Roman and Emilio

Despite their names, neither of these freshman are Italian, or even remotely European. Nonetheless they are interesting chaps, bringing their own quirks squirrely tendencies to the table. I have no doubt that they will fill the shoes left behind by those who are leaving this summer.

Emanuel, E-Man, Emilio, Eugene- The lad dons all of those names, many being used for specific situations. On the soccer field he is E-Man, as it is the quickest way to yell at him from across the field to look out for the 6’2″ midfielder charging at him from behind. Emilio is his casual name, as he is a Casanova between classes, his olive skin and dark Mediterranean features attracting all of the female eyes as he walks by. For some reason I call him Eugene when I need him for crossword help. Don’t ask why. I have no clue. But he is great at crosswords, and that is a common bond that forged our Rocky-Mickey Goldmill-like relationship.

Roman, on the other hand, is the Dolph Lundgren to my Rocky. It takes extreme self control for me not smash his kneecaps whenever I see him. But fret not, it would be an act of love. He was great to work with during the musical and I have a sneaking suspicion that he will pick up some of the leads in the coming years. In cross country, I was personally motivated by his actions, as he had a determination like no other. Even as I move on to college, I will laugh every time I see a weed-whacker because it reminds me of Roman.

As much as the stereotype of annoying freshman is true, there are always a few exceptions, and these two are those exceptions. I have faith that they will there to carry the school forward as the years progress.

Kai Tai and Siyu Lai

My two favorites. Despite being different in many ways, their camaraderie is unparalleled, and it spreads to those around them as well. I am baffled by how they never run out of things to talk about.

I cannot think about present day Siyu without his smaller sixth grade self. That first year of middle school, he unknowingly started a cult based around him. I of course was one of his most loyal devotees. You know that accent that you hear sometimes when Tyler or myself or Adam are talking? That’s because of Siyu. I will admit that Siyu is a strange boy. But that is in the best way possible. His love for volcanoes and mumble rap are endearing, and he always has a moist handshake for those who extend their hand, even if it isn’t to him.

Carter is a bit newer, but it feels like he has been at OVS for much longer. Carter is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He always has something positive to say, and I rarely see him without a grin. One thing that I will miss in college is the arguments that we have in the hallway of who is more handsome; I of course religiously assert that HE is the handsomest of all, yet he insists that it is me. (Carter if you are reading this, you are the most handsome and you have it here in writing).

I will miss this duo quite a bit, but I am nonetheless excited for them as they move on in life. Their brains and personality will get them far, and I know that they will do great things for this planet.

The Boys

There is something beautiful about the congregation of adolescent males. Sure, most of the time something gets broken, the noise level goes through the roof and no one, not even the participants, understand what’s going on. But the camaraderie and jocular affection displayed among teenage boys is an experience worth having.

As I end my time here at OVS, I want to pay tribute to some of The Boys. The next blog posts will each describe one or two individuals who have been important in my time during high school. Some have been great mates in the musical, others on the field, and some by helping me with crosswords. But each lad in one way or another has made the last four years of my life better, so this is my way of saying thank you.

Surplus

Just because something is currently relevant doesn’t mean it should be used in everything. This is something that I have learned since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, it’s obvious that this disease is the most important current event. But it doesn’t need to be included in everything we do. I recently worked with a former teacher to craft a letter to a college that I was wait-listed at. We had a disagreement over a section where she insisted that I mentioned we were “shifting to online learning due to COVID-19.” This allusion was not relevant, and I refused to include it. I’m sure that everyone else is as tired as I am of hearing it over and over, especially an admissions officer who already knows that this is affecting students throughout the world.

Another reason why a constant stream of coronavirus related media is detrimental is because it usurps other important global news. For example, locusts are tearing through eastern Africa, demolishing crops and leaving many farmers with nothing. On a lighter note though, a second individual has been cured of AIDS, which is a huge victory for everyone. But you may not have known that, as virtually everything is about the bloody coronavirus.

It’s important to talk about major events, especially if there is a life threatening aspect to them like now. But it is equally important to provide a breather from all of this information, as it can be stressful, and honestly annoying. I also realize that I am contributing to the problem by writing this. Oh well.

Also the image below is a piƱata that you can buy in Tijuana.

Credit: Mexico News Daily

Why we chose to do it this way.

