THE HARKER SCHOOL
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500 SARATOGA AVE.
SAN JOSE, CA 95129
THE UPPER SCHOOL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE HARKER SCHOOL
500 SARATOGA AVENUE, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA 95129
UPPER SCHOOL COVID-19 PROTOCOL
VOL. 23 NO.1
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2021
Matriculation welcomes class of 2025
PRECAUTIONS INCLUDE: ALYSA SULEIMAN
• Seating charts in non-performing arts classes • Eating all meals outdoors • Masks while indoors for everyone • Hand sanitizing stations
lucy ge The Class of 2025 attended freshman orientation on Aug. 19, participating in advisory bonding activities led by freshman dean and upper school theater teacher Jeffrey Draper, Link Crew and Apex Adventures. Apex Adventures, an organization dedicated to “experiential and adventure based learning,” led freshmen through rotations of different challenges on Davis Field, ranging from balancing on a wooden stilt to filling up a hole-filled tube with water. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Harker Summer fully returns on campus after a year on Zoom aastha mangla
The Harker summer program at the upper school returned in person with a variety of courses: supplemental classes such as Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry; recreational classes such as The Chef’s Institute and Summer @ the Conservatory; and credit classes such as Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Geometry. Both recreational and credit classes included non-Harker students. Administration required masks and social distancing, and supplemental classes split classes in half to follow social distancing guidelines. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
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alysa suleiman, nicole tian & sally zhu A sea of students and faculty rose across Davis field, cheering, clapping and stomping the bleachers as the Class of 2025, led by freshman dean and Theater teacher Jeffrey Draper, made its way to the crowd. The entire upper school gathered on Friday, Aug. 20 to welcome the Class of 2025 to the Saratoga campus. Unlike past years, matriculation took place on the field due to social distancing protocols. Head of School Brian Yager began with an opening speech welcoming students and faculty to a fully in-person school year before Cantilena’s performance of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Head of
NEW BEGINNINGS (LEFT) Keshav Kotamraju (9) signs the matriculation book during the matriculation ceremony held at Davis Field on Aug. 20. (UPPER RIGHT) Upper school division head Butch Keller addresses the audience and welcomes the community back to the campus after 18 months of remote learning. (LOWER RIGHT) The class of 2025 takes part in a recital of the matriculation oath led by ASB Vice President Ayan Nath (12).
upper school Butch Keller followed, calling class cheers and sharing an anecdote from a Cherokee chief to call attention to our power of choice in leaning toward good or evil. He encouraged students to take agency over their decisions with confidence and assurance in their identities. After a welcome from ASB President Dawson Chen (12), in which he detailed nine tips for the incoming freshmen, members of the upper school orchestra performed in a four-person string quartet. ASB Vice President Ayan Nath (12) led the student body in reciting the matriculation oath before the freshmen signed their agreements. Class councils, honor council, and Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) intro-
duced their officers before performances of the traditional Freshman 101 skits. The acts introduced freshmen to extracurricular activities, upper school buildings, and ethical conduct. In his closing remarks, Yager dismissed students by class for the remainder of the day, spending time in advisories, attending class meetings, and taking portraits. “I haven’t seen [my advisory] in over a year and a half, so it’s nice to start the beginning of their senior year together in the same space,” said senior advisor and Mathematics teacher Dr. Anuradha Aiyer. “Being able to just see everyone’s face and being able to have that sense of community and collaborate is great.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Sophomores bond over advisory activities on Blackford campus; junior and senior rafting class trips cancelled
ALL TOGETHER NOW Members of the Pflaumer sophomore advisory work together to complete one of the many activities led by Synergy facilitators at the Blackford campus.
sally zhu & isha moorjani The Class of 2024 traveled to the Blackford campus on Thursday for their orientation, which was filled with activities and team bonding exercises, marking the first in-person gathering of the entire
Freshmen participate in advisory bonding activities during orientation
• Onsite weekly gr. 9-12 and staff testing of those unvaccinated • Onsite testing of symptomatic students
sophomore class. While both the sophomore and junior events were planned for this year, the junior whitewater rafting trip was cancelled due to the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County. The day consisted of a speech by Keller, the recitation and signing of the matriculation oath by the sophomores,
food trucks for lunch and team building activities provided by Synergy facilitators. Advisories competed against each other other advisories, with the points tallied up at the end of the day to determine a winner. “This is probably the most fun thing I’ve done in a long time,” head of upper school Butch Keller, who attended the sophomore bonding day, said. “Just being around 200 students and 25 faculty, it was a lot of fun to hear their spirit [and] know how much fun they’re getting ready to have.” After over a year of remote learning, many students and teachers from the same advisory were able to meet as a group for the first time and enjoy the day through these activities. “I really like seeing a lot of my friends, new and old. Also, the food trucks [were] really fun too,” sophomore Fiona Yan said. “Over Zoom, even though we had a lot of activities, it was still different. But now, everyone’s together, and it’s really fun.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY MICHELLE LIU
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23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 NEWS VOLUME
Summer Institute and Conservatory reawaken on-campus life with in-person classes
Upper school participates in ReCreate Reading and Tournament of Books
COVID-19 restrictions such as masks and social distancing implemented
aastha mangla The Summer Institute and Summer @ the Conservatory (S@TC) returned in person with a variety of courses, including supplemental courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry, AP Biology, Advanced Programming and Programming; credit courses such as Algebra 2/ Trigonometry and Geometry and recreational courses like The Chef’s Institute. Administration required masks and social distancing, and supplemental courses split in half to maximize social distancing. In early June, students and teachers were also required to be vaccinated before returning for the next school year. While Harker’s COVID-19 regulations were still in place to account for non-vaccinated students, Summer Institute principal Car-
ol Green reminded students to social distance by placing markers on the ground and on lunch tables. As the new principal of a remote learning Summer Institute in 2020, Green was shocked by how smooth the transition to in-person learning was. According to Green, she would not be able to manage Summer Institute or be such a “positive energetic principal” without Lola Muldrew, former Summer Institute principal and current associate-chair for teacher education at UC Davis. “I was really hesitant about the shift this year, but it worked out surprisingly well,” Green said. Upper school science department chair Anita Chetty, upper school biology teacher Matthew Harley and upper school biology teacher Eric Johnson taught the AP Biology course over four weeks. For
the biology labs, students examined specimens through microscopes. “We were able to walk to each table and see the specimens and actually use the equipment,” Jessica Zhou (11), an AP Biology student, said. Production Manager Brian Larsen opened a cooking class called “The Chef’s Institute.” Although Larsen is a tech theater teacher, cooking holds a special place in his heart. The Conservatory held the Conservatory Intensive course from July 19 to Aug. 6. Students rehearsed “In the Village of the Brothers Grimm,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Star-Crossed Lovers,” and attended workshops conducted by guests in the performing arts industry. The final productions were performed on the last day on Aug. 6. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
5 Harker club officers share plans for upcoming school year jessica tang & katie wang
The First Annual Signature Night of Acapella, Signature Acapella’s virtual concert, introduced club members as they sang a total of four songs.
P R O VI D E D
Frankly in Love by David Yoon Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Scan this QR Code to view our club coverage video on harkeraquila.com
HOSA Future Health Professionals is with the international organization HOSA, promoting career opportunities in the healthcare industry.
EILEEN MA (11) HOSA HEAD OF OUTREACH AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
LALC Sally Zhu (11), Tessa Muhle (‘21) and Brandon Park (12), along with others, listen to a presentation from LALC.
Applied Tech Club uses technology, and computer linguistics to teach how technology impacts industries. “Not this coming year, but the next year, we might [bring] industry professionals and [host an] in-person event over the weekend.” IY TRISHA VARIYAR (11) AR APPLIED TECH SECRETARY R
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU; PHOTO PROVIDED BY JOSH FIELD
Emma by Jane Austen
A SHA V
SIGNATURE Josh Field (12), Saumi Mehta (12) and Lucy Feng (11) pose along with other members of Signature.
CLARICE WANG (12) LALC PRESIDENT G
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
SDC Uma Iyer (12), Brian Pinkston (‘21), Natasha Yen (‘21), and Dylan Williams (‘21) stand together at the upper school.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU; PHOTO PROVIDED BY MIR BAHRI
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
EILE E N M A
CL A IC E W R
JOSH FIELD (12) SIGNATURE PRESIDENT
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU; PHOTO PROVIDED BY CLARICE WANG
P R O VI D E D
P R O VI D E D
MIR BAHRI (11) SDC REPRESENTATIVE
Dracula by Bram Stoker
“From a competitions aspect, if everything goes well in terms of COVID, we will have in-person conferences.”
“I am most looking forward to expanding the club even more and collaborating with other clubs to boost interest in linguistics”
“I think everyone is really just excited to be back in person. We will be working on a lot of skill-building for ensembles.”
Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
“We want to have open meetings throughout the year and make sure we have events with the entire student body”
Language and Linguistics Club (LALC) is where students can learn about linguistics, its integrations with other fields and study for NACLO.
TOURNAMENT OF BOOKS
PR O VID ED
The Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) initiates conversation and confronts sensitive topics with the goal of having an inclusive community.
The librarians announced the winner of the ninth grade Tournament of Books: Summer League on Aug. 25. This event took place at the upper school for the first time, and participants chose their favorite reads with a bracket elimination system. The eight novels were selected by upper school librarians, with input from other members of the community. Incoming freshmen were invited to read the novels in the summer. Voting began on the first day of school, Aug. 23. “The goal is to have a fun way to get students excited about reading books and to have fun competition, where they get to talk about the books, and as a way for the freshmen class to have a tiny bit of interaction and bonding at the very beginning of the school year,” Meredith Cranston, upper school librarian, said. Students met in their ReCreate Reading groups on Aug. 26 from 9:55 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. According to a Schoology update from Cranston, freshmen had advisory in place of ReCreate Reading, and sophomores, juniors and seniors met for advisory briefly before meeting with their reading groups. There were over 70 books to choose from this year for ReCreate Reading.
P R O VI D E D
TOGETHER AGAIN ON STAGE Members of the S@TC Intensive Cast rehearse the musical scene of their show “Star Crossed Lovers.”
DESIGN BY ISHA MOORJANI
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23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 NEWS VOLUME
Former Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul sworn in as New York’s first female governor
FAST FACTS: 11 women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, and the official investigation concluded that he engaged in sexual misconduct with the 11 women PHOTO TAKEN FROM GOVERNOR.NY.GOV/ABOUT-GOVERNOR ON AUG. 20
Hochul replaces former New York governor Andrew Cuomo resigns amid 11 sexual harassment allegations
Cuomo’s resignation became effective on Aug. 23, 11:59, according to AP News The Assembly Judiciary Committee will release a final report on the impeachment investigation Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has become the first female New York Governor in history, according to AP News
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on Aug. 10, effective on Aug. 23,
after 11 women came forward reporting sexual harassment. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the first female governor of New York in history.
