Taking the Market Back, Stock by Stock

by Christian Asdourian

News

February 22, 2021

Wall Street was recently taken by storm when a group of Redditors skyrocketed the stock value of the retail store Gamestop.

In January 2021, a group of everyday people from a community forum called “r/wallstreetbets” on the popular website Reddit took it upon themselves to help alleviate the financial stress placed on GameStop. Their actions were a response to the tactics used by professional Wall Street investors who were planning on profiting from the decline of GameStop’s stock value. If you’ve seen the movie The Big Short, you’ve probably heard of the term “short selling” and may or may not have pretended to understand what it means. In essence, short selling is when investors sell stocks from a company with the knowledge that their value is going to decrease. They can then buy back the stocks cheaper and keep the difference as profit. When Redditors such as u/DeepF-Value and u/Stonksflyingup realized that GameStop was being heavily shorted, they began encouraging private retail investors, or individual, “little-guy” investors, to purchase GameStop stock. Before long, the cost per share of stock shot up to a whopping $483 at its peak from a measly $17 earlier in January. 

Melvin Capital, one of the hedge funds that was shorting GameStop, was forced into a short squeeze and had to buy back stock to cover their losses. They eventually left their short position on GameStop, with a loss of over four billion dollars in assets last month. But Wall Street was not going to go down without a fight. Initially, investment apps like Robinhood were the primary means that private investors were using to buy up GameStop stock, until these apps placed trading restrictions on GameStop and over ten other companies because of “significant market volatility.” This caused a massive uproar among the public and users of the app because of allegations of market manipulation. Several politicians voiced criticism of Robinhood’s actions, including Representative (D-NY) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called for an investigation into why Robinhood acted to “block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit.” 

Given everything that took place, I asked Jonas Rajagopal ‘21, club leader of the Stock Market Club, to share his thoughts on these events.

How do you feel about this whole situation? 

I thought the situation was exciting. It is always fun to see Wall Street lose (though they made back most of their losses later in the saga). I think the main problem is not what happened on Reddit. It is that big hedge funds have been able to do this without punishments. They can donate to politicians to prevent the rules from changing. For example, companies like the Motley Fool can buy a stock, then invent phantom reasons to say it will rise, and their followers will buy the stock, and they make a ton of money.

Do you think the future of stock exchange is in jeopardy? Why?

I do not think the future of the stock exchange is in jeopardy. There may be some regulatory changes to prevent events like this from happening again, but anyone saying that this is the demise of the stock market is overreacting.

What do you think about the responses from companies like Robinhood and Wall Street itself? 

Initially, I thought the response from Robinhood was unacceptable. As I have learned more about the situation, I believe they had little choice. I also think their PR was a disaster and they could have handled it better. I think the system failed the “little-guy” investors. I also think trading should have been completely stopped by the NASDAQ, not just on Robinhood, and not just to prevent selling the shares. 


As of now, the massive increase in value for GameStop stock has plummeted back to earth. Although the company and stock value is in a better place than when it started, this saga has a bit of an unsatisfying conclusion, especially to those who were hoping that the stock’s price would keep on climbing. Regardless, what happened with GameStop is a historical moment for Wall Street. Even the little guys can influence the stock market if they work together, and GameStop is only the beginning. 


Aliaj, Ortenca, Mackenzie, Michael, and Fletcher, Laurence. “Melvin Capital, GameStop and the road to disaster.” Financial Times, February 13, 2021.
https://www.ft.com/content/3f6b47f9-70c7-4839-8bb4-6a62f1bd39e0.

Burbridge, Mark. “Redditors Vs Wall Street: The GameStop Situation Explained.” The University News, February 8, 2021.
https://unewsonline.com/2021/02/redditors-vs-wall-street-the-gamestop-situation-explained/.

Ingram, David and Bayly, Lucy. “GameStop? Reddit? Explaining what’s happening in the stock market.” NBC News, February 7, 2021.
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/gamestop-reddit-explainer-what-s-happening-stock-market-n1255922.

