Column: Life on Earth

This week’s topic: Microfibers

By Elle Storoe

While washing clothes keep us clean, it’s also very harmful to the environment. Microfibers are micro-plastics that clothing, towels, and other fabrics release every time it is washed. The microfibers are exceedingly small particles of synthetic fabric that come from fabric while the items are in the washing machine. These tiny fibers travel from the clothes, towels, etc. through water pipes, and into oceans and rivers, thus creating pollution. Since the fibers are so small, it is consumed by marine animals. Not only are microfibers bad for marine life it is bad for humans as well. We often drink water polluted with microfibers and eat marine animals with microfibers in them. BBC researchers found that one article of clothing can produce more than 1,900 microfibers in just one cycle. Considering that 60 percent of clothing is made with the synthetic materials that produce the microfibers, it is easy to say that we are letting thousands of microfibers into the oceans every week. 

How we can help:

There are a few ways we can prevent thousands of microfibers from entering the oceans and rivers. One way we can help is buy getting a device that collects the microfibers before it leaves the washing machine (like the Cora Ball). Another way we can prevent microfibers from going into the ocean is to wash clothing less often. Lastly, we can avoid fast fashion products, cheaply made products have a higher chance of producing microfibers. 

Saying Farewell to Libby Karow

By Jenna Poppell

After more than 20 years of working at Oak Hall School, Upper School Spanish teacher Libby Karow is moving on to the next chapter of her life, leaving an enormous hole behind. Karow has had a tremendous impact at OHS, whether it was teaching at all three divisions, leading the Upper School Honor Council, or establishing a partnership with a sister school in Uruguay. In addition, she created a highly successful International Festival run by Oak Hall’s International Club, which allowed Upper School students to get involved and celebrate cultures all around the world. Known affectionately as “Señora” by her students, Karow will be greatly missed for her supportive and caring nature. Oak Hall senior Elle Storoe has known Karow since she began kindergarten at OHS. “[Karow] has been like a second mother to me [and] has always been there if I ever needed anything. She has been an awesome teacher and an awesome friend. Just knowing that there is an adult that I can go to for help has been awesome throughout high school,” she said. 

Visibly moved by the surprise party thrown by Oak Hall students,
Karow’s legacy will not be forgotten

On Dec. 11, students threw a surprise farewell party with the help of Upper School Spanish teacher Krystal Serrano. Students had the opportunity to write Karow a personal note, thanking her and wishing her luck in the future. Oak Hall senior Caroline Jurecko concurs with Storoe’s sentiments. “Señora Karow is so caring, she helped me with so much and I could always count on her to be there for me. I don’t know what I would have done without her,” she stated. Not only did she allow her students cook in class and liven up their day with interactive games, but she was an advocate for every student at the school. Students gravitated to her because they knew she would listen. “Most people teach because they love working with kids but seldom hear from them until years later when a few come back to see you or drop you a line.  To have so many students, past and present, make the effort to celebrate my retirement means the world to me,” Karow said. “I thought I was emotionally ready to move on to my next great adventure, but the past two weeks have reminded me why I took such great joy in teaching. I will miss my students every day.”

Thank you Senora Karow for giving so much to this community and giving all of us a safe place to be ourselves. 

Column: Everything Entertainment

By August Ewert-Harpold

Miracle on 34th Street

This 1947 Christmas classic is just a heart-warming, feel-good movie. In the movie, Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade when he is asked to fill in for the original Santa who was drunk. Everyone ends up loving him and saying that he is the perfect “Santa” which gets him a job at Macy’s Department Store in Manhattan. Problems for Kringle begin when he tells a kid he’s the real Santa Claus. This has the manger thinking he has mental health problems and that Kringle is imagining it all…thus leaving the manager no choice but to fire Kringle. The movie also stars Natalie Wood as Susan Walker who doesn’t believe in Santa since her mother told Walker at a young age that Santa wasn’t real. In a twist of complete irony, her mom ends up being the Lawyer who defends Kringle in court saying that he really is Santa Claus. 

Spoiler Alert:
The court ends up deciding that he’s Santa because the United States Postal Service comes to court and gives him all of the letters kids have written to Santa. “I have three letters addressed simply ‘Santa Claus.’ No other address whatsoever. Yet these were just now delivered to Mr. Kringle by bona fide employees of the Post Office.” 

Streaming on Disney+, YouTube ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99),
Google Play Movies & TV ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and Amazon Prime Video ($3.99)

The Grinch (2018)

The improved 2018 version of the loved story of the Grinch stars Benedict Cumberbatch (let’s face it, the one with Jim Carrey was pretty petrifying). The Grinch is an animated film in which the title character, the Grinch, hates Christmas and decides that he wants to steal Christmas from nearby Whoville. The Grinch takes Christmas trees and presents while posing as Santa. He even dresses his dog Max as a reindeer and gets a sleigh. 

