C Magazine Vol. 12 Edition 5

Page 1


Dear readers,

Welcome to C Magazine’s final issue of the 2023-2024 school year! We are so excited to be stepping in as the newest EICs. With the school year coming to a close, we hope that this edition reflects the hard work and growth our staff members have achieved. As we say goodbye to our graduating seniors, we want to honor and highlight their contributions to the Paly community!

We kick off our magazine with a nod to the Class of 2024 through “Sincerely, 2024,” a visual spread by Sarah Bakhash and Martina Meyerfreund on page 6 in which seniors reflect on their time at Paly through fun memories, offering advice and sharing their excitement for life after graduation.

Kaitlyn Gonzalez-Arceo, Mary Henderson and Alice Sheffer tie off our final cover story of the school year, “Equity in Education” on page 15, which explores the stories of neurodiverse individuals and their fight to combat discrimination in an educational setting. Following the story is “Your Own Best Advocate” by Mary Henderson, an interview with Sophia Henderson, a Paly graduate who delves into her experiences navigating high school and college as a neurodiverse student on page 19.

Inspired by the New York Times 36 Hours series, C Mag shares our rendition; “24 hours in Palo Alto” on page 8, written by Zeke Morrison, Jake Papp and Arjun Bharat. This story dives into the hidden gems of our beloved city, and is perfect

for those who want to play tourist or show a friend around. As many seniors start the transition to college this coming year, they may begin to decorate their dorm rooms. Written by Scarlett Cummings, Siena Dunn and Brooke Hudacek, “From Home to Dorm” on page 30 tackles the essentials that current and prospective college students chose to include in their dorms.

Wrapping up this issue with our featured artist, we are so excited to highlight the amazing work of renowned Paly videographer, Clare Antonow. “Frame by Frame” on page 36 written by Lily Jeffrey and Isaac Telyaz shares Antonow’s journey and how she captures various aspects of the Paly


Sandra Adler

The Bakhash Family

Lance Berger

The Bharat Family

The Boneh Family

Cindy Brewer

Shahla Chehrazi

Sung Cho

Cindy Cleary

Tim Cleary

The Meyerfreund Family

The Mirchandani Family

The Morrison Family

The Pegg Family

Joan Pinkvoss

Stephen Raffle

Misha Renclair

Carol Replogle

The Sheffer Family

Gael Solos



Christopher Cummings

The Daniel Family

Jianchun Dong

Ed Dunn

Linda Farwell

Robert Henderson

Jill Keefe

Jennifer Ko

The Kocherry Family

Sathish Kumar

Gene Lebel

Vijayashree Srinivasan

The Sundaram Family

Lorna Thornton

Shruthi Venkatesan

Greg Williams

Hillis Williams

The Williams Family

Allison Wong

Jingjing Xu

Sha Yu

Qu Zhou

Kayley Ko, Katelyn Pegg, Anika Raffle, Gin Williams

Managing Editors

Abbie Karel, Disha Manayilakath, Amalia Tormala, Sophia Zhang

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 October, January, February, April and June by aPrintis in Pleasanton, CA. C Magazine is distributed on campus and mailed to sponsors by Palo Alto High School. All C Magazine stories are available on cmagazine.org.


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 manager Eunchae Hong 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 cmagazine. eics@gmail.com or to 50 Embarcadero Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94301.

Online Editor-in-Chiefs

Sophia Dong, Kaitlyn GonzalezArceo

Social Media Managers

Dylan Berger, Maeva Herbert-Paz

Staff Writers

Creative Directors

Talia Boneh, Alice Sheffer

Business Manager

Multimedia Director

Ria Mirchandani

Sarah Bakhash, Arjun Bharat, Esther Chung, Scarlett Cummings, Adviser

Brian Wilson

Table of Contents

Clare Antonow

Find these stories and more at cmagazine.org Knight’s Auto Class: Driving Success C Magazine’s Top 3 Sunset Spots By Kaitlyn Gonzalez-Arceo By Maeva Herbert-Paz and Kayley Ko C Magazine’s Top Places to Go For Spring Break
May 2024 • Volume 12 Edition 5
Table of contents culture 12 Bottled It 8 6 Sincerely, 2024 42 Senior Playlist 34 C Mag Tries: Tie Dye 30 From Home to Dorm 38 Music on Record 15 Equity in Education 24 Hours in Palo Alto Your Own Best Advocate 19 Inclusivity in Every Hue 22 arts Music Frame By Frame 36 27 Paws for Hope


Dear Palo Alto High School,

As the year comes to an end, the class of 2024 would like to reflect on their past four years at Paly. From their first day of online school to the final paper toss, the soon-to-be graduates are here to share their most memorable and heartwarming experiences. The seniors are thankful for their final year at Paly and present their final notes for C Magazine’s last issue of the year.

What do you love most about senior year?

“Being able to talk with all my classmates, everyone was more open to it because we know it’s the last year we have together.”

“My favorite thing about senior year are all of the traditions like wearing camo, going to the beach and elimination.”

“Senior year is awesome. My favorite thing is not doing as much homework because I already know where I’m going for college.”


What do you love most about

“My favorite thing about Paly is the open campus and the fact that we can go wherever we want for lunch.”

“Probably Town and Country. I feel blessed to be on a campus with so many accessible yummy food options.”

“For me, the majority of the Paly experience is the people. They are what make Paly so awesome.”


for incoming freshmen?

“Take school seriously, but don’t forget that you only go to high school once in your life, so have lots of fun and hold onto all the memories that you can.”

“Don’t procrastinate and enjoy your time because it goes by quicker than you’d think.”

“Do extracurriculars because you love them, not just for college apps.”

“Freshman year is really important to set yourself up by joining as many clubs or sports and sticking with them for long term investment. Try to be friends with as many people even if you feel awkward, just try to push yourself.”

“Regardless of what classes you take you will get into a good school. Choose the courses that fit your learning pace the best.”

Something you will miss most about high school?

“Being able to see my friends and getting sweet treats after school.”

“The people, especially being able to see the people you’ve grown up with every day.”

“The people, all of the class friends and small interactions you have with the people you’ve known for over four years.”

One thing you wish you knew before senior year?

“How fast the year was going to fly by and what an emotional rollercoaster it’s been.”

“How much school I will want to miss.”

“Don’t stress too much. Remember that college apps are not everything, even when it seems like they are.”

Something you’re excited for after graduation?

“Summer adventures and to see where we all end up.”

“Beach trips with friends, being able to relax in Palo Alto for the last time and going to as many San Francisco concerts as possible.”

“I’m definitely excited about college and making new friends and seeing more of California.”

Design and Art

Text, by SARAH BAKHASH and MARTINA MEYERFREUD • Photos collected from Paly seniors
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However you find yourself here, check out our guide to 24 hours in Palo Alto

Hidden deep within the heart of the Bay Area lies a city that by all means exceeds expectations. Palo Alto is a city synonymous with technological innovation and hailed as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. However, Palo Alto has more to offer than just microchips and software. Digging a little deeper reveals a vibrant food and culture scene, with some locales as new as the most recent

iOS update. Meanwhile, others have withstood the test of time as class after class has graduated nearby Stanford University. We’ve compiled a 24-hour itinerary for a day in Palo Alto. Whether you have lived here your whole life, or it’s your first time to the place C Mag calls home, feel free to spend the day according to our schedule or choose a few activities of your own.

Check in and spend the night in University South at a local inn. Several potential lodging spots line the quiet wooded streets slightly off the main commercial strip. The University South neighborhood is home to young professionals and retirees alike, due to its enjoyable equilibrium of accessibility to shopping and eating and a tranquil residential oasis. Wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated, as you have a big day awaiting you.

Refuel and Recharge | 9:30 a.m.

TKake a walk around downtown, ending up at Ramen Nagi for an early lunch to beat the lines. After making the jump from Tokyo to the States in 2018, Ramen Nagi quickly became one of Palo Alto’s most popular and well-rated eating establishments. It features an exciting selection of noodles, broths and bowls. Ramen Nagi is regarded among the best by ramen enthusiasts for its top-tier preparation and organic ingredients. For the ultimate experience, make sure to arrive at 11 a.m. (opening time) at the latest, because contrary to nagi’s meaning in English (the calm before the waves), the lines grow long and quite notcalm, quickly.

Savor and Slurp | 11 a.m. 4. Campus Tour | 1 p.m.

W5. Art and Expression | 3:30 p.m.

