Monthly Archives: April 2016

Earth Day Isn’t Just Any Day For April

By Amelia Lowry

April gallops gracefully around her friends. The eleven faces of her closest companions all blur into one as she runs.

“April, stop dancing and come sit down with the rest of us,” September orders.

“Woah, Sep, chill,” June says lazily, chewing loudly on a giant wad of bubble gum. “It’s not like she’s, like, doing drugs or something.”

At this, all eleven people in the circle exchange dubious looks.

“I don’t get why anyone would do drugs. I mean, isn’t life just amazing as it is?” December asks with a wide smile on his face. “April knows what I’m talking about, right April?”

April skips lackadaisically over to her friends. Her long hair bounces up and down behind her each time her bare feet hit the grass.

“Hey man, did someone, like, say ‘April’?” April asks in her watered-down voice.

September narrows his eyes upon April’s approaching.

“Sep, what’s the matter, dude? The war is over if you want it,” April says to September, kneeling down beside him. He grumbles and tries to scoot away from her, but October stops him with a spooky, eyeliner-rimmed look.

“Hiya, April!” December cheerfully chitters. “I was just tellin’ the gang about how great life is! Don’t you just love it?”

“Totally, man, it’s outta sight. It’s the grooviest time of year — you know how I love April,” she says with a lethargic smile.

“I know I love April,” February says. February gives a sly wink and twirls a lock of curly hair with her slender, pink-polished fingers.

Without missing a beat, December shows the group a glimpse of his twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks. “I love April too — the sun is out, the grass is green — it’s the best time of the year!”

“Oh my God, December, you say that every twenty-four hours,” September replies hotly.

“Simmer down, my friends,” April says.

June changes the subject. “It sure is a chill time of year,” she says. “The twentieth will be here before we know it.”

“Every day is April twentieth if you try hard enough, man,” April says. “Besides, dudette, you gotta think bigger. Expand your mind.”

December grins broadly and says, “Yeah, Christmas is on the way!” He looks off into the distance lovingly, as if he’s thinking about all the different flavors of candy canes, or how soft Santa’s beard is. “Here comes Santa Claus,” he mutters under his breath.

April follows December’s gaze. “Oh, yeah, I think I can see him, man,” she says.

“That’s not Santa Claus, you imbeciles, it’s just a red-breasted robin,” September says.

“Did someone say ‘breast’?” February asks, suddenly alert.

April stretches out, lifting her kimono-covered arms high above her head. Everyone turns to look at her — her sudden shift in movement enough to gather their attention.

“Oh, hello friends,” April says when she notices everyone’s eyes on her.

“What’s your favorite holiday, April?” December asks.

“Oh, that’s a tough one man. It’s tough to decide between Earth day and Arbor day,” April replies. She puts her arm idly over December’s shoulder. “It’s like the two days of the year where everyone is, like, united in the common goal of loving the planet. You know I’m all about the love, man.”

October readjusts his clunky headphones and asks, “April, what is Earth Day? I don’t really know a lot about the Earth.” He pushes his straightened, black hair out of his pale face and looks toward April. More darkly, he says, “I spend most of my time in the underworld.”

“It’s just some dumb hippie holiday. What does it matter? Arbor day, too — they’re just excuses for hippies to hug more trees,” September says.

“Hey man, make love, not war,” April says to September. “Don’t let the man keep you down, October. He probably just didn’t eat his granola this morning.”

“Nobody here eats granola except you, April,” September spits.

“Whatever, my friend. Anyway, Earth Day always falls on April 22nd and Arbor day is on the 29th. I’m planting trees down on the park if you want to join me,” April says.

“Oh, the 22nd? No can do — I’m making some sacrifices that day,” October replies.

“Thank god,” September says. “That’s what this country was built on — some elbow grease and a lot of sacrifice.”

October gives September an ice-cold look. “I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.”

“It’s totally turbulent, October,” April says. “You don’t have to plant trees to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day. Another thing you can do instead is make people feel bad for throwing stuff away, or protest at your local bank.”