“This has been a pretty good victory in terms of public pressure, and a lot of institutions forcing Cuomo to resign.” PR
RAHUL SANTHANAM (11) FEM CLUB SECRETARY
D BY JEN N IF
“I think it’s not only good that a female’s going into New York state’s most top office. I also think it’s good because it’s a symbolic gesture.” O
PROVIDED BY KAREN HALEY
D B Y AYA N
VI DE D BY C ARO
briefing last Friday that the investigation included multiple errors and excluded exculpatory evidence to paint a “false narrative.” Other investigations on whether Cuomo’s reporting of nursing home data
AYAN NATH (12) ASB VICE PRESIDENT
KAREN HALEY UPPER SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER
“Definitely having a first female New York governor is [a] very good step” VI
“Sexual assault, sexual harassment: that was wrong in the past, and it’s still wrong”
during the pandemic was misleading and whether Cuomo used state resources to secure his book deal will continue as well. At least five different counties are investigating Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, and he could face criminal charges. “Those 11 women that came forward, they’re definitely very brave to tell the story,” Karen Haley, upper school history teacher, said. “Sexual assault, sexual harassment, that was wrong in the past, [and it’s] still wrong.” Lindsey Boylan was the first woman who came forward, and she spoke to Harker’s FEM Club last year on a panel of women who were involved in politics. “I’m really proud that [Lindsey Boylan] decided to be the first person to speak out since I’m sure that’s the hardest to do,” Carol Wininger, FEM Club Vice President, said. Hochul will serve for the remainder of Cuomo’s third term and will run for a full term next year, according to Associated Press. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 10, that he would resign as governor due to sexual harassment allegations made against him by 11 women. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was sworn in on Tuesday, Aug. 24 as the 57th governor of New York and the state’s first female governor. The official investigation, which was led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and released on Aug. 3, concluded that Cuomo engaged in sexual misconduct with 11 women and that his administration encouraged a “toxic” workplace culture in which sexual harassment was normalized. Cuomo’s resignation became effective on Aug. 23. The Assembly Judiciary Committee will continue the impeachment investigation and release a final report despite Cuomo’s resignation, backtracking on a decision to abandon the investigation after receiving bipartisan
backlash from legislators calling for the Assembly to release their findings. Cuomo’s personal lawyer Rita Glavin, who has been publicly defending the governor since the release of the attorney general’s investigation on Aug. 3, said in a
erica cai & isha moorjani
CAROL WININGER (11) FEM CLUB VICE PRESIDENT
DECA launches new school year Designed to expose incoming freshmen to the Harker DECA, DECA officers brought together 67 freshmen for the annual DECA launch, which was held at the upper school over the weekend of Aug. 14. The launch began on Saturday with an opening ceremony featuring the 202021 Vice President of Competitions Bryan Zhang (’21) and current Harker DECA member Ada Praun-Petrovic speaking about their experiences with the group. Attendees also heard from DECA co-CEOs Gianna Chan (12) and Clarice Wang (12), who introduced the organization and their plans for the year. Around noon, the freshmen participated in a scavenger hunt, in which they searched for officers around the campus and completed a set of tasks before returning to the Innovation Center. This gave students an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the upper school campus
Who? Alumni, officers, Harker DECA members and 67 freshmen
and also to bond with one another before starting the Innovation Challenge, a twoday event in which freshmen split into groups to come up with an idea to solve a issue. Each group was led by a mentor who explained how to create an executive plan for their product. After discussing and considering various business ideas for the Innovation Challenge, freshman Daniel Dorfman’s group proposed an app that connects individuals looking to adopt pets to adoptable animals. “I really liked the Innovation Challenge,” Daniel said. “We did a bunch of research [and] financial preparations. [My main takeaway was that] if you want your business to succeed, you have to work hard.” Daniel also enjoyed the roleplay on Sunday afternoon, where each freshman gave an impromptu speech on how to solve a problem. At the conclusion of the event, students presented their projects to
What? Scavenger hunt, Innovation Challenge and roleplay
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX Daniel Chen (9) and his group discuss ideas for the Innovation Challenge in which attendees created business solutions targeting an issue.
an alumni panel of past DECA officers and mentors that included Lucas Wang (’17), Evan Cheng (’20), Rishi Dange (’20) and Elaine Zhai (’21), who provided feedback. Clarice hoped that the launch introduced the freshmen to the warm, welcoming DECA environment and helped them view the officers as approachable figures. “We want them to know that DECA
When? Over the weekend of Aug. 14
is a community that will be there for them and that the officers are always there to help them out,” Clarice said. “I’m really passionate about bringing kids to conferences because it has helped me grow personally as a leader and a communicator, and I want to make that experience available for them.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Where? Innovation Center and Manzanita Hall DESIGN BY ISHA MOORJANI
ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIFFANY CHANG
Officers introduce DECA to freshmen with 2-day event
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23 • ISSUE 1 GLOBAL VOLUME AUGUST 27, 2021
VAXXED UP Quxia Chen, grandmother of Lucy Ge (12), receives her first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 21.
7.2 magnitude Haiti earthquake causes mass destruction A 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated Western Haiti the weekend of Aug. 14, according to The New York Times. 1,300 casualties have been reported, around 300,000 people were injured and 1 million were left displaced. According to NPR, the severity of the destruction can be credited to several factors, including its location between two major tectonic plates and architectural vulnerability. The New York Times reported that the situation is escalating due to the lack of medical professionals and equipment such as basic medication, operating tents and surgical equipment; the U.S. Coast Guard, UNICEF and other organizations have been working to send disaster relief to prevent the situation from worsening.
As new Delta variant spreads around the world, countries begin to place stricter restrictions and lockdowns on citizens jasleen hansra & rachel ning Due to the Delta variant, a new global strain of COVID-19, countries around the world have begun to implement stricter rules and restrictions in hopes of preventing another large surge of cases. Currently, cases in the United States continue to rise, reaching up to 100,000 new cases a day according to AP News. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that hospitals have seen almost four times the increase for those that are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in comparison to June of 2021 according to AP News. The Delta variant was first found in December of 2020 according to Yale Medicine and quickly became a larger concern in 2021. According to UN News, citizens who are vaccinated are less susceptible to more severe symptoms. The Delta variant is twice as contagious as any other variant of COVID-19 according to the CDC. The CDC prompts citizens to continue to wear masks, get vaccinations and quarantine. The CDC also encourages people who have been within six feet of someone with COVID-19 to quarantine for two weeks and to self-isolate if infected with the virus. “When I think about what the precautions are, the precautions are that we
have to keep getting vaccinated, even if we think we are all vaccinated, or we think we know everything about it, we still have to be advocates in our communities as people who understand science,” biology teacher Eric Johnson said. According to the CDC, continued neglectful behavior of the Delta variant results in potential serious harm, though many are taking the new Delta variant less critically than the original COVID-19 virus. “In two different studies from Canada and Scotland, patients infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with Alpha or the original virus strains,” stated the CDC. The total current case count in India is 32,449,306 as of Aug. 23 according to the New York Times. Although some speculate a third wave will hit India, India’s cases are currently at an all time low since March 16. The country has vaccinated around 32.48% of their population according to ourworldindata.org. Australia’s total COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 23 AEST is 44, 922 according to health.gov.au. The Australian Government Department of Health website urges citizens to practice sanitary hygiene, social distance, follow rules for public gatherings and learn how and when to isolate.
As Australia entered their ninth week of lockdown as of Aug. 22, the government has added two more weeks and reinstated a nightly curfew of 9 p.m. as cases continue to rise. However, only 24% of Australians are fully vaccinated, and 19% are partially vaccinated. England has experienced higher amounts of new cases daily as the new Delta variant becomes more prevalent. Near the end of July, Britain reported the most deaths due to COVID-19 since March, reaching 92 on July 30 according to coronavirus.data.gov.uk. “Walking down the street, even if it’s pretty busy, people aren’t really wearing masks at all,” Tessa Muhle (‘21), who recently traveled to England, said. “There haven’t really been any changes since the Delta variant became a bigger issue either. Getting sick is not a major concern because my family has been pretty on top of things, like using hand sanitizer and wearing masks, and when we go out we try to stay away from people.” “We have this historical evidence, specifically about the efficacy of the vaccines we have,” Johnson said. “For many many years, for many many different diseases, we have developed these vaccines where the evidence says: they exist to immunize us in the possibility that we were to be exposed. This is nothing different.”
AUSTRALIA U.K. INDIA 6,524,581 32,449,306 44,922 Total cases of COVID-19 (as of Aug. 23, 2021)
Total cases of COVID-19 (as of Aug. 23, 2021)
Total cases of COVID-19 (as of Aug. 23, 2021)
Total deaths due to COVID-19 (as of Aug. 23, 2021)
Total deaths due to COVID-19 (as of Aug. 23, 2021)
Total deaths due to COVID-19 (with COVID-19 on death certificate as of Aug. 23, 2021)
DATA FROM CORONAVIRUS.DATA.GOV.UK
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
The Afghan government crumbled as the Taliban took charge nearly 20 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban in 2001, dismantling al-Qaeda operations in Afghanistan. According to The New York Times, the Taliban easily gained ground as President Biden announced a full troop withdrawal by Aug. 30. President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and Afghan officials surrendered to the Taliban in many cities. Panicked citizens crowded Kabul’s international airport in hopes of leaving the country. In a Joint Statement released by the U.S. Department of State, 72 countries have agreed to assist the departures of foreign officials, allies and many Afghans, stating, “The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.”
New restrictions put in place around the world as COVID-19 cases surge once more
DATA FROM HEALTH.GOV.AU
Afghanistan falls to Taliban control
REMEMBERING LOVED ONES Hearts line the National COVID Memorial Wall in Westminster along the River Thames in the UK.
DATA FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
On Aug. 16, the CDC recommended that immunocompromised individuals receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine and potentially the J&J vaccine to protect against new variants of the virus. The New York Times reports that the Biden administration has agreed that the rest of the American population (age restrictions not specified yet) could receive their third shot eight months after their second dose, provided the FDA approves. Priority will be given to higher risk people such as seniors and healthcare workers. The WHO has advised that countries who have a higher vaccination rate should hold off on booster shots for at least two months until more people can receive their first dose.
PROVIDED BY TESSA MUHLE
As Delta variant cases rise in August, CDC recommends booster shots for immunocompromised
DESIGN BY ISHA MOORJANI
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23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 FEATURES VOLUME
Getting to know new faculty
PROVIDED BY CAREN FURTADO
PROVIDED BY TAYLOR DEAN
“I want to be able to expand the access we have to our archives. I know a lot of students don’t know that we even have an archives.”
“By the end of the year I definitely want to understand all the Harker systems properly and make sure that my students have a good, productive, and successful year.”
Economics & History Teacher
PROVIDED BY MATT MCCORKLE
“For the students, [my goal is to] have the students figure out what their relationship with the world of entrepreneurship is.”
PROVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
“My goal is to inspire students to look at social problems through an economic lens.”
“[My goal is to] give it my all, be intentional, and compassionate.”
PROVIDED BY BRIAN CAPONI
Visual Arts Teacher
“Given how hard the last year has been, it’s an important goal of mine that with my biology kids, we can get outside and do field work.”
Chuck Witschorik History Teacher
Kelley McCoy “I’m here if anyone needs help with anything, and I want to plan some fun activities and stress reliever breaks.”
“I hear really great things about the students here at Harker, so I’m really looking forward to meeting them.”
“I want to see where we can grow further in terms of our publication and including more of our Harker community.”
PROVIDED BY ERIC JOHNSON
“[My goal is] to welcome students back to campus and make sure that my office is a warm and friendly place for students.”
PROVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
This year, Harker will be welcoming eleven faculty members to the upper school community. As the school transitions back into in-person learning, they look forward to seeing students on campus and shared their goals for the upcoming school year with Harker Journalism.
PROVIDED BY KELLEY MCCOY
Asst. Head of Student Affairs
PROVIDED BY BIANCA CUNG
michelle liu & mark hu
“One goal I have is for the students to feel engaged in the class, and they really come to love studying history.”
PROVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIFFANY CHANG
MEET YOUR TEACHER
ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIFFANY CHANG
11 new faculty join upper school community this year
“Changes: Redefining who we are”
Union campus opens for in-person learning as the new Harker middle school shinjan ghosh
After entering the middle school campus on a warm Monday morning, biology teacher Kristen Morgensen walks through the hallway of the main academic building. She scans the doors until she finds her classroom. Several boxes packed with supplies lie on the floor, and the walls are covered by empty wooden cabinets. Taking a deep breath, she picks up the first box and begins to unpack for her new classroom.
sabrina zhu & nicholas wei
A pair of sparring bronze eagles grasp at a flowing American flag, suspended over a glassy pool of water. The fountain, which stands in front of Shah Hall, is a gift from the Class of 2021. The recently graduated class worked with the Harker administration to envision a way to celebrate the school and bring more visual appeal to the area around the senior patio. While envisioning the fountain design, Upper School Division Head Butch Keller proposed using the eagle sculpture that had previously stood in Dobbins Hall as the fountain centerpiece. The sculpture was a gift from a former student. “I think [the sculpture is] beautiful, and we’re the Eagles,” Keller said. “Eagles are fierce animals, and I think that captures that.” As students begin to return to campus, the eagle fountain serves as a new highlight and a symbol of school pride. “It embodies the Harker spirit of competing. It’s two eagles fighting, but they’re both eagles at the end of the day,” said football co-captain John Zeng (12), who noticed the new sculpture after returning to campus for football practice. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
RPOVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION IRENE YUAN
BIRDS OF PREY A pair of bronze eagles stand in a fountain in front of Shah Hall.
