The Advocate The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy Mon, 09 Dec 2019 20:36:37 -0700 en-US hourly 1 Tattoos of Albuquerque Academy Sun, 08 Dec 2019 18:37:06 +0000 Hiyab Abraha ’20

Hiyab got a tattoo on her side in May of 2019 while she was living in Beijing. On a study trip to Southern China, she and her friends tore pages out of their itineraries, folded them into paper boats, and raced them on the river. Later, they went to an underground tattoo shop in Beijing where they had gotten ear piercings just weeks before, and got matching tattoos of paper boats to commemorate their experience. 

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New Spanish Teacher at AA: Sarah Schulman Wed, 04 Dec 2019 18:10:23 +0000           Bienvenidas to Sarah Schulman, a new member of the 6-7 Albuquerque Academy community! She is a 7th grade Spanish teacher in the Red Chile Pod, filling in for Ms.Trevizo, who is taking a year for maternity leave. 

          Spanish is not Ms. Schulman’s first language; she started Spanish when she was in 7th grade. She was born in Syracuse, New York but moved to Maryland in 2000, when her father got a new job. Growing up she had more than one language in her house; her dad spoke French and her mother spoke Spanish. According to Ms. Schulman, she didn’t want to be like her father and speak French, so she chose Spanish.   

          Ms. Schulman taught Japanese at her old high school for five years, about which she said, “I would never go back there.” She came to New Mexico to take a tour of UNM when the tour guide said that someone left the World Languages Department and asked if she would take the job. According to Ms. Schulman it was a quick decision because they desperately needed a teacher. She agreed to the job, but her parents didn’t know about it and she said that they didn’t even know where New Mexico was! Ms. Schulman thought she wasn’t going to be in Albuquerque for that long, but she arrived on August 3rd, 2013 and has been here for over 6 years!

          Ms. Schulman has been in New Mexico for a while, but she hasn’t seen everything yet. Outside of teaching, Ms.Schulman has several hobbies such as  playing the violin, oil painting, martial arts, and running. So far she has run three half marathons. On the other hand, she hasn’t oil painted in a while because her paints are in Maryland with her parents, but she hopes to start again. She has a small dog who is on the unathletic side; although he doesn’t like going on runs, he still loves his owner, Ms. Schulman.

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Cross-Country Teams Finish Strong, As Usual Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:28:59 +0000 As we meet the end of fall sports season, the Varsity Cross Country teams finished the 2019 season with a bang. Each year, both teams send seven girls and seven boys to state, and this year there was a mixture of students, ranging from freshman to seniors. The week before, the teams had lighter practices to rest

Julian Garcia, 2019 Boys State Champ, with Coach Adam Kedge

up for state, running a fraction of the distance they usually do for practice. Coach Adam Kedge, who has been coaching the varsity boys team for 25 years, knew that the teams were “gonna finish somewhere near the top, whether that’s first or second or third,” and even says that in the past, the teams

“traditionally finish up towards the top.” Justin Hickey, class of ‘21 and one of the captains of the team this year says that the boys team was “a very close group of guys, almost like brothers.” The teammates had become so close that Justin said that “the sport becomes a lot less about yourself and it’s more about how the other people count on you.” Looking ahead, Coach Kedge hopes that the “younger kids commit to off season training or doing other sports here at school” and Justin says that the team is “always on the lookout for new talent in all the grades,” in preparation for the next season. This year, both boys and girls ran very well, and as predicted by Coach Kedge, both ranked at 2nd place overall at State, with Julian Garcia, ’20 placing first overall.

Courtesy of Coach Kedge

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Academy Students Compete for All-State Music Ensembles Tue, 26 Nov 2019 21:11:28 +0000 For music students fall means, among other things, all-state ensemble tryouts. As usual, Academy students were quite successful. Here is the round-up for each musical discipline.

