2018 Midterms | Chattahoochee Speculator On Air |


On this special episode of the Chattahoochee Speculator on Air, Robert Hunter and special guest Ethan Benn dive into the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. From their importance on the federal, state and local levels, to the candidates running for office in Georgia and even student perspectives, the Election Special will give The CHS Speculator listeners everything they need to know for election day.
Special thanks to Alex Sotomayor and Molly Cleary for their interviews.

Music: Purple Planet Music


Loesch’s Train Tantrum Shows Conservative Cultural Warriors on the Rise

Pictured: Dana Loesch at CPAC in 2015, courtesy of Gage Skidmore 

Children are now in play in today’s hyper-partisan world, and every group, from all sides of the political spectrum, surely recognizes their importance. From religious-based kindergartens and private schools to literature extolling the virtues of diversity, conservatives and liberals alike know just how important capturing the youth of today (and their parents) is.

However, the willingness to influence the politics of Americans a decade away from voting is not popular with all.

Dana Loesch, who became famous for her defense of the National Rifle Association after the Parkland High School shooting, has quite a lot to say about “Thomas & Friends.” But the content of her message says much less about her than it does the organization she represents. “They’ve decided that the next stop is Virtue Town,” Loesch complained, though she is certainly signaling something of her own. In focusing on the presence of diverse characters in a children’s show, Dana Loesch exposed the NRA’s leaders as being more concerned with cultural talking points than firearm legislation.

This is hardly a surprising critique. Those concerned about animated trains and those concerned about the waning power of the Second Amendment have seemingly nothing in common, and the NRA, already controversial, champions the former group .

Loesch’s and the NRA’s attitudes, though, reflect a new strategy: create moral panic and inflame aggravation in order to mobilize (mostly right-leaning) voters. The topic of concern may not even be about firearms, like children shows, as the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action homepage makes clear.

In fact, many of the issues adopted by culture warriors contain little actual substance or policy – they generally tend to rely on impassioned feelings over genuine facts. Opposition to gay marriage, welfare spending or the trend of children’s shows emphasizing diversity are often justified more by righteous emotion than well reasoned debate. And while progressive Democrats may be guilty of promoting their own feeling-based opinions, it was candidate Donald Trump who garnered support from “economically anxious whites.” Whether economic anxiety or concerns of cultural displacement propelled him into office, playing into popular feeling over provable fact is an essential culture warrior move.

Ultimately, Dana Loesch and the National Rifle Association represent a growing movement in American politics from real and difficult issues towards social and culture change. Yet much like the TV show they lament, the NRA – and all culture warriors – have decided that the next stop is Virtue Town.

Serena Williams: Vindicated?

KatherineGray, Staff Reporter

More Than Just A Bad Day

Anger and confusion are natural responses to stress, whether they come from having a bad day or being judged unfairly. The question for Serena Williams, world-renowned tennis star, is which one caused her to go ballistic when she lost the U.S. Open?

She claims the referee, Carlos Ramos, was sexist for calling her out for several offenses that ultimately cost her the game. These infractions include obtaining help from her coaches during the game, breaking her racket and verbally assaulting an official. All three of these offenses are faux-pas in the world of tennis. She claims that if she were a man and had done the same things, she would not have been penalized, and therefore, what he did was unfair. The question then becomes, should Mr. Ramos just have let her violations slide? The answer: no.

Tennis is unique in the sports world as it is one of, if not the only, sport where you cannot get help from coaches during a match. The sport as a whole is rather special, especially in terms of how “proper” everything has to be. Even though this can be a source of stress for athletes, it is what makes tennis so enjoyable for some. This need for order can also affect the coaches, as seen in Mr. Ramos, who is known to keep in line with the rules of tennis and administers justice accordingly. While he arguably should have given her a verbal warning first, she was breaking the rules regardless.