“Since the new campus is smaller, I think it will bring everyone closer. I’m really looking forward to having that new energy.”
KEITH HIROTA MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY DEPARTMENT CHAIR
Over the summer, the Harker Middle School began moving locations from the Blackford Ave. campus to the Union Ave. campus, which was previously the location of the Harker Preschool. After leasing the property on Blackford Ave. for sixteen years, the middle school started developing its own property at a new location on Union Ave., making adjustments for the needs of the students, faculty and administration. The current transportation system also takes students to the Union Ave. campus and follows a new schedule. On Tuesday, Aug. 17, the administration hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the official opening of the middle school campus. History teacher and Middle School History Department Chair Keith Hirota shares his enthusiasm for the transition to the Union Ave. location.
1. INTRODUCING OUR FUTURE Facilities Director Mike leads middle school faculty on a tour of the new Union Ave. campus. 2. A NEW HOME Middle School Division Head Evan Barths speaks to the middle school faculty during their tour of the new Union Ave. campus.
DESIGN BY SARAH MOHAMMED
PROVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
THE EAGLE FOUNTAIN GIFT
The new campus, which will open for classes on Monday, Aug. 23, creates a different atmosphere, with spacious classrooms that have colorful doors and high ceilings. Assistant Middle School Division Head Patricia Burrows, who has been part of the Harker community since the opening of the Blackford Ave. campus in 2005, reflects on the moving process to the new campus so far. “The new campus feels very appropriate for the age group,” Burrows said. “It feels as if it will be easier to create connections because it’s easier to access people. There are so many great opportunities to redefine who we are as a middle school through this new space.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
PROVIDED BY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
“We’re seeing the students after 18 months,” Hirota said. “ I’m excited about having a fresh start at a new campus, especially coming out of COVID-19. Since the new campus is smaller, I think it will bring everyone closer. I’m really looking forward to having that new energy.” The layout of the Union Ave. campus provides new opportunities for teachers and students alike. Morgensen feels that the design of her classroom contributes to her students’ learning experience. “If we have experiments that need a little more space, we can open the door to step right outside and do the lab there,” Morgensen said. “As a biology teacher, it’s great to have access to the ecology of the campus. ”
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23 • ISSUE 1 FEATURES VOLUME AUGUST 27, 2021
Art Club murals for empowerment OF THE PEOPLE
A vibrant space in which love, color and paint meet local issues
Pulse of the People covers timely social justice stories relevant to our community. In this issue, we feature Harker Art Club’s mural in Palo Alto, highlighting their goal to spread awareness through painted artworks. MEET THE ARTISTS “[To design the mural], we basically all got into a Zoom call, and we came up with a bunch of different motifs and symbols that we would want to put on there. The lanterns and the fans were because this was inspired by the recent AAPI hate crimes, and then the message ‘love not hate’ was based on that as well.” PR
““[My favorite part has been] just painting with everyone, just being with everyone together. I don’t know everybody super well because I’m new, but it was fun getting to know people and talking to a couple of people.” PR
CLAIRE SU (9) PAINTED LOTUSES
DE D B Y C L AIR E
“Working with HomeFirst and using their idea of putting homeless people in sheltered housing [and] having emergency housing was a really good opportunity for the Honors Directed [Portfolio] class. I hope that this mural really provides strength and PR
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SYDNEY TAKEMOTO (‘21) PAINTED HOMEFIRST MURAL
Scan this QR code to view our video featuring the Art Club’s mural painting on harkeraquila.com
ART TO EMPOWER Art Club members stand behind their work after the completion of the “Love Not Hate” mural in Downtown Palo Alto on June 12. Members painted the mural in support of the Stop AAPI movement and to show solidarity with the AAPI community.
sally zhu If you were walking down University Avenue in Downtown Palo Alto one summer afternoon on June 12, you would see the streets filled with tables outside restaurants, large canopy tents to block the sun’s powerful rays. Beneath the sheets of white canvas, Harker students are hard at work painting a mural on a k-rail. Past this k-rail, a plastic barrier between street lanes, huddles a dozen students holding large buckets of paint. Each has added a stroke of paint on Harker Art Club’s most recent endeavor, a mural inspiring positivity in light of the Stop AAPI Hate movement. After an increase in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in the United States in March, the Stop AAPI Hate movement gained traction to rally for the AAPI community. Following the shooting at three Asian-owned massage parlors in Atlanta, nationwide and local communities have shown their support through media and protests for the movement. Led by Art Club officers Michelle
Liu (11) and Gloria Zhu (11), Art Club began the mural on June 11 and ended June 12.
“[Our goal is] showcasing the different beautiful aspects of Asian culture and showcasing that you should love, not hate” MICHELLE LIU (12) ART CLUB OFFICER
Michelle reached out to the Palo Alto Public Art Committee, applying for a grant through the ArtLift Microgrant Program. With $1000 from the grant and the help of art teacher and Art Club adviser Pilar Aguero-Esparza, the mural took off. “The public art program here at Palo Alto is very open to working with students,” Aguero-Esparza said. “You see proposals by our local artists and artist teams, and then they select people and have everything happen quickly.”
RPOVIDED BY MICHELLE LIU
D BY GLOR
GLORIA ZHU (12) PAINTED LANTERNS AND FANS
Along with the “Love Not Hate” krail, Art Club completed another mural on Saturday after painting for a week in the courtyard of the Boccardo Reception Center. Part of HomeFirst Services, a local organization aiming to end homelessness. Aguero-Esparza first introduced the HomeFirst mural idea to the Honors Directed Portfolio class, whose four students spent the last semester designing and working on the project. In the coming school year, Art Club will be open for new members to join. In the meantime, the “Love Not Hate” k-rail mural will be available for public viewing until September. “We wanted to just spread a positive message in Palo Alto as everything is reopening, and when people come out, they can walk down the street and see our mural, and we hope that maybe it’ll just bring them a little bit of joy and also spread our message,” Michelle said. “[Our goal is] showcasing the different beautiful aspects of Asian culture and showcasing that you should love and not hate.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
In memoriam: the life and legacy of artist Hung Liu
michelle liu Known for canvases dripping with emotion and depth, Hung Liu gave voice to and made beautiful the lives of people who have been forgotten: immigrants, migrant workers and laborers—those who toil in anonymity at the dirty, menial tasks which keep the pulse of our society alive. A pillar of the Bay Area art scene, her paintings found homes at the de Young
tion of those who have become invisible to society. Through Liu’s eyes, we see a humble shoemaker woman illuminated as the subject of an ethereal composition. Fluttering butterflies surround her in Liu’s 2012 work “Madame Shoemaker,” their wings melting into the dark crimson and ochre drips of the background. The delicately painted creatures recall the symbolism of butterflies in China: a representation of life’s beauty juxtaposed against life’s vulnerability. Captured with the striking drips of Liu’s signature ‘weeping realism’ style, to me these butterflies represent the transient moment between the metamorphosis of heavy reality into the lightness of spiritual freedom. Although life may deal a heavy hand
of suffering to those who must bear it without a sound, Liu’s paintings remind us of a sublime force — a force which reveals that life is still beautiful.
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
A column looking beyond the gallery walls of the art world
Museum and Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. Although Liu died on Aug. 7 this year from pancreatic cancer at age 73, her legacy lives on within the vulnerable, human works that she created. Liu will not be forgotten. As a young woman living through the Chinese Cultural Revolution, fear of the Maoist government drove Liu to burn most of her treasured family photos. However, during her four years of manual labor for “re-education” in the countryside, Liu secretly captured photographs of the workers toiling next to her in the fields. These photos became her new family album, one that she drew from for the last thirty years of her painting practice. They serve as a reminder of the humanity still present through the suffering and desola-
DESIGN BY SARAH MOHAMMED
WINGED POST 7
VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021
Bestselling author? sarah mohammed & lavanya subramanian
“Being a hero doesn’t mean getting rewards or praise. Being a hero means suffering so other people don’t have to. Being a hero means pain,” Andrew Shvarts (‘03) writes in the final book of his bestselling fantasy trilogy, “Royal Bastards,” which explores the escapades of a group of teenagers from royal families who bravely struggle to save their collapsing kingdom. In his writing, Shvarts communicates succinct, gentle and down-to-earth vignettes about what it means to live and experience the world. His July-published novel, “It Ends in Fire,” one of the Recreate Reading books for the 2022 school year, follows the same pattern with intertwining themes of family and magic. A hero by his own definition, Shvarts does not concentrate on his accomplishments, instead focusing on his deep love for writing. For Shvarts, writing is more than a career—it’s the way he lives, it’s what keeps him going and what continually inspires him. He thinks in words and phrases, snippets of stories, using writing as a vehicle to venture through life. “I can’t not write; it’s so integral to what I do and how I think,” Shvarts said. “It’s like asking a shark to stop swimming. I can’t conceive of a world in which I’m not writing because that’s always what’s going on in my brain.” Even at a young age, Shvarts loved the idea of entertaining people through storytelling. As he grew older, his passions blossomed into his career as an author, and he realized that he could share the stories constantly filling his mind with others. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember,” Shvarts said. “I’ve always just loved telling stories and making things up. I’ve always lived in a fantasy world in my head, so being a writer was a natural fit.” Still, writing hasn’t always come easily to Shvarts. Beyond the struggles with pitching a book, Shvarts has found it dif-
ficult to work with the publishing sphere, in which authors are often not given much control over how their books enter the public world. Rather than becoming frustrated with these obstacles, Shvarts recognizes that they are crucial in order to have fulfilling moments when all the components of the plot click together, and finally, when the book is complete. “It’s the moment when you first get your book, the moment when you first see it on a shelf, [or] when you first sign for a long line,” Shvarts said. “The moment of your debut feels unreal and like you’re in a dream or you’re in a fantasy because it’s so hard to process that these things that you’ve imagined and worked on for so long are really happening.” Along with publishing his books in
PROVIDED BY ANDREW SHVARTS
ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIFFANY CHANG
“I can’t conceive of a world in which I’m not writing, because that’s always what’s going on in my brain”
RISE OF AN AUTHOR Harker alumnus and bestselling author Andrew Shvarts (‘03) poses with his most recent fiction publication, “It Ends in Fire,” a featured Recreate Reading book for the 2022 school year. Shvarts has had a fascination with storytelling from a young age, eventually leading to his current career as an author.
print, Shvarts also strives to have a positive impact on others. As an author, Shvarts enjoys meeting his readers and seeing how his words have touched them—it makes his stories come alive, not just on the page, but through the strangers who love them and hold them close. “When people say that this book made a huge impression on them, or [when I see] people have tattoos of lines I’ve written, that will never not blow my mind,” Shvarts said. “That’s always a really powerful moment.” Although he had primarily worked in horror and fantasy, Shvarts’ first entrance
to his writing career involved an opportunity to write a middle-grade romance for a game design company. Looking back on his career, he realizes that a key factor to his success was learning to experiment with many different genres of writing. “My number one point of advice that I always give is versatility: if you’re an aspiring writer, find the genre that you feel like you know the least about and spend six months learning how to write that genre,” Shvarts siad. “When you come back to whatever it is you do want to write, you’ll have unlocked the storytelling fundamentals.”
MEAN GIRLS: Author Simmons explores female aggression
ILLUSTRATION BY TIFFANY CHANG
MUST-READ “Odd Girl Out (The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls)” is a 368 page nonfiction written by Rachel Simmons that was first published July 1, 2002.
Sally’s ranking Have you ever seen young girls be viciously mean to each other, sometimes as if without reason? Have you ever wondered why and what can be done to stop this? Simmons’ book aims to answer these questions.
