C Magazine Vol. 9 Edition 1

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October 2020 • Volume 9, Edition 1 Dear readers, We are thrilled to present you with the very first issue of the school year! This online reboot of school has been an interesting adaptation for C Magazine, but still, we have produced a fabulous magazine for your visual appetite. Due to the limiting factors of the pandemic, the C Magazine team has decided to only produce two issues this first semester instead of the usual three. The cover story of this issue, “Not Fade Away,” written by Alexa Gwyn, Ellie Rowell, Natalie Hmelar, Jack Haney and Rachael Vonderhaar, takes a look at the lasting impression of the band the Grateful Dead on the Palo Alto community. The Grateful Dead, before becoming international legends, started in Palo Alto jamming out around town spreading peace, love and the music of the ‘60s. This story features Deadhead Rob Levitsky, who runs several communal houses in the Bay Area, and Paly students who are vibing out to the music that brought people together from all walks of life way back before they were born. Paly sophomore Kellyn Scheel is this issue’s featured artist in a profile written by Sukhman Sahota and Rachel Ellisen. Scheel grew up around creative people and was tutored in physical art by her grandmother before later transitioning to different mediums. Scheel also concocted the magnificent stylings of our front cover that was so good we had to provide it as a tear out poster on page 24. So, if you love the cover art as much as we do, feel free to peel it right out of the magazine and hang it on your wall. Jazz legend Thelonious Monk performed at Paly in 1968 and the live recording was just released this September. Editor Kimi Lillios sat down with Monk’s son T.S. to discuss how the album captured his father’s dynamic percussive energy in the story “Unearthed.” Now, over half a century later, this album has renewed interest in an artist who died nearly 40 years ago, while bringing a fun sense of community in a time when it’s sorely needed. The visual spread, entitled “Look Good, Feel Good,” is focused around everyone’s inherent desire to get outside, no matter how trapped or unmotivated we might feel. Our models for this spread were the stunning Owen Rice and Anton Tompert, shot by our very own Alexa Gwyn and Sam Mutz. So we implore you to take our magazine and enjoy it in the glorious outdoors, sit under a tree—no in a tree—and breathe in the fresh fall air. Another exciting visual element we have in our magazine is a coloring page, an entire spread designed by Owen Rice for your coloring fantasies. It pulls elements from stories throughout the magazine and brings them together in an artistic masterpiece just begging to be colored—but don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. We can’t wait for you to dive on in and hope you enjoy it just as much as we do. Happy reading! Alexa Gwyn, Kimi Lillios and Atticus Scherer Editors-in-Chief

thanks to our



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

Editors-in-Chief Alexa Gwyn, Kimi Lillios, Atticus Scherer Creative Director Sam Mutz

Creative Adviser Sukhman Sahota

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

Online Editor-in-Chief Dunya Mostaghimi

Social Media Managers Eunice Cho, Sophia Baginskis

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 Laila Arnorsdottir, Kimi Lillios, Sam Mutz, Owen Rice, Kellyn Scheel, Faustine Wang

Cover Kellyn Scheel Table of Contents Photo by Alexa Gwyn

Adviser Brian Wilson 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, providing 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.


arts 10

Old Trades in a New World


Safety Dance


Featured Artist: Kellyn Scheel


From Afar

culture 20

Gone But Not Forgotten


Blast From the Past


Not Fade Away


Passion to Product


Grasping Grief


Look Good, Feel Good. pg. 6




Music From a Distance


Music to My Ears


Pray for Paris



minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui Sheltering and social distancing have offered plenty of downtime in 2020. Although uncertainty takes its toll, the unpredictable times have allowed for an excess of time away. Over the course of the past months, everyone has crafted their routine, found their favorite spot in the backyard or discovered a new pastime to unwind with. But they say that if you look good, you feel good—so to truly capture the serenity, a cozy and stylish outfit is essential. Light and flowy fabric, soothing earth tones and a pair of sunglasses are perfect to soak in the sun. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure





Old Trades in a New World Where do traditional vocations stand in a rapidly digitizing world?


hen thinking of pastimes or backgrounds with the resources to learn potential careers, the first hands-on trades. Founded by local high things that often come to school students in 2012, MakeX is commind are social media, music, film, and mitted to fostering an exploratory, supof course, computer science. Here in the portive environment to create. heart of Silicon Valley, the residents are Currently one of the teen mentors, Litno strangers to technological innovation. tle loves helping others learn how to use Communication and social life have been the tools as well as witnessing the creative moving into the potential of her digital world and Being hands-on and fellow students. that transition She is especially has only sped up tinkering with something, impressed by the with the advent trying to get it to work, middle schoolers. of media con“They are little has value that can’t be glomerates. geniuses and it’s But, with a found digitally. so mind-bogpandemic drivgling,” Little said. ing us towards inLittle does not SOFIA LITTLE, MakeX mentor shy away from creasingly digital means of social getting her hands interaction and work, it is also important dirty in the woodworking process and relto revisit the value of traditional, hands- ishes in the pride she feels upon completon trades. ing a new project. “Being hands-on and tinkering with something, trying to get it A space to create to work, has value that can’t be found digSofia Little, a junior at Gunn, stum- itally,” Little said. bled upon the MakeX classrooms by acciMakeX was closed at the beginning of dent when she was wandering around the the year, but reopened during the summer Cubberley Community Center. An avid with increased health safety precautions. woodworker, she was immediately drawn Despite the risk it poses, the pandemic has to the creative freedom and abundance of also opened up more time and opportunifree resources. ties for people to work with their hands. MakeX Palo Alto is a local makerspace With COVID-19 driving life online, studedicated to providing students of all dents have been engaging in non-digital activities to escape from the constant Zoom calls and online assignments. These activities not only serve as a welcome break from the screens, but also as a fun educational experience. “It taught me to be patient, do your work and not give up, and only then will you be able to reach your goal,” Little said. Little’s wish is for MakeX to expand to people from more diverse interests. “I

hope that people from more artistic or humanities sides can come here and create something they want instead of just people in engineering or STEM,” she said. Little believes that there are more places like MakeX in the world. “If you’re worried about not making it or not being supported, you’re wrong,” Little said. “There are so many people [who share your interests], you just have to find [your community].” Overcoming obstacles With COVID-19 keeping people indoors, people have been rummaging through their closets and drawers for old items to alter or revamp. According to Jacquie Knott, the owner of Jacquie’s Sew and Sew, in times of economic downturn, people tend to work with what they already have. Knott has been in the custom sewing and alteration business for over forty years, and has weathered many economic recessions. Surrounded by large corporations like Apple and Facebook, she and other low-tech local businesses have had a harder time adapting. “People have gotten younger, … and their needs have changed,” Knott said. “Women that used to work for Intel and Hewlett Packard, [now work for] Google and Facebook.” The pandemic has brought in a whole new wave of problems. Her business relies on customer interaction, but the shelterin-place order has negatively affected her operations. “I’m functioning at 30 to 50 percent of normal numbers,” Knott said. “Only in the past couple of weeks have I felt like it’s really opened up a little more.” Strong interpersonal relationships, compassion and understanding is crucial to businesses like Knott’s, especially



It’s incredibly important to have some of fshoot hobby so you aren’t holed up doing the same thing all the time. And for me, creative outlets are important, so naturally these two beliefs intertwined to get me into shoemaking.

I love working on art that I can feel. I also like how the imagery has more weight to it because people can see it takes a long time to make.

DAN TAN, Menlo School senior Shoemaking

amidst all the uncertainty. On her end, For many, handicrafts reside more she is doing her best to accommodate her in their personal lives rather than their staff and clients—once even sitting on the career. “I have an MBA, I’ve worked in ground outside to fit a customer. tech, I’ve taught,” said Beth Wegbreit, a Knott’s prac74-year-old lotical approach It may not be the most cal quilter. “But and experience [quilting] is what in business has glamorous or highI love to do.” served her well. paying, but if it satisfies We g b r e i t ’ s “Although someentire family is times I feel sort your heart, you can heavily involved of at the bottom stand back and feel pride in the tech indusof the barrel here try. She underin Silicon Valley, in a job well done. stands that the I’ve also done digital age has very well for mycreated an enviJACQUIE KNOTT, owner of Jacquie’s self,” Knott said. ronment that is Sew and Sew Knott encourin stark contrast ages young peoto the world she ple who are interested in more traditional grew up in. When she was in high school, crafts to pursue them. “It may not be the she was required to take home economics most glamorous or high-paying, but if it classes. Today, computer science is a popsatisfies your heart, you can stand back ular class. “Your generation has to know and feel pride in a job well done,” she so much more than my generation did,” said. “That’s the heart and soul of a hu- she said. “[Traditional crafts] are importman being.” ant, but you can’t make money doing them.” Just a hobby She started quilting at a young age, Whether for school, work, or commu- and grew up seeing her grandmother’s nication, people spend a large portion of embroidery and her father’s Early Amertheir lives on computers and smartphones. ican lighting fixtures. Although her chilTechnology has embedded itself in our dren do not share the same inclination, homes and everyday life, and is now one crafting is in Wegbreit’s blood. It relaxes of the most lucrative and sought-after ca- her and helps take her mind off anything reer fields. technology-related.