“Why the bank?” September asks, suddenly intrigued.

“Because, man, money doesn’t grow on trees. But you know what does grow on trees?” April asks. Nobody responds. “Air. Why don’t banks help with air? Don’t they know that the air is contaminated? Don’t they know that they, as Americans, are to blame for 25% of carbon dioxide pollution in the environment?”

There is a drawn out silence as everyone digests April’s sudden attitude.

“Well… I’m glad you feel so passionately about something. That’s the bomb,” October says.

“Hey man, watch your language!” April shouts neurotically. “The trees can hear you!”

“Anyway, April.” February flirts, batting her eyelashes. “What are you doing this Friday?”

“I’m going to Wall Street,” April says, shaking her head. “Nobody wastes paper like those tree-hating fascists.”

“Ooh, I bet that’ll be a real good time. But you know what they say — you’re gonna  need a honey if you wanna save some money. Whatdya say, April? Do you wanna –” February began, lowering her eyes to April’s beaded peace-sign necklace, “take a chance on me?”

“No, man, we humans have no right to take the bee’s honey, man. That’s just like us humans, taking what isn’t ours. Like trees, man. Trees don’t belong to anyone,” April says. “That’s why we have to serve the trees, man. Arbor Day is the perfect day for you to serve them. Pick up some trash. Recycle. Plant trees, get your hands muddy, man.”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” February says.

“Far out, dudette, it’s a date. Is the 29th okay, man?” April asks February.

“The 29th is perfect, pick me up at 8,” February responds with a wink.

“Okay, man, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit you on my bicycle,” April says, scratching her head, and sways to her feet. “I gotta jam, guys, there’s a protest against fracking going on soon, man.”

April starts skipping away, leaving her eleven friends in near-silence. February is still sitting on the ground, forlornly looking at the grass.

“Oh, I didn’t know she had something against fracking,” February says.

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Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram. 

Straight Out of Bagels (A Podcast Series) – Episode One: Pilot

Episode One “Pilot” was Written and Performed by Max Gamerman and Amelia Lowry (featuring Jackson Spickler)

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They’ve traveled through the wastelands of New Jersey.  They’ve ventured through the desolate jungles of Pennsylvania.  They’ve tangled with lions and cowboys and mermaids and the entire cast of Seinfeld (especially George) and now they’re here in Washington County Maryland.  And they’re bringing it fresh like a good bagel.  This is a podcast you don’t want to miss.

Max Gamerman is a Junior at Barbara Ingram  and Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Barbara Ingram’s Little Mermaid

By Amber Eason

It’s been announced that this year’s Barbara Ingram School for the Art’s play is the Little Mermaid. And I was allowed exclusive access into the world of sea creatures, and upcoming musical numbers.

The Little Mermaid is the sixth consecutive musical Barbara Ingram School for the Arts has produced. The play’s cast consists of only BISFA students, and this year’s play boasts one of the largest cast of them all with a breathtakingly huge ensemble. The sheer size of the production offers some of its own challenges as well; however, this enormous cast of characters guarantees a full-bodied and immersive experience. “It’s the largest we’ve ever had,” said Amanda Askin, a musical theater major in the play.  “There’s a lot of coordination and timing that goes on behind the scenes that the audience doesn’t see.”

Along with its staggering number of performers, the show also offers some rather amazing special effects: lighting, projections, and even creatures floating on the air. “The audience will feel they’re under the sea with us.” That was Amanda’s favorite thing about the Little Mermaid: “It’s going to be a beautiful experience … I can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction to just that — to us.” She described it as a sort of under the sea choreographed jigsaw puzzle, filled with brilliant colors, fancy footwork (or perhaps finwork), all complete with the lovable — and laughable — buoyant banter of the characters you love.

A look around Black Box Theater and I couldn’t agree more. I was surrounded by a sea of rainbow sequins, bubbly bright colors and swirl after swirl of wispy tool. I think every color in the spectrum was captured.

