The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte


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Editorial: Have A Citizen Summer


As the school year comes to a close, many students will have much more time to get involved in current events. Oftentimes, students think that the news is not applicable to their daily lives. However, one of the parts of being a Benjamin student should include knowing about social and political events around them. This summer, students should keep up with the news and break out of their Benjamin bubble.

Throughout the last year, the Benjamin community, in addition to the rest of the world, has faced adversity and many situations that require adaptations. Some challenges that have come across the Benjamin horizon in the past year include an alumnus death from overdose, students using social media to post intolerant words and photos, as well as criticism of the reading curriculum from parents because of political views. This has raised conversations among students and their families.

Because of these situations that the world has presented recently, it is absolutely necessary for everyone to learn more about their surroundings. It can no longer be acceptable for students at a school with such great accolades and resources to not be aware of the harsh realities that their peers and the rest of the world are facing. Therefore, The Pharcyde has a few suggestions to help you become a more worldly student.


Reading newspapers is a source of information that not enough of our generation takes advantage of. Publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have proven beneficial to all audiences for reasons including learning about the world, connecting you to other points of view, and increasing your vocabulary.

Students at the Benjamin School are given free accounts for the New York Times until they graduate from the Upper School. This incredible chance to elevate your knowledge should not be overlooked.

Not only does this help you mentally, but reading articles in these publications gives you exciting topics to discuss with possible employers or mentors. Improving yourself through reading the newspaper is a great way to make your summer more productive. The Pharcyde also provides a lot of information online for anyone to read. We talk about in-school and out-of-school problems. This information can be found on The Pharcyte as well as in the physical Benjamin newspaper. Be sure to use this as a resource, to ensure that you are well- versed in the events of the school community as well.

Watching the News

Turning on your television or opening your computer to watch newsreels on YouTube is relatively easy. This is why the summer is the perfect opportunity to get into the habit of watching twenty minutes of news a day whenever you can find the time. These channels can offer breaking news that will keep you informed while also allowing you to learn more about global culture.

The absolute best way to watch new channels is to watch ones that have different biases to get a fundamental understanding of the situation. For example, if you start by watching Fox News, switch to CNN or MSNBC afterward. One objective source for either news articles or broadcasting is NPR the National Public Radio. People commonly build political bias against others by only taking in one side of the story, which leads to a skewed perception of what is really going on. Whether you agree or disagree with someone, it is still helpful to hear what other people have to say about a topic. This allows you to understand how your peers could be viewing certain issues, therefore bringing you together rather than creating more of a political divide.


Another great way to not only hear about global news but also analyze and hear different points of view on top- ics plaguing the world is through podcasts. These features on culture, fashion, and the lives of popular influencers have become very popular with Gen Z, but there can also be more stern podcasts discussing controversial and political topics.

These globally in-tuned podcasts can offer students a more interesting and informative way to hear about current issues and why they matter.

Some political podcasts worth listening to are Left, Right, and Center hosted by David Greene, as well as The Political Scene hosted by editors and writers of The New Yorker. Both of these podcasts air weekly, host various different guests, and discuss all of the latest relevant news.

Many students already have subscriptions to Apple Music or Spotify, so use these mediums to find political and financial podcasts that you like and that interest you. Listening to or watching these discussions between informed people can offer insight into so many topics that are less widely talked about.

Non-Fiction Books

If you are not an avid TV or podcast watcher, non-fiction books offer a chance to revisit past global conflicts or learn about news from first-hand sources. Many historical novels are written by the people who were actually involved in the events discussed. This allows readers to gain a more personal understanding of how history developed over time and through circumstances.

This summer, go to Barnes and Noble and pick out a few historical non-fiction novels that interest you. A few books that could enhance your knowledge include I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Squirrel Hill by Mark Oppenheimer, and Disloyal: A Memoir by Michael Cohen. Reading a few non- school books can be very beneficial to both your in-school current issue knowledge.

Students, establish this summer as your “Citizen Summer.” Become more culturally and socially aware of both Benjamin and non-Benjamin issues. Use outlets such as news channels, newspapers, podcasts, and non-fiction books to continue to be informed. Remember, all it takes is twenty minutes a day of learning through these resources to be a more involved and educated person.

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