” ELISE ADAMSON, Paly senior Embroidery

Making quilts and sewing clothes also brings Wegbreit closer to her family. She has made blankets, stuffed animals, and costumes for her grandchildren in past years, and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “I just hope my children and my grandchildren will enjoy the things I create,” she said. It’s not a career, it’s a love.” From students to shop owners to grandparents, traditional trades and crafts transcend both age and occupation. The act of creating something by hand is a fulfilling process that can never be replaced by a digital counterpart. “Without the baker, we can’t buy a fabulous loaf of bread. Without an alteration shop, you can’t get your jeans hemmed or your sleeves shortened,” Knott said. “It’s this kind of thing that’s going to keep our world real.”

Safety Dance The pandemic shut down studios across the Bay Area, and students and studios have had to adapt to the new circumstances


he pandemic has drastically changed life as we know it; in the world of dance, studios had to shut down and scramble to move their classes online and cancel any upcoming performances. Many studios lost money, and they had to come up with new and creative ways to maintain a professional company or keep their studio space. On August 28, Santa Clara moved from Tier One, the most restrictive tier on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, to Tier Two. This meant that dance studios and indoor gyms would be able to return to in-person classes with limited capacity. Dance schools and companies are currently looking into methods for safe indoor classes. The new guidelines for indoor classes include requiring everyone to wear masks while indoors, regular screening and sanitation, proper indoor ventilation and contact tracing to the best of the studio’s ability. For Paly dance coach Alanna Williamson, dancing in coronavirus hasn’t been all bad. “It’s been the best part of quarantine because it’s something I can do that hasn’t been taken away,” Williamson said. For the dance team, funding has been tight, and, like studios around the Bay Area, are dealing with the unpredictability of the year. “We have the whole year planned because we planned for the worst-case scenario,” Williamson said.


“If things do get better, then we can just add things instead of taking them away.” Paly dance will still get to compete in the regional dance competition come winter. “USA, our competition institution, is doing virtual competitions, so that means we can participate,” Williamson said. The current Paly dance season, however, has not been without controversy. Fall officer of the Paly dance team, Riley Herron, has not been pleased with the administration’s decisions regarding prep periods. PE is usually only required for freshmen and sophomores, doing a sport allows a prep instead of PE. Juniors and seniors are not required to take PE. Due to this unprecedented situation, freshmen and sophomores, although still part of a school sport, are unable to utilize preps. “Since every other sport isn’t running right now, we have to run [dance team] on our own,” Herron said. “The people who could have had a prep are [still] doing 10 plus hours [a week].” The School Board’s response to the refusal of their prep periods has not satisfied the dance team members either. “The problem [with] the school board’s argument is that we aren’t technically a sport and sports aren’t going right now,” Herron said. “But every other year, they say we’re not a sport.” Herron herself has had a difficult

Text and design by ATTICUS SCHERER and MARILYN YIN • Art by SAM MUTZ time dancing online. “I think one thing that is challenging is, usually you work off of each other’s energy and you can’t push yourself when you’re the only one there,” Herron said. Paly dance is planning on accomplishing a lot through Zoom practice. “We were planning for a complete virtual year and recording things on zoom and publishing them through school platforms,” Williamson said. “Since we got an okay to do in-person practice, we will go in person and do formations and record a dance like that, and do things similar to the studio world.” Dance studios are presented with a multitude of challenges when it comes to dancing in the era of COVID-19. Many of the characteristics of dance studios yield little to no opportunities for socially distanced dancing. As many studios slowly begin to reopen, they must make accommodations in their space to follow community guidelines. Rowan Erickson, Paly junior and dancer at Dance Connection Palo Alto, describes how her studio has addressed guidelines. “[Our studio has] cohorts of 12 people and one teacher per cohort,”

Erickson said. “We have to wear masks, get our temperature checked before we enter, and fill out a symptoms survey everyday.” William Rumelhart, junior at Paly and dancer at New Ballet: San Jose, has found practicing at home hard as well. “I wouldn’t say I like dancing at home, I would say it feels like more of a chore,” Rumelhart said. “I’m still at the house, I’m not going anywhere to do it, but I think just overall the virus has made it difficult to dance with other people.” There are several challenges that come with dancing at home, including the strain it puts on studios and the lack of motivation many dancers have been facing. However, it’s more than evident that these performing artists will stop at nothing to master their craft. While there are necessary measures to maintain public health and safety, it dampens these artists’ ability to convey the expression and emotion usually seen in their performance. Dancing through a pandemic may be hard, but their passion for the arts prevails.

“You can’t push yourself when you’re the only one there,” - Riley Herron


Featured Artist:

Kellyn Scheel Kellyn Scheel has gone through trial and error to find the perfect creative outlets that allow her to express her diverse artistry

Text and design by RACHEL ELLISEN and SUKHMAN SAHOTA • Artwork courtesy of KELLYN SCHEEL



he stylus is an extension of her right hand, carefully into music was really inspiring to me,” Scheel said. “I found articulating her thoughts. Slick pen lines and inten- that same thing in art, and that’s where their influence came tional colors fill those creative thoughts and pixels on from.” her iPad. As the music on her speaker starts to pick up speed, At first, her brothers wanted her to pursue music, but so does her pen. It becomes a Scheel was inspired by a differroutine, her intricate, creative ent part of the music industry, thoughts start to take shape the posters. on digital paper and her mas“I found [the posters] real“Seeing how [my brothers] tery starts to show. Within a ly interesting as a kid because could put their feelings into few hours, the playlist comes I would sit in the music room to an end and she steps out of with [her brothers], and I would music was really inspiring to her creative realm to look at listen and play their music. I me. I found that same thing the piece that made itself. could just see how the music Because of the artistic would relate to the posters and in art, and that’s where their influence of family memhow everyone is just expressing bers, Kellyn Scheel, a Paly themselves,” Scheel said. influence came from.” sophomore, started her creScheel found the same pasative journey at a young age. sion that her brothers had for Scheel’s father, brothers and music, in art. Scheel’s grandcousins are all musicians. By observing and learning from mother was a professional artist, mainly doing oil and acrylic them, Scheel developed a strong connection with music at a paintings. Under her guidance, Scheel was able to develop young age. her art. “Seeing how [her brothers] could really put their feelings

“Crepuscular Light” I really enjoyed creating this piece because of the way the sun comes through the windows. I was intrigued by the abstract shape of the smoke from the photo I referenced and had some fun with the colors. 15

“From a very young age, she started just painting with me for fun because she used to do that with all my siblings,” Scheel said. “I started out learning the basics by doing the mini landscapes and little things that she would set up for me.” Scheel continued to have art lessons with her grandma, eager to learn the various elements of art. “[My grandma] was super excited to have a kid who was interested in art because none of my siblings were really that into it,” Scheel said. “From then on, I fell in love with it, and I started taking art lessons outside of [my grandmother] and I’ve just continued ever since.” Scheel and her grandma continued to have art lessons, but when it came to their respective styles, they were polar opposites. “[Her art] is mostly based on painting; she does oils and acrylics, landscapes, still lifes and sometimes portraits, and I have kind of gone abstract,” she said. “As I grew up, I started to become more interested in music-related art, like when people do album covers, and that are more surreal instead of realistic.” Once she found her art style, Scheel needed to find a place to express her surreal and colorful visions. With the help of her grandma and teacher, Ms. Atkinson, an art teacher at Paly, she was able to experiment with several styles of art — collages, painting, drawing — until she landed on digital art. “I started talking to our teachers at Paly and they were

starting to teach classes that kind of revolved around digital art as it’s evolving now,” Scheel said. Last year, Atkinson noticed how Scheel enjoyed different mediums and thought digital art would be right for her. Ms. Atkinson suggested she get an iPad to practice her digital art skills and test out different applications, so Scheel did just that and fell in love with it. “I just put on some music and drew, and I feel it [the music] represents my imagination, like everything coming out of it at once,” Scheel said. Scheel’s favorite digital piece is a drawing of a hand holding a lighter releasing a flame of doodles. “It’s a mix of realism and surrealism...I like how [the hand] contrasts with the background,” Scheel said. “But the most fun part... was drawing all the doodles coming out of it because I didn’t have a plan, I just kind of let all my thoughts flow.” Scheel knows that there are many new ways to pursue digital art and hopes to find a job after college that has art integrated into it. Whether that be advertising or design, she just wants to be able to create art in her future. Scheel knows that art will constantly be in her life, either that be going to college or working, art will find its way into every aspect of Scheel’s life. “Art is just something that brings me joy in life and that’s all I really want in the future,” she said, “[doing] anything that just lets me be expressive and creative would resonate well with me.”