So at this point you might be thinking so what? It’s bright and beautiful, and somewhat immersive — what’s the big deal about that? Well, alongside it’s bedazzling costumes and sparkling atmosphere, the die-hard Little Mermaid fans will be sure glad to hear that it develops a rather close narrative to the Disney story.

“The play follows a lot of the movie — it’s pretty close, actually,” said Judah Ickes, a musical theater major also in the play. “You get the classic music — the well known stuff — but you also get to hear some cool new tunes, and it puts a nice spin on the old characters.”

So there you have it, folks: the same songs you love and a fresh story to make it pop. It should also be noted that the voices behind these songs are simply magical. I sat in with the concert choir (featuring many of the voices that will be in the play) and honestly I was speechless. Their voices were so strong and harmonious that they resonated around the classroom. It was like everything was in sync with the graceful ring and echo of their pitch. I’m certain the musical will be no different, and these glorious voices will leave the audience as entranced as I was sitting in that white-tiled classroom.

I felt hopeful and alive while leaving, I think that feeling can be found almost anywhere downtown. I saw a few posters advertising for the play in the windows of some local businesses like Regenerate Float Spa and struck up conversation with one of the employees. He said he was excited for the big event, and was happy that the Barbara Ingram School for the Art’s students we’re apart of it. He said it was a way of “making art for now, and saving it for the future.”

The musical is sure to deliver in every way possible, and so if you haven’t already, I would suggest purchasing your tickets hereLiam Clark, a musical theater major performing in the play, said, “It’s like a bonding experience for everyone — you develop a connection with the actors right in front of you — so like people get to bond with their own families while watching ours perform.”

 

Amber Eason is a Sophmore at Barbara Ingram.

Humanity’s Fling with Spring

By Kaitlin Gertz

So, what’s the buzz with all the bees (and flowers and pastels and everything spring)? Why are college students migrating to Florida? And what makes people so obsessed with spring that it makes them sick? Spring fever, usually associated with a physical illness, can also describe the intense focus people give to the season. There’s spring cleaning, spring break, and the cheerful alliteration of “spring has sprung!” In all, it seems people just can’t get enough of it.

Traditionally, spring is linked to rebirth and renewal. Youth and fertility are also commonly affiliated with spring; both were extremely prevalent and sought after throughout history. Renewal has heavy ties with religion as well. The Festival of Isis was an ancient Egyptian celebration marking the beginning of spring, as it was held around the Equinox. Romans had a rough equivalent with their Feast of Cybele. Even Christianity plays its part: Easter marks the end of Lent, which means people could then indulge instead of restricting.

The ancient Greeks, however, saw no problem with indulgence, and now lend the custom of spring break to college students. Anthesteria was a three-day festival celebrating Dionysus, god of wine. Everyone, no matter their social status, was allowed to party and get drunk because spring had arrived. Nowadays, we just call it “spring break.” Though the original festival was only three days, it was a chance to relax from the stress of winter and warm up. While winter back then might have meant certain crops couldn’t be grown or business for some would be hard, now it is associated with the pressure of exams and school. Spring break is a chance to forget about your worries and chill — or fly down to Miami and party.

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With modern traditions comes seasonal sports like baseball, softball, and the end of basketball. March Madness, the final championship of the NBA, brings in billions of dollars in bets and millions of dollars in revenue (if that’s not enough reason for the managers to love spring, I don’t know what is). Baseball can be a more twofold sport: not only do the major leagues also bring in millions of dollars, but so do the minor leagues. Money doesn’t translate to renewal, but it’s certainly a reason why people are anxious for spring.

So, spring fever could make you excited for the season, or just make you break out in hives when some designer declares florals “groundbreaking.” Whether you’re honoring the Greeks by partying, or the Romans by eating all you can, or even taking some time to relax and smell the roses, getting sick with spring fever might not be all that bad.

Kaitlin Gertz is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram.

