The Advocate The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy Mon, 02 Mar 2020 20:05:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 10 Music Releases Mon, 02 Mar 2020 18:25:52 +0000 Meet the Woo 2 by Pop Smoke: The second mixtape by the late Brooklyn rapper, Pop Smoke brings us a 13-track project including features from A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Lil Tjay, Quavo and more. This is his last mixtape to be released before his tragic death on February 19, 2020 after he was fatally shot and killed in a home invasion in Los Angeles, California. He was 20 years old.


Changes by Justin Bieber: Bieber returns with his fifth studio album, teasing his new music with an Instagram post in October 2019 asking for twenty million likes to release a record before Christmas. His lead single on the album, “Yummy” brings new vibes as the new year begins. Changes debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, moving 235,000 album equivalent units in its first week. It is Bieber’s seventh album to top the chart.


Artist 2.0 by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie: Bronx rapper, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie debuts his third studio album as a sequel to his first album, Artist, released in 2016. He delayed the release of this album due to the ongoing success of previous album, Hoodie SZN. The album features many different artists such as Young Thug, Roddy Ricch, DaBaby, etc. Artist 2.0 debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, with only Justin Bieber’s Changes selling more copies.


The Slow Rush by Tame Impala: Kevin Parker delves into psychedelic sounds, without the adrenaline-filled highs. The composition of each song is as rich and thoughtful as ever before. On Tame Impala’s fourth album, Parker addresses his struggle with himself as well as the eternal enemy of perfectionists everywhere: time. The Slow Rush arrives five years after Currents, the album which made his one-man band more famous than he could’ve imagined. The Slow Rush is filled with many genres of music, ranging from Philly soul to acid house, adult-contemporary R&B.


Map of the Soul: 7 by BTS: South Korean boy band BTS brings us their fourth Korean-language studio album. This album is a follow-up to their 2019 extended play Map of the Soul: Persona, with five of its songs appearing on the album.




My Turn by Lil Baby: Rapper Lil Baby releases his 20-song sophomore studio album. He introduces us to new exciting beats and catchy flows with guest appearances ranging from celebrities from Gunna to Lil Uzi Vert.




Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne: The Godfather of Heavy Metal brings the world of rock to his 12th solo album. Osbourne brings an emotional aspect to his songs, showing how deep down inside he still feels to prove himself. With serious health ailments, this is his first new album since Black Sabbath’s blockbuster reunion LP, 13, and first solo offering since 2010’s Scream.


YHLQMDLG by Bad Bunny: Latin rapper Bad Bunny releases his second studio album, titled with an acronym: YHLQMDLG which means “Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana”. Translating to “I Do What I Want”, Bad Bunny fulfills his statement, bringing us new styles of Latino music as well as snappy rhymes.



Birds of Prey: The Album by Various Artists: Released along with its supervillain movie, Birds of Prey: The Album is a soundtrack album with an all-women roster. Ranging from songs from Doja Cat to Megan Thee Stallion, the album describes the story of the antiheroine Harley Quinn against a mob boss with the help of an all-female sidekicks.



UNLOCKED by Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats: UNLOCKED is the first collaborative project between friends Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats. The project is divided into two sides of 4 songs each. Along with the release of this album, the artists released a 20-minute animated film titled UNLOCKED. Throughout the comic film, the two friends embark on a digital adventure to retrieve the various files of a leaked project, revealing a total of 8 songs during each stage of their quest.

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Student Press Freedom Thu, 27 Feb 2020 12:38:37 +0000 In the age of widespread online media, it can be easy to take uncensored news for granted. But, what would happen if our news sources were censored by people in power, resulting in the version of truth that they want to be told? This is what is occuring in high schools, both public and private, around the nation. In many schools, faculty or administration oversee what the student newspapers publish and they enforce harsh punishments — such as the advisor for the newspaper losing his or her job — over the publication of articles that go against the school’s values or policies.

The foundation of student rights of free expression, whether it be speech or press freedom, was formed by the Supreme Court ruling in Tinker v. Des Moines. In 1969, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker, represented by the ACLU, brought the city of Des Moines to court after her middle school had forced her and her friends to remove black armbands that they had worn in protest of the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court ruled that public school students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate” and may exercise this right as long as their actions are not disruptive to learning. This ruling set a precedent for future issues regarding student rights in schools, but it also allowed for discrepancies regarding what can be deemed as “disruptive”.

