Spring Elections implemented for Student Government

School News

By Audrey Weiss

On Wednesday, April 19th, students at Baltimore School for the Arts received an email, detailing that “This year BSA’s Student Government Association (SGA) will be holding Spring Elections.”

The Student Government Association sent out the email to announce a big change in the way that the SGA will work for its next cycle and get the ball rolling for potential candidates.

Elections, which in the first two years of the BSA organization had occurred first in November 2021 and second in October 2022, were now to occur at the end of the school year.

The idea was first brought to SGA President Quinn Bryant and Vice President Brayden Hamilton at a planning meeting for Expressions.

The pair then brought the idea to the co-advisors of the SGA, Megan Grouzard and Jocelyn Providence, before the idea was extended to the entire Student Government Association.

This change was decided on in the current SGA session by the current representatives, citing a variety of reasons and justifications that point to why a spring election will greatly benefit the productivity of the club.

With representatives being selected a few months after the start of the school year, working time was being lost, and with much of the  school-wide annual planning occurring at the beginning of the year, the student voice provided by the SGA was cut out of the picture.

Additionally, SGA teacher advisors shared that the BSA Foundation had requested more Expressions input from the student representatives.

This could be provided during the preliminary planning of Expressions that occurs at the beginning of the school year.

Moreover, spring elections as a concept for student governments is not at all unheard of.

“We are the outliers” was a realization from club co-supervisor Meg Grouzard that arose when communicating with other school SGA overseers. Most high school SGA organizations run their elections in the spring.

The one main concern brought up within the SGA dialogue considering the alteration of election schedule was that of freshman representation with student government.

One possibility of a freshmen secretary position was struck down by an SGA vote, and the representation was left in the hands of another category: club representatives.

“We will try to encourage clubs to send freshmen representatives so that we can have a full spectrum from the student body,” advisor Meg Grouzard explained.

With this concern addressed, the introduction of spring elections was ready to be rolled out.

The timeline, presented in the SGA interest meeting, mimics the timing used in the previous elections.

A three-week campaigning period will begin on May 3rd, the deadline for campaign filing on the 15th, and elections will take place on May 24th and May 25th.

After school on Friday, April 28th, a sparse group of students gathered in Ms. Grouzard’s classroom for the SGA interest meeting, the first opportunity to get information on candidacy for any of the SGA positions.

The briefing featured advice from current president Quinn Bryant, calendar details, and explanations of how the elections will be conducted.

The meeting established that once the new appointees are voted on by the student body, the work of the student government will begin as this school year closes out.

The possibility of meeting during the last week of the 2022/23 school year was floated in the interest meeting as an opportunity for the newly elected officials to determine a start date for next year and work out the initial planning for the SGA.

As the current Quinn Bryant—led administration is phased out, the alternate schedule that they put in place will shape the operation of the third generation of student government at Baltimore School for the Arts.

Now it is up to the potential candidates to start their campaigns by May 15th and battle it out for a position so that they can work to represent their peers.

To contact this writter email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org

Photographs taken by Asad Ali for the BSA Muse

The Sophomore Film: Behind The Scenes

The Arts

By: Lucy Garcia

The Charles C. Baum Film and Visual Storytelling Department here at Baltimore School for the Arts is jam-packed with projects, productions, and complex creations. There is not a moment in the school year where film students do not have individual projects to complete or stories to write. 

However, every year, one big production assignment is given to each grade. The seniors have that year’s Expressions video, the juniors have their episodic films, and the freshmen are busy learning the foundations of cinema. 

The sophomores are tasked with their first big production: the sophomore film. 

The sophomore film, a project from the minds of department heads Beatriz Bufrahi and Thomas Ventimiglia, was created to be a teaching tool.

The film is a staple in the sophomore curriculum and has been in practice since the film program was first created in 2017. It is used for sophomores to gain experience on set, to work on problem solving, and to develop their skills as filmmakers. 

The sophomores begin working on the film a little before halfway through the school year, and eventually it is premiered at the annual End of Year Screening at BSA. 

