C Magazine Vol. 9 Edition 2

Page 1


The world is watching. Are we on our best behavior?



C MAGAZINE December 2020 • Volume 9, Edition 2

Dear readers, Round 2! We are so excited to present our second issue of the year and as we round the corner to Winter Break, we hope it can be enjoyed by a warm crackling fire while sipping a glass of comforting eggnog. The cover story for this issue “Eyes on US,” written by Sophia Baginskis, Emily Cheng and Dunya Mostaghimi, focuses on the centralization of American culture and politics and discusses the global implications of doing so. Paly exchange students, international professors and American immigrants all shed light on the triumphs and faults of our unapologetic national pride, which prompts the question: all eyes are on us, but are we on our best behavior? On the cover, the Statue of Liberty in the spotlight represents this focus on the United States and the cracking copper alludes to underlying flaws. Our featured artist is senior Alex Thom who is an extraordinary cook with culinary skills that have only advanced over quarantine. Thom delicately threads the balance between being a calculated and deliberate cook with being a spontaneous and artistic master. He is involved in every step of the cooking process, from maintaining a beehive that pollinates homegrown produce to experimenting with innovative recipes such as his Pacific Sea Bass featured for your convenience on page 19. We hope you enjoy ogling over his food feature as much as we do, and we invite you to check out more of his beautiful creations on

our Instagram @c__magazine. As the days get shorter and colder, autumn settles in once again. The visual spread of this issue features models Rachel Lysaght and Isabella Koutsoyannis posing in the golden hour glow while taking full advantage of California’s mild climate change by donning t-shirts and sweater vests for the fall fashion spread. We hope the stunning photos by Rachel Ellisen and Alexa Gwyn put you right there with them, revving up the orange ‘79 VW van while riding off into the sunset. With the change in weather comes a surge of holidays and traditions. “Lighting Up the Holidays,” written by Eunice Cho and Samantha Feldmeier, delves into long-standing festivities such as holiday decorations and examines how other traditions are being adjusted to obey health precautions while still maintaining holiday cheer. Many are being moved indoors and away from others, but “Coffee Critique” curated by the same writers provides an inside taste to some delectable hot beverages from local cafes that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. No matter how you spend your holiday break, we hope you enjoy it with us! Happy holidays and stay safe. Happy reading! Alexa Gwyn, Kimi Lillios and Atticus Scherer Editors-in-Chief

ONLINE EXCLUSIVES find these stories and more at cmagazine.org

2020 Guide to Tahoe Snow By Brooke Glasson

Goodbye to Store-Bought Pies By Marilyn Yin

Pandemic Pen Pals By Emma Joing

thanks to our

sponsors Ann Polanski Anne and Billy Spier Betsy Koester Casey Ragno Chris Lillios and Jinny Rhee Christine Hmelar Cindy Wu David Wolter Deb Whitman Debbie Ellisen Donna Do Doug Wolter Elaine Cao Emma Stefanutti Erica and Daniel Galles Gloria Tapson Hershminder Sahota Hong Liu Janet Bloed Jennifer Mutz Jennifer Wu Jennifer and Don Ragno Jessica Gao John Ragno Kar Yee Fransham Karen Townsend Karen Wolter Kate Glasson Kathy Mach Liz Brooks Mahin and Houshang Behrouz Marjan LaRue Mark McAuley Mathew Signorello-Katz Max Cheng Melina Lillios Michael Romano Michelle Vonderhaar Michelle Yin Mojo Trials Moon and Hwa Rhee Nana and Dzed Baginskis Olivia Han Phyllis Mutz Queenie Huang Shantel and David Ferdman Stan and Rochelle Ferdman Theresa McCann Tony Lin William Hadaya

staff Editors-in-Chief

Creative Director

Alexa Gwyn, Kimi Lillios, Atticus Scherer

Sam Mutz

Managing Editors Leslie Aboytes, Faith Chow, Ellie Rowell, Libby Spier

Creative Adviser Sukhman Sahota

Online Editor-in-Chief Dunya Mostaghimi

Graphics Editor Samantha Feldmeier

Social Media Managers Sophia Baginskis, Eunice Cho

Business Managers Bridget Packer, Rachael Vonderhaar

Staff Writers Emily Cheng, Aidan Do, Rachel Ellisen, Brooke Glasson, Reya Hadaya, Jack Haney, Natalie Hmelar, Emma Joing, Julia Ragno, Marilyn Yin Illustrators


Angela Bi, Kimi Lillios, Sam Mutz, Aru Parikh, Kellyn Scheel, JeanPierre Mouloudj, Marilyn Yin

Sam Mutz

Adviser Brian Wilson

Table of Contents Photo by Alexa Gwyn

Publication Policy C Magazine, an arts and culture magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School’s Magazine Journalism class, is a designated open forum for student expression and discussion of issues of concern to its readership. C Magazine is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost.

Printing & Distribution C Magazine is printed 5 times a year in November, December, February, April and May by Folger Graphics in Hayward, CA and mailed to every student’s home by the Paly Parent Teacher Student Association. All C Magazine stories are available on cmagazine.org.

Advertising The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts, provided they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with C Magazine, please contact business managers Bridget Packer and Rachael Vonderhaar at businesscmagazine@ gmail.com.

Letters to the Editors The C Magazine staff welcomes letters to the editors but reserve the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Send all letters to eicscmagazine@ gmail.com or to 50 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

contents arts Switch It Up


The Cartoon Revival


Featured Artist


Lighting Up the Holidays


culture Eyes on US


Coffee Critique


Born With a Screen


A New Wave


Grow as You Go


Building Connections


music My Kind of Woman


Musical Memories


A New Wave pg. 33

Design by SAM MUTZ

Photos by Rachel Ellisen, Alexa Gwyn and Sam Mutz

Rachel Lysaght & Isabella Koutsoyannis for C-Magazine 6



California Fall


- Isabella Koutsoyannis

Fashion is an art. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true; anything can be fashion. If you want to go to school wearing some cargo pants and a frog hat, go do it. I’m definitely getting into more of my own style, figuring out how I like to dress and exploring my taste. Wearing what I genuinely like makes me more confident.




It Up Isolation sparks a new wave of personal growth and exploration


o break the stagnant feeling that quarantine has brought onto so many people, students have picked up new hobbies or experimented with their style, gaining new insight about themselves in unique ways. For Paly senior Bella Koutsoyannis, quarantine gave her a new outlook on life when she discovered tarot card reading. “I started getting really into tarot reading because of my friend Rachel,” Koutsoyannis said. “I’ve always been a spiritual person, but it wasn’t until she introduced me that I really got into it.” To Koutsoyannis, practicing tarot card readings is more than just a fun and enjoyable activity. “It physically and emotionally charges me, and helps me meditate when I’m really stressed because I have pretty bad anxiety,” Koutsoyannis said. “When I get really overwhelmed, I like to light some candles, put my crystals all around me and start meditating.” It was this creative outlet that shed new light and positivity in Koutsoyannis’ life. Before using crystals and tarot cards, she had a limited view of what was important. “When I got into crystals and spirituality, I realized being mean

