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URLINGAME B theburlingameb.org

February 13, 2020

Issue 5 Vol. 129


C AREE R DAY I NDUS TRI AL DE SI G NE R “ I ’ m a n i n d u s t r ial designer, and I work in t h e d e s i g n d e p artment of Logitech. My b a c k g ro u n d h a s been in applied arts and d e s i g n a n d h o w to actually create and d e v e l o p p ro d u cts for people.” -Olivier G re g o ire

M E D I A M A RK E T I N G M A N AGE R “ I a m the socia l media ma rketing ma na ger for freedom financial network in San Mateo. I am in charge of being or representing the voice for our suite of companies, building our customer base, growing ou r market and talking to a lot of the clients that are currently with our program on the different social cha nnels.” -Kimberly Oca mpo-Sha w

F I RE F I GH T E R PA RA M E D I C “I’m a firefighter paramedic for the Centra l County Fire Depa rtment. I’ve been w orking here for two years. I first started off with Cal Fire and worked there for about five years and then came here as an entry level firefighter. ” -Micha el Cla nk

A I RLI N E C A P TA I N “I’m an A320 captain for Ala ska n Airlines. I’m a lso a n instructor, proficiency check air man and I lead a tea m on upset prevention recovery training in airplanes.” -Joe Emerson P H OTO S B Y H U B E RT CH E N

PHYSI C AL TH E R A PI S T “ I w o r k w i t h p a tients in trying t o re c o v e r b a c k to doing t h i n g s t h e y l o v e. A lot of times p a t i e n t s h a v e h ad an injury or a c c i d e n t t h a t p revents them f ro m b e i n g a b l e to walk or w o r k o r g o t o s chool, and s o m y j o b i s t o help people re c o v e r p h y s i c a lly and even e m o t io n a l l y f ro m th e in ju ry.” - G r a c e Wa n g

Career day exposes students to new career opportunites BY HUBERT CHEN

Senior Reporter

about potential future careers. “It was a very interesting experience, and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about these careers that I was interested in,” sophomore Zubin Bhaumik said. “The speaker for the Marines talked about how he was deployed and got to explore the world, and I thought that was pretty cool since he just got to see so much of the world and do the job that he loves.”


Burlingame hosted a career day on Feb. 11, with over 50 professionals from many different backgrounds, including four Burlingame alumni. The last time Burlingame had a career day was in February 2018. “We had a number of speakers who had spoken in 2018 that returned, but we also brought in

some new community industry and representatives to join us this year,” career coordinator Carrie Hermann said. “We also added some really dynamic speakers with various backgrounds including some trades [because] sometimes students don’t always do a traditional four-year college path.” Students responded positively to the career day, saying that it was a good way to get knowledge

Freshman English classes merged for next fall BY AMELIA HARRIS

Copy Editor

Next year the administration will remove freshman Advanced Standing (AS) English from the course option list, merging all freshmen into the same level of English. By removing the class options, the administration hopes that more students will feel confident taking AS English as sophomores. Vice Principal Valerie Arbizu, a former English teacher, realizes that incoming freshmen often choose their English class based on their friends’ or parents’ opinions and do not feel comfortable changing pathways in later years. “When we looked at the demographics of who was starting in AS and staying and who was starting in CP [College Preparatory] and staying, there was a pretty big diversity gap … That’s a concern if you’re trying to connect your community, and kids are self-selecting right away into a system that divides them,” Arbizu said. For some students, the idea of a lesser academic challenge is disappointing. Freshman Ana Lunaparra is taking AS English this year and enjoys the in-depth class discussions as well as the preparation for future Advanced Placement English classes. “[Freshmen will] be able to learn similar things and be on the same page, but students that want to learn more advanced things won’t be able to,” Lunaparra said. However, the idea of combining more confident English students with the general population offers a way of equalizing the play-

ing field. “I feel like [combining the classes] would boost the confidence of people in normal English, but I feel like some of the more advanced students would feel like they shouldn’t be there, like it’s too easy for them,” freshman Brooks Bolton, a current CP English student, said. With the new curriculum, all freshmen will read the same material. Instead of teaching “Jane Eyre” to AS classes at the end of the year, all students will read “Fahrenheit 451,” according to English teacher Sophie Abitbol. The freshman English teachers are also discussing other changes, such as eliminating independent reading, although nothing is set in stone. While Abitbol acknowledges that some students may feel that the class is moving more slowly than they would like, she thinks that students will ultimately be able to adjust and succeed. “The idea here is that everyone feels more prepared. And so while [students being bored] might be a disadvantage, the positives that we’re hoping will come about, including everyone feeling prepared. And everyone feeling more connected, we’re hoping that that counterbalances those feelings,” Abitbol said. With these changes, Arbizu emphasized that she hopes students will feel more connected and improve the culture of their class in the years to come. Though it will be an experiment at first and may have some difficulties, the English Department and administration is excited to see how the new English structure benefits students.

W H AT ’ S



Exploring meme culture as a teenage coping strategy.


The Black Student Union celebrates Black History Month.


Learn about the man feeding Burlingame’s bird population.


“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”: The Article



The surreal escape of meme culture: how memes give teens a way out

Chief Photographer


Being a good person means acting out of the kindness of one’s heart without anyone watching or expecting any form of recognition in return. With that in mind, how many people are actually good? During the Australian wildfires, people’s true goodness (or lack thereof ), was revealed. For example, Australian natives Chris Hemsworth and Nicole Kidman both made considerable donations towards the cause. In this instance, it is easy to see the good intentions behind these donations, in that both are attempting to rebuild their home. But other celebrities throw money at causes, like the Australian wildfires, in order to better their image. Despite the fact that being good means acting without expecting recognition, celebrities and people in general continue to do good in order to receive some form of praise. Billionaire Kylie Jenner perfectly exemplifies this trend. Jenner posted an Instagram story describing the impact of the fires on wildlife and then proceeded to post a photo of herself wearing mink slippers. A little counterintuitive. After facing major backlash from fans, Jenner donated $1 million to the cause which seemed to remedy the situation. Thinking about this, my natural pessimism leads me to believe that many people simply create the illusion that they are good so they can conform with and achieve society’s expectations. This means that

