My Losing Streak by Zara Troupe

Before we start, this isn’t about losing games – none of the sports I play are currently in season. This is about the objects I’ve lost. But first, a story…

For my 15th birthday, my parents got me this silver butterfly necklace with purple gems. That’s the story by the way, have we put two and two together? Yes? Great, cause I lost the necklace. I was rushing out of the house one morning so I put the necklace in my pocket so I could put it on when I got in the car. Of course, I had a nose bleed not long after we pulled out of the driveway and I forgot about the necklace in my pocket. The nose bleed, being unexpected, resulted in me getting blood on my pants. Thankfully, my dad was home, so he was able to bring me a pair to change into. I put the bloody pants in my locker, and went back to class. Fast forward to around 5pm. I’m at rehearsal (this all happened the Monday of tech week for Mean Girls) and I realize I don’t have my necklace. However, I couldn’t leave rehearsal, and the gates to get to my locker were probably closed. So I brush it off and tell myself that the necklace is in those pants, and everything will be fine. Everything was in fact not fine. I’d lost my necklace. In school. It’s a pretty necklace. It’s an expensive necklace. It’s been about 3 weeks since I lost it. I doubt I’m getting this necklace back.

On the bright side, I’m able to not stress about the necklace so much anymore. Why, you ask? I lost my phone too. I lost my phone on the 29th of November. I lost my phone at school as well. And of course, I still don’t have it. I think I’m taking it pretty well though (she said as her eye was twitching and her hair was falling out). I’m more upset about having lost the stuff that was in the back of my phone case. It was a clear case, and inside I had a playing card I got last year in latin, a Totoro sticker on top of said card, and an extra gum wrapper heart. I loved the stuff in my case, I loved my phone too. I also lost everything I had in my notes app, and I’m devastated. I lost all of my poetry, and all of my play worldbuilding and prewriting. I lost my college research, and my IA and EE brainstorming. I lost my TBR, my book rants, and the list of books I’ve read over the years. This is quite devastating, I know. Wish me luck!!

The Rafa (Hafa) Hang up by Rafael Bonilha Van’t Hof

I have been lying(ish) about my name. For years now, I have told people that my name is Rafa (Rafa), and that is half true. My name is actually Rafa (Hafa). This is because I am Brasilian and Portuguese does this funny thing to Rs; they sound like H most of the time. So Raul is Haul, Rachel is Haquel, and Rafael is Hafael.

When I was a tiny little boy I used to tell everybody that my name was Hafa, but I stopped for some reason. Maybe it was because THIS IS AMERICA WE SPEAK AMERICAN [EAGLE NOISE] [FREEDOM NOISE], maybe because I got so used to other names that I stopped being able to distinguish between them, or because everybody seemed to have a hard time with it. When I talk to Hafa knowers they sound like my parents talking about they/them pronouns, “I just don’t get it. I was taught that R was R and nothing else, and then you start telling me that R can be H. I am not saying it’s wrong, I am just saying I don’t get it. Kids these days.” For some reason, this is almost as incomprehensible as banana on cake for the American mind.

Whatever the case is I miss ‘errh.’ Being Rafa is cool and all but something about Hafa is awesome, epic, and cool. It makes me feel just a bit more Brasilian. So, next time you see me, call me Hafa, Hafael, Hafinha. I really don’t care just respect the ‘errh.’

Also ‘errh’ isn’t the only silly Brasil thing I’ve slipped into this blog. Did you know that in Brasil, Brasil is spelled with an s? It doesn’t change how it is said, but it is just a silly little difference. Another goofy thing is that the name Raul (Haul) has its own idiom in Brasil. If you are “calling Raul” (chamar o Raul), you are throwing up. As a “stupid American” I like to think of wolves calling to the moon when I think of Haul. The last thing is that Rachael isn’t a name in Brasil, it is actually Raquel (Haquel).


Future Jobs By Cami Blaszak

I have oodles of ideas about what I want to be when I grow up. My dream jobs, some might say. Dreams are the final goal. Throughout my upcoming life, I plan to have smaller goals to help me achieve these dreams. I think I am ambitious, so these jobs might seem pretty far out of reach, but with enough grit, I think I’ll be able to get at least one. But without further ado… here are some of the ideal lives I’ve always wanted to live.

Icelandic Wine Vitner- I would live in the lush green hills of Iceland with my sheep and vineyards. My main source of income would of course be the wine, but I would make my own sheep cheese for my family.

Archaeologist in Egypt- I would work in the pyramids of Giza, diving deeper into the ancient culture of the Egyptians.

Chocolate Tester for Lindt- I love chocolate, so eating it for work would be a dream. I would live in Paris in a top-floor apartment and also work in the bakery below me, selling baguettes to local old ladies.