Guitar: The auditions for High School All-State Guitar are extremely competitive as the level of high school guitarists around the state is increasing every year. The audition process includes a solo etude, a few scales, and a piece for the guitarists to sight-read. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but there’s a catch. These auditions are blind auditions, which means the judges can only rely on what they hear. This means that the stakes are higher as judges take in rhythmic and note accuracy, sound quality and projection, and expressive quality. As hard as it is to pass these auditions, Albuquerque Academy had several of our own students make it High School All-State Guitar. The students who made the cut for this year’s All-State guitar are John Dominguez-Trujillo ‘21, Anthony Ha ‘22, Oliver Kumar ‘22, Ashley Melendres ‘21, and Danny Ross ‘21. Of particular note is Ashley Melendres ‘21, who in addition to making all-state was ranked number one out of over 140 auditioners. She was named to the coveted spot of Concert Master of the 72 member All-State ensemble; “I play a lot of guitar through various ensembles both at Academy and outside of it, so it was really rewarding for me to be a concert master.   I put in a lot of hours and work hard, so being selected as Concert Master was really exciting. I was not expecting to be Concert Master, so when my mom called me to tell me I had made it, I was super excited. I would definitely recommend auditioning for All-State.  It is great to perform in such a big ensemble and the music is also really fun to play.”  This year’s guitarists have certainly proved themselves to be New Mexico’s finest and we are all very proud of their hard work.

Chorus: The auditions for High School All-State Chorus are slightly different than the instrumental auditions, but no less competitive. Performers must prepare a solo, sing a part in a choral piece, and lastly, sight-read. Hundreds of students in each choral ensembles around New Mexico audition for 30 spots per section. This year, 10 Albuquerque Academy students made All-State Chorus. For the Mixed Choir in Soprano 1, the students who were successful were Analise Granados ‘21 and Leah Jones ‘20, while in Soprano 2, Laurie Fleenor ‘21 came out successful. Also in Mixed Choir, Alto 2 were Nina Sandman ‘22 and for Bass 1 was Ramses Tanedo ‘21. In Treble Choir for Soprano 1 were Audrey Ng ‘20, Evelyn Nguyen ‘21, and Camille Vigil ‘20. Also in Treble Choir but for the section of Soprano 2 were Gretchen Eberhardt ‘21 and Madeline Ng ‘22. For so many of our students to make All-State Chorus is such a big accomplishment, and everyone can see that we have some very talented students at Albuquerque Academy.

String Orchestra: The auditions for High-School All-State String Orchestra includes etudes, scales, and sight-reading. The students selected for the Concert Orchestra include Johannes Bauer ‘21, Grace Bolton ‘23, and Audrey Ng ‘20. In Symphony Orchestra in the Violin 1 section – the top section in the state – are Sarah Lee ‘22, Sofia Taylor ‘21, and Sarah Wang ‘21. Finally, selected for the Alternate Orchestra is Lily Johnson ‘21. Audrey Ng ‘20 also made both all-state string orchestra and chorus; “I prepared just by practising, and I was a little bit nervous walking in because you never know what’s going to happen. I felt good, and I’m always excited to see all of my friends that I don’t normally get to see unless we’re playing cello together. I would recommend auditioning to everyone! It’s always a lot of fun and you get to meet new people every year that have the same interests as you, and it’s a break from school.”

Band: For All-State Band, we have 7 amazing musicians who were chosen. In Symphonic Orchestra is Emma McLaughlin ‘22, who was also named number two piccolo in the state. In Symphonic Band is Bella Moretti ‘20. The students selected for Concert Band include Alex Muller ‘21, Marly Fisher ‘23, and Gina Kennedy ‘22. Finally, in Jazz Band, Alternate is Diego Moore ‘21 and for Jazz Band II is Antonio Marrujo ‘21 who was named number two piano in the state; “For anyone who wants to audition, I would say that it’s not as scary as you think. Going into the audition process, I was so stressed, but as long as you come prepared, you’ll do amazing. In order to be prepared to the best if you’re ability, you need to practice consistently. Playing the pieces here and there won’t improve your abilities, but playing at least once a day will.”