every public act of kindness may, in fact, be an act motivated by selfishness and a desire to better one’s image. We want to appear to be good because it means we will be able to look in the mirror and like who we see. Also, we know that in order to fit into society, we need to seem good. But seeming good and actually being good are far from the same. This pessimistic outlook that everyone pretends to be good is only furthered by the fact that the people who criticize celebrities for not donating, do the exact same. Without being in the spotlight and feeling the pressure of millions of fans, most ordinary people do not donate to charitable causes. We do not apply the same high moral standards to ourselves that we do to celebrities in order to continue calling ourselves good people. Delving into this reveals a very depressing and unfortunate truth. We all want to appear kind, selfless and generous. But the acts we commit in order to create that image may create the opposite effect. On the surface, being a good person seems like a fairly black-and-white concept. Unfortunately, it is much more complex. To be a truly good person, one has to do things without looking for some form of gratification, but solely to help others. Pretending to be good only pushes one farther away from actually attaining that goal. It is undeniably hard to be a good person. But we should always strive to do it because, again, we want to like the person we see in the mirror. That is what should motivate our every action.

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Design Editor Sports Editor Chief Photographer Business Manager Webmaster Copy Editors


The spotlight bringing out the good in celebrities BY HANNA SATO

February 13, 2019


Sports Editor

Let’s face it: we are all at a point where life kind of sucks. We’ve been thrown into a world riddled with environmental, social and cultural issues beyond our control. And yet it has somehow become our responsibility to fix them. Our generation faces unique challenges like increasing competitiveness in schools, the impending doom of climate change, a massive national debt and much more that has somehow become our problem despite us having caused exactly none of it. In response to this pathetic heap of end-of-the-world scenarios and depressing news, our

nation’s teens (or the majority of them) have turned a blind eye. Or rather, we became so accustomed that we grew an air of impartiality. When so much negativity surrounds us, it’s hard to care every time something new happens. At some point, we reach the threshold where hearing of a school shooting no longer has the same impact as it did the first time. Each new life-threatening disease becomes merely a topic of discussion rather than a concern, each new polar ice photo warrants a raised eyebrow, and then we move on. So where does this sentiment go? When we look internally and realize, “we’re screwed,” where does that emotion end up being expressed? In some cases, it is projected

through memes. That’s right, memes. Whether subconsciously or not, meme creators and viewers have created a unique community in which they can escape the drag of older generations and reflect on current events with others who feel the same way and are of a similar age. Rather than hear about societal issues from those who want them to fix it, teenagers can talk about these issues and infuse humor in order to lighten the overall mood of sustained negativity. They serve as a sort of dark ridicule of the situation we’ve been unwillingly placed in, where the principle rule is, “don’t get offended.” Deeper than that, however, is the idea that it gives us control over at least some aspect of it all. I think it’s fair to say we generally don’t know how to fix what we must deal with, and so we have created our own exclusive community where we make fun of those who damaged our futures and devalue the issues we will soon be unable to avoid. Even a meme such as the one pictured, which provides no surface-level value, serves as a surreal point of escapism from the sludge that is the rest of our lives and our futures. We’ve become the scapegoat for all of the world’s problems, because we’re going to be around a lot longer than the older generations. And so millennials and Gen Z-ers, the supposed saviors of planet Earth, make memes.

Honest guide to Valentine’s Day BY HUBERT CHEN

Senior Reporter

Tekla Carlen Claire Hunt Rachel Yap Ethan Gardner Hanna Sato Moya Liu Ben Neuman Amelia Harris Jacob Lubarsky

Senior Reporters Hubert Chen Tyler Idema Aidan O’Sullivan Annie Sun Allison Szetu Caroline Yeow

Staff Reporters Allison Cohen Aideen Delahunt Nicole Fassina Alexia Goldstein Samantha Johnstone Conner Lyons

Website: www.theburlingameb.org Phone: (650) 558-2899 Email: theburlingameb@gmail.com Address: 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame, CA 94010

Policy Statement: The Burlingame B is a student-run newspaper with the role purpose of providing an open forum for student expression. Anything printed represents the opinion of the writer, but not necessarily that of the Burlingame B staff, the administration, or the faculty of Burlingame High School, or anyone affiliated with the San Mateo Union High School District. The Burlingame B does not discriminate against race, political oritentation, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Although The Burlingame B will never refuse to publish guest submission based on the aforementioned factors, we reserve the right to edit or not publish them.

Letters to the Editor Disagree with the writers? Bring your letters to the room A120 or email them to <theburlingameb@gmail.com>. Letters may be considered for publication. The Burlingame B reserves the right to edit for clarity, length, and accuracy. We welcome all comments.


February 13, 2020


High school competition is exacerbated by sibling rivalry BY CAROLINE YEOW

Senior Reporter

Siblings. They fall into an interesting category. You chose the people you surround yourself with in terms of your friends. You obviously did not choose your parents, but they sustain you. Your siblings, however, are just there. Sometimes the sibling relationship is beneficial. Siblings who are close inspire each other through their academic and social achievements. However, sometimes sibling relationships cause conflict and stress. There’s the classic situation of the older sibling being annoyingly gifted, with the middle-aged child being smart but overlooked in their parents’ eyes. There’s the coddled younger sibling, who can seemingly do no wrong. No matter the dynamic, a negative relationship with siblings is stressful. However, the most damaging sibling dynamic appears to be one where close-aged siblings are in constant competition with each other. Especially for siblings in high school, sibling rivalry is detrimental to mental health. Stakes are already high—there are grades to maintain, standardized tests to study for and extracurriculars to participate in. With the addition of competition between siblings, high school becomes a game of who can score the most points, who gets higher grades and who gets more prestigious awards, as if it isn’t already enough of a competition already (but that’s a whole different problem). Feelings of inadequacy and resent of a sibling’s success become the defining characteristics of life. Parents are at the root of sibling competition. They often label their children as being skilled at a particular activity or school subject. They expect success in the areas their child is strong in, and their definition of success is outlined by the most successful child. This is the problem. The sibling who performs the best is the winner; the sibling who doesn’t do as well, no matter if they perform well or not, is automatically the loser. Therefore, if a child is labeled by their parents as academically inclined, then the other child will begin to believe they can never achieve the same success. Of course, this pressure comes from siblings themselves, but the pressure they put on themselves comes from the need to please their parents. There is no easy solution to sibling competitiveness in our culture. Our current society places a massive emphasis on education and achievement, so it only makes sense that family and sibling dynamics reflect these values. Until society adopts a less achievement-based mindset, stress from sibling competition will continue to be a defining aspect of high school life.

