Aside from being a successful blogger, chef, mother, and writer for the Huffington Post, Mrs. Fisch is the head of counseling at Milken Community High School.
Although she has only been working at Milken for two months, Mrs. Fisch says she is really enjoying her job so far. “I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else” she says, after explaining how hesitant she had once been toward counseling. While attending a social work school at the University of Michigan, she “wanted nothing to do with counseling”, as it was very intimidating. Her course took a turn while working as the director of Jewish life at a school in Miami, when she was approached by the entire administration and asked to begin work as a counselor.
Having grown up in Georgia, Mrs. Fisch says that Los Angeles and her hometown are “like apples and oranges”. She emphasizes the pressure that kids these days, especially those residing in Los Angeles, are under. There is an intense amount of “media onslaught that kids here deal with”, and she is impressed with how composed and successful the students here are. “We live in an age where likes on Instagram are used to determine one’s self worth.”
Mrs. Fisch has come up with a term called “Social worked”- fully assessing a situation while aiming to understand where people are coming from. This allows one to better work out any situation and “approach people in a more empathetic and kind way.” She says that “people are often scared to be vulnerable in front of someone who seems like a stranger” but therapy is a profound relationship, and school counseling can be a place to just “let out a little stress” or “develop coping skills, peer to peer relationships, and the ability to be more vulnerable”
When Mrs. Fisch cannot be found in her office located in the Dean’s Hall, she is most likely running after her 2 year old or updating her food blog. She loves creativity and the arts, especially watching classic 80’s movies and cult classic Reality Bites. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, explaining that “you should never change who you are”, rather, you should “find your own creativity and give it life.” She encourages ignoring the critics and embracing one’s self, because “finding individuality while comparing yourself to others is virtually impossible.”
Above all else, she would tell her sixteen year old self that “you’re not gonna be sixteen forever”. Being this age is “such a tiny spot in the story that is your life. The depression, anxiety, its all temporary- have fun, but know that you will mature and get through this.” And remember-“everything is about the process, not the product”.
My walk to Starbucks was interrupted by a low whistle.
I turned to my right and found a man in a pickup truck winking at me and making kissing noises. I rolled my eyes, gagged a little bit, and continued on my way, but on the inside I was laughing at the irony. Just moments before leaving the house, I had watched the viral PSA in which a woman walking the streets of NYC is catcalled by men over 100 times within a span of 10 hours. Of course, like most important things on the Internet, the video received an overwhelming amount of criticism. Much of the backlash sounded a little something like this: “Oh, come on, ladies. Lighten up! These whistling, lip-smacking men are actually just giving you a compliment. Admit it, deep down you’re flattered.”
I speak for most women when I say: No. Absolutely, positively, all kinds of no. There is a distinction between giving a woman a compliment and informing her that you want her in your pants. A catcall, which is formally defined as a loud whistle or comment of a sexual nature made to a passing woman, is really a prime example of objectification.
The man in the truck on Beverly Glen was clear on the other side of the street; there was no way he could possibly see my face. To him, I was a passing pair of breasts and a butt. I should not be expected to take his whistles as a compliment when I know he would have done the same to any passing woman. There is no gratification in being acknowledged for being female and having hips.
If a stranger is able to see my face, I have no issue with a well-intentioned compliment. If he wishes to politely tell me that I look nice today, there is little reason to take offense. However, because intentions are often difficult to decipher, there is a gray area between compliment and catcall — the area that many defenders of catcalling choose to focus on. But to dismiss a discussion about the countless whistles and shouts made by men who are thinking, seeing, and feeling Sex with a capital S, solely because of that gray area, is to be entirely irresponsible and negligent.