Finishing the tour, make sure to view both the Cantor and Anderson Collection. They contain an elaborate selection of contemporary and classical art including 38,000 works of art from all over the world created over the past 5,000 years. With 24 galleries and more than 15 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor is an established resource for teaching and research on the Stanford campus. Between public and family tours, programs, and activities, the Cantor Museum has something for everyone.

ick off your morning the right way with a quick breakfast and coffee at the downtown Coupa Cafe on Ramona Street. Known for strong espresso drinks and Venezuelan-inspired fare, Coupa is frequented by both high school and college students, especially at its Stanford Campus locations. Opened in 2004, the cafe was constructed during the tech boom in Silicon Valley, offering free wifi at a time when it was customary to charge for it. The cafe offers a place where business plans synergize with baked goods, tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists often take meetings and work at the cafe. In fact, the late tech giant Steve Jobs was known for visiting frequently. Prices range from $5 to $20 for baked goods and meals, which is on the lower side for the area.

alk around the renowned Stanford University campus, hitting landmarks such as Hoover Tower, Memorial Church and the White Plaza, ending your walk at the Cantor Arts Center. Each of these sites provides unique views into Palo Alto’s rich history and culture. First, venture into the White Plaza. A vibrant hub of student activity and community gatherings, here, you’ll find yourself immersed in Stanford’s social scene. Following this, make your way to the Memorial Church, a stunning architectural gem nestled in the lush greenery of the campus. With its elegant facade and serene interior, this historical church serves as an oasis of tranquility amidst the busy campus. Soon, you’ll be greeted with the magnificent Hoover Tower. Built in 1941, this is one of Stanford’s most iconic landmarks, elevated at an astonishing 285 feet. Finally, make your way around the Stanford Oval, ending your walk at the Cantor Museum.

6. Differing Dining Delights | 7 p.m.

For an evening of culinary delight, choose from three distinct dining options that cater to a variety of tastes and atmospheres. First consider Rossoti’s Alpine Inn, renowned for its charming wooden ambiance and vibrant outdoor atmosphere, and serving a wild array of traditional American dishes, this is one that draws a younger crowd. From soups to flatbreads and bucket loads of fries, Alpine has one of the most mouth-watering selections the Bay Area has to offer. Craving nostalgia? Hop into a booth at the Palo Alto Creamery, where the historic dinner offers plenty of comfort food classics. With burgers, milkshakes and so much more, the Palo Alto Creamery fits the bill of a trip down memory lane. For those interested in more of an upscale Californian vibe, Ethel’s Fancy is a must. Due to its elegant ambiance and delectable dishes, celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg are common sights. 1. Local Accommodations | 10 p.m.

8 • cmagazine.org CULTURE • 9
Key 1. University
4. Stanford
6. Ethel’s Fancy 7. P.A. Creamery Text and Design by ARJUN BHARAT, ZEKE MORRISON and JAKE PAPP • Art by ZEKE MORRISON 7 Alpine Inn 4 mi. 10 • cmagazine.org CULTURE • 11
Coupa Café
Ramen Nagi
Cantor Museum

Highlighting the impacts of Doggy Protective Services and their biweekly adoption events

It’s a sunny Saturday morning and a group of teenage volunteers sit in cozy playpens with puppies, small dogs and adult dogs outside at the Charleston Shopping Center in Palo Alto. As people walk by the playpens, the volunteers introduce each dog, hoping to find these rescues a forever home.

volunteer-run, non-profit orga nization which helps rescue dogs from all across the state.

volunteered because that is the only reason I got to adopt the dog.”

Paws for H pe

H pe

The longer and more in-depth adoption process helps potential adopters fully commit to their decision and ensure they will give their dog the best home possible.

“Like any rescue, we run into financial troubles, especially because we are a rescue that takes in a lot of medical dogs,” Carrasco said. “That means thousands and thousands of dollars in medical costs and medical fees.”

take in more,” Voorhees said. Despite these struggles, DPS has remained an impactful organization. They continue to make a difference in countless dogs’ lives as their community grows.

To take care of these dogs, DPS heavily relies on fosters to make sure that the rescues are in a safe environment while they wait to be adopted.

“Thinking that even if you save just one life, even if you can’t save every life, it has made a difference,” Carrasco said.

Tricia Car rasco, the volunteer coordina tor at DPS, explains the specific process that each dog goes through to prepare them for adoption.

“Amongst the stress of applying to colleges and other things, [adoption events] have been one of the things that has kept me sane and happy.”

ters and generally bad, abusive, neglectful situations and bring them into our rescue,” Carrasco said. “[DPS gives dogs] fosters, all the tools that they need to succeed, [we] spay and neuter them and make sure that they go into good homes.”

Every other Saturday, DPS holds a meet and greet outside Pet Food Express, where volunteers can play with the dogs in the pens, tell the public more about them and introduce Palo Alto citizens to the organi-

Sadie Voorhees, a Paly junior who is an experienced volunteer at the DPS adoption events, enjoys being surrounded by dogs and helping them find potential adopters.

Love, Sequioa High School senior

“Being able to talk to people and getting these dogs adopted is a very rewarding feeling to me, because it feels like these dogs, who have been neglected, are getting into safe homes,” Voorhees said. “I think it’s just an amazing feeling when you’re able to make that happen for animals.”

Not only is helping dogs find a permanent home rewarding, but interacting with the dogs and spending time with them can serve as a stress reliever. Xan-

der Love, a senior at Sequoia High School, feels that these events help his mental wellness

throughout a stressful senior year.

“Amongst the stress of applying to colleges and other things, [adoption events] have been one of the things that has kept me sane and happy,” Love said.

Similarly, Carrasco found DPS as a way to help her through mental health struggles, as it gave her ambition to help out.

“I found that it gave me a sense of purpose, especially during the pandemic,” Carrasco said.

If someone comes across a dog they want to adopt at these biweekly adoption events, they can apply through the DPS website and then come in for an interview to determine if the match is a good fit.

“The adoption events really help those kinds of people that really need to see the dog and click with them or want that in-person connection,” Carrasco said. “So it’s just a great way for people to find that connection right off the bat.”

Although you can come and interact with the dogs during the events, DPS doesn’t do same-day adoptions and requires adopters to fill out an adoption application before adopting.

“We aren’t a first come first serve rescue,” Carrasco said. “We are really focused on matchmaking, so a lot of the time if we do same-day adoptions, it’s rushed.”

Kate Skeen, a sophomore at Paly, has not only volunteered at the rescue, but also adopted from there, adopting her dog shortly after her first event.

“I make sure that they’re not going into [adopting quickly],” Love said. “A core part of DPS is the idea that when you’re going to adopt a dog you’re not going to surrender that dog ever. This is going to be the dog for you. It’s not an impulse on the same day.”

Since DPS is a non-profit organization, it is hard to accommodate the medical funds needed to care for dogs rescued from dangerous and harmful environments.

“I just cannot stress enough how much you can see these dogs light up and change [after being adopted].”

“Another issue is that we are foster based,” Carras- co said. “We do have a safe house, but it’s not somewhere where we keep dogs on a long term or even really short term basis.”

Arden Zhen, a Paly sophomore, adopted her dog, Archer, from DPS. Her family chose to rescue Archer from DPS a few years ago, and since then, he has been a perfect fit in his family.

“DPS was really helpful with finding us a dog. Because we were first-time dog owners, it helped that on each dog’s description, you could see whether they would be suitable for kids and first time dog owners,” Zhen said.

Many dogs arrive at the rescue in harsh physical conditions, due to overcrowded shelters, homelessness and inhospitable environments.

Tom and Cruise were rescued from a meat market in Korea and have found their forever homes through DPS!

However, DPS has persisted through these struggles and reached out to the community to keep their organization running.

“[DPS] uses social media, fundraisers and other outlets to get more foster homes and get more dogs adopted in order to

Furthermore, DPS will take in dogs from other shelters who may have planned to euthanize them due to overcrowding or severe medical issues. While buying from a breeder may seem appealing, adopting will ultimately save a dog’s life.

“We chose to rescue from a shelter because we felt as though if we could save a dog from getting euthanized, it would be better than buying a dog,” Zhen said.

“We weren’t really looking to get a dog, but I really bonded with Goji [her dog] at that event,” Skeen said. “I’m glad I

Roadie is needing donations for a surgery after being run over by a car. DPS took him in before his shelter was going to euthinize him.

Rutabaga is a 7-year old who was surrendered to DPS when her family was unable to care for her anymore. Full of love and sunshine, Rutabaga is looking for her forever home!

Scan the QR code to go to DPS’s website to see those up for adoption!

or visit dpsrescue.org for more information about fostering, adopting, and donations.

Adoption can also have a big emotional and positive impact for the adopters.

“The most rewarding part of adopting a dog is the unconditional love that they give you,” Zhen said. DPS has been in Palo Alto for over 23 years, and its impact has made a difference for thousands of dogs across California. They have helped turn scared and neglected dogs back into their energetic and happy selves.