To commission or purchase art from Kellyn Scheel, contact her at: - (650) 646-1614 - kellynscheel@gmail.com


- Digital art - Graphic design - Custom art pieces - Multimedia graphics

“A Colorless Ease”

“Contrasting Identities”

“A Flicker of Imagination”



Arts and music programs adjust to distance learning


magine being on the last step of your project after hours of work, only to realize you forgot to pick up the right color paint. Unlike before, when students could walk a mere ten steps to acquire the necessary materials, they now have to arrange a set time to pick up these materials from the school campus, which can take a couple of days. This is the new reality for Paly art students, and the situation only becomes more complicated when the art in question requires inaccessible materials. As an artform reliant on a source of blazing fire, expensive materials and guided supervision, the ceramics and glassblowing programs at Paly are among those hit the hardest by the transition to online school. Meera Agarwal, a Paly senior enrolled in Ceramics, notes that the online format has made it especially difficult for students enrolled in 3D art courses. “It’s easier on [students taking studio art classes] because those materials are more

readily available,” Agarwal said. “But, class. This semester, she has been grantwe do a lot of wirework, resin work, clay ed similar flexibility. “I am able to make work and oil clay, which are all very ex- my own lesson plan and am making a pensive.” table for my mom with resin,” Agarwal Teachers are doing their best to sup- said. port the students despite the limitations. Besides just the ceramics class, Agar“Some of the other teachers are work- wal is also the president of the Glassblowing with the bare minimum because ing Club. Coming into this school year, they can’t afford to pay for students who Agarwal knew that the club wouldn’t get require more materials,” Agarwal said. any time in the studio due to the safety “[My art teacher] even put in an extra regulations that have been put into place. 20 bucks of his “An issue with own money per glassblowing is that “Some of the other teachers student.” you’re in such close Knowing stu- are working with the bare quarters with your dents no longer minimum because they can’t partner,” Agarhave equal access afford to pay for students wal said. Since the to materials and who require more materials.” glassblowing proresources, teachers cess is somewhat Meera Agarwal, senior have adapted their complicated, it is assignments to be difficult to start tailored to the individual. Last April, glassblowing without a partner’s help. when online school was first implement- Therefore, newcomers to the club would ed, Agarwal was able to make a skate- have a difficult time learning this new art board using resin for credit in her art form.

Text by FAITH CHOW and AIDAN DO • Design by KIMI LILLIOS • Illustrations by SAM MUTZ

Their club advisor, who lives in Berkeley, must be present when the students are glassblowing, making it difficult to meet frequently throughout the week. Although Agarwal’s artistic options are limited at school, she continues to pursue art independently outside of school. Agarwal and her friends have traveled all the way to San Francisco to get studio time, but found it was not a sustainable alternative. ”It’s also $60 for an hour [in] the studio,” Agarwal said. “So we pretty quickly put that option to the side because it’s too expensive.” Despite this setback, Agarwal has found other ways to keep art a priority and has even made it into a business. With her business partner and classmate Charlie Rock, a senior at Paly, Agarwal sells painted shoes. While they started on a small scale, their business has taken off on fashion sites such as Depop and her products have been purchased all across the country. “It’s a really great way to express myself while I’m not having impersonal classes,” Agarwal said. “It ties me down and gives me something to do.” Jeffery Willner, the Instrumental Music teacher, has taken many steps

to ensure that online school provides Because of Willner’s success with the students with the best possible learning platform, he plans on implementing it to experience. Willner credits the thriving his usual in-person curriculum. “When learning environment of his class to last we come back live, I’m going to use school year’s adjustment to COVID-19. this,” Willner said. “They can practice “It’s going very on their own, get well because I was “They can practice on their a good score and worried about [onI’ll see the score. own, get a score and I’ll see line school] because, [I’m] going to in spring, Zoom was the score. [I’m] going to use use this forever.” awful,” Willner said. this forever.” Although “So we really feel Willner estabJeffery Wilner, Intrumental Music like now at the end lished successful teacher of three weeks that systems for pracwe’re starting to get rolling.” tice, the music department also had to When COVID-19 drove in-person tackle the aspect of music that requires classes to a halt, Willner and a colleague the most in-person interactions: conwere faced with the challenge of repli- certs. cating synchronous playing. “It’s not a Last spring, the 2020 Spring “Virtubig-time lag, but it’s enough that you just al” Concert featured pieces by the Wind can’t play songs together,” Willner said. Ensemble, Orchestra, and Combined Willner and his colleagues then in- Bands. Students submitted individual troduced Smart Music to their classes. recordings that were pieced togeth“It’s a platform where students can play er to create a virtual concert that was along with [the resources on Smart Mu- streamed on Youtube. sic] and submit themselves playing it Willner’s adaptations to the drastic and get a score,” Willner said. This al- change in class life have provided stulows students to get individual feedback dents with the opportunity to practice on their own time without having to and master their instruments from afar, rely on unpredictable technology during even pushing the department to find Zoom classes. useful tools for in-person teaching.



California’s oldest park was devastated by the CZU Lightning Complex fires, leaving behind ashes but also hope for regrowth




ocated in the Redwoods State said. had been devastated from the wildfire, Park, spanning over 18,000 According to Paly AP environmen- she was in shock. acres, Big Basin is home to some tal science teacher Nicole Loomis, re“I was just confused, and saddened of the largest redwoods in California. gardless of the damage they cause, fires by it, because I had so many memories Many of these towering trees have do have some beneficial environmental there, and I always looked forward to been around for thousands of years, impacts. going,” Reller said. standing strong through numerous nat“While it looks horrible in a lot of Although her camping trips ended ural disasters. cases, a lot of regeneration happens af- shortly after middle school started, she There are far more than just trees ter that fire,” Loomis said. The regen- managed to make her way back for in this park, with over 80 miles of trails eration, while different hikes to choose from and countless camp- it can be over throughout the It was something I looked sites, Big Basin has been a special spot long periods of park every year. to many Paly students, as a place to go time, is part of forward to every year Reller would ofout and enjoy nature. the forest’s nat- because we had so much ten go with her When flames engulfed the state park ural cycle. but now freedom to go wherever we family, in August, many like Cal Fire forester Over time, knowing that she Colin Noyes feared for the loss of these large amounts wanted. won’t be able to Catherine Reller, senior see the beauty of ancient trees and the future of the park. of dead leaves, “I watched this fire burn from top pinecones and Big Basin like it to bottom that night,” Noyes said. other foliage pile up on the forest floor, was, makes her disheartened. However, the redwood trees remained making it hard for new life to flourish. One memory at Big Basin that Relstanding upright throughout the fire’s Then, a storm comes, “you get a light- ler holds close to her was on the annual progression, appearing to have sur- ning strike, and boom, there it goes and camping trip when she and two other vived the blow. there’s so much fuel that it spreads very girls went to go find an imaginary place Despite this, Noyes expects that the quickly,” Loomis said. During wildfires, called ‘paradise.’ appearance of the trees is far from their this dead and dying foliage burns up, “It never existed, there wasn’t a set reality. While many people assume that and is returned back to the soil, creat- place we had in mind, but we were like redwood trees will withstand all fires, ing a cleared out, nutrient-rich land- ‘oh paradise is this way’ or ‘oh no it’s that is in fact the opposite of what hap- scape, ready for re-growth. this way’,” Reller said. pened. When disaster struck this park, the For Reller and many other individ“You know, the common misnomer physical damage was tragic, yet for uals, it was being outdoors surrounded nowadays is that the redwoods aren’t many individuals including Catherine by the redwood trees that made Big affected by fire. Well, a lot of these red- Reller, a senior at Paly, memories from Basin so special to her. Endless hours woods are probably this park will be spent wandering around seeing all of gonna die,” said kept forever. Mother Nature’s beauty. I watched this fire Noyes. “The look, Every year at This fire left the beloved California the feel, the appear- burn from top to Addison Elemen- State Park in ruins, trees were oblitance [of this park]; bottom that night. tary School, there erated, and many people lost a place all that stuff’s been was an auction that they loved. However, this fire was Colin Noyes, Cal Fire Forester changed for our to raise mon- unable to erase the memories that so lifetime, without a doubt.” ey for the school, and in first grade many people have created over the The bark of a redwood tree has Reller’s dad decided to organize a fa- years. adapted over time and is made up of ther-daughter overnight trip to Big Big Basin has been changed forever, various compounds to help protect it Basin. After the first year, it became a but the memories will never be forgotfrom fire. Nonetheless, the bark can recurring event until 6th or 7th grade. ten. The floors of the desolate forest only protect against so much. Noyes “It was something I looked forward may be bare, but somewhere, deep beexplained that for many of the older to every year because we had so much neath the ash-covered soil, is a seed that trees in this forest, it is unlikely we will freedom to go wherever we wanted,” struggled through the dirt and shadow, see them recover. Reller said. and will soon burst into the light, un“It’s never gonna be the way it was, Like many others who cherished the ravelling itself along with the new age for at least four-hundred years,” Noyes park, when Reller heard that the park of Big Basin.