Students aim grievances against the administration, but rarely put in the effort to actually reach out and create a conversation.

The role of the student body in the slow-turning gears of our school culture BY THE BURLINGAME B EDITORIAL BOARD Our school has had more than a few unacceptable incidents in the past years, including vandalism and racist chants. Students are often quick to complain about the lack of administrative involvement regarding these incidents. Many feel that the administration should address these incidents more directly to prevent similar events in the future. But we fail to realize that the administration does reach out to t h e student body, yet students often do not take advantage of the resources provided. Our administration is reaching out, and we’re refusing to meet them halfway. Following the hateful vandalism on our campus last semester, the administration announced the incident less than an hour into the school day. They held a public forum to give students the opportunity to share their feelings and discuss with classmates. Furthermore, they excused students from class who wanted to talk to a counselor about the graffiti. They met privately with people who were particularly affected by the incident. They gave students numerous chances to communicate and attempted to further

communication about the hatred in the school, but many students declined the opportunity to take advantage of them. Additionally, our student-broadcasted news, BTV, is another way that the administration tries to c o m municate with students. The s h o w gives students

t h e o p portunity to learn what i m portant events are going on at school and participate. They do features on local students and events, highlighting the important parts of our community. But many students either lack the opportunity to watch the daily broadcast or decide to ignore it when they have

the chance. Leadership works closely with the administration to advance ways to include and unite the student body. Our rallies have made great strides to be more inclusive and leadership has activities on the stage almost every Friday. Leadership aims to include and empower the students of Burlingame through constant activities and encouragement. Our administration also supports our First Amendment rights to run our own publication, even when we publish content they disagree with. They cooperate with our inquiries and coordinate with The Burlingame B to make sure the truth is spread to the rest of the student body. As students, we’re often quick to blame our administration for the problems we face. Whether it be a lack of school spirit or communication dilemmas, we play a role in how these situations are handled. Communication is a two-way street. Rather than complaining about the school environment, students should take initiative and create the community they desire.

letter TO THE

editor Leadership destroys democracy I deliver this message in light of The Burlingame B’s article in its December 2019 edition, “Students respond to impeachment hearings.” Given we are grappling with the tyrannical nature of our president, I feel compelled to do the same with our student government. Each year, we “elect” the ASB Cabinet. Yet which class must you take to run for ASB Cabinet? Leadership. And who chooses Leadership? Leadership. Even though the student body “votes” on a pool of candidates, that pool is formed not from the student body, but from a sect. A sect which exists without student accountability. We live in a closed anocracy. A mixture of democracy and dictatorship, whereby candidates are chosen from an elite. Panthers, we don’t just share our love of red with Russia. We also share its form of government. Anonymous



February 13, 2020





Chief Photographer

Sophomore Lou Martineau, the leading scorer for the Panthers varsity basketball team this year, has had a passion for basketball since day one. Martineau grew up in Washington D.C., showing a love for basketball at

the age of five. His family moved to Hillsborough when he was eight, and his love for the game traveled with him. In elementary and middle school, Martineau dominated wherever and whenever he played. “I always wanted to ball out whenever I stepped on the court; I wanted to shoot and score,” Martineau said. He also played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, which is the main travel basketball circuit in the U.S. AAU is very competitive, and the amount of time spent playing AAU has helped him grow into a better player. “Playing in the AAU circuit has helped me become more competitive and play tougher at all times,” Martineau said. In high school, Martineau, along with four other freshmen last season, turned heads as they all made the varsity basketball team. Martineau proved his worth that year, as the freshman played key minutes in key games down the stretch. “It was fun and also a great opportunity to be playing varsity basketball as a freshman,” Martineau said. This season, as a sophomore, Martineau has made leaps in his game, as his numbers are up all across the board. Martineau is hungry to improve as his love for basketball knows no bounds— all he wants to do is get better and win.


Senior Reporter

Junior Lou Martineau looking to make a play at the Dec. 20 game against Serra.




Young has played soccer since age five and been a goalkeeper since age nine.

GRIFFIN SPRINTS AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION Senior center-back Liam Griffin has been the varsity soccer team captain for three years, leading his team to qualify for Central Coast Section (CCS) each time. Griffin has been playing since he was in fourth grade. Because his father played multiple sports in high school including football, baseball and soccer, he encouraged Griffin to play sports at a young age. Griffin took up football, baseball and soccer but chose soccer as his primary sport when he realized his talent in the sport. “As a kid, I just loved playing a bunch of sports. I started playing AY [American Youth Soccer Organization], and I was pretty good at it and coaches told me to play club and compete at higher levels,” Griffin said. When he got to high school, he played on the junior varsity team as a freshman and worked his way up to varsity as a sophomore. He enjoys soccer most because it is a team sport. “In terms of understanding how to work with others … in a team setting,

Staff Reporter


Senior Sophia Young has maintained a vital role in Burlingame’s girls varsity soccer team for four years and is preparing to join Lewis and Clark College’s team. Young has been on varsity throughout her four years at Burlingame, serving as goalkeeper each year. Young began playing soccer at age five on an American Youth Soccer Organization team. By age nine, she transitioned to playing club soccer, finding her position as goalkeeper. Coach Philip De Rosa appointed team captains for the first time this season, selecting Young and senior Lilly Potter. De Rosa describes Young as “the most dependable player [he has] ever coached.” “As a team captain, I feel the most important qualities are having strong leadership, staying positive and helping those around [me],” Young explained. “Lilly and I lead the team in drills, give constructive criticism, talk to the team at practice and games and make sure everyone feels welcome.” De Rosa also depicts Young’s incredible dedication and with that, how invaluable she is. “Over her four years playing varsity, Sophia started and played essentially every minute of every game,” De Rosa said. “In our [Central Coast Section] game last year, she literally got out of a sick bed, to put her uniform on,

to make sure our team had a keeper.” Young is an incredibly accomplished player, being a three time Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) All League Player and the PAL Goalkeeper of the Year for two years. Although she anticipates collegiate soccer to be “a step up” from what she is accustomed to, Young is undoubtedly prepared to meet the challenge ahead.

