well within the division and making it to the second round of the 2017 NJSIAA North, Non-Public B Tournament. Despite being eliminated on November 3 by Montclair Kimberley, 8-2, Pintado continues to get his players to compete and bring pride to GOA.
The players always have something good to say about their coach.
“He’s my favorite coach I've ever played for,” said junior Aaron Lavitsky, a three-year player and starting defender for the team.
Aaron Pearlstein, a senior and starting goalie for the team, also gave high praise to his coach.
“He's a coach that you want to play for.”

Pintado has brought a great knowledge and passion for the game of soccer to the GOA team and has completely changed the culture of the sport within the school – and it all started on that gravel “field” in Uruguay.


NFL Facing Crisis Over CTE

Aaron Lavitsky ‘19

America's most popular sport is facing a serious crisis and may be in danger – and it's all just in their heads.
Football, being a full-contact sport, obviously comes with a high risk of injury. Injuries like concussions are common and the National Football League has taken action to try and minimize these injuries and keep players on the field as long as possible. Until this past decade, however, the NFL did not account for the severity of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a very dangerous and deadly disease which may just be killing football.
A study from Boston University this September showed that of 111 brains of deceased NFL players studied, all but one were positive for CTE.
CTE was first discovered by Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist, while he was conducting an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster in 2009. Omalu made several attempts to bring his study to light but the NFL did not admit the connection between football and CTE until 2016.
Webster’s life was derailed by CTE, culminating in his suicide. Suicidal tendencies is one of the main symptoms of CTE, along with depression, emotional instability, anxiety and substance abuse.
Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, killed himself while in prison serving a life sentence for murder. Hernandez’s brain was found to have the highest level of CTE ever, and he was only 27 years old.
Even though CTE is such a major issue, not many people know just how serious it is, including Golda Och Academy students and teachers.
Out of 60 students and teachers polled with varying levels of knowledge about football, 28 were unfamiliar with CTE. Many of the remaining participants that had some knowledge of the condition were strong in their remarks against the NFL.
“Football is an unsafe and stupid sport,” junior Ayala Jones said. “Obviously bashing heads with people will lead to head injury.”
Sophomore Ally Landau echoed Jones’ sentiments and expressed her worry about the players themselves.
“The helmets clearly don't have enough protection and the NFL needs to do something about it,” she said.
Freshman Rafi Colton-Max, an avid football fan, was especially shocked when he heard the news about Hernandez.
“The consequences are horrible,” he said. “There is really nothing else to say but that.”
The effects of the new information about CTE are very polarizing. On the one hand, football is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and hundreds of players play despite the possible consequences. On the other hand, fans across the country know the risks of CTE and are continuously worried for their favorite players.

Whatever the case is, CTE will be on our minds for a long time.

A Student With an Olympic Dream

Kai Ronen ‘20

During school hours, she may seem gentle, but after the bell rings, freshman Talia Lloyd’s toughness appears when she is training to become an Olympic weightlifter.
Lloyd, a new student to the Golda Och Academy community, was born in Washington D.C., where she spent most of her childhood. Before she started weightlifting, as a young girl she took CrossFit Kids classes, which helped guide her to a possible future career.
Lloyd is in her fifth year of weight training and has won many medals at national competitions. She has been awarded a silver medal and two bronze medals at U-13 competitions, and this year she will participate against 14- and 15-year-olds. Winning all these medals has allowed her to be considered as a possible candidate for a future Olympics roster spot.
“It’s exciting and I feel empowered,” she said on the idea of potentially competing in an Olympic event.
Lloyd enjoys weightlifting because it makes her feel strong, keeps her motivated and clears her mind of stress. She sets goals for herself to reach, such as making it to the Olympics, which she said she considers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and, therefore, wants to work as hard as she can to achieve this dream.
She has always been committed to training, where she works with her Russian coach four-to-five days a week for up to two hours a day. Lloyd and her coach – who is quite accomplished, himself, having placed eighth at the World Weightlifting Championships in the past – have an unusual relationship; her coach lives in Russia and they only communicate by video chat. The two also need a translator to understand each other because her coach cannot speak English.
Although she works out throughout the year, Lloyd eats like a normal teenager – only one month prior to a competition does she begin her diet. She said her pre-competition diet mainly consists of “protein shakes and eating salads” and is barred from eating carbs or sugars one month prior to competition. By maintaining a healthy diet, she is prepared for the grueling process of participating in tournaments.
“Sometimes [it is hard to maintain the diet], especially when other people are eating unhealthy or something unhealthy is being handed out,” Lloyd said.
During the month before her competition, she finds it difficult to stay away from snacks that are handed out in school, such as bagels or donuts. On top of that, she selectively chooses which competitions she wants to compete in, so she does not have to worry about dieting during Jewish holidays.
Like any teenager, Lloyd does have her cheat days, although she understands even those cheat days need to be monitored so they don’t become a factor during competitions.
“I usually like ice cream or something really bready or high in calories,” she said.
By going to the Olympics, Lloyd would not only bring herself and her family pride, but she would become one of the first GOA student to participate in the Olympics – a feat that would bring her community pride, as well.

