In the summer of 2018, I was hired as a Nelson Fellow at the John Moakley Federal Courthouse in the Seaport for a summer internship. There, I met a woman named Carolyn Meckbach who was always so nice and considerate of others from the first day we met.            
Meckbach is a Project Coordinator at the U.S. District Court. She has worked in three very different areas: overseeing the Nelson and Lindsay Fellowship programs, assisting with media inquiries from the press and event-planning for the Court. 
Meckbach’s nice smile and genuine personality has always caught my attention. Additionally, her hard work around the courthouse and dedication to her passions and goals made me eager to interview her and learn more about how she inspires youth interested in law and social justice like me.
Royal Harrison: Hello Carolyn, and thank you for taking part in this interview. First and foremost, how did you end up with this career and what influenced you to work here?”
Carolyn Meckbach: I was always interested in law and public service, but during the past four years, I’ve been learning how important youth employment and career readiness is. My current job combines my interests in the justice system and youth career readiness as the Nelson and Lindsay Fellowship prepares students to enter law and legal work by giving them hands-on experience at the Moakley Courthouse. I always knew I would love to work with high school and college-aged students as they navigated their early career path. I didn’t have any career advisors in high school and I just had a lot of energy, interests and passions that I didn’t know what to do with. I felt a lot of pressure to know exactly what I wanted to do, and exactly how I should get there. I think there is so much pressure on young adults to have an exact idea of what they want for their future career, and it can place unfair weight on them that prevents them from exploring and taking risks and trying out different things. The Fellowship programs really allows students to explore their interests and be exposed to a variety of legal or policy-related careers.
What do you like about your current work?
I love the opportunity to work with federal judges in a personal and creative capacity. I also love working with our Fellows here who truly want to impact the justice system. I see students willing to hold adults around them accountable for how their decisions impact themselves and their communities, and I think young people now as a whole are increasingly aware of just how important their voices are and always have been to affecting change. Being able to work with students equipping themselves with legal and systematic knowledge has been a huge privilege and seeing how committed they are to changing institutions helps me to not get apathetic in doing the same where I am.

One more thing about my job is that I get a lot of meaning out of assisting the press and journalists cover court proceedings here. I really value the work they do. They take the important arguments and decisions happening here and make them accessible to the broader public who can’t always be present. 
Share an epiphany you’ve had that has shaped your current interests.

I think part of the reason I have always been interested in criminal justice reform is that growing up, I had an ‘epiphany moment’ after initially ‘digesting’ what it meant for someone to go to jail or prison. A man at my church, who I always loved seeing every week, went to jail on drug charges for a while when I was around 10-years-old. I remember telling my parents I wanted to stay in touch with him and so we became pen pals while he was gone. His letters were always funny and warm. He always encouraged me to do well in school and would ask me about my grades and what I was learning about. I tried to understand the concept of prison.  People explained it as a way to “teach people a lesson about what they did” and “keep everyone else safe.” The epiphany was that none of the stuff I was taught, in school or especially in church, pointed towards it being morally acceptable to lock people up for long periods of time in concrete, isolated cells and cut them off from loved ones and human activities.

Years later, I started learning more about the social context of incarceration and had other epiphany moments. I recalled that out of the three black men in my church, all three had been in contact with the criminal justice system. Now, I look back and can plainly see the difference between the area I lived and where they lived, and the stark contrast of how heavily policed and targeted their neighborhoods were, and how resources were systematically kept from them.

I think those early attempts to understand imprisonment when I was younger led to me eventually studying social policy abroad in Amsterdam (with a focus on drug policy), and now I am currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy with a specialization in criminal justice.

Last but not least, what is your overall vision for your future?
Finish my masters degree, travel more, make more jewelry and artwork, go on an epic meditation retreat, finally get myself a DOG (a boxer) and name it Bruegger, love on my two nieces and five nephews as they get older, hopefully find an apartment closer to the ocean here in MA and continue working to do things that I love!
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In the heat of the moment, “how can I maintain my role as teen’s in prints most ‘out there reporter’” I decided to contact the Boston chapter of The Satanic Temple. Though initially a move to prove I was the edgiest Kyle in the Hot Topic, after an afternoon's worth of research I found myself enthralled with the shocking lack of human sacrifice. Jokes aside, The Satanic Temple is far more wholesome than one would expect. In my correspondence with Brandon, TST Boston’s Media Liaison, I was taken on an enthralling trip into the mind of Satan's devout and the life of the modern sinner. 
Jacob Downey: What is the Satanic Temple know for?
Brandon: Our legal action social change, most famously in the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Locally, chapters of TST often run charitable events such as Menstruatn‘ with Satan which is a personal hygiene product drive. Chapters have also adopted highways or gathered clothing items for homeless folks in our respective areas.
What was your introduction to the temple?
I was an atheist and realized that was not enough. During the 2016 election cycle, I began to see this culture war starting to come to a boil, and the religious right was beginning to really weaponize their faith. I wanted a way to fight back, and after plenty of research, I stumbled upon TST. I relocated to the Boston area shortly after, connected with the Boston chapter, and here I am.
What is the role of the temple in your life? 
Just like any other devoutly religious person, my beliefs are very central to my life. We have a core set of beliefs known as The Seven Tenets, I identified with those immediately the first time I read them, and I continue to live by them today.
What are the Seven Tenets?