“I just cannot stress enough how much you can see these dogs light up and change [after being adopted],” Carrasco said. “When you are rescuing a dog, you are changing their lives.”


12 • cmagazine.org

Take a peak into a DPS adoption event!


s one of the top public school districts in the country, Palo Alto Unified School District prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive community. Yet, as many students navigate their education socially and academically, they may need help finding a foothold in accommodations, resources, and support in the highly competitive atmosphere.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the term ‘neurodivergent’ describes people whose mental differences affect how their brains work. This includes, but is not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, intellectual disabilities, and mental conditions like bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (often called OCD).

Some think the term ‘neurodivergent’ has a negative connotation; however, being differently abled does not directly lead to less capability. Instead, it means that the individual may need different accommodations to be successful. Palo Alto

High School English teacher Josh Knowles-Hinrichs often discreetly addresses his students’ needs to combat this worry.

“It’s really about meeting the students wherever they are socially or emotionally,” Knowles-Hinrichs said. “There are certainly students who have accommodations and are reluctant to use them. A lot of it [hiding accommodations] is because of fear of social repercussions or being perceived as getting something that others aren’t. For me, a lot of this is trying to shift some of that outside of class so it’s not as conspicuous.”

Despite the efforts of Knowles-Hinrichs and others, there is a preconceived notion in today’s society that neurodiverse people are less likely to succeed than neurotypical people. However, according to special education teacher Liz Mueller, this stereotype is unfounded.

“People have different strengths and weaknesses,” Mueller said. “There are plenty of [neurodiverse] people in your AP classes and Ivy League colleges.”

“Our school system is designed for people for a specific type of learner. If students don’t

discrimination against neurodiverse students. Campus Supervisor Carl Hubenthal, who graduated in 1992, was diagnosed in elementary school with ADHD, dysgraphia, scotopic sensitivity to light, and exceptional learning disabilities in handwriting and math. Because of this, he was subjected to many acts of discrimination during his childhood.

“When I was younger and going through elementary, middle, and high school, there was a huge stigma about it [neurodiversity],” Hubenthal said. “People were afraid to be associated with people in Special Education or around it.”

Currently, Hubenthal is a staff member at Paly and now looks back on his experience as a student.

“I feel like it [discrimination] is a lot less now, but students don’t always tell us what’s happening,” Hubenthal said. “But I certainly didn’t tell people what was going on when I was a kid.”

Additionally, creating an empathic community assists neurodiverse individuals’ likelihood of finding a path to success. School set-up, from the teaching style to the school community’s values, plays a significant role in supporting neurodiverse students.

“Our school system is designed for a specific type of learner,” Mueller said.”It’s designed for a specific type of work, behavior, and communication. Students who don’t act the same will be judged for that, even though it has nothing to do with their abilities. It has to do with how well they fit into that system.”

“People would say, ‘Don’t be like Carl’ when the homework wasn’t done.”

Despite stigma promoting otherwise, neurodiverse people who don’t follow the norm in a classroom setting can succeed in many other career paths. Although classroom skills help extensively prepare students for the professional world, essays and grades are not a holistic reflection of one’s potential.

Carl Hubenthal, campus supervisor

Today, Paly tries to be an incredibly supportive school that aids and uplifts neurodiverse students. According to “The Promise” on the PAUSD website, stating its focus area of special education and inclusion. Senior Juan Pinto has worked with case managers and support staff all four years at Paly, and his experience has been very positive.

“It’s one of those schools where they [staff members] helped me because I met new people and some friends who care about me,” Pinto said. “And they’re friendly. Also, I have four amazing case managers who have supported me for all four years—I’m improving a lot.”

On the other hand, students today use terms such as ‘sped’ or ‘autistic’ as a way to insult others. Mueller has noticed how insults perpetuate negative stereotypes about the unique education community.

“I can’t control everybody’s mouth, but I can control the environment my students are in,” Mueller said. “When people use those terms as an insult, they’re picking one very narrow piece of information about special education or about autism and applying it to everybody and everything.”

“I don’t think it’s a learning disability; I think it’s a difference,” Hubenthal said. “When I got out and could do different jobs that suited me, I blew everyone away. I was much better than other people. When I did construction, I could pay attention to 30 different things at once, and the other people who didn’t have ADHD thought I had a superpower. Here, having this ‘learning disability’ is an advantage in the job that I have.”

Neurodiversity can also impede communication between students. Sometimes, it might be more difficult for neurodiverse students to understand or communicate concepts to others. As Gannerkote suggested earlier, patience and empathy are essential in these cases.

“I have trouble thinking of stuff to say and what is correct to say,” Pinto said.

Often, discrimination and impatience can take the form of judging others for their abilities, and in severe cases, it can take the form of harassment or bullying.

“[People] judge others and treat others differently just because they have a certain disability,” Gannerkote said.

act the same, they will be judged for that, even though it has nothing to do with their abilities. It

has to do with


well they fit into that system.”
Liz Mueller, special education teacher

Although neurodiverse individuals are as capable as their neurotypical peers, Knowles-Hinrichs has witnessed many forms of discrimination against neurodiverse students. He believes that discrimination against neurodiverse individuals uncovers more about how the neurotypical world treats individuals who don’t fit this norm.

“It [discrimination] reveals a general lack of understanding or empathy on the part of the person using the word,” Knowles-Hinrichs said. “Oftentimes, it [discrimination] takes the form of harassment, and they can be constantly pointing out to someone that they’re not doing something that fits a norm.”

Throughout Paly’s history, there have been many cases of

Similarly, controversy exists around the use of the “R-word.”

Some believe the word has been reclaimed and is okay to use, but others disagree. Paly senior Spencer Wu-Chin thinks that people should never say the R-word.

“I don’t think the R-word has been effectively reclaimed,” Wu-Chin said. “It’s generally not very nice. I don’t see why you would say it if it hurts people’s feelings.”

To combat offensive language, sophomore Surya Gannerkote believes understanding a person and seeing things from their perspective can help reduce the use of these words.

“Empathy is a big one [solution],” Gannerkote said. “Understanding where other people are coming from and how they function helps understand ‘where everyone is’ in terms of their mental state and how they process things. It’s a big thing to try to understand and show some of that [empathy].”

“[Discriminators] refuse to talk to others because they have a certain disability. Since it’s [disabilities] more hidden, many people don’t see it, so it’s not big. A lot of people wouldn’t think about issues today.”


Additionally, discrimination can look like avoiding neurodiverse students-- this form of discrimination is much more prevalent and can sometimes be implicit. This can look like one student being left out of a discussion or group.

“[On the bus to school,] I usually talk to the bus driver,” Pinto said. “That’s the only person I’ve talked to or one friend. On some days, my brother rides with me on the bus, so I have someone to talk with.”

Discrimination can also occur when teachers use students as a non-example for desired classroom behavior. Many neurodiverse students are subjugated to this form of discrimination since typical classrooms are not designed with neurodiverse needs in mind. The discrimination can still have an impact from childhood to adulthood. Hubenthal looks back to when a teacher used his struggles as an example to his classmates.

“People would say, ‘don’t be like Carl,’ when the homework wasn’t done,” Hubenthal said. “I remember one kid didn’t do his homework, and the teacher was like, ‘don’t act like Carl.’ Because I didn’t like doing my homework, obviously.”

Some students find communicating with teachers and support staff difficult. Teachers may be hesitant to accept accommodations due to unclear communication, but there are many examples of positive communication between teachers and students.

“In my experience, it’s all been good in our immediate community,” Wu-Chin said. “But, I know that the way things are here is unique. Also, I’ve been lucky to have teachers who are understanding and communicate with me. But, I know other people who have teachers who don’t.”

According to California law, teachers must uphold students’ Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans with the accommodations that are given. Some Paly students feel that teachers are fair about accommodations and feel supported by the community.

Regardless of whether students have a 504 or IEP Plan, teachers can still support individuals’ needs. Many Paly teachers try to adapt their curricula to accommodate each student.

“Not everybody is starting at the same point regarding background knowledge for what we’re doing,” Knowles-Hinrichs said.

“Similarly, not everybody is starting on the same point regarding skill development for what we’re doing, so I have to meet them where they are. I try to explain to the students that there’s a difference between equality and equity.”

Sometimes, communicating with teachers about accommodations can take time and effort. Teachers have so many students each year that it can be hard to keep track of every single accommodation for each student. In situations like these, communication is essential.

“I met new people and some friends who care about me. I have four amazing case managers who have supported me all four years— I’m improving a lot.”
Juan Pinto, 12

“In my experience, all my teachers have been completely fair about accommodations,” Gannerkote said. “I have an Individual Education Plan. Every single one of my teachers has respected it.” Paly’s support system for getting a 504 or IEP plan is more accessible than at many other schools.