Why I Run to BUA Every Morning

by Alyssa Ahn

Commentary

February 22, 2021

There was this day, I remember. Actually, there are a lot of those days. Days when my body tenses as soon as I wake up, and I just know it isn’t going to be a good day. These are the days when I sleep through my alarm. My eyelids pop open, and I desperately dive out of bed. I rush to the bathroom, glance at my contact lens case, check my watch, adjust my mask, sigh, and rush out. And my glasses press heavier onto my skin. Those are days when things don’t go my way. 

I dash through the kitchen with a heavy backpack crushing my shoulders. I smell those delicious crispy Costco croissants before shutting the door. I run to school on those days. I run like a prowling, snarling monster is chasing me — I run like the person who dies in horror movies. I run because I’m running for my life. I know that oversleeping leads to getting to school late, which leads to failing tests, which leads to bad grades. But that’s not why I run. 

Some people walk. When they’re late, they stroll in, acting casual, saving face. I can’t save face on those days — on those days, it feels like pieces of the world are cracking off, falling bit by bit; it feels like my face is fragmented, eroding into dust, and I’m alone. I do walk into class. I act calm, keep my head down, and don’t bring others down with me — I walk into class quietly. As long as I’m still running to school, still trying, things are okay. 

On some of the days when things don’t go my way, I try to get up, and I try to run to school. But sometimes, as I get closer to the parking lot, I pause for a moment and ask, “Why am I doing this? Why am I trying — what’s the point?” And then I remember.

I remember the people who I see on those days. People who always smile when they see me and tentatively nod in my direction — I see you, and I smile back with real warmth. I remember the BUA who saw me as a girl in eighth grade. They smiled and shook my hand and said, “I’m pleased to finally meet you.” They accepted me, and I grinned when I got the box and hugged The Odyssey

When everyone has almost gone to their second class of the day, I bounce up, smile and thank my teacher, wipe my desk, collect my things, and step toward the door. My friend waits for me. She smiles and greets me. When I walk into the next classroom, the whole room is always too bright. There are people slumped in chairs and people slumped on the floor. But when class starts and a familiar, grinning face projected on the board waves at us, we all smile. We have fun, and I laugh. 

I remember the person who always walks with me to get tested and waits for me in between classes and smiles when they see me. I’m grateful for the people who see me. One gesture of kindness is all it takes to start making those days better. When I’m having a bad day, or when I’m thinking about those days when I do things wrong, when things go wrong, I remember the kindnesses — and those true kindnesses and courtesies are why I run to school. So I try to give back every day with a little extra kindness to myself and to others. Because being kind is who I am; because I have to remember who I am to experience truly happy days.

The Laramie Project: Interviews With the Cast and Crew

by Ibukun Owolabi

News

February 22, 2021
Members of Drama Club perform The Laramie Project. Dr. Larash for The Scarlet Letter

On October 6, 1998, there was a horrific attack on the life of a young man by the name of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. The suspects, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, kidnapped Matthew and viciously beat him because Matthew identified as gay. Six days after the brutal attack, Matthew Shepard passed away in Poudre Valley Hospital, leaving the world in shock. Henderson and McKinney were both found guilty of first-degree murder and were sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison. 

The death of Matthew Shepard sparked protests across the nation and was a catalyst for change. Many people in Laramie felt that no person should have to go through what Shepard went through because of their identity, a belief that was amplified by the countless protests in cities across America. On October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to “strengthen the protection against crimes based on the color of your skin, the faith in your heart, or the place of your birth… add federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”1

This year, Boston University Academy’s winter play, directed by Mr. Gardiner, shown on January 30, was The Laramie Project. The play, written by Moisés Kaufman in 2000, comprises a series of interviews with the townspeople of Laramie, Wyoming. The dozen or so members of Drama Club played over sixty townspeople, all playing multiple roles. 