These amazing musicians have all been working extremely hard. A lot of them have practised for hours upon hours for their selected etudes, scales, and sight reading. They’ve had lots of lessons with their private teachers, and had help from their own directors at Academy. They’ve done mock auditions with their families and friends, and prepared every single day. Fortunately, all of their hard work paid off in the end and they finally achieved what they have been working towards for the past few months. We are all very proud of all of these hard-working students and if you see any of these students, be sure to congratulate them!

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Turmoil Continues to Unfold in Kashmir Sat, 23 Nov 2019 20:19:50 +0000 Kashmir is a small region in Northern India which has been a source of tension and war between India and Pakistan since the partition of those nations in 1947. Today, two countries claim regions of Kashmir: India and Pakistan.

Srinagar, Kashmir

In 1947, Pakistan and India were one country, controlled by the United Kingdom. This territory was called British India. Pakistan and India wanted their own two separate countries – one for Hindus and one for Muslims. By August, British India had been partitioned, creating present-day India and Pakistan. But both new nations claimed Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region. The king of Kashmir decided to join India against the will of the majority-Muslim population. The United Nations was called in to settle the conflict. Both India and Pakistan still couldn’t agree to a deal, so a ceasefire line was created in 1948, splitting the territory into two parts, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Indian-administered Kashmir. There have been three wars between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory. Until now, Kashmir was given special freedoms, having a separate flag and constitution under Article 370 of India’s Constitution.

Pahalgam Valley, Kashmir

This year, on August 5, India made a historic decision. This August ruling let India take full control of Kashmir. Pakistan has vowed to oppose the latest change.

Locals in Indian-administered Kashmir have been protesting against their government over the right of choosing which side of Kashmir they go to. Many have been injured by Indian forces. Innocent people have been wrongfully arrested. The area has been put on lockdown.  All communication out of the region has been cut off. Additional soldiers have been sent to protect the territory. On Eid-al-Adha, an Islamic holiday, Kashmiris were not allowed to pray openly. The crisis is even wreaking havoc on Kashmir’s economy. Prices of apples, which are central to Kashmir’s economy, have decreased by over 50%. Tourism is badly affected as well- also a major source of income for Kashmir.

Arguments over Kashmir have been going on for centuries. Both countries must be aware of the suffering their citizens are enduring and should negotiate a peace deal once and for all.





Photo Credits:

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Who Said What to Whom? Tue, 19 Nov 2019 12:33:24 +0000 On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the official public hearings in the impeachment process of President Trump began. One of the most prominent witnesses was William B. Taylor Jr., the American diplomat who became the top state department official in Ukraine after Marie Yovanovitch was recalled by the president. Taylor explained that many people working under Trump were trying to carry out a deal in which they compelled the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, in exchange for promised and allotted US military aid. Trump withheld aid from Ukraine in order to investigate his political rivals. According to Taylor, he did this “for no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason, [and it] is wrong.” Additionally, Taylor introduced new information that he had only learned after his closed-door testimony. He learned that David Holmes, one of his aides, had  overheard a conversation between Gordon Sondland and President Trump discussing the alleged illegal investigations and how far along they were. Taylor’s testimony prompted a closed-door deposition of David Holms, who will testify publicly this week.

no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason, [and it] is wrong.”

— Ambassador William Taylor

Along with Ambassador Taylor,  George Kent, another American diplomat and currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified in Wednesday’s hearings. He said that some Americans “allied themselves with corrupt Ukrainians in pursuit of private agendas. [They] launch[ed] attacks on dedicated public servants advancing U.S. interests in Ukraine.” During the rest of his testimony, Kent alleged that President Trump’s team used his power in working to advance the president’s personal interests rather than that of the nation.