“It was really easy for me to get a 504 and then an IEP,” WuChin said. “They [Paly administrators] were really good about it; they were cooperative. But I know other schools aren’t as good at that; there are a lot more hoops you have to jump through. But it’s all been good in our immediate community.”


“[Usually], if a student is denied an accommodation, it’s just because of a miscommunication,” Mueller said. “I work with my students on their self-advocacy skills. I might coach the students and help them write an email themselves, or I might be the one to intervene and contact the teacher directly.”

It is often difficult for students to accept help in advocating for themselves, which is essential to receiving support in school.

“You have to be able to let those things slide off you and still move forward because it’s about your future,” Hubenthal said. “Being able to get that resilience back, in order to accept help and then blossom and flourish. That’s what I hope for everybody.”


What was it like getting a diagnosis and accommodations in the PAUSD sys-

Our parents actually had to get private testing to get the initial diagnosis because, at the time [2012], my elementary school did not offer the tests to properly be diagnosed. I was already so behind in my learning and fine motor skills. It started with me getting pulled out the main classroom to go work privately or in small groups in the ‘Resource Room,’ where a teacher had me go through a specific read ing program. Sometimes I was glad to be pulled out, because it felt overwhelming to be in a class where I felt I was putting in triple the effort as my peers with zero results.

Whether it was a simple spelling test or silent reading time, I could never keep up. However, at other times, getting pulled out of the classroom was disappointing because I was constantly missing out on time with my peers. In second grade, I started doing private outside-of-school tutoring which used the Slingerland method, which is a multisensory approach to learning aimed at teaching language to dyslexic students. When our parents figured that I really wasn’t able to learn in a traditional setting, they started looking for alternate schools. I ended up having to transfer out of the public school system, where I then attended different private schools that had a learning assistance department and specialized in the Slingerland method.

You switched back into PAUSD to attend Greene Middle School in seventh grade. What was your experience coming back into an environment where being neurotypical is the norm?

The first emotion that comes to mind to describe the transition is overstimulation. I was coming from a super small school where all of my peers were neurodivergent like me, so I was in this bubble of understanding. Being around people who are like me and having teachers that were more prepared and understanding of our needs was a small glimpse of paradise that was unfortunately unrealistic to my future learning environments. Public school is fast [and] they are on a strict schedule. Falling behind was not an option because

As a college student, Sophia Henderson shares her perspective and advice navigating the school system as a neurodivergent
18 • cmagazine.org

the student to teacher ratio was so different. It took me double to triple the amount of time to do my homework, filling out worksheets and taking physical notes felt foreign and overall the way the classrooms operated was different. Students were not as understanding and I think they often got annoyed during group projects when I needed more time to complete my part. I think the most frustrating experience was when we would share a Google Doc and a student from my group would follow my cursor on the page, immediately changing the spelling errors. Obviously, they had good intentions trying to edit the page but they never understood how belittled it made me feel to not be able to properly contribute my thoughts in the project.

One of the qualities I admire most about you is the way you have learned to advocate for yourself. Can you share some moments where you stood up for yourself to help others see your perspective?

I think one of the most obvious moments was when I performed a self-written poem in front of the entire eighth grade highlighting my dyslexia experience. Reflecting back on it now, it really was just encapsulating my experience as someone who is neurodivergent, and a lot of that poem spoke to things I experienced as someone with autism, although I was not diagnosed yet. I found my voice within poetry… because I can more freely speak my mind. It was one of the first times that I was not criticized by my teachers for my writing. That experience in itself really empowered me to start to find my own voice.

what works best for me. This largely came from trial and error in high school. I think as a lot of neurodivergent students know, it is really hard to learn [about] things that you are not passionate about. That’s not to say you aren’t interested in learning new things, but now having the freedom to take classes that truly relate to what you want to do and the things you care about makes me so much more motivated to learn. I am so happy that I am able to combine my interests as a sociology major with my passion for disability studies by minoring in it. I was really lucky to find a school, thanks to my parents and case managers at Paly, that has a strong academic support system, and it was a really important factor in my college admissions process.

Do you have any words of advice for a struggling neurodivergent student?

“I am truly the only person that knows how my brain works, so expressing my needs and sharing my perspective was necessary for me to be successful.”

I would pass on the same advice as I heard which is: be your own best advocate. Don’t be afraid to be pushy because it is not always easy to get what you need. The world is not as small as high school, and there is always a way for you to find your people. Luckily enough for me, I found my people and place in college.

What do you wish neurotypical people could understand about you and/or the neurodiverse community?

Everyone’s brains are different. Look to meet people who think differently than you, and use that experience to better understand what that person is going through. I think people need to [focus on] being more patient with their peers, finding a way to include everyone and being empathic towards the fact that not everyone has the same path forward.

Our parents are constantly saying, ‘You are your own best advo cate,’ and I have really taken that to heart. As I have gotten old er, I realized that I am truly the only person that knows how my brain works, so expressing my needs and sharing my perspective was necessary for me to be successful. If I had not advocated for myself, it is very easy to fall through the cracks; meaning it is very easy to fall behind and just get pushed through the school system, barely scraping by but not truly making the most of my education. I realized that although my work may not be as neatly written or done in the “normal” timeframe, I am just as capable as my neurotypical peers, and that although my brain works differently, I have good ideas and I am smart.

How has your experience been different in col lege? What are some factors that have led you to find your stride?

High school was really difficult for me, but going to college, I found people and a community that I could, in a sense, start fresh with. Being able to fully be myself, I was, for the first time, able to thrive academically due to the support I was getting and [finding]

20 • cmagazine.org CULTURE • 21

Teen drinking BOTTLE IT


FKothary said. “Most kids are well aware of sex ed, thanks to the internet, however, only a few know of the much more detrimental effect of these neurotoxins on your developing brain.”

normalization of teenage drinking culture is far more dangerous than it may appear.

Despite the decrease that may appear to be a positive factor, teenage drinking culture is still quite prevalent. According to Amie Haas, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, teenagers are slowly shifting toward more dangerous

Peer pressure is a dangerous factor for teenagers deciding to consume alcohol. With a desire to appear “cool” or fit into the crowd, many teens succumb to the pressure of fitting into the social circles around them.

or many teenagers, high school is a time of exploration and self-discovery. Along with that, students face newfound independence, a sea of social interactions, and tough academic challenges. However, amongst this whirlwind of experiences lurks a perilous path: teenage drinking. With frequent dangerous outcomes and a lack of education about the dangers of alcohol, some teenagers who partake in this enticing endeavor face serious consequences.

Although the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, children often grow up consuming movies and social media that picture teenagers drinking underage with no consequences. As many teenage movies and media depict drinking as “cool” and normalized, it is easy for teens to grow up desensitized to the dangers of drinking at a young age.

Over time, books, films, and

perceptions of the realities of alcohol consumption that many adolescents have.

“Since middle school, the movies I have watched have included many scenes where teenagers drink [alcohol],” Jack said, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes. “The movie ‘Superbad’ is a good example of this.”

Columbia Pictures, “Superbad” as Jack mentioned, is only one of many movies and series depicting teenagers dangerously participating in these illegal activities. Many other films that teenagers now consider to be “classics” have the potential to influence teenagers into drinking purely based on the scenes of alcohol use in these films.

Not only do certain movies portray teenagers drinking and doing drugs underage, but they often unintentionally romanticize these illegal acts. Media frequently portrays cool or well-liked characters indulging in underage drinking while those who don’t are deemed as “nerdy” or “weird.” These stereotypes can make teens feel like drinking is a necessity to fit in or be “cool.”

Chad, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes, is a junior at Paly.

“The stereotype that kids drinking was something cool affected how I viewed underage drinking when I was younger,” Chad said.

However, films and television are not the only forms of media that impact teenagers’ decisions to consume alcohol. With the rise of social media such as Instagram, TikTok, and other

only do students need to navigate the pressures of academics, they also have to navigate the dangerous compulsions of alcohol consumption

Enforcing proper education, while it may still be inevitable that teens are going to drink, can help teenagers from developing issues with binge drinking or having longterm alcohol addic tion. Instead of trying to force abstinence ed ucation upon teens, a com prehensive curriculum regarding safe alcohol consumption is significantly more benefi cial.

“[Adolescents] do not understand the impact of binge drinking on the developing brain.”

online platforms, the portrayal of underage drinking is further glamorized by real-life people.

Although this normalization may seem harmless for growing adolescents with no access to alcoholic substances, entering high school can turn the seemingly unrealistic party scenes into a reality, but many times not in the way that high school students were expecting.

Jessica, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes, is a sophomore at Paly.