One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
  • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.
  • Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.
  • People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
  • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

How has the stigma of Satan affected your organization?
Stigma is subjective. For centuries the idea of being “satanic” was an attribution given to “the others” of society. Free thinking women, scientists, anyone who challenged the status quo was marked as being satanic. TST embraces that, we are free-thinkers, we are challenging arbitrary authority. We don’t fear a stigma, we welcome it.
How has being a member affect your social and professional life?
 Honestly, it hasn’t. Speaking from experience, the Boston chapter is made up of very intelligent and successful people. I personally am very open about who I am, and what I do. I have coworkers in my office who joke about it with me, but it hasn’t hurt my career in the slightest. Although I am sure I have some friends who think I am stranger than they originally thought. But something important to know is this all comes from a place of privilege. There are parts of the world and even in this country, where being a Satanist, could cost you everything, and it is not something to be taken lightly.
Have you received pushback from the community?
In my experience, our presence is one of mixed reactions. Every year we have made an appearance at Boston Pride, and every year we have received loads of love and thanks for what TST does. The counter to that would be this: recently the Documentary “Hail Satan?” was released, and after the showing at The Boston Underground Film Festival, which was loved by the crowd, we performed a Black Mass. If you saw the documentary, you will know that the first time TST attempted to perform a Black Mass, it was national news, it was met with fierce opposition from the archdiocese of Boston and Catholic community. While the most recent Black Mass was not met with as much resistance, the notoriety of the event followed us, and our Black Mass was shut down pretty quickly by the venue.
Does the temple have any upcoming plans/events?
We just held our annual unbaptism for our membership, which was an absolutely lovely and powerful event for those involved. Coming up we have our meet and greet, which will take place at The Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA on September 22nd. For anything else, you will just have to wait until we announce what we will be doing.
If you could tell anyone one thing what would it be and why?
Satanism and TST are open for anyone 18 and up regardless of race, background, etc, but it may not be the best fit for everyone. While it may seem like a cool thing to say “I’m a Satanist” and watch people freak out, that privilege is built upon years of witch hunts, moral panics, and sacrifices of life and liberty in the name of religious freedom. Some folks get it right away and some never will. That is OK, there is no wrong way to Satan.
While I, an admittedly spooky individual, went in expecting a group of wackos chanting at candles, waxing LaVey’s rhetoric and engaging in all the cringiest edge lord activities, what I found was a community brought together by an inquisitive attitude towards arbitrary authority, not too dissimilar to us woke high school kids.
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Karol G, the Colombian reggaetonera making waves in the Latin Trap movement, released her second album “Ocean” in early May and debuted at number two on the Billboard Latin Albums chart. “Ocean” is Karol G in full form. From her bare face gracing the cover to the vulnerability expressed in her lyrics when experiencing love and heartbreak, Karol G has made it clear that her face isn’t the only thing that's she’s ready to expose. Karol G proves her versatility not just by incorporating the trap beats that made her a sensation in "la musica urbano latino" but by incorporating the sounds of R&B and reggae through her collaboration with other artists. The setlist of 16 songs features Latin heavy hitters like Yandel from the legendary and now separated duo Wisin & Yandel, J Balvin, Maluma and her fiancé Anuel AA. On these tracks, Karol G proves that even amidst her increasing vulnerability she can stand alongside these men just fine.
Standout: “Yo Aprendí” Karol G, Danay Suárez
In “Yo Aprendí” Karol G reflects on the lessons she has learned in life with help from Cuban R&B singer and rapper Danay Suárez. A mix of hip-hop beats and piano capture a sound that is more reminiscent of the days of early hip-hop rather than the bass-heavy, head-bumping beats of Latin trap today. That is precisely why this is a song I keep coming back to. It returns the sound of Latin trap music to its origins. It also allows Karol G to distinguish herself in the overcrowded and oversaturated market of "musica urbano latino".
Other favorites: “Culpables”- Karol G, Anuel AA
This song originally stirred up speculation of a rumored relationship between Karol G and Anuel AA in September 2018. It chronicles the love of two people having an affair, according to Billboard Magazine. The heavy bass of the trap beat turns this forbidden love song into a party anthem while the gentle keyboard playing in the background helps to capture the fragility of the situation. Her lyrics capture a side of her not yet unveiled, but the fact that the song remains a bop proves that the core fabric of Karol G’s sound is never lost.