“The first year is set around the frame,” Beatriz Bufrahi said, “So, the freshmen have photography, storyboard drawing, animation… but then in sophomore year it’s skill building, and the accumulation of that skillbuilding is the sophomore film.”

The film is a student based production, using only the equipment the sophomores have access to, paired with a small budget for wardrobe, make-up, and props. The entire film, including scripts, shot-lists, and storyboards are all original student work. 

In the early stages of planning, the sophomores get assigned production positions in the film, such as director, gaffer, audio, etc.

However, the procedure with the role of the writer is slightly different than the rest. Every sophomore is required to make treatments, beat sheets, and finally, produce a script. A vote is then held amongst the students, and the winning script gets transformed into the sophomore film. 

And through that process Henry Schmid-James came up with the script for this year’s sophomore film. 

“The title is Senioritis. It follows a group of restless students in their last year of high-school, and their attempt to pull off one of the craziest senior pranks their school has ever seen,” Schmid-James explained. 

Once the script is chosen, heads are butted, rewrites occur, and wardrobe, actors, and set locations are decided. With these decisions complete, filming can finally begin. 

Filming, for any cinematic piece, is constantly a stressful stage. Guaranteed, there will be problems. There’s not enough time, miscommunications occur, and sometimes it feels as if the entire universe is working against you and your project. 

“The most stressful part about making this film was definitely the constant battle against time,” Sophomore and Assistant Director Toni Wells disclosed. “The fact that we had very little time and so much to shoot left the whole cast and crew stressed throughout the eight days of filming.”

In a war with deadlines, actors, and clashing opinions, film sets can often get overwhelming and unpleasant, but there is no time to halt the production. When issues come up, there is no option but to persevere. 

“The most stressful part is having to keep going with production when issues come up. Having a deadline to work through issues is very difficult, but so far it’s worked out with good management.” Georgie Restauro, another sophomore and PA, stated. 

And while filming may be the worst of times, it is also the best. 

For every bad moment, there is always a good one that counters it. Every crisis is eventually justified by the satisfaction of creating something with your own mind and hands. There is the beauty and brilliance of wrapping a shot, of the final take of the final scene.

The fulfillment that comes with finishing a film is undeniable and is definitely enjoyed better with a team. 

“As writer and director, I try to help oversee all of the creative and technical aspects, but it’s really the whole class that makes the film.” Schmid-James said. 

The film is a team effort, and everyone contributes to the long creative process. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is the sophomore film.

“To me, the sophomore film is a really big moment for collaborative work. Maybe the biggest they’ve ever had, because this is the first production where everyone is together. Everybody is so on point because they have to be, because they don’t want to let anybody down. So everybody is super focused, super on point and it has been really amazing,” Bufrahi explained. “There’s always a difference between students sitting in the classroom and then being on set. That’s where they really, like, supershine. All of them.”

While the film not only helps the sophomores develop their cinematic skills, it also helps them develop relationships with other branches of the school. The main department that helps with this film each year is the acting department. 

In the sophomore acting department curriculum, there are two weeks reserved for the sophomore film. Through a careful and precise audition process, a group of actors are selected based on the film’s needs. 

This year, the main actors for Senioritis include Nefer Purvis, Ellie Schmid-James, Charles McLain, Lailah Jaan, and Zemirah Blount.

With the Film and Acting sophomores working closely together for two weeks nonstop, beneficial work relationships often blossom. The film helps place people together who otherwise may not have interacted.

“I’ve been able to connect with people more and talk to people I probably wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the project, like certain actors,” expands Restauro.

And while good work contacts are always needed, friendship sets the tone for the set, and can create a comfortable atmosphere. While it is imperative that actors and film crews stay professional and get their work done in a timely manner according to their schedule, it never hurts to have fun with the people you work with. 

“My experience on set is very fun… we get hair and make up done and it feels very professional,” actor Ellie Schmid-James explains. “They kind of just order us around and we go with the flow, but we’re friends. There’s no power imbalance, we’re all just friends and we all have fun. I really enjoy it.” 