“One time at a party, one of my friends didn’t know her limits and it led to her being non-functioning for the rest of the night,” Jessica said. “We were in the car on the way home and she was passed out in the car with her head out of the window trying not to throw up inside of the car.”

The inherent dangers of drinking are often glazed over, particularly in teenagers who lack education. As the popularity and normality of drinking increase, the education surrounding it must simultaneously increase.

Nishita Kothary is an M.D. who works at Stanford Medicine. In Kothary’s eyes, there is a significant lack of education surrounding the physical, harmful effects of alcohol.

“Providers need to embrace a more holistic approach [to alcohol education] including alcohol and substance abuse – most importantly on the impact of binge drinking on brain development and the risk,”

Smitha Kumar is a Family Physician MD, as well as a mother. Kumar’s experience in the medical field has given her a first

Dr. Nitisha Kothary, M.D.

“One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of teenagers, when they want to do something, go big or go home,” Haas said.

“People aren’t just drinking anymore; they’re using cannabis, and thus, crossfad-

“Crossfading” is a term meaning the action of drinking alcohol and using marijuana at the same time to feel a more extreme high.

“[Consuming alcohol] has become so normalized that people often don’t realize the amount of pressure there can be,” John said.

Sometimes, this pressure to consume alcohol can create a stark division between those who choose to partake in underage drinking and those who do not. University of California, Santa Cruz sophomore Parth Ramolia agrees.


the trends of teenage drinking have

Emma, whose name has been changed for privacy reasons, is a sophomore at Paly who has had firsthand experience witnessing the current state of teen drinking culture.

“I’ve tried alcohol a few times at friends’ houses and parties in college, mostly out of curiosity and a bit due to peer pressure,” Ramolia said. “While I didn’t particularly enjoy the taste or the ef fect it had on me, it gave me insight into why my peers might find it ap pealing, particu larly as a way to loosen up and re duce social anxi ety.”

of Paly students feel peer pressured to consume alcohol. of Paly students have not consumed alcohol. of Paly students have consumed alcohol.

“Teenage drinking has been steadily declining since the 1990s,” Kumar said. “I think this is mostly due to increased restrictions which decreased accessibility to alcohol for teenagers compared to what was 15-20 years ago.” With the added levels of riskiness to drinking and the high percentage of teenagers who choose to drink, the

“Drinking culture has influenced me to [see] drinking [as normal] at parties, social events, and other things I do with my friends,” Emma said. “I haven’t necessarily been under peer pressure, but high school drinking culture helps me not see it as a big deal.”

As teenagers continue irresponsibly consuming alcohol, the dangers are still prevalent. An alarming statistic from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that 28.3% of all underage people ages 12-20 have reported partaking in drinking in the United States.

However, many high school students are influenced by other factors that can lead to their choice to indulge or not.

John, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes, is a sophomore at Paly.

“There is absolute peer pressure to partake in drinking,” John said. “When so many people around me are doing it [drinking] and having such a fun time, it feels like I need to [drink] or else I won’t be able to enjoy the moment as much.”

However, some feel that the normaliza tion of using alcohol as a means for stress re lief, en hanced social interac tion, and a con fidence boost is even more danger ous.

75% 65% 35%

This can lead to signif icant men tal health risks for teenag ers who face high

of Paly students do not feel peer pressured to consume alcohol.

Survey was taken by 90 Students at Palo Alto High School CULTURE • 22 • cmagazine.org Survey was taken by 90 Students at Palo Alto High School

academic and social pressure that already contributes to poor mental health. The consumption of alcohol can further exemplify anxiety and depression, which can become a long-term problem in the future.

“[Alcohol] influences the status dynamics among students, with those who host or attend certain parties often gaining social clout,” Ramolia said. “This culture can create a sense of exclusion for those who

This brings up an important point that to face the dangerous consequences of alcohol, one does not have to be the person drinking. Even a momentary lapse in judgment can lead to fatal or otherwise dangerous accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all fatal crashes involving teenagers were caused by the influence

“[Consuming alcohol] has become so normalized that people often don’t realize the amount of pressure there can be”
John, anonymous sophomore

lobe of the brain is also not fully developed, leading to risk-taking behavior. Combine it with alcohol that decreases inhibition, it compounds risky behavior.”

classes at school, documentaries, and websites like the CDC,” Ramolia said. “My parents have also been a great source of information; they’ve shared not just the phys-

“Most kids are well aware of sex ed, thanks to the internet, however, only a few know of the much more detrimental effect of these neurotoxins on your developing brain.”
Dr. Nitisha Kothary, M.D.

take effect, so they find themselves drinking copious amounts more to make the effects feel stronger.

Unfortunately, no matter how informed parents and educators may become, many teenagers may still partake in drinking without comprehending or giving mind to the dose taken, which can lead to inherent and glaring risks in extreme cases.

“Teens typically are more prone to binge drinking than chronic alcoholism, meaning they consume alcohol less frequently than adults and overall consume less alcohol

of the effects of alcohol which helped him successfully navigate drinking scenes from high school to college.

“Being uneducated about safe drinking leads to excessive drinking and alcohol intoxication,” Kumar said. “Being unaware of alcohol’s addictive potential leads to dependence. It’s extremely important to educate teenagers about the dangers associated with alcohol intake. As we [doctors] always say, ‘Knowledge is power.’”

24 • cmagazine.org CULTURE • 25

HUE in Every Inclusivity Inclusivity

Inequity in the beauty industry undermines diversity and perpetuates harmful standards

The beauty industry is perceived as a beacon of empowerment and self-confidence for many people around the world. While it celebrates diver sity and promotes inclusivity, a shadow of discrimination lies under the surface, affect ing individuals across various intersections of race, gender and age. As a result, an emphasis on the diversification of beauty products has become prevalent in recent years.

Martha Laham, a business and market ing professor at Diablo Valley College and author of “Made Up: How the Beauty In dustry Manipulates Consumers, Preys on Women’s Insecurities, and Promotes Unat tainable Beauty Standards,” attributes con sumers’ demands for more inclusivity to the increase in diverse beauty products.

“The industry is very nimble and rapidly responds to changes in beauty consumers’ preferences and behavior,” Laham said. “For example, consumers are demanding more inclusivity in beauty. The beauty in dustry listened and created products that are tailored to all individuals regardless of gender, age, and skin tone, by creating such offerings as gender-neutral beauty products

“If you’re a brand that claims to be inclusive or claims to have a wide range of skin tones and you lack darker skin tones or you lack lighter skin tones, it doesn’t really wants.

“That’s a problem because my number one consideration is whether or not it [a product] matches my shade, and so because

CULTURE • 27 26 • cmagazine.org

of that, it really limits the scope of makeup that I can access,” Grewal said. “I’m not able to find things where the formula is different or where the application method is different, and I’m really constrained just to things [products] that match my shade.”

Similarly, in other countries, the same inconvenience of trial and error exists in find ing the right foundation shade. Paly sophomore Kathleen Wang finds that the shade ranges in East Asian countries are ex clusive and do not properly reflect the people who live there.

Bartley, a content creator based in South Korea, draws from her experiences with Korean beauty products to identify the next steps needed to increase global inclusivity.

“A lot of the time, they [Korean beauty companies] are pushing these products out to an international audience, and a lot of times, they have darker skin shades,” Bartley said. “But, they either show up really red or really gray, which shows that there’s a lack of knowledge of color theory for darker skin tones.”

“We live in a world filled with people of all shapes and sizes – it’s time that the beauty industry takes the steps to recognize that.”
Sarina Grewal, junior

“Most of the time, I wear Korean makeup, because I think it’s really nice,” Wang said. “It’s basically all for lightskinned [people]. The lightest shade is pal er than mine and the darkest one is not that much darker than mine.”

Beyond the Korean community, these shade ranges do not provide sufficient op tions for foreigners. Shakerra

With K-beauty brands suited mostly for people with paler skin tones, it is difficult for them to build a more internation-

“In order to combat this, if a company wants to do better on an international scale and also cater to some of the foreigners here in Korea, what needs to be done is to have an actual foreigner, someone who has darker skin, on the team, who actually understands color theory and how to make darker skin tone foundations,”

voring those of lighter skin tones and Eurocentric groups for makeup consumption has been seen on social media and can be detrimental to the self-image of impressionable viewers. Grewal elaborates on how viewing these trends had an impact on her growing up.

“I was young and first coming onto the internet when [those] trends were first becoming popular, and it [the trends] harmed my self-image with my own features,” Grewal said. “That Eurocentric lens when it comes to beauty trends can be really harmful to not just young people, but everyone on the internet that’s trying to come to terms with how they look and how they present themselves to the world.”

Similar to social media trends, makeup advertisements do not present a range of diverse models to reference back to the products they sell which can be unhelpful to consumers.