“La Ocasión Perfecta” - Karol G, Yandel
Karol G partners with Yandel to deliver a head-bopping song describing her desire for intimacy over a trap beat. While this song showcases the sound that catapulted Karol G to reggaetonera fame, it’s her smooth vocals over this track that make it one of the songs that I never get tired of hearing no matter how many times I put it on repeat. 
It is hardly a surprise that Karol G’s second album was received with critical acclaim. Karol G showcases her lovely vocals, presents music that incorporates different genres, and showcases new artists. Karol G does what few artists are able to do well: she utilizes different genres that not only demonstrate her versatility but expand on the sound she’s already developed. Karol G’s second album has proven that she is here to stay and I couldn’t be happier about that. 
Karol G’s new album “Ocean” is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Tidal.
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Toxic family members and friends can have an effect on a person’s well-being. Over time, I have dealt with several toxic family members and friends and it makes me sad to think about the situation. Many arguments and words were exchanged that cannot be taken back. It hurts more when you fight with a family member rather than a friend because family should always have your back and should understand you. When arguing with a family member, I’ve often been seen as the aggressor, not the victim. These things make you feel as if your feelings are invalid and do not matter. Once my friend got into an argument with her mom because she didn’t want to give her mom her paycheck. Her mom thought my friend was disrespecting her by keeping her money. Her mom acted like the victim when in reality she attacked my friend.
Toxic friends are a problem, as well. Friends are often the ones you may feel the most comfortable around because you share your secrets and daily thoughts with them. Interactions with these toxic friends have caused me to have situational depression for days or weeks at a time and caused me to have anxiety. I’ve come to terms with the fact that these particular situations were in fact, not my fault, but the toxic person’s fault. It takes a lot to come to that realization, especially after being blamed for almost everything by the toxic person.
You know that your family members may or may not be toxic due to their actions and the way you feel about them.  These toxic family members can make you feel drained, and as if you are less than worthy. It may be a scary experience to be around them because you’re scared that you will upset them. Toxic family members may hold their authority over you and treat you like a child. They can make threats by taking advantage of your insecurities or taking away something that is important to you to get what they want. Your feelings may be dismissed every time you talk to them, and they could act as if you are attacking them and they are the victim. This topic matters deeply because it not only affects our generation but the generations to come. Many kids my age seem to have at least one or two toxic people in their lives. This can affect our mental health, as well as the way we view things. We could be scared to open up to our parents, talk about our feelings or be ourselves. 
In the teenage community, parents often create this toxic relationship dynamic when we disagree with them and try to defend ourselves. However, this argument seems to go in one ear and out the other, as the teen is seen as being disrespectful for trying to get their parents to see their side and own up to their mistakes. It’s a sad feeling when we want to distance ourselves from our parents to be better as a person, but we wouldn’t know how to feel without them being in our lives. 
This issue is not talked about enough. Parents or friends often take it as you being "sensitive," but that's not the case because if it hurts you, then it hurts you. There's never a moment where you're too "sensitive." It’s so much easier to avoid the toxic friends, but harder to avoid the toxic family. Since they are your family, you may see them all the time and it could be hard for you to protect your own space when around them. 
We can make this better by making sure that we don’t carry toxic relationships over to the coming generations. As people, we can change how we speak about things, how we carry ourselves and how we approach certain topics. When a toxic person can no longer control you, then they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation may feel weird or unfair, but trust that other people will eventually see the truth. Being more positive and not thinking about how that person makes you feel can make you a better person. Not only will you be in a positive space but you will also be free to express your ideas or use this space to get better and grow without that person. 
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The anime show “Alice & Zouroku” is about an extraordinary girl named Sana that was born in a research facility and has powers that normal humans can't even wish for. She escaped the research facility that held her and caused her a lot of trouble so the facility is on a desperate search to find her and keep her away from human society.
This anime is amazing overall. From the poster, this series looks like a story about an old man who is raising a little girl but if you watch it, you’ll be quite surprised. Something I really like about this anime is that it always leaves you on edge. One episode may be about Sana fighting aliens, while another may be about Zoroku rescuing her. It leaves you hanging because you’re expecting something to happen but it may not ever happen. One episode that left me guessing was the first one due to Sana escaping the facility and risking getting kidnapped. 
One thing that I didn’t like was how the animation switched up. At certain points, the cartoon looked different from how the characters were drawn, almost as if they’re out of place. At some moments the two anime styles do come together well, but at other times the animation looks weird. 
If you’re looking for something that is interesting and has plot twists, this is the show for you. You can watch this anime on streaming services such as Crunchyroll, and other anime streaming services. 
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