On Friday, Nov. 15, Marie Yovanovich testified for 5 hours. While she has no first hand knowledge of actions by Trump Administration officials, She offered compelling testimony about being the victim of a smear campaign designed to oust her from her position. During this testimony, the president tweeted about former Ambassador Yovanovitch, attacking her competence, saying, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”  While ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president, it is nevertheless unusual for a president to attack an agent of his own government in a public manner. During the hearing, Yovanovitch indicated that on numerous occasions, the president and his people attacked and threatened her. According to the New York Times, she also spoke about how she found out that President Trump had “disparaged her” during the infamous July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president that sparked the impeachment investigation . President Trump  told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that she was “bad news” and was “going to go through some things.” As a 33-year American diplomat with the State Department, she was devastated to hear such damning remarks from the United States president to another world leader. It appears that President Trump removed her from her post because she was the person standing in the way of completing his desired political investigations and dealings in Ukraine. Despite, or perhaps because of the president’s actions, both democrats and republicans gave her a standing ovation for her courageous and frank testimony, and her dedicated service to the country.

There will be at least another week of the public impeachment hearings. In this upcoming week, we should see some other new developments from more key witnesses. One of the witnesses is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council, who listened in on the July 25 call that started the investigation. Along with him will be Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice-President Pence who was also listening into the July phone call, and  Gordon Sondland, the ambassador who spoke with the president at a lunch meeting in Kiev with David Holmes, part of the crucial story mentioned twice in testimonies. Fiona Hill will also likely be testifying this week. She was involved in Russian and European foreign affairs while working as a part of the National Security Council and, most notably, spoke out about John Bolton’s concerns over Ukraine. Stay tuned as investigations wind on.

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President Trump Orders Troops Out of Syria, Sparking Backlash Sat, 09 Nov 2019 21:46:47 +0000 With President Trump’s decision to order troops out of Syria on October 13, long term allies of the US, the Kurds, have been left to fend for themselves against a hostile Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria. Calling his decision a “big success” and “strategically brilliant,” President Trump has repeatedly called for American troops to return to the US, and to have other nations deal with the crisis. However, not everyone shared this opinion. A rarely unified House voted 354-60 to criticize the President’s decision, saying it would be “beneficial to our adversaries.” But where did this all start? 

The ongoing civil war in Syria began as a result of the Arab Spring movement – a series of anti-government protests in the Middle East. Citizens began protesting in Syria in March of  2011, when the Syrian Army tried to curb the protests. Complicating the matter further is the tense relationship with Sunni and Shia Muslims. The government in Syria is dominated by Shia Muslims, essentially leading two a clash between the two branches of Islam. After eight years of intense warfare, more than 5.6 million refugees and 6.1 million internally displaced persons (someone who flees from their home to a different part of the country). 6 million children require life-saving aid, but less than half of Syria’s medical facilities are fully functioning.

The complicated politics of the region have pitted Kurdish separatists, who are predominantly Sunni Muslims, as well as other Syrian dissidents, against the minority Alawite ruling party. Sunni Muslims believe in a more democratic form of Islam, while the Alawites believe in a more strict interpretation. As the Syrian government became weaker, ISIS, a radical Sunni political movement, began to take control of the area, and soon established a new caliphate. Kurdish fighters were instrumental in weakening and, eventually, breaking the power of ISIS in Syria. These Kurdish fighters established a Kurdish-controlled zone in northeastern Syria, which, until the US pullout, continued to keep ISIS at bay.

The US pullout enabled Turkey, enemies of the Kurds, Russia, and the weakened Syrian government to re-establish control in northern Syria, breaking the hold of the Kurds in the region.

The US announced the withdrawal of troops on October 7. Merely two days later, on Oct. 9, Turkish and Russian forces began to take control of the area, causing clashes between Turkey and the Kurds. Turkey has started clashing with the Kurds – as a show of strength to the Kurds in their country, as to discourage the Kurds from creating their own independent country. By October 15, while facing bipartisan backlash, Trump ordered sanctions to be placed on Turkey and asked Turkey’s leader, Reccip Tayyip Erdoğan, to form a truce. Both sides agreed to a five-day ceasefire on Oct. 17, but a day later, Turkey’s military was seen still fighting in Ras-Al-Ayn.

