Why I don’t like the reputation of Ivy institutions

By: Irene Cohen

Ivy league universities are apart of an athletic conference which consists of eight institutions: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. They are considered the most prestigious colleges that one can attend in the US, with the highest acceptance rate being 8.7% and the lowest 3.9%.

The Ivy league produces some of the most influential people in the world, such as Supreme Court Justices, whose members all attended either Harvard or Yale.

However, for the majority of the people who get into these Ivies, they did not get there solely out of merit. Many of those who get into the undergraduate programs attended preparatory schools, or boarding schools, that cost a small fortune. These schools are a sort of feeder school, helping students specifically to get into these schools and helping them with connections, something the average American high school doesn’t have access to.

With the Ivies and their feeder schools costing so much, you may be wondering how families afford this. The answer is, because they’re rich. The median family income for undergraduate families of Harvard students was 3 times the median US household income. Dartmouth disproportionately accepts wealthy applicants, with one fifth of their student body coming from the top 1% in the country. The top 1% are households that make $630,000 or more a year. They are one of the few schools in the nation that has more undergraduates from the top 1% than the entire bottom 60%.

As if that wasn’t enough, they accept legacies at a much greater rate than non legacy students. Those who are legacies, which is anyone with family members who attended these schools in the past, have up to a 5 times greater chance of getting into the school.

All these components of privilege leave a sour taste in my mouth. I think it’s extremely inequitable to consider these schools the peak of education when most US high schoolers have a very slim chance of getting accepted, regardless of how well they perform in school, their intelligence, or their work-ethic. This country needs to stop putting these schools on such a high pedestal.

For more information, please visit:

  • income stats: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/1/25/harvard-income-percentile/
  • legacy acceptance rates: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/07/harvards-freshman-class-is-more-than-one-third-legacy.html

We should be using Chromebooks, not iPads

By: Ava Bird

For us students, using iPads for school every day is what we’re used to. And many of us are perfectly okay with it. But there are also those who recognize the downsides that come along with using iPads for our learning – and there are a lot of downsides. 

First of all, almost every mobile application is different from its desktop counterpart, and when on a Chromebook, this is usually beneficial to the user.

For example, on the desktop version of Duolingo, you don’t have a limited amount of hearts; in fact, hearts aren’t even a thing, meaning that you can make as many mistakes as you need to without purchasing a “Super” membership (previously known as “Plus”). 

Another example is Schoology. On Chromebooks, students have a better, somewhat more advanced version of Schoology that is more organized and has more functions than the iPad version. One of these functions is how you can edit Google Doc assignments without even leaving the schoology app. There is a “My Document” button, which allows you to view and edit a teacher-created Doc, whether it be open-ended writing or a fill-in-the-blanks study guide, directly from Schoology. If you wanted to open the document from the Google Docs website instead, there’s an “Edit” button which allows you to do so. Any document opened via Schoology automatically saves under your Google account. 

On the iPad version of Schoology, on the other hand, there’s a button which allows you to create a written submission, but you can’t see the directions for the assignment while editing it, and you can’t easily go back and forth between the directions and your writing. And this isn’t the only part of Schoology where iPads don’t compare; there’s so much more, but it’s best to just leave it here.

Another thing that makes Chromebook usage much simpler than iPad usage is how, in most cases, everything you need to do can be done from your browser. This means that everything is right in front of you, and nothing will get lost behind layers and layers of forgotten apps and websites. If you’ve never used a Chromebook, it may seem like having too many tabs open at once would result in confusion and lack of organization, but there’s actually a very simple way to group tabs into different subjects or categories. 

Grouping tabs compresses the selected tabs into a folder of sorts, which you can then name and color code to your liking. For example, you can have a yellow tab group labeled “History,” in which you can store all of your tabs from that class; a blue tab group labeled “English;” and a green tab group labeled “Science.” The tab groups don’t even have to contain class materials – you could also have, say, a purple tab group labeled “other,” which might contain random things such as a Google search, a Netflix show, and the daily sudoku. For many people, however, grouping tabs isn’t even necessary, since there is a large enough view to contain a good amount of tabs.