blast from the

past Students find comfort in rewatching childhood movies, listening to old music and going through nostalgic possessions iding the colorful silicone bracelets from the view of the teacher, hearts flutter with anticipation as the clock ticks down to the class bell. No one dares to reveal their stash without the safety of recess. But, as soon as the elementary school kids hit the yard, off to the trades they run. Silly Bandz were one of the most popular trends of the early 2000s and one of many keepsakes people associated with fond memories. Students like Paly senior Zander Leong are turning to entertainment and products from familiar times as a way to cope with the uncertainty that comes with the combination of a pandemic, wildfires and social justice movements. “Being at home, away from all our friends and from school... and the desire to [be] with people has increased our drive to connect [with] our childhood,” Leong said. People are comforted by their


childhood memories that were integral to their development which was influenced by characters acting on their screens or singing in their iPods. “I know I’ve definitely learned and grown so much just from seeing characters like me, which really

“The desire to [be] with people has increased our drive to connect [with] our childhood.” zander leong speaks to the power of media in influencing the world and for a lot of people, that includes shows or media that really made an impact on them,” Leong said. Because those forms of media played such a large role in shaping individuals and the trends of the 2000s, it is no surprise that they have natu-

rally resurfaced in popular culture now. With more downtime in quarantine, people have been able to rewatch TV shows and movies they watched as kids from popular networks including Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Paly senior Marina Buendia recently rewatched movies like Cheetah Girls, Lizzie McGuire and movies starring the Olsen twins. “Watching [nostalgic movies] makes me feel way closer to the younger me,” Buendia said. “Those shows and movies are definitely correlated with a less stressful time in my life, so watching them again makes me feel automatically calmer and safe.” Love for nostalgic shows and media not only provides students with comforting objects and entertainment, they also have the power to serve as an inspiration for the comeback of 90s and early 2000s fashion


trends. Buendia fields much of her fashion inspiration from her older cousin and mom. “They still have catalogs that they used to get in the 90s and the early 2000s with all the clothing in them,” Buendia said. “I saw what they were wearing and thought it was really cute.” Sourcing the vintage inspired pieces has also led Buendia to shop sustainably, most notably through thrifting. “I’ve just accumulated a lot of different pieces [from thrifting], and most of them happen to be from that time period too,” Buendia said. But with traditional in-person thrift stores out of commision during the pandemic, students have turned to digital alternatives that sell vintage and “preloved” clothes, including De-

pop and Poshmark. Much of the inventory from thrift stores and online thrifting apps is older clothing that was designed and worn in the 90s and early 2000s. Whether students are intentionally making efforts to reminisce about their childhood or are being influenced by returning trends, the feeling of nostalgia is everywhere in these isolating times. Seniors are feeling especially reflective, with the end of their high school years coming to a close and a new chapter of life right around the corner. “A lot of seniors are writing college essays, which often involve looking back at your childhood or moments that made a difference in your life,” Leong said. But nostalgic moments are not always comforting because remembering the past can also be a saddening

experience. “I’ve been thinking about [my childhood] a lot recently because of college applications,” Buendia said. “Right now, I’m trying to grasp even more onto [my childhood] because it’s sad we have to let go of it soon.” With more students at home, many are sifting through their past by going through their old possessions, which further encourages sentimentalism. “Being at home, [more of us] are redecorating, which forces you to go through your old things which brings all those memories back,” Leong said. “The world is going through such a period of [drastic] change that searching for sources of support and comfort and looking for a way to connect with yourself and with others while you are at home has been a real movement.”



not fade away marking the 5oth anniversary of their iconic studio album, ‘American Beauty,’ the grateful dead’s legacy lives on within thousands of deadheads across the country A brief history The Grateful Dead was a band that truly connected with its audience and amassed a group following with its talented members like no other group. Formed right here in Palo Alto, the influential band consisted of Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist and one of the most famous members, Bob Weir on guitar and vocals, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart on drums, Phil Lesh on bass and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan on vocals, organ and drums. Their unique concerts and passionate music brought people together from around the world. Today, the Dead lives on in the form of the band Dead and Company, with remaining members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.


tie-dyed mask, adorned with dancing bears, sits atop his thick mustache, which can be seen peeking out the sides. A glass bottle of apple juice sits open on the picnic table, while Rob Levitsky sits in complete tranquility. Touch of Grey, one of the seven communal houses on Emerson Street available to people from all walks of life, reveals itself in the afternoon sun. College students sit in solitude with their windows open, lightly clacking on the pads of their keyboard. “What I’ve done, that’s sort of the family aspect,” Levitsky said. “As I’ve been able to, I buy more houses, and now we have this community, not necessarily listening to the Grateful Dead but you know, they’re living a kind of a commune life to some extent.” Rob Levitsky—lover of community, family and especially the Grateful Dead—is the own-


er of seven eclectic houses. He emulates the essence of this timeless and incredibly influential band, although, due to the fact that Levitsky has attended over 300 Grateful Dead and Dead and Company shows, one might call it a lifestyle. Levitsky bought his first communal home in 1982 with a group of friends, renting out the extra rooms to cover the costs. “It just kind of grew from that,” Levitsky said. While the Grateful Dead-inspired house names purely stemmed from a love for the music, they ended up drawing in some of the actual Grateful Dead band members. “As I became friends with some of the band, they then knew about it and would sometimes visit, and then eventually John Perry Barlow, a Grateful Dead lyricist, lived here for a couple years,” Levitsky said. “He died a couple years ago too, but I named one of them after him; it’s called Barlow’s choice.”