“Mean Girls,” “High School Musical,” “13 Going on 30” all share a similarity in the way they portray teenage girls: jealous, backstabbing, vengeful. Characters in these movies experience social exclusion and become the center of harmful gossip, all from another group of girls. But this isn’t just a fictional theme in movies: if you’re a girl, you might have even experienced this kind of aggression yourself. This drives the question: How do girls use aggression in their lives, and why use it in the first place? “Odd Girl Out (The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls)” analyzes this question exactly. Author Rachel Simmons details the ways that girls use aggression and bullying as well as the causes behind it, all backed with personal stories from different girls across the country. Simmons visited schools across the country with varying locations, social class and majority student body race, among other factors. During the process, she talked to dozens of girls, collecting stories and data that she later compiled into her book. Aside from recounting interviews, Simmons also writes about experiences she has had with teenage girls, such as holding a leadership workshop for girls, asking them to call out qualities of an “Ideal Girl” and “Anti-Girl” in a two-column list. Afterwards, she analyzed the two columns and
the difficulty for girls to be “ideal.” “The ideal girl is stupid, yet manipulative,” Simmons writes. “She is dependent and helpless, yet she uses sex and romantic attachment to get power. She is popular yet superficial. She is fit, but not athletic, or strong. She is happy, but not excessively cheerful. She is fake. She is tiptoeing around the lines that will trigger the alarm of ‘all that.’”
“How is it possible to have so many standards that cut and mold, yet none of them seem to be possible to achieve?” Immediately, all the contradictions struck me. How is it possible to have so many standards that cut and mold, yet none of them seem to be possible to achieve? And how is it possible that these girls in the workshop knew these standards, yet there is so little research on the aggression that girls face? Simmons separates her book into different chapters discussing different aspects of the “hidden culture of aggression in girls,” including popularity, social media, jealousy and, finally, the road ahead—what parents and school officials can do to reduce this aggression. Each chapter shares stories from multiple girls
and perspectives: the aggressor and the victim, sometimes parents or bystanders. As a reader, I was able to understand both sides of the bullying. Jealousy and insecurities to fit into society’s standards would spur aggressors, often driving an entire cycle of bullying. As a high school girl, Simmons’ writing stood out to me even more. I personally have seen these microaggressions between friends and groups of girls, even in a fostering community such as Harker’s. And as the world becomes increasingly digitized, where speaking behind someone’s back is easier than ever, it’s even more important that our community work to change what is happening between teenage girls. Each chapter in Simmons’ book offers new explanations and stories, and we can learn when someone might be hurting inside and how to stop it from being a larger problem. Sometimes we may wish to shove problems, such as bullying between girls, under the rug, and just accept them for being the way they are. But “Odd Girl Out” proves we cannot do this, since aggressions in girls are so widespread and potentially dangerous, something I’ve experienced myself. Simmons’ research is part of the necessary steps to build a more supportive environment for girls and is something that our community should take time to understand. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY SALLY ZHU
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23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 A&E/LIFESTYLE VOLUME
O IANK NA P ROXA PRO
D BY VIDE
NKO ROXANA PIA
sally zhu Fashion, by definition ever-changing and transitory, has inevitably transformed in terms of trends and individual styles after more than a year of shelter-in-place. With students and faculty drawing inspiration from online media and friends, and with each individual’s styles ranging over a broad spectrum of colors and styles, this year’s fall fashion grows from changes from previous seasons. Spending time at home during the pandemic changed Linette Hoffman’s (11) fashion sense. Since quarantine, her latest obsession has been Japanese 80s and 90s city pop, which involves bright neon and pastel colors. Furthermore, she gained confidence in the outfits she wears when leaving her house, since opportunities to leave the house were rare.
“When I get a chance to leave my house, I find myself expressing myself in clothing that makes me feel more confident,” Linette said. Linette has found inspiration from social media trends on TikTok or Pinterest, which have introduced her to even more fashion styles, such as the “alt, or alternative, girls” style who wear darker-themed clothing. As opposed to online media, Laszlo Bollyky’s (12) fashion inspiration grew from the advice of his friends and the people around him. He has taken part in a recent trend of oversized clothing, especially jeans and sweatshirts, and has transitioned styles during quarantine, moving from polos and khakis to vintage baggy pants and Converse shoes. “My favorite fashion trend recently has been oversized stuff, just because I think it is awesome to shroud yourself in a
Junior named National Student Poet in Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
Brutal and beautiful: Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album “SOUR” shamelessly floods listeners with feeling
IDENTITY IN POETRY Sarah Mohammed (11) was named National Student Poet in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her poetry told stories related to her own culture and background.
In late June, Sarah Mohammed (11) received the news that she was named one of five national student poets in the country after submitting to the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards poetry category. The messages Sarah expresses in her collection of five poems about family and about being Muslim in a Hindu country initally helped her find her own identity through wriitng, but she later realised that she was helping others connect to their heritage, too. “Part of poetry for me is just listening and thinking deeply and just looking into the world. I will continue to keep writing because it feels so important to me and [to] my understanding of myself and my identity,” Sarah said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
“God, it’s brutal out here,” 18-yearold Olivia Rodrigo exclaims in the opening track of her debut album “SOUR,” the snappy trill of her voice mingling with bass drumming and a pounding guitar riff in the background. The song moves in a way that is unabashed in its preoccupation with melodrama—confronting everything from the pressure of external expectations to Rodrigo’s frustration with parallel parking. Throughout “SOUR,” Rodrigo communicates the multiplicity of the human experience in the album’s 11 songs, the fearless, hopeful and gloomy times. Her ability to speak about both the emotions that crush us and the ones that put us back together again draws us to her music, as if she is reminding listeners, “yes, your reaction, too, matters,” as if to say, “Yes, we are feeling the same things.” Teens related to and appreciated the lyrics entwined within the music of “SOUR,” comparing their poeticism and genuinity to Taylor Swift’s music, which Olivia Rodrigo has gained inspiration from. “I called the record ‘SOUR’ because it was this really sour period of my life. I remember being so sad, and so insecure, and so angry,” Rodrigo said in an interview with Apple Music. “I felt all those things, and they’re still very real, but I’m definitely not going through that as acutely as I used to. It’s nice to go back and see what I was feeling, and be like, ‘It all turned out alright. You’re okay now.’”
By exploring the aftermath of a teenage breakup, an event that people might see as cliche, Rodrigo amplifies the extent of feeling: even the moment of a failed relationship, often an innate part of growing up, is filled with great vulnerability. And we should not ignore or underplay this vulnerability — we should embrace it because it is part of humanity. The album investigates vulnerability through tracks that evoke these different
sleeves, platform shoes and high-waisted pants. Since quarantine started, Pianko has leaned heavily on fashion as a way to find happiness for herself, and she believes her fashion reflects her personality. Pianko also encourages students and faculty to wear clothing they want to wear and what feels best for themselves, as they return to campus this year with new fall fashion styles. “Wear what makes you most happy, what makes you comfortable, what makes you feel good about yourself, what makes you feel confident,” Pianko said. “I just want to encourage everyone to wear what makes you feel like you because we are each unique people. I think fashion is one place where outwardly, we get to express [how] we’re different.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
the difficulty and loneliness that can arrive with coming of age is something that everyone experiences, like a door that needs to be passed through. But mostly, “SOUR” shows listeners what it means to be abundant and whole in their feelings as exemplified by the cover of the album: colorful stickers dazzling Rodrigo’s face, a pop of purple waving in the background like a flag, like a new anthem of sharing boldly.
“Rodrigo communicates the multiplicity of the human experience in the album’s 11 songs, the fearless, hopeful and gloomy times” emotions, allowing people to listen in on Rodrigo’s feelings as they progress and change. Having written the album during the pandemic, Rodrigo communicates the ache of growing pains and spending so much time in solitude. With little details like the “strawberry ice cream in Malibu” that Rodrigo sings of in “deja vu,” she embraces a sort of sentimentality and a way of voicing her longing. Her songs are so fearless yet so familiar in their desires, allowing her audience to come together in these feelings. Especially for youth who are still finding themselves, the story of love and grief and forgiveness narrated in “SOUR” reminds them of the universality of struggle, that
ILLUSTRATION BY ARELY SUN
PROVIDED BY SARAH MOHAMMED
little bit of mystery,” Laszlo said. Laszlo’s friends also introduced him to the market of buying and reselling shoes in middle school, even though now, he mostly just collects shoes to have a variety that he can wear on any given day. Recently, he has also explored the realm of shopping at in-person and online thrift stores, where buyers can purchase used clothing for cheaper prices. Thrifting and secondhand shopping has grown in popularity in recent years, due to both discounted prices and the environmental friendliness of reusing clothing instead of buying new items. Upper school history teacher Roxana Pianko enjoys thrifting to find unique items she can’t find at regular stores. At thrift stores, she searches for bright and colorful clothes, such as a bubblegum pink dress and other bold choices such as blouses with poofy
Roxana Pianko, history teacher
PROVIDED BY LASZLO BOLLYKY
KY LASZLO BOLLY PROVIDED BY
Laszlo Bollyky (12)
ED BY PROVID
Linette Hoffman (11)
Bold changes in styles, shopping post-quarantine
RECORD-BREAKING Olivia Rodrigo on her “SOUR” album cover. The album surpassed Spotify’s record for the highest number of streams for an album in 2021. DESIGN BY SALLY ZHU
WINGED POST 9
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 OPINION VOLUME
The significance of protecting free speech Though Levy’s unabashed profanity on social media after failing to make the varsity cheer squad might seem trivial, her case highlights the threat of tighter censorship and more punitive measures in the future for students, on and off campus, if the court didn’t rule in her favor. As Thomas argued, social media travels quickly, and therefore, applied beyond
TALK AROUND CAMPUS BACK TO SCHOOL
As the start of the 2021-22 school year approaches, several students and faculty discuss their thoughts about returning to school on campus. They share their excitement to see their peers and teachers after a year of distance learning as well as how they feel about the potential continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic as they prepare to jump into the new school year. “I think that we need to be cautious, especially with the Delta variant and the more recent changes and advancements that have been occurring related to that. So, of course, there are concerns, but I think that we can be successful in what we do in person on campus following specific guidelines.” SA
KARL KUEHN UPPER SCHOOL DANCE DIRECTOR “I’m quite excited, it’s been a long time since we’ve actually gone in person. Being inside, it’s not bad, but it’s just kind of boring compared to going to school in person. So I’m quite excited.”
ILLUSTRATION BY AASTHA MANGLA
alysa suleiman The Supreme Court’s decision to rule in favor of Brandi Levy in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. on June 23 protected the former high school student’s First Amendment rights—but fell short in setting a precedent for the restriction of student speech off-campus. In 2017, after Levy failed to make the varsity cheer team, she released her thoughts in a vulgar statement sent to around 250 friends on Snapchat. The school discovered the statement and suspended Levy from the junior varsity cheer
1969 - Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District
team for a year. In response, Levy and her parents sued the school, and the district court ruled in her favor. Brought to the Supreme Court, the majority opinion was led by Stephen G. Breyer and dissented by Clarence Thomas in an 8-1 decision. The case remains monumental in protecting student free speech. Similar to Levy, whom the court refers to as B.L., the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District over 60 years ago deemed the suspension of Tinker and her peers’ silent protest of the Vietnam War a violation of the First Amendment.
1986 - Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser
Levy’s case not only defends our free speech, but it carries on the legacy of a decades-long fight that will inevitably continue into the future. the school walls. However, in the modern day, as the majority of students communicate over social media, the retribution would create uncalled for consequences harmful to students exercising their First Amendment rights. Furthermore, Levy’s social media outburst never specifically mentions her school or shows any logo that could identify her school or squad. Though profane, her words go nowhere near harming her school or her peers. Levy’s case not only defends our free speech, but it carries on the legacy of a decades-long fight that will inevitably continue into the future.
2007 - Morse v. Frederick
“I’m looking forward to meeting my friends in person since, on Zoom, it was difficult to chat with them. I’m also looking forward to meeting my teachers and just being able to hang out with everyone—probably just the experience of going to high school since my freshman year we were just home most of the time.” SA
ALEC ZHANG (10) STUDENT
“No, I’m never ready for school to start after summer. I think we’re just going to dive back in. I’m excited for my classes, I’m excited to see people, I’m excited for clubs and stuff. It’s just going to be a transition, even more so than other years.” PR
DE D BY AS HLE
ASHLEY BARTH (12) STUDENT H
“I think it’s really exciting to see all my friends back in person, and everyone is looking forward to what their classes may bring that may be different from previous years. I don’t have too many worries. It’s important to remain cautious about Covid but not think about it all the time.” M
UP AN CHAN
ALEX LAN (11) STUDENT
1982- Board of Education v. Pico
2021 - Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.