“Marketing in my experience has been mostly directed to lighter skin tones with token diverse models,” Grewal said. “It’s gotten a lot better in recent years, but even in the pictures you see when you buy makeup… there’s a lot of models with lighter skin tones, and then there’s a token one or two on the darker side, and that doesn’t even reflect the shade range that they have.”

In addition to the importance of featuring models of a diverse range of skin tones to represent all communities, Paly sophomore Tarika Pillay describes other ways to increase the scope of what the makeup in-

“People have different religious sorts of things [values],” Pillay said. “Some [people] can’t use anything that has any sort of animal products in them at all. So, it’s [important to have] products that use vegan options or animal-friendly options, so that religious people can use different options.”

Beyond personal values, affordability significantly influences the purchase of cosmetic products. Rosanna Smith, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, affirms that people from a lower income background often do not have the luxury to choose a higher quality product due to the

“No matter what your socioeconomic status is, no matter what your race, beauty is still something that many women feel the urge to fulfill,” Smith said. “And if you don’t have a lot of money, you still have that pressure. You could feel the pressure to buy products that aren’t at the highest

price point, and the reason they’re not the highest price point is because they’re not at the safest level.”

People of a range of socioeconomic backgrounds experience the pricing strat egies of makeup brands differently, de pending on whether the brands target high-income or low-income demograph ics. Vani Leon, a professional makeup art ist and licensed esthetician, delves deeper into the subject by examining the specific brands and the communities in which they are marketed.

“YSL [Beauty] only sells in certain de partment stores,” Leon said. “They do price it [products] higher when it is design er because they want to be like in more of these exclusive stores, which are in more exclusive wealthier areas.”

Luxury makeup brands display themselves in a manner that exudes desirability and high quality, yet drugstore brands are great brands that can allow people of lower-income backgrounds to access cosmetics.

“NYX has always been a drugstore

gredients are more effective,” Smith said.

“By understanding that, there’s more of an understanding of what the price really means.”

Consumers are the driving force behind the beauty industry’s profitability, so their input warrants attentive consideration. Bartley emphasizes that being willing to listen to consumers of darker gressing to provide access to various makeup products for people of different communities. Regardless, it is clear that numerous makeup brands around the world do not reflect our society as a whole.

“People who have darker skin tones should be having more of a say when it comes to certain products…it shouldn’t be a second thought at all.”


Bartley, Content Creator

pands on how makeup can become more accessible for these communities.

“It would be a lot easier if they expanded to certain drugstores because not everyone can go 200 miles away or 10 miles away to an Ulta [Beauty] to find the only thing that matches their skin tone,” Pillay said.

As the demand for accessible makeup grows, customers are becoming more con scious of the value they receive for their purchases and the ingredients used. Often, they view it through a more chemistry-ori

“Beauty brands need to promote inclusivity for all, whether that’s by expanding the shade ranges of their products or by making them suitable for more skin types,”

CULTURE • 29 28 • cmagazine.org



seniors are just beginning to embark on the journey of dorm living and luckily, they have alumni to guide them as they go

As the weather gets warmer and the school days move by faster, Paly seniors are gearing up for their transition to college. To pick up and move one’s entire life may seem overwhelming. Not only are many people moving out for the first time, but challenges with roommates and small dorms can make the transition even harder.

One of these challenges can be making a college dorm feel like home. Unlike the usual hometown bedrooms, they come plain and undecorated. Many students attempt to make their dorms more homey and personalized using decor and distinctive mementos.

Clarissa Lee, a Paly senior attending Wellesley College in the fall, touches on some personal items she’s taking to remind her of home.

“I’m gonna bring some of my favorite

stuffed animals and pictures of my dogs to decorate,” Lee said.

Aside from the physical space, one of the biggest transitions and differences between high school and college living for most is adapting to constantly living with another person . Finding and becoming a good roommate is important to a smooth college transition.


“I’m just going to roll the dice,” Dukes said. “I think that can lead you to meeting a lot of cool people and I just want to be open to anything.”

“You have to think realistically about your living style rather than idealizing yourself as a super clean or organized person.”

While many people find their roommates through mutual friends or social media, Paly senior and rising CU Boulder freshman Jeremy Dukes is choosing to go the random

When it comes to finding a roommate, the first step is understanding your lifestyle. Being realistic about your living habits and how you will be as a roommate to someone else is just as important as thinking about what you are looking for out of a roommate.

Ryan Hudacek, Paly graduate and current Vanderbilt University freshman, be-

lieves one aspect of this is cleanliness.

“You have to think realistically about your living style rather than idealizing yourself as a super clean or organized person,” Hudacek said. “You really have to consider your day-to-day habits. It’s also important to set boundaries in the beginning but also to be flexible because this is the first time both of you are learning how to live with a stranger.”

Living away from home for the first time can be hard to adapt to. Ben Antonow, a Paly graduate and sophomore at the University of Michigan, found there was a steep learning curve.

“[It took time for me to learn how to] manage not only my area but the common areas of our house clean,” Antonow said.

Learning to be a good roommate is vital to building a pleasant environment in college, but who you live with is just as important.

“A messy roommate can be okay if you are fine with that, but what you don’t want is a dirty roommate who leaves food out and never wipes anything down,” Hudacek said. “A pile of clothes is different than two-week-old food.”

Even if disagreements arise, there is always a way to coexist peacefully. University of California, Berkeley sophomore, Evie Barclay has a good perspective on what makes a good roommate.

“A good roommate is communicative and flexible,” Barclay said. “Even if you and your roommate have differences, a kind roommate who’s willing to compromise goes a long way.”

tion. Being someone a roommate can rely on is key to the living process.

“[I] think a good roommate is someone that you don’t necessarily share interests with or have the same personality as,” Antonow said. “My roommate was the same major as me but we lived very different lives with different schedules.”

In navigating the challenges of dorm living, Hudacek shares some practical insights.

“Extension cords with many outlets are necessary because I can have multiple things plugged in at once anywhere in the room,” Hudacek said.

“Also, shoe bins for your closet floor are super helpful because they help keep all your shoes in one place and in a more organized manner. The closets are small so there is not much room to line them up, saving space and keeping things organized is super important in a small dorm.”

Most dorms also come with built-in ceiling lights that are too bright for nighttime studying, early mornings or just everyday life. Barclay advises incoming college freshmen to steer clear.

“The overhead LED lights are awful,” Barclay said. “I have a regular lamp that sits on my desk and a remote-controlled sunset lamp that changes colors.

Stanford Senior Abby Cummings has lived in a dorm for the past four years and knows how to spice up a blank space.

“During move in, dorm rooms feel generic and sterile which always inspires me to try and decorate my space in a way that feels homey and personal.”

“During move in, dorm rooms feel generic and sterile which always inspires me to try and decorate my space in a way that feels homey and personal,” Cummings said. “Over the years I have created and collected wall art that is a reflection of who I am — for me, that means a lot of nature and ocean-inspired wall decor.”

Living in a smaller space with a roommate can also bring some technical challenges when it comes to conserving space. While many things are useful in adjusting to living alone, Antonow had a few items that were necessary for the adjustment.

Regardless of how small the dorm is, some decor and love can make it feel just right. Cummings understands the importance of feeling at home in a dorm room.

While moving to college can feel isolating, it is important to note that many are also going through a similar transi-

“[The most useful thing in my dorm was] a drying rack for my clothes because the washers and dryers in my dorm were low quality,” Antonow said.

“I have created a space that I look forward to spending time in, and that can start conversations when I have friends over,” Cummings said. “The photos on my walls especially remind me of fond memories and experiences that make me happy.”

DORM ESSENTIALS: warm lighting pictures
ART • 31


“When I first got to my dorm, the blue mattress and blank walls were daunting.”


Throw pillows and blankets are an easy way to spice up your bed!


“Once I started decorating, I was able to make the space feel more like home.”

Personalized decor always adds a fun & homey touch!

Small dishes and containers can help keep your desk organized!

paloma ART • 33


As the year is coming to an end, students are beginning to feel the pressures of finals and AP exams. However, it is still important to make time for fun activities. To alleviate C Magazine staff members’ stress, a tie-dye event was hosted during class.

However, for some individuals such as sophomore Amalia Tormala, the event served as a sentimental one.

“I tried it [tie-dying] a little bit in elementary school, but this is the first time in five years so it was pretty nostalgic for me,” Tormala said.

Unlike Tormala, many staff members who participated in the event either had little to no experience with tie-dying. Senior Sarah Sheaffer, had a more intuitive understanding of tie-dying, creating a spontaneous concept.

“With no prior knowledge, I was just rubber banding [putting rubber bands] everywhere,” Sheaffer said. “I went with a purple-blue color scheme… I was just trying to go in with no worries.”