Despite the message that students are granted First Amendment rights, many schools continue to censor what students wear, what they say, and in particular, what they write in student publications. Following the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case of 1988 — in which the Supreme Court ruled that a principal who censored controversial articles about teen pregnancy and divorce did not violate the students’ First Amendment rights — schools around the nation have been allowed to censor student publications that they deem “disruptive” to the school environment. And, in order to avoid backlash from the public, schools have been censoring publications using discrete and indirect methods. Through strategies such as stealing newspapers, cutting budgets, and even firing the administrators or teachers in charge of student press, student journalists’ voices are muffled. The percentage of universities that experienced at least one case of student press censorship, although perhaps depressed due to unreported cases, exceeded 60% in 2019, according to Investigative Reporting Workshop, and the laws in over 36 states do not protect the press rights of both high school and college students.

Albuquerque Academy’s stance on student press freedom, although not directly cited in the Student-Parent Handbook, implies that students reserve the right to publish the content they choose, as long as the articles do not “undermine the school’s mission.” Therefore, the school reserves the right to censor publications that are deemed hateful, restrictive of other thoughts, or threaten the safety of others. This stance, although it largely protects student press freedom, still allows room for censorship due to the school’s ability to silence unwanted content. Much like the ruling of the Tinker Case, Albuquerque Academy’s policy is left open for discrepancies, giving the school power over content, though the school has not exercised that power in recent memory.
Although we have access to thousands of newspapers, both digital and print, it remains imperative for student publications to continue reporting news so as to stimulate and open the minds of high school and college students. Between the ages of 10 and 25, neurocircuitry connections in the brain are strengthened, and connections in different regions of the brain grow more complex, leading to the potential to understand more abstract or complicated concepts. Because of the quickly formed connections that can be created in the teenage brain, teen years are significant for learning, as well as expanding viewpoints and developing opinions. By allowing school newspaper writers to report news and opinion pieces without administrative oversight, schools facilitate open-mindedness and expand knowledge amongst the student body, resulting in more worldly and informed individuals. While a student’s writing might oppose the position that a school takes on a subject, creating tensions, the piece will inspire debates, generate new opinions, and strengthen neural pathways–all positive activities that lead to greater success in life. Therefore, Academy’s mission, which aims to teach students wisdom, compassion, and conviction, can be fulfilled in part by allowing students to write and read diverse opinions.

In 2020, there is a growing movement of students who have been introducing the New Voices legislation, written by the Student Press Law Center, to their state legislatures. This bill protects public and private school students’ First Amendment rights to freedom of press as well as the jobs of the faculty sponsors of student publications through the argument of the right to a public forum\; public forums are legally protected by the First Amendment, which prohibits viewpoint descrimination. The New Voices legislation has not yet been introduced to the New Mexico legislature and many other state legislatures, which is why Student Press Freedom Day is so important. Adults and students alike need to have knowledge of the avenues they can take in order to protect their freedom of press, and only through spreading awareness can an America in which all people have an unrestricted voice become a reality.

Read about specific cases of student censorship at colleges and universities here:

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Tattoos of AA: Milestones in Ink Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:16:06 +0000

Lynn Zhang ’23

Ms. Ilana Vogenthaler, a member of the math department, known to students as Ms. V, got her first tattoo when she was 23. “I wanted to be reminded of important things in my life by seeing them everyday,” she said when asked about her first tattoo, the word “Patience” wrapped around her ankle. “I got it to remind myself to be patient with myself and others.”
The second tattoo Ms. V got is an image of two owls, one on each foot, perched on a branch that stretches across her two feet. The two owls represent her son and daughter, Koen and Amira Vogenthaler. “They are wise souls that guide my footsteps,” she said. The third tattoo she got is an X-ray of a lotus flower on

By Lynn Zhang ’23

her right arm. Since lotus flowers normally grow in mud, Ms. V compared them to how the most beautiful things in life are the ones that thrive in difficult situations. Something as beautiful as the lotus can grow out of something so unlike itself, just as miracles can grow out of misery. She chose to have an x-ray of a lotus flower instead of just a lotus flower because, she says, “X-rays symbolize transparency [and I want to] live life genuinely and transparently.”

Photo Courtesy of Ilana Vogenthaler

The fourth tattoo Ms. V got depicts the last three stages of a butterfly’s metamorphosis. Her husband has the first three stages,from caterpillar to cocoon, on his right arm and she has the last three stages, from cocoon to butterfly, on her left arm. This represents the love she and her husband share for the people around them, from the moment they met to now, even after all the changes they have been through .