THIS I BELIEVE: Hidden pleasures in plain sight desiree luo
The bright, shimmering sea sways back and forth as a soft breeze skims over the water’s surface. Streaks of white trail the small boats as they move like paint on a canvas. Overhead, the sun emits a gentle light that makes the whole world glow. This is Èze, a small coastal town in southern France known for its picturesque views and unique architecture. I sit on the balcony of the hotel restaurant with my mother and father. We have just finished a dessert of chocolate cake, the finishing touch to our threecourse lunch. My parents sip their cups of coffee as we silently look out across the sea. Although we do not speak, we all have the same thought: if we could, we would stay in this peaceful place forever. After our trip around France came to an end, I realized that although the last couple of weeks were packed with memorable events, such as visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris and walking along the packed beaches of Nice, the short trip to Èze stood out the most. While it was merely a small village compared to nearby coastal cities, its rustic towers and winding paved pathways, held a palpable and unquestionable charm. During that moment on the balcony, my mind was not filled with chaotic thoughts or concerns; instead, it resembled the sea below: a comforting sort of blankness that brought me much-needed tranquility. That was the part of our trip where I was the happiest. After school restarted, my life returned to its usual hectic nature. As usual, at the end of the summer, I remember the slight disappointment I felt after admit-
ting to myself that I would no longer have much leisure time. However, not even a year had passed when unexpectedly, a pandemic stopped the entire world in its tracks. Like everyone else, I was disheartened by this unfortunate event, but as the quarantine period extended, I realized that I could use this time to do exactly what I had previously desired. I frequently went on walks around the neighborhood with my parents, and although we did not have access to views as majestic as those in Èze, I experienced the same exhilaration that comes from breathing fresh air under the sunlight while accompanied by loved ones. Minor details in everyday life, such as the sounds of birds chirping or the smell of freshly baked bread wafting from the oven, now made me pause and smile inwardly thinking about them. Experiences that seemed “normal” before, such as talking to relatives and friends or even going to the grocery store, were now highlights of my day. This recent period of time has been difficult in many ways, but I am glad that I did not allow it to affect me negatively. Instead, I discovered the importance of appreciation, regardless of how small. When my mind is swarming with thoughts of when my next essay is due or how well I performed on my math test, there is barely any room for thinking about how beautiful the sunlight shining through my window looks even though it is right in front of me. Rather than passively sparing my surroundings a glance, I now know the importance of acknowledging them. For instance, simply noticing the rose that grows among the weeds lifts both my smile and my mood. This not only tem-
porarily stops me from thinking about my concerns but also allows me to face any impending challenges with a more positive mindset. Now that I am in high school, my life has become more packed than ever before. Still, I make every effort to appreciate the world around me and what it has to offer. Never would I have thought that a simple village like Èze held so much beauty, but I later realized that all of it was in plain sight, and I only needed to look a little closer to find it. Discovering the beauty in the larger world brought much more joy into my life than I would ever expect, but after all, is that not what life is all about?
VIKA GAUTHAM (9 STUDENT
1988- Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier
DESIGN BY MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
10 WINGED POST
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 DOUBLETRUCK VOLUME
A campus of many homes irene yuan, aastha mangla & emily tan
The Zhang GYMNASIUM
RAHUL YALLA (9) BASKETBALL PLAYER
The Quad, short for qu nestled between the l gym on one side and M other. Most notably, st twice a year for Harke show, Quadcella.
“I like the facility because it’s really clean and professional but because of the environment that my team provides, so the gym is a comforting place, like home” EM
To aid in this process, here are a few highlights of just some of the many popular locations on campus that students treat as home.
Pop into the building to watch a home volleyball or basketball game, but beware, the center is typically off limits during the school day so save your snooping of the amazing gynmasium and for after the bell.
“[My favorite memory is] watching varsity [boys basketball] practice during the summer after strength training” Y
Whether it be because of the student athletes, coaches, or spectating members of the Harker community going in and out of its doors, the Zhang Gymnasium always buzzes with energy.
An expansive campus awaits our new underclassmen, yet to explore the bounds of the upper school. While the extensive list of buildings and names may seem overwhelming at first, it won’t be long before you find yourself navigating the school grounds with ease.
JUHI MANDALA (10) VOLLEYBALL PLAYER
Settle in the quad for a with friends surrounde overhead or for a quie afterschool. Be sure to moment and apprecia landscaping by the Ha grounds team.
Shah Hall Quiet and unassuming on the outside, this history and counseling building tends to heat up during lunches thanks to seniors playing ping pong and foosball inside or eating lunch on the senior patio.
Inside, you’ll find some cozy couches as well as an art gallery showcasing talented students’ work.
“If you have a history class or if you “Underneath the staircase there are want to see a counselor, this is the place often galleries where you can see you want to go. Don’t hang out upstairs people’s art and it’s really fun to go because it’s hot, so keep that with your friends” in mind” LU
ALEXA LOWE (12) STUDENT
“Class gifts are meant to leave legacies of that specific class. Those classes tried to do a search around campus and fill a need where they see fit”
KRISTINA ALANIZ DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS
Gifted by Class of 2021 IRENE YUAN
D BY ALEXA
KAI DUE (12) STUDENT
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VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021
Dobbins Hall LU
BAILEY CASTLE (12) STUDENT
“I like Dobbins Hall because i think the trees are really pretty, and it’s a good environment to work in” EM
AHBI NAMALA (11) STUDENT
MAKAYLA AGUILAR (11) STUDENT
“I love the quad because the trees are super pretty, and I just remember lunches and talking to friends around the tables in the back” PR
Nichols Hall IR E
With its modern exterior and all-glass Rotunda, Nichols Hall embodies modernity, a fitting description as it houses all the science and computer science classrooms. Besides the spacius Atrium and Auditorium inside, the Rotunda (where the pedulum is located) is also a highly popular hangout location.
Head inside Nichols to marvel at the various wildlife in the aquariums or pop into the Rotunda to watch the pendulum in action.
“I really like Nichols Hall because it has the robotics lab and the study space up top. The pendulum is really fun, and I have a lot of good memories of the classes there”
“All the labs are equipped with tons of utensils for students to use and lab equipment that is efficient and easily accessed” IL Y
PICNIC TABLE AREA
NICHOLS ROTUNDA REFURBISHING
Gifted by Class of 2019
Gifted by Class of 2020
SHOUNAK GHOSH (12) STUDENT
AVA ARASAN (11) STUDENT
SHAH PATIO WOODEN PERGOLA
Gifted by Class of 2018
ZEEL THAKKAR (12) STUDENT
D B Y ZEEL
a peaceful lunch ed by trees et place to work o also take a ate the expert arker
“Obviously, this is my favorite place to work. There’s a pingpong table here as well, so whenever we’re done eating [lunch], we don’t have to leave and think about class right away. It’s definitely a way to destress” IL Y
uadrangle, lies library and auxiliary Main Hall on the tudents gather here er’s very own talent
You’ll also often find students hanging out with friends in the lobby after school and during lunch. Drop by Dobbins outside of your math period to enjoy general ambience as well as student artworks on display in the lobby.
“There are also very useful counselors like Ms. Horan for academic advice. I have lost my calculator a couple of times and stuff like that usually ends up in the office on the downstairs floor” C
Indoor trees and math knowledge galore—that’s what you’ll find in Dobbins Hall, where our math teachers and academic counselor Kelly Horan make their home during the day.
DESIGN BY EMILY TAN
12 WINGED POST Editors-in-Chief Michelle Liu Emily Tan Managing Editor Mark Hu News Editor Isha Moorjani Features Editor Sarah Mohammed
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 OPINION VOLUME
Together, we rise Rely on one another as we adjust to the ‘old normal’
Welcome back to campus—and to Volume 23!
A&E/ Lifestyle Editor Sally Zhu Assistant A&E/ Lifestyle Editor Aastha Mangla Opinion Editor Muthu Panchanatham
michelle liu, emily tan & mark hu
STEM Editor Sabrina Zhu
ILLUSTRATION BY AASTHA MANGLA
Assistant STEM Editor Arjun Barrett Photo/Video Editor Esha Gohil Designer Aastha Mangla Adviser Ellen Austin, MJE Aquila Editors-in-Chief Nicole Tian Alysa Suleiman Aquila Managing Editors Arely Sun Lucy Ge Irene Yuan Vishnu Kannan Columnists Saurav Tewari Nicholas Wei Arjun Barrett Humans of Harker Editors-in-Chief Esha Gohil Erica Cai Humans of Harker Managing Editor Nicholas Wei Reporters Sriya Batchu Shinjan Ghosh Smrithi Sambamurthy Jasleen Hansra Rachel Ning Ritika Rajamani Lakshmi Mulgund Carter Chadwick Tina Xu Visit The Winged Post online at www.harkeraquila.com Follow us on Instagram with the handle @harkeraquila The Winged Post is published every four to six weeks except during vacations by the Journalism: Newspaper Concentration and Advanced Journalism: Newspaper Concentration courses at Harker’s upper school, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, California 95129. The Winged Post staff will publish features, editorials, news, sports and STEM articles in an unbiased and professional manner and serve as a public forum for the students of The Harker School. Editorials represent the official opinions of The Winged Post. Opinions and letters represent the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Winged Post. All content decisions are made by student editors, and the content of The Winged Post in no way reflects the official policy of The Harker School. The opinions expressed in this publication reflect those of the student writers and not the Harker board, administration, faculty or adviser. Letters to the Editor may be submitted to Manzanita 70 or emailed to email@example.com and must be signed, legible and concise. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to Post style. Baseless accusations, insults, libelous statements, obscenities and letters that call for a disruption of the school day will not be considered for publication. Letters sent to The Winged Post will be published at the discretion of the editorial staff. The Winged Post is the official student newspaper of Harker’s upper school and is distributed free of cost to students.
2019-2020 NSPA Best-in-show newspaper 2020-2021 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2021 Crown Recipient 2019-2020 NSPA Pacemaker Winner 2018-2019 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2017-2018 NSPA Pacemaker Winner 2017-2018 CSPA Gold Crown 2016-2017 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2016-2017 CSPA Silver Crown 2015-2016 CSPA Gold Crown
EDITORIAL: THE OFFICIAL OPINION OF THE WINGED POST
editorial board The last time we were here together, we were sitting in our classrooms during the last period of the day, anxiously waiting for the school bell to ring. The last time we were here together, we were chatting and laughing well within three feet of each other. The last time we were here together, we were enjoying a normal school day on campus, blissfully unaware that the whole world could come crashing down around us. It’s been 533 days since we first moved off campus as thousands of schools across the country closed to protect against the raging COVID-19 outbreak that plagued the nation. This week we returned to a fully in-person school year, with primary restrictions consisting of wearing masks solely indoors and greater freedom to interact. As we emerge from the confines of the pandemic lifestyle, we find ourselves lost in what was once familiar. Sitting at a class desk is uncomfortable. Not wearing a mask outside feels unnatural. Standing within six feet of each other seems awkward.