Senior Lian Griffin sprints to the ball during the Feb. 7 game against Sequoia High School.

Freshman Ava Uhrich pushes past defense during the Feb. 7 game against Capuchino High School.

you know how to work with others to a goal in order to succeed,” Griffin said. Despite his talent in soccer, he does not see himself pursuing a career in soccer. Rather, he wants to focus on academics for college and find a career in something that he studies academically. “Soccer is more of just a fun thing to do on the side … I might do a walkon for college. I’m not going to go to college to play soccer,” Griffin said.


Staff Reporter

Ava Uhrich, one of three freshmen on this year’s girls varsity basketball team, has proven to be an important asset. Uhrich has been playing basketball since the age of six, a sport she adopted after inspiration from her family and friends’ athleticism. “Growing up with neighbors and older siblings, everyone just kind of played sports and I just fell in love with [basketball],” Uhrich said.

With more pressure and a higher level of playing, moving from middle school to high school basketball is often a difficult transition. Uhrich, however, has proved she is capable of excelling at a higher level of basketball. “[In high school] there’s a lot more people involved—it’s a lot bigger than when I was in middle school,” Uhrich said. She has proved to be a valuable asset to the team, where she is frequently the top scorer and visibly works hard on the court. At Burlingame, she has enjoyed the new energy brought by school crowds but feels extra pressure to succeed in a high school setting. “[At] the quad games, everyone comes together for those games...it’s cool to be out there,” Uhrich said. “Being able to focus on the game and not listen to the crowd, I think is the most challenging thing. You always want to be involved with the crowd, but also stay focused.” Aside from her high school career, Uhrich has ambitious goals for her future in basketball. “I want to play college and probably WNBA, but otherwise just college would be cool,” Uhrich said. Continuing on her current path, Uhrich looks to have a successful future playing basketball at Burlingame and beyond.


Four years ago, senior Evan Jones decided to join wrestling on a whim. His friend, senior Kyle Botelho, had grown up wrestling and persuaded Jones to try it out during his freshman year. Little did Jones know, wrestling would become a four-year journey in which he would have to take on new challenges on the path to mastering the craft. Despite countless obstacles, ranging from sickness to injury, Jones’ passion for the sport never dwindled; in fact, it only grew as he learned he could conquer more. “I really like the discipline that it beats into you,” Jones said. As a freshman, Jones often struggled. Given he had no experience with wrestling, he often felt outmatched on the mat. While his effort did not lead to immediate

results, Jones quickly realized that it was early on in his career, and he was building a foundation for what was to come later. “Freshman year was more of a developmental year, but I learned a lot,” Jones said. Both his sophomore and junior years were derailed to some extent for various reasons. His sophomore year, he lost over half the season to sickness. Towards the start of his junior year, Jones suffered a torn ligament in his toe, leaving him unable to wrestle for six weeks. It is finally in his senior season that Jones has truly emerged as a wrestler to be feared. Going into the closing weeks of the season with a winning record for the first time, Jones is finally experiencing the victories that he has worked so hard for. “It’s a really good feeling to stand out there on the mat with your hand raised when you win,” Jones said.



Senior Evan Jones works to pin his opponent to the mat during his final wrestling match at Burlingame.

February 13, 2020

BSU honors Black history PHOTO BY AMELIA HARRIS


Copy Editor

Burlingame’s Black Student Union (BSU) experienced a revival this year after having been dormant for the past 10 or so years. President Tyler Johnson moved to the Bay Area this year and reinstituted the BSU at Burlingame after having been a member of the BSU at his prior school.

“...February feels like every other month and that’s not right.”

February is Black History Month, when the United States honors the often overlooked history of black citizens. While there has traditionally been an acknowledgement of the month’s

Copy Editor

Former Burlingame mayor and City Council member Michael Brownrigg decided to run for state Senate after noticing significant issues in the Bay Area that were prominent in other

“I have a record for taking on hard issues and finding solutions,” -Michael Brownrigg districts as well. The district that Brownrigg would represent, if elected, stretches from San Francisco to Sunnyvale and suffers from key issues such as affordability, which Brownrigg hopes

to address, as well as larger scale problems like climate change and education. Brownrigg is a Bay Area native who worked as a diplomat in the Middle East before moving back to Burlingame to raise his family. He has since served on Burlingame’s City Council and Planning Commission, and he was the mayor for two terms, a position which rotates between City Council members. In total, six other people are running for this state Senate seat—five Democrats and one Republican. The winner will take current state Senator Jerry Hill’s seat. Based on his prior political experience, Brownrigg feels that he has a positive track record for creating change in the community which he can carry over in his role as state senator. “The five Democrats all have pretty similar values… So the question is: ‘Who is going to get things done and who is going to have the courage to stand up to special interests to get things done? … I have a record for taking on hard issues and finding solutions,” Brownrigg said. Junior Vedika Bhaumik decided to intern for Brownrigg’s campaign after working as his intern during her freshman year, when he was the mayor. Bhau-

mik thinks that, based on what she’s seen from Brownrigg’s leadership as mayor, he will be a successful state senator. “[Brownrigg] values tackling the housing crisis and that’s such a huge problem in the Bay Area. He has a really unique way of going about it instead of just focusing on affordable housing,” Bhaumik said. The primary will occur on Tuesday, March 3 and the final election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

State senate candidate Michael Brownrigg

Students differ on U.S. and Iran relations ILLUSTRATION BY ALLISON SZETU

-Tyler Johnson

significance at Burlingame in the past, Johnson hopes to bring more attention to the month. So far, Johnson has worked with former campus supervisor Randy Williams to display slave papers in the trophy cases in the A-building. He also worked with other club members and leadership to create posters honoring black people in history which are hung in the hallways throughout the school. In addition to visual displays, Johnson arranged for daily announcements on BTV, featuring a different black person in history each day. “I want to bring awareness to the significance of the month of February. From what I’ve heard, I know I am new at this school, but February feels like every other month and that’s not right. I want people to really feel the difference,” Johnson said. Johnson is also working with Williams to introduce Soul Food Friday on the last Friday of the month. Williams will cook traditional soul food which BSU will sell to students at lunch for a predetermined price. “My plans are to create a space for colored people to have, just to speak your truth and their experiences because especially in Burlingame and being a mainly dominated white population, it can be difficult,” Johnson said.