to people and having negative out- thing that I can do to just get my looks on life doesn’t benefit your mind off of things.” vibrations,” Koutsoyannis said. Creative outlets are seemingly “[My spirituality] has also helped simple and relaxing activities such me not worry so much about what as art, theater or dance, but for others think about me and how I Koutsoyannis, Cruz and Paly Juview others.” nior Eva Salvatierra, these outlets While Koutsoyannis discovered fostered an environment in which something completely new, Ever- they flourish mentally, emotionally est High School senior, Iris Cruz, and spiritually. reconnected with her passion for In the past few months, Salvatphotography. With the recent free ierra has changed the way she uses time on her hands, Cruz decid- social media. “I reexamined what ed to perfect her skills and craft I truly wanted to see in my feed all the while and decided to combating the explore profiles quarantine iso- “[My spirituality] that inspired lation by be- has also helped me me rather than friending her perpetuated not worry so much the common camera. “Photogra- about what others phenomena of phy ended up insecurity and being some- think about me and FOMO (fear of thing that I did how I view others.” missing out),” the entirety of Salvatierra said. Bella Koutsoyannis, senior quarantine, “Through this, and it is still I felt an oversomething I do now,” Cruz said. whelming urge to pick up my “It has become a hobby that I nev- colored pencils again, which later er want to stop doing.” evolved into my first purchase of For Cruz, photography has watercolors.” been more than just a source of Since quarantine began, Salvatenjoyment or an escape from reali- ierra has found that art has become ty. “Photography has really helped more important than ever before. me with my anxiety and my men- “For the past two and a half years, tal health,” Cruz said. “It is some- my creative process limited itself



to poetry in a Google Doc or utilizing I woke up,” Leong said. “When I got it school assignments as a foundation for cut, my hair was significantly shorter, expression as high school offered little and instead of parting it to the right, I time for an unbounded, unscheduled went with the middle part.” mind,” Salvatierra said. Cutting his hair not only drastically Drawing has not only been a cre- changed his look, but it also changed ative form of the way Leong expression for himself. “I found that making sees Salvatierra, but “When I reflect it has also been art was vital to on my confidence an outlet for her compared centering myself and now mental health. to a few months “As someone reconnecting my ago, it has been who suffers complete 180,” brain to the present.” aLeong from anxiety said. “BeEva Salvatierra, junior fore, I was always and depression, in addition to super insecure habitually overworking, I needed a about how my hair looked and how mindful activity not so focused around other people saw it; however, after getchecking off boxes and accomplishing ting my hair cut, I saw a significant intasks,” Salvatierra said. “I found that crease in my self-esteem.” making art was vital to centering myUsing hair as a meself and reconnecting my brain to the dium for creative expresent.” pression is something Through social media, Salvatierra many experimenthas also been able to share her artwork ed with over the past and connect with many artistic com- months. Gunn senior munities outside of Palo Alto. “People Haleigh Brosnan also across the world would republish my tried to switch up her work or reach out to me through direct hair, the difference being messaging, an incredibly humbling she opted for a box of and moving experience,” Salvatierra temporary hair dye. “For said. the first couple of months, While many students have taken I wasn’t able to leave my the time in quarantine to form new house or see anybody, so hobbies, others like Paly senior Ryan then I got bored,” Brosnan Leong decided to explore something said. After a lot of convinccompletely different, a new hairstyle. ing from her parents, she “My hair before was really long and a made the impulsive decision slightly messy and parted look. There to add bright colors to her wasn’t much of a ‘style,’ and I just blonde hair. kind of went with how it looked when Although the hair dye was


temporary, its effects were permanent. “When I dyed my hair purple again, it was just for the fun of it,” Brosnan said. “But when I decided to go brunette, it definitely gave me a big confidence boost.” No matter how small, making changes during times of such stress and turmoil can make all the difference in the world. Since implementing these adjustments, these Palo Alto students have used their new interests to not just cope, but to thrive within the current stagnancy of the world. “Quarantine gave me an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone,” Leong said. “I would recommend that people try new things and not be afraid of what other people are going to say.”



Magazine Cartoon




Cartoonists adapt to the digitizing world and overcome persistent criticism


our eyes scan the broadcasting news, picking apart the messaging and rhetoric of the politicians on screen. Your hands reach out for your stylus and iPad, exaggerating facial features, crafting speech bubbles and writing thought-provoking titles. The most appealing topic you heard that day emerges as an image that effortlessly comments on our society and politics as a platform for constructive dialogue. To create a meaningful piece, cartoonists implement caricature—the usage of distinguished characteristics to create a comic or grotesque effect—and satire as the stepping stones for political cartoons, providing light, comic relief from the stressful and bleak political affairs. Though cartoons now hold great power in persuasion and entertainment, when political cartoons were still developing they were thought of very differently. “They were considered vulgar, they were not treated as art, they were not displayed,” said Paly Comedy Literature teacher Joshua Hinrichs. “They were something you doodled in your notebook,


but not something you showed to people.” the power that cartoons have. Political cartoons have evolved to be“I think cartoons are the best way to come a platform for freedom of expres- communicate a complex message, or an sion, but some artists still do not feel they important cause, in a concise, easy-to-diget the amount of respect and recognition gest way,” Si said. “They can be dark, funthey deserve. ny, and inforClay Jones, mative all at “The jobs are mostly all gone. an American the same time, cartoonist, has using a minNewspapers are dying off. ex p e r i e n c e d imal amount Meanwhile, political cartoons this struggle of lines and are more popular than they ever sometimes no firsthand. “I’ve been words.” have been. Irony.” doing this for At the start 30 years and of the technolI still feel like ogy era newsI’m struggling for recognition. But hon- papers translated over to websites and TV estly, it took me seven years to get my first programs, leaving political cartoons in full-time job at a newspaper exclusively as the dust. While there may no longer be a a cartoonist,” Jones said. place for political cartoonists in big-time Yet, political cartoons have been able newspapers, hundreds of people are still to provide a new and unique perspective drawn to the political cartoon industry, on journalism. They have the ability to and cartoonists have found an outlet onconvey meaningful information while also line. According to the Herb Block Founengaging the audience by allowing them dation, there are currently about 30 carto interpret the images themselves. Zoe toonists working for a newspaper, a clear Si, a freelancer cartoonist, acknowledges decline from the beginning of the 20th

- Clay Jones

“The best way to deal with a hard situation is to turn it into something funny and laugh at it. This has been especially true during the pandemic: these huge problems are largely out of our control, so we may as well try to find lightness where we can.”

- Zoe Si

century, where 2,000 editorial cartoonists were employed. “There is a quicker reaction from today’s audience because of social media,” Jones said. “It doesn’t take an audience an entire day to see my cartoon anymore. Now, it takes seconds.” He has also noticed greater freedom online for cartoonists. “Some cartoonists are drawing more for a Facebook reaction than for actual news outlets,” Jones said. “A lot of stuff on social media won’t fly in a typical newspaper.” With the new era of technology, Si has also found a lot more freedom and enjoyment in creating cartoons digitally. Instead of being tied down to draw about a certain topic, she can draw what excites her personally while still building an audience. “There is much more permission to be silly with political cartoons, which I really like because I’m definitely more silly than serious,” Si said. While these artists have all endured the modification in publishing and how they showcase their work, like any profession, they all face their own individu-

al struggles. Whether it be the effect of tain publication. I have heard that selling censoring, opinions of the public, or even inauthentic work is the best way to burn judgment from close family and friends, out, and I want to avoid that at all costs,” they put a lot at stake broadcasting their Si said. opinions in the public eye. Instead of being discouraged and “[People] try to bomb my website, fearful of the constant barrage of comthey troll my social media, they send me ments and criticism, political cartoonists viruses in emails and they sign me up for build off that fuel and continue to use racist newsletters,” Jones said. “They find their power and influence to strengthen photos of me and they put them on their their message. hate pages for their people to recognize “If anything, I’ve felt compelled to me and try to find out where my son lives speak out more strongly as I really believe so they can go after him.” in the cartoon’s power to unite people Something and make evthat never seems eryone feel less “There is much more to change is the alone when permission to be silly with colossal amount things go sidepolitical cartoons, which of criticism ways,” Si said. they receive for “It has defiI really like because I’m drawing their nitely made definitely more silly than opinions. But, Si me reflect on serious.” does not let it afhow lucky I fect her work, it am to live in makes her even a place where more motivated I can express to create stronger cartoons. myself freely through cartoons without “I won’t “tone down” a cartoon in or- fear of persecution.” der to make it more palatable for a cer-

- Zoe Si


Featured Artist:

Alex Thom


Alex Thom’s lifelong love of cooking and baking has only strengthened over quarantine as he pushes new creative boundaries


prawled around the kitchen counter lays a weathered apron, a variety of bowls and an array of utensils waiting to be used. Senior Alex Thom assesses the available ingredients and his mind brings them together in infinite combinations. He secures his apron, takes one last look and then lets his creative cooking explosion take over the kitchen. Thom has been cooking ever since he can remember, but when schools closed in March, Thom had the opportunity to become more involved with every step of his cooking process, beginning with the ingredients. “I have started growing and harvesting fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs in my backyard and I use these ingredients in my cooking,” Thom said. Cultivating your own garden is a logical way for cooks to exercise control over their produce, but Thom has invested more than water and soil into the process. “In order to ensure that all of my plants get pollinated, I have become a beekeeper and I adore cooking with the fresh honey,” Thom says. Thom’s care and attention to cooking stems from his mom, who guided him through baking muffins when he was only five years old. “My mother is a great baker, and when I was a young child, I remember being amazed when she would create something from scratch,” says Thom. “I have been in love with baking ever since and now it is my favorite way to relax and de-stress,” Thom says. Even though he could not precisely sift one cup of flour or measure out a cup of milk without spilling, from that day forward, he always had a passion for baking and cooking. With Thom’s comprehensive involvement in his creations, from growing his own produce to following in his mom’s footsteps of improvising new recipes,

Thom finds great value in his cooking. Beyond the finished product, Thom has learned what the art of creation can teach you along the way. Cooking has become a more important part of Thom’s life as he continues to grow as an artist in the kitchen. “I enjoy the rigorous learning process [of cooking], the creativity of designing my own recipes and the satisfaction of serving other people food,” Thom said. After putting countless hours of work into a single dish, one might think Thom would want to savor all of his hard work, but he actually finds great joy in serving others and bringing people together over his food. “It is always rewarding to watch people bite into one of my creations and to share the joy of tasting a delicious dish,” Thom said. To complete each dish, Thom aims to garnish the finished food without adding anything unnecessary through plating, a method of decorating the finished food. Thom hopes that the finishing touches adds a positive flavor to the dish and a visually appealing taste. “Everything I use to garnish also adds a positive flavor to the dish. There are two things I think about when I am plating: color and height. I always try to add colors to make the dish look bright. I play around with heights by stacking food or with a sauce as the base of a dish. Lastly, I almost always plate in odd numbers because it is more visually appealing,” Thom said. The art of plating makes for a finishing touch on each of his masterpieces. As Thom develops his skills in the kitchen, cooking provides opportunities for Thom’s friends and family to come together to share in the food he creates as an artist.



Spin Painted filet of beef

New York strip steak with fingerling potatoes and mushrooms

Scallops, shrimps and clams in a white wine sauce over linguine

Raspberry chocolate soufflĂŠ


Recipe: Ingredients:

Mussel Stock: 18 Mussels 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled 1 large shallot, peeled 4 sprigs thyme 2 bay leaves 1 cup dry white wine Spinach: 3 two inch strips of orange zest ¾ teaspoon olive oil 6 oz spinach Kosher salt 2 teaspoons unsalted butter Parsnip Purée: 2 parsnips 1 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream ½ cup water Pinch of kosher salt Saffron-Vanilla Sauce: ½ vanilla bean, split 1 cup of mussel stock (from above) ¼ teaspoon saffron threads 1 ½ teaspoons heavy cream 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into squares Bass: Canola oil 2 sea bass fillets, skin on Kosher salt and pepper

Pacific Sea Bass With Parsnip Purée, Baby Spinach and Saffron-Vanilla Sauce Instructions: For the mussel stock: Place the mussels in a pot with the garlic, shallot, thyme, bay leaves, and wine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; remove each mussel as soon as it opens. Reserve the mussels for another use. Strain the mussel stock through a chinois and set aside. For the parsnip purée: Slice the parsnips lengthwise in half. Beginning at the narrow end, cut ½-inch pieces. When the parsnip half widens, about ⅓ of the way up, split it lengthwise again and continue to cut. Place the cut parsnips in a saucepan with 1 cup of heavy cream, the water, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 25 - 30 min, or until the parsnips are completely soft. Strain the parsnips, reserving the cream, and scrape the parsnips through a fine mesh sieve. Put the purée in a bowl and stir in enough of the strained cream to give them the texture of mashed potatoes. Set aside and keep warm.

For the spinach: Place the strips of orange zest in a large skillet with the olive oil. Heat the oil until it is hot. Add the spinach and sprinkle with salt. Cook the spinach until it wilts, then continue cooking for another 2 - 3 minutes to evaporate the moisture. Remove the spinach from the pan and separate into 6 parts. Take each pile of spinach, place it in a clean tea towel, and twist the towel around the spinach to squeeze out any remaining liquid and form a compact ball. Remove from the towel. Refrigerate the spinach balls until ready to plate. For the saffron-vanilla sauce: Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a small saucepan and add the vanilla pod, mussel stock, and saffron threads. Bring to a simmer, then simmer until reduced to a glaze. Add the cream and simmer for a few more seconds. Over medium heat, whisk in the butter bit by bit. Be very careful to keep the sauce at the correct temperature, as it will break if it becomes too hot or cold. Strain the sauce and mix for several seconds with an immersion blender to emulsify. Keep the sauce warm and set it aside.

Finishing Touches Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small ovenproof skillet and roll the spinach balls around in it. Place the skillet in the oven to warm while you cook the fish. Heat ⅛ inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add the fish fillets, skin side down. Press the fish down to flatten the fillets and keep the skin in direct contact with the skillet. Cook the fish until the skin releases from the bottom of the pan and then continue to cook skin side down for another 2-3 minutes. Turn the fillets over and kiss (briefly cook, don’t literally kiss) the flesh side of the fish. Remove the fillet from the pan. While waiting for the fish to rest, get ready to plate the dish. Place the saffron-vanilla sauce onto the center of the plate. Spoon some parsnip purée into the center of the sauce and top the purée with a spinach ball. Set the fish fillets, skin side up, on the spinach and serve.


LIGH ING UP House decorations are a festive display of holiday cheer that continue to thrive, but other traditions are being reimagined amidst the pandemic


ights twinkle and flash in the eyes of eager children who parade down the street with their families. This magical street, known as Christmas Tree Lane, is fully decked out for the holidays with Santas climbing on the roof, Christmas trees on every lawn, and the smell of hot chocolate drifting through the air. Many families show their holiday spirit by decorating their houses, including Lisa Bertelsen-Kivett, a parent of two Addison students. Kivett has decorated her house for as long as she can remember and it has become a familial tradition. “[Holiday decorations] are just something I grew up with and it’s something very familiar, so I wanted to continue the tradition with my kids,” Kivett said. Kivett also makes an effort to recognize most holidays, even those that are less common. “I’ll just put stuff on the coffee table, and that’s mainly for the kids, because it is part of our traditions,” she said. By decorating for every holiday, Kivett is able to really celebrate and appreciate them, while upholding her family tradition. Decorating is also a way for people to express their faith. Paly junior Lily Lochhead explains that decorating is a great way to feel festive and it is also a reminder of why they

really celebrate. “We decorate like most people do with Christmas trees and Santa Claus and stockings, but we also decorate with many crèche pieces with scenes of Christ’s birth,” Lochhead said. Not only do individuals decorate their houses, but these displays of festivity have also become long-standing traditions for organized groups of people. Streets such as Christmas Tree Lane in Palo Alto are known for their extravagant and beautiful holiday decorations that light up the whole street. The Christmas Tree Lane tradition began in 1940 and is celebrating its 80th lighting this year. Displayed on Fulton Street, the street lights reflect houses that are brightly decorated and incandescent. Drew Zenger, a Paly parent and former resident of Christmas Tree Lane, recognizes the importance of house decorations in order to fully embody the Christmas spirDrew Zenger it. “[Decorating] brought the Christmas spirit to the season every year,” Zenger said. “It just felt so warm and Christmas-y when you went to Christmas Tree Lane.” Living on Christmas Tree Lane, however, did not mean that Zenger’s family was required to decorate their house. While not