Just to make it clear, I am not an idealist. I appreciate men and women’s biological drives and our inability to alter them, to a certain extent. I acknowledge that men are going to look, and that in many cases they will be thinking about sex. Men (and women) will always objectify. But to say something, to vocalize the sexual attraction and desire to touch or have sex with me, is a direct manifestation of a man’s feeling of superiority to the point that it is acceptable for him to sexually subjugate me and openly declare his desires. Basically, it embodies the belief that his gender gives him a license to treat me like a sexual object. It is the man looking at the girl on the street as a potential conquest.
Women are expected to take this subjugation with grace and a smile. We are seen almost as social displays, like walking statues, that should be open to praise and public observation. But we are not made of marble. We are humans, ones who must be constantly on guard and afraid of sexual harassment as we go about our daily lives, with much reason to feel this way.
I encourage you to say that catcalling is a compliment to my 11-year-old self, whose heart pounded in fear as three 20-something men stood behind her on an escalator in Century City mall, whistled at her, and nearly cornered her in the back of the parking lot. I encourage you to say it to Mary Spears, who was killed last month for refusing to give a stranger her phone number. I encourage you to say it to thousands upon thousands of women who are literally forced to stay silent because standing up to a catcall accomplishes nothing but sparking a torrent of insults. And silence, to be sure, is a subtle form of oppression.
Some say that catcalling is not a feminist issue. They call it a double standard, questioning why it is acceptable for a girl to tweet that she wants Dave Franco or #AlexfromTarget in bed, but a man who says something similar is accused of objectifying. These people are correct in that women should be held equally responsible for their comments, as sexual objectification is a two-way street. But there is a subtle difference between online comments and face-to-face ones. For one thing, it is much more common to see girls and women remark on men’s sexual appeal on social media or amongst their friends than it is for them to speak directly to the man in question. For example, a girl might tweet that she finds a certain boy attractive, but she would likely not tag the boy or address him in the tweet. Similarly, it is extremely rare to see women catcalling men in public. The reality of our social structure is that women don’t feel the same sense of power to suggest dominance over men in their presence. It is on the street, where interaction is as real and personal as it can be, that the true colors of the social structure begin to show and catcalling becomes a feminist issue. While objectification should be generally discouraged, there is something slightly more demeaning about objectifying someone in a direct manner. And right now, with the way our world works, the burden rests primarily on men’s shoulders.
Here is my message to all of those who catcall on the streets: Please do not whistle at me, because I am not an animal. Do not call me baby, because I am not yours to endear. Do not tell me to smile, because I am not a portrait. Do not make comments on my body, because I am not a piece of art, and you are not a bidder. I ask instead for your respect as I walk down the street towards my goals and my accomplishments and other important things. I ask that you see me not as breasts and a butt and hair and a waist, but as a person with a face, a heart, and a mind. I ask that when you see me walking to Starbucks on Beverly Glen, you simply smile to yourself and keep driving.
Among the diverse palette of female hip hop artists, 23-year-old Harlem native Azealia Banks is the cream of the crop. Though she may not be as well-known as megastars Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj, Banks embodies the grittiness, conviction, and prowess of a female rapper and then some. Having received critical acclaim for her stellar bouncy jam “212,” Banks was already a top-selling artist in the making. Vulgar yet charismatic, Banks personifies the ethos of American culture and feminism in hip hop through her crafty lyrics and experimental production. She can also sing just as well as she can rap, especially on her cover songs for indie bands The Strokes and Interpol.
In the peak of her career in 2012, Banks announced her debut studio record Broke with Expensive Taste. However, due to several conflicts with her label Interscope Records, Broke with Expensive Taste was delayed indefinitely. Despite this setback, Banks strayed from obscurity, releasing two EPs (1991 and Fantasea) and a string of singles to keep her afloat in the midst of her album’s dormancy. Now, after two long years, Broke with Expensive Taste was finally made available to the public through an unexpected surprise announcement a la Beyoncé. It’s safe to say that even with a lack of continuity, Banks still brings a lot to the table.