This year, many clubs and sports had to adapt all that they were doing before to the “new normal.” Drama Club had the complicated task of producing an entire play in a Zoom room. As a new member of Drama Club, I asked my fellow cast and crew members to reflect on the making of the beautiful play. The following are interviews with members of the BUA cast and crew of The Laramie Project.

Mr. Gardiner, Director

What was it like to produce a play that would be performed online?

Exciting and challenging on many levels. Whenever you produce/direct a play, one of the questions is the style or look of the production. Producing a play online added a lot of new things to consider. How do you honor that this is a play, not a film, that’s presented virtually? Is there a constant look across the board? How do you differentiate locations, characters, passage of time, act breaks? How do you deal with the wide range of devices that people are using to rehearse and record? What platform do you use for presentations?  Yea. The list goes on…

How was the production process this year different from previous years?  

Rehearsals took place later in the day, since it was better to have actors home on a computer without a mask than at school masked and socially distanced. The performances had to be recorded at the beginning of the winter break so that we had time to edit the recordings together into a coherent whole by broadcast date. The actors had to be ready for performance earlier. In a normal year we’d have at least a couple of weeks after winter break to put the pieces of the play together. Those are just a few of the differences in the process this year.

In the process of putting the play together, what were some things you enjoyed and some challenges you encountered?

I was grateful to introduce students to a play and story that few of them had heard of before our production. The story of Matthew Shepard was a story of national significance and one I followed closely and was impacted by — and the play was and is an important landmark in American theatre. I also enjoyed meeting new actors and learning what they can do. [I’ve also enjoyed] seeing other actors I’ve worked with before stretch and grow as artists in ways that sometimes surprised me.

Challenges — hoo boy — just the technical difficulties, all of which had to be dealt with remotely, from “unstable internet connection” to not enough space for the actor to set up their backdrop comfortably. And of course, scheduling any after-school activity at BUA is always challenging. There was literally only one day I had the entire cast together.

Suzie Marcus ‘22, Stage Manager

What got you interested in being involved in the play?

I’ve always loved stage crew and was stage manager at my old school last year, so I knew I wanted to be involved again here. I knew the story beforehand. I had heard of the play and the real event. 

What were some things that you enjoyed about performing the play?

I enjoyed seeing people both remote and in person be able to come together to work on the play. I also loved the story and how everyone took it seriously and cared deeply about the subject matter.

What were some of the challenges you encountered?

Challenges were probably just related to communications and scheduling in general (for everyone), but for me personally, just remembering who played who off the top of my head was super difficult.

Jasper Milstein ‘24, Actress

What were your roles in the play?

I played multiple characters; my recurring role was Reggie Fluty. 

What got you interested in performing the play?

I’ve been acting for upwards of ten years, so any opportunity to be in a show I’ll take. 

Was there anything about the story that interested you in particular?

I think it’s an incredibly captivating and touching show. Obviously, it’s a tragic story, but I think that makes it even more important to keep sharing because hate crimes are still far too prevalent to this day. By sharing the story, [we’re] spreading more knowledge and bringing more attention to the issue. 

What were some things that you enjoyed about performing the play?

I think being able to dive into some of the more complex scenes and monologues was a lot of fun and provided challenges as an actor.

What were some of the challenges you encountered?

The remote aspect definitely provided some challenges in terms of communication and joint scene work but overall was not too bad to work around. 

Elizabeth Brown ‘24, Actress

What were your roles in the play?

I played a variety of roles throughout the show. All of the members of the cast played more than one role because of the nature of the show, which has around sixty-four parts. More specifically, I played Rebecca Hilliker, the Head of the Theater Department at the University of Wyoming; Father Roger Schmit, a Catholic priest; Aaron Kreifels, a college student who found Matthew Shepard; and Shannon, a friend of Aaron McKinney. 

What got you interested in performing the play?

I have loved performing since sixth grade, when I was in my first musical. Before I came to BUA, I had seen my siblings perform in a couple different shows, and I liked what I saw, so I decided to participate in this play.