"There is just a vibe that you get when you hear a song you really like, and when you see Jerry play the guitar, you're just like, 'oh my god.'" Don Ragno

The idea that music extends into life, farther than just the acoustics of our ears, is not an unknown truth. Bringing the Dead community into all aspects of life is a common theme among Deadheads. Similar to Levitsky, Zoë Wong-VanHaren, a recent Paly graduate, found love and connection in the heart of the Grateful Dead community. “I’ve come to realize the full power that music has to unite people,” Wong-VanHaren said. “It’s incredible to me that entire communities and families have formed around the simple idea of loving the same music.” Wong-VanHaren has found that Deadheads draw a lot of inspiration from the music. “Whether that be creating Dead-inspired art, or taking the advice of lyrics from songs, I think Deadheads find endless ways of incorporating the Dead into their lifestyles beyond just enjoying listening to the music,” Wong-VanHaren said. An environmentalist and a musician herself, Wong-VanHaren was surprised at the sheer amount of similarities, yet complete individuality among Deadheads. “Since so many Deadheads are themselves also musicians, I’ve been able to find more opportunities to play music,” Wong-VanHaren said. “I also find that a good amount of Deadheads are outdoorsy people, so they have inspired me to be more

active and to conserve nature.” Levitsky, having played the guitar for his entire life, understands the importance of learning an instrument and even simply listening along; which can be seen in the hundreds of Grateful Dead cover bands across the country. “Music is an important part of brain development,” Levitsky said. “It’s a complicated thing, to save music and hear and repeat melodies and identify songs.” With everything constantly evolving and changing in the digital age, the Grateful Dead has remained a meaningful and constant part of Levitsky’s life. Levitsky holds onto the unbreakable legacy left by the Grateful Dead, but unfortunately he has had to watch important cornerstones of Grateful Dead history disappear. “Life is a lot different than it was 40 years ago and not necessarily for the better,” Levitsky said. “And the places where the Grateful Dead met, which was a place called Dana Morgan’s music store downtown, is gone, and there’s nobody teaching lessons there anymore.” At the heart of Silicon Valley, the Grateful Dead’s concerts, music, and spirit continues to become digitized and shoved behind a screen. “People [are] not interested in playing music anymore because music has become a free thing,” Levitsky said. “It’s just a stream; it’s there, it’s everywhere.” What the Grateful Dead has brought into this

if you love the art on the previous spread as much as we do, feel free to tear it out and hang it on your wall! 27

world is now changing. The impending fate of the communal houses is bleak in Levitsky’s opinion. “Once I’m gone, it’ll disappear,” Levitsky said. “The houses [will] just get sold off; they’ll get turned into McMansions.” The eclectic houses that have been a central part of the Deadhead community in Palo Alto will soon be no more; the fences will be erected between the houses and the community will fade away. The Grateful Dead was a band known for establishing a free-spirit lifestyle for those who were diehard Deadheads. Some claim that Deadheads were one of the most devoted fan bases; they followed the band to each concert venue throughout their tours. They were so idolized through the years that their legacy has continued to prosper in future generations of teens. Alex Washburn, a Paly senior, is one of those teens. After being introduced to the Grateful Dead by his brother, Washburn went to see many Grateful Dead tribute bands like Dead and Company, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (JRAD) and The Grateful Shred. Among them was one amazing JRAD show this past year at Stanford Frost Amphitheater. “There was a couple next to my friends and I, and they just started crying,” Washburn said. “I never personally witnessed [music] that was so meaningful and so powerful to these people that it brought them to tears.” While Washburn had witnessed the present form of the Dead a handful of times, Grateful Dead fan and Palo Alto community member Eric Ellisen, has attended over 200 shows of the original Grateful Dead band during his life. While traveling around the country for the band, Ellisen recalls the significance of the band’s music and passion, as well as the people who brought light to the community. “[Friendships kept] it interesting, still the music, but also the friends that I made along the way, some of whom I am still close friends with today,” Ellisen said. The welcoming demeanor and lack of ‘requirements’ brought people together from all different b a c k -


grounds; they shared a common love for the band, and thrived on the enigmatic feeling of belonging to a community that didn’t belong anywhere else. Another life long Deadhead, Palo Alto Community member Allen Bush, could only listen to their music through old records and live p e r f o r m a n c e s. “It’s hard to describe what their music sounds like; it was never on the radio,” Bush said. Bush first heard them through records in high school, but he didn’t attend any of their concerts until college, which was at a race track, and it was a completely different feeling from anything he had experienced before. “Some songs were 15-20 minutes long. You were always going to hear something different every time,” Bush said. “Fans would follow them around because no show was the same, they improvised as they went.” Bush attended around 75 concerts around California, and he holds a memorable moment from each one. To Bush, the parking lot gatherings hours before the concert were the most important part before the event; it’s known as “Shakedown Street,” named after a famous Grateful Dead song. “The merchandise and the food in the parking lot were the big event that happened all day before the concert; the music was only the climax of the day,” Bush said. At one concert he can recall, Bush says there were beach balls in the crowd, everyone was dressed up in tie-dye and had bright smiles on their faces. “They

“If I had the choice to be born back then, I would save all my money, and just stay on tour and follow them from the ‘60s till the end. It’d be my whole life.” Phela Durosinmi

were around for so long, and being a fan became a lifestyle that people enjoyed,” Bush said. “Every show is like a family reunion … the happiness and the shared community in the crowd is infectious.” Like many other Deadheads, Don Ragno, a Deadhead with 40 years of concerts under his belt, also believes that the people create the classic Grateful Dead concert experience. “It’s really a collection of free spirited people; there’s a lot of love,” Ragno said. He saw the concerts not only as a place where people could come together for a central passion or enjoyment, but as a place where he could truly be immersed in the music. “There is just a vibe and a feeling that you get internally when you hear a song you really like,” Ragno said. “It’s sort of mind opening, and when you see Jerry play the guitar, you’re just like, ‘oh my god.’” Phela Durosinmi, a Paly sophomore, has recently become an avid fan and listener of the Dead. “If I had the choice to be born back then, I would save all my

"The Grateful Dead arguably has the most complex, elusive and multi-layered identity of any band to emerge in the ‘60s." Alex Washburn

money, and just stay on tour and follow them from the ‘60s till the end,” Durosinmi said. “It’d be my whole life.” The devotion people had to the Dead was unparalleled. They had sold out tickets to every show and in the ‘90s, the Dead had an abundance of concert crashers that came for the scene rather than the music. “There were problems, you know, even bigger problems with parties and drugs, people who came for the party not for the show and it became a really bad scene in 1992-1993,” Ellisen said. “It got so bad that the Dead organization put messages out to say, ‘we want to keep the scene together, just like you guys do, but if you don’t follow the rules we will have to stop performing.’” Washburn described the concert culture, although it was not the same as 50 years ago, like nothing he had ever seen before; the crowd welcomed each other with open arms. “Everyone at the shows is your friend, everyone is so nice to each other and everyone’s smiling,” Washburn said. “If you look around at one of those shows every single person will be dancing which is pretty crazy.” “The Grateful Dead arguably has the most complex, elusive and multi-layered identity of any band to emerge in the ‘60s,” Washburn said. “The Dead is always on the edge; the edge of consciousness, the edge of magic, and most importantly, the edge of music.” The Grateful Dead’s unparalleled experience will continue to inspire young fans to keep the music and culture alive because one thing’s for sure; you can’t kill the dead.


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Young entrepreneurs turn their passions into charitable and profitable businesses




have this brilliant idea,” said Winter Pickett, a Paly senior with Idonate a love for baking. “I am going to make a cupcake business and everything to charity.” After indulging in Pickett’s deli-

expectations for orders were low. But, to their surprise, business took off immediately. “The fact that we got [$800] in the first week shocked us,” Pickett said. “I was freaking out [and now] cious cupcakes earlier in the day, her mom and brother were have a newfound appreciation for local business owners.” excited for Pickett, but worried about the workload ahead of her. Pickett and Chan endured numerous late and stressful nights “They told me I was out of my mind and I was so ready to prove to keep up with the orders, once even making 500 cupcakes in them wrong.” a single day. But, unlike other Growing up in a time of businesses who are incentivised social change and uncertainty, by profits, Pickett and Chan teens like Pickett often feel a were motivated by the reward sense of responsibility to change of social change. “The commuand contribute to their community was responding so well and Winter Pickett, Paly Senior nity. So, when Pickett and her helping us so much. We felt we business partner, Sabrina Chan, had to do this for them and the were unable to attend the Black Lives Matter protests in June, movement,” Pickett said. they looked for new ways to support the movement. “We can’t Baking for Justice donated to various organizations including just sit here,” Pickett said. “We have to do something.” The Bail Fund, DREAM and Act Blue, nonprofit organizations Pickett and Chan named their business Baking for Justice dedicated to social justice. Each of their customers looked forbecause of their business model revolved around social change. ward to their delicious purchases and were glad their money was The community seemed difficult to interact with during a pan- being donated to a worthy cause. demic, so the pair turned to online resources. After designing Although their community of customers was large, Pickett a website and promoting their business on social media, their and Chan made strong individual connections. Pickett recounts a weekly customer who purchased the same four chocolate cupcakes each week. His order was the same down to the white envelope of cash with blue tape on the door. When he heard that their business would be closing at the end of summer, his ‘fingers [were] crossed for Christmas.’ “It’s those little moments that are so rewarding,” Pickett said. Pickett and Chan agree that Baking for Justice, though challenging at times, was the most rewarding thing they have done. “The problem amongst teens with social change is that you feel your impact is not making a difference,” Chan said. Their cupcake business was able to donate $4,500. “After seeing how much we donated to each charity it was such a realization moment,” Chan said. “It was a sizable amount that they could actually do something with right now.”