So what will the outcome of this bloody civil war be? No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that countless people are having their lives turned upside down. Countless people are being forced to move from their home and many others do not have enough to eat and are losing family members in surprise attacks. Many are experiencing imprisonment, loss of property, and malnutrition. The outcomes of this decision made by the President are devastating, and only time will tell how many lives will be lost because of it.

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Fall Performing Arts Round-Up Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:20:00 +0000 The performing arts department has many exciting plays and performances upcoming this fall.  On Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., a visiting guitar artist, Mark Palmer, gave a guitar concert open to anyone interested, and it was held in Simms Auditorium, and he was also holding a class for 6/7 guitar students that day.  From Nov. 14 to Nov. 23, Laurie Thomas, a member of the Performing Arts Department faculty, is directing The Flight of the Mind,  a play about an aviator and aviatrix finding love in the skies before the commencement of WWII.  In the play there is a parallel plane where four gamers play “Castles and Raptors,” influencing those below until the borders blur.  The Pirates of Penzance, an opera about pirates will have auditions held from Nov. 18 to Nov 20 and Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.  The fall dance program concert has yet to receive a title and date and will be held later this fall. The dance department and many others are presenting many exciting events lined up for academy students and parents. 

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Albuquerque Votes on Pro-Democracy Measures Mon, 04 Nov 2019 12:30:30 +0000 In the upcoming local election, among council seat elections and budget proposals, one of the key questions on the ballot is an update to Albuquerque campaign finance laws. The election takes place on November 5, with absentee voting beginning on October 8, and early voting beginning on October 19. In essence, the proposition is a pro-democracy charter, aimed at wider opportunities for public funding for candidates running for office. It proposes an increase of seed money for candidates, sets higher contribution limits, and sets a minimum public financial distribution for candidates in low population districts. This general increase in public funding allows for larger public participation in local elections, which, in turn, promotes democratic ideals. With an increased ability to use tax money to fund campaigns, there is more opportunity for local participation in the political process.

This law would drastically increase campaign benefits in many areas. In seed money, which is the initial money to start a campaign, this new proposition includes a $250 contribution limit for an individual, changed from $100. It also increases the amount of personal funds a candidate can contribute to their campaign from $500 to $2,500. In addition, in mayoral and City Council campaigns, qualified candidates will receive  $1.75 in public funding per registered voter in the city or council district. For districts with a population of less than 40,000 people, candidates shall be given $40,000. For all candidates, upon confirmation of the election results, candidates who won will additionally be appropriated funds per registered voter in the city. Upon receiving the correct amount of signatures, you then are entitled to these financial benefits. The process of becoming a candidate is the same, but it creates greater opportunities for local citizens to run for offices

There is also another bill proposed, which has been coined the term “democracy dollars.” This bill would give bring campaign funding into public hands. With no tax increase, registered voters will automatically receive a $25 coupon, which they can give to any candidate. This will help participating candidates to run a campaign based on the strength of local support. This would also allow for more public insight because candidates would have to work more closely with their supporters in order to earn their coupon. All around, it would make it easier to finance a campaign. This pro-democracy bill allows for greater public participation in local elections and takes the burden off of requiring personal funds to run a campaign.

Polling is open from 7 am to 7 pm on Tuesday. See for polling locations.

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All that Glitters… Fri, 01 Nov 2019 20:16:48 +0000 10-12 students looked forward to the second annual Faculty Shine with the high expectations set last year. Without a doubt, the faculty exceeded these expectations. At first, I was a little skeptical when Paul Marcus hadn’t shown up and Mrs. White began doing a very well executed performance of “I’m a Little Teacup” (nobody knows whether that was planned or not), but then finally Mr. Marcus showed up and sang one of the most iconic songs ever sung in Simms, I Am Not Trapped. It is a very ironic song as well, since most of the time we do feel trapped in Simms. He unsuccessfully tried to get the student body to sing along, but we just didn’t want to ruin it.