Was there anything about the story that interested you in particular?

Before this show, I had never heard about the hate crime against Matthew Shepard, so the whole show was educational for me and very interesting. I also was fascinated by the close relationships that the members of the theater company were able to build with the people of Laramie.

What were some things that you enjoyed about performing the play?

I loved working with Mr. Gardiner, Kayleigha Zawacki, our video editor, and the rest of the cast on this play. Everyone was great and amazing to work with. It was also kind of cool to learn how to record a whole show from the comfort of my home.

What were some of the challenges you encountered?

It was of course very different doing a production on Zoom, and there were some kinks to work out because of that. Also, scheduling is always an issue, regardless of whether it is in person or on Zoom. 

Kasia Perks ’21, Actress

What were your roles in the play?

My roles in the play were Doc O’Connor, Zubaida Ula, Narrator, and Mormon Home Teacher.

What got you interested in performing the play?

I miss theater because it’s not as easy to do now, so I wanted to perform in this play. I’ve been in every production since freshman year, so it seemed like an obvious continuation.

What were some things that you enjoyed about performing the play? What were some of the challenges?

I enjoyed being able to act again and engage with a script, but it was hard to stay as focused as I would usually be in person.


While the recording is no longer available to the public, Drama Club did a spectacular job in carrying out the duty of bringing awareness to what happened to Matthew Shepard. In case you don’t believe me, I’ll leave you with the words of Mr. Kolovos himself: “I was struck not only by how well our cast handled the mature material, but also with how well they translated the experience to the screen. Within a few minutes, I forgot that I was in my living room watching a teenage cast.”


1 The entire speech was delivered at the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and is on Youtube under the title President Obama Commemorates Enactment of Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Double Masking Advised: The Increase in Coronavirus Variants

by Anna Augart-Welwood

News

February 22, 2021

It has been almost a year since the coronavirus was officially declared to be a pandemic, and many people are growing tired of social distancing. However, new variants of the virus have been discovered, sparking concern among public health experts. These mutations can possibly affect how contagious the virus is and the severity of the symptoms.

Every year, vaccine makers release a different flu vaccine that targets the mutation that was most common the previous year. It is unclear whether the same will happen with COVID-19. While viruses are constantly evolving, the new strains of coronavirus are more concerning because the mutations improve the virus’ so-called “spike protein,” a protein that penetrates host cells and gives the coronavirus its spiky surface. If this protein continues to evolve, the virus may eventually be able to reinfect people who have previously contracted it or have been vaccinated against it. This is because antibodies have more trouble binding to certain spike proteins, causing the virus to stay in the body longer. Similarly, certain mutations fit better into cell receptors, much like a key and a lock, causing the virus to be more contagious. For example, the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom is thought to be up to 70% more contagious than the original strain.

Researchers are unsure whether the recent increase in variants is because the mutations are more contagious, or due to holiday travel and superspreader events. Recent evidence suggests that these new strains are more dangerous. For example, the B.1.1.7 variant is thought to be 50% deadlier than the original strain; that is, the symptoms it causes are thought to be more severe. Pfizer has stated that their vaccine will be slightly less effective against the B.1.351 variant found in South Africa. Moderna believes that their vaccine will be effective against the B.1.351 variant, but not as much against others, so they are working on a booster vaccine.

While this discovery seems discouraging, there are still ways you can continue to protect yourself. Many people have begun to wear two masks after Dr. Anthony Fauci advised this practice on the Today show. According to the CDC, wearing a cloth mask over a well-fitting surgical mask can reduce up to 95% of exposure from possible COVID-containing respiratory droplets. The CDC also recommends a method that includes tying knots in the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face, which makes the mask better fitting. Regardless of these new masking techniques and vaccines, people need to be more careful than ever. This could include allowing fewer people in certain spaces, including schools, along with increased vigilance and strict social distancing. Joie Liu ‘23 agrees that people need to act with more caution, or even just the same amount as everyone had at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020.

