Dance to This! Troye Sivan’s new album, Bloom

Written By: Alexia Urena

Troye Sivan’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Bloom, has finally arrived. The electronic, dream pop sensation returned 3 years after the release of his debut album, Blue Neighbourhood. Sivan has garnered nearly 13 million monthly Spotify listeners, and debuted at number four on the Billboard charts upon Bloom’s release.

The album has been received to high critical acclaim; 4 stars from Rolling Stone, 8.6 by Metacritic, and 5 stars by The Independent, to name a few.

Bloom is composed of 10 tracks in a quick 36 minutes. For up-to-date fans, the album only had 5 new songs. However, the cohesiveness of the album as a whole makes up for the lack of more unreleased songs.

Sivan’s album spans a wide range of emotions and styles for old and new fans alike. Tracks like My, My, My, Bloom, and Plum are upbeat, pure fun pop songs. On the other hand, Animal and The Good Side are far more mellow, their captivating lyrics carrying the songs on their backs.

Bloom also includes two features: Postcard with Australian singer-songwriter Gordi and Dance to This with none other than Ariana Grande.  The two songs are starkly different than one other, Postcard is a sentimental ballad and “Dance to This” is more of a sweet and smooth dance track.

The album is honest and vulnerable in its lyrics. Sivan has shown his growth since Blue Neighbourhood, the songs are more brooding and deeper in meaning. Bloom covers everything from the ups and downs of relationships to Sivan exploring his sexuality.

Sivan is one of few artists who are so open about being gay, a topic that is still taboo in modern music. In Seventeen, for example, Sivan sings about his first time putting himself out to the daunting online dating scene as an innocent teenager, his uneasiness and excitement resonating with LGBTQ audiences.  

If you are looking for something to dance to or cry to- whatever suits you best- Troye Sivan’s Bloom is definitely worth the listen.

 

Leukemia Awareness Month

Written By: Gina Crespo

Even though the month of September is dedicated to both Leukemia and Childhood Cancer Awareness, most people still have little knowledge about how cancers affect a person’s body or what goes into the research of cancers.

Leukemia is one of the deadliest cancers and the most common form in children. In leukemia, the bone marrow, where blood cells are formed in the body, is negatively affected.

“Patients with leukemia can often have over 100,000 cells/microliter of blood. The normal concentration is between 5,000-10,000 cells/microliter. In fact, there can be so many leukemic white blood cells in the blood that when it is drawn up into a test tube, instead of looking red, it actually looks white!” Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Director of Phase 1 Pediatric Clinical Research Program at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Dr. Matteo Trucco said.

These white blood cells do not work properly and their presence can “crowd out” the normal blood cells.

As a result, patients with leukemia have a higher risk of infection, an increased risk of bleeding and bruising, and are anemic, meaning they have a low level of red blood cells. According to Dr. Trucco, patients are also in danger of losing a significant amount weight or even going into organ failure due to the lack of normal blood cells.

Researchers everyday attempt to find cures but the process is both lengthy and expensive. However, this extensive research process must start with the basics: the study of how blood cells develop and divide.

According to Trucco, researchers must study the normal cell division first because, “You can’t understand how something breaks and how to fix it if you don’t know how it works normally.”

After scientists have a good grasp on how cells divide, they begin studying how mutations that cause cancers occur. Then they attempt to find a way to target the mutation. Once they find out how, they can develop drugs and run lab experiments to test the treatment.

The clinical trial process is carried out in 3 phases.

“Phase 1 is testing the safety of the treatment and the dose. If the treatment is considered safe, and we have a dose, then a Phase 2 study is conducted specifically to test whether the treatment seems to actually work at treating or controlling the cancer. For these studies we set criteria for what we would consider the treatment to be “active,” for example does it eliminate the leukemia in  50% of patients in 2 months. If the treatment is deemed “active” against the specific cancer, then a Phase 3 study is developed where we test whether adding the new treatment to the standard treatment actually improves things. If the Phase 3 study is a success and shows that the new treatment improves the cure rate for the cancer, then approval of the treatment from the Food and Drug Administration of the government is sought. Each of these steps, from lab to clinic can take several years, and a lot of money,” Trucco said.