“Decorating brought the Christmas spirit to the season every year.”



every resident is required to elaborately decorate their house, there is a clause in their contracts when they purchase a house that consents to street congestion during the last two weeks of the year. This helps guarantee that homeowners on the street are invested in the tradition. Nonetheless, in order to uphold the Christmas spirit, Zenger’s family did participate. Encouraging every single resident on the street to decorate is not an easy task. In order to do so, the decorating committee of Christmas Tree Lane, a volunteer-based group, has continued running to this day. Leslie Berlin, a resident of Christmas Tree Lane, has been the chair of the Christmas Tree Lane decorating committee for the past couple years. She says that the decorating process is a collaborative one, with different families volunteering for different aspects of the street. This allows for each resident to focus on their own house, and then everybody comes together to put the finish-

ing touches on the street. “When the Christmas trees were delivered, the neighbors would come out and have a party on the day we set up, and we’d set them out in front and string it with lights,” Zenger said. These traditions have been upheld, and have allowed for the decorating process to go smoothly. Zenger also greatly enjoyed living on Christmas Tree Lane. “It was fun and festive getting to see people. Picture being able to do that every night without having to take a special trip,” he said. “We loved it.” Although there is the pressure of making sure the house looks presentable and the trouble that comes with the heavy congestion that occurs during the holidays, it is an amazing tradition to be a part of. Despite moving away from Christmas Tree Lane, Zenger still visits the street annually. “Going back to Christmas Tree Lane brings back those memories of being much younger and gives me that Christmas feeling,” he said. Jonathan Ward,


“This will be an unusual Christmas Tree Lane, but I think it will be especially meaningful for people this year.”

Leslie Berlin

a Paly parent who currently lives on Christmas Tree Lane, also greatly enjoys the reward decorating for the holidays entails. Ward makes his own themed decorations with his family and constantly rotates the decorations to keep them new and exciting. “Decorating is special and I look forward to it each year as it means the neighborhood will be full of people soon,” Ward said. “[Christmas Tree Lane] is a gift to the community and we enjoy seeing so many people enjoy the cheer.” During this pandemic, many people have altered how they celebrate in order to stay healthy and keep their loved ones safe. While Kivett continued with her festive Halloween decorations this year, the way in which she celebrated on Halloween and how she plans to celebrate future holidays has shifted. Kivett chose not to trickor-treat with her children on Halloween, in order to stay safe and distanced. However, she knows not all people will make this same decision. Kivett recognized that many children had been looking


forward to this holiday, so she came up with a solution. “We bought a long PVC tube and, from the second floor porch of our house, we shot candy through the tube,” Kivett said. Gestures such as these are important during a time in which so much has been taken away and canceled. While this holiday season is likely to be challenging with plans changing and the inability to see our loved ones, it will bring new traditions and an appreciation for what we have. Berlin recognizes that this year will be celebrated differently. “This will be an unusual Christmas Tree Lane, but I think it will be especially meaningful for people this year,” Berlin said. Holiday house decorations hold special meaning to both the decorators and viewers. These decorations can cross religious boundaries, as well as age and culture gaps. It is a way to express excitement and celebrate these different holidays, and it is oftentimes deeply rooted in traditions with family and friends. These traditions are just one of many different ways to recognize the holidays, and will continue as time goes on.



All eyes are on America. Are we on our best behavior? 24


It’s all Political


n the night of November 3, millions of people around the world were watching the United States on TV with bated breaths, waiting to see how a few thousand votes in Nevada would turn the tide for either of the presidential candidates. Blue to red, red to blue, eyes glued to the percentages seesawing back and forth between Democratic and Republican. Meanwhile, halfway across the world, Nigerian youth were rallying behind the End SARS movement to protest the barbaric actions of the government-instituted police force, and yet who was paying them attention? The international attention that America attracts is undeniably significant — abroad, people consume American media and hear about American events. This Americentric phenomenon begs the question of whether that influence is beneficial or harmful. Social movements that start in the U.S. usually don’t stop at American borders, but spread to other countries and have the potential to trigger international change. Paly senior Wumi Ogunlade cites the Black Lives Matter movement as an example. “It did not just happen in Minneapolis or the U.S.,” said Ogunlade. “There were protests in the UK, Sweden, and Germany. People heard about what happened to George Floyd, said it was not okay, and decided to stand up against it.” Ogunlade, who grew up in Nigeria for most of her life before moving to America in high school, says America’s international influence can be attributed to how much the citizens care about their country’s polit-

ical and social issues. “Because Americans have this love for their country, it makes the world turn and face them, and that is why everyone is interested in America—they show that ‘this is our country and we love it’,” Ogunlade said. For other countries to receive equal international attention about their country’s injustices, Wumi says that Americans must pay closer attention to problems outside U.S. borders. “Awareness can go a long way. The more people know about what is going on, [the more they can help],” Ogunlade said. But is the overwhelming focus on America a cause for concern? When Ogunlade lived in Nigeria, she noticed people were often watching American news on news channels like CNN. She expresses disappointment in the lack of political engagement she saw in Nigeria compared to America. “Here in America, everyone is so involved,” Ogunlade said. “People watch the news and know what is happening even if they don’t care. In Nigerian elections, you don’t see much [voter] turnout. It was maybe 43 percent in the last election.” However, she has recently realized that Nigerians care more about their country than she originally gave them credit for. After the revitalization of End SARS protests in October, Ogunlade is seeing her home country in a new light. “Seeing how many people turned out to protest and take action even though the government sent armies against them ... it shows that people are still out there risking their lives for a better Nigeria,” Ogunlade said. “It makes me think Nigeria still does have a chance; we are going to get there.”


Americans often take the functionality of their democracy for granted because of their ignorance about the hardships dealt with in foreign governments. Having lived in both America and Chile, Paly junior Catalina Silva believes that Americans have a very self-centered perspective. “Americans think their government is bad when everywhere else it’s way worse,” Silva said. Many Chileans admire the American government for their progressiveness Silva says. “[The U.S. has] a lot of acceptance and variety around body types, sexuality and race so it creates a positive environment. In Chile there’s not a lot of acceptance around that.” America is sometimes seen as a golden standard of civilization, but given the current state of its political and social environment, many internationally and domestically are recognizing how flawed the current U.S. systems are. Nancy Pachana, a professor at the University of Queensland, believes that America’s political climate is not as admirable as it appears. “American politics at the moment is deeply embarrassing and [Australians] limit the amount we read about the USA to the bare minimum; it is basically toxic on all levels,” Pachana said. While other countries used to turn to the U.S. as an example to follow, in recent times this pattern of action has diminished in specific parts of the world. “The positiveness of association with the U.S. has declined, especially in the last two years. The U.S. is becoming a source of concern and negative opinions, especially around COVID-19,” Pachana said. The poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has further hinted at the need for international collaboration­ —where


“Because Americans have this love for their country, it makes the world turn and face them, and that is why everyone is interested in America—they show that ‘this is our country and we love it.’” — Wumi Ogunlade, Paly senior lesser-known countries share what is working within their borders and encourage others to adopt similar practices. Pachana says that if the U.S. looked to foreign practices of controlling COVID-19 cases they could gain better insight into their own shortfalls. “Here in Queensland we have had six deaths total since the beginning of the year and 905 deaths in Australia as a whole. We have a little less than one tenth the population of the USA but the math here is clear,” Pachana said. However this type of communication requires a dismantling of our self-imposed borders and their subsequent status levels which is sure to bring a new onset of troubles. But one way to sever our stifling nationalism and patriotism is to adopt a mindset that focuses on the similarities we have with people who don’t live in our country rather than our differences. “We are all humans and our skin color and ethnicity don’t make us less human,” Ogunlade said. “We are not that different, yes the culture is different, the way that we live is different but... we are all just teenagers, figuring ourselves out.”