Many people are feeling the pandemic fatigue that weighs us all down, and others have stopped following social distancing guidelines altogether. However, the vaccine is providing a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is important to remember not to lose hope. The best way to fight the virus is to continue social distancing and wearing your mask(s).


Brooks, John T., MD; Donald H. Beezhold, PhD; John D. Noti, PhD; Jayme P. Coyle, PhD; Raymond C. Derk, MS; Francoise M. Blachere, MS; and William G. Lindsley, PhD. “Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance and Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Exposure, 2021.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 10, 2021.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7007e1.htm.

Crouch, Michelle. “Most Common Symptoms of the U.K. Coronavirus Variant.” AARP, January 29, 2021.
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/coronavirus-variant-symptoms.html.

Nirappil, Fenit. “Time to double or upgrade masks as coronavirus variants emerge, experts say.” The Washington Post, January 28, 2021.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/27/double-mask-variants-guidance/.

Reardon, Sara and Smith, Dominic. “A Visual Guide to the New Coronavirus Variants.” Scientific American, February 11, 2021.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/video/a-visual-guide-to-the-new-coronavirus-variants/.

“The Coronavirus is Mutating: What We Know About the New Variants.” Healthline.
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/the-coronavirus-is-mutating-what-we-know-about-the-new-variants.

Zimmer, Carl. “7 Virus Variants Found in U.S. Carrying the Same Mutation.” The New York Times, February 14, 2021.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/14/health/coronavirus-variants-evolution.html.

Queen’s Gambit Review

by Allie Vasserman

Reviews

February 22, 2021

The Queen’s Gambit is a 2020 Netflix limited series created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott and starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Elizabeth “Beth” Harmon, Isla Johnston as young Beth Harmon, Bill Camp as Mr. Shaibel, and Marielle Heller as Alma Wheatley. The series is an adaptation of the book The Queen’s Gambit (Random House, 1983) by Walter Tevis.

The term “Queen’s Gambit” is a popular chess opening, a clue to what the series is about. The series starts in a girls’ orphanage in the 1950s where young Beth Harmon discovers that she is a talented chess player after being taught by the orphanage’s janitor, Mr. Shaibel. Girls in the orphanage are given tranquilizers, a common practice in the mid-1900s to keep children calm, which Beth takes advantage of because she believes that the tranquilizers enhance her chess playing abilities and her ability to visualize the game. Beth leaves the orphanage when she is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley. After realizing that Beth can earn money from winning chess competitions, Mrs. Wheatley becomes Beth’s manager. As Beth travels and wins at different chess competitions instead of attending school, she becomes addicted to the tranquilizers and eventually to alcohol. She befriends several other chess players after defeating them at various chess competitions. These friends later come to her aid when she needs them the most. By the end of the series, Beth learns that she does not need to rely on the tranquilizers to be a great chess player; instead, she needs to trust herself and her friends.

The series covers the serious theme of addiction by showing Beth’s struggle with substance and alcohol abuse. The series also shows the importance of family, which for Beth is not her biological family, but her adoptive mother and the friends she makes. The series makes many references to chess: for instance, each episode’s name relates to an aspect of chess, and in the first episode, young Beth’s outfit mimics a chess pawn, symbolizing that she is a beginner at the game.

When I first heard about this limited series, I was skeptical about it and wasn’t sure that it would be worth my time. I was completely wrong, and I enjoyed watching it a lot more than I thought I would. You do not need to be a chess player to enjoy this show.  The script is well-written and constructs Beth’s story perfectly over the course of seven episodes. Since the actors don’t speak during the chess matches, they rely on their facial expressions and body language to convey to the audience what the characters are thinking, making the chess matches especially enjoyable for the viewer. I think that the last fifteen minutes of the final episode are incredibly powerful and that the musical score enhanced the ending. I have lost track of how many times I rewatched the final fifteen minutes because I enjoyed it so much. The creators of the show have announced that there will not be a second season; I agree with that decision. The seven episodes provide the perfect storyline with a satisfactory endgame. This is a series that I definitely recommend watching.