Spoiler Alert:
A little girl named Cindy-Lou causes him to have a change of heart which made him want to help out and make the town have the biggest Christmas party ever. 

This movie it can be found on YouTube ($3.99), Google Play Movies & TV ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), or Amazon Prime Video ($3.99)

A Christmas Prince 

This very popular 2017 romantic comedy is about a young journalist named Amber Moore (Rose Mclver) who is assigned to go to the nation of Aldovia where Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) lives. She is instructed to get all of the inner gossip about what is going on in the palace since the king had recently just died. She somehow ends up inside and palace employees think that she is Princess Emily’s new American tutor (whose name is Martha.) Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey) realizes that Amber is not really the tutor and they decide just to have fun. Since it was the holidays, they set up decorations and they end up going sledding (which is something that Princess Emily had never been able to do since she has Spina Bifida.) When Amber’s boss finds out that she is inside the palace she is told to keep researching and find out everything there is to know about the prince. Amber on the other hand becomes best friends with Prince Richard and decides to write in the blog about how kind he, is which makes her editor angry. Unfortunately, she finds out a family secret about who can be the next king and who Prince Richard’s father really was. 

Spoiler Alert:
It ends out ok with Prince Richard becoming the king, flying out to New York, and marries Amber. Oh yeah, and then there are two sequels. 

This movie is streaming only on Netflix

Senior Spotlight: Akhila Nataraj

Oak Hall’s Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) allows students to expand their creativity in their given study (art, music, or theater). In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior ACP students, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

By August Ewert-Harpold

A – What is some advice you would give your freshman self?
I would tell her to enjoy high school and not just focus on getting into college but enjoy the friendships that you’re able to make.
B – What was your best ACP moment?
My best ACP moment probably is in tenth grade when I did a 17-person ensemble, and just at the end when we all ended the last note, I looked at all 17 people and I just felt a lot of pride for what I had done.
C – What are your career goals?
I want to go to med school, so I want to enter the medical field while still practicing music and keeping that part of myself. 
D – What is your favorite dessert? 
 Probably like a lava cake or something with a nice dollop of ice cream.
E – What was your most entertaining rehearsal?
Probably in ninth grade. It was my first time accompanying someone on an ACP recital and it was just a bunch of seniors, and I was like a shy, timid, little ninth-grader and the entire rehearsal I finally saw who they really were and it was just them cursing and making joke. I had no idea what to expect but it was really fun!
F – What are your future plans for your craft?
In regard to music I would just like to develop my theory skills and start working on more compositions. 
G – What are your goals for senior year?
My goal for senior year is to have a really good basketball season and have a very successful ACP recital. 
H – Which college are you hoping to attend?
I’m applying to a couple, but my main goal right now is to try to get into the UF Honors program.
I – What is something Interesting about you that is not related to your music?
I have a 25-year-old sister (who turns 26 today) and I also have a nine-year-old brother, so I have a very stretched out family. 
J – What is your favorite joke?
I’m always a fan for a very cheesy pickup line but I think my favorite joke is when someone complains that it is too hot outside I say, “It’s because I’m there.”
K – What are some of your keys for maintaining the homework load?
Don’t procrastinate and its ok to allocate time for yourself but make sure you’re not just doing that.
L – What is your least favorite style of music?
I’ve got to say country, I’m just not a fan! 
M – What is your favorite style of music/what type of music do you listen to?
Anything but country? I’ll listen to Pop, or Contemporary, or I’ll dabbel with classical music. You know I’m a big fan of Kpop, so I’ll stand by BTS.
N – Do you prefer Netflix or Hulu?
The only thing I’ll watch on Hulu is Brooklyn 99 but right now I’m really binging Grey’s [Anatomy] on Netflix, so I think I’ve got to go with Netflix.  
O – What is one of your outside hobbies besides your music?
I really like arts and crafts, I really like sewing and crocheting and knitting, and I have a very big yarn collection that I am very proud of. 
P – What are your preparations for a big concert?
Don’t finish your arrangement the week before. 
Q – What is a question you would ask your future self?
My future self? How did you manage to stop procrastinating and start focusing on your studies? 
R – What is the most relaxing part of your day?
Probably the 10 minutes after my shower when my hair is drying, and I use that as time to go on my phone. It’s very therapeutic. 
S – What would your senior superlative be?
Most likely to spend their college tuition on food.
T – What is your favorite TV show?
The Amazing Race.
U – What do you think is the most underrated pet?
I will take this to my grave, cats are better than dogs, you can’t fight me on this.
V – What is your favorite vacation spot?
I mean I’m all about that staycation life, but probably like just going to the beach and relaxing, I guess.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle?
Being an Eagle means taking advantage of all of the opportunities presented to you and giving your 100 percent.
X – Have you ever had any X-rays?
No but I have lots of scars from mosquito bites. 
Y – What do you believe your impact is on younger musicians?
Be confident in your craft and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because everyone has been there before.
Z – What is your favorite zoo animal?
Probably a panda!