Anaya Bhatt: Home of the Immigrants Crashing on her couch after a long day, Paly junior Anaya Bhatt takes out the remote, opens up Netflix and heads right over to her favorite Bollywood film Kal Ho Naa Ho. With both her parents being U.S. immigrants from India, Bhatt is constantly exposed to the culture even though her family’s home state of Gujarat is over 8,000 miles away. Second generation immigrants in the U.S. are in a unique position as non-Americans living in America, and the media they consume often reflects their mixed identities. “I’ve grown up listening primarily to Bollywood music and watching Bollywood movies,” Bhatt said. “I’ve found that my Indian friends also watch a lot of Bollywood movies and listen to [Bollywood] music [because] the music and films are very integrated into the culture.” Bhatt notices that her friends who have immigrated more recently are able to connect better with their out-

side culture compared to longtime American citizens. “When all of your living relatives were born in America, it is difficult to connect with other cultures, even your own history,” Bhatt said. She hopes other Americans will branch out and learn about foreign cultures. “People in the U.S. tend to think the world revolves around them,” Bhatt said. “People here believe that everyone is up to date on our policies and politics and that everyone speaks or should speak English.” Bhatt believes much of the American identity is self-centered, but recognizing how this country is built on immigration is critical. “As generations pass, we shouldn’t forget our ancestors are from around the world nor should we ignore other countries,” Bhatt said. “Because much of the world is American-centric, we should be setting a better example.”

Nancy Pachana: Center of Attention When Professor Nancy A. Pachana is settling down for a night of relaxation, she, like Bhatt, doesn’t reach for typical media. As an American living in Australia, Pachana has found her lifestyle to have shifted greatly after she left the U.S. in 1997. “The single biggest change I have noticed in living outside the U.S. is that access to stuff from the rest of the world is so much easier; it’s so much a part of regular conversations,” Pachana said. Pachana discovered that America no longer appeared to be the center of the world once she left it which allowed her to engage more deeply with international media and government.

“People you meet casually may be just as likely to be deep in a UK television series, listening to K-pop, reading Scandinavian crime novels or immersed in the Daily Show.”

Individuals abroad typically have more diverse tastes than Americans living in the U.S. “People you meet casually may be just as likely to be deep in a UK television series, listening to K-pop, reading Scandinavian crime novels or immersed in the Daily Show. It is all much more eclectic,” Pachana said. That isn’t to say American media has no global influence. Australians have taken great inspiration from American shows and incorporated those styles into their own. “There is some influence on certain genres, like reality TV, that have been copied in a lot of countries,” Pachana said. Still, Australia has developed a unique identity of their own despite Hollywood’s ostentatious presence threatening to overshadow the international film community as a whole. “The Australian film industry is very strong in its own right and Australians are great consumers of music and movies from all over. No one country stands out,” Pachana said.

— Nancy A. Pachana, University of Queensland professor




Taste testing local favorites at Palo Alto cafes



A contemporary cafe on the edge of California Avenue

The Mexican Mocha is a chocolatey coffee with a dash of cinnamon and spice. This drink is a dream for people with a sweet tooth, with creamy chocolate and cinnamon, to give it a kick. With a variety of coffees and sandwiches to choose from, this cafe is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and refuel.

Backyard Brew

A funky cafe tucked away in a small alley on California Avenue

Their marocchino is a strong Italian coffee blanketed with chocolate shavings that melt over the hot coffee and is the perfect balance of sweet and nutty. This European-style cafe will transport you to Italy with soft lighting and images of Venice hung on the walls. Cafe Venetia is the perfect place to step outside, grab a table and enjoy the company of others while sipping on a hot drink.


The mocha is a light rendition of the classic drink. Not too chocolatey and not too sweet, it fully captures the delicate blend of earthy coffee and rich chocolate. This cafe feels very refined, with a modern interior and a relaxed ambience.

Palo Alto


A family-owned, cozy cafe in midtown

The specialty Nutella Chocolate drink is just as heavenly as it sounds. The creamy taste of hazelnut enhances the chocolatey beverage and captures the essence of a delicious spoonful of Nutella. The tents and garden aesthetic of the cafe solidifies the casual and friendly atmosphere. It is an immersive outdoor escape from the bustling street 100 steps away.



An Italian style cafe in downtown Palo Alto



As the first digital natives, Generation Z uses social media as an outlet for assembly and a platform to create social change

or the first time in history, a young generation has access to technology that has forever changed the ways they think, communicate and live. As Generation Z navigates the world through their screens, they work together to overcome global issues in hopes of creating social change. From the Civil Rights movement to the invention of the Internet, baby boomer April Komenaka has witnessed life throughout several monumental advancements across the world. Komenaka believes that by growing up in a digitally-infused environment, Gen Z has acquired an understanding of technology unlike any other generation. “Social media and technology have enabled people to enjoy access to so much information,” Komenaka said. “Among themselves, they have to learn to filter out what’s important, what’s accurate and what isn’t.” Access to social media has a lasting impact

on the formation of Gen Z’s values and passed on to Gen Z the vision that they ideologies. “My life experience has led can make a difference.” me to believe that Gen Z has learned to not only tolerate, but to accept and even A new way of life celebrate differences between their identiPaly senior Rachel Owens is the presties,” Komenaka said. “Gen Z wants the ident of Vote16 Palo Alto, a youth-led world and their country to be as good as it group working to lower the voting age can be.” to 16 for Palo Alto United by their “If we can use the power of municipal elecadvocacy for sotions. Through social media for good and cial change, Genthis position, she eration Z’s belief really get behind it, we can has found herself that the world can create actionable and tangiusing social media progress is ratified ble change.” platforms to spread by the positive revawareness on Gwen Spencer, olutions of earlier Vote16’s mission. Co-founder of Teens Create “I use my phone generations. Change every day, and so “I believe Gen Z stands out bedo most people I cause they have the understanding that know,” Owens said. “Gen Z knows how to the world can be a much better place navigate the world a lot better than older and that major social changes have been generations with respect to technology.” made, which means social change can With the advancement of technology, continue to be made,” Komenaka said. our world has been “In that sense, the older generation has more con-

1st Cell Phone







nected than ever before. “We are now able to reach large audiences of people very easily in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Owens said.

From social isolation to digital addic- we do?’” Reynolds tion, the consequences of technology Gen said. “We want to hand Z faces are magnified as the coronavirus the power over to Gen Z, pandemic progresses. “Virtual living al- but also have adult allies waitlows for the negative effects of tech and ing in the wings to support them.” The bad comes with the good social media to amplify existing issues,” Although technology has presented the Reynolds said. Rising up world with a plethora of opportunities, Good social change can be initiated as LookUp provides opportunities for living life through a screen has its faults. LookUp believes Gen Z to utilize When the answers to most questions that in order to resocial media as a are just a couple of clicks away, it can be solve these negative “Virtual living allows for the platform for social difficult for Gen Z to develop important influences, Gen Z negative effects of tech and justice. “One of life skills on their own. “The biggest prob- needs to reach out social media to amplify existLookUp’s startup lem with technology is that it decreas- to one another and ing issues.” questions is about es people’s creativity and their ability to communicate their digital activism and Susan Reynolds, using tech platthink critically,” Owens said. ideas. “The youth Co-founder of LookUp forms to promote By listening to younger audiences, need to continue LookUp, a nonprofit organization, is re- to gather, organize good solutions to defining the relationship between the and mobilize online to bring changes,” problems,” Reynolds said. youth and technology, providing them Reynolds said. “Their optimism and enThe internet and social media have with opportunities to utilize multiple so- ergy bring hope to the older generations served as a place where the voices of the cial media platwho are strong al- youth are heard. “Gen Z has a platform forms in a benefilies.” to promote change, gather others who cial and productive “Gen Z has learned to not LookUp under- support their ideas for change and broadway. Susan Reyn- only tolerate, but to accept stands that Gen cast their message so much easier than olds, Co-founder and even celebrate differencZ’s experience with before,” Reynolds said. “Black Lives Matof LookUp, has technology as dig- ter, #Metoo, March for Our Lives and dedicated her ca- es between their identities.” ital natives differs Greta Thunberg’s campaign for Climate April Komenaka from that of other Change were all augmented with the poreer to combatting the consequences generations. They tential to reach millions because of the of technology and social media on Gen Z. have done research to find ways to alter power of tech and social media.” “LookUp’s approach to reverse the the negative effects technology has on The universal nature of technegative effects of technology is to sup- the newer generation “LookUp shares nology makes global commuport the ideas, initiatives and campaigns the [research] and turns to Gen Z and nication possible in an inof the youth,” Reynolds said. asks, ‘What should you do? What should fluential way than