Spring Semester Events Should Be Redesigned, Not Cancelled

by Aparna Deokar

Opinion

February 22, 2021

Last March, schools and businesses all over the world shut down, cancelling many events and gatherings. Almost a year later, BUA and much of the world find ourselves in the same dilemma concerning events — school is open, but events are still socially distanced or remote. I believe that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance and that therefore, having no gatherings is better than being exposed to the coronavirus. But, where we are safely able to hold events, I think that events should be redesigned rather than canceled.

Though COVID-19 safety comes first, BUA events are important too. Especially this year, underclassmen and upperclassmen don’t get many chances to interact except for clubs, and events help to build a sense of community. Mia Shapoval ’22 describes BUA’s Spring Concert as a “reward” for the hard work throughout the year — it is disappointing that there may not be a concert this year, given the way things are going. And she recalls meeting many upperclassmen at Field Day as a freshman and calls it a “bonding experience.” Where possible, I believe that outdoor events such as Field Day should be redesigned with restrictions, such as social distancing and wearing masks. For these events, not too much would need to be changed to adapt to coronavirus restrictions, since the events are already outdoors and relatively distant. It’s especially important to hold these events for seniors, who have already missed out on last year’s spring events. Elizabeth Brown ‘24 comments, “I think for smaller events, it’s probably possible; Fall Fest happened in a really fun way and the Valentine’s Day sales were still able to happen.” I agree with this statement; for in-person students, these small gatherings were still able to serve their purposes of community building.

Remote BUA students would not be able to participate in these in-person events, but ideally, enough remote events would be provided, such as Zoom Olympics, which was an alternative for Field Day last year. Even for in-person students, few events could plausibly be held without Zoom, so the other option, which I strongly support, being a fully remote student myself, is to hold more remote gatherings. Many students grumble about boring gatherings over Zoom, but we’re gaining more experience with Zoom, and events such as Trivia Night have been a huge success. However, even with restrictions, I believe that some events, such as Prom, might have to be canceled. Prom is regarded as a symbolic, memorable event for juniors and seniors, so it is unfortunate that this year’s senior class might have to miss out on Prom entirely. But dances are hard to recreate in a socially distanced way or remotely, since online Zoom activities just aren’t the same and an in-person Prom would put many of BUA’s students at risk. Elizabeth remarks, “I don’t think there would be any way that [the Valentine’s Day Cabaret] could have been redesigned to be a functional event, since it couldn’t happen over Zoom, and it would be really hard to do a dance in person.” Excluding dances, many events could potentially be redesigned using Zoom, and we at BUA should make an effort to redesign them.

March 6, 2020

by Julia Dickinson

Commentary

February 22, 2021

When most people in the United States think about the beginning of the pandemic, they think about March 13, 2020. That Friday the 13th was indeed unlucky: COVID-19 was rapidly spreading, and few understood what was happening. However, when I think about the start of the pandemic, I think about March 6, a week before the U.S. shut down. March 6 was our last pre-COVID day in the BUA building.

I remember March 6 like it was yesterday. We had taken the National Latin Exam the day before, so we chatted about the topics on it. In sophomore English, we watched a movie adaptation of Frankenstein. During lunch, we talked about the recently canceled international spring break trip to Venice and Vienna, both COVID hotspots at the time. We asked each other what fall BU courses we’d registered for, hoping to find a friendly face in class. I had just begun to block in colors for my self-portrait in art class. I went to the Conversations @ BUA discussion on the issues surrounding an on-demand economy. I hugged my friends goodbye before spring break. I took the T to concert band as I did every Friday afternoon.