Lynn Zhang ’23

Her fifth and final tattoo, the only colored tattoo she has, is of a tiger lily. Ms. V’s Chinese zodiac sign is the tiger, and her favorite flower is the lily, hence she chose the tiger lily. “Lilies come back every year, [so] every year and every day is a chance to bloom and grow in a different way,” she said. Ms. V got all of her tattoos done in Albuquerque\; three were done by Erickson Linn and two were done at Fine Line Tattoo. At the end of our discussion, Ms. V said, “Tattoos aren’t to be taken lightly because they will become a permanent part of your body [and they take a lot of] thoughtful preparation.”


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Your Ideal Academy Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:15:44 +0000 When you think of Albuquerque Academy, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Laughing with your friends in the commons? Asking a question in your favorite class? Maybe you imagine your fifth-grade self excitedly grinning as you scan down an acceptance letter, or your parents in the other room, talking in low voices about how – or even if – they can actually afford the tuition. Whether your feelings were of joy or nervousness, whether your memories are pleasant or difficult, each of us brings a set of expectations to our first days at the Academy.

We can absolutely improve inclusion. Moving from diversity – okay, now we have a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds – into making sure that everyone feels like they belong. That’s the next level.”

— Jade Valenzuela '03, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Through listening to the voices of Academy faculty and students about a wide range of topics, The Advocate got a glimpse into what the Academy is doing well and where it could improve. Not only do these impressions foster a list of advantages and disadvantages, but they also prompt the question: what would the ideal Academy look like for students and faculty?
One consistent answer among several of our interviewees was the hope for improved connection and community integration, via both financial aid and outreach programs. When asked what he would change about the Academy if he could, Brett DePonte ‘25, said, “I would change how the 6th and 7th-grade breaks work… [to] allow both grades to visit each other at the same time for 15 minutes each day of school, instead of different times for each grade level.” This desire for an improved system of outreach seems to go beyond scheduling changes. Aidan Mckinley ‘21 commented, “I know Academy tries to be involved [in the community], but I think we can do more to integrate ourselves into the city and other schools.” After some consideration, Addison Fulton ‘22 said, “We have a reputation for prestige, but it keeps people away from the Academy. So, my ideal of Academy is one with more money funneled towards financial aid and outreach programs so we can have a more diverse school — racially, culturally, and financially.” However, students weren’t the only ones who felt this way. Long-time faculty member, teacher, and mentor Laurie Thomas supported this same idea, saying, “Ultimately, I’d like to see more scholarship funds available across the board for both low and middle-income families, and more connection and communication between the lower school and upper school, as I think there are a lot of untapped opportunities for mentorship and relationships there.”

Despite room for improvement, the Academy is viewed positively by both students and faculty members. When asked what letter grade she would give to the Academy, Jordan Berg ‘26, said, “Definitely an A+. Everyone is just so nice and supportive. Also, the food is really good.” DePonte, a fellow student in the 6-7 division, commented, “I would give the Academy an ‘A’ because my teachers encourage me to try my hardest to excel and [offer] great service to the students. Also, I like how the school encourages students to befriend many other students around the campus.” These glowing opinions aren’t exclusive to younger interviewees, either. When asked which program had affected her the most, Fulton said, “Speech and Debate. It’s given me opportunities other programs haven’t. I get to meet new people, travel, hear new ideas, and express my own.” From football to choir, faculty to cafeteria food, the Academy’s environment truly does allow many students to find a place where they can thrive.

Jade Valenzuela, ’03, Director of Diversity and Inclusion said, We can absolutely improve inclusion. Moving from diversity – okay, now we have a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds – into making sure that everyone feels like they belong. That’s the next level.

In addition, Valenzuela pointed out what Academy has already achieved in terms of community integration, including division-wide Student Diversity Leadership clubs and four multicultural parent councils — African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. However, when asked if there were any areas we could improve in, she responded, “Oh, absolutely… For a long time, this school focused on getting diversity, getting the numbers, the demographics. But we still don’t fully represent the community that we’re in, and neither does our faculty.” As she states, there’s a very important difference between the two words in her job description.

Albuquerque Academy has done a wonderful job in giving its students and faculty support networks, opportunities for growth, and a community filled with empathetic, multi-talented people. So, with all this success behind us, let’s now listen to the student and faculty body and work whole-heartedly towards a more diverse, integrated, and, most importantly, inclusive future.