As a woman myself, I agree with him. This was not an act of sexism, especially as Mr. Ramos is known to consistently point out any rule-breaking regardless of the athlete’s gender. To say that male tennis players are never called out for the aforementioned infractions is factually incorrect. Even if it is uncommon, they are still frequently called out for their wrongdoings, such as when Benoit Paire was penalized for racket breaking in Aug. Ultimately, violating the rules is not admissible, and unfortunately for Ms. Williams, she simply was not in the clear.

Regardless of the validity and justification for his call, her reaction was unacceptable. Of course she was likely stressed after losing such an important match, but fussing at the referee rather than respectfully asking for why he called her out is just not good sportsmanship. Ms. Williams is very talented and has a large fan base, and thus carries great clout in the tennis community. However, that is exactly why seeing her so irate is upsetting. Most people expect more from their role models, and thus, hope for more from Ms. Williams.

Thankfully, there is always a chance for redemption, and I certainly hope that after reflecting on all of the events and backlash, she learns something and it helps to make her an even better example for young people across the globe.

RithikDoddla, Editor-in-Chief

Act of Sexism

On Sept. 8, Serena Williams lost to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open Women’s Championship, ending one of the most controversial tennis matches in recent history. Williams caused a great uproar on the court after she was penalized three times throughout the match. The first penalty was for being coached during the match, the second was for smashing her racket on the court and the third was for calling the referee a “thief.” Williams was penalized a whole game for these infractions.

After the match, Williams commented on how this was “an act of sexism” because male tennis players would not be penalized if they acted the way she did. Serena Williams’s actions are perfectly logical because she is taking a stand against sexism and fighting for all female tennis players.

Right after she was penalized for the first time, the atmosphere in the stadium shifted as the fans noticed Williams started to become extremely unhappy and frustrated. Though Williams’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted he did advise her, he believed she was not aware he was and stated that it is a regular occurence. Even though this happens in every match, referees have never penalized a male tennis player for this.

Williams was left in disbelief because of this inequality and this led her to smash her racket on the court, her second penalty. Male tennis players break rackets very often during matches though they are never penalized for it. For example, Novak Djokovic is notorious for breaking rackets in frustration, but he has never faced any consequences for it. This took Williams over her tipping point.

She went ballistic on the referee saying that his calls are not fair at all and tried to seek justice. She demanded  an apology and screamed at him about how this is an act of sexism, leading to her third penalty. She began to realize that there was nothing she could do to change the calls and decided to continue the game and express her opinions after.

Williams explained that she was frustrated not because she believed she did not commit penalties, but because those actions have no consequences in a men’s match. Williams is a social warrior and is using her popularity to speak about the unknown inequality that takes place in tennis. She is fighting for all women and will not give up until equality is achieved.

There’s more than just HOPE

BrooklynFreesemann, Staff Reporter

The looming figure that is college seems nearly impossible to pay for without the help of scholarships these days. Unfortunately, many graduating seniors are unaware of the programs available to them, other than the H.O.P.E scholarship. Major scholarships that could pay full tuition coverage or half can be hard to find, but there are a lot of smaller scholarships to help reduce the cost of college. Colleges accept many types of merit- based scholarships – all it takes is finding the right one for you. The following listed are open to every student without restrictions on race or courses the student will take;, however, there are many specific scholarships designed for people majoring in a certain subject or based on ethnicity.

Zell Miller Scholarship

One of the most common among high school graduates is the Zell Miller program. Requirements are similar to the H.O.P.E program: applicants must be U.S citizens, legal residents of Georgia and meet academic requirements. The scholarship requires students to maintain a 3.7 GPA by the time they apply to college along with a minimum score of a 26 on the ACT.  If granted the scholarship, college freshmen need to have a 3.3 GPA by the end of their first semester to continue receiving academic award money.