But even with a good script, good actors, and a good production team, it can still be nerve-wrecking showcasing the final product to an audience. 

“I’m really scared, honestly. There are a few jokes in there that might land horribly… There’s lots of room for error. I’m so excited for BSA to see it though. I think the film department has this stigma attached to it, that ‘we don’t do anything.’ We do so many things, but we’re never given a platform to show the stuff we create to the school. Even if half the stuff we make is crap, film deserves an audience just like everyone else,” says Henry Schmid-James.

When in front of an audience, nervousness is expected, but excitement often exceeds any negative emotions. The film department thrives off of taking pride in your own work, so despite the fear that accompanies bringing your creations to the public, it is important to remain confident in your endeavors. And to absolutely never forget how proud Beatriz Bufrahi is of her students.

“I am so, so proud,” Bufrahi begins. “I mean, even if they’re in a bad mood, they still work. They still get the job done. Seeing them collaborate with each other, seeing them problem solving, and seeing them engaged, it’s all so amazing, they’re all so invested. It really is all so beautiful.”

To contact this writer email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org

Photographs taken by Alex Taylor for the BSA Muse

What Your Mode of Transportation to the Fourth Floor Says About You

Opinion

By: Scarlett O’Comartun and Jude Harvey

Many students roam the halls of Baltimore School for the Art’s very own fourth floor. Said floor is home to some of BSA’s brightest teachers, for example, Valerie Johnson, Ileana Imhoff, and Maria Tronolone. 

But how do students get to this sweet haven you might ask? And what does it say about them? 

Main stairway – Risk Takers 

The main stairway is for people who are either going to get water in the middle of class or who have incredible amounts of patience. You have guts if you go up the main stairway. 

You have  top-notch behavior when going up or down this red carpet. It is the perfect place to show off the outfit you had planned the night before or strut your stuff in front of your hallway crush. 

Although it might not be avoidable, the main stairway is only safe in the dead middle of class periods. For if one attempts during transition periods, the possibility of tripping and ramming into another student’s crotch is enevedable. If you take these stairs, you are a risk taker. 

You probably really like The 1975 or wear those slippers made of rubber golf balls. You have no fear and don’t mind the awkward smile you have to exchange when you bump into someone and they turn around to glare.

The only upside to the main stairway is when the devil has taken over you mid-academic class and your absolute quench for water becomes your main priority, then you can race down those main stairs like your life depends on it and feel that sweet paper rim on your tongue. 

Then those steps are like walking down a cloud. Or those foam slippers made out of rubber golf balls. 

Back stairway – Go Getters 

Although the back stairway may seem like a place to hike up your Y2K low rise jeans, eat an in-between class granola bar, or take a moment of peace, it’s not. Many people take this route, even though it’s shadowy and lacks renovations. Watch out for running into Mr. Ventimiglia. 

But do take a second to stand and watch the choir class as they sing along to Mozart on the second floor through the tiny window. 

On your way to your after-lunch classes, be sure to watch out for the hundreds of empty water containers right by the door; or are they modern art? We will never know. Stay clear! 

Be sure to be cautious when exiting to the first floor through these stairs because you will have to successfully navigate through the backrooms of the stage design and production department if you ever want to see the light of day again. 

Make sure to add the looming doom of the stage design room that you pass in between the first and second floor to your phobia list. 

You also might bump into the occasional class-skippers who think they’re being sneaky by lurking in the shadows of the dark halls. 

If you take the back stairway up, you’re a go-getter! A fast walker who just hates staring straight at people’s behinds as they move at a snail’s pace up the stairs. You enjoy the Silence of the Lambs aesthetic and find comfort in the Brazil-like, uncanny valley atmosphere. 

Front elevator – Newbies

The front elevator is located to your left as you walk through the front doors and is a well-lit and obvious way to get to the fourth floor. The ride takes you to many stops, including the second floor, for musicians who don’t like walking up the stairs. 