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A New Global Epidemic: Coronavirus Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:16:17 +0000 Since December 1st, the coronavirus, originating from Wuhan, China, has killed over 1,875 people worldwide and infected around 73,439 people across 29 countries. Additionally, 60 million people in China’s province of Hubei have been placed under lockdown. In response, countries and airlines have imposed travel bans to and from mainland China, stranding foreign citizens. On Feb. 4th, the U.S. government arranged two flights filled with hundreds of Americans quarantined on a cruise ship, to return back to the United States from Japan. While these citizens have been evacuated, they and other evacuees returning from Wuhan have been put under quarantine. However, while President Trump has declared a public health emergency, officials in the US say the risk of infection to the general public is low. At the same time, a cruise ship was stranded in Yokohama, Japan when a passenger on the ship tested positive for the virus, with later confirmation of 542 cases of coronavirus. A separate cruise ship has docked into Cambodia, releasing its passengers into the world.

Source: The Center for Science and Engineering at JHU

Due to the rapid spread of the disease, this new strain of coronavirus has been declared an international health emergency and is receiving special attention. Anxiety has increased worldwide amongst health professionals when researchers from University Hospital LMU in Munich, Germany first discovered that the virus could be transferred through coughing and sneezing. Additionally, a new study published by The Lancet on Jan. 30th has shown that the virus may have emerged from bats, lending more insight into the origins of the disease. Common symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to the flu, including fever and cough that can progress to severe pneumonia and eventually, death. Amidst all the chaos and fear, there is some hope as doctors in Thailand claim to have successfully treated two people infected with the coronavirus, using a mix of antiviral drugs. At the moment, there are 80 clinical trials currently taking place and hopes are high that a cure will be found.

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What’s the Trouble with Iowa? Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:04:19 +0000
Voice Your Opinion!

Take our reader poll on Democratic Party presidential candidates.

The electoral season is officially in full swing starting with the Iowa caucuses last Monday. Many observers are calling it the messiest and strangest Iowa caucuses ever. Pete Buttigieg barely came out on top with Bernie Sanders just at his heels, followed by Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and finally Amy Klobuchar, and one week later, the results are still not official. Let’s break down what happened in Iowa and what this means for the upcoming New Hampshire primary this Tuesday. First, we need to understand what exactly is a caucus, what is a primary, and what they have to do with the election process.

Joe Biden. Photo by David Lienemann

Primaries and caucuses are the mechanisms for deciding the presidential nominee for each party in November; they serve the same purpose but through different means. Each system determines the number of delegates candidates will have from that state to support them at the nominating conventions in the summer. Primaries are organized by the state and local governments and are the typical “go to the polls and vote” event, where the candidate with the most votes statewide wins, earning the most delegates to the nominating convention.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Photo by Gage Skidmore

On the other hand, the political parties themselves run the caucuses, which are therefore private events. Voters will go to their respective precinct, where they will physically stand in groups associated with each candidate. Voters who stand with candidates who do not earn 15% or more of the caucus-goers must align with another candidate. This process can take up to several hours. Finally, each precinct will report its results to the state party office. These results determine the number of delegates pledged to each candidate for their national convention. At the national convention, held in July for Democrats, these delegates vote to choose the presidential candidate. Whichever candidate has the most delegates from the primaries will become the nominee for their party.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Amy Klobuchar

The Democratic Party primary process began on Feb.3 and runs to mid-June. The Republican Party is also holding nominating events, but because the President is virtually unopposed, we will not be discussing those elections here. Some states hold caucuses, some hold primaries, and some hold both, it depends on state law. Here in New Mexico, we hold our primaries in mid-June. The exciting part about the primaries is that anything can happen; they are genuinely unpredictable.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Iowa caucus is important because it is first, and offers the country an initial idea about how candidates might do in the primaries. Iowa tried something new this year; they introduced an app into the process for reporting results instead of phoning in the results like usual. The app failed to work properly, causing major confusion and prolonging the process, which, even at this writing, a week later, is not complete. A few hours into Monday’s caucuses, no results had come in, and people were starting to ask questions. The spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party, Mandy McClure, issued a statement saying, “We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down, and this is not a hack or an intrusion.” This is not entirely accurate though. Questions had been raised earlier in the week about the app. The problem was the app was never tested on a state-wide scale, and not all precinct chairs were informed on how to use it. The system they were using transferred the data from the app into a second system, which then reported the data to the state office. Investigations found that this second system did not end up reporting all of the data. By the end of the night, still, no results had been reported, and eventually, candidates gave up and started delivering their speeches. Lack of official results didn’t stop Mayor Pete Buttigieg from declaring victory, saying, “tonight an impossible goal became an undeniable reality. We don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications we are going to New Hampshire victorious. “In the end, he did come out with the most votes, but just barely with 26.2% of votes, with Sanders just behind at 26.1%. Senator Warren came in third with 18%, Biden with 15.8%, and finally Klobuchar with 12.3%.