The Black Student Alliance Club hung various posters around school honoring several influential black figures, such as politician Shirley Chisholm.

5 News Burlingame’s Michael Brownrigg to run for state senate

Surprise schedule changes spark frustration BY SAM JOHNSTONE

Staff Reporter

When the fall semester ended, many students were notified of changes to their class schedules. These may include shifts in class periods or teachers. Some were unaware of the fact that their first-semester schedule was not guaranteed to carry over into the second semester. “We can guarantee that you will keep your same classes, but we can never guarantee the teacher or the class period,” counselor Luis Mashek said. According to Assistant Principal Valerie Arbizu, the administration assigns schedules using a color-coded whiteboard to organize teachers and the classes they teach each period. Arbizu explained that in the fall semester, first period Algebra 2 had 35 students, while the same class during fifth period had only 12 students. “The goal of the administration was to try to make the classes as equitable as possible,” Mashek said. So when administration tackled this issue to balance out the classes, it caused a ripple effect to the other students in classes who were rearranged as a result. While schedules were changed

with the intention of benefiting students and teachers, many students felt a change halfway through the year was unfair. Sophomore Jessie Kotmel had her first-period Foods and Nutrition class switched with her sixth-period Algebra 2. “I got really upset about it because I already knew the kids there, and I felt really comfortable in that class,” Kotmel said. “Having to walk into a room of new people seemed unnecessary and unfair.” Kotmel went to the counselors within the first three weeks of this semester and was able to change her schedule back to her fall courses. Kotmel’s situation is unique, as most students were not able to change their schedules back. The three-week period in which schedule changes are available has closed, so students will have to remain with their schedule for the rest of the semester. “The takeaway that we hope for students and families is that when you get your schedule, it’s like that for a reason, and you’re not really allowed to pick and choose your teachers,” Mashek said. These schedule changes were beneficial to students in the long run, while it may have temporarily inconvenienced them upon arrival.


Copy Editor

Over the last few months, tensions have begun to spur between the U.S. and Iran, as the U.S. launched an air missile strike on Jan. 3 that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military general. Iran reacted by demanding revenge on the U.S. for the strike. Shortly after the attack, Iran sent a missile of its own to a U.S. base in Iraq, causing injuries to over 100 soldiers stationed there, according to CNN. In addition, Iran has struck down a Ukranian plane, killing 176 people. The people of Iran are just as infuriated as their government, as protests against the U.S. have broken out all around the country. As citizens across the U.S. are at odds about whether these attacks were strategic and fair, the students across Burlingame are also conflicted. “No American citizen will

mourn Soleimani’s death,” junior Justice Steinberg, who identifies as liberal, said. “What they will mourn us all the deaths that this causes, because it could possibly start a war with Iran.” Steinberg also claimed that the airstrike was President Trump’s attempt to distract the public from his impeachment case, though no evidence currently suggests this. “It is remarkably unconstitutional as to how Trump did not inform Congress of this decision to kill Solemani,” Steinberg said. On the other hand, some conservatives students seem to hold a different view on the matter. “I think it was the best idea to do the airstrike on Solemani,” junior Tyler Pratt, who identifies as conservative, said. “Iran has been extremely unfair to us, and the Iran deal was an absolute disaster. So I think that it was the best idea to take out one of their top generals.”

Aydan Aguinaldo is a junior at Burlingame and half Iranian on his maternal side. While he in no way supports the Iranian government and Solemani, he thinks Trump went about attacking Iran in the wrong way. “I think that [the missile strike] should have been more talked about throughout the other branches of government and I don’t think it should have been purely executive,” Aguinaldo said. Aguinaldo identifies as a liberal, and hopes that the relationship between the U.S. and Iran can be restored. “I think the U.S. should really try and make a new nuclear deal with Iran so that it kind of puts some trust in Iran that they won’t do anything and Iran can trust the United States a little bit more,” Aguinaldo said. “And I think that’s just the first step in building a more diplomatic relationship with them rather than just shooting at each other.”

Cate Cattano SOPHOMORE


Aryana Dizadji SENIOR

“This is my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship, and I plan to go out with my boyfriend. We haven’t planned anything specific yet, but I’m excited. I think that we should love and appreciate those in our lives every day, not only on Valentine’s Day.”

“For Valentine’s Day, I’ll most likely be spending the day with my friends and family, as they are the most important people in my life. Valentine’s day is a Hallmark holiday that puts a lot of stress on people without significant others, but I like to use the day to let the important people in my life know how much I love and appreciate them.”

“Valentine’s Day does not mean much to me. I feel like it’s just a huge consumerist holiday like Christmas, but Christmas has a lot more meaning. I’m going to Disneyland, but when I planned the trip, I didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day; it was just coincidental.”

Krysten Kuniy SENIOR “Valentine’s Day means spending time with the people you love and showing your appreciation for them … I’ll be spending Valentine’s day with my friends and with my cats.”

Brendan Creeks SENIOR “My girlfriend and I have been together since the beginning of junior year, and I’m excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day because hanging out with her makes me really happy.”