2016 31

previously possible. “[Gen Z] can organize across a physical distance and globally, particularly now during the pandemic, and the ability to host things virtually allows them to bring more people in,” Reynolds said. “It’s Take this quiz to see which about finding a little bit of a silver generation lining in this curyou really rent pandemic.” belong in. Throughout Reynolds’ career working with children of all ages and backgrounds, she witnessed their interest in creating social change flourish. “I saw the difficulties Gen Z was facing, but I also met youth who were eager to become involved in reducing the stigma of mental health and organizing around other global issues,” Reynolds said. Through their desire to make a difference, Gen Z has the potential to better their futures. “The youth are the optimistic and fresh energy we need to solve the world’s problems,” Reynolds said. “Social media has given the youth a voice [to create change].” From a screen to the streets Menlo-Atherton junior Gwen Spencer has first-hand experience with the influence that technology has on her generation. She believes that what differentiates Gen Z from other generations is their ac-


cess to social media at such a young age. ing together and finding possible solu“There are many spheres of influence and tions. “They were at the protests and the access to different types of media which Juneteenth rally,” DeKraai said. “They’re has encouraged our generation to find emailing city council members, they’re indifferent outlets terviewing city council members, commuand resources un- nity organizers, activists and people who like our parents,” are formerly incarcerated.” Spencer said. Throughout her teaching experiences S p e n c e r of interacting with many students and co-founded Teens adults, DeKraai has detected differences Create Change, between Gen Z and other generations. “As a program that digital natives, Gen Z has been exposed encourages teens to so many more ideas, issues, people and below the voting age to become more thoughts than previous generations ever civically engaged. “I wanted to get more were,” DeKraai said. “So I think that this involved in a way that isn’t performative is the most tolerant generation yet.” and create a real change,” Spencer said. Overall, the powerful social progress The power of social media has set the in the world over the past century has instage for a uniquespired vast particily stronger and “As digital natives, Gen Z has pation in activism more unified Gen amongst Gen Z. “I Z. “If we can use been exposed to so many believe that many the power of so- more ideas, issues, people of them are on the cial media for good and thoughts than previous track to saving the and really get beworld,” Komenagenerations ever were.” hind it, we can creka said. “If we can Lizzie DeKraai, just not stifle that ate actionable and Paly teacher passion and that tangible change,” Spencer said. energy, I think they Lizzie DeKraai, one of Paly’s Social will be able to transform the world.” Justice Pathway teachers, has witnessed Gen Z’s action towards social change and offers a new perspective. DeKraai’s students are committed to finding ways to enrich society by work-

COVID-19 creates the perfect opportunity for newcomers and longtime surfers to enjoy the California coast 33


t was the perfect cotton candy sunset, and no one was out. There are no words to describe how happy I was during that session,” said Charles Mitz, a Paly senior and avid surfer. He has been chasing waves for a couple of years now, and has never looked back. “Days like those are what we chase.” During COVID-19, surfing has rapidly become one of the most popular quarantine activities. Amongst the feelings of isolation and boredom, people have been encouraged to pick up new skills. Many were inspired by this rare opportunity to pursue surfing, a combination of nature, art and sport, an activity like no other. “Like anything, surfing has kind of become trendy; it’s quarantine, so it just makes sense," Mitz said. He and senior Alex Washburn are co-founders of Paly’s first ever Surf and Ocean Conservation club which has amassed a following of almost 50 members, eager and ready to join their peers at the nearest


surf break. surfing since age seven and loves the Surfing can be conquered by the community aspect. “Everybody has difrider in many different ways, and every ferent life stories you can hear about, individual surfs for a different purpose. it's really fun to get to know people,” “Alex surfs more for peaceful purposes Gaither said. She finds being out in [while] I'm always thinking about cat- the water and meeting new people is a ching the next wave,” Mitz said. great way to get a break from the chaos For junior Isa Morabia, her experien- of everyday life. ce is similar to Washburn's. “It's honest“When you're gliding through the ly kind of a high; water, it's the it's therapeutic, best because you and you forget really do forget about [your] about everything week," Morabia else,” Gaither said. Morabia said. “Everyone's picked up surfing just out there to over quarantine have fun.” and specifically Along with Lulu Gaither, senior Gaither, Steve enjoys the more peaceful and soHenry, a local cial aspects of the sport. Like Morabia, longtime surfer, admires certain parts many surfers find tranquility within the of the culture. Henry has always had a ocean; they surf waves for serenity, not love for watersports which started when for exhilaration. he played water polo in high school, and Senior Lulu Gaither has been from that, grew a passion for surfing.

“Everybody has different life stories you can hear about, it’s really fun to get to know people.”


The adrenaline attached with catching understanding of that,” Henry said. a wave makes him feel ecstatic. “That “Sometimes it can create challenges out initial feeling of making a commitment on the water.” is just really fun,” Henry said. Another aspect that Henry thinks is However, with a very important every great sport part of surf culture comes its own set is having respect of challenges. As for the ocean. If a surfer of more people don’t pick than 30 years, up their trash and Henry has a lot aren’t considerate Steve Henry, surfer of the effects that of experience under his belt; pollution can have therefore, he can highlight a lot of the on the environment, it creates lasting difficulties that come along with the change. “[We need to] make sure the sport. Surfing requires patience, preci- ocean stays clean and usable for the sion, and a comprehension of how the things we all like to use it for," Henry waves around you work. “Not knowing said. "Regardless if you surf or not, it’s where you are, or who the people are really something you learn to appreciate out there; not enough people have an if you're out in [the ocean] a lot."

“That initial feeling of making a commitment is just really fun.”

The rise of surfing at Paly is enabled by Palo Alto’s close proximity to the beach and its endless opportunities for reflection and relaxation. Surf culture is an important aspect of the sport that attracts people; COVID-19 gave many the opportunity to take it up. The definition of culture is different to every surfer you may encounter. Surfing may rise and fall just as the tides do, but in Palo Alto, it is something truly special. Ben Bolaños, a History and Sociology teacher at Paly and longtime surfer, explains the serenity of surfing. “There is something about just being in the garden or hiking or camping that really calms our soul and calms all the noise around us,” Bolaños said. “I think that's what surfing does for a lot of people.”



“I love the physicality of it. Learning something that is really difficult, that’s what keeps me going back to the wave.” Benjamin Bolaños, Surf Club adviser


GROW AS YOU GO Gardening proves to be a gratifying pastime for Paly students and experts alike

Text and design by EMMA JOING and MARILYN YIN • Art by MARILYN YIN



Start small! Learn how to take care of houseplants first to get a feel for gardening.

Owen Rice

Pay attention to your soil because it is crucial to having a thriving garden.

Cate Dyer

Reach out to the Master Gardening program if you have any questions about getting started, they are happy to help!