This elevator is almost always jam-packed. If you are coming from a crowded class or lunch period, be prepared to be uncomfortably close to people, hear their music full blast through their earbuds (or with no earbuds at all!), or  be turned away awkwardly by the already sardine-packed students in the elevator. 

And be sure to protect your sinuses from the whiffs of Ariana Grande perfume you will inhale. There will also be a stop at the third floor where people will complain about how it is not that far from the lower floors and students should just walk.

If you take this elevator, you are either more of a newbie or a teacher. You like the obvious way and have not yet learned, or simply do not care, that there are less stressful ways to make your way up to the fourth floor. 

Back elevator – Subtle Loners

The back elevator, which you can find to your right as you walk through the main doors, is more exclusive. Even though it’s in clear sight, people tend to forget about it due to the dim lighting. 

But, if you learn the ways of it, you can learn to enjoy its fake wood paneling and slight smell. This lift’s basement stop also comes with a free show! Students get the joy of gawking at the set of abandoned washing machines as they wait somewhat patiently to hear those music-to-the-ear elevator dings. 

If you take this elevator, you are more of a subtle loner. You enjoy the peace and quiet, but like seeing a few film students taking giant carts of film equipment down from the third floor. 

You’re a mellow student, but probably take weekly trips to the nurse because you “have a migraine.” 

You may be the kind of person who enjoys a bit of Arctic Monkeys or wears sweatshirts with niche pictures on them that only certain people would understand. You probably have Letterboxd and are sure to ask Mr. Roblin if he “ever had an emo phase” so you two can relate. 

This is also the elevator that defiant visual artists slip into on their way to the top of the building in the morning in an attempt to get out of the routine bag checks. We see you! 

SPECIAL OPTION:

Main stairs, film stairs, then main stairs – Free Spirit

If you decide to take the long way to the fourth floor, which is up the main staircase, through the music department, up the stairs leading to the film department, and then up the main stairs, you are a stroller. 

You are a wanderer, a free spirit, and a nomad. You’re a real Jack Karouac, On The Road! You don’t need no schedule and no man! 

When given an icebreaker on the first day of school, such as two truths and a lie, one of them is definitely your star sign, and Never On Sunday is where you call home. 

You are almost always late to class because it takes 15 minutes to go this way. Some of your favorite activities might include going to the bathroom during class and sitting on the toilet on your phone, starting BSA finest people instagram pages, and eating those smiley face french fries in the cafeteria. 

In conclusion, we all fit one of these stereotypes, even if we would not like to admit it. And we most definitely all know the back stairway go-getter or a front elevator noob.

So next time, join those free birds on their way to the fourth floor. Or take a risk and walk down the main staircase at 3:51pm. 

We can all find contentment in the fact that no matter what way, route, or mode of transportation students take to the fourth floor, We all have shortness of breath far into our next class.

To contact these writers email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org.

Photographs taken by Quinn Bryant for the BSA Muse.

OP-ED | Tyre Nichols

Opinion

By: Malik Savage

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who lived in Memphis, Tennessee, was brutally assaulted and ultimately killed by five Memphis Police Department officers. The incident has reignited debate over the decades-long issue of police brutality, especially in the newer age of video and social media. After being captured on film by police body cameras and a nearby pole camera, footage of the encounter spread like wildfire on the news and social media. But what complicates this case is that all five officers involved in the killing were also Black: Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith, and Tadarrius Bean.

This cuts against the routine narrative of excessive, targeted police violence simply being the result of individual or interpersonal racism; in other words, the “bad apples” in a good system. After George Floyd’s death at the hands of officer Derek Chauvin, then-National Security Advisor for the Trump Administration Robert C. O’Brien took to CNN to say, “We have got great law enforcement officers, not the few bad apples, like the officer that killed George Floyd. But we got a few bad apples that have given law enforcement a bad name; 99.9 percent of these guys are heroes. […] I think they’re the minority. […] and we need to root them out.”

