ABAC Stallions surge ahead of GSW Surge

     The weather is heating up and so is the semester for the ABAC tennis team, which scored big wins at their home match against Georgia Southwestern University (GSW) on March 8. Fellow students, friends and family of players from both schools came out to support their teams.

     After a rough start to the semester with several losses, the men’s team took a commanding presence on the courts. They ended the day with a 7-2 victory. Nick Rosatti, an assistant coach for the team, was “extremely impressed” with the men’s performance.

     “We overcame an early break at number two doubles to take a 2-1 lead,” he said. The performance in singles was equally good, he said. “Number four and five singles played well under pressure and won two very close matches.”

     Gabriel Sa, in his final semester at ABAC, started off with a 0-3 deficit in number five singles but came back hard in his second set to a 7-5 7-5 win. Other players on the men’s team worked just as hard for their wins. Frederic Fibleuil, a sophomore, played hard in singles and doubles, in which he was partnered with Lukas Zavrel.

     “I really liked how I performed with my partner. We played well in doubles and didn’t leave any opportunity for our opponent.” It was especially good to experience a win at home. “We do not have the opportunity to play at home every day, that’s why we gave everything.”

     For many of the players, including Fibleuil, this match was their last home match before they finish their time at ABAC, making it an important and bittersweet moment for the team. While the women’s team struggled, only coming away from the day with a 1-8 loss, Agustina Diaz is proud to have taken home a win in number one singles, in her last home match as a Filly.

     March 8-11 takes the team to Pensacola where they will spend the weekend competing against some of the top teams in the country. From there, the team will play in various matches through the rest of the semester in preparation for the national tournament in April.


A rebuttal to ‘American Infanticide’

     Abortion. The word evokes many strong emotions. For some people the word means women’s right to choose their futures, for others, the word means murder. Some people refer to it as some kind of “American Holocaust,” as the author of the opinion piece “American Infanticide: The Final Solution 2.0” did in both the title and in the piece itself.

     Right from the start, it’s important to say that comparing abortion in America to the Holocaust is, at best, ethically grey. Comparing abortion to the suffering of millions of people, including the survivors who are still living today, diminishes their suffering.

     To suggest that anyone can find “comfort” in the Holocaust because it ended 70 years ago suggests that there is a comfort to be found in the horror of the Holocaust. If someone feels that abortion is an atrocity, an act of genocide, then it’s worse to “rank” tragedies, to suggest that one horrible event is more horrible than another.

     Most opponents of abortion, like the author, suggest that women choose abortion for the sake of convenience. But in a 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute, shows the complexity of why women choose abortion.

     While 74 percent of the respondents to the survey said that having a child would “dramatically change [their] life,” 73 percent also said that they could not afford the cost of having a child. Of the respondents, 48 percent said that they were avoiding single motherhood, or were having problems in their relationships that they were avoiding bringing a child into. A third said that they were not ready to have a child.

     Finally, 13 percent had an abortion due to concerns about the health of the child, and 12 percent because they were concerned about their own health. Concerns about education and employment were also a common thread in the study.

     Those statistics go to show that the choice to have an abortion goes much deeper than convenience. “But adoption is an option,” so many people say. However, the numbers tell a sobering story and reveal a reason that women might not want to give up a child for adoption.

     According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 437,000 children were in the foster care system in 2016. During the 2016 fiscal year, over 273,000 children entered the foster care system, and around 250,000 exited the system. The number of children in foster care has been steadily rising; according to the report, in 2012 there were almost 397,000 children in foster care, and the number has gone up every fiscal year.

     Can one blame a woman for not wanting to have a child only to give it up to a system in which they have no guarantee of finding a home, a system that some children remain in for years? The median amount of time that children remain in foster care is two years, but the older a child gets, the lower their chances are of being adopted.

     It’s easy to look on from the outside and say what women “should” do, especially when you’re not a woman who might be faced with that choice. To claim that the choice is easy, that it’s simply for the sake of convenience, ignores the complex reasons that might cause a woman to make that painful choice.

     You want women to bring a child into the world that they may not be able to provide for? Make access to healthcare, paid maternity leave and childcare more affordable.

     Start fostering children and encouraging people to adopt, rather than telling women to give up their child to a system that seems cold and unforgiving. And if you’re a man who thinks he knows what is best for women, maybe it’s time to sit down, shut up, listen and learn.


ABAC’s tennis team starts off semester

     The semester is officially in full swing for the ABAC tennis team as they took on their first matches of the season at Middle Georgia State University (MGSU), Georgia Southern University (GSU) and Troy University. While not all the matches were wins for the team, the players still feel strongly about what the season holds.

     The Fillies played at MGSU in Macon on Feb. 10 and ended the match with a fantastic 9-0 win. While their 7-0 loss at GSU on Feb. 16 could have put a damper on things, the Fillies still celebrated their win and the lessons they learned over the matches.

     The Stallions also took on MGSU but ended the match with an 8-1 loss. They took on Troy University on Feb. 15 and took another loss of 5-0. Juan Pino Contoleon, a sophomore on the team, took two defeats and said, “I didn’t feel like I wanted to keep playing. But with the help of the coach, I know I can improve.”

Nick Rosatti, who works with the team as an assistant coach after playing with them for two years, felt optimistic.

     “This weekend was many of our players’ first exposer to the competitive atmosphere of Division I tennis. Overall, I was proud of the confidence displayed.” He said that the players remained flexible and coachable even through some particularly tough matchups. “As a result, we went to some third sets and put up more of a fight than our opponent might have expected.”

     These matches have helped the team set goals to pursue throughout the semester. Some are small, like giving their all, even in practices. Other goals mean pursuing the chance to go to the national tournament in Arizona in May.

     In terms of growth for the team, Rosatti said, “We could have demonstrated more intensity and presence of mind during really important points.” He adds that “Our team learned the value of evaluating certain scenarios. In other words, there are some points where you simply cannot lose the point.”

     He is hoping that the team will work on their focus on the court, and understand that “A single point can be the turning point, especially for the momentum, in a match.”

     The tennis team will move forward with a match against Georgia Southwestern on Feb. 27, at 2:00 p.m. at the Red Hill Athletic Center on the ABAC campus.


Is the 21 Savage situation funny or upsetting?

     On Sunday, Feb. 3, rapper 21 Savage was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on charges of being in the U.S. illegally. According to ICE, he is a British citizen in the U.S. on a visa, which had expired. According to his attorneys, Savage (whose real name is Sha’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) had reapplied for a visa in 2017.

     In the wake of the arrest, memes about 21 Savage began circulating the internet, along with jokes about his arrest and his deportation. One such meme was originally tweeted by Chris Brown and appeared to use a clip from a music video of 21 Savage to make fun of the legal situation that he is currently experiencing.

     While some might say that the jokes are all in good fun, and that no harm is intended by sharing memes and “humorous” posts, that doesn’t negate the harm that they do. American or British, legal immigrant or not, 21 Savage is a human being with a family that depends on him.

     According to his lawyers, he was not only brought to the U.S. as a child, but he was already taking steps to ensure that he remained in the country legally. Mocking a situation that he and many others are experiencing while being separated from their families and not knowing what will happen next does nothing but make light of the fact that people are suffering.

     Would the people making jokes at the expense of this rapper be doing the same if he wasn’t famous, or if he was an immigrant from Mexico or Central America? Would they laugh about his separation from the people they love?

     If the answer is no, then the question becomes why they think it’s wrong to mock other detained immigrants but not to mock 21 Savage. If the answer is yes, then the question becomes why they find the situation amusing.

     Not only has 21 Savage been detained, but as of Friday, Feb., 8, he was being held in the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA, from where many reports of abuse of detainees have originated. Rolling Stone ran a report on Feb. 7, detailing the conditions that researchers, former detainees and attorneys have reported from the facility.

     Several news outlets now have stories that mention the conditions at the detention center. This makes it even more sobering that people are so quick to make fun of what happened. It took 21 Savage getting arrested for major news outlets to start reporting on conditions in detention centers.

     The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is not a joke, just like the arrests and detention of the thousands of other immigrants being held in the U.S. is not a joke.


‘The Magicians’: a grown up spin on fantasies

     When trying to describe a show like “The Magicians,” it can easily be called an “adult” version of “Harry Potter” with a splash of “The Chronicles of Narnia.” While the comparison isn’t wrong, “The Magicians” is so much more than a grown-up version of childhood stories.

     Based on the series of books by Lev Grossman, “The Magicians” follows a group of young adults who attend, a college of sorts for magic. Brakebills Academy can sometimes feel a bit like Hogwarts, with students doing magic everywhere one looks. But with wild parties and lots of romance from across the spectrum, the students at Brakebills are nothing like Harry Potter and his friends.

     When Quentin Coldwater and his best friend, Julia Wicker, are invited to take a test for entrance to the school, both of their lives are set on new paths. Quentin passes the test, and is accepted into the academy, where he becomes something of a legend for his skills with magic.

      Julia, on the other hand, fails the test and goes back to her everyday life, but keeps searching for a way to practice magic, with or without the school. As he learns more about magic, Quentin discovers that Fillory, a world from his favorite books as a child, is real, and ends up going there with his new friends from the school.

      The show, soon to begin airing its fourth season, has been nothing short of a roller coaster. Bringing in supernatural creatures like fairies seems like it would make the show childish and fairytale-like, but the show never loses its grounding, even when bringing literal gods to life as Quentin searches for a way to keep his world safe.

      The show is gritty, and while it sometimes borders on the ridiculous, “The Magicians’ isn’t afraid to make fun of itself as characters quip about how utterly ridiculous their lives have turned out to be, and old fantasy tropes are turned on their heads.

      The series has one serious flaw that may turn some viewers away. That flaw is the plot. Zooming from one world to the next, creating alternate timelines and finding impossible loopholes means that the story can become confusing. Blink and you might miss a crucial plot point that completely alters the story. In other words, if you are a casual viewer who likes to play on their phone or do homework while watching TV, this show may not be the one for you.

     Despite how strange “The Magicians” seems when compared to other popular fantasy titles, it is a series that is worth the watch, it puts a fun, more grown-up spin on the types of stories that we grew up reading.