Continue reading There’s more than just HOPE

Travelling Abroad: Why it’s good to get away from home

NicRasool, Features and News Editor

High school is a time of personal and academic growth stemming from social interactions and classroom discussions, but it does not truly allow for a free and independent environment for growth. High school experiences typically take place in a very controlled environment, designed to protect students from possible extremes and dangers, which, in turn, keeps out some aspects of life. Thankfully, there are ways to experience things away from the restrictions of school, and one such method is travel. Travel —  particularly traveling to a different country — makes people learn and experience different cultures, societies and peoples. At Chattahoochee High School, there are a variety of school-sanctioned trips that students can take with teachers to places ranging from Peru to Germany. These types of trips allow students to experience a period of independence, away from parents and away from the limitations of school, while still remaining with guides and adults who can maintain a relatively safe environment.

Mr. White and Ms. Dayton are planning a trip to  the United Kingdom, with an extension through France. This would allow students to see major historic sights like the Globe Theatre or the Houses of Parliament. Mrs. Venn, is planning a trip through Italy and a cruise in Greece, allowing students to learn about modern Italian and Greek culture as well as Roman and Ancient Greek culture. Mrs. Adams, is planning her own trip to Germany, Northern Italy, Switzerland and finally ending in France. Needless to say, there are a number of teachers planning school-sanctioned trips to different parts of the world, allowing students to experience different cultures and societies without the restriction of a simple and comfortable home environment.

As someone who has taken one of these trips, I personally can vouch for them. I travelled with Mrs. Garth on her previous trip through Central and Eastern Europe, going through Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Austria. This trip allowed me to see major historic sites in all these countries, such as the stadium where Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics, the Celestial Clock in Prague, Polish “dragon-bones” and many other sights of Central and Eastern Europe. I learned how to live out of a suitcase for days at a time, work with different currencies and exchange rates, and learn a basic understanding of different languages and cultures, like learning simple German and Polish words. I learned that exchange kiosks or places usually cost more than they are worth, that the Hungarian Forint is an amazingly weak currency compared to the dollar or euro.

The trip forced me out my comfort zone, made me interact more with people and explore cities and areas I normally wouldn’t acknowledge, and talk to kids from Newnan, Georgia, a place I did not know existed. The group of friends I was with managed to find a British toy-store, in the Czech Republic, that played Czech versions of American children’s songs, particularly the Gummi Bears theme song. We discovered a giant moving head of Franz Kafka and posters meant to somehow be similar to an autobiography inside a mall McDonalds in the Czech Republic.  I climbed up churches and towers, talked with the other kids from Newnan and saw art exhibits that criticized the country’s tourist industry. This trip made me explore, do things and interact with the world around me, and I was free to do this because I was away from the comfort of home.

While paying for such a trip may be difficult, it is possible to split payments over time or set up  donation pages. These trips are good experiences for students; they allow you to learn and explore more of the world. To experience a different culture and explore a different country is a worthwhile event, it allows students to realize that there is more to the world than just Johns Creek, that there is more than Georgia and that there is more than just the United States or Canada, and it is something students should actively try and participate in.

Moving from Senior to Freshman: Continued

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

The jump from high school to college is bound to come with some unexpected shocks. My sister, a current college freshman and Alpharetta High alumni, has been through many shocks herself and was kind enough to share her experiences at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Something many high school seniors fret about is going into a new environment with practically no friends. I was tempted to ask Audrey how she handled this stressor, and she merely commented that, “every time I met someone new at college, we automatically exchanged numbers and social medias. Here people actually put in a lot of effort to get to know each other…To be honest, I already have more friends here at college than I ever did in high school.”

Sounds like an amazing community! This may be something unique for Audrey and other students at smaller colleges, but most colleges value community, so this may be more common than believed. But while you are making those new friends, you may start to lose touch with the old. When I asked Audrey what she missed most from high school, she disclosed, “I miss my friends from high school. After you graduate you do not keep in touch as much and may never see some of them  again.”

While colleges hype up the idea of their super close-knit communities, they also create other expectations. Whether it is the quality of the food, Greek life or professors, there are certain things students expect from their college. Audrey told me her expectations and let downs saying, “I thought that I’d be able to have more down time in college, but sometimes I am even busier than I was in high school…In three weeks we will be required to work on film sets and crew 12 hours a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

Looks like the stress doesn’t go away when you step onto the college campus. But the workload spreads itself out according to Audrey: “the workload is different for every class and it also depends on your professor. Some of my friends are taking the same classes, but have different professors that either give more or less homework than others…Some classes will have homework assignments and then the midterm or final and that’s it.”