When listening to Broke with Expensive Taste, it’s crazy to think that the works of rappers such as Azalea and Minaj are much more commercially successful than Banks. When juxtaposed, Broke with Expensive Taste is more potent, intricate, and ripe than anything Iggy or Nicki have ever made, even with their breakthrough songs “Fancy” and “Super Bass,” respectively. Bolstered by a relentless energy and a distinct sound, Broke with Expensive Taste does itself justice as a bravura debut from Azealia Banks.
Even though old tracks appear on the album, such as “212” and Fantasea’s “Luxury,” Banks maintains a freshness that is undoubtedly commendable. Using a variety of genres, Banks gets aggressive on the hardcore, witch-hop jam “Yung Rapunxel,” seductive on the murky “Heavy Metal and Reflective,” and funky on the trap-tinged “BBD.” Even on atypical tracks, such as the EDM-hip-hop jingle “Ice Princess,” the house-infused “Chasing Time,” and the glitchy groove “Soda,” Banks’ slick rat-tats and vocal ability are uncanny. She effectively blends themes of love and self-empowerment into a whirlwind of colorful synths and wobbling bass.
On Broke with Expensive Taste, Banks is also able to morph from her darker, brasher self into a much more lighthearted persona one song after the other. Following the tropical opener “Idle Delilah” and the enchanting “Gimme a Chance,” she shifts from her innocuous falsetto to her uniquely smooth rapping on the mysterious “Desperado” and the edgy “JFK.” But towards the end, she makes another abrupt turn on the unabashedly silly “Nude Beach a Go-Go.” Though brief and peculiar, “Nude Beach a Go-Go” is one of the album’s most likable songs, as art pop musician Ariel Pink’s production invigorates Banks’ sweet croon. Despite its stark contrast to the rest of the album, “Nude Beach a Go-Go” is a fair reminder that Banks doesn’t take herself too seriously, making the song a breath of fresh air from a bold and dynamic album.
Overall, Broke with Expensive Taste proves that Azealia Banks is a natural when it comes to hip hop. But, although she may be musically adept, her ego and irreverent behavior has caused several online tirades to erupt with other celebrities, from Perez Hilton to Disclosure to Eminem. Regardless of her antics, Broke with Expensive Taste clearly cements Banks as a potential superstar and if all goes well, she could shatter mainstream barriers.
Jennifer Clemens and Lauren Pakravan
Noah Daniel ‘17 has been pursuing his passion for music since a very young age. Not only is he involved with music at Milken, but he also composes his own songs and performs at famous venues.
How old were you when you started to play instruments? Which instrument was first?
I started with piano when I was really little, around the age of 5 and 6, but I really started getting into it when I picked up guitar at 9 years old.
How did you realize that music was your passion?
There was no one moment; it was gradual. The more I learned about music and guitar, the more I learned to love them.
Where have you performed?
I perform at a lot of small coffee shops, bars, fairs, and fundraisers. There's too many to list here, but the three biggest venues are probably the Whiskey a-Go-Go, the Roxy Theatre (both on the Sunset Strip) and Cleveland High School's fundraiser "Corechella" for 1200 people.
Do you want to pursue your music as a career?
I definitely want music to be a part of my career, but it doesn't have to be 100% of it. I'm also interested in studying the brain and/or medicine, so musical therapy might be a cool thing to pursue.
Have you composed songs?
Yes. I have composed many songs.
Do you prefer performing alone or with a band?
I find that it's easier to perform alone because I don't have to rely on anyone else for knowing their parts, being late, setting up their instrument, etc. That being said, I'm also in a band, and it's a lot of fun to perform with friends. It really just depends on the situation.
Do you get nervous when you perform in front of people?
No, which is something I'm grateful for. Every so often I get nervous before I go on, but as soon as I start to play or sing it goes away.
What is something that has inspired you to keep going or inspired what you write?
Music is my way of expressing myself and an emotional release. It gets me through the best and worst of times. I write constantly, about whatever I'm thinking or feeling; if you listen to all the songs I've written in chronological order, you'd probably get a pretty good sense of my life over the past couple years.