CLAIRE HUNT | Managing Editor It’s a day defined by chocolates, teddy bears and Hallmark cards. Valentine’s Day, which takes place annually on Feb. 14, is a day for people to show their loved ones that they care for them. The holiday is expected to generate over $27 billion in gifts this year, according to the National Retail Foundation. Valentine’s Day is often thought of as a celebration of romantic love, where couples feel the expectation to buy expensive jewelry and procure candle-lit dinners for each other. But the holiday hasn’t always been associated with sentiment and tenderness. The popularly held story of Valentine’s Day’s origin is derived from the execution of St. Valentine, a man in the third century C.E. who assisted and married persecuted Christians. However, many historians believe that the day of love is rooted in the Ancient Roman tradition of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a two-day feast characterized by heavy drinking and violent sexual practices practiced in order to rid the city of evil spirits and promote health and fertility. The Pagan holiday, taking place from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15, began with animal sacrifice and was followed by mass whippings of women who were then coupled up with young men for the rest of the festival. While the origin of Valentine’s Day isn’t definitely known, it remains an important holiday in our modern society, a day dedicated to celebrating love in our lives.

David Mehran SENIOR “I have a deep affection for my dog Lucy. I’ve had her for a while, and she’s almost like a sibling. Being an only child and having a dog like that, you develop a close connection, and I love my dog more than I love most people.” REPO RTIN G CO N TRIB UTED B Y TYLER IDEM A, C LAIRE H UN T, M OYA LIU DESIG N B Y RAC H EL YAP



February 13, 2020

The bird man of Burlingame


Students are “Pumped” to be in Weight Training Class ELLIOT SKILLINGS

Staff Reporter

Seagulls feed on loaves of bread in a Burlingame parking lot. BY ALLISON COHEN

Staff Reporter

“Essentially he’s been warned a few times to stop doing what he’s doing because he’s causing, attracting not only the birds but also attracting rodents,” Burlingame Police Officer Steve Vega said. Vega, who works at local high schools as a security measure, does not believe the bird problem at Burlingame has any correlation to Jay. “It has something to do with the students leaving the trash out and food, that’s what attracts them,” said Vega. While the police discourage the bird man from continuing to feed the animals of Burlingame, Jay feels he has a greater responsibility to helping these animals. “There’s nothing out there and what the birds do, I like it too, is when they signal the other birds, hey come over here, there’s something for us here. That’s another thing that helps them out too, imagine day after day and month after month, what the seagulls go through,” Jay said, “It’s not wrong to care.” *For legal reasons, Mike Jay is a fake name to protect this person’s anonymity.

Italian exchange students visit the Bay Area


Unbeknownst to many, the birds of Burlingame depend on one man who feeds them daily. Feeding the birds is no simple task. Each kind of bird is given its own type of food, including loaves of bread which are taken from the trash. The man behind it all, Mike Jay*, spends his time feeding birds and rodents out of a love and admiration for animals. “The seagulls, what is out there for them? That’s why you see so many seagulls over here. Birds are cool. The way you get them to associate. The way you see them and hear them and listen to them,” Jay said. Every morning, the seagulls and pigeons are fed in the parking lot behind Pet Food Express. The seagulls get larger chunks of bread that are torn up and spread across a parking space, while the pigeons wait on the opposite side of the lot for birdseed and smaller breadcrumbs scattered around parking meters. “I love them all. In reincarnation, bring me back as a seagull or a crow or a pigeon,” Jay said. In addition to the birds,

which are his main focus, Jay has also fed rats, mice and ducks. “I used to have ducks that come around, and evidently [the police] chased them away. [The ducks] don’t come up. They were my alarm clocks in the morning,” Jay said. Beyond local animals, he feels passionate about endangered species across the globe. When talking about penguins, he began to get choked up. “Prayers and thoughts to Antarctica and the penguins. I just think of penguins and right off I get teary. I get emotional,” Jay said. Other global crises he feels passionate about include the Australian wildfires, and he shared his sadness about the loss of animal life happening there. “I’d love to go to Australia,” Jay said. “Before, if I would’ve known billions [of animals lived there], I would love to go there, you know, tour the countryside and see all the animals. Life is for sightseeing only. No killing, no killing whatsoever.” The Burlingame Police Station is aware of Mike Jay’s endeavors, and has warned him several times to stop feeding animals.

For the last two years, Burlingame has offered a weight training class to encourage students to live healthier, stronger lives. During the school day, the weight room is usually silent and unoccupied. However, the clanging of weights is heard in the gym during third period, as members of John Philipopoulos’ class are hard at work gaining strength and muscle. Senior Jordan Malashus has taken weight training for the past two years, and notes that it has aided him greatly in his athletic endeavors. “Weight training has helped my strength for football, and now I see my gains are helping my speed as well in track,” Malashus said. Junior Kyle Sieban is in his first year of weight training and is excited to see how the class will help him gain strength.

“I’ve already noticed that I’ve been getting stronger, and I think that by next fall, I’ll be a better football player due to the strength I’ve gained in this class,” Sieban said. While the class has improved the athletic abilities of many students, its primary goal is to teach a variety of exercises to improve total body health, emphasizing proper form to ensure safety. With this in mind, the class understands that what they learn will set them up for a long life of physical fitness. “What I’ve learned here I can use for the rest of my life,” senior Elias Guzman said. With the class gaining more notoriety, Burlingame students are more inclined than ever to create a healthy lifestyle, as weight training allows for further physical education past the general two required years, taking students’ strength and fitness to a new level.

Senior Jordan Malashus flexes his muscles after completing a set of bicep curls.