Much like the concept of God, Capitalism is a system that cannot be defined by a word. It is not a rock solid object, that can be easily seen or understood. Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor for the United States, recently said that the 26 richest people in the world have the same wealth in dollars as the 3.8 billion poorest. 26, the size of the OVS senior class, vs 3,800,000,000, the equivalent population of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Africa combined. So basically everything beside Antarctica. Yet this wealth distribution is not specific to the global level. The United States, prided for being a land of economic opportunity and no class boundaries (foregoing the dynamic of ethnicity). But as the year strays farther from the millennium, the more the middle class dissipates, leaving many in a sink or sink situation. Although the political statement-turned-meme “Okay, Boomer” is now annoying and a reflection of the younger side of Gen-Z, the economic proportions of millennials vs baby-boomers are astoundingly different. A common talking point of the difference between these two generations is real estate. At the same age, Boomers owned 32% of real estate in the United States, wheres Millennials owned 4%. (Business Insider). This isn’t just because old people have poor taste. Decent houses for low income and even entry level houses for average salaries are sparse. That, coupled with a stagnant minimum wage and record student debts (paired with record college educations per capita), make it more difficult than ever for Americans aged 20-40 to afford a house. Renting, although disproportionate to inflation, is still a cheaper option.

There are a million other examples of how I could list the caustic nature of the capitalism that we maintain as a nation, but as someone who must soon face these realities, I will stick with the most relevant. I don’t know why we chose to do it this way, but we have the ability to change it yet again. It’s just up to how much we are willing to sacrifice.

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Credit: Foundation for Economic Education

ImBeachment

So The Donald is in Trouble.

Big Big Trouble.

A senior Republican senator said in a CNN interview recently that there are 35 members of the GOP who would vote to remove the president if they were to remain anonymous.

Unfortunately, that’s not how things work.

But this allegiance to Democracy over the party leader should yield some frightened republicans (AHEM GYM JORGAN), as they realize that the majority of Congress does not support the President.

Another reason why they should be afraid is because if Trump were to be impeached, a whole new staff would come in, and there would be no one in the White House to protect them. Because as of right now, a select handful of Trumpers working in the West Wing support various Republican senators because of their mutual avocation in congress.

If Trump were to B removed, these leeches that hold political office would dry up and die, as their grease and cocaine filled lifeblood would be back on the streets bankrupting himself.

All smears and criticisms aside, even if Trump were to be removed, it is still a dark time in our country’s history, as party lines have never been stronger and corruption has never run so deep.

(Except for the Gilded Age but we don’t talk about that.)

2020 Siege Invitational Brief

Since 2017, the hit tactical FPS Rainbow Six Siege has hosted an eSports event in it’s home town of Montreal called the Six Invitational, due to the process in which teams are selected. If you are a prospective team with an eye on the now $2,000,000+ dollar prize pool, there are a few ways in which you can attain a spot in the 16 team bracket. The first, as the name suggests, is to be invited by Ubisoft, the game’s developer. The second is to get first place in one of the four regions (North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe) during the normal Pro League season. After each season though, the teams that performed well get to compete in a Final in order to attain one of those rare spots. The third method is to come first or second in a Major Tournament, i.e. DreamHack Montreal. Tickets just went on sale, and there are some major differences this year from previous Invitationals in team participation. G2 (formerly Penta) has swept almost every major event for the past year and a half, including the two most recent Invitationals. But this year, they were not able to attain a position at the LAN event. When they won their first Invitational in 2018 with a 3 map comeback against NA’s EG, their roster consisted of Fabian, Pengu, Goga, Shatte, and jNSzki (Joonas). But as of December 2019, only Fabian and Pengu remain from their original squad, now with their top fragger Kantoraketti, support player UUNO, and the newly added CRYN. Although outside factors could be significant in their declination of dominance, these dramatic roster changes are likely the cause. But the giants that remained in power do not even have a spot at the Invitational this year, due to an all around lackluster performance. The lineup currently consists of eight teams (two of each region) which qualified through the normal Pro League season, one team (TSM, NA) that qualified through DreamHack, one team (Liquid, LATAM) that qualified through the OGA PIT Minor, and one (Empire, EU) that qualified though the Raleigh Major (where they defeated G2). There are four spots remaining, one for each region, as well as a position designated for the team that receives a formal invite from Ubisoft. As it stands, there are numerous teams that have shown incredible talent and promise, so no matter what,the upcoming Invitational should be unique and exciting, with plenty of upsets and re-hosts. Tickets are available now, event goes from February 7th to 14th.

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Pengu holding trophy after winning the 2019 Invitational. Credit: Rainbow Six Siege