The danger of this argument not only lies in its dismissiveness of the issue, but also in its shift of blame. In his statement, O’Brien had no issue seeing that Chauvin be blamed for Floyd’s death, but while personal accountability is especially important, it can remove focus from the bigger picture: the system. If one only focuses on the individual, nothing else changes. The idea that these cases of excessive police violence are incidental encourage complacency in small steps toward progress. The firings and arrests of these officers does offer a sense of justice, but it doesn’t dismantle the system that produced them. It is not only necessary that we remove the bad apples, but that we also chop down the tree responsible for their initial growth.

Newer cops who join the force are compelled, if not trained, to assimilate into that police culture, pushing their limits of authority to the extreme. But the officers who killed Tyre Nichols were not new; all five had been employed in the Memphis Police Department since 2020 (Haley and Bean), 2018 (Martin and Smith), and 2017 (Mills). These are notions embedded into an officer’s psyche early into their career, so consequences only propagate as time goes on.

This span of consequence from police culture—from the direct permissiveness of violence to an overall lack of accountability—calls for public action. For insulation to be disrupted, the force must come from outside. A way in which individuals can help disrupt this is to watch the videos that are released of these encounters in order to combat the policing culture that allows excessive violence to pervade and go unpunished. However, the funnel through which the video is being seen is an important caveat. In today’s age, the spread of misinformation runs rampant on the Internet, and spreads well beyond the heart-wrenching genre of unequivocal police violence footage, admitting space for false narratives. On the opposite end of the spectrum, social media—especially Twitter—allows for videos to be uploaded with very little to no context, so people are inclined to make uninformed judgments. This is also harmful to the cause of dismantling the police system.

One sound way of receiving information regarding police encounters is through visual investigations and articles, such as coverage by the New York Times. Robin Stein, Alexander Cardia, and Natalie Reneau’s “71 Commands in 13 Minutes” is an article which analyzed the videos released of Nichols’s encounter, offering detailed information and context necessary to form illuminated judgments, all without even having to watch it. The Times has also released investigative coverage on the cases of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. When researching such disputed information, it is important to make the distinction between whether it is being distributed with the intention to enlighten, or to push a particular agenda.

Although difficult, this is how the system can be worked against from outside. An institution designed for public safety cannot be allowed to operate largely in private, especially in such a culture of protecting and promoting officers prone to violence.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org.

Headline photo credit goes to Gerald Herbert for the Dallas Morning News.

AI Art: Friend or Foe?

The Arts

By: Lucy Garcia

When you search up the words “World famous paintings,” classic pieces like the “Mona Lisa,” and “Starry Night,” come up. These paintings have two things in common. Firstly, they were created with human hands, each stroke of a brush unique to the painter. Secondly, each one of these recognized paintings took years to make. 

The famous quote, “All good things take time,” has always applied to art, but with recent technological advances, many artists are beginning to doubt it. 

So, what if we could make these paintings in the same style, the same genre, even with the same unique flair as previous paintings, but with a fraction of the time? With websites everyone has access to, as opposed to traditional art supplies? That’s precisely what AI Art does. 

AI Art (art made with artificial intelligence) has slowly begun to infiltrate the high circle of craft. 

Artificial Intelligence is the field of science where machines are programmed to mimic human action and intelligence through different algorithms. 

The roots and concept of Artificial Intelligence date back to the 1800’s, with the actual implementation of AI starting around the 1940’s. However, AI didn’t truly flourish until the 2010’s, when Apple created Siri and the first self-driving car passed a state driving test

In 2015, a scientist by the name of Alexander Mordvintsev created a generator called DeepDream in order to study and figure out how these algorithms learned visual concepts. From there, the AI art world expanded. 

Artificial intelligence was then transferred over into the arts, where digital generators take in words like “Van Gogh Painting,” or “Picasso Art,” and the computer then combs through the internet gathering data until it can generate an image that reflects the information it has stored. 

These machines are designed to recognize patterns from anywhere on the web in order to conjure up similar ones. However, this can be incredibly problematic. More often than not, the images that AI collects are taken without permission, without proper credit, and without compensation. 

Anyone with their artwork online, from world renowned artists to smaller indie creators, can’t escape the scrutinization from AIs. This could be considered a possible copyright issue, as well as an infringement on personal privacy and people’s own hard work.