In terms of the actual workouts, Philipopoulos puts his students through various workouts and lifts. The basis of almost every workout is a compound exercise. These are lifts and movements which incorporate multiple muscle groups for optimal strength improvements. These include bench press, barbell squat, deadlift, overhead press and power clean. Bench press works the chest, arms,

shoulders the back. Squats and deadlifts target the legs, with squats improving core stability and deadlifts improving back, trap and grip strength. Overhead press and power clean improve explosive power and athleticism overall. On top of these movements, students also perform accessory movements such as the bicep curls pictured below to improve muscle definition. PHOTO BY ELLIOT SKILLINGS

Italian students enjoy the view of the Golden Gate bridge. BY ALLISON COHEN

Staff Reporter

On Feb. 4, a group of around 40 Italian students arrived in Burlingame, where they have spent 10 days living with American families and exploring the Bay Area. One of Burlingame’s longest lasting traditions is the Italian exchange program. The exchange program unites Burlingame students studying Italian with Italian students studying English. This program is only offered to Burlingame students taking Italian and has existed for many years. According to We Love Italian, an organization that encourages teaching Italian to students in the western United States, Burlingame is one of only a dozen

public high schools in Northern California that teaches Italian. Junior Angela Crosatto decided to take Italian for this very reason. “I decided to take Italian because it’s such a unique language that not many schools offer, so I saw an opportunity,” Crosatto said. Through the program, Italian students are able to experience American culture firsthand and practice speaking English, all while exploring the Bay Area and meeting new friends. Solomia Gorbata is a student visiting the U.S. for the first time through the Italian exchange program. “I’m really excited to know new things, to discover them, and I’m really happy to be here and have this experience,” Gorbata said. The Italian students are taken on a variety of field trips around

the Bay Area, including going to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Stanford University. For some of the students, experiencing the U.S. for the first time reveals surprising differences between the Italian and American cultures. “I’ve found many differences between the Italian and between American ones. Here people are open-minded. Like, once I was at Starbucks and an old man sat near my table … He just started to talk to me about his life, and asking some questions about my life. In Italy we really don’t have that,” Gorbata said. Next year, Burlingame students in the Italian program will have the opportunity to visit Italy and see for themselves.

Senior Ryan Bianchi works on his biceps and triceps at the cable machines during the class.



February 13, 2020

The rise of social enterprise: Boba Guys creates social impact through business Boba Guys switched to biodegradable bamboo fiber straws for all their drinks in July 2019.

The dance team dances to Korean pop music during the cultural assembly. PHOTO BY AMELIA HARRIS

Members of the Burlingame Polynesian community, perform a traditional Polynesian dance. PHOTO BY AMELIA HARRIS

Senior Manish Mahadevan plays his mridangam, showing off an Indian musical style. Mahadevan has become a crowd favorite over the years. BY ELLIOT SKILLINGS

Staff Reporter

The 2020 rendition of the Burlingame cultural assembly closely followed the format of the ones that came before it, as students enjoyed watching unique displays and traditions from cultures around the globe. The assembly began with a representation of the U.S., with senior Ben Sherstinsky playing a unique version of the national anthem on his electric guitar. The crowd rose in observance and followed his performance with loud applause. “The national anthem has the potential to be very powerful, and Ben did a great job of doing just that,” senior Jake Del Rosso said. The momentum of the assembly continued as senior Manish Mahadevan played mridangam drums to celebrate his Indian culture. A highlight of the whole event for many students in previous years, Mahadevan’s perfor-

mance was greatly anticipated, and he delivered, with the auditorium giving him and his performance a standing ovation to. “Manish is always my favorite performance at the cultural assembly,” junior Will Graczewski said. Following Manish, sophomore Ellen Fisher Sanderson represented Ireland with her traditional Irish dancing routine, amazing the audience with her skill and the unique nature of the dance. Irish dancing has been a staple of prior cultural assemblies, and Sanderson carried on the tradition. Sanderson’s performance was followed by another dance, this time featuring New Zealand indigenous Māori culture. Junior Tyler Pratt brought Poi Balls, using them to create a colorful display that captured the attention of all who were watching. Students and teachers coaxed him on by clapping to the rhythm of the beat, showing their appreciation for his performance.

More dancing followed Pratt’s performance with the Polynesian club and dance team both performing dances popular in Polynesian countries and South Korea respectively, keeping the crowd energy at a high. Sophomore Polina Poliakova played a piano tune from Russia following these dances, turning the attention of the audience to the corner of the auditorium. Following the song, senior Jeffery Chen unpacked his college admissions process from the perspective of a student with parents who are Chinese immigrants in his comedy performance, spurring many laughs. To wrap up the assembly, Ben Sherstinsky and his band played a rock tune representing Great Britain, impressing the audience and earning a standing ovation, a rocking end to a great performance and another excellent year at the cultural assembly.

The evolution of birth control usage BY AIDEEN DELAHUNT

Staff Reporter

It has been nearly 60 years since the first form of oral contraception, Enovid, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and released to the public. It’s been 55 years since married couples were legally allowed to use the pill for contra-

ceptive use, and 48 since single women were allowed to do so. Since these critical years for women’s health, the pill has evolved drastically. The pill is no longer just used for preventing pregnancy; the pill now helps eleven million women in the U.S. with premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, overly heavy periods, acne,

Whether for moral or religious reasons, many contest the widespread nature of birth control. “Some people may argue that providing more contraceptives to teens will increase sexual activity within teenagers… but would we rather our kids be safe or at risk?” sophomore Zoe Steinberger said. Oral contraceptives have improved dramatically since they


Buisness Manager Boba Guys, a San Francisco-based boba tea shop, is bringing the franchise’s fusion of culture and tea to downtown Burlingame. For Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, who started the company in 2011, boba is not just a drink but a way for “people with overt differences come together and build a community,” according to Boba Guys’ website. Since the foundation of the company, Chau and Chin have dedicated themselves to changing the way people think about boba and tea. The business aims to bridge cultures, making boba culturally relevant and mainstream. In addition, Boba Guys desires to lead the way to a sustainable future: supporting and paving the way for the ban of single-use plastic through the promotion of biodegradable bamboo straws and reusable drinkware. Many companies are following Boba Guys’ aims for environmental policy, using and adapting innovative business strategies to advance social and environmental well-being alongside generating profits. Achieving success in today’s business world requires corporations to value their interactions and impacts on society as much as their financial results. Embracing social impact is key to engaging a growing number of stakeholders who care deeply about these issues. “I think it’s pretty cool that they’re willing to use their platform to bring awareness to ideas that matter,” senior Danielle Jaworski said. “So if I did want to get boba, I’d probably go there because I’d know that some of the money I’m spending is going toward causes that I personally support and that are very relevant to our world right now.”

were first created, and they have advanced the quality of life for women and girls all around the world. Just like when it was released in the 1960s, the pill may have those who do not approve of it, but this lifestyle drug has come a long way and has no indication of diminishing.



anemia and prevention of various cancers. And it is not just adult women using it; 21% of sexually active high school girls report using the pill, according to Child Trends. Birth control is a crucial part of women’s health. Although it has been decades since birth control became widely available, there are still those who are against the pill.