Our incoming freshmen will again have the chance to enjoy a full four years of high school in-person. The connections you make in your first year here may last throughout their upper school journey, as they have for many of us. Step outside your comfort zones and explore your unique interests at the Harker upper school. Join clubs or sports teams. Form bonds with peers from a variety of backgrounds. Create meaningful memories with your classmates through spirit events. We recognize that our sophomores have not had much on-campus experience. Reach out to upperclassmen, who can offer exclusive insights, with questions or concerns. Upperclassmen have not yet experienced the true weight of being role models for the younger students. Take comfort in the fact that you can make a difference in their high school journeys simply by reaching out. Let underclassmen know that you are here for them. Leaving a positive impact can be as easy as offering an encouraging smile or asking someone about their day. While the underclassmen lean on us, seniors might wonder who they can turn
It’s been 533 days since we first moved off campus as thousands of schools across the country closed to protect against the raging COVID-19 outbreak that plagued the nation In March 2020, after the beginning of remote learning as a result of the pandemic, our editorial emphasized the importance of bravery through small feats such as getting up every morning and completing schoolwork. Looking back to a year ago, when we prepared to start the school year, we commended the efforts of our students and faculty who had demonstrated their resilience for months still in a remote learning environment. When we entered a hybrid learning environment last May, our editorial advised the community to remain on guard even though we longed to feel each other’s presence once again. Yet, with the guidance of our peers, teachers and administrators, we can work together to recover the memories and reconstruct the positive atmosphere that the virus took from us.
to when they don’t have the answers. The answer is clear: count on Harker’s faculty and staff, who have stood by us throughout our time at this school. Harker teachers, the backbone of our community, worked tirelessly to provide a safe learning environment in which we can continue to thrive. Your resilience has not gone unnoticed. While we transition back into the ‘old normal’, continue to watch over us. In turn, we will strive to uphold the tenets of the Harker community. Follow the outlined safety guidelines in place. Wear masks indoors. Stay home if presenting any symptoms of COVID-19. Do your best to maintain the safe atmosphere at Harker. In a time of isolation, we remained steadfast. In this new chapter, we continue to face challenges and move forward. Welcome home.
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year—and welcome back to campus! We’re super excited to share the first issue of the Winged Post with you all. After a year of remote coverage, we’re looking forward to reporting in the midst of all the wonderful in-person action and energy of campus life. We hope that the Winged Post has served as a reliable point of connection for our Harker community over the past 18 months. And as we return to campus life, we want to continue to tell the stories of the moments that bring us together, challenge us and help us grow. We also chose
As we return to campus life, we want to continue to tell the stories of the moments that bring us together, challenge us and help us grow. We also want to focus on giving voice to a variety of perspectives in our community through timely and accurate coverage of local to global topics to keep a few other things constant as we begin the new school year. You may have noticed that last year, each issue of the Winged Post arrived to your mailbox. This year, we’ll be continuing to send members of our Harker community every issue of the Winged Post to their home addresses. So if you didn’t have the chance to grab a copy at school, rest assured that there will be one waiting at home for you. We also want to focus on giving voice to a variety of perspectives in our community through timely and accurate coverage of local to global topics. As we adapt back to campus life and seeing everyone in person, it’s more important than ever to make sure our community is informed. However, while some things in the Winged Post will remain constant and steady for you this year, we’ve also adapted to some changes that will allow us to grow and expand to our fullest potential for you. For one, you may notice that the paper currently in your hand is a little heftier than usual—since we’ve upgraded from our 16-page spread of last year to a 20-pager this year. We’re also looking forward to seeing new faces and featuring new stories, welcoming both our freshmen and sophomores, as well as new teachers and faculty, who are stepping onto a new campus. As always, we’d love to hear from you, the readers, about your feedback or suggestions. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s to a great year ahead with you all! DESIGN BY MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
WINGED POST 13
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 OPINION VOLUME
Space travel enters the final frontier
NASA should take charge in paving the way to the stars
$1 Trillion in revenue by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley Rese arch
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Simone Biles and the power of choice arely sun
“It doesn’t matter what vault she does—it’s a showstopper,” said an NBC Sports reporter in a live broadcast. Eyes focused ahead, Simone Biles set off in a sprint, jumped from the springboard and launched off the vaulting table into the air. But instead of a dizzying blur of limbs, she completed just one and a half unexpectedly slow twists and landed on shaky legs, lunging out to the side in an attempt to regain balance and grimacing. When the four-time Olympic gold medalist pulled out of the 2020 Tokyo games after her vault stumble on Jul. 27, Biles set the Internet ablaze. Commentators such as talk show host Charlie Kirk deemed her weak, denouncing her socalled abandonment of her team. Biles described her situation during the vault as “having a little bit of the twisties,” a term used by gymnasts to describe losing control of their bodies midair, which leads to a disconnect between the body and mind. She dropped out of the competition to protect her body from the potentially devastating effects of a mental block after consulting medical staff. Despite her departure from the team, she continued to cheer on her teammates in the arena, providing them hugs, encouragement and chalk for their hands. In spite of her critics’ stance on her decision, Biles doesn’t need to prove her strength: she—as well as several other
prominent gymnasts—suffered sexual abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar and continued to compete while recovering from the trauma. Besides becoming the world’s most decorated gymnast with 25 World medals and 7 Olympic medals through years of training and astounding performances, she powered through the 2018 National Championships with a broken toe and through the World Championships later that year with a kidney stone—it’s no question Biles can push her boundaries. This time, she’s setting them. In addition to the outpour of support for Biles from athletes through social media, other Olympians are also exercising the power of choice and prioritizing their mental health, even if it means breaching athletic traditions and expectations. Global tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in June and chose to stop partaking in post-match press conferences, citing her social anxiety and the self-doubt elicited by the barrage of questions from reporters. Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin stepped back from the sport in January after feeling “a little lost” and only returned to training four months later.
nicole tian A white parachute billows above the camera as it hurtles to the ground, numbers in a corner of the screen flashing the landing velocity. Below spreads the arid iron oxide surface of Mars, orange dust for miles. In a video from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Like Apollo 11, Voyager, and Curiosity before it, Perseverance was the result of a coordinated government effort to explore space and conduct scientific research. However, the introduction of private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic into the space industry has successfully commercialized a field with extremely high barriers to entry, opening space to tourists with means to pay tens of millions of dollars for a ticket. Due to the capital needed to venture past Earth, small companies and startups face much greater difficulty sustaining the high risks and high costs of the market. As a result, this oligopolistic market pushes its few competitors to lower costs for passenger space travel and personal interests. In the transition to a space industry driven by private ownership, the coordination of government and companies stands crucial. Not only do government launch sites conflict with commercial launch sites, but access to space also challenges NASA’s extremely selective astronaut corps. Pulling away government regulation in a field with high risk factors raises questions as to how companies will recover from rocket failures and possible human casualties and how the market will promote competition from smaller corporations. As commercial flight and the spacebased economy sets in, we risk losing areas While not all of us are Olympic athletes, Biles and others can teach us about knowing our limits. In the competitive culture of the Bay Area, nobody bats an eye at loading up on AP courses, sports, leadership roles and extracurriculars—we celebrate hard work but also unknowingly praise workaholism. In many competitive
It’s no question Biles can push her boundaries. This time, she’s setting them environments, people are taught to value results and endure anything that comes their way to achieve their goals. While perseverance continues to be an integral skill, we shouldn’t confuse it with overworking: push yourself but not all the way until you break. If growth is unsustainable, recognize when to slow down, even if it means putting off your goals until you’re in the right headspace. To overcome burnout, Forbes recom-
of public interest, such as data collection of space exploration, in favor of commercial goals. As of now, NASA’s sweeping science programs, including Perseverance, remain unrivaled by any private agency, yet the booming popularity of space over the past few years may indicate future takeover. As an amateur astronomer, the concept of space fascinated my childhood imagination and continues to lead me
As an amateur astronomer, the concept of space fascinated my childhood imagination and continues to lead me to ponder the creation of extraterrestrial worlds to ponder the creation of extraterrestrial worlds. In our junior year American poetry unit, we studied the Transcendentalist poets, in particular Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer.” Whitman’s narrator criticizes the rigorous mathematical formulas of the scientist, claiming that they leave the beauty of the night sky void of life in favor of a quest of elaborate charts and diagrams. However, astronomy stands as the missing link between stardust and our own lives, a field that asks us, as ephemeral beings insignificant against the ancient galaxies, to study the sublime. Despite the impossibility of the Anthropic Principle, we exist a world that appreciates the romance of science, a high price to lose. In order to maintain its relevance while sustaining private growth, NASA must chase new frontiers.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY NICOLE TIAN AND MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
mends taking a break to recalibrate— slowing down gives you time to reflect on motivation and understand your limits to prevent the detrimental cycle from repeating itself. On the final day of the Olympics, seven days after she last appeared in the arena, Biles returned to compete on the beam, not expecting to receive an award and saying “I was just going out there doing this for me.” As the broadcast camera focuses on her, she exhales and sets her hands on the beam to hoist herself up, and applause-filled moments later, she lands her dismount with a radiant smile. Beating out tight competition in the individual finals, Biles won the bronze medal. In a similar fashion, despite his lengthy respite from biking, Dumoulin won silver in the men’s individual time trial. Their awards illustrate the importance of prioritizing mental health and that success often follows a period of rest and reflection. Just like Biles, you have the power of choice—the power to sacrifice immediate results to take care of your well-being and to pave the way for long-term fulfillment. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
Global sp industry could ace gene
DESIGN BY MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
14 WINGED POST
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 STEM VOLUME
California wildfires burn 1.6 million acres, smoke puts sensitive groups in jeopardy
sabrina zhu & arjun barrett
N BY IO AT
MICHE LL E
SPACEX AND BLUE ORIGIN SpaceX, Blue Origin complete new missions
IL L U ST R
SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk in 2002, successfully launched the GPS III Space Vehicle 05 mission on June 17. The vehicle was supported by a Falcon 9 rocket that had previously been used in the GPS III Space Vehicle 04 mission. Jeff Bezos, executive chairman of Amazon, founded Blue Origin, a company competing with SpaceX on commercial space travel in 2000. He traveled into space aboard the New Shepard rocket and was accompanied by aviator Wally Funk, Oliver Daemen, and brother Mark Bezos. Currently, SpaceX is the only organization with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Human Landing System contract.
APPLE’S NEW SOFTWARES UN N BY ARELY S
total fires in 2021 Data from CAL FIRE as of Aug. 24
SHOULD SCHOOL GO REMOTE IF SMOKE IS SEVERE? “Yes, school should go remote. [Students] should have the option P R O VI DE D BY to go home” ALEXA LOWE (12) STUDENT
“If it’s really severe, then we should go remote,ROlike when you can’t see and the P VI DE D BY sky turns orange” LLA
I LL U
ST R N BY A ATIO RE TR LY
The upper school’s semester-long Advanced Topics in Computer Science courses are offered on one-year, twoyear, and four-year rotations. This year’s Advanced Topics courses are Robot Kinematics Software, Compilers and Interpreters, Computer Architecture, Expert Systems, Neural Networks, Numerical Methods and Programming Languages. The math department will continue to offer the same courses—Signals and Systems and Differential Equations II. Furthermore, two new science courses have been added: Biomedical Ethics, which analyzes the ethical issues in medicine, and Forensic Science, which provides an introduction to the techniques in forensics.
Upper school introduces new science electives
through and it rains, you get more nutrients put back into the soil.” In the early 1900s, forest management considered fires detrimental and put out any they observed. Rather than preventing damage, these actions allowed forest litter to accumulate, creating more fuel for fires. This fuel leads to crown fires, which spread quickly from tops of trees. Now, small fires continue to be extinguished, and large crown fires have devastating effects. Laurie Jin (11), a research officer at the climate change organization Change The End, hopes California residents will be more aware of the danger they pose to local ecosystems. “When we think of the environment, we think of animals and trees, but I believe it’ll have a more personal impact if we talk about the people around us. A few teachers at Harker were greatly affected by the wildfires, and a lot of students were afraid,” Laurie said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
total acres burned in California in 2021 4
CAMILLA LINDH (12) GREEN TEAM C0-PRESIDENT
NEW STEM ELECTIVES
“We really want to focus on saving water because we do have a drought, and we really could use that water to contain wildfires”
Apple recently announced a new addition to the iPhone and Mac lineups: automatic scanning for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The company plans to use machine learning to compare images and videos stored on its devices to a government-provided CSAM database. In order to ensure user privacy, Apple devices will run the machine learning algorithm locally. Only after several CSAM hashes are found will Apple flag a device for manual review and subsequently contact government authorities. CSAM scanning will be added to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS 12 Monterey, all of which are scheduled for release by the end of fall.