Many artists are concerned that since a new, alternative, cheaper form of creating art has emerged, that their services will no longer be needed. Since an AI can recreate anything, any style, or any genre, many are beginning to wonder if AI will replace human creativity. 

When asked if any part of AI art concerned her future as an artist, freshman visual artist Lotus Pryor responded, “Yeah, it does. You know, what if AI art becomes the new standard, but then there’s people with actual real talent in this world? Not saying that AI art isn’t real talent, but there are people that work hard, and then there are people making millions off art they didn’t even put much effort into.”

Due to all the controversy around AI, many exclude it from the world of art and consider AI to be a fraud. However, some people don’t. In 2022, the winner of the Colorado State Fair Digital Art category was Jason M. Allen, who submitted a piece called “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.” 

However, Allen’s submission wasn’t like everyone else’s. The piece was created by the AI Midjourney, a popularly used program in the AI Art world. Allen defended his work and his honor by stating that he had been transparent with judges about the piece and its origins, yet Allen was still dragged by the art community. 

Many accused him of cheating or breaking the rules. It was a big debate whether or not the art was a form of plagiarism, using the argument that while Allen was the one to use Midjourney and contributed edits to the product, the majority of it was done by a computer taking “inspiration” from everything else on the internet. 

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum are the positives that many creators have pointed out about AI. With AI art generators continuously being created and uploaded to the internet, they may be the more convenient option for everyone. 

Many AI art users argue that these AI Art generators, the majority of them free and easy to use, seem far more accessible than $100 art supplies at overpriced stores. 

 In fact, the image below was created by an AI art generator called Dream by WOMBO. It only took the AI a little over 25 seconds to generate a piece of art from the words: “a robot painting a picture.”

A piece of AI art created by Dream by WOMBO based on the words“a robot painting a picture.”

With AI being the much cheaper, faster, and available option, some creators have taken the plunge and switched. Some people have even begun to sell prints of their generated artwork as a way to make money

Throughout history people have feared the unknown and the uncharted, and many of these discoveries have introduced new beginnings, not endings. When asked if AI art was either the end of human art or a new beginning, Pryor responded, “I think both. It could be the beginning of a new type of art, but it’s also lowering the standard for what we classify as art as well.”

With the use of AI still up in the air, only time will tell the true effect that AI will have on the world of art. 

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org.

Artwork created by Crystal Gonzalez for the BSA Muse.

The Hunger Games: BSA teacher edition

Teen Topics

By: Tessa Lake-Goldstein and Elizabeth Schmid-James

Disclaimer: The decisions and details of this article are all based on interviews and facts, not the personal opinions of any writer on staff. Teachers were asked about weapons of choice, anticipated strengths and weaknesses, potential alliances, etc and were aware of their participation in the article’s topic.

Trigger Warning: Violence

Welcome to the first annual BSA Hunger Games! A ruthless battle amongst our very own faculty members. 22 teachers divided into 11 districts will form alliances, sabotage their enemies, and fight to be the sole survivor. Join us as we introduce our tributes. 

District 1, Boss Babes: Rosiland Cauthen (Roz) and  Dawn StricklandDistrict 2, Bearded Bros: Frank Roblin and Tom AskeyDistrict 3, Chatty Cathys: Abby McKelvey  and Valerie JohnsonDistrict 4, Threatening Thespians: Tony Tsendeas  and Paul ReismanDistrict 5, Fearless Forces: Becky Mossing  and Beatriz Bufrahi (Bea)
District 6, Wise Wizards: Mei-Lin Fegan and Megan BremerDistrict 7,  Empathetic Educators:Ileana Imhoff and Rachel DuffyDistrict 8, Stealthy Scientists: Gerad Bandos and Shalise AllisonDistrict 9, Intellectual Inscribers: Damien Ford and Lucia LeeDistrict 10, Quizzical Queens:Anne Laro and Erica Tolentino
District 11, Sneaky Spiders: Jocelyn Providence and Joy Bacon



LET THE GAMES BEGIN! 