Cultural assembly shows off traditions from around the world


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1980 The pill impacts employment, 51.5% of women have jobs.

Now 11 million women are on the pill in the United States.



February 13, 2020

Disney+ revives High School Musical as a series Favorite childhood TV shows BY NICOLE FASSINA

Staff Reporter

of original protagonist Gabriella’s (Vanessa Hudgens) character. In essence, these two characters are our “Troy and Gabriella”, so the series throws complications at them inhibiting them from be-

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” has a captivating plot that attracts a wide range of viewers. ters don’t stray too far from their ing together. But, as the original archetypes featured in the origi- movies suggest, they are bound nal movies. Just like Troy Bolton to end up together because (Zac Efron), a frustrated basket- they “are made for each other.” ball player with a secret musical Not only is the show itself talent, Ricky Bowen (Joshua Bas- extremely interesting and insett) is a disheartened skater who volves all aspects of a stereotypfinds success onstage. And Nini ical American adolescent TV (Olivia Rodrigo) mimics the core show, but the main thing that

captures its audience is the nostalgia-filled memories it induces. “I think the reason why this series is so popular, even among our age group, is because we grew up watching the ‘High School Musical’ movies and the thought of it continuing is appealing,” senior Kayla Biewer said. “Additionally, the characters in the show are around our age, so the plot events are very relatable.” The show uses irony and humor to address struggles teenagers face, which makes the series all the better. The characters seem aware of the camera “following” them around, and each character even has their own interviews with camera, giving the series a documentary feel similar to “The Office,” another show popular with teenagers. Additionally, this series presents a very diverse and progressive group of characters. Including characters of different races and sexual orientations, but at the same time not making it a “big deal,” helps combat stigmas against certain groups of people and makes the show all the more relatable for everyone.


Copy Editor



Since its release in early November, Disney+ has become wildly popular, featuring old Disney shows and movies, as well as a variety of new series exclusive to its members. One of these series includes the nostalgia-inducing and captivating “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” which made its debut along with the release of the Disney+ platform. The show is set at a fictionalized version of East High School, where the original “High School Musical” movies were filmed. The plot of the show follows a group of adolescents who are starring in their high school’s musical production of “High School Musical.” The plot involves romantic aspects similar to the original movies. Additionally, the show is filled with hints and meta-references to the “High School Musical” movies and its real-life fandom. As well as recreating some of “High School Musical”’s

most famous songs, the show also features fictional characters who are obsessed with the movie. In order to keep the flow of the show less confusing, this series ensures that its main charac-

“‘Phineas and Ferb’ because it recapped their summer, and I really enjoyed watching how their ideas turned into innovations.” Sophie Kamenov PHOTO BY AMELIA HARRIS

Across Panther Puzzle










1) Ironman talks to animals 2) The world’s fastest blue hedgehog 3) Canine star of “Call of the Wild” 4) … is Nora from Queens 5) British chef who likes to swear 6) Dr. Jean Milburn’s son in Sex Education 7) David _ is the iconic voice of BBC nature shows. 8) 2020 Golden Globes host and controversial monologuer 9) The act of watching multiple episodes of a show in one sitting 10) Popular movie snack 11) Gwenyth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand that sells *controversial candles 12) __ and chill 13) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are _ for life 14) ABC’s examination of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s departure from the royal family 15) “Ev’ry action has its equal, opposite reactions.Thanks to __, our cabinet’s fractured into factions.” 16) __ once said, “Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” 17) A popular video game series about football 18) The 2019 show where Baby Yoda made his debut 19) The app that replaced Music.ly 20) An idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture 21) Where annual awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry are presented


“‘Barney!’ I liked seeing a guy dressed up in a purple dinosaur outfit and it taught me the alphabet.” Nathan Gum









18 19




“Gumby…it’s a show from the ’50s and my parents really liked it when they were kids so they would show it to me.” Maddie Gillette

February 13, 2020




Student Life

February 13, 2020 BY CLAIRE HUNT Managing Editor


With over 600 Burlingame students and guests in attendance, the 2020 winter formal was a night for the books. The expansive Bayview Dining Room at the College of San Mateo was decorated to fit formal’s space theme, complete with miniature planets and model rocketships. Students were dressed in attire ranging from dresses and suits to astronaut helmets. The school offered sandwiches and various processed snacks for nourishment and instituted a new policy regarding refreshments, much to the avail of many students. For the first time ever, guests were handed drink tickets at the entrance of the dance, restricting their beverage access to two cups of fruit-flavored water, a controversial move on the part of the planning committee. Despite the drink fiasco, students spent the three-hour dance laughing and dancing along to the classic pop hits that appear at every school dance. Selfies were taken, kisses were shared in the middle of the dance floor and everyone joined together to dance the “Cha Cha Slide” (twice). Nevertheless, as soon as the administration allowed students to exit at 9:30 p.m., there was a rush of people towards the exit, probably on their way to their respective after-parties.

Burlingame’s Best Cup

BY CLAIRE HUNT Managing Editor From their famous drip-coffee concoctions to specialty aromatic teas, Philz Coffee offers luxury drinks and a relaxed environment. The aroma of ground coffee, coupled with the comfortable and easy atmosphere of the laid-back shop, creates a warm and welcoming environment for coffee snobs and broke students alike.


Cafe Central

BY ANNIE SUN Senior Reporter Walking into Caffe Central, I was instantly greeted by the smell of coffee and the buzz of customers. On the wall, there is a colorful menu of their drink options including tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Though their prices are higher than other coffee shops, the quality and taste warrant the price.


The Royal Donut Shop is a great option for BHS students, being affordable and close by. I ordered a medium coffee which was only $1.95 and a great size for the price. I chose Tahitian Vanilla, one of six flavors, which was a choice I definitely recommend.



BY HANNA SATO Chief Photographer



Royal Donut

Profile for The Burlingame B Newspaper

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