After receiving a healthy dose of fear from her words, I decided to ask her some less anxiety-inducing questions. I was curious if the food at college was any better than that served at high school. The good news is that the food is great, the bad news is that it is so good “you have to have some will power while being in the cafeteria or you will gain that freshman fifteen.” But it is a great time to meet up with friends and catch up; Audrey noted, “a lot of us make plans to meet up for breakfast and lunch, so that no one has to eat alone. Our meals are not placed on a set schedule. You eat when you can eat.” No scheduled meals and no more third period lunch…sounds like a good deal.

Since Audrey is attending a competitive art school, I wanted to know more about her schedule. They don’t have the usual balance of classes like a liberal arts college, and they rely more heavily on art classes. The unique makeup of Audrey’s class schedule consists of nine classes: one core class and eight film classes. If anyone is interested in getting a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking, expect to be immediately immersed in film knowledge.

High school is a very different environment than that found on a college campus. Audrey’s words assure me she is adjusting with some struggles, but she is having the time of her life.

How to Know Thyself

KatherineGray, Staff Reporter & NicRasool, Features and News Editor

One of the oldest questions we ask as humans is, ‘Who am I?’ While we will likely never know the full extent of the answer, we can certainly come close. Personality evaluations are quite popular nowadays, from Myers-Briggs to Buzzfeed quizzes. However, people’s results can sometimes change through time and often tell us very little. In terms of truly knowing who you are as a person, though, it goes beyond personality into a far deeper sphere: temperament.

The idea of temperaments originally began as The Four Humors, a concept developed by the Greek physician Hippocrates. The humors followed the belief that certain crude biofluids are the basis of human personality and influence us in our daily lives. Around 130 A.D. following Hippocrates, Galen, a major influencer of Western medicine of the time, described the physiological reasons for the four humors existing. He classified them as hot, cold, dry or wet, based on the four conventional earthly elements, fire, water, air and earth. These classifications ultimately came to be known as choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic and sanguine. The concept was further developed by Persian physician and polymath Ibn Sina (Avicenna) in his book, “Canon of Medicine,” which expanded the humors to include emotional and moral attitudes of humans. Over time, the humors became better known as temperaments, and they were incorporated into different personality studies and assessments such as the Myers-Briggs test. While usage of the temperaments has faded in medicine, they have continued to be relevant in some psychological fields.

According to Dictionary.com, one’s temperament is currently defined as “the combination of mental, physical and emotional traits of a person; [their] natural predisposition.” It is the basis of who you are, your innate needs, strengths and weaknesses, far more than simple extraversion or introversion. Over the course of your life, this will never change. The four basic temperaments are choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic and sanguine. As these words already have inherent connotations, you may think, ‘I don’t want to be a choleric, I’m not mad all the time.’ However, the meaning of these words in psychology is far deeper than how modern society defines them.

The powerful choleric is known for their leadership capabilities, and their deepest desire is to be in charge. They exude confidence and are quite involved in whatever opportunities are presented to them. Generally extroverted, they can be persuasive at their best and manipulative at their worst. Their basic needs are loyalty, a sense of control, appreciation and credit for their own work. They are usually the people to step up and delegate assignments in a group project. In an emergency or time of stress, like during a fire or a final exam, they usually excel and know how to handle the situation. In terms of weaknesses, they can be rude, tactless, arrogant or unempathetic. The struggle of balancing the desire for progress and understanding the needs of others is common for many cholerics. Their goal-oriented nature sometimes leads to them being workaholics who don’t know how to relax. If you have a choleric friend, consider encouraging them to accept affection, realize that others may be right and look for ways to validate the creativity of others.