Similar to Sheaffer, Tormala harbored a more impromptu approach with her design.

try that.”

On the other hand, staff members such as senior Brooke Hudack planned to diverge from the conventional spiral shirt and pursue a more inventive approach; attempting to create a tie-dye heart.

“I had fun using all the different pink and purple colors to kind of match that theme,” Hudacek said. “I’m excited to see if the heart actually stays a heart.”

In the end, Hudacek enjoyed the challenge of venturing into creating an unconventional design. Additionally, she found joy in various other aspects of the event.


it [the design] didn’t work out perfectly, it was really fun to get together with the staff, tie dye a shirt, and try out a new design.”

Brooke Hudacek, 12

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do going out there, but once I was out there, I knew I wanted to try to make a star with the pink [dye],” Tormala said.

Meanwhile, others took a more structured approach. Sophomore Sophia Zhang envisioned creating a classic swirl pattern.

“I used rubber bands to split it [the shirt] up and create multiple sections,” Zhang said. “For every two sections, I would use a different color… pink would take up two sections, and then blue would take up two sections, teal would take up two sections and so on, so it looks like an even arrangement.”

Sophomore Talia Boneh looked for inspiration from other in-

“I was super excited to just have fun with some colors,” Boneh said. “I have seen a lot of people do little spikes, so I wanted to

“Although it [the design] didn’t work out perfectly, it was really fun to get together with the staff, tie dye a shirt, and try out a new design,” Hudacek said.

Junior Disha Manayilakath also enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with her fellow staff members, citing the event as a refreshing departure from C Mag’s usual activities.

“It [tie-dying] is also a chance to get off screens,” Manayilakath said. “We all get to talk to each other and focus on what we’re doing [tie-dyeing] but also have a good time, help others out or give them… advice on what colors [to use] or how you tie it [the shirt].”

Sophomores Alice Sheffer and Talia Boneh shared similar opinions as Manayilakath, finding joy in socializing with their fellow staff members.

“We’re getting to know each other a lot better and icebreakers are really awkward, so I think doing activities as a group is really meaningful,” Sheffer said.

Sheaffer shared similar sentiments with Sheffer and Boneh, anticipating C Mag to host similar events in the future.

“It’s really nice to see us getting back into that [C Mag tries events] because [by] doing events together like tie dye… people can connect over what they enjoy doing,” Sheaffer said. “It is a really great way to meet others and feel closer to the people they’re working with.”

34 • cmagazine.org ART • 35



Behind the captivating photos and films of Paly events is senior Clare Antonow, who has dedicated her life to her passion for videography

Senior Clare Antonow captures some of Paly’s best moments through her camera lens. From athletics and arts to beyond Paly events, Antonow expresses her passion for videography and photography in every way possible.

Antonow has always had a deep love for art, having taken ten years of art classes as a child with a focus on multimedia and color. She began with painting and drawing in elementary school and switched to fashion in middle school. From there, Antonow found her love for photography, which continues to be a part of her everyday life.

“I’ve always been an artist, and I really love that, no matter what form it takes on,” Antonow said.

Her love for photography has been es-

and began filming for InFocus, Paly’s broadcasting network, which gave her opportunities for more documentary-style filmmaking. She did independent study for InFocus and filmed video packages, short films, documentary-style videos and documentary-style social media content for Paly and other Bay Area events.

She is motivated to continue photography because of the joy it brings her.

but Antonow also enjoys the experience of connecting with them and trying new techniques she discovers online.

pecially evident when traveling or being in nature.

“I started to take it seriously and realized I can bring a camera anywhere, and I can take photos whenever I want,” Antonow said. “I really love travel photography. Whenever I travel, I bring three cameras, and I do photography every single day.”

Antonow packs up to five cameras with her when traveling because of the different purposes they serve.

“I would be so upset if I forgot [my cameras]; it just means so much to me to have that when I’m traveling and capturing stuff [moments],” Antonow said.

Antonow has gotten inspiration from multiple people, including a student who films for Los Gatos, as well as a student at

“There’s such a huge community out there, which a lot of people don’t realize,” Antonow said. “It’s such a big network, and it’s really awesome.”

Initially, Antonow began her photography career at Paly filming football games and eventually branched out to other sports. This led her to expand into various student activities, including spike ball tournaments, spirit week events and performing arts.

Antonow later tried narrative filmmaking, beginning with her experience at the School of the New York Times summer program, where she wrote a story and added dialogue to her films for the first time.

She feels that the switch from her typical photography to narrative films was easy due to how transferable the skills are.

“If you can film and you can edit and you can tell a story through video and visuals, then you could film a lot of things,” Antonow said. “You have a wider range than you think you do.”

She brought these learned skills to Paly

After high school, Antonow hopes that photography will remain a big part of her everyday life. While attending her summer program, she was moved by the feeling of being in a room full of like-minded peers who were also passionate about film and media. From that moment on, Antonow knew she wanted to pursue film because of how meaningful it was to be with others who felt as strongly about filmmaking as she did.

She recently got accepted and is committed to UC Berkeley, where she plans to study film and media and continue photographing for both the school and professionally. Going into photography professionally, Antonow sees an attainable future in combining business and film, possibly becoming a creative director, and working in advertising.

“I can take this thing that I love, and I can take the business side of it and I can take the creative and interpersonal skills… and there’s so many careers for me,” Antonow said. “I can have a successful career and not have to be a starving artist.”

One of her favorite parts of photography is the interactions she has with those she works with. Showing the results of her photography to those in the picture can make people feel seen and appreciated, whether it’s a simple portrait of them smiling at a camera, or an action shot showcasing their hard work at a sport.

“So much of it [photojournalism] is about the people you meet, the people you take photos and videos of and seeing people’s faces light up when you show them what you’ve taken of them and what you’ve created of them,” Antonow said. While Antonow thinks of photography as an outlet and really enjoys creating content, at times it can be tiring and takes up a significant amount of time. Editing a video can often take her up to ten hours, particularly having to watch through entire games worth of footage.

“While the end result is amazing, and

[video creation is] such a fun, creative process as well, it’s so fulfilling to make something I’m so proud of,” Antonow said. “The time it takes to get there can definitely be draining sometimes, and balancing that with schoolwork is not the easiest thing.”

Through this, photography has been a positive contribution to Antonow’s life, and she feels as if having a creative passion is important for everyone to find.

“Having a creative outlet is such an amazing thing that not a lot of people have, and it’s really changed [my] life,” Antonow said. “It’s such a meaningful thing, and making art and creating things that you’re proud of is so wonderful.”

Text and design by LILY JEFFREY and ISAAC TELYAZ · Photos courtesy of CLARE ANTONOW

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Clare Antonow, senior
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usic on

Media outlets attempt to capture the essence and authenticity of live music through video

Astrings reverberate through an usually empty hallway. Drumsticks striking metal toms and the beeping of a video disturbs the subdued room.

Lead vocalist of Marshall The Band and Paly sophomore Simone Batra sings Joy Again’s “Looking Out for You,” one of the group’s favorites.

“[Live music is] so raw, and you get to look at the artists and see their emotion,” Batra said. “Whereas in recording, there are layers. Even a good singer can use a lot of autotune.”

Paly sophomore Milo Johnson, the drummer for Marshall The Band, elaborates on the recent increase in the accessibility of

“It’s so much better than just listening to it [pre-recorded music]. You can see what the musicians are doing. You can see how they’re holding their instruments [and] all the techniques they’re using. You learn so much more from watching musicians.”

Over the course of a month, C Magazine cataloged, developed and filmed a video collection showcasing live performances

es online.

Secret Room, a second Paly band interviewed by C Magazine details their prior experiences with live and studio music. Vocalist Gavin Sun emphasizes the role of an artist’s individual preference on production medium.

“Studio music is more technically exact if you’re interested in that, but as an experience, I prefer live music,” Sun said.

“We’ve challenged artists to not perform like that [they are on stage] but to perform as if they’re back in their parent’s basement [or] in their garage, like how they first wrote their songs.” , Lead Video Producer and Director, NPR Tiny Desk

The first integration of a music and a video format originated in the 80s with MTV. Tim Riley, a music critic for NPR and Associate Professor of digital journalism, shares his experience growing up through the popularization of music videos.

“[For] people like Madonna and Michael Jackson, video was their primary [medium],” Riley said. “Whenever a new technology emerges, the public’s reaction is like, ‘oh no, the sky is overflowing.’

But the artists, the creatives, are busy having conversations with those tools.”

doing desktop concerts, living room concerts or streaming concerts.”

One of the key components in the popularization of recorded music is Tiny Desk, a name synonymous with genre-breaking artists and authenticity.