“We can’t just sit here. We have to do something.”

“The problem amongst teens with social change is that you feel your impact is not making a difference.” Sabrina Chan, Paly Senior



illow Schmidt, a junior at Paly, recently faced a unique W challenge while running her handmade jewelry and art business, Eclectic Outlet. Schmidt had a dissociative amnesia episode, which caused the loss of all her memories, including those of her small business. “When I was reintroduced to my business, I saw videos that my boyfriend Joseph made, and then I saw my products,” Schmidt said. She was amazed by the work she had done. “I always want to continue that level of quality.” After being reintroduced to her business, Schmidt’s creativity was reignited. “It’s kinda funny,” Schmidt said. “I started this business before I lost my memory. In a way, I inspired myself.” For Schmidt, her art is her business. She does a lot of custom work and enjoys making new pieces. “I love getting to be creative and seeing other people appreciate what I make,” Schmidt said. “I like making custom work because it pushes me to try new things, even if I’m not 100% comfortable with them.” Without many in-person promotion opportunities, Schmidt has used social media to her full advantage. “Social media is really great because I like to engage with my customers,” Schmidt said. “A lot of them I know personally, but I have gotten a lot of requests from the other side of the country and I’m shipping to Canada now.”


lthough Schimdt’s business is now international, other businesses thrive locally. Owen Rice, a Paly junior and plant lover, is the founder of Plants and Paint, a business soley based in Palo Alto. Rice began painting plant pots during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I wanted my room to be a chill place to hang out, so I started filling it with plants,” Rice said. “It just made sense to do my art on the pots as well and when friends saw them, they expressed interest in buying them and it kind of grew from there.” Rice’s friends post pictures of his products and encourage their followers to buy from Plants and Paint, creating a web of local customers. His customers serve as personal advertisements, building a Palo Alto customer base online. Because he can’t ship the plants, each product is hand delivered to these local customers. “I deliver to your door because I can’t mail them,” Rice said. “It’s tricky because every piece is unique and one of a kind.” Small businesses, like Rice’s, face a unique challenge when producing items to purchase. “If more than one customer wants the same piece, they may have to be flexible or patient while I wait for new pots or plants to grow.” Rice enjoys his business and the network he has created with his art. “Most of the plants are propagated from my plants, so it’s cool to think all our plants are connected,” Rice said. “I also love

knowing that people have my art in their room.” Whether you create a business for donations, turn a hobby into a business or have a passion you want to share, a small business is worthwhile. As Rice says, “I have learned that if you enjoy what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like work.”


Grasping Grief With grief weighing heavily on people’s shoulders, students look for ways to cope


ith masks protecting the spread of COVID-19, wildfires clouding the air with thick smoke and social injustice rampant in America, taking a deep breath has never been so hard. The widespread grief along with the unprecedented amounts of loss has been damaging to society and individual wellbeing. Nonetheless, the way in which we process these drastic changes will significantly impact what we carry into our creation of a new normal and is thus of the highest importance.


Pillars of Strength

here are many different ways people can cope with and process all that is going on in the world at any given time. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Paly senior Lindsay Aldous has turned to her religion as a method of coping. She has witnessed the struggle her peers have endured as they process the grief that came with the drastic changes they’ve experienced. “You always hear people joke about the seven stages of grief, but if you think about it, nobody really teaches you how to deal with those feelings,” Aldous said. “Now that there is a pandemic, there’s information coming out about [grief], and some people are able to get help if they reach out. But you have to be more proactive to find a way to deal with your emotions.” In these times of struggle, faith has been a pillar of strength for her. “People at our church have been really relying on our faith, our religion and relying on each other,” Aldous said. “Personally, in my family, we have continued our daily Scripture study that we always did before as well as our family prayers.” Religion empowers Aldous to be hopeful for the future despite the darkness and uncertainty that we face in the present.

“We know that if we rely on God then we’ll have the strength to overcome anything and that we are never alone,” Aldous said. “We will always have support and strength if we need it, we just have to reach out.” However, she acknowledges that for those without such a safety net, feelings of hopelessness and unprocessed grief can be overwhelming. “I see a lot of people who are struggling … [with] mental health issues during this time and need a lot of support,” Aldous said. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my faith, my religion to lean on.” Daniel Chan, a pastor at Chinese

Church in Christ in Mountain View, also emphasizes the importance of religion during difficult times. “When bad things happen, we trust that God still has a reason for it,” Chan said. “We might not always understand that reason immediately, but in the grand scheme of things, He’s going to work things out for good.” Chan believes the Christian view of God as an all-knowing being guides them towards a healthier, more balanced response to hardship. “The Christian faith is one [in] which we are meant to encourage one another, and we’re called to be part of the church,” Chan said. “[Christianity] gives us peace with God and peace in this world so hopefully our church can continue to grow.” Kamran Bastani, a Baháʼí Paly junior also believes that your attention to different aspects of life affects your joy. “Baha’i’s believe in not dwelling on the unpleasant things of life,” Bastani said. “By focusing our thoughts on the material world, we will of course be disappointed and have discontent. But when we when leave doubt and grief behind and rely upon God by focusing on the spiritual, all our grief is replaced with joy.”



Sources of Comfort


urning to religion is only one of many ways people deal with grief. Many like senior Sabrina Chan, former ASB Wellness Commissioner, have been finding other ways to connect with others and ground themselves as school has moved completely online. “I was in a state of shock during distance learning, and I did not know where to turn,” Chan said. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, all Paly students are different in the way they treat the subject of mental health and how they reach out for help. “My family is East Asian and Southeast Asian, and it is very popular to not talk about mental health and talk about how you feel,” Chan said. “Personally, I find talking to my friends a lot easier [than talking with parents about mental health] and I know a lot of others are in the same boat.” Regardless of how people choose to process their grief and which sources of strength they rely on, finding an outlet that you are comforted by is critical. “People don’t know where to go, especially if you come from an Asian culture where people don’t talk about mental health,” Chan said. “But the Wellness

Center is doing a really good job trying to spread the word about their wellness activities and how you can get help from counselors.” Michal Ruth Sadoff, a therapist for the Counseling and Support Services for Youth (CASSY) in the Paly Wellness Center, agreed that despite a challenging start to the school year, students have been

She added that stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress may be harmful to mental health as it creates a large amount of uncertainty and has cumulative effects. It’s important to establish healthy coping mechanisms and methods of self care right now, according to Sadoff. “The effort we put into this will stand us in good stead throughout our lives,” Sadoff said. By connecting with ourselves through healthy coping mechanisms and relying on others through religion, family and other groups, we can feel better prepared to combat the oppressive weight of grief on our lives. Grief has always been an integral part of the human experience and how we develop, but the pandemic has been especially taxing on everyone’s mental state. “These times are uniquely challenging,” Sadoff said. “We need to realize how much extra energy this takes from each of us as we live each day, and to be gentle with ourselves and others.”

We need to realize how much extra energy [these times] take from each of us as we live each day, and to be gentle with ourselves and others. Michal Ruth Sadoff, Paly Wellness CASSY therapist good at finding ways to connect with others and process their grief over the loss of their old lives. “Paly students have risen to the situation and shown a lot of resilience and adaptability,” Sadoff said. “I have seen students cope by doing everything from taking up a new hobby, starting a journaling practice, reaching out to old friends and finding ways to help others in their own circle or the community.”