Several researchers all around the world are currently working on the development of better treatments for leukemia. For example, researchers, such as Dr. Julio Barredo, at the University of Miami are currently studying Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL), the most common leukemia in children, in hopes of developing better treatments. However, due to the cost and length of the research process, the treatment may be a long way from being approved by the FDA or even being tested in clinical trials.

Cancer awareness clubs, like the one we now have in our school, organizations, and even the Awareness month events aim to aid these researchers in their journey to find better treatment methods.

Thoughts of science…Red Tide plaguing Florida shores

The Red Tide continues to sweep over the West Coast of Florida, notably the beaches of Sarasota, leading to detrimental effects not only for marine species but for humans as well.

Red Tides occur when man-made pesticides and chemicals are washed into the ocean, creating toxic algal blooms which may make shellfish inedible, kill marine wildlife, and cause respiratory problems in humans. Climate change has also played a role in the phenomenon as scientists have concluded that this form of algae thrives in warmer waters. The global warming aspect has not been recognized as a likely culprit for the spread of the tide because the Red Tide occurs yearly. Warm waters have made this most recent outbreak of the tide the most lethal yet, killing over 2000 tons of marine animals along the Florida coast since it started in November 2017. Tourism has taken a hit and businesses have shut down due to the consequences of the toxicity accumulating in these beaches.

“The algal blooms on both coasts are always an issue during rainy reasons where a lot of nutrients wash into the ocean and provide the necessary nutrients for life. The effects on us people is awful; earaches, respiratory issues, etc. I would say to avoid the beach at all costs during any large scale boom,” Gina Sese said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, during his first year of office, cut out 700 million dollars from the five water management districts in Florida. The South Florida Water Management District, whose mission includes to restore the Everglades, has taken the biggest hit out of this action. Involved with many bills that oppose raising the water quality, Scott only has recently started to take action. Other candidates in office have started to discuss Florida’s pressing issue, causing the rapid approval of many projects. This year, Scott has responded by declaring a state of emergency and has set aside 1.5 million dollars to fund cleanups and further rehabilitation efforts.

Despite these plans for future ocean conservation, the extent of the tide has been largely due to the amount of pollution in our oceans along with blatant disregard from the public for how deeply it is affecting us, especially on our own neighboring beaches.
As of today, there has been a wave of support towards conserving our oceans, with the elimination of plastic straws from companies such as Starbucks and increasing availability of reusable straws.

Regardless, the majority of the population fails to realize how much climate change is altering the state of our land and waters and that the length of this Red Tide has not been anything short of unnatural. As a community, we need to take action and gather all our resources, or else the failure to acknowledge human beings’ role in this continual decimation of Florida’s beaches is only going to aid this Red Tide in making headway to other parts of the state, and possibly, America’s remaining untouched beaches.

Free Tuition for Medical School

Written By: Sofia Marin

On August 18th, New York University announced it would begin providing free tuition to incoming and current students regardless of their financial situation. Student loans and ongoing debts are the primary reasons why students defer from applying to medical school; in 2017 alone, the average debt of an NYU graduate was $184,000.

Although the cost of the students’ classes is covered, room and board fees are not, which average to around $27,000. The possibility of an almost debt-free future will lure more applicants to the university and create greater competition between top medical schools. Hopefully, other schools will be encouraged to follow in NYU’s steps.  

Taylor Tackles… the split swim team

Written By: Taylor Politi

Our swim team used to be all about training and competing to show off the skills we work so hard to perfect throughout the fall. For the previous years most of the swimmers competed at many dual meets, GMACS, districts, regional, and states. This year a new group has been added that trains with the swim team, but does not compete.

“Just training with the school is a great experience. Not only are you able to practice swimming without going under the pressure of competing, you are getting fit for other sports too,” swim team captain Penelope Roca said.

This conditioning group consists mostly of water polo players getting ready to play in the spring. Water polo player Andrea Gomez believes “…being able to condition with the swim team in preparation for water polo season helps create a stronger water polo team.”