Official Senate Portrait
Senator Bernie Sanders

Most of the candidates had moved on from Iowa even before 100% of the results had been reported. They are now focusing on the upcoming New Hampshire primaries this Tuesday, Feb. 11 each of them with different plans for their race to victory. Former vice president Joe Biden is looking to New Hampshire for hope saying, “We took a gut punch in Iowa, the whole process took a gut punch. But look, this is not the first time I’ve been knocked down”. Senator Warren, hoping for a boost in a neighboring state, is framing herself as the unifier of the Democratic Party, saying she is the only one who can fight corruption in Washington. Mayor Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are focusing on climate change, which is one of the biggest issues for voters in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders says he’s the only candidate who can beat Trump and is encouraging people to go vote saying democrats are going need historic turnout to win this one.

After New Hampshire, Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22, followed by South Carolina on Feb. 29. Sixteen states hold nominating events on Super Tuesday, Mar. 3, at which point the democratic nominating picture should be much more clear.

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The Advocate’s Top 10 Music Release for January, 2020 Fri, 07 Feb 2020 20:16:58 +0000 (Funeral by Lil Wayne1) Funeral by Lil Wayne: Released as his thirteenth studio album, Lil Wayne provides his fans with a 24-track album, filled with catchy rhymes and appraised guest appearances such as Big Sean & Jay Rock. He dedicates this album to the memory of the late basketball player, Kobe Bryant.


Manic by Halsey

(2) Manic by Halsey: Halsey enters the new decade with her third exciting studio album. In this album, she dives into her personal feelings and gives listeners a peek into her personal life. She claims that her album is “calm and introspective”.



Circles by Mac Miller(3) Circles by Mac Miller: After his untimely death in 2018 due to a drug overdose, Mac Miller returns to us with his first posthumous studio album. The 12-track album describes his struggles in life, and learning to move past his problems. His family has notified fans that they should expect more releases in the future!



Music to be Murdered by Eminem

(4) Music to be Murdered By by Eminem: Out of the blue, legendary Detroit rapper Eminem released his eleventh studio album, inspired by, and named after a 1958 music album produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Eminem’s album debuted at #1 on Billboard 200, making it Eminem’s tenth #1 album in a row. He dedicated this album to late rap artist, Juice WRLD, who is featured on the #1 song on the album, “Godzilla”.

Rare by Selena Gomez(5) Rare by Selena Gomez: Selena Gomez returns with her third studio album, providing us with new pop songs that will be stuck in our heads for months! Her album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart ending Jan. 16. She says, “it took me four years…to even feel at a good place with this album….I’m relieved.”


High Road by Kesha


(6) High Road by Kesha: Kesha returns with this album after 3 years, introducing new vibes as well as harkening back to her pop roots. This makes her fourth studio album, and she exclaims, “I feel like as a human being, morally, I try to take the high road….So, the irony of the title is why I chose that to be the name of the record.”

Modus Vivendi by 070 Shake(7) Modus Vivendi by 070 Shake: Up and coming artist 070 Shake shows that she has flows, mixing English with Spanish in her songs. Her debut album contains many catchy verses, which definitely packs a punch.



Seeking Thrills by Georgia(8) Seeking Thrills by Georgia: Songwriter Georgia Rose Harriet Barnes, known as Georgia, introduces us to her second debut album. She gives us 13 uniquely  styled tracks that will make you replay the songs again and again.



Bombay Bicycle Club(9) Everything Else Has Gone Wrong by Bombay Bicycle Club: This English indie rock band brings us a new album after five years. The band explains, “This is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political.”



(10) Bonny Light Horseman by Bonny Light Horseman: A folk-styled album, Bonny Light Horseman introduces the listeners to a world filled with revisualized English ballads and nursery rhymes. The trio brings a modern style (or modern sensibility that brings a new twist to folk music.