Seven Stages of Grief


UNEARTHED Thelonious Monk’s Palo Alto performance is released half a century after its recording


t may be hard to fathom that the Paly Haymarket Theater, notorious amongst students and staff for its worn seats and poor acoustics, once hosted one of the best jazz musicians this country has ever seen. Thelonious Monk, jazz pianist extraordinaire, performed back in 1968 and a recording of the event was produced and released mid-September. The album, entitled “Palo Alto,” was recorded by a janitor and left in the hands of 1969 Paly alumnus Danny Scher, who was instrumental in bringing Monk to campus. Now, over half a century later, this album is bringing renewed interest to an artist who died nearly 40 years ago, not to mention a fun sense of community and unity in a time when it’s sorely needed. “For the last six months, with everything going on in society, every time you pick up a newspaper, it is just bad news,” Scher said. “This is good news at a time when we really need it, and it happened in 1968. We had equal amounts of bad news at the time, and this is an example of music being able to bring people together.” At the time, tensions between East Palo Alto and Palo Alto were strained to stay the least. Palo Altans pushed to maintain their predominantly white community and some EPA residents campaigned to rename the city “Nairobi,” after the capital of Kenya which

had gained its independence 5 years It wasn’t all smooth jazz, however. prior. Scher waited nervously as the crowd Because of the contentious dynam- grew larger by the minute, hoping that ic, 16-year-old Scher was discouraged the previous miscommunications with by police and locals from promoting his Monk had all been sorted out. When concert in EPA. But tickets were not sell- Scher’s older brother’s car pulled around ing and he needed to get enough money the corner, a stand-up bass sticking out to pay Thelonious of an open window, Monk. “Wherever Scher let out a sigh I saw a ‘Vote Yes “You expected to hear of relief knowing on Nairobi’ poster, these songs, but the way that all his efforts I put up a ‘Thelohad paid off and he played them was nious Monk is comthe concert was going to Paly’ poster,” totally different from ing to happen. Scher said. Not only were any other way he had Unsurprisingly, many community people had a hard played them before.” members surprised time believing such Danny Scher, ‘69 Paly Alum to see Thelonious a renowned jazz arrive, they were musician would delighted with a show up to a local concert run by a high performance of a lifetime. “These were school student. “When people didn’t be- songs that he played every night, you lieve me, I would tell them, ‘Don’t be- expected to hear these songs, but the lieve it, just come and when you see him, way he played them was totally differbuy a ticket,’” Scher said. ent from any other way he had played Sure enough, on Sunday, Oct. 27, them before,” Scher said. “By playing at 1968, as the Vietnam War raged and a high school for a totally different autensions boiled across the country, peo- dience, he could play things differently. ple from both East Palo Alto and Palo And musically, all of the musicians rose Alto patiently waited to see if Theloni- to the occasion.” ous Monk would show up. And despite Paly was the only high school Thethe cities’ conflicts, the event helped lonious Monk ever performed at in the bring them together. “There was no entirety of his career, and it would have tension at all,” Scher said. “People were been lost if a janitor had not recorded just in a joyous kind of mood hoping the event and left the tape in the hands Monk would show up.” of Scher.

Text and design by KIMI LILLIOS • Photos courtesy of Impulse! Records



While he always knew he had the recording, their glory,” T.S. Monk said. “And that’s what Scher didn’t bring the tape to Thelonious’ son, T.S. this Palo Alto recording did, it caught Thelonious Monk, until 15 years ago. But Thelonious Monk’s Monk on an extraordinarily good day where he frequent public performances meant that the tape was feeling really, really good.” wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. “People were Initially, T.S. Monk approached this recording always approaching me with tapes, so I just sort like he did any other, with the mind of a producer. of listened to what he had to say about this tape He focused on the rhythms, harmonics and sound and filed it away,” T.S. Monk told C Magazine in quality, all to determine if the audio was worth September. working with. But despite the But Scher was determined objective approach he took to prove that his recording “[The recording] caught when producing his father’s was different from all the rest Thelonious Monk on an recovered music, the “Palo and reapproached Monk in Alto” soundtrack inspired an 2017 to discuss a contract extraordinarily good day emotional response. more seriously, at which point where he was feeling “When I was listening to T.S. Monk knew the record it in the studio as we were would be a huge success. really, really good.” preparing it for the digital reThey signed a deal on what T.S. Monk lease, when I listened to my would have been Thelonious father’s rendition of ‘Don’t Monk’s 100th birthday. Blame Me’ it made me cry,” “The backstory of this album is so compelling T.S. Monk said. “He sounded so fabulous and so and when you combine it with such a great re- himself, it made me miss him.” cording, you have something that a lot of people The value of the album has been recognized are going to want because it really is a little slice of not only by T.S. Monk, but by the entire jazz and Americana,” T.S. Monk said. music industry. “Ten years ago, we restored anothThe powerful riffs and solos Thelonious Monk er fantastic recording, called ‘Thelonious Monk performed alongside Ben Riley, Charlie Rouse with John Coltrane Live at Carnegie Hall,’” T.S. and Larry Gales caught the group on a musical Monk said. “Today, that is the second biggest selland emotional high. “Occasionally, a live album ing record in the history of jazz and I’m looking comes along that really catches the artist in all for this one to be the third or even better.”




Take a breath, grab a marker and release your inner child. Illustration by OWEN RICE




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from a distance Artists and fans experience concerts in new ways 41


he feeling of warm stage lights beating down on your face is replaced by the blue light screen of a computer. The bass resonating beneath your feet is replaced with unsatisfactory headphones. The cheerful small talk with friends and strangers is replaced with texts and emojis. The concept of attending an in-person concert has become something unfamiliar over these past few months, as the revival of concerts has become almost a dream for fans and artists around the globe. With the loss of concerts due to Covid, many artists have turned to virtual performances to connect with their fanbase. Wallows, an alternative bedroom-pop inspired band, recently connected with The Bail Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to post bail for those who are unable to afford for themselves. In collaboration with the Bail Project, Wallows participated in a livestream with Asia Johnson, a bail disruptor who recently took a position for the communications team. Johnson explained her position along with the general concept of the nonprofit to a livestream consisting of thousands of fans from around the globe. “Many of the fans were not aware of the cash bail injustice,” Johnson said. “We work off of a nationally revolving bail fund where every dollar is donat-


ed directly and the money never stops working.” Artists have the privilege of a digital platform, whether they have 10,000 followers or 1 million followers. They have the ability to educate and spread knowledge to their fanbase on issues they are passionate about. During the live stream, they were able to generate $11,000, which was directly donated to the Bail Project. During this time, many artists have been suffering due to the consequences of COVID, yet Wallows was successful in creating a space in which they are able to perform as well as educate their fanbase. In addition to Wallows, The Bail Project has worked with other artists such as Mozzy, a hip-hop artist from the Bay Area, and John Legend, who is on the board of the nonprofit. “I realized how important entertainers and artists are for [our organization], and we appreciate that they lend their voice for the work that we do,” Johnson said. However, the loss of in-person concerts and meet and greets is starting to create a disconnect between the artist and their fanbase. Any chance to build a personal connection with artists has been destroyed due to COVID and social distancing restrictions. To overcome this, Outside Lands, a popular music festival in San Francisco, announced that they were hosting

an ‘Inside Lands’ festival which would feature interviews from popular artists, along with past concert clips, through the streaming platform Twitch. Riley Herron, a junior at Paly, attended both Inside Lands last month and Outside Lands in 2019. “[Outside Lands] was an amazing experience with so many options for new and old music all in one place,” Herron said. Many fans did not expect the production of Inside Lands to compare in the slightest with last year’s Outside Lands. Sitting in the comfort of your own home viewing a concert through a screen does not produce the same emotions you would typically experience at a live concert. “[In a concert,] I feel free from the outside world and nothing else matters,” Herron said. “It also acts as a good boost of dopamine, and I haven’t felt the same rush that concerts give me since COVID.” In-person concerts provide the opportunity for the artists and their listeners to bond, creating a more connected relationship. Generally before concerts, listeners want to make the most of it to appreciate the live performance, so they stream the artist’s music more in preparation, as well as afterwards, as it feels more meaningful seeing them face-toface. Live music performances make up