The one-year anniversary of March 6, 2020 is in less than a month. As the date nears, I feel more anxious. This time of year will always remind me of the vast unknown we all dove into in 2020. It will remind me of those last unmasked conversations, those last hugs. COVID-19 was a 9.0 on the Richter Scale. It had a devastating impact that emanated through the world, causing months, even years of damage. We are still in the heat of it, with millions infected and hundreds of thousands gone, but the vaccine is our first glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. Over sixty million people have been vaccinated in the U.S. already. Each day, as more get vaccinated, the light grows. I’ve learned that you need to keep hope close to your heart. Spending too much time reflecting on the past can lead to a downward spiral; keeping the hopeful future in your line of sight uplifts you.

The Fugitive Review

by Theo Sloan

Reviews

February 22, 2021

The Fugitive is a 1993 action thriller film starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, directed by Andrew Davis, and written by Jeb Stuart and David Twohy. I saw this movie recently, and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. But what makes this movie both so effortlessly fun to watch and indescribably tense? I will explore that in this review. 

First, a brief summary of the plot: Dr. Richard Kimble, played by Harrison Ford, is falsely accused of murdering his wife, wrongly convicted, and sentenced to death. However, on his way from the police station to death row, the bus he’s in crashes. He escapes the crash and attempts to track down the real murderer and prove his own innocence, all while being tracked down by Samuel Gerard, a seasoned U.S. Marshal played by Tommy Lee Jones.

The first things that come to my mind when I think about this movie are the incredible performances given by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. This entire movie is an intense battle of wills between Kimble and Gerard, and Ford’s desperate, broken performance clashes brilliantly with Jones’ intense, brutal performance as Marshal Gerard. This conflict of personalities and motivations generates a lot of natural tension on its own. And the viewer feels torn because it’s very easy to see and understand both sides of the conflict. Ford and Jones are both tremendously entertaining to watch. Besides the performances, the other major contributor to the tension is the brutal, gritty, fantastic action. Now, I won’t lie and pretend that I’m particularly difficult to please when it comes to action, but I do think I can tell the difference between purely entertaining action and action that has substance. The Fugitive’s action scenes decisively fall into the latter category, which can be subdivided into two further distinct categories: chase scenes and gritty bursts of hand-to-hand combat. I find the chase scenes to be more tense than the action scenes because of how long and drawn out they are, but some of the grittier, more conventional action sequences are very effective too. I also really like the ending — it’s open-ended but very satisfying, leaving the audience with a fairly good idea as to what will happen next. 

The Fugitive is a truly fantastic action thriller that will have you digging your nails into the palms of your hands for the entirety of its runtime. Normally, I’d offer some critiques as well as just praise, but this movie offers a very complete experience — it is so satisfying in so many ways that any critiques I could make are overshadowed. I’d say it’s just the right length, and every scene in the movie serves a purpose. This movie perfectly succeeds at being a very fun, mildly thought-provoking thriller, and that’s exactly what it’s trying to be. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s great. If I were to score it, I’d give it around a 9/10.

How Clubs Have Adapted to Coronavirus Restrictions

by Joie Liu

News

February 22, 2021

Across the globe, the coronavirus has upheaved the lives of billions. It has torn apart families and forced many to transition to a world online. Schools and extracurriculars have had to conduct education via a digital screen. Although Boston University Academy is extremely lucky to have the opportunity to have their students be in person for their classes, it is still no exception to the larger developments, and many of its extracurriculars have been hit hard. Most notably, in order to continue meeting, many clubs have needed to use online resources, though there are still a few clubs that have managed to find new ways to meet in person. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has become one of the most powerful tools, allowing anyone to connect with others using only a computer. BUA clubs have taken advantage of Zoom and all of its features. Using Zoom, clubs have thought of creative solutions to problems, from breakout rooms to polls and even emoji reactions. In some ways, each club has had to forge its own path. Some, such as Mock Trial, Sustainability Club, and Computer Science Club, have taken routes that involve once-a-week online meetings. Others, such as Bullet Journal Club, have taken an approach with meeting times that vary. Larger clubs, such as Student Council, have also worked creatively to try to find ways to keep up with their duties. Representative Lizzie Seward ‘23 said that the climate has increased the motivation of Student Council members and that representatives are working harder this year to overcome the additional challenges and struggles that COVID-19 has brought. But although Zoom meetings are the best alternative, many still feel that they do not completely replace in-person meetings. Many students think that online communication changes the club dynamic, making it harder to connect and coordinate meetings. It is impossible to ignore these new problems. 