The tributes stand in an open field, a cluster of weapons in the middle of them. They are surrounded by a deep wilderness filled with trees spanning miles back.

Day 1: 

Tensions are high as our 22 teachers prepare to enter the arena. They have been working tirelessly this past week, honing in on their weaponry skills and mastering the art of survival. Lines were drawn, making alliances clear,  enemies clearer.

After an anxious week of waiting, the countdown has finally begun. “FIVE” the teachers step onto the platform that will open into the arena, and seal their fate. “FOUR” their hearts start to race and their palms start to sweat. “THREE” the doors start to open, revealing a woodland landscape with a cornucopia in the middle. “TWO” the tributes look around, relishing in their last moments of teacher companionship before ties are broken. “ONE” they brace themselves.

But before the whistle is blown, a cannon fires, signaling the death of a tribute. Bacon of District 11 sneezed so hard from her seasonal allergies that she fell off her platform too early and was eliminated on the spot.

“LET THE GAMES BEGIN”

Roz, Tony, Abby, Strickland, Bremer, Duffy, Providence, and Becky bolt to the cornucopia. They are eager to get their hands on a what’s inside. The others scatter into the woods, desperately trying to hide and secure their safety. 

Roblin, using only his fists and dashing charisma, attacks Paul, who stands frozen on his platform, unsure of what to do or where to go. A cannon fires. Roblin wipes his bloody knuckles on his shirt, used to the harsh lifestyle from the countless street fights he endured as a child. 

Inside the cornucopia, havoc has ensued. Roz and Duffy both have their sights set on the bow and arrow and are playing a very intense game of tug of war. Roz has opted for a more persuasive approach, attempting to use her people skills to obtain the coveted bow and arrow. 

However, Abby, eager and ready to win, sneaks up from behind the dueling pair and spears Duffy. Her eyes meet Roz, and panic flashes across our beloved principal’s face. Before Abby can strike again, Roz takes the bow and arrow and runs in the other direction. Abby turns to Strickland and Bremer, who are fighting over a canteen of water, and throws her spear with frightening precision. Two more cannons go off.

Tony and Becky, who have become fast friends during training, are now in the middle of a wrestling match over a set of daggers. The thespians have turned on each other. Before a winner is decided, Becky falls dramatically to the ground, clutching her back. Tolentino has hit her with an arrow from her sniping position atop the trees. Her years in sports have come in handy. 

Tony is left shell-shocked and ghost-ridden as he makes a mad dash to the forest, in search of shelter and safety. Everyone else still amid the weapon clash sprints to the safety of the forest, and an eerie silence falls over the tributes. Surrounding the cornucopia lie Imhoff and Bremer, one trampled by the fierce boots of Askey, the other caught in the crossfire of Abby’s determination.

In the forest, alliances have been foraged. Laro, Bea, Lee, Fegan, Roz, and Tolentino have joined together as one big group. Roblin and Askey have opted to tackle the competition as a duo, confident in their connection as bearded brothers to carry them through. Johnson and Abby have also opted to travel as a duo; while not Johnson’s first choice, her previous kinship to Abby has left her no choice but to ally with only those she has complete trust in. Ford, Allison, and Tony decide to go solo, trusting no one but themselves.

That night, 9 faces were projected into the sky. The faces reveal the beloved teachers who have fallen victim to the day one slaughters. 9 gone, 13 remain. 

Day One Eliminations: Paul, Bandos,  Bacon, Duffy, Imhoff, Strickland, Bremer, Providence, and Becky.

But the party is just getting started….

Day 2:

Day two may have begun, but there is no rest for our tributes. Nobody has been disloyal yet in an alliance, but the night is young, and people are already starting to draw suspicion. While Laro is taking watch, allowing the rest of the group to sleep, she silently stabs Fegan and dumps her body in the bushes, utilizing her knowledge of decomposition as leader of the Green Team. She claims Fegan ran off during the night after she faced an intense round of scrutiny from her group. 