ACTIVE FIRES 1
ROHIT YALLA (9) STUDENT
“Air quality is a good indicator of whether we can be outside or not, but I would leave that decision to the administration, who I’m sure will do the SALLY ZHU best for the students” DR. ANU AIYER MATH TEACHER
Dixie Fire, Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Lassen, Shasta Counties 731310 acres, 41% contained
Apple issues Child Sexual Assault Material update
Over 900,000 acres have been burnt as 6,347 wildfires devastate California since the beginning of the year, and almost 2,000 structures have been damaged. The largest fire of the year, the Dixie Fire, located in Butte, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama counties, originated in mid July. Since then, it has spread across 517,945 acres and is only 31% contained. It is now the second largest wildfire to occur in California history, only after the August Complex fire of 2020. “Since it’s getting warmer, especially in California, that causes a lot of dry air and dry heat,” Camilla Lindh (12), co-president of Green Team said. “This makes California especially susceptible to wildfires, since we have such dry heat, and we don’t have that much humidity. With climate change, which makes the weather warmer, there are more wildfires.” Most wildfires begin from mishaps at campsites, electrical fires and lightning strikes. In lightning strikes, friction from air molecules moving past each other generates friction that can cause a static electrical charge. That charge moves between the ground and the air, releasing enough energy to generate heat to start a fire. According to biology and environmental science teacher Jeff Sutton, when humans are removed from the equation, these natural fires can reinvigorate ecosystems and add nutrients to the soil. For example, more species within a stable ecological community can grow after a low fire. Prairie fires also depend on fires to restore balance. “Prairie fires are really important because woody species like trees and shrubs will take over the prairie unless you have periodic fires that burn,” Sutton said. “They will burn the grass, but the grass roots are protected. Once the fire has gone
PROVIDED BY CAMILLA LINDH
sabrina zhu, arely sun, emily tan, mark hu & arjun barrett
Monument Fire, Trinity County 152125 acres, 20% contained
McFarland Fire, Shasta, Trinity, Tehama Counties 118624 acres, 71% contained
Caldor Fire, El Dorado County 117704 acres, 9% contained
French Fire, Kern County 16002 acres, 19% contained Data from CAL FIRE as of Aug. 24
IF YOU NEED TO EVACUATE 1. Know your house’s and community’s escape routes 2. Create a communication plan with your family 3. Limit number of flammable items in your house 4. Turn off flammable appliances (eg: gas meters, AC, propane tanks) 5. Keep car keys & important documents accessible 6. Prepare an emergency kit Adapted from CAL FIRE
EMERGENCY KIT ESSENTIALS
1. Face masks 2. First aid kit 3. Sanitation supplies 4. Three-day supply of food and water 5. Radio and batteries 6. Extra clothes 7. Map 8. Flashlight 9. Prescription medication Adapted from CAL FIRE DESIGN BY SABRINA ZHU
WINGED POST 15
VOLUME 23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021
FDA gives Pfizer vaccine full approval sabrina zhu The US Food and Drug Association (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday for individuals older than sixteen years. Previously, the treatment was only administered under an emergency use authorization (EUA), which was granted in December 2020. Now, the two-dose vaccine will be known as Comirnaty and as a treatment that can prevent COVID-19. Those between twelve and fifteen years of age and those with weaker immune systems who require three doses can still receive the vaccine under the EUA. No other vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA. The FDA grants full approval for treatments that have been researched for at least six months, instead of the two months required for emergency approval, when they only observe side effects. During this period, over tens of thousands of people were studied, and the FDA carefully analyzed potential symptoms as well as the production process of the vaccine in order to ensure safety. “Our scientific and medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine,” Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said. We evaluated scientific data and information included in hundreds of thousands of pages, conducted our own analyses of Comirnaty’s safety and effectiveness, and performed a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes.” Following the FDA’s decision, many schools and companies have announced that they will require all members to receive the vaccine. Additionally, the approval could comfort and inform citizens who were unsure about the Pfizer vaccine’s novel technology. “We recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US,” Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s acting commissioner, said.
DO YOU THINK THE APPROVAL WILL AFFECT OUR COMMUNITY? “Before, there was a percentage of our population that was deterred. I’m hopeful now that [they] will feel confident about getting the vaccine” P R O VIDE D
BY ER IC
KAL L B RIE R
ERIC KALLBRIER DIRECTOR OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
Mythbusting COVID-19 and the vaccines arjun barrett
Q: Do I still need to wear a mask if I’m vaccinated? A: Yes. Though the CDC only requires unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask, all vaccinated individuals are encouraged to continue wearing masks. Unvaccinated people are more likely to contract the virus and spread it to others, but those who are vaccinated are still susceptible to breakthrough infections since vaccinated individuals can still carry the Delta variant. So, if you interact with anyone who is unvaccinated without a mask, you could still transmit the virus.
Q: Does the vaccine work against the Delta variant? A: Yes. Since the Delta variant is derived from the original virus, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective against both. For instance, the Pfizer vaccine is about 94% effective against the original virus and 92% effective against the Delta variant.
of a sample of recent COVID-19 cases in California are the Delta variant According to California Department of Public Health, as of Aug. 21
Q: Will COVID-19 weaken over time? A: Probably not. As organisms reproduce, random mutations can occur. In accordance with natural selection, the mutations that are most conducive to reproduction become most prevalent. In the case of the coronavirus, random mutations eventually created variants such as the Delta variant that are more dangerous and therefore more likely to reproduce.
Pfizer vaccine up to
Q: How much more dangerous is the Delta variant? A: According to the CDC, the Delta variant is more than two times more contagious than other strains of the coronavirus and can cause more severe reactions in unvaccinated individuals. In cases in which vaccinated people contract the virus, also known as “breakthrough cases,” the Delta variant can still reproduce and spread to others, but breakthrough cases are usually infectious for less time than cases in unvaccinated people.
Q: Do any COVID-19 vaccines release the virus into the body? A: No, Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines, which means that they contain instructions for making a protein piece. The immune system recognizes the protein as foreign and begins creating antibodies to defend against it. When the body actually comes into contact with COVID-19, it already has the instructions on how to prevent infection. Since mRNA vaccines do not contain a weakened form of the virus, it does not shed or decompose into the body.
Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccines cause side-effects? Are they dangerous? A: Yes and no. The common side effects of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines include pain and swelling at the vaccination site and occasionally headaches and muscle pain. In about two cases per million, vaccine administration causes a severe allergic reaction. However, the allergic reaction can be immediately treated on site by the vaccine provider.
effective against the Delta variant According to the CDC
“I think it’s a good idea because there’s the delta variant now, it could be a little safer and could probably help with the likelihood of the virus spreading” P R O VIDE D
B A U S C HL
CLAIRE BAUSCHLICHER (10) STUDENT
ILLUSTRATION BY ARELY SUN
“I hope it will help people feel more safe about getting the vaccine. I feel like before people were a little hesitant to get it” EMILY TAN MAKAYLA AGUILAR (11) STUDENT DESIGN BY SABRINA ZHU
16 WINGED POST
23 • ISSUE 1 AUGUST 27, 2021 STEM VOLUME
Pavitra Rengarajan (‘12) pursues machine learning with an open mind sabrina zhu
PUBLIC HEALTH CLUB
With excitement in her voice, Pavitra Rengarajan (‘12) passionately describes a Tetris game: a project she worked on in college which significantly inspired her to pursue computer science. She then recalls watching videos of intelligent robots and completing assignments that predict movie ratings, identifying them as formative moments in her life. After graduating from the Harker upper school in 2012, Rengarajan studied computer science with a focus in artificial intelligence at Stanford University. Now, she leads a machine learning team for social media platforms, analyzing large datasets and concentrating on recommendation systems.
Q&A WITH PAVITRA Q: What do you do on a daily basis at work?
Q: What advice do you have for high school students?
A: “What I do is building machine learning algorithms, understanding data, and trying to build really positive experiences for people around the world.”
A: “As long as you’re leading with what’s interesting to you, leading with your curiosity, and enjoying the process, you will be set up.”
Summer research by students continues despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions
“COVID didn’t really impact the amount of research I did. It did make other parts of [the process] more complicated, like interacting with others and communicating virtually” O
JONNY XUE (9) USED MACHINE LEARNING TO DETECT EMOTION IN FACES
DE D BY JONN
“It’s easier schedule-wise, especially since [my professor] is on the east coast, and we were able to work things out. But it’s also harder to talk about things and learn the material” SAMVITA GAUTHAM (11) RESEARCHED GENE EDITNG FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
D BY S A M V
INTERNING ONLINE Teresa Cai (12) tinkers with circuits for Boston University’s Research in Science and Engineering program. Interns collaborated virtually with their mentors.
ALICE FENG (12) MODELED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RNA AND PROTEINS
of access to lab equipment this summer as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Spenner noticed more students pursuing computer science-based projects. “In some ways, [this change] has actually opened up opportunities— more labs are taking on students [for informatics projects]. There’s a downside, which is that students aren’t getting hands-on experience as much,” Spenner said. In spite of these challenges, many students have successfully found research opportunities this summer. Research Club president Alice Feng (12) conducted an informatics project modeling the relationship between RNA and proteins. Alice found that the online format provided less opportunities for deeper interactions. “I miss being able to see my mentors and other people at the lab in person,” Alice said. “I was able to work in an actual lab setting before [the pandemic] and it was definitely a really great experience just to be able to see everyone in person.” PROFESSIONAL PHYSICIAN Dr. Archelle Similarly, Jonny Xue (9) conducted a Georgiou gave a presentation on COVID-19 machine learning research project, buildto Public Health Club members. The club ing a model to detect emotion in facial imheld multiple virtual speaker events last year. ages at a virtual summer program called
“I miss being able to see my mentors and other people at the lab in person. I was able to work in an actual lab setting before and it was definitely a really great experience just to be able to see everyone in person” D B Y A LI C E
MELODY YAZDI (12) EXAMINED RNA’S CONNECTION TO SKELETAL MUSCLE
Melody Yazdi (12) also conducted a computer science project that focused on using RNA data to analyze skeletal muscle in association with the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS), a summer research program. The professors that Melody worked with helped her focus on hands-on research, ensuring a more navigable project. “The way [the professors] taught us to approach research was super hands-on but also user-friendy in the sense that they broke down the process into steps, allowing us to not feel overwhelmed at each stage in the process,” Melody said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
THOUGHTS ABOUT SUMMER RESEARCH
“The way the professors taught us to approach research was super handson but also user-friendly”
Inspirit AI. The mentors worked to engage participants through checkups. “Surprisingly, COVID didn’t really impact the amount of research I did. It did make other parts of [the process] more complicated, like interacting with others and communicating virtually,” Jonny said.
“When the pandemic hit, there weren’t many opportunities on campus specifically dedicated to community activism for fighting the pandemic,” Kevin Wang (12), president and founder of the club, said. “I wanted to found an organization that could specifically rally community activism to help out the pandemic.” The club also held virtual speaker events over the year, beginning with a talk by Dr. Archelle Georgiou, Chief Health Officer for Starkey Hearing Technologies, who explained her work on race-based disparities and federal intervention on COVID spread. Since all meetings were virtual, some students found them easier to attend. “Because they were on Zoom calls, you could just easily access the club [events] through a link,” Chloe Lee (10), a Public Health Club member said. In addition to asking Dr. Georgiou, club officers invited Yan Zhao, Mayor of Saratoga, to speak with students about her work combatting the challenges that Asian Americans face. “We held about four or five speaker events and invited Mayor [Yan] Zhao to the campus for a talk on stopping Asian hate,” Kevin said. “We also started a nursing homes initiative. Nursing homes have been quarantined for a year, so we did fundraisers and virtual performances for [the seniors] there.”