Maia Stern, the lead video producer and director of NPR’s Tiny Desk series shares how Tiny Desk has distinguished itself from other performances.

“Whenever a new technology emerges... the artists, the creatives, are busy having conversations with those tools.”

“It’s very different from going to see your favorite band in concert at a venue,” Stern said. “We are not a live music ven ue. We’re a legit office with people sitting around at their desks, some times annoyed that the music is too loud.”

While videos promote music to new audiences and add a dimension to one’s listening experience, with advancing technology and an extensive virtual library

Tim Riley, NPR Music Critic

Kara Frame, a fellow video pro ducer and director for Tiny Desk, shares a similar opinion about how the use of innovative technology sets the series apart.

Paly senior Shuya Lam, the second vocalist of Secret Room, expands on how live music can be beautiful, but not without occasional flaws.

from student artists enrolled in Palo Alto High School.

With a few songs from each band, the acoustics of the tall ceilings and the focus of the camera, the short clips come to life to show how live music can reach new audiences once boosted online.

As one of the first participants, Marshall The Band’s live sound is able to echo through the hallway near the Tower build-

“Live music is really good, but there are some songs that you can’t hear live,” Lam said. “Some artists don’t perform, or their music sounds better studio recorded — sometimes the live atmosphere can just be bad.”

Paly senior and musician David Tomz, another participant in C Magazine’s collection of live performances, describes his first time performing and singing live. Despite playing music his whole life, Tomz relayed that live music is an experience unique from the rest.

“I didn’t even tell my parents I was going to be performing because I didn’t want to psych myself out,” Tomz said. “But I was met with such a positive reaction that it really shifted my mental framework around performances and putting myself out there.”

38 • cmagazine.org MUSIC • 39

ones that came before, and that has always made Tiny Desk

When NPR’s team set out to create a live environment that could be shared with the world, some complained about the lack of traditional in-ear monitors and post-processing. Still, others were grateful for the testament to unfiltered music.

“Our space is so small and intimate that we’ve challenged artists to not perform like that [they are on stage] but to perform as if they’re back in their parent’s basement [or] in their garage, like how they first wrote their songs,” Stern said. “So it’s very stripped down, but it’s not necessarily acoustic.”

As artists put more emphasis on diversifying the instrumentals and tools used in music, the level of duction and mixing has become an increasingly controversial subject within the community of music critics and per-

“I’m not a person who’s going to say on my scorecard [an artist’s music] rates ‘x’ because I feel like her production is overwrought,” Riley said. “She’s the author, and she gets to frame her painting the way she wants that painting framed.”

However, the incredible experience of live music doesn’t always come for free; live music has also become exponentially more expensive and therefore inaccessible for those who cannot afford tickets. Besides streaming music on platforms, this boom in pricing has inspired many people to search for new ways to connect with artists.

“Recently, we’ve seen the major corporatization of the live act,” Riley said.

new medium is born that has benefits for both the artists and the fans.

“[Being recorded] adds this special element of mystique or surprise to the music itself,” Stern said. “[People get] to see artists get a little bit uncomfortable or just not on a stage they’re used to.”

To maintain the charm of Tiny Desk and other recorded live music series such as its predecessor ‘MTV Unplugged’ or recorded covers in ‘Like A Version,’ the curation process plays a critical role.

“Tiny Desk is such a happy mixture of lesser-known bands and big names,” Stern said. “It’s a great equalizer — big names come to our space and feel just as nervous as the smaller bands. It’s really humanizing; we’re all in this office space and there’s no hiding.”

“There’s something special about the raw nature of [live music].”
David Tomz,

“[Music has progressed through] a live stage, then a recording stage, then there’s the video stage and now we need to have a new stage.”

By combining the unique quality of live music with the outreach of recording, a

Zach Nial, a professional multi-cam live music director and the former director of MTV Unplugged shares his experience directing throughout the pandemic. Recording live music can vary from the traditional concert experience for both fans and performers.

“When artists are belting it out [on stage], they’re getting love back,” Nial said.

“And that feeds them to keep going and gives them energy. And when there is no audience giving them that energy, some

musicians don’t know how to act.”

Recording artists in an intimate setting has gained traction in the past few years, especially on social media. An economic aspect also comes with the explosion in independent music recording..

“The bar to entry for production has gotten so low, that smaller productions, such as Tiny Desk [can gain popularity], while people just shooting on their phones have exploded,” Nial said. “The democratization of media caused it to be far less expensive.”

Social media has played a pivotal role in the acoustic and live music industry. Songwriters and bands are able to reach diverse audiences and gain popularity in new ways.

“You have a kid in their bedroom who writes a catchy lick with some good lyrics,” Nial said. “They just put it out, something they shot on their phone, and it strikes a chord. Just like all great music does. All of a sudden, this kid is now reaching 20 million people, or 100 million people. This was not possible until now.”

a disaster for us. For those of us who have this [as] our income, we feed our families this way. This is bad for us. But for creators, this is a wonderful thing,” Nial said.

The executive producer of Australia triple j’s ‘Like A Version’ series, Jess Hallay, creates a selection of performances set in live studio settings.

“The production itself is very strippedback, for example there’s no elaborate sets, stage lighting or visual effects,” Hallay said. “The performances are captured live and audiences value authenticity.”

Live experiences have become more difficult to attend. Many believe seeing artists in their live performances can be a

“When artists are belting it out [on stage], they’re getting love back... when there is no audience giving them that energy, some musicians don’t know how to act.”
Zach Nial,

Former Director of MTV Unplugged

The evolution of technology and the increased outreach of online platforms have shaped the way music is marketed, recorded, and sold. The music video industry has existed for decades, but the increase in streaming and the switch from physical to digital has unintended repercussions for professional video directors.

“From an institutional perspective, it is

separate experience altogether to recorded music.

“Live music should be as accessible as possible. Sharing live music online allows audiences to enjoy these performances all around the world.”

The digital preservation of music, especially live music, has many benefits, including the ability for artists to reach their audi-

and it’s easier to connect to people if they’re right in front of you, as opposed to being aware that what you’re listening to has gone through layers of audio processing and production and editing,” Tomz said.

“There’s something special about the raw nature of [live music].”

Live sets can be fulfilling for artists, to see an output of effort they put into practicing and polishing their performances expressed in an audience.

“For artists, the best experience is hearing things we worked really hard to come together [performing] live,” Batra said. “And that feeling when you finally get everything right and in order is so satisfying.”

Guitarist of Marshall The Band prepares to play a set in the halls of Paly
MUSIC • 41 40 • cmagazine.org
Scan to see the live performances

C Magazine’s Senior Playlist 2024

Every year, C Magazine complies a “Senior Playlist” - a list of songs that Paly’s seniors have loved throughout their high school experience. This year, C Magazine asked our own seniors questions that encapsulate the soundtrack of their past four years.

1. What song will you listen to on the last day of senior year?

2. What song reminds you of high school?

3. What is a guilty pleasure song?

Jake Papp

1. Joy Of My Life by Chris Stapleton

2. Southern Star by Brent Cobb

3. Take Care by Drake and Rihanna

Brooke Hudacek 1. Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

2. Tongue Tied by Grouplove

3. Jealous by Nick Jonas

1. The Spins by Mac Miller

2. Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay

3. Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Lily Daniel 1. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

2. Champagne Coast by Blood Orange

3. Famous by Kanye West

Saachi Nagar 1. Ribs by Lorde

2. Champagne Coast by Blood Orange

3. Obsessed With You by Central Cee

Esther Chung 1. Beauty And A Beat by Justin Bieber & Nicki Minaj

2. Tumblr Girls by G-Eazy

3. Agora Hills by Doja Cat

Mary Henderson 1. Where’d All the Time Go? by Dr. Dog

2. You’re Gonna Go Far by Noah Kahan

3. Hot wings (I Wanna Party) by will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway

Siena Dunn 1. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars

2. I THINK by Tyler, the Creator

3. Just Wanna Rock by Lil Uzi Vert

Sarah Sheaffer

1. Age of Consent by New Order

2. Dreams by The Cranberries

3. Ghost Town by Kanye West

Sarah Bakhash

1. The Spins by Mac Miller

2. Doses & Mimosas by Cherub

3. Whiskey Glasses by Morgan Wallen

Zeke Morrison

1. We Don’t Care by Kanye West

2. Saving Up by Dom Dolla

3. Sweet Life by Frank Ocean

Scan the code below, to listen to the songs!

Text and design by ESTHER CHUNG and SAACHI NAGAR

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Martina Meyerfreund Scarlett Cummings 1. Daylight by Maroon 5 2. Paper Planes by M.I.A. 3. I Love It by Icona Pop and Charli XCX
MUSIC • 43 42 • cmagazine.org

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