Although competing creates goals and develops resilience and determination, this conditioning group is looking like a positive option for those water polo players just trying to stay in shape or those swimmers that do not have the confidence to compete against other schools yet.

“I think it is a great opportunity for other students to earn and get a bit of exercise and maybe with a bit of motivation get them to compete for the school,” girls swimming Coach Carlos Couzo said.

Space is sometimes a problem at the pool and swimmers may have to share lanes with others to make room for the conditioning lanes. This may cause conflict, but overall the benefits outweigh the problems.  It brings all types of swimmers together and gives them an amazing opportunity to work on social skills, and stay active. Even if the pool may be crowded, it is not fazing the girls swim team who have won every swim meet so far.

 

Students rush in to the FIFA World Cup

Written By: Zara Campbell

The world’s most famous sporting event took place this summer in Russia, with some of the greatest soccer (or football as it’s called by 99% of the world) players and fans from across the globe  gathered to celebrate their diverse cultures, passion for sport, and national pride. Despite the US missing out on the prestigious competition, some of our MAST students still made the lengthy trip to Russia.

Junior, Lucas Virgil enjoyed this one-of-a-kind experience of the world cup. “[It was] definitely…memorable…because of the games and the fans, but also getting to travel around Russia and getting to talk to some [of] the people and see all the different sites” Lucas said. When asked how it was like to be exposed to such an environment, surrounded by so many fans from all over the world Lucas replied,  “The atmosphere amongst the fans from South America and Africa was jubilant and they were always chanting even if their team wasn’t even winning…fans that I saw from Europe were less active…the Senegal fans also stayed after the game to clean up garbage from their section” Here his words stand as a testament to what the World Cup is all about; it is a celebration of the diverse cultures of the different peoples of the world, from the passionate South Americans, to the more subdued Europeans, to the respectful Africans.

The World Cup is a sporting event that really transcends sport, and is more about  human nature, culture, and customs. It’s about togetherness passion and all the things that make our world so great; Let’s apply all these ideals to our daily life, here at school, and wherever we venture, to spread the joys of what makes the earth, and the peoples of it, so great.

Running with Rosin: our newest P.E. coach

Written By: Zuzelle Ramos

Christopher Rossin has gone from the classroom to the field. As the history department says goodbye to one of their fellow teachers, the athletics department welcomes their proud new member. In preparation for his future role as Athletics Director,  Rossin has begun his training. With the help of the current athletics director, Kimberlie Eidenire Rosin is learning about the responsibilities that come with his future position.

“The training has been going well, athletics start the last week in July, so since then we have been working hard to have everything ready for the start of school and beyond. From athletic packets and insurance to the scheduling of buses and paying referees, there is zero room for error, and although it was a bit overwhelming at first I feel like I am starting to hit in stride. Ms. Eidenire has worked with me through every step in the process and ensured that I did not make any (major) mistakes and she hasn’t been too tough on me for the silly ones I have made” Rossin said.  

When Rossin becomes the new athletics director, there are many things he would like to improve in the athletics program, especially school spirit.  

“We need to increase our school spirit at MAST. In the past I’ve heard about how no one went to games and head students talk about how much this team stinks and these players must not work hard. All of that made me really sad, so I decided to offer extra credit AP euro and honor world and we had a much better turn out. Symbolizing what I want most is students like Landon Watford, who went out and got their own shark suit and came to the games as the unofficial/official mascot. This is so hard to do because many students are not prideful of MAST for whatever reason, but I think everyone in administration is committed to helping us create some MAST pride,” Rossin said.

Even though Rossin was a history teacher, the switch to the field has not made a huge impact on him because he is used to these kinds of activities during the summer.

“Over the summer I work teaching many of the same things that I do now in PE (swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling) and sometimes I think I am having more fun than the students”Rosin said.

Although he has left the classroom, teaching history will always be a part of him.

“I have been teaching history now for six years and have loved every minute of it. I will definitely miss the fun of making and finding historical memes but I don’t think I will miss grading DBQs that much. Besides, I have many books on tape that I can still listen to to get my history fix,” Rossin said.