Just Between Us

By Sara Ritchey 

Before I wrote this, I remembered the time you told me how much you loved the rhythm of my heartbeat — and when we hugged, you pressed yourself into me; our heartbeats colliding, dancing under moonlit skies. And when bright shooting stars flew across the night, you always told me you had everything you’d ever need.

Before I wrote this, I sat memorizing your mesmerizing eyes and got lost somewhere in between blue and always. Your eyes took me to blurry places, where I couldn’t make out my own goddamn name. You made the words in my head jumble; a jungle of tangled letters, until I could only make out three words. I love you.

Before I wrote this, I realized I love you’s could be lies. Trampled on words with muddy shoes until they are so far in the dirt, they begin to decompose.

You see, before I wrote this, I repeated it to myself so much it lost it’s meaning. I love you, I love you, I love you, I — it played over in my head like a scratched record. Your words echoing off the sides of my head, until I had to slip in headphones to drown out the sound of your voice.

Before I wrote this I scratched my skin, where your fingertips had traced. Lines of red paint fell down my arms as I continue to scratch trying to get any sign of you off of my skin.

I remembered the time you engraved words into my bones, and I let you, being sure to lay still as you took your time. You liked digging every letter deeper than the last, and when I winced you shrugged it off, continuing your work of art. When you were finally done, you let me see your masterpiece. It was a picture of another girl. Maybe in a different time, you said. Maybe if you were anyone else.

Sara Ritchey is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram

James Buchanan Drama Club Retells Classic Tale

By Mary Miller

On March 13, 2016, I saw Jekyll & Hyde at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.  It was a musical adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and was originally produced on Broadway.   In this classic tale of good versus evil, a kindhearted doctor’s experiment goes awry and forces him to live with terrifying transformations into an evil alter ego.

The musical featured a large ensemble of James Buchanan’s most talented actors. The play starred senior Hunter Daugherty as Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, senior Lauren Dukehart as Emma Carew, sophomore Claire Alfree as Lucy Harris, and senior Sam Ortbal as Gabriel John Utterson.  I was very impressed with all of the students’ performances, both dramatic and musical.  

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Hunter Daugherty and Lauren Dukeheart

Every musical performance was quite enjoyable, particularly that of Hunter Daughtry.  Each song was well executed and exciting to watch.    The show was also greatly enriched by the performances of the “London citizens” and pit orchestra.  

In my opinion, the most impressive aspect of the play were the special effects.  Strobe lights and smoke machines are just a couple of things the school used to better enhance the dramatic side of the play. The creative sets effectively flipped between settings and moods while holding the audience’s interest the entire time.

Above all, I must applaud the school for choosing such an imaginative play.  Jekyll and Hyde was an ambitious and creative choice, and I feel the school pulled it off quite well.  Jekyll and Hyde was a joy to attend, and I look forward to seeing James Buchanan High School’s future productions.

Mary Miller is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Cthulhu For President 2016

By Nathan Rutherford 

We conducted an interview with this up and coming political outsider in order to give voters an honest view of his policy.

The ancient eldritch being, Cthulhu Dagon, has announced his independent candidacy for the office of the President of the United States. Along with his appeal as a potentially viable independent candidate, he promises to return to traditional values of cosmic terror and all-consuming darkness: mirroring a time when “The world was controlled by ancient cosmic entities.” The good old days, according to Mr. Dagon.

When our reporters questioned him on his military strategy concerning ISIS, and other possible threats in the global community, Dagon said that he would visit
opposing militants in their sleep and “drive them mad by showing them horrors deeper than the darkest ocean.” A strategy that shows he is not afraid to stand up to threats against the U.S from around the globe. He had been given much praise from amongst his following for being the first eldritch horror to ever attempt a presidential run–claims, which he denied, saying “Oh I’m definitely not the first, you’ve heard of Al Gore, right?” When asked about other candidates, he had little to say, referring to them as mere specks of dust floating in the great void of space. Besides, Mr. Dagon said he had “Slept through all of the debates anyway.”