Text and design by EUNICE CHO and BROOKE GLASSON • Art by SAM MUTZ

approximately 50% of the global music industry’s revenue. There has essentially been no new income in terms of ticket sales and performances over the last quarter. Since all major concerts have been cancelled, digital streaming has had to substitute for the loss of live music. Another rising issue for production companies is the reduction of digital ad budgets. With a six-month shut down, the industry has been noted to have lost $10 billion in sponsorships. Not only is the music industry suffering, but artists themselves have begun to scramble in search of alternate ways to generate revenue, as ticket sales and live performances generate 75% of artists’ income. As a consequence, many artists have delayed the release of new music, hoping for a vaccine to be released in the near future. Without a proven vaccine, many Americans have begun to fear large crowds, so it is hard to imagine a world in which we return to large group events such as concerts, sporting events and amusement parks without any distress. Concerts are able to bring people who share the same taste in music together, which has been unable to happen since the pandemic began. In 2018, during Herron’s first few weeks of high school, she bonded with a new friend over the artist J. Cole. A few

weeks later, they attended a live concert together in Oakland. Since then, they have attended four more concerts together, bringing them much closer. Every artist in the music industry has been impacted by COVID. However, artists who were previously famous were able to maintain their status as successful artists by keeping their connections with their fans through social media. Jennifer Lee, also known as Tokimonsta, a Grammy nominated Los Angeles-based record producer and DJ, believes that there are some upsides to the pandemic. “I’ve been able to connect with my audience more directly during this time,” Tokimonsta said. Without the extra revenue from concerts and tours, artists have been relying on the income acquired from different projects and promotional opportunities. Tokimonsta has been able to stay present in the industry through modern means. “I have other revenue streams from music streaming platforms, fashion campaigns, scoring for film and television, as well as commercial placements,” Tokimonsta said. Tokimonsta acknowledges that she is in a better situation than some other artists. “I’m more fortunate than others in that I can afford time off from tour-

ing,” Tokimonsta said. “I have seen others that have had to take on other jobs or file for unemployment.” Nick Phaneuf, a regionally touring sideman and private lesson teacher, is an artist who is considering leaving the industry. “The real possibility is that the industry has left and won’t return fast enough for me to be solvent,” Phaneuf said. There are many small musicians like Phaneuf who have resorted to taking bizarre jobs for the time being, hoping that this will all pass and return back to normal. While many artists have struggled due to the effects of COVID, other artists have shown that it has been an opportunity to grow, even if fans are not able to experience concerts in the same way. The power of music has remained unshaken, and not only have artists been able to connect to fans in other ways, such as online concerts and other forms of fan service, but they have also used their platform to raise more awareness about issues that are affecting our world. “It makes me truly believe in what that artist is actually doing,” Johnson said. “[COVID has let us see] what is going on beneath the surface and what motivates them. That is what inspires people and changes hearts and minds.”


Metro performs for a crowd on California Avenue.



GoodFastCheap gathers for the first time in awhile to play for neighbors.

Music to My Ears

Local bands bring vibrant performances to the community


s people stroll along University with his bandmates for reasons other than Avenue on a weekend night, the just making music. “For me, playing in a twinkling street lights shine on band is another thing that my friends and musicians whose lively performances can I can do together, so it’s a way for us to be heard floating up and down the street. bond, to hang out,” Pardehpoosh said. These vibrant gigs attract friends, famiOthers, like Gunn senior Julia Segal, ly and diners at nearby restaurants, and lead singer of indie-pop band Reverie, the energy of the find that being in a music can be felt band helps people by everyone who grow creatively as passes by. an individual, and The magic in serves as an outlet the air from the for expression and explosion of live fosters a communimusic performancty of mutual supes in Downtown port. “[By being in Palo Alto is remia band,] I definiteMiles Schulman, drummer in niscent of a time ly got a lot more GoodFastCheap when music was confident,” Segal more of a shared experience. This music said. “If you had asked me two years ago not only brings joy to people passing by if I could see myself performing in front or dining in nearby restaurants, but to the of 300 something people at the Battle of musicians themselves. the Bands, I never would have believed Luc Pardehpoosh, a student at the it.” University of Washington and the guitarNot only do these musicians feel acist for rock band GoodFastCheap, plays cepted by their bandmates, but also by the

“[After] months of people stuck in their houses with no relief calls, live music can break the monotony and bring some good energy to the scene.”

Palo Alto community, which openly supports local bands. Because of this support, there are a variety of locations that welcome performances by local bands. Many groups choose to perform at indoor music venues in Palo Alto as well as in popular outdoor areas like local parks. Gathering in areas with heavy foot traffic is the best place to get noticed by residents. However, due to COVID-19 and the many regulations put in place, most bands had to stop playing in their usual locations. For recent Paly graduate electric bass guitarist Joseph Cudahy from indie rock band Metro, COVID-19 has drastically changed the world of live music. “Before [the pandemic], a lot of shows we’ve played were at venues for music with other bands,” Cudahy said. “Now, really all we can do are shows on our own in public places because venues for music aren’t open.” Although performing on their own has required more effort to set up and plan, that has not stopped Metro from continu-


Reverie practices for upcoming performances in a driveway.

ing to play for live audiences. Despite the challenges that COVID-19 guidelines have brought to local bands, musicians have found a silver lining during these unprecedented times. The driveway concerts that Pardepoosh and the rest of GoodFastCheap put on are not only a way to “jam out with friends,” but are also a refreshing way to bring the community together. “Recently, it’s been a way to bring something to the community that was severely lacking, so that’s been nice as well,” Pardehpoosh said. Similar to GoodFastCheap, Metro drummer and Paly senior, Rein Vaska, enjoys the change of scenery and what it brings to the community. “What’s cool about playing outside as opposed to a gig is [that random] people come to see the music,” Vaska said. “Anybody can stop by, and I feel like people really appreciate hearing random music when they’re just on Cal Ave or in a neighborhood driveway.” His bandmate Toni Loew, the keyboardist for Metro, echoed the same sentiment. “Especially in quarantine,


the fact that we’re still able to stay safe mates and I were all annoyed, but we and follow protocol, but also bring a also understood why people wouldn’t little bit of hope [and music] into peo- like the loud music.” ple’s lives after so long, is fun for us, but Despite these complaints, many also fun if you’re just passing by and bands were encouraged to continue you’re hearing muperforming. “I sic,” Loew said. think it’s definite“We’re still able to stay Although enforcly cool for bands ing social distancsafe and follow protocol, to play during ing and keeping so long but also bring a little bit of COVID the crowds small as they are safe is a new priorihope into people’s lives.” about it,” said ty for performing Miles Schulman, bands, many still Toni Loew, keyboardist in Metro a drummer for faced backlash for GoodFastCheap. continuing to play during these times. “[After] months of people stuck in Disapproving neighbors shared their their houses with no relief calls, live feelings about the noise created from music can break the monotony and outdoor performances on the applica- bring some good energy to the scene.” tion NextDoor. While COVID-19 has brought dif“At first I was pretty annoyed be- ficulties and controversy to the various cause I thought the [noise complaint bands in Palo Alto, they have all found posts] would cause the concerts to ways to adapt and continue to perform come to an end, but then I realized for their friends and neighbors. Wheththrough all the comments on the post er it’s playing downtown or just in their that the majority of the community driveways, these bands bring vibrance loved the concerts and wanted them to to the community one performance at go on,” Pardehpoosh said. “My band- a time.

Text and design by SAM MUTZ

Founding member of hip-hop collective Griselda Records, Westside Gunn, expands on his signature sound with Pray For Paris.

A glimmering, grimey and deranged journey through the mind of Westside Gunn, “Pray For Paris” explores extravagance with a harsh edge. The latest from the Buffalo, New York rapper opens in grand fashion with “400 Million Plus Tax,” which samples audio from the auction of “Salvator Mundi,” a Leonardo da Vinci painting and the most expensive painting ever sold. This lavish aesthetic holds true throughout the album: from sparkling piano runs on “Georgo Bondo” and “No Vacancy” to the Virgil Abloh designed cover. Westside Gunn unapologetically collides high-class decadence with the street wisdom and muddy, “boombap” production of his roots. The New York rapper’s affinity for fashion is no secret as the self-proclaimed “Flygod,” but Pray For Paris embraces luxurious style to the fullest extent—without sacrificing the gritty, 90’s inspired sound that put Griselda Records on the radars of rap legends Jay-Z and Eminem. Gaudy rhymeschemes paint Westside Gunn as a Capone-Gatsby hybrid of upstate New York—cruising the city in bullet-proof Bentleys, sipping red wine and making money. The twisted, absurd, iridescent vision that Westside presents is enhanced by a star-studded barrage of features on songs like “327” with Tyler, The Creator & Joey Bada$$, and “$500 Ounces” with Freddie Gibbs & Roc Marciano. From a small market city like Buffalo, Westside makes his celestial aspirations for his crew known—refusing to bow to the niche labels of his hometown and style. This 40 minute LP delivers all the elements that fans have come to expect: lo-fi beats, impressive flows and hard-hitting ad-libs across the board. But on this project, Westside Gunn collides grace with grime, eccentrically infiltrating the world of high-art.



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