Image for post
Image for post
(Source: Alejandra Villa Loarca)

Towards the end of last summer, I was a bit jealous. I kept hearing from many of my friends that there was this guy named Josh always inviting them to hang out. Why was I never called? Who was this “Josh?” Of course, after some much-needed clarification, they were referring to independent Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan and, no, they weren’t having massive ragers. They were canvassing neighborhood streets for his 2019 re-election.

With his legion of high school volunteers, Lafazan soared to re-election, winning 69% of the vote. I got a chance to speak to him and asked what…


Image for post
Image for post
(Source: Simon Dawson, forbes.com)

Pimply teens in business attire filled the crowded prep room, already resembling the corporate consultants and cable news pundits they would one day become. It was 2017 and after doing Extemporaneous Speaking — a type of competitive high school speech — for only a year at this point, I already had mixed feelings. I had a community in Forensics — as we call it in my school — but I was getting tired of the cut-and-dry, formulaic thinking that Extemp in particular encouraged. This predictability was somewhat of a necessity, however. …


Image for post
Image for post
(Source: elearningindustry.com)

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” my ninth grade English class read, turning the well-worn pages of Romeo and Juliet. A few years later, my classmates and I would read Toni Morrison offer a much starker perspective on identity in her book Beloved:

“Definitions belonged to the definers, not the defined.”

Among the majority of my classmates, Beloved was the first book we read in school by a black author. It got many of us thinking about how lacking our education has been, particularly in Social Studies and English, in the perspectives of marginalized people.

Bill…


Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Alicia Tatone, theatlantic.com

Welcome to an idyllic, suburban town where the post-war split-levels block out the horizon. Sprawling villages full of modern McMansions on the outskirts of town give our region its affluent reputation. Yet, when I sat down with three high-performing high school seniors in our intensely competitive high school for forty minutes before one had to rush to his next AP class and the other two to their jobs at a nearby laboratory, “affluent” was anything but how they described themselves. Discussing application fees, Robin said:

“All of us exist in that middle income area where we don’t have that much…

Asher Gladstone

Loves history and politics almost as much as Kurt Vonnegut novels.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store