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When asked about other goals and ambitions he has for his presidency, Mr. Dagon provided a colossal list. Among these he plans to write a budget plan that “no human mind could ever comprehend” and getting rid of pesky hindrances to government such as ‘due process’ and ‘free speech’ once and for all. He describes his style of reform as “Complete, efficient, and designed to remind humankind of its place in the universe.” Something he claims will serve the common good in a much more comprehensive way than his opponents.

Many competing politicians have criticized his seemingly sinister policy, branding him as “evil” or “monstrous” but he believes this is part of his appeal. He says he is the only honest politician, not hiding his true intentions behind seemingly benign platforms claiming to help the middle class, or rectify the income gap. He presents us with a question that has become his campaign slogan. “Why choose a lesser evil?”

This question leaves us plenty to think about as the presidential race continues, and as we consider the many candidates that are vying for the title of commander in chief (Which he plans to change to “Vile Lord” if he takes office) We look forward to seeing more of Mr. Dagon and other rising independents. See you at the primaries!

The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Post Script Magazine

Nathan Rutherford is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

The Case Against the Gay Panic Defense

By Alanna Anderson 

Should penalties or convictions in regards to murder cases be lessened by this discriminatory legal tactic?

Imagine that you’re in the hallway at school when someone asks you to be their Valentine; they happen to not identify as the gender that you’re attracted to. Do you get upset about someone saying something to you that you’re uncomfortable with? Or do you let them down gently in order to erase any ill feelings from rejection?

If you happen to be fourteen year old Brandon McInerney, your reaction is going to be a bit more violent. You come to school the next day and shoot the person that asked you to be their Valentine while they are seated in a classroom. Instead of receiving a civilized answer, they end up being murdered. You also get to cut a deal with the prosecutors that will give you a lesser sentence of twenty-one years in prison. How do you manage to convince the jury that you deserve to have your sentence lessened: by using the Gay Panic Defense.

 

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Brandon McInerney (left) shot openly gay 15 year old Lawrence “Larry” King (right) in February of 2008

This may seem absurd to you, but it’s not the only case of murder being excused for this reason. Jonathan Schmitz murdered Scott Amedure, his friend, on the grounds that Scott had a crush on him. He directly stated that he was so embarrassed about Scott having a crush on him that he was unable to control himself and thus murdered him. To some, this would seem like a terrible excuse for taking someone’s life, but the jury bought it and the Gay Panic Defense was able to lessen Schmitz’s repercussions.

In 2002, a seventeen year old named Gwen Araujo, born with the name Edward, was brutally murdered by two other teens because she was a transgender individual. The murder was an act of revenge because they had slept with her and then compared their experiences to later on figure out that at birth she was considered male. She ended up being beaten, tied up, and strangled by them before she was buried in a shallow grave without being found for two weeks. One of the guys even admits to ‘vomiting and weeping’ at finding out that she was transgender, and that he hit her in the head with a frying pan. A third teen, who was not a part of the murder, aided in burying the body in order to stay loyal to their friends. In order to lessen the sentence of the attackers, the defense lawyers offered up the Gay Panic Defense.

In 2008, Joseph Bidermann, age 30, was acquitted of the murder he performed. The victim, Terrance Michael Hauser, was his neighbor and invited him to his apartment, though they had never spoken before. Bidermann ended up passed out on Hasuer’s couch, but awoke when Hasuer allegedly locked a grip around his neck and attempted to sexually assault him while a 16-inch dagger was in his hand. Bidermann responded by stabbing him 61 times essentially carving him to death.  He then fled to his girlfriend’s house where he took a shower. In place of calling the police, he and his girlfriend went to the hospital where Hauser went to get a knife wound on his arm treated, and a call to the police was made for them. In the end it was decided that Bidermann’s choice of stabbing Hauser 61 times was a justified way to handle the situation. And how did he get away with this: the Gay Panic Defense.

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(cartoon from SlapUpsideTheHead.com)


What is it about this defense that can cause murderers to get lesser sentences? Is it even valid?