Although the large majority of clubs have chosen to hold meetings online, some have still found ways to physically meet. Most sports have tried to resume athletics with some alterations. All have been forced to have athletes maintain a distance of six feet apart from each other, and many have had to take extra precautions to follow rules surrounding multiple people touching a single object. Although students are happy to get any chance to play the sport that they love, these adjustments have changed the very nature of many sports, leaving students feeling unsatisfied and longing for more. This in turn has led to a lessened interest in playing sports and arguably less commitment from many players. However, after a long spring and summer without sports, many are excited to have the chance to pick up their favorite sport once again. 

Other clubs, such as Robotics Club and Fashion Club, have managed to find ways to continue their work in person. Taking over an empty classroom, Robotics Club has been able to meet most days to work on their creations. However, despite being able to meet in person, they have also had to face their own share of problems. Similar to sports, cancellations to competitions have lowered interest among both experienced and newer members, and because of restrictions, they have had to adapt to have only six people in a workroom at a time. Although they have had to deal with major setbacks, member Gabriel Romualdo ‘23 said that the situation has helped to “strengthen the team’s organization, communication, and productivity” and that many are “looking forward to a successful season ahead.” Fashion Club has also found creative ways to continue their work. Meeting in person in the art room to work on creations, founder Claire Hsu ‘23 says that the coronavirus hasn’t affected her club a lot. Instead, the club has found new ways to contribute to the climate, creating masks to sell and then donating the profits to charities in an effort to help others.

Whether holding meetings online or in person, clubs have adapted well to the pandemic, though the difficulties that have arisen from coronavirus restrictions must be noted. Clubs help bring the BUA community together at a time when it’s harder to come together, easier to become disconnected — that too must be noted.

The Little Details: What Makes Me Happy

by Olga Meserman

Commentary

February 22, 2021

Although this month and year might have been overshadowed by negative news, it’s a relief that not all is bad. There are some things, the little details, that have made me happy these past few weeks.

We all know the Bernie Sanders meme that went viral on inauguration day, but something that most people might not know is that merchandise from this meme has raised over 1.8 million dollars for charity.1 Even BUA took part in the trend, posting on their Instagram a series of photos with the picture, photoshopping Bernie on his now iconic chair into a few locations on campus.

Earlier this week, I went to a small bookshop in my town. It has a really big used book section, where I found some great books to read, including some special edition books. I’m especially excited to get around to reading One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, a mystery surrounding the murder of a high school student. 

The sunsets throughout winter have been absolutely amazing. On a late afternoon, take some time to look through your window and watch the sunset. It’s definitely worth it. The colors are beautiful — a few weeks ago, I saw sunsets the colors of pink and blue cotton candy. 

It’s gorgeous outside when it snows. I love watching the snow fall from the window in my room. I really like winter, even though we don’t have snow days this year. The snow that appeared on February 9 made me happy: I went outside and made a snowman, something that I haven’t done in a while. I was excited to see my neighbors also building a snowman, a very impressive one, standing seven feet tall.

I’d encourage you to find things that make you happy this week. They don’t have to be big: take time for yourself; go to a bookstore; watch the sunset; build a snowman — it doesn’t have to be seven feet tall.


1 Judy Cole, “Bernie Sanders Memes And Mittens Have Now Raised Over $1.8 Million for Charity,” Good News Network, January 28, 2021,
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/bernie-sanders-mittens-and-memes-help-raise-1-8m-for-charity/.