Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22 and Hareem Rauf '21
Dear EA Community,
Welcome to our second edition of The Cupola for the 2020-2021 school year!
Transitioning back to school-wide distance learning hasn't been easy, so we'd like to thank EA faculty and staff once more for their outstanding dedication to educating students in the midst of the pandemic's evolving challenges.
Furthermore, as we dive into this year's holiday season, we hope you all stay healthy and celebrate safely. Celebrations may look different this year, but holiday sentiments can be just as vibrant as years' past.
This edition features current events, news, opinions, holiday recipes, and even poetry!
We hope you enjoy, and we wish you the best!
Hareem Rauf '21 and Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22
The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably changed all of our lives, and, most severely, taken the lives of countless others. While we approach this year’s holiday season, I think many find it more tempting than ever before to meet with family and friends. After all, COVID-19 has transformed birthdays into virtual celebrations, cancelled proms, limited gatherings, and physically separated us from our loved ones. Eight months have passed since the beginning of the pandemic, and, understandably, restricting ourselves from meeting with others can feel increasingly difficult, even painful, as more time passes. We are also stuck in a particularly odd stage of the pandemic at the moment. A semblance of our former world emerged this summer when restaurants began to reopen and sports and activities restarted. Yet, cases are now skyrocketing while the semblance of our former world dances around us, taunting us with the idea of our old lives and ways. In turn, adhering to safety guidelines and reinvigorating the same sense of caution we developed at the beginning of the pandemic grows even more important as we grow more susceptible to disregarding them.
During the holidays, many of us take time to reflect on our past year, give thanks, spread love, and demonstrate caring for others. Therefore, although adhering to coronavirus safety guidelines is always imperative, I believe it is especially appropriate during the holidays. We can give thanks to health care workers simply by staying home and slowing the spread of the virus. We can spread love to our household members simply by showing our willingness to stay home and reduce their risk of exposure to the virus. We can demonstrate caring for others simply by staying home and thereby saving perhaps even distant strangers from the agony of losing a loved one. And lastly, this tumultuous year has given us unique food for thought to fuel our end-of-year reflections. We have a special opportunity to do all of these things within the comfort of our own homes, maybe even within the comfort of our own rooms or the chairs we sit in. I don’t think we should waste it.
Regarding holiday safety measures, the CDC states: “Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread.” Additionally, Illinois recently enacted Tier 3 mitigations to combat the current surge in coronavirus cases. Governor J.B. Pritzker encapsulated Tier 3 mitigations with the guideline: "If you don't need to do it, don't." Tier 3 mitigations do not include a stay-at-home order. Nevertheless, Pritzker confirmed that “the best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay home."
The coronavirus pandemic has been taking over our lives since early March, and recently, with a new indoor dining ban, it has been difficult for smaller businesses to survive.
In downtown Geneva, my mom owns a coffee house/dessert shop called Hey Sugar. Hey Sugar opened in mid-August, which helped them boost business because of the timing. Customers came in large lines often, and we were able to seat people indoors. Many people sat inside, but a large number of people chose to walk around or eat outside because of the nice weather. With the weather getting a bit more chilly, it has slowed down business a little, but with the new dining restrictions, it’s been difficult. Per the restriction, you can only have 25% capacity in the space, and no indoor dining or seating is allowed. You can come in and order, wait, or pick up, but you can’t sit inside. This is worse than ever currently because customers won’t sit outside to eat their dessert; it’s cold. They would want to be seated inside, but that is restricted, so it’s slowing down business.
With the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and the shortage of tests, researchers are seeking new methods to identify the presence of this deadly virus in individuals. Dogs, as it turns out, are great detectors. Researchers in Helsinki, Finland have recently brought well-trained coronavirus-sniffing dogs into the Helsinki airport as a pilot program to detect the virus. This new method involves the dogs sniffing samples of sweat collected from wipes of volunteer passengers. The test takes about 10 seconds as the sniffing dog signals whether the sample is positive or negative. A passenger obtaining a positive sniff is immediately directed to the airport’s health center for a free coronavirus test.