Arm bands, gas masks, and tanks: is there Neo-Nazi propaganda in Nicki Minaj’s new lyric video? On Saturday, November 8, Minaj released the lyric video for her new single, “Only,” which depicts some controversial imagery. Many different aspects of the video resemble Nazi iconography, such as Young Money swastikas, the black, red and white color scheme, armbands, and even some architectural elements.
November 9 marked the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when the Nazis attacked many cities and villages all across Germany and Austria. Isn’t it kind of ironic that the song came out right around this anniversary? Kristallnacht was the breaking point when things got really bad in Germany, and led to Hitler’s other plans for the Jews. This raises many questions: Did Minaj know any of this? Who approved the video’s imagery? Some featured artists in the song are Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, and Drake, who are all signed under the same record label “Young Money”, as is Nicki Minaj. Also, isn’t Drake half Jewish? How is he not taking any offense to the fact that this video looks like neo-Nazi propaganda?
In a USA Today interview, video director Jeff Osborne commented, “First, I’m not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question. The flags, armbands, and gas masks (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism.”
I think that this video was made as a “shock factor” type of piece. Minaj reported that her cartoonist was trying to make references to Sin City and Metalocalypse, but there is no correlation between the lyrics and the imagery. The song is about how Nicki Minaj won’t sleep with Drake and Lil Wayne, and the lyric video is portraying Minaj as a dictator.
Osborne also added in his interview with USA Today, “I think it’s actually important to remind younger generations of atrocities that occurred in the past as a way to prevent them from happening in the future. And the most effective way of connecting with people today is through social media and pop culture. So if my work is misinterpreted because it's not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I'm not sorry.”
Minaj is not the first person to delve into this familiar topic of controversy. In 2005, England’s Prince Harry went to a costume party dressed up as a Nazi, later saying he “didn’t pay close attention” to his costume. In Pink Floyd’s video of Another Brick in The Wall Part 2, it shows hundreds of people on boxcars passing by a little boy. Both of these instances are extremely insensitive, even if they did apologize for it.
As a 17-year-old woman about to go out into the world and off to college, I am not sure I feel too confident about what is going on, especially with all the tension in the Middle East at the moment. My family was personally affected by the Holocaust, and it makes me feel sick to see that an artist I enjoy listening to uses Nazi propaganda in her work and is so inconsiderate of a people who lost six million of its kind. This is not the way that people should be teaching about the Holocaust or what Hitler did. This is the type of subject that should be examined in a controlled environment without explicit lyrics popping out from every which way.
These prominent figures should not be so easily forgiven for doing these unspeakable acts. These instances are examples of what holds the world back from leaving anti-semitism behind. I feel uncomfortable when I see or hear someone whose music I listen to propagating Nazism. It makes me feel like I should not be listening to their music anymore, and definitely not supporting them, regardless of their apologies.
Tweets that Minaj tweeted as a response to outraged fans:
Looking back at yourself as a teen, what are the first three words that come to mind?
It’s hard to say 3 words to define myself. As a teenager, I was very happy. I always took challenges. I always took things that are bad and made them better. Like in playing chess, for example: you lose some pieces but then start to focus on how to win. Once I finish a game, I can admit that I lost to people and then challenge them to another game. I then focus harder to win. That's the challenge I want. It gives me confidence. I start at the bottom and go to the top.
How would you describe your “look” at the time?
I had long afro hair and I was in the music band. We were insane. I am really good at playing the guitar, but I can’t sing.
What kind of student were you?
If I got a B, I couldn't sleep. I always got B's or C's starting off my year, but at the end of the year I finished with an A. Studying isn't very important, finishing is the most important. If you started, then you’re in the game. Finishing the best is the most crucial part. I study last minute; it’s the most exciting part for me. A lot of students can't do it. I lose excitement if I study in the beginning.