Food Culture Documentary Film Maker- Traveling the world and eating food. Enough said.

Jobless Hiking the Rocky Mountains- Van life is a good life. I’d appreciate the nature the earth gave us and live off the grid.

Park Ranger in Redwoods National Park- Redwoods are the most beautiful trees. And I love to hike.

Purple Gatorade Spokesman- I’ve had current attempts to be one. Purple Gatorade is amazing in every aspect. So wherever Gatorade headquarters are I’d work and continue to promote purple Gatorade to everyone in the world.

Sommelier-  I find it very impressive that people can tell what wine is from just by the smell of it. I aspire to be like them. A talent unmatched.

Now remember all of these are dreams, goals in life that I wish to even have a taste of. Now who knows if in 20 years I will be one of these. I know for sure if I become famous I will be mentioning the Shaker Writing Center Blogs for helping me write down my dreams on paper.

Spotify Wrapped by Chloe Khayat


Many of you may know that Spotify Wrapped came out today. What is a fun way to look back on the year for some can be mortifying for others. Personally, I identify with the latter. Sophomore year, two of my top five artists included Hamilton and the Glee cast. You can imagine how this might be a little embarrassing, especially when everyone goes around asking people who their top artists are.

Now, I won’t hate on Hamilton or the Glee cast; obviously, I’m a big fan of their music, but I did aim to redeem myself Junior year. I made a conscious effort not to listen to my guilty pleasure songs, preparing to have a “socially acceptable” Spotify wrapped. My self-restraint paid off, and I ended the year with five artists I could confidently mention without worrying about getting bullied by my peers.

However, I got too confident, and I accidentally allowed a minor slip-up this year. I shamefully hid my phone as I saw Coldplay’s name take third place among my top artists. In my defense, I listen to Coldplay while I do my homework, and I genuinely feel it makes me more productive. However, every year, I risk losing more and more credibility. I’ll be lucky if I’m ever allowed on aux again.


The Wall Beside my Bed By Praslin Arth

Every night, I sleep next to my three favorite ladies: Margot Robbie, Fiona Apple, and Lana Del Rey. Not literally, of course. I have posters of each of them strategically hung on the wall beside my bed. I removed most of my posters from middle school, each of which contained embarrassing obsessions from quarantine. After, I looked to the internet and searched for affordable posters. I wanted ones I knew I could forever stand behind. My poster of Margot Robbie is from the Barbie movie, and it was the first to go up. My friends got matching posters, so each night, not only can I look up at one of the world’s most incredible actresses, but I also think of my friends. The next poster up was Fiona Apple. After having an intense obsession with her in the spring of last year, I scoured Amazon for a cool (and cheap) poster. Her music is some of my favorite, and I can honestly say she has one of the most unique sounds. The last poster is of Lana Del Rey. Truthfully, I have some collage photos of her albums lying around waiting to be hung up, but when my friend gifted me a poster for my birthday that perfectly matched the dimensions of my Fiona Apple poster I knew exactly where it belonged. The only word I can use to describe her is iconic and immortalizing her on my bedroom wall was a no-brainer. I know it’s cheesy, but looking at 3 of the most inspiring artists I know of before going to sleep is an incredible way to end my day. Plus I really enjoy being able to say I slept next to Margot Robbie, Fiona Apple, and Lana Del Rey last night.

Nolwenn’s Declassified Seasonal Depression Guide



I used to live in the sun where things were easy, and life flowed beautifully. Recently, I moved into a dark hole where, in the winter, the sun only appears once in a blue moon. Now, Cleveland has its perks, but here are some of the things I’ve learned that have helped me through the gray monotony of winter:

-Surrounding yourself with the right people: This is HUGE. It is so important to feel supported in an environment that is going to upl

Finding joy in simple pleasures: Whether it is a warm cup of coffee, reading a book, watching a favorite film, etc., it is important to allow ourselves the time to find joy in the small things that are so simple to do. This will be beneficial in the long run.

-Exercising: You gotta fight through it. Push against the nasty weather, and just sweat it out sometimes. It enhances our mood drastically.

-Acknowledging accomplishments: Lastly, be easy on yourself! Recognize the achievements you have made and give yourself credit for how you’ve set yourself up for success. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of thinking, and our accomplishments aren’t as grand as we think they should be, but it’s super important to remember that any step toward making ourselves happy is an accomplishment. Even if you’ve done anything on this list, that’s great! Remember, its not about quantity, but consistency.

I hope these tools were helpful, and remember, there are only a few months left! Let’s crush it!

My Audition for the 75th Warren Miller Movie by Addison Weingart

I awake before dawn. The sun has yet to appear as I pry on my wool socks, pull on my parka, and lace up my boots. My bag bounces softly against my back as the wind whistles. My snow shoes crack against hard-packed snow as the sky finally brightens. I lost the race against daybreak, but it doesn’t matter. I make it to the mountain peak and claim the real prize: Fresh powder.