Dogs are known to have a sharp sense of smell. They also have a history of being able to sniff out contraband in luggage or illnesses such as cancer and malaria. These factors make them great candidates for detecting COVID-19. Researchers have trained these dogs to detect the virus by making a specific sound and giving a treat when a dog indicates a positive sample. In a test trial in July after only a week of training, researchers found that dogs were able to distinguish between the infected and non-infected sample with a 94% success rate. Although scientists do not know what exactly the dogs are sniffing in the infected person’s sweat, there is strong evidence that an infected person secretes a unique odor that dogs can detect. These coronavirus-sniffing dogs are an effective method for testing COVID-19 and can ultimately become a worldwide thing. They are not easily infected by the virus, nor do they pass it on to people or other animals. However, scaling up this program would be challenging, as thousands of dogs would have to be trained and assisted by handlers in public. Researchers are assessing how long the dogs can work in a day before getting tired and needing rest. However, with enough dogs and resources, this method can be very beneficial for countries.
Folklore is the eighth studio album by Taylor Swift. It was released on July 24th, 2020. For Swifties, the fact that Taylor released such an amazing album during our tough time of 2020 is a miracle. Taylor Swift has been known for her songwriting skills, and this album shows how she has mastered it through story-driven narrative and her choice of words.
Folklore is quite different from Taylor’s other well-known previous albums like Reputation, Red, or 1989; Taylor went from creating upbeat pop tunes to more mellow tunes. Folklore is considered an alternative and indie album. Of course, everybody will have different opinions on which songs are the best in the album; The top 5 songs that people listen to the most on Spotify are: “Cardigan,” “The 1”, “Exile,” “The Last Great American Dynasty,” and “My Tears Ricochet.” Every song has a different story to it. Folklore has 16 tracks in total.
I personally really love the album and every single track. When listening to Folklore, you can imagine that you are sitting in a small cottage on a cool fall afternoon enjoying the moment with a hot drink in your hands while listening to Taylor singing in the same room. If you have listened to Folklore and enjoy it, then that’s great! If you have not listened to it, you should consider it because it’s such an amazing album. Give it a try; you would like it!
Flowers in the Cracks
Vansh Haridas '21
I live in a world
Filled with deceit
But if you look around
There are small flowers
That if you pay enough attention to
Filling this world
That’s gone absolutely crazy
With the fresh scents
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies Recipe (from Delish.com)
Anika Jaitley '23
If you enjoy the flavors of fall, these pumpkin sugar cookies will make your Thanksgiving meal dessert extra sweet!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Cookies
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting
1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
Pinch kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Scoop a tablespoon of cookie dough then roll in sugar. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake until cookies are lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make frosting: In a large bowl, beat all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Frost the top of each cookie with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Are you looking for a delicious hot chocolate recipe? If so, you are at the right place! With winter rolling around, I think it's essential to have a yummy, warm drink recipe handy. The regular hot chocolate that comes in packets is good, but if you want to step it up a notch and make a creamy, decadent, chocolatey drink refer to the recipe below:
Serves: 1 person
What you will need:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tablespoon espresso powder
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon water
2/3 milk (any type)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, and water in a small pot
Whisk together the ingredients (medium-high heat) until you get a smooth, even texture
*tip: make sure to keep an eye on the mixture and frequently stir to avoid it burning
Add in the milk and cream and whisk until its steaming
*tip: once again, make sure to mix often to prevent burning
Turn the heat down (medium/medium-low) and add in the chocolate chips
After the chocolate is nicely incorporated into the mixture, pour it into a mug
Now for the fun part: add your toppings!
I love to add whipped cream and marshmallows to mine, but you can add different toppings or no toppings at all. You can add extra chocolate as well!