What school clubs did you join?
I was very athletic in high school. I was in track and field, soccer, and martial arts. I have a black belt from JC Penny (just kidding). But actually, I do have a black belt in martial arts! I was in the Chess Club and Scrabble Club, too.
What did you do on your weekends?
In Burma, there was nothing to do. I wouldn't study ever. I would call someone and go out somewhere. We would sit down and talk at the cafe and play games.
What kind of music did you listen to?
I listened to country music. I don't have a specific favorite band, but it’s very calming.
What was your group of friends like?
I had two groups of friends. I had my band friends and my other friends, who would talk about politics in Burma at the cafe till late into the night.
If you could give your "high school" self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go with your friends and listen to them but don't do what they are doing if you don't think it's right. I was successful in self control. Music people did crazy things but they couldn't persuade me to follow. I'm really good at concentrating and I have strong willpower; nobody can change that in me. But go with your friends so you’re not a loner. See what they are doing, open your eyes, and decide yourself what is the right thing to do.
Turkey Drive Live, Neve Michael Live, Veteran's Club Live, Roar Update, Cooking Club Live
Get ready Milken students, because Milken is offering a new class this year: Religion, Culture, Geography — or as it is commonly referred to, RCG II. While the course has no prerequisites, it is recommended that students take Race, Class, and Gender (RCG) prior to enrolling in the class.
It was Mr. Nick Holton, Social Science teacher’s, idea to add RCG II to the course catalog. He explained that the Social Sciences Department had been trying to push a geography and world religion course for a while now. However, their attempt to run a geography course a few years ago did not pan out, most likely because the idea of studying geography was not appealing enough to students.
Instead of merely studying maps, RCG II challenges students to analyze the development of social, economic, political, and geographical issues with global lenses.
“RCG II assumes that in order for students to discuss social issues in other countries, they need to know more about the culture, religion, and geography of those areas,” Holton explained.
The course is broken down into five parts:
The first is looking at bias narrative in maps, statistics, and the media. Bias narrative is the underlying and sometimes hidden stories or biases that the construction of statistical tables and images imply.
“For example, there is a certain bias in that the Western world is portrayed on the top of the map, ” Holton elaborated.
The second part is looking at what culture is, analyzing what meaning we take from it, and examining how it shapes our social world.
The third part is studying world religions and exploring how they shape our reality.
The fourth part is learning physical geography and completing basic map work.
Finally, the fifth part is reading various essays on global and social issues and debating them. Students will be exposed to articles with a range of topics, from colonialism to gender issues around the world.
"I honestly feel privileged to be in RCG II. It covers important topics that schools don't often put enough emphasis on," Megan Taban '15 said.
Congratulations to Shaked Salem ’17 and Sammy Stoltzenbach ’16 for coming up with the winning title submission:
BETWEEN THE LINES
This winning title was chosen from nearly 200 entries, which were submitted by more than 60 Milken students. Between the Lines was ultimately selected because it encompasses both the literary and visual art content of the journal, contains a number of possible interpretations, and lasty, because it embodies a timeless quality.
Both Salem and Stolzenbach will be awarded Amazon gift cards, and will be cited in articles as well as announcements in The Roar, The Milken Honey, and The Milken Messenger. Additionally, they will be credited in the premiere 2015 edition of Between the Lines, and officially recognized at this year’s Creative Writing Evening of Celebration .
The next step of the process is transforming this new title (Between the Lines: The Milken Journal of Arts and Letters) into a student created art piece that will grace the cover of the premiere edition.The winning cover will display the words “Between the Lines” in a creative way, and will showcase the chosen student’s artistic talent for the entire Milken community.
To submit artwork for consideration, please send digital copies to Ms. Mansfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) before Wednesday December 3, 2014.
Please subject the email as follows: Between the Lines Cover Art Contest Submission
Mansfield will forward the piece to the art department to be “juried” objectively.