I have skied since I was three. I will never forget the pain of sliding on ice and crashing into trees or the freedom of an open hill. Ingrained forever are pizza and french fries; hockey stops and skaters. Since I first started,  I have traveled with my dad searching for bluebird days and untouched snow. My dad, me, and thousands of others wait in anticipation for winter, but the warm months go quicker with the help of Mr. Warren Miller.

Warren Miller rose to fame 67 years ago, when he decided to travel all around the world to ski. Everywhere Warren went he befriended and inspired new skiers. He documented his travels in movies, showcasing the wonderful world of skiing. Even after his death a couple years ago, his tradition lives on in the annual Warren Miller Movie. So when the calendar marked November 12, I happily closed my textbook and hopped in shotgun to go watch.

Sitting in a random theater, surrounded by many skiers, I imagine a different life. In that life, I live in Montana, Colorado, Greenland, Alaska, Tokyo, and California. I take helicopters to uncharted mountains and jump over buses. I check for avalanches and camp in tents. I dine with Olympians, dance with divas, and ski in my skivvies. In another life, I am Warren Miller.

This year was another year where I did not travel to Antarctica, breathing in the frigid mountain air and traversing alongside penguins. But there is always next year.


Rating My Costumes by Evelyn Rossman

This weekend, I will be performing in my school’s production of Mean Girls: The Musical as Regina George. She is the Queen Bee. She is stylish, back-handed, and everything that you have ever aspired to be. She also has a ton of outfits. Today, I will be rating my Regina George outfits. I was only able to take pictures of some of them, so you’ll just have to see the show to find out what the rest look like 😉

Act 1:

Outfit #1: The Cardigan outfit 10/10
This is by far my favorite outfit in the whole show. Not only is it totally classic Regina, complete with the shirt and cardigan combo that she wears in the movie, but it is super comfy and functional. We love a skirt with shorts built in!

Outfit #2: On Wednesdays We Wear Pink 9/10
I’m not a big pink-wearer, so being able to wear this costume was so much fun! The skirt unfortunately does not have shorts underneath (sad) but I have my trusty spandex to solve that. I was a bit unsure about the sleeves at first, but they’re kind of growing on me.

Outfit #3: Halloween 6/10
I’m very conflicted about this costume. I started out hating it, but after some alterations, I feel pretty ok about it. It still doesn’t blow me out of the water. I like the corset, but personally I would have rather had the Playboy bunny costume from the movie.

Outfit #4: Quickchangequickchangequickchange 6.5/10 (blue shirt and black skirt)
To be honest, this costume isn’t on long enough for me to make any strong impressions about it. I put this costume on directly after the Halloween costume, and I have about 30 seconds to do so before coming back onstage, so this outfit is associated with many stressful emotions. Still, it’s very comfy, so I like that.

Outfit #5: Holly Jolly Costume Malfunctions (also a quick change) 3/10 (just a cheap Santa costume)
This is by far my least favorite costume. This mostly has to do with the fact that the skirt is held together by a magnet because it falls off in the middle of a scene. Although this means that the skirt can easily fall off, it makes it a little bit too easy, and I have to constantly check that it doesn’t fall apart too early. I’m just generally not a huge fan of this.

Outfit #6: You Can’t Sit With Us (yep, we’re still doing quick changes) 7.5/10
It is so refreshing to be able to wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt after running around for an hour and a half. It’s super easy to change into quickly, and it’s very comfy. It would honestly be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that the areas both on and off stage are extremely hot, so I’m sweating buckets in this.

Act 2:
Outfit #7: Revenge Dress 9/10
I love everything about this outfit. The shirt is almost identical to the one Regina wears in the movie, and I absolutely love the skirt. I’m also a bit biased because this is the outfit I wear when I sing my solo “World Burn”, and I always feel very powerful whenever I’m wearing it :))

Outfit #8: Spring Fling With a Twist 5/10
We’re finally at the end! This is a dress that I’ve had for a couple of years, and it’s super reliable and fits me very well. I also love the color! The neck brace adds a bit of a problem: it’s uncomfortable, especially when I have to do an entire dance in it, but I just smile through the pain.