Meanwhile, Roblin and Askey are having a very different kind of evening. Trusting wholeheartedly in each other, the bearded bros opt out of taking turns sleeping and instead whisper back and forth fond memories they have of their lives together back in district 2, snuggling tight for extra warmth. 

Johnson and Abby decide that sleep is for the weak and instead go hunting while the sun is down. They find Ford asleep in a log and Tony defenseless in a tree. They stealthily take them both down without alerting the other groups of their location. Two cannons fire. They fistbump, a job well done. 

Chaos ensues the following morning. “Over here!” yells Bea. “I think I found one!” The group rushes over to the empty cornucopia, where Allison has set up camp. “This’ll be easy. Poor girl is all by herself,” says Tolentino, aiming her bow and arrow at Allison’s heart. But the fools have fallen straight into her trap. Before Tolentino can release her arrow, Allison throws a bomb. The arena explodes, bodies are thrown into the air, and the ground is destroyed. “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” 

The cannon goes off. Five deaths. Limbs lie scattered around the cornucopia and the grass is dyed red with blood. Allison smirks to herself and runs off to find her next hideout, and her next victims. 8 gone. Only 5 remain. 

Day Two Eliminations: Fegan, Laro, Tolentino, Lee, Bea, Roz, Tony, Ford 

Who will be the last one standing?….

Day 3:

Our final five are jittery as they near the end of the games. The bearded bros have set up camp in a cave for the remaining time, hopeful that the toughness of the rock will mimic the toughness of their gameplay. You know it’s getting rough when the math teacher is pulling out metaphors. 

The men are hungry and eager to get their hands on some meat. Askey ventures out at midnight in search of a stray deer. 

He has nothing but himself and his nunchucks to brave the wild woods. He hears a rustling in the trees and whips his head around, nervous as the darkness encapsulates him. Then, before he can so much as bat an eye, Allison comes falling from the trees, arms out in front of her like claws as she pounces on Askey, killing him with brute strength. He lets out a scream for Roblin as all life flushes out of his face, a cannon goes off, and we’re down to four. 

As soon as the cannon goes off, Roblin awakens from his slumber, terrified that his one true companion has vanished. He doesn’t even need to venture outside to see the face flashing in the sky. He knows deep down that Askey is gone: his heart is broken, and his life is now meaningless. Out of pure sorrow, Roblin eats a handful of poisonous berries before taking his final breaths and joining his fellow bearded bro in heaven. 

Allison is riding a high, her ego soaring after numerous kills are credited to her name. But she’s hungry for more. She spends the rest of the day searching for Abby and Johnson. Little does she know, Johnson is plotting to take down her only loyal ally herself. 

Unbeknownst to any of the hunger games staff, Ms. Johnson sneakily obtained a manual of every rule and layout of this year’s teacher hunger games. She knows every trick we have planned, the location of all the water, she even knows where the rabid animals are kept. She leads Abby to a watering well filled with killer leeches, buttering her up with compliments about her college counseling abilities for this year’s graduating class. Abby is caught up in the excitement of her beloved seniors, raving on and on about their acceptances, when suddenly she gets pushed from behind by Johnson. Her last breaths were spent looking at her only friend, now turned enemy. 

A cannon goes off as Johnson turns at her heels, not an ounce of guilt in her consciousness. Two remain. 

It’s a rough battle to the end. Three painful hours go by before the two women eventually cross paths. It’s an awkward encounter, history and science teachers clashing, but that tension is channeled as Johnson makes the first move. She attacks  Allison, using only brute force and her experience growing up with fighting siblings to carry her through. The two tumble and turn through the trees until Johnson has Allison pinned to the ground. With a final blow the cannon goes off, and Allison lays on the floor of the forest motionless. Johnson cackles, power at last. 

Day Three Eliminations: Askey, Roblin, Abby, Allison.

THE VICTOR OF THE 1ST ANNUAL BSA HUNGER GAMES IS: Johnson

To contact these writers email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org.

Photograph taken by Grace Sutherland for the BSA Muse.