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Update: US – Iran Conflict Wed, 05 Feb 2020 17:59:58 +0000 It seemed overnight that fears blew up over possible draft letters being sent out to enlist Americans into World War III. A frenzy of online outcry and memes responded to a sudden inflammation of the long-simmering conflict between Iran and the United States, starting on January 3rd. The real conflict was induced by an American missile strike that killed an Iranian war hero, General Qasem Suleimani. The decision for the bombing was a retaliation for the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, carried out by a Iraqi militia group serving as a proxy for the Iranian government. The Pentagon claimed that Suleimani orchestrated attacks on American service members and diplomats over his many years of service. On January 8th, in retaliation for the assassination, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases that house U.S. soldiers. The US government initially claimed there were no injuries in the attacks, but later revised that statement, acknowledging that 50 US troops were injured, though none were killed.
This marks another deterioration of relations with Iran. Tensions had been simmering after President Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran and several other world powers in 2018. America’s withdrawal from the deal follows President Trump’s stringent policy of crippling economic sanctions. In response to this withdrawal, Iran has deliberately violated some terms of the agreement, announcing after the Suleimani assassination that it will no longer have any restrictions on Uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuges built, increasing the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran. President Trump warned that the United States had 52 significant targets if Iran chooses to escalate the conflict further.
The history between the United States and Iran has always been contentious. Starting at the end of World War II, Iran was targeted for its vast oil reserves. In conflict with increasing Arab nationalism, the CIA covertly staged a coup in 1953, bringing the Shah to power and instituting an Iranian government sympathetic to the U.S. Anti-American sentiment boiled over in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah. Khomeini’s plan was to create an Islamist nationalist state without foreign intervention, which led to the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. In a series of escalations, the U.S. broke all ties with Iran, banned American exports to the country, and set sanctions. These sanctions were lifted under United Nations deal in exchange for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons in 2015.
In response to the retaliatory bombings, there was internal backlash in Congress. On January 8th, a White House briefing on the reasoning behind the airstrike left many in Congress angry. This led to many hypothetical responses with the House planning to vote to limit Mr. Trump’s war-making authority, and Democrats are moving forward with a measure that would require the cession of all military action in Iran. All of these policies have taken a back seat in lieu of the impeachment trial, and in its wake, tensions seem to have subsided as both sides have expressed their willingness to de-escalate the conflict.

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Academy Alumna Changes the World Tue, 28 Jan 2020 16:31:53 +0000   In 2000, Elizabeth Keller Kistin-Keller graduated from Albuquerque Academy, returning five years later to give a graduation speech and telling the class of 2005 this: “While living in southern Mexico for a few months one summer my host mother Juana Manzano constantly reminded me that: lo más importante no es dónde sino cómo vamos—the most important thing, she said, was not where, but how we go.” Now working at Sandia Labs and married to Mayor Tim Keller, Kistin-Keller remains an active voice in the Albuquerque community. While Kistin-Keller has certainly made her place in our community, how did she get to where she is today? Sitting with me in Flying Star to discuss Albuquerque’s politics as well as her own accomplishments is Dr. Kistin-Keller. 

Kistin-Keller begins by telling me about her life at the Academy. Part of the soccer team, The Advocate writing staff, the Speech and Debate team, and an active participant in the Experiential Education program, she was a busy and engaged member of the Academy community. “I think part of what I really loved when I was a student there was the opportunity to try so many different things,” Kistin-Keller tells me. “It felt like you weren’t limited.” Following her graduation in 2000, Kistin-Keller attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, providing her with a four-year merit scholarship, where she earned her B.A. in political science and Latin American studies. Thereafter, she earned her Ph. D at Oxford University in International Development Studies as a Rhodes Scholar. “I had been lucky in high school and in undergrad to have opportunities to be living and working abroad and took advantage of them every time I got them.”

After finishing her schooling, Kistin-Keller worked in South Africa on a global water conflict and cooperation project. One of the important aspects of working on this project, Kistin-Keller tells me, is being able to work with many different types of people. “You may have one lever or a couple of levers that you control, but if you’re actually going to make progress on the issue, you have to be able to build partnerships. You have to be able to bring folks together.” 

Bringing folks together, it seems, is Kistin-Keller’s philosophy whether she is managing her family responsibilities, engaging in politics, working on global projects, or leading projects targeting issues in the local community. As First Lady of Albuquerque, Kistin-Keller certainly plays a role in the political climate of our city. 