Candace Simpson


lanters overflow with vegetables of and helps me destress and not overthink various colors and shapes, finally because I am focused on taking care of ready to harvest after months of the garden.” growing and hard work. For many, garOwen Rice, a junior at Paly, runs his dening serves as a rewarding pastime with own local plant business and uses gardencountless benefits. ing as a similar escape from the world’s With the safety precautions of chaos. COVID-19 still restricting regularly “I think working with plants has been scheduled events comforting over the and activities, past months,” Rice many have found “[Gardening] gives me said. “It’s a really nice time to pursue the something to do with thing for me to focus joys and benefits on in hectic times and my hands and helps of gardening. it’s just another thing Paly junior me destress and not that makes me feel Cate Dyer is overthink.” good.” among many of Not only have Cate Dyer, junior people been inspired those who have begun to garden to start gardening at as a release from this ongoing pandemic. home, there are even organizations that “With school being online, I feel like garden to serve the community. The I don’t get outside enough, and garden- Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) in ing helps me to do so,” Dyer said. “Also, it East Palo Alto is home to a thriving orgives me something to do with my hands ganic garden that grows a variety of pro-


duce to distribute to those in need. The garden is managed entirely through the work of volunteers. Sadly, the effects of COVID-19 have severely depleted their supply of volunteers and nearly tripled the size of their client base. For the EHP garden’s lead volunteer, May Chevallier, it has become difficult to maintain the garden due to this influx of clients. “I’m constantly thinking, ‘How can I increase production?’” Chevallier said. “The garden is very, very small for the number of people that we serve.” The EHP garden normally runs with the help of corporate volunteers; however, the pandemic has kept companies from pursuing volunteer opportunities, so Chevallier has had to rely on friends, volunteers from Nextdoor and high school students to keep the garden running. Despite these challenges, Chevallier is determined that with hard work and more volunteers, the EHP garden will continue

to serve the community and provide fresh, ing education. While this program is counorganic produce for those in need. try-wide, Santa Clara County has its own Maintaining a thriving garden is vital to branch of Master the work of the EHP because their clients Gardeners who mostly receive canned or processed foods are first trained “Working towards the growth from food banks, so the produce grown in at the University of a plant is a very exciting and the garden is one of their main sources of of California, Dasatisfying feeling.” healthy food. vis. Becoming a Owen Rice, junior According to Chevallier, the garden also Master Gardener serves as an educational opportunity to requires training teach the community about the importance and dedication, but once someone gains of eating healthy. the title they become an incredibly helpful “A lot of low-income people can’t afford resource to fellow gardeners. fresh produce,” Chevallier said.” “We’re Candace Simpson, a former Paly sciteaching them how to eat organically, ence teacher, serves as a Master Gardener. healthy and fresh.” Her combined love of science and gardenGrowing your own produce also pres- ing led her to seek out the position of Masents benefits in that you know the process ter Gardener when she retired, giving her rather than having to buy it from a store. the platform to cultivate other people’s love “There are definitely things that my for gardening. family and I have started growing because She strongly advocates for any amateur we’d rather grow it than go buy it from a Bay Area gardeners to connect with a Masgrocery store,” Rice said. “And there are so ter Gardener through their website if they many possibilities to what you can grow in- have any questions, whether they are a bestead of buy.” ginner and do not know where to start or Not only does gardening contribute to are an expert gardener who wants to learn a healthy lifestyle, but you also get the satis- more. faction of being “I would say that able to eat what anybody who reyou spent your “A lot of low-income people ally wants to have time and effort can’t afford fresh produce, no false starts in growing. so we’re teaching them how gardening should “It adds to get connected to the joy of eating to eat organically, healthy master gardeners when you know and fresh.” so that when questhe food came tions arise, they can from you,” Rice May Chevallier, EHP garden ask them,” Simpson said. said. coordinator While many Overall, gardenpeople are ining is an incredibly trigued by the idea of gardening and would rewarding hobby with countless benelove to grow their own produce as a step fits towards the community and for towards a more sustainable lifestyle, they the gardeners themselves. have no idea where to start or how to gar“Working towards the growth den appropriately. A program in the Bay of a plant is a very exciting and Area that is focused on giving area-specific satisfying feeling,” Rice said. advice and education to gardeners is the “It doesn’t stop, both you and Master Gardener program. the plants around you just Master Gardeners who are certified by keep growing.” the program provide science-based garden-



BUILDING CONNECTIONS Video games connect students during times of isolation and begin to influence the culture of politics like never before


ne byproduct of the pandemic for many felt that AOC’s stream reached its overall goal in Americans is increased isolation. As a encouraging viewers to vote. way to combat loneliness, many people “I watched AOC playing Among Us on stream have turned to competitive and entertaining video with many famous Twitch streamers,” Xu said. games to connect with friends and others around “Twitch has a live chat where you can interact with the globe. Intriguingly, video games have also made other viewers, and many were stating how they a significant impact on an unexpected facet of were going to either vote or spread the word about American society: politics. the importance of being involved in the election.” In an attempt to promote voter turnout for the Xu recognizes the tactical benefits of appealing 2020 elections, including the presidential election to young voters this way. “AOC went on stream to between former Vice Presappeal to potential votident Joe Biden and the in- “I wouldn’t be surprised ers, and Among Us has cumbent, Donald Trump, been gaining popularity, politicians are using video if politicians using video especially amongst the games to reach out to our games to connect with younger population,” Xu country’s gamers, a growsaid. “AOC was able to ing demographic of pri- the younger generation push for viewers to vote, marily young new voters. particularly by relating to becomes a new Democratic Congressthem, which is important normality.” woman Alexandria Ocbecause the last election Joy Xu, junior did not have a great voter asio-Cortez (AOC), currently a representative of turnout.” New York’s 14th congressional district, recently Because of low voter turnout from the younger went on Twitch, a video live streaming service. She generation in the last election, it is logical politiplayed the popular game Among Us with famous cians are looking for new ways to appeal to young streamers and reached over 400,000 viewers, mak- voters. ing it one of the most-watched streams in Twitch According to the Center for Information & ReHistory. search on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRHer main goal was to push for the viewers to CLE), in 2016 the estimated voter turnout for vote in the election. “If you are able to vote, [go to] young people, ages 18-29, was 45-48%. In 2020, iwillvote.com. Make sure that you make your vot- that percent significantly increased to 53-56%. ing plan, and if you can’t vote, talk to someone who These percentages amount to millions of citizens can vote and try to direct them to iwillvote.com and which have the power to influence key political demake sure that they get their voting plan in place,” cisions. Ocasio-Cortez said during her stream. “I wouldn’t be surprised if politicians using vidHer stream captured nationwide attention, even eo games to connect with the younger generation making an impact on Paly students. Junior Joy Xu becomes a new normality,” Xu said


Internet interactions dents to rely on games as a stress-relieving outlet. Aside from politics, video games have also played “I find video games to be a good form of disan important social role for students. Games such traction, especially if you engage in them with as Call of Duty, Madden 20, Minecraft, Among Us friends,” Kim said. “Video games help to channel and more are go-to pastimes that provide students stress and energy towards a temporary distraction with stress relief, a form of communication and a from anything difficult that could be going on.” source of entertainment. Especially in a time where Paly students are Paly senior Timor Averbuch utilizes video dealing with the struggles of social and physical games’ communication methods to connect with isolation, outlets such as gaming can be instrumenothers. “Video games are very beneficial in a social tal in maintaining stable mental health for some aspect,” Averbuch said. “Multiplayer games with students. However, it’s equally important for stubuilt-in voice chats are designed to enable people dents to create a balanced lifestyle, one that is not to communicate while playcompletely focused on ing, and that’s why they are so video games. successful at allowing friends “To some extent, my Dylan Oba, a Paly to stay connected while stay- communication with my junior knows the temping at home.” tations of gaming. “If Video games have consis- friends has become even you do a lot of schooltently evolved to benefit their better as we have spent work then I recomconsumers’ playing experimend video games as ence, and easy access to com- more time together a stress relief activity.” munication options has been through games.” But, as with most revolutionary in the gaming activities in life, video Timor Averbuch, senior games must be played industry and the benefits to the users. with restraint. “Video “To some extent, my communication with my games are good only if you have moderation and friends has become even better as we have spent self-control,” Oba said. “When you play video more time together through games,” Averbuch games, you need to be disciplined.” said. “Video games are more of a method of comAlthough video games have a danger to become munication rather than a game.” addicting or take away time from more important Paly junior and avid gamer Ella Kim appreci- activities, they nevertheless continue to improve the ates the value of connection during a time of iso- lives of many students. Not only can they provide lation. “Video games allow you to interact with students with a form of socialization and stress reothers and build more of that social connection we lief, video games are being harnessed as a political are all craving more than ever during quarantine.” tool for policy makers to engage the younger genVideo games aren’t limited to providing players eration, something that will surely shift our view of with a form of communication, but also allow stu- gaming forever.