The Story of the 25th Amendment by Ezra Ellenbogen

“For a Short While Today, it’s President Cheney” reads a New York Times headline from July 21st, 2007. Cheney was well-known and criticized for his abuses of power as VP, but President Cheney would have been a title frightening enough to give someone a heart attack. Luckily, the title only lasted for 2 hours and 5 minutes. But it wasn’t the first time he’d taken power – in 2002 he was President of the United States for 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

So, what’s with this back-and-forth usurpation? It’s not civil war, just the 25th Amendment. This constitutional add-on of 1967 allows the Vice President to take power as president (NOT just acting president) when a president is unable to perform their duties. The intention of the act was to allow the Oval Office to adjust to prescient medical issues. Before the 25th, medical issues that rendered presidents unable to fulfill their duties were dealt with in a shoddy and case-by-case basis. For one example, Edith Wilson kept her husband, Woodrow Wilson’s, bedridden condition secret for months and is speculated to have unofficially taken over a number of his presidential duties. Eisenhower twice had similar difficulties, with a heart attack in 1955 and intestinal issues in 1956. Then-VP Richard Nixon presided over Cabinet meetings and assumed Eisenhower’s day-to-day schedule, but refused (literally) to sit in the presidential chair. 

Neither of these infamous situations caused the final push for the Amendment. Interestingly enough, a novel – The Caine Mutiny – detailing how a ship crew saved itself by invoking a section of Navy Regulations to take command over from a presumed incompetent captain, was what struck a chord with the drafters of the Amendment. 

The 25th Amendment has been invoked four times since its passage:

Year President Before Invocation of the 25th President During Invocation of the 25th Duration of Presidential Term Reason
1985 Ronald Reagan George HW Bush 7 hours, 54 mins Colon Cancer Surgery
2002 George W Bush Dick Cheney 2 hours, 15 minutes Colonoscopy
2007 George W Bush Dick Cheney 2 hours, 5 minutes Colonoscopy
2021 Joe Biden Kamala Harris 1 hour, 25 minutes Colonoscopy


Note that Kamala Harris was thus technically the first female president, as well as the shortest-serving president in US history! There have also been lots of times when the 25th was almost invoked. In 1981, Reagan was shot and put under anesthesia but did not have time to invoke the 25th (Reagan’s physician later apologized for not making him invoke the Amendment before surgery). There is a section of the 25th that allows Cabinet members and the VP to come together to take power from the president when they are considered unfit to serve, which could have been invoked as well. Politicians have considered invoking that section of the Amendment twice under Trump’s presidency – after he fired James Comey and after January 6th. Which leaves us with the question – What counts as unfit to serve with the 25th? The makers of the Amendment were focused on situations where the president needed anesthesia for surgery, but mental competency has often been considered a potential reason for invocation, even before Trump. If we don’t draw a line, then something bad is bound to happen, but I guess we’ll just have to see. 

My Psychological Roman Empire by Meredith Stevenson

Phineas Gage’s case study is an integral part of medical history. In the year 1848, Gage was working as the foreman of a crew preparing a railroad bed. He was using an iron tamping rod to pack explosive powder into a hole. The powder exploded, sending the 43-inch-long, 1.25-inch-diameter rod upward into Gage’s left cheek, where it tore through his brain, and continued to exit his skull before landing 80 feet away. The astonishing part of this accident was that Gage survived the injury. Not only that, but he was able to speak and walk to a nearby cart so he could be taken into town to be seen by a doctor. Later that evening, Gage was still conscious and able to recount the names of his fellow workers. He even suggested that he didn’t wish to see his friends since he would be back to work in “a day or two.”  A few days later, he took his first steps out of bed, and, days later, his intellectual functioning began to improve. It was noted by the doctor that Gage knew how much time had passed since the accident and remembered clearly how the accident occurred but had difficulty estimating the size and amounts of money. Within a month, Gage was well enough to leave the house. Gage had lost vision in his eye and was left with obvious scars from the accident, but otherwise, he was in good physical health and appeared recovered. People reported Gage to be a hardworking and pleasant man before the accident, but post-accident, reports from the same people described him as a changed man, suggesting that the injury had transformed him into a surly, aggressive heavy drinker who was unable to hold down a job. Where Gage had been described as energetic and motivated, many of his acquaintances explained that after the injury he was “no longer Gage.” The doctors accounts suggest that the injury did lead to a loss of social inhibition, leading Gage to behave in ways that were seen as inappropriate.

Gage’s accident could easily have been fatal, though it cannot be why Gage was able to survive the accident, let alone recover from the injury and still function, several theories exist. Some researchers suggest that the rod’s path likely played a role in Gage’s survival in that if it had penetrated other areas of the head—such as the pterygoid plexuses or cavernous sinus—Gage may have bled to death, In a 2022 study of another individual who also had an iron rod go through his skull—whom the researchers referred to as a “modern-day Phineas Gage”—it was found that the brain is able to selectively recruit non-injured areas to help perform functions previously assigned to the injured portion. So two factors were the rod’s path and the brain’s selective recruitment. Gage’s case had an enormous influence on early neurology. The specific changes observed in his behavior pointed to theories about the localization of brain function, or the idea that certain functions are associated with specific areas of the brain.