I asked her about two of the most pressing concerns in our city: youth education and incarceration. Indeed, when it comes to the youth of Albuquerque, Kistin-Keller focuses on community and collaboration. In response to growing concerns surrounding the state of the Albuquerque education system, she tells me that the key to taking the right steps to solve this problem lies in one word: partners. “I think the city has tried to work really closely with partners from the early childhood education, and we run a couple of the early childhood education centers, so [we] are invested as a service provider ourselves. But all of these programs require really close partnerships with other providers, with APS, with the universities that are around.” 

Image Credit: Lindsay Hartsock ’00

When asked about the issue of the increased juvenile incarceration rates in Albuquerque, (227 per 100,000 in NM as opposed to the average 138 per 100,000 in 2017), Kistin-Keller smiles and begins animatedly telling me about a local organization that is working to help solve this. “One of the groups that I’ve been just totally blown away by is a group called Youth Connect. Lots of them [the staff] grew up here in Albuquerque.” Youth Connect is an organization that works to help youth in the city through enrichment programs geared towards both Academic and Extracurricular success. “What they [Youth Connect] recognized, having done some analysis, is that there was a gap. We had good programming for younger kids and all the way up into middle school, and there was this huge gap between what we were actually doing for folks in high school. We as a city don’t control time during the school day, but one of the things that that the mayor is committed to is working through a city government but through a whole community approach.” That is, the city government is looking to fund educational enrichment programs for all grade levels, with a focus on high schoolers.

Nevertheless, as involved as Kistin-Keller is in the public landscape of Albuquerque, “this city part of my life is just one tiny slice of what I do,” she tells me. Kistin-Keller also maintains her career as a complex systems analyst at Sandia Labs where, among other things, she leads the Strategic Future Program. “Part of my job is helping folks imagine, what the world might look like in 15-20 years in terms of intersections between emerging technologies, changing global dynamics, and changes in institutions, demographics, and politics. How do those pieces fit together to influence how we prepare, how we adapt?” One of her favorite aspects of working at Sandia Labs, she tells me, is “the chance to do work that matters on a global scale.” Her job allows her to work in powerful settings and engage with many different types of people. “It’s dynamic work and I get to work with some just fascinating people both inside and outside of the lab system, which to me is really energizing.”

As she balances her roles as a scientist, the first lady, and a mom to two young kids, she credits a “village of folks who makes it all possible.” “It’s caused both Tim and I to think about what it means to balance professional lives, public service, and parenting,” she tells me, “We’re grateful to do that in the place where we grew up and also extremely grateful to be able to do that with the people who raised us and now get to spend so much time with our kids as well.” Whether in her personal life or in her work life, Kistin-Keller never loses sight of the meaning of community and incorporates this into every aspect of her life.

As we wrap up our conversation, Kistin-Keller leaves me with advice for the Albuquerque youth. “We have the power to do some real work right here, right now, that can make a difference. I think it is important to never lose sight of that and to never get so bogged down with whatever the climate is right now. Let’s not lose sight of what it means to have that real power to change and to help make change.”





















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College Football Playoff Recap Tue, 28 Jan 2020 13:12:24 +0000 After months of battling it out on the football field, two teams, ironically both represented by the same mascot, had their chance to become the 2020 National Champions. In the playoff tournament, four of the strongest teams come head to head, fighting for the national championship title. This year, the Louisiana State Tigers, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Clemson Tigers, and the Oklahoma Sooners filled up those four spots. Louisiana State Tigers had a very smooth entrance into the final game, elected as the number one seed, ending the regular season as the only undefeated team left. On the other hand, Clemson had a more difficult time making their way into the final match. They were seeded third, which is one of the most difficult positions to come back from as the first seed is put up against the fourth and the second is put up against the third. That meant they had to face Ohio State, one of the frontrunners along with LSU. This game ended in Clemson’s favor, led by Trevor Lawrence, sending them to the final game. Tigers vs Tigers.
Even before the championship game started, LSU was the heavy favorite. During the first quarter, the score was 7-7, no one was dominating the field at that point in the game, with Clemson scoring the first touchdown. However, the rest of the game was dominated by LSU, particularly by quarterback and Heisman Trophy Winner, Joe Burrow. After 3 more touchdowns by LSU in the second quarter, one of which by Burrow the halftime score was 28-17. The rest of the game was no different; LSU scored two more touchdowns in the second half, resulting in a final score of 42-25.

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