This weekend in downtown Menlo Park See insert in this issue
T H E H O M E TO W N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N LO PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D W O O D S I D E
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Bridging the Divide
New tech center aims to take kids across and beyond the ‘digital divide’ See Section 2
2 N The Almanac N July 13, 2011
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Reviews â€“ Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Weekly
h -Y FAMILY HAS BEEN COMING HERE FOR YEARS )TS THE BEST GARDEN CENTER IN THE AREA THE PRICES ARE VERY FAIR CONSIDERING THE AREA AND THE STAFF IS UNBEATABLE ) WOULD RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TO ANYONE WHO WILL EVER NEED TO BUY A PLANT OF ANY KINDv
Lowry Yankwichâ€™s guiding passion has been music.
Graduate: â€˜Be open to spontaneous thingsâ€™ This profile of Menlo School graduate Lowry Yankwich was written by Palo Alto Weekly education writer Chris Kenrick as part of a graduation package.
pontaneity, caring and sanctuary are a few of the things that have helped Lowry Yankwich through high school. An athlete and serious classical pianist, the Menlo School graduate said heâ€™s had the most fun by â€œbeing open to trying anything, and then allowing myself to commit a little, and then more and more.â€? In seven years at Menlo, thatâ€™s added up to a long list of engagements, including lacrosse, track and four years each of cross country and soccer. He also argued in Mock Trial and sang with Menloâ€™s Chamber Choir and a smaller madrigal group. â€œBeing open to random, spontaneous things is extremely rewarding and fun. And actually caring about the things youâ€™re doing has been really good,â€? he said. Through it all, his guiding passion has been music. Since the age of 6, he has studied
piano with Diane Smith of Menlo Park and â€” because Ms. Smith is Canadian â€” competed annually for the past seven or eight years in the Royal Conservatory Music Festival in Ontario. Contestants must prepare a wide-ranging repertoire in baroque, classical and romantic categories. â€œYou enter classes with other students, and you play your Bach piece against their baroque pieces,â€? he said. While finishing his final semester at Menlo School, he also took three major piano exams, in performance, theory and counterpoint. He said he doesnâ€™t know exactly why heâ€™s gone so far with piano. â€œAt first I needed encouragement, but thereâ€™s a certain point at which youâ€™re sort of good enough that the music sounds nice and you like what youâ€™re playing, and from there I really liked music.â€? So much so, that before enrolling at Stanford University, he will take a â€œgap yearâ€? to live in Montreal and study with a teacher in St. Adele, Quebec. Playing piano, in fact, has been a stress-management technique
in high school, what he calls one of his sanctuaries. â€œI have physical places I go if I need to. I need quiet, normally.â€? He favors sitting on the ground and leaning against a particular fencepost in Eleanor Pardee Park in his Palo Alto neighborhood or long walks in Atherton near the Menlo campus. Or sitting down to play a Chopin ballade, with his own story to the music going through his head. Much as he loves music, he says heâ€™s likely to major in something else once he gets to Stanford â€” neuroscience or behavioral economics are high on his list at the moment. He will most miss the teachers and sense of connection and community at Menlo School but will not miss Menloâ€™s relatively small size. The connections enabled by modern technology are a blessing and a curse, he said. Social networking offers â€œa lot of opportunities to define yourself, learn more about people and even approach people,â€? he said. â€œOn the other hand, nobody â€” including me â€” knows how to stop.â€?