According to data gathered by expert attorneys at NOLO, many courts have refused this defense, but despite that, it has still been used many times, like in the cases mentioned previously. It’s used when a defendant feels that their crime is justified because their panic over a romantic/sexual advance from a LGBTQ+ individual made them a victim, and in an act of self defense they were provoked into temporarily losing control of their behavior.

Courts defend their acceptance of this defense by stating that they don’t want to dismiss the fact that people can be provoked into actions, and they don’t want to charge them as much as someone who acted in cold blood. For them, the romantic/sexual advance acts as the provoking that the defendant needed to feel as though they were being attacked, and it justifies them going off the deep end.

But what about those victims who were walking home alone and were suddenly brutally attacked; or those minding their own business and not interacting with others? Is it fair to say that, because they were gay or transgender, they caused the people around them to ‘panic’ and lose control?

It is true that the opinions of others have to be heard in court, but there comes a time when the law has to decide whether something is fair or not. The whole point of the law system is to settle disputes between people in a civil manner that is unbiased and full of the rights that the constitution is supposed to provide us. But how can the court consider themselves fair and impartial when they are acting in a way that is discriminatory towards a specific group of people?

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Another thing to consider it that the situation can arguably become more or less difficult to assess when the defendant is there behind the stand ready to answer questions, and the prosecutor’s family is the one representing the prosecutor because they are dead and can’t do it for themselves. Is it really fair to say that the person who acted out of revenge for being ‘deceived’ was a victim, but the person who has ended up dead for being themselves is at fault for their own death? It seems that using that logic would be unreasonably blaming the victim for a crime that was committed against them and that they can’t even defend themselves against.

The court has to understand that when excuses like these are allowed in law, it is setting the bar for public opinion and stances on matters. The use of this defense in court reflects a grim idea of the parts of society that feel this is justified, and those hateful opinions are being entertained with its continuation.

We can’t expect for the citizens of a country to fully embrace progression and positive change when it’s apparent that’s not what the law itself is representing. On top of this, it also shows that there are those out there that will continue to use it as long as it’s around. There are those who will see the cases where it has succeeded in reducing sentences and provides people with the out that they need to get away with murder. There is no way that the continuation of this ‘defense’ can be argued in favor of standing for the equality and equal rights of all. If we want to provide a safer, more equal, more just government, then we need to take away these loopholes that victimize victims. We need to take away the Gay Panic Defense.

Alanna Anderson is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram 

A Healthy Place for Pets, Naturally

By Tyler Hoffman 

Central Dawgma describes itself as a “healthy place for pets, naturally.” — and it certainly lives up to their slogan! The self-serve dog wash and pet store have two locations in Maryland: Frederick and Hagerstown. There are reviews on the business’ website, and all of them are five out of five stars.

The biggest feature of the store is the ‘self-serve dog wash’. It’s a big metal basin, large enough to fit even a Great Dane. It’s fitted with a standard showerhead that’s removable and a few feet long. Overhead of the basin are dispensers filled with the company’s signature brand of grooming products. You have the choice to either have the groomers wash your dog for you or do it yourself. Whatever you choose is worth the money and time.

The Hagerstown location has before offered adoption services to kittens and cats in the past. Many people don’t know about it, and I’ve seen the cats grow from kittens to full grown cats.

The store section of Central Dawgma is filled with all natural pet food and pet products. From locally grown catnip to real non-processed turkey dog treats, to your standard run-of-the-mill Purina pet food — it’s all there. When entering, you’re greeted with the homely and pleasant smell of catnip, plastic, and the occasional scent of wet dog.  It’s strange, but oddly welcoming. The counter with the register always has a candle to disperse the smell of wet dog and animals — which, are also available to purchase. Placed by the exit is a thing of baskets with samples of  dog food from products sold in the store. The food is sealed in small, transparent plastic baggies, and are about a serving for a large dog. For a small dog like mine, they’re each a good two or three servings.

Central Dawgma is a great, local store to get care for your pets. With few flaws that definitely don’t outweigh the pros, a trip to either location is worth it in the long run.

Jean Hoffman is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram.