Winners and losers of 2016

Winner: Pokémon Go

Yes, it caused car crashes and people walked off cliffs, but I can’t imagine getting through summer work experiences without Pokémon Go. Like most things these days, Pokemon Go was short-lived, but it brought many of us urban dwellers into the vast outdoors, a necessity often neglected during the school year.  

Loser: The Press

As a staff member for a newspaper we find it difficult to hear those around us and all over the United States claim they, “don’t trust the press.” Such a statement is vast and sweeping, it would be like saying “I don’t trust food.” While there are certainly some foods not to trust, like 3-week-old milk, food is such an extensive category it is not wholly untrustworthy. But it is undeniable that components of the media failed in 2016, especially during the election cycle. Screaming floating heads reinforced partisan lines and entrenched ideals on most national broadcasting networks. Stories of Hillary Clinton’s emails scandal and “racist” Trump supporters holding confederate flags distracted viewers from policies and platforms. Ugly rhetoric sums up the crux of many stories in 2016. Let’s hope 2017 brings more respectable reporting.

Winner: ASL BYOD printing

A controversial winner to say the least, but the combination of the minorly inconvenient nature of the system and the idle disposition of the student body is saving this planet. By making printing just slightly more difficult, a hefty portion of the high school has refused to subscribe to the new system dramatically reducing its carbon footprint.

Loser: Hygiene  

Housekeeping had to put up signs in the restrooms that read: “Please remember to flush the toilets.” A pillar of civilization is the ability to use the bathroom correctly. If we fail at the most rudimentary of tasks we are nothing more than savages. Let’s get our act together.

Winner: Underdogs

It’s the year of the underdog! Anything could happen in 2016 and just about everything did. The previously anonymous Leicester City Football Club reached heights thought impossible for the small club by becoming Premier League Champions. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years! Even ASL had their own underdog with Varsity Track & Field winning an ISST gold medal for the first time in over 20 years. An outsider also found his way into arguably the highest office in the world, fuelling the notion that you don’t need experience to succeed. Despite most polls, a bankrupt businessman and real estate mogul got all the way to the White House and not even “Jeb!” could stop him. No matter your politics, Donald Trump was undeniably the winner of 2016.

Loser: Attendance on girls soccer spirit day

The days of hosting ISST tournaments may be numbered, so when the girls varsity soccer team hosted the tournament at Canons Park this year there were high hopes for fandom that would send Cobham back to Surrey as losers. However, on the day of the semi-finals, a Friday afternoon when school was canceled, attendance was lackluster at best and on the day of finals it was shameful.

Winner: The English department:

One of the most under recognized departments in the High School. English Teacher Eve Ellis represented ASL English well by winning the Winchester Poetry Prize. Overall English teachers give 5-minute breaks during class more than any other department – cue a cheeky trip to the bake sale. Even the Social Studies department is taking a page out of English’s book, moving towards elective-based curriculum for upperclassmen non-AP classes.


Loser: Social media

Facebook is now Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. (Exhibit A: Instagram Stories, filters on Facebook video chat and Messenger). Basically, Facebook is so rich they just bought all their competitors. (If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.) And Vine is dead. At least we still have Twitter. Everything you see on one platform you are bound to see again on another one. It used to be entertaining, but now it is one repetitive, addicting cancer of procrastination, memes and advertising. Social media is just a giant communal pool on a summer day: No one wants to be there, but there’s nowhere else to go.


Written by Deputy Editor-in-chief Martha Collins, Lead News Editor Sourna Daneshvar, Jr. and Editor-in-chief Tyler Skow