AFH Photo//Bill Le
My mind is like an ocean 
It can be deep
Or it can be shallow 
Depends when we meet

I have my calms
And I have my storms
Storms from the unexpected
As you may already know

Anger as lightning
Sadness as rain
There's so many feelings
Difficult to explain

I have my pretty seashells 
And my pretty pearls
I also have my midnight zone
Which no one knows

Midnight zone
A black and dark place
Scary too
And it can very hard
To find a view

I have my own wave
I have my own rhythm
But you have to
Know me well enough
To see them

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AFH Photo//Cynthia Ginnetti
December 14. A cold, bitter, winter evening. Excitement for the holiday season was on hold for many Americans as they awaited the decision—one that could change the course of history. Three to two. We lost three to two. Freedom lost three to two. The Internet’s death warrant was signed, three to two.
It was the night the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality laws. Under the leadership of Ajit Pai, formerly of Verizon Wireless (because that isn't a conflict of interest at all), the FCC decided to repeal the rules that ensure a free and open Internet. The future looks dark, but not all hope is lost.
 Internet service providers (ISPs) have been lobbying to retract Obama-era net neutrality laws, or laws that ensure that all websites, from Reddit to Wikipedia, are afforded the same speeds. ISPs are hungry to enter the untapped market of Internet speeds. Essentially, the repeal of net neutrality would allow ISPs to provide “fast lanes” to certain sites, which would come at an additional cost to either the company owning the site or the consumers themselves. ISPs would then intentionally slow the speeds of certain websites, ensuring that consumers would need to fork over even heavier payments for reliable Internet services, which are now seen as an essential part of modern life. 
As heavy Internet users, teens will be one of the most affected groups. “If the Internet wasn’t around, I’d probably die,” said Boston Arts Academy freshman Frida S.  “Repealing the laws won’t let people express themselves the way they choose and depending on who is making the regulations, a lot of information can be kept from people.”  
However, it is not just young people who are concerned. Boston Business Journal managing editor David Harris feels that consumer protection will be lost without net neutrality. “Comcast or AT&T will come in and say ‘You’re watching too much Netflix, so it will be an extra $19.95 a month to have that content,’” he said. “It will really be a way to get rid of customer protection and potentially lead to abusing the consumer.” 
Fortunately, net neutrality has become mainstream enough that instead of being decided by the FCC, it will be voted on in Congress. Now before you get too excited, or really excited at all, it is still likely that the law will be repealed by the House. Lately, tribal politics have rendered the American political system a mess of extremes, in which nothing can really be accomplished. It's like two toddlers arguing “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to “Power Rangers”—no matter how rational one side is willing to be, the other side is going to plug their ears. In this case, the ear pluggers are the Republicans in Congress. While all congressional Democrats and several Republicans have pledged to vote in favor of net neutrality, it is unlikely the bill will make it through the House and the Senate. And even if it did, President Trump will likely veto it, as it is his goal to tear down Obama’s legacy. Suffice to say, the future does not look bright for net neutrality.
It is an uphill battle for sure. The odds may be against us, but this is something worth fighting for. There is still something you can do. Go to; you can defend your right to Google. In this time where our nation stands so divided, we need to stand together once and for all and tell these corporations that our freedoms are not to be trifled with. Do your part, make yourself heard, pass on the message that your glory days of internet freedom may be coming to an end, and we can be the spark that burns Ajit Pai’s corrupt ways to the ground. 

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AFH Photo//Aijanah Sanford
What do you reach for when you’re having a meal? Fork? Spoon? Or do you use your nimble fingers to grip a pair of wands to bring food up to your mouth? 
The use of chopsticks dates back to the 4th century B.C. It is very common amongst Southern Asians to use chopsticks, or 筷子(faai zi). However, many people who use chopsticks are unaware of their history. There are actually many styles of chopsticks. The three main styles, blunt, pointed, and metal, are used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture, respectively. 
 The chopsticks used by the Chinese are wooden and blunt-ended. They are also long because Chinese people share their food and must often reach across the table for the dishes that are farther away.  Long chopsticks also make eating hot pot (a dinner where you boil everything in a broth) a little easier, but everyone knows that no matter how skilled you are, you will get burned a little.
 I live in a Chinese immigrant family. Every night we have a home cooked dinner: five to six dishes on the table, and so many chopsticks moving at once. 
“Nobody taught me how to use them,” my grandmama said. “Using chopsticks was natural. I had to shave bamboo shoots to make my own.” Like my grandmother, I don’t remember learning how to use chopsticks; it was just part of my upbringing. We didn’t have forks until I was in middle school. However, I could always reach for chopsticks and didn’t worry about making my own. 
According to Japanese website Naver Matome, the Japanese do not share their food because it reminds them of a funeral tradition where the family would remove the last bones from their loved ones’ ashes. Their chopsticks are therefore shorter. Within a Japanese household, everyone has their own pair of chopsticks. Japanese chopsticks are also different from Chinese ones because of how dainty they are. They feel very light in one’s hand and very smooth to use. Their chopsticks are pointed because Japan is an island filled with fish, and this makes it easier to pick around the bones. 
 Korean chopsticks, in contrast, are mostly made of metal. Historian Edward Wang says the ruling class during the 7th century was worried about their food being poisoned by their enemies, so they used silver chopsticks, because they would supposedly turn black if they came into contact with arsenic. My experience with Korean chopsticks is that they are very heavy; eating with them makes me feel clumsy because my fingers aren’t used to the weight. 
Asian food culture has entered the global mainstream. However, it’s pretty typical for non-Asian consumers to unknowingly use the wrong kind of chopsticks for their meal. This brings up the question—is it rude to eat a Chinese meal with Korean chopsticks? 
“I don’t think it is rude to use the different types of chopsticks interchangeably,” said Wang. “I anticipate the trend to continue and even expand, for after Chinese food, Japanese and Vietnamese foods are increasingly more popular around the world.” As I see people of all different backgrounds using chopsticks, I have found that I have become less of a snob about chopsticks; I am just happy to see people participating in the culture.
“They are the perfect utensil,” said Karen Akunowicz, executive chef of the South End’s Myers + Chang. “They allow you to create the perfect sized bite, and you can pay more attention to the food that you are eating.” I don’t have the experience of using a pair of chopsticks for the first time, so hearing this from someone else is refreshing—especially from the perspective of someone who isn’t Asian. 
I’ve been using chopsticks since the day I was born and I find it fascinating when I’m eating out with friends and they’re learning how to use them, just like a toddler learning to walk. Learning a new set of skills requires time and practice, and using chopsticks is a prime example of that. So, if you want to venture into Asian cuisine, come in with respect and an open mind. 

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AFH Photo//Rayshana Jenkins
The college process is stressful to say the least. On top of getting in your actual application there’s getting recommendation letters, taking the SATs (sometimes for the third time in a row…), checking your eligibility for financial aid with the FAFSA, applying for scholarships, and maintaining your grades because YES, your grades are just as important senior year as they were your junior year.
 With so many deadlines to meet, this process can seem overwhelming. Here’s your step-by-step guide to navigating this challenging experience.

Junior Year: Get Connected
The very first thing you should do to start your college application process is introduce yourself  to your college and career advisor at the end of your junior year. This is a very important connection to make because your college advisor will be the main person who will help you with the college process, whether it’s making your list of colleges to apply to, filling out your application for FAFSA, or writing your college essay. 

Summer: Reflect and Write
Over the summer, I finished my college essay which was a huge accomplishment because you have to edit, then re-edit, then edit again, then re-edit AGAIN! I shared my essay with four people. One of those four was my father, and if anyone knows my father, they know how critical and detailed he is. It was the most excruciating process I’ve ever been through in my life. 
I can’t stress enough how important it is to start your essay before senior year. If you start at the beginning of your senior year, it’s just another task added onto your list of a million and one things to do. 

First Semester Senior Year: Go Time
Once your senior year begins, your first task is to ask the two teachers that you have the best relationships with and who know you personally as well as academically to write letters of recommendation.
Next is actually applying to the schools of your dreams. I personally applied to 13, but the number all depends on you. You can decide to only apply to the schools you would actually be interested in attending, or you can throw in some back-ups just in case you don’t make it into your top choices. Regardless of how many schools you apply to, make sure to log them all on College Board, a magical website where you can add the list of schools you are applying to to keep you on track with all the deadlines. 
In addition to sending in each school’s application, you also have to send your SAT scores. It is always a good idea to send your SAT scores, especially if your grades aren’t the best. If you feel as though your grades don’t accurately represent your work ethic you should be sure to send your test scores to show that your grades don’t define the type of student that you are.
Lastly, scholarships, scholarships, scholarships. Yes, FAFSA is a great help, but the more money the better. Scholarships are a great way for you to obtain even more funds to help pay for your education. 

Second Semester Senior Year: Cross Your Fingers
After applying, you will be in the state of limbo in which you will be awaiting your acceptance and rejection letters. Unless you applied to the early deadline on November 1, you will be waiting until the spring for your letters to come in the mail. During this time you need to focus on your school work, because contrary to popular belief, your grades senior year are important. Colleges still look at your grades, and if you try to slack, you may get your acceptance taken away from you. 
In the end choosing a college will determine where you will spend the first four years of your adulthood. Make the best out of wherever you go and work as hard as you can. No one can choose your path for you, so make sure that you choose the school that you love. 

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AFH Art//Luis Urena
Graffiti is an urban artwork—however, in Boston, it's considered vandalism upon public spaces.  According to an article in the Boston Globe, “Under Massachusetts law, anyone convicted of ‘maliciously or wantonly’ defacing property can spend up to three years in prison and face the loss of his or her driver’s license for a year, as well as a fine of either $1,500 or three times the value of the defaced property, whichever is greater.” The offender is also required to pay for cleaning the property.
However, I think people who say things like “Graffiti is not art; it's vandalism. It's just a bunch of scribbled words nobody can read anyway,” don't truly understand what's behind it. Graffiti is typically a large-scale rendition of whatever the artist’s style or statement is. They’re often created using acrylic or oil paint, by brush or spray cans. Many are created after-hours, to avoid law enforcement. Much graffiti and street art depicts the state of society at the time they were created.
I draw small graffiti in my sketchbook. I like to draw the word “bubbles.” Personally, I graffiti for self-expression. When I draw graffiti, I feel amazing, I get an adrenaline rush. Others do graffiti for notoriety. Others do it to be destructive. However, many do it for art. It's all about the message behind the art. I feel like graffiti is the most underrated form of art. It shows an enormous talent the artist has, their imagination, and their perspective on the world. 
Furthermore, I think graffiti would be a much more productive use of space than many of the legal signs and posters in public spaces. For example, I see advertisements on a daily basis on the street or in the T station, and they all say similar things, like “ buy these Air Jordans so you can dunk like Michael Jordan.” This country is oversaturated by meaningless advertisements and it's ridiculous. It’s time to replace these advertisements with street art like traditional subway graffiti, stencil graffiti, and posting/stickering. Graffiti tries to send a message and change the way people think. Graffiti is more truthful than advertisements. Advertisements are meant to brainwash people, to make them buy their products—but graffiti changes your mind and your outlook on society.

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