Five Things You Should Know This Month: November


Photo by JeepersMedia (licensed under CC-BY 2.0)

This month brings news of everything from elections to college admissions. Tune in to see what's happening in the world around us.

Laura Slater, Website Editor


1. Fall of Golden State, Rise of the Rest 

    As the professional basketball season gets into full swing, the murmur and buzz of playoff potential and rising stars has been even louder, especially after the news of star player Stephen Curry’s hand injury, which will likely have him benched for the majority of the season. In the midst of his injury and others, the Warrior’s currently hold the NBA’s worst record (2-8), a dramatic leap from the dominating team from years past, and even Bleacher Report has called their 2019-2020 starting lineup “unrecognizable”. In a surprising and significant turn of events, one of the greatest teams of all time has taken a less than graceful fall to the bottom.


2. The State of Our Climate 

    With the rise of young activists like Greta Thunberg, our climate and the heated conversations over the problems and solutions continue to make headlines. Yet, progress in any direction doesn’t seem to have been made. As more leaders and scientists declare the state of today’s climate an ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’, the more frenzied the predictions and conversations seem to be. Amidst the commentary from all sides, the takeaway is: climate change affects each and every one of us, and with no action, we all lose.

3. Democrat Victory

    With presidential elections looming, no one seems to know exactly what will play out, and polls so far appear to offer no definitive answer on how the country and voters are feeling. With all the suspense, the recent state-level elections have offered a somewhat surprising insight. With two Democrats gaining control in historically Republican states, the voting trends may be shifting. Not just any shift either – this is the first time in decades that Virginia has been under Democrat control, and similar trends appeared in other areas that have long been Republican bases.

While Kentucky and Virginia may seem removed from our own elections, the voting trends give important insight to the political climate of the upcoming 2020 election – for some of us the first time we’ll vote.


4. College Board – the for-profit ‘non-profit’

    College Board: an organization we often don’t give a second thought to, although recent reports making their way to the public might change that. Amid some controversy, the truth of how much money College Board really makes is coming to light as lawmakers call for a review of the way the organization has been selling student data (including names and personal information) to colleges and raking in profits off of the SAT. Thousands of students across the country utilize College Board resources and take the SAT every year, meaning a stream of money for the supposed “not for profit” organization. As reported by CBS News, colleges can purchase a student’s name and information off of College Board for 47 cents apiece. To put that in perspective, more than 2 million people took the SAT in 2018 – multiply that by 47 cents, and you’re almost at 3 million dollars. In an age where we have begun to question the merit of standardized testing, the College Board isn’t helping the case.


5. Raging Fires in California 

    While politics, education, and money are all the talk, California is on burning. In what seems to be a never-ending trend of flames, more devastating wildfires burn throughout the state, bringing back recent memories of the deadly and destructive Paradise wildfire. The raging flames are a possible calling card of climate change, and the repercussions are felt all around. By itself, California has the fifth-largest economy in the world and is a major producer relied on by others. Continuing fires and environmental struggles could send economic ripples throughout not only the U.S but the world.

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