A World Series for the Ages

Noah Kamens ‘20

The first of November brought along just a few of the ten different World Series records from the most recent thriller between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2017 World Series was the first time two teams winning at least one hundred games faced off since 1970. Coming into the Series, the Astros were undefeated at home through the entire postseason, had lost just 4 games, and were looking to bring happiness to the city of Houston after the tragedy that was Hurricane Harvey. Their opponents, the Dodgers, were the best team in all of baseball over the course of any season, winning the most games over one season in 13 years with 104, and were looking to continue their greatness with a World Series title.
Neither team had ever won the Fall Classic, until the Astros won in 7 games, with the final victory in Los Angeles on a Corey Seager ground ball which Jose Altuve fielded and threw to Yuli Gurriel.
The World Series MVP, Astros CF George Springer, was single-handedly responsible for three of the records throughout the World Series. He had a hit in every game but game 1, set the record for most consecutive World series games with a home run (4), tied the record held by Chase Utley (Philadelphia, 2009) and Reggie Jackson (Yankees, 1977) for most home runs over the entire Series (5), and set the record for most total bases with 29 (including 8 extra base hits).
“It’s always exciting when a World Series goes to 7 games,” sophomore Ben Gutstein said, “especially in a series with so much action.”
The World Series was filled with power. There were 14 players, 8 on the Astros and 6 on the Dodgers, who each had at least one home run. Together, they set the record for most home runs in a single World Series with 25. Among those were Springer with 5, and Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger with 1.
There were also records set by the pitchers in Game 7. The starting pitcher for the Astros, Lance McCullers Jr, set a record by hitting 4 Dodgers in just 2 1/3 innings before being relieved in favor of Brad Peacock. McCullers also started the first Game 7 where neither starting pitcher pitched 3 complete innings, as Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was relieved by star Clayton Kershaw in the 3rd.
After the excitement of the World Series, Astros SS Carlos Correa had one more trick up his sleeve. During an interview after their victory, Correa called his girlfriend Daniella Rodriguez over and proposed, capping off an amazing night and an eventful World Series.

There was a lot of anticipation for this world series, with both teams having never won a title. The Series lived up to the hype and was incredibly eventful, which made it one of the most exciting in recent memory.

The Appeal of 'Rick and Morty'

Aytan Geschwind ‘19

July 2017 saw the official premiere of the much-anticipated third season of Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty,” which returned after a grueling 16-month hiatus. Nearly three million people tuned in to watch the first episode live. But why exactly has this adult animated sitcom become so popular?
“Rick and Morty” follows an innocent teenage boy, Morty, and his genius mad scientist grandfather, Rick, on their adventures throughout the multiverse. The characters’ cynical personalities and the show’s atheistic and existential outlook plays a large part in its appeal to viewers, even those who do not agree with its philosophies.
“I like the show because it's different from all other animated comedies in that it makes viewers think about really deep questions and concepts,” junior Itai Rekem said.
The idea that life is meaningless and that human existence is absurd allows the show to push the limits of what many would consider to be appropriate television and to create bizarre and hilarious characters, such as Bird Person and Abradolf Lincler – half Abraham Lincoln, half Adolf Hitler.
The show is able to entertain and make the viewer contemplate often dark existential questions simultaneously. Many fan-favorite episodes are laugh-out-loud hilarious for the first 20 minutes, but quickly become dark and disturbing at the very end.
“‘Rick and Morty’ is great because it crosses almost every line imaginable,” junior Jacob Bier said. “The writers aren’t afraid to talk about anything.”
One particularly dark moment occurs when Rick and Morty visit an intergalactic arcade. In the game that Morty plays, called “Roy,” the player’s mind is cast into another man. The player lives Roy’s entire life. Once Roy dies, the player is given a score based on the quality of Roy’s life. Showing someone’s entire life as a meaningless number is both disturbing and funny.
As a comedy, “Rick and Morty” engages its viewers with humor in a variety of forms. The show frequently takes advantage of its unique philosophies and its setting – the entire multiverse – to make jokes that are both clever and strange. One recurring setting is the Citadel, where every resident is either a Rick or a Morty from a different universe.
It is common for the writers to base many parts of the plot on actual theoretical science. This does not mean that the show won’t shamelessly cast aside real physics to tell a good story, but it does serve as a nice aside for any science buffs.
“The show makes many references that go over the average viewer’s head,” Mr. Stern said. “Its enjoyable for the less-informed and really enjoyable for the more-informed.”
The writers of “Rick and Morty” constantly try to engage their viewers in unusual ways. One of their tactics is the frequent use of fourth-wall breaks, which allow the writers to talk directly to their viewers and to pose the question of whether some of the characters know that they’re in a television show.
Of course “Rick and Morty” also has all of the other features expected from a great television show: twists, cliff-hangers and great visuals.
“Rick and Morty” is one of the best shows currently on television. It is quick, clever, visually and conceptually dense and full of great humor. It displays a perfect contrast between human emotion and existential nihilism and it continues to find creative ways to make viewers think. While the humor is occasionally dirty and the plot is occasionally disturbing, “Rick and Morty” delivers laughs and questions for everyone to enjoy.

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