Up next, Mr. Watson, Ms. Valenzuela, Ms. Brown, and our own local celebrity, JZ,  sang I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys. When Mr. Watson began singing, even though the mic wasn’t fully functioning, the students went wild. Mr. Zuffranieri sang next, which provoked an even louder reaction from the students, possibly because his mic was the loudest of the four, or possibly because we love knowing that JZ is not merely a Jeopardy whiz kid. Next up, Ms. Valenzuela nailed her solo. Ms. Brown, who has recently released a CD of “Trop Rock” music with her band, also revealed some hidden talent none of us had seen before. Right now, according to Mrs. White, they should be in Bangkok debuting their Backstreet Boys tribute band.

After this was a somewhat confusing appearance of Mr. Kim and his cowbell, which were both dragged off stage before Mr. Anderson and Mr. Kevan performed Beachball Ballet, by far the most visual (and scarring) representation of their bromance yet. It obviously took a large amount of focus and practice, but they pulled it off. Mr. Kevan tells me, “It was fun to be a fool. We put the time in to try to execute perfection. We failed a little on our execution, but I think it came out alright.” Despite Keevan’s modesty, the performance was quite near perfection, the most impressive part being when he managed to go under Mr. Anderson’s legs while still keeping the ball between them. There were, however, some complaints from the junior powderpuff boys that, if Mr. Kevan and Mr. Anderson could do that in front of all of 10-12, why were they not allowed to perform certain dances for powderpuff? The Advocate will not take a stance on this.

Mr. Lipkowitz admitted it was a hard performance to follow, but Mr. Lipkowitz and Mr. Packer, AKA Packowitz, played some very cool folk songs. They were much mellower than what followed but still their ability to play together so well was impressive. This, however, is probably because they spend so much time together at school they might as well live with each other, another iconic duo on campus.

Last year, quite a few teachers in leather jackets performed a dance to Greased Lightning. Mr. Kevan told me, “the faculty stepped up in the last days before the Shine.” This was obvious, especially in their dance to MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This. The gold parachute pants and silver jackets were a spicy touch to their well coordinated dance choreographed by Ms. Rojas. Ms. Good said that teacher shine “was a blast.” I know I’m biased towards my two teachers, but Mrs. Good and Dr. Metzler were the stars of the show. I have never seen anyone look cooler in a backwards hat than Mrs. Good, and Dr. Metzler is probably the only multivariable calculus teacher who can pull off dancing like that. This fine and funny dance crew was rounded out by Ms. Mariner, Mr. Jacoby, Ms. Jayne Williams, Doc K, Ms. Dara Johnson, Ms. Fleig, Dr. Morris, Ms. Janet Wilson, and of course, our fearless leader, Ms. Lenhart.

The last performance began with Mr. Lokke playing the school song on electric guitar, and then a unique version of Don’t Fear the Reaper (or in this case, Don’t Fear the Teacher), with Mr. Corbin as the lead singer. Finally, Mr. Kim had a spot for the cowbell. Doc Rubie said, “We didn’t practice at all, as you could tell, but we put it together last week but it was a lot of fun to get up there and just be goofy. That’s what [Mrs. White] said – go up there for public humiliation. Yep, that’s me!” Doc Rubie learned the solo in about a week and killed it. Other reapers included Ms. Valenzuela, Ms. Matter and Ms. Brown. The show ended Doc Rubie and Drew Zampella, one of our SAGE Dining chefs who played the drums, shredding for a solid two minutes to conclude Teacher Shine. It was overall a huge success and there was not one person in the audience who could say they didn’t enjoy themselves. Check out the videos below to see some short clips of the performances!

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