If you’re worried about not being able to draw or take handwritten notes on apps such as Notability, or if you simply like having a touchscreen, that’s no reason to keep using an iPad; there are Chromebooks with touchscreens. And, unlike iPads, use of the touchscreen isn’t even necessary to perform the functions that your flimsy iPad keyboard/case can’t. Plus, it’s really nice to have a built-in keyboard mouse. 

There are some iPad apps that don’t have web versions, like Notability, but you’ll soon find that apps like that are easily replaceable. Notes can be printed and handed out to students, taken on paper or in a notebook, or shared via Schoology or through a Google Document. The same can be done for worksheets, and many people appreciate the occasional hard copy, as it helps maintain the handwriting skills that are vital to everyday life. There are also apps that are similar to Notability, such as Google Keep, which allows you to take notes in a way that is similar to Notability. But even so, once Notability and similar apps are taken out of the equation, many will find that they are easily replaceable or not even a necessity in the first place.

There are so many more reasons why we should be using Chromebooks instead of iPads, and I could go on and on about this, but here’s the bottom line: It’s time to stop pretending that iPads are the best option for our education. They’re not.

A review of ‘I Fell In Love With Hope’

By: McKenzie Welch

Image taken from: https://www.goodreads.com/book

‘I Fell in Love With Hope’ by Lancali, which is a pen name that the author writes and promotes under, is a book about learning how to hope again in a setting clouded with doubt and despair. It is a realistic fiction novel with moments of magical realism tied in. The novel itself is representative of many different types of people, such as disabled people, gay people, and non-binary people, to an extent.

The book takes place in a hospital, and the five main characters are either always in and out of the hospital, or have lived there for the majority of their lives. They all have differing chronic illnesses that affect their way of life, but they find the strength to make it through difficult situations by sticking together. Their names are Sam, Neo, Sony, Hikari, and Coeur, and their personalities are very unique, which makes it so many different readers can see themselves reflected in different characters.

The novel itself is very character-driven, and does not have a plot that is substantially controlled by climactic events. Because of this, the words have to be laid on the page in a way that is captivating to the reader. The sentences themselves are beautifully written, shown in the line, “Our words fold over each other, dance together as our hands mimic them, act them out, that comfortable, ruinous distance the only thing keeping her mine, ghostly, unreal” (Lancali 64). However, nearly every sentence is written in this style, which inevitably takes away from the impact a line like this should have had.

Also, because the plot is so character driven, you would imagine that the characters would be easy to connect to. I imagined that, and I was proven wrong. I had difficulty connecting to any of the characters in the novel, which made the novel pass incredibly slow at times. The characters do not have much depth, or if they do, the depths of their personalities are not well explored.

Next, the representation within the novel is done well for the most part. Four of the main characters have disabilities that affect their quality of life, and Lancali writes about both the good days and the bad. The author does not make an attempt to sugar coat something that shouldn’t be sugar coated. There is also a relationship between two male characters, and a relationship between a female character and a non-binary character.

The only thing in the novel that lacks in representation is the non-binary aspect. As I was reading, I did not know that the narrator was non-binary until the last quarter of the book. They are never referred to in the third person until that point. Because the book is largely advertised as being representative of non-binary people, I think that aspect could have been better executed.

All in all, I give ‘I Fell in Love With Hope’ 3⁄5 stars. The novel has a very good concept, and even an unexpected plot twist at the end, but the base of the story. and the story itself. could have been structured differently in order to make it easier to read. I also believe that the writing could have been less extravagant at times in order to make the well-thought out sentences more impactful to the story. However, I do believe that if you value representation in novels and enjoy character-driven stories, you should give this novel a try.