The journey of a famous singer and songwriter with local ties and how she uses her influence to advocate women empowerment 42


tevie Nicks moved to the Bay selling albums of all time “Rumors.” stars in a predominantly male band. Area in the early ‘60s and gradu- The next album Fleetwood Mac pro“I can only think of a handful of ated from Menlo Atherton High duced paled in comparison to the suc- women that starred in really popular School, where she met Lindsey Buck- cess they had with “Rumors.” “Tusk” bands that broke out on their own and ingham. They then went on to attend was an experimade successful caSan Jose State University where they mental album, reers, so I thought formed a band, Buckingham Nicks. spearheaded by “She didn’t get famous that was pretty In the interest of furthering their Lindsey Buck- for her looks, it was amazing,” Maund musical career, Nicks and Bucking- ingham’s unique because she was said. ham moved to Los Angeles where they songwriting and talented and unique and Nicks was nevwrote and recorded their first, self-ti- guitar stylings. er afraid to stand I love that.” tled album, “Buckingham Nicks” in During the out and was always Lisa Maund, superfan authentic, and this 1974. This album contained 10 new production of songs, and despite the time and effort “Tusk,” Nicks individuality made put in by the two of them, the album was simultaneously working on a solo her an icon to many. was not a success. The record label album. In 1981, while still in Fleet“I loved her independent woman pulled the album from the shelves and wood Mac, she released her first al- style,” Maund said. “She was just very they had to start from scratch. bum as a solo artist “Bella Donna” unique, she didn’t really follow any At the same time Fleetwood Mac, with Modern Records. trends, she was just herself.” a popular British blues band, had lost Many young women looked up Nicks broke off from the band to some of their founding members in- to Nicks from a young age, including pursue her solo career in 1990 and cluding guitarist Bob Welch. When Lisa Maund, 55, a superfan of Nicks. many fans connected more to her in LA drummer “I got intro- solo releases, such as the song “Edge Mick Fleetwood duced to her in the of Seventeen,” which resonated with “She was just very saw Buckingham late 1970’s because younger fans because of the lyrics play guitar, he unique, she didn’t really of Fleetwood Mac, about growth and young love. knew he wanted follow any trends, she which was one of “I was around 17, so I totally rehim in the band. was just herself.” the most popular lated to that song,” Maund said. “It However, Nicks Lisa Maund, superfan bands in the ‘70s,” came out right when I was that age and Buckingham Maund says. and it’s just about trying to be an were a package While Fleet- adult, you’re still a teenager, but you deal and after hearing Nicks sing, they wood Mac consisted of many famous want to be older.” were both added to the band in 1975. musicians like Lindsey Buckingham, Nicks’ unique sense of style was In the ‘70s, Fleetwood Mac pro- former boyfriend of Nicks, and Peter another reason people came to adore duced some of their most popu- Green, Nicks clearly stood out as a her. lar albums, including the self-titled star. At that time, this was a big deal “Hairstyle, or fashion she had her “Fleetwood Mac” and one of the best because she was one of two female own thing, she was kind of like a gypsy


woman,” Maund said. But, while her looks clearly characterize her, they were not the sole reason she was admired. “She didn’t get famous for her looks or anything, it was because she was talented and unique and I love that.” Nicks’ confident and free energy also made her a symbol for women’s rights. Nicks proved to the world that women, just like men, could be successful and gain a following in both a band and solo career. Just two years after Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, their rise to fame exploded after the release of the album “Rumors” in 1977. This quickly grew the bands fan base along with increased recognition of Nicks’ lyricism and vocal stylings. Fans of every age still seem to have a special place in their heart for the music that Nicks had a part in creating, including Caroline Mostofizadeh, a Paly sophomore. “She’s definitely a role model for me because she’s such an amazing singer and a feminist that proved to the world she was capable of being bigger than what the media depicted her to be,” Mostofizadeh said. Since her rise in fame, Nicks has always attracted women to her concerts because of her activist aura and

drive. Nicks uses her platform to em- a platform to convey the message power women in the music industry, that confidence among women is a and she continues to look up to and good thing and not something to be inspire other women rights activists, discouraged. calling Ruth Bader Ginsburg a “poNicks continues to be an activlitical rock star.” ist, spreading Nicks used her her message platform to gain “She’s an amazing through her recognition for singer and a feminist actions and women all over the that proved to the voice. With country. She inlarge world she was capable her spires women every platform, she day to live their lives of being bigger than teaches and with no regard for what the media inspires womwhat is supposed depicted her to be.” en to be careto be “ladylike” or lessly themCaroline Mostofizadeh, selves and to “polite” and stresses sophomore not depend the importance of just being you. on a man. “I’ve grown up listening to her She has inspired several artists both music and thinking there was always male and female including Miley something special about her and it Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Harry Styles wasn’t her talent, you could tell she and more. Recently reaching the was a part of something bigger,” Billboard Hot 100 for her song “RuMostofizadeh said. mors,” she has also topped the songNicks transformed her career in writers chart for her song “Dreams.” music into a revolution for female em- Stevie Nicks has also just released her powerment. In 2019 she became the new movie “24 Karat Gold.” first woman to be inducted into the Inspiring many women throughRock-and-Roll Hall of Fame twice, out the years and even today, Nicks’ now standing alongside more than legacy will be everlasting and a con20 men. As one of the most influen- stant reminder to not settle just betial female leaders in a male-domi- cause it is comfortable or expected. nated industry and genre, Nicks has




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usical emories

Everyone has a song they associate with their favorite memory, adding to how they view the world

Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts

I associate ‘Life is a Highway’ by Rascal Flatts with road trips and the highlights of many vacations. I have always been a big fan of the ‘Cars’ movies which most people recognize the song from. I remember driving to Arizona at age eight on Route 66 listening to the song thinking to myself that I was exactly like Lightning McQueen. I was screaming ‘I am speed!’ at all cars on the road, showing them my Kachow.”

Benny McShea, senior

Hot and Cold by Katy Perry

When this song came out, I lived in Chicago and I was about six. I looked up to my neighbor as a role model, despite the fact that she was only a year older than me. Once when I went to her house, she played ‘Hot and Cold’ by Katy Perry while we were playing. Of course, since I admired her so much, I decided that if she knew all the words, I would too. My most memorable moment was when we danced on my living room coffee table.”

Kirtana Romfh, junior



Pursuit of Happiness

by Kid Cudi

I remember biking around downtown late at night and getting dinner with some of my friends. I was listening to this song on full volume having a great time. This memory is super positive and I think about it every time I listen to this amazing song.”

Oliver Marburg, sophomore

Scan this code for a playlist full of songs that are meaningful to students.

On My Mind

by Kalai

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

We sang this song during my last year in New York in the spring show. It was very sad because we moved to California the following week. I associate this song with my last memory of New York.”

Anaya Bhatt, junior

This song makes me think of my family and our fun memories together. Whenever I hear the song, it makes me think of the photos and videos my dad makes every Christmas for our family.”

Eliza Gaither, freshman