The perfect melancholy is known for their thoughtful and conscientious mannerisms and for their desire for perfection and justice. They remain introspective and artistic in a variety of ways, such as writing or dancing, are typically the people who discuss or think about philosophical ideals or are generally conscientious of themselves and those around them. They are effective planners. As the name suggests, they are people who tend to focus on the negatives and despise imperfection; however, a person with a melancholy temperament is not necessarily melancholic. While melancholies are not people-oriented, they are faithful, devoted and have a deep concern for other people. Should you ever meet a melancholy person, know that they normally desire perfection and space; they don’t necessarily dislike you, but instead they simply enjoy time to themselves. Encouraging them to speak up more or develop their creative abilities would most likely help them better develop and open up.

The peaceful phlegmatic is known for their tranquil nature; they are mediators and the type of friend who will help maintain harmony. These people will typically be calm, cool, easygoing and relaxed, keeping their emotions hidden from others, all in the name of avoiding conflict. While they tend to be worried, indecisive or may resist change, they are also pleasant, witty and compassionate. If you have a phlegmatic friend, they may seem relatively lazy or unenthusiastic. However, if you encourage them to speak up more and trust in themselves, then they will be able to better themselves and further develop their relationships.

The playful sanguine is known for their fun-loving nature and ability to make people smile. Their innate needs are approval, acceptance, attention, appreciation and affection, the “5 A’s” if you will. Typically extroverted, at their best they are joyful and creative and at their worst they are forgetful and undisciplined. They are usually the life of the party and excel in the spotlight. Their joy is infectious and they know how to inspire those around them. The fact that they cope well with change and are cheerful makes them very enjoyable to be around. In terms of shortcomings, they can often be naive, forgetful, attention-seeking and have their priorities out of order. If you know a sanguine, encouraging them to aim for quiet dignity, remember their obligations and take the time to filter their thoughts will help to make them more productive and happy.

It is important to remember that even though temperaments are very applicable, they are not set in stone. They simply are leveraged as needed, and the qualities will not all necessarily apply to everyone. Cholerics may sometimes be the most understanding people around and melancholies could be the brightest and most cheerful people you know. Your phlegmatic friend may be outgoing and decisive while your sanguine lab partner may be highly focused and quiet. The temperaments will exhibit themselves differently, but their greatest value lies in the base desires and the emphasis on how our variations make us strong. Where the choleric is lacking, the phlegmatic is right there to pick up the slack. Where the melancholy falters, the sanguine is able to fill the gap. Thus, we all can learn how to be cohesive society that works with each other rather than expecting people to act the same way.

While personality assessments are not always the most effective tool in understanding yourself, they do allow for self-reflection as they ask questions you don’t normally consider relevant. The Myers-Briggs test, for example, asks whether you would want a child who is smart, or a child who is kind. This form of questioning typically forces introspection, at least when a person is attempting to answer them honestly, which in turn can allow them to better understand themselves as a whole. The temperaments, while they do remain different from other personality tests as they are typically believed to remain constant throughout one’s life, are one such assessment that forces examinees to acknowledge different aspects of themselves in order to accurately answer questions.

Whether for the sake of better understanding others or understanding oneself, the temperaments are extraordinarily useful. Seeing life through the filter of others is incredibly important for empathy, and this can help to bring very different people together. Understanding that the choleric has a hard time relaxing but is a great leader can help those around them to both give them opportunities to shine and tips on how to unwind. Knowing that the melancholy may be depressed by imperfections but have a deep appreciation for beauty can enable those close to them to know how to view their emotions and engage them in things they enjoy (ie. ballets, museums, concerts, etc.). Realizing that the phlegmatic may struggle with motivation but are also incredibly compassionate will permit those around them to encourage them to be the best they can be. Accepting the sanguine’s forgetfulness and need to enjoy life can allow their friends to appreciate their desire for attention and help them with efficiency and organization. As always, none of these characteristics are final, but understanding the innate needs of others can help to bring us together as a society and foster acceptance for all of humanity.

Chattahoochee's trusted source for all things news!