Upper school students conducted science research over the summer virtually despite continued restrictions from accessing labs or attending summer programs in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students mainly performed independent research projects or participated in virtual internships. Due to the lack
KEVIN WANG (12) PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH CLUB
“I wanted to found an organization that could specifically rally community activism to help out the pandemic”
PROVIDED BY PAV ITRA RENGARAJAN
STEM Spotlight is a repeater exploring what clubs at Harker have been doing as they return to campus. This week’s featured club is the Public Health Club, which strives to spread awareness of issues such as infectious diseases and hardships and provide service to the community through the field of computer science. Founded by club adviser and upper school English teacher Dr. Pauline Paskali at the start of the last school year, the club has led virtual initiatives, such as “Christmas For Quarantined Seniors,” which raised money for presents to local senior residents and the Public Health Podcast, which was a series of interviews with medical experts that focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What I do on a daily basis is building machine learning algorithms, understanding data, and trying to build really positive experiences for people around the world,” she said. Rengarajan credits the Harker environment and community members for allowing her to deeply explore topics that she was curious about, including those in the STEM field. “The type of relationship that we were able to have with teachers, [because of the] much smaller class sizes … really shaped my growth and my development into who I am today and the type of work that I’m doing today,” Rengarajan said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
DESIGN BY SABRINA ZHU
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PEP TALK Coach Victor Adler speaks to his players during a timeout during a boys water polo match against Cupertino on May 5.
REST AND RECOVERY Juniors Laurie Jin, Rigo Gonzales and Max Plfaging ice their legs in the trainer’s room after practice.
PREGAME PLANNING The varsity girls water polo team listens to their coaches prior to the start of their match on May 5.
EAGLES ON 3 The cross country team does a cheer on Davis Field on Aug. 20.
TO THE POINT Quarterbacks coach Juston Glass speaks to his players. Rohan Gorti (11) is the quaterback for the 21-22 season.
FLEXIBILITY FIRST The cross country team stretches together on Davis Field before heading to practice. The cross country team’s first meet is on Oct. 6 at Crystal Springs Cross Country Park.
GAMEPLAN Sidhart Krishnamurthi (‘15), offensive coordinator for the football team, goes over the playbook with his players. The team placed second in a 7 vs. 7 passing tournament in July.
FREEBALL Shruti Srinivasan (9) passes the ball over the net. The girls volleyball team plays against Branham High on Aug. 26.
COACHING POINTS Head coach Mia Purnell speaks with Ritika Rajamani (12) after cross country practice on Aug. 19.
JUKE MOVE Running back Jason Yi (9) jukes out a defender during football practice on Aug. 13 as his coaches and teammates look on. The football team began practice on Aug. 9, in preparation for their first game against San Jose High School on Aug. 27 at 7:00 P.M.
DECEPTION Rachel Ning (11) backsets to hitter Liza Schregov (12). The girls volleyball team held open gyms over the summer.
SHOTGUN Nick Delfino (11) prepares to snap the ball to Rohan Gorti (11). DESIGN BY VISHNU KANNAN
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Fall sports kick off with preseason training
SET HUT Rohan Gorti (11) takes the snap and hands the ball off to his running back.
anika mani & lakshmi mulgund The girls tennis, football, water polo, girls golf, girls volleyball and cross country teams began training in early August on campus to prepare for preseason matches. Girls tennis tryouts began on Aug. 12 and ended on Aug. 20. Their first match is against Monta Vista on Sep. 7. “I’m excited [to see] how far our team will get and also [to be] a senior on the team,” team captain Anishka Raina (12) said. “I’m looking forward to the new team because we are getting a lot of new freshmen again this year." From Jul. 9 to Jul. 23, the cross country team held preseason training. Since the season began on Aug. 9, the team has been meeting three times a week in preparation for their first meet on Sep. 11. The team is working on proper techniques for uphill and downhill running. “Coming out of the pandemic, I didn’t really exercise that much, so my running [was] kind of out of shape,” team member Dawson Chen (12) said. “As a senior this year, we’ll have to play more of a leadership role, so [we will have to] lead the warmups and everything at the meets.” The girls volleyball team began practice on Aug. 9 in preparation for their first
game on Aug. 26. During the summer, athletes had the chance to practice at open gyms to get accustomed to their team and practice schedule. “I’m mostly nervous about playing against girls who are a lot older and [taller] than me,” Navya Samuel (9), a new team member, said. “I’m also nervous about the season in general [be]cause I have never played a high school sport before.” Football practice began Aug. 9. Quarterback Rohan Gorti (11) expresses his excitement to master the playbook and finally compete against other teams. “We didn’t get to [play games] last year, so I think it’ll be fun to compete a bit with other teams,” Rohan said. “[Having back-to-back seasons will] benefit us because our playbook can be complicated at times, so having it quick in the mind can help us become a better team.” Growth and development has been a trend for the last two water polo seasons, according to team member Thomas Wisdom (11). He hopes that the team will have the opportunity to play more difficult competition in their upcoming games. “I’m looking forward to having close games this year since we’re in the upper division of our league so we’ll get to play more competitive teams,” Thomas said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
MIDDLE ATTACK Shruti Srinivasan (9) hits from the middle during practice on Aug. 17.
KEEPING PAGE Veyd Patil (10) leads the way as the the cross country team runs together during practice. The team practices at Blackford, Vasona Park, and Rancho San Antonio.
PERFECT PASS Deeya Kumar (11) passes the ball during a water polo match in May.
Fall Sports Home Game Calendar Aug. 31 - Varsity Girls Volleyball vs. Harbor High School at 7:00 P.M. Sept. 1 - Varsity Girls Golf vs. Valley Christian at 4:00 P.M. Sept. 3 - Varsity Football vs. Lynbrook High School at 4:30 P.M. Sept. 9 - Varsity Girls Water Polo vs. Mountain View at 4:00 P.M. Sept. 9 - Varsity Boys Water Polo vs. Mountain View at 6:15 P.M.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics spark discussion among students FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
FAVORITE ATHLETE TO WATCH
“I liked watching taekwondo because I come from a huge [mixed martial arts] background. It was fun to watch because I knew what was going on, but I could also learn new things.”
“My favorite part was just being able to watch Turkey make it so far [in women’s volleyball]. It’s not a small country, but it’s still relatively unknown to a lot of the U.S.”
“Simone Biles. I know she withdrew from most of her events this year, but when does perform, she has this energy about her [and] this strength that I really admire.”
D BY AS HL
ASHLEY MA (11) GYMNASTICS FAN
D B Y TA R A
D BY NICK
TARA OZDEMIR (12) VOLLEYBALL PLAYER
NICK DELFINO (11) FOOTBALL PLAYER
THOUGHTS ON YOUNG ATHLETES COMPETING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN IMPROVED
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GABE SASCHE (9) FOOTBALL PLAYER
DANIEL LIN (10) BASEBALL PLAYER
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“I thought they should have given equal coverage to every sport. All I saw on social media was gymnastics and basketball. I didn’t see anything about baseball, tennis, or even swimming.” PR
Team USA Medal Count
“It’s inspiring that there are people literally my age, maybe even younger, who are competing against world-class athletes who are so much older than them.”
vishnu kannan The 2021 Tokyo Olympics wrapped up on Aug. 8 after 16 days of fierce competition across 33 different sports. Students share their thoughts on the once-everyfour-year event. The 2021 Paralympics will begin on Aug. 24 and end on Sep. 5.
Scan the QR code to watch this edition of Talk Around Campus in video format!
206 countries participating
days of competition (July 23 - Aug. 8)
33 different sports
Trust the process Five finals appearances. Four championships. In the last seven seasons, the Golden State Warriors went from the laughingstock of the NBA whose distant 1972 championship was a distant glimmer of hope in the eyes of older fans, to one of the league’s top franchises. But then came a flurry of devastating injuries: Klay Thompson tore his ACL, then a year later his Achilles. Steph Curry broke his hand and sat out practically the entire season. Kevin Durant left to create yet another superteam in the Nets. The Warriors were a ghost of their former team, and the record showed it: a dismal 15-50. But I believe the Warriors can still get back to being a solid Western Conference team. Those words sting. I wanted to say a championship contender, but the NBA is not the same league it was just a few years ago. “Super-teams” have formed in Los Angeles and Brooklyn - teams that are without question more talented than the Warriors from top to bottom. Looking on the bright side, the Warriors had a good off-season. They drafted Jonathan Kuminga with the 7th pick. He’s 6’8, 210 pounds, and teammate Draymond Green should help mold him into an impactful two-way player. However, every rookie has holes in their game, and Kuminga suffered from inconsistent shooting and communication problems. There were airballed jumpers in his debut and he shot below 30 percent from three, but the coaching staff should be able to help him develop a reliable jumper.
The Warriors were a ghost of their former self, and their record last season showed it: a dismal 15-50. But I believe the Warriors can still get back to being a solid Western Conference team. Those words sting. I want to say a championship contender, but the NBA is not the same league it was five years ago. The Warriors also drafted Moses Moody with the 14th pick, who fills in where Kuminga can’t, shooting nearly 37 percent from the 3-point line. They are also rumored to be interested in forward Paul Millsap, who can play a reserve big man role with Kevon Looney and Nemanja Bjelica. But don’t be too excited for Millsap’s arrival. The Warriors are competing with the Nets and the Lakers, so Millsap might just be looking for one last hurrah before retirement. All things good must come to an end. We just need to remember that, Warriors fans. The Kevin Durant era came to an end. Just like that, the Lakers and Nets super-teams will eventually fall apart, and the Warriors will reach the upper echelons of the Western Conference once again. Until then, let’s hope Steph can have another MVP-esque season, Klay can return by Christmas, and the youngsters can keep developing so that the Warriors can make the playoffs come March. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY VISHNU KANNAN
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THE RIGHT MINDSET
The APEX repeater profiles Harker athletes who compete at the highest level in their respective sports. This installment features Emily Novikov’s (11) experience playing on the Harker tennis team after playing individually for many years.
Emily Novikov plays with intensity
fans cheering against her, Emily describes the match as a “stressful” experience. Despite believing that she was not fully mentally prepared, she was still able to succeed and win her match. “I had never really played on a team before, it was fun to experience it with other people cause usually when I win it’s just by myself,” Emily said. “Having a team was completely new to me and it was fun to experience that with everyone else.” Natasha Rajaram (10), one of Emily’s teammates and long-time friends, describes how playing with a team can affect one’s mental state.
place at the 2019 winter nationals
“Coach Dvorsek is another person who’s always going to be there for me even when she’s not my coach in college. She’s the main reason why I still play and love the sport, and she’s also the reason behind my results in the sport” “If you have your teammates cheering you on and encouraging you then it does have an effect. I would say that it doesn’t change your game but it does change your mental state,” Natasha said. Emily has established a deep connection with her coach, Urska Dvorsek, over their many years of working together. “She’s another person I can look up to and who’s always going to be there for me even when she’s not my coach in college,” Emily said. “She’s the main reason why I still play and love the sport and she’s also my reason behind my results in the sport.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Emily noviKov The Where are they now? repeater profiles Harker alumni who continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. This installment features four time varsity athlete Jeffrey Kwan’s (‘20) experience playing volleyball at Harvard University amidst the pandemic.
Jeffrey Kwan continues his volleyball career at Harvard
two other freshmen and a senior from the team, as well as with a couple more recreational volleyball players to form a group of six athletes for practice 3 vs. 3 games. “We were allowed to train and [do] some practice. It was tough because there were a lot of restrictions. We weren’t even allowed to hit with [a] blocker because apparently that was too close, so we had to do a lot of back row stuff. There was a lot of freedom, but obviously you can’t train like the normal way,” Kwan said. Though he used to play outside hitter in high-school, Kwan transitioned to playing mainly as a libero in college, a position
club experience prepared him well for the student-athlete lifestyle in college. Kwan credits former Harker Boys Volleyball Head Coach Chad Gordon for being especially instrumental in this process.“ [Coach Gordon] was pushing that frontier of what a lot of higher level programs are doing,” Kwan said. “It was clear that he was thinking a lot about the game and what sort of strategies that our team [could use]. I think that level of attention to details strategically is similar to what we’ll have in college.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
BIL PA RA M HA E VA Z NA
“A big difference between the high school and college game is passing. In club, there’s not that much space, and in high school, the players aren’t that experienced, so there aren’t too many jump spin servers [at those levels]. But in college, there’s a lot of spin serving and so I have to get a lot of reps passing [those serves].”
With a quick glance, Jeffrey Kwan (‘20) jumps up and strikes the ball across the net. He turns around and celebrates with his teammates after scoring the point. Jeffrey, a four-time varsity volleyball athlete at Harker, is continuing his athletic career at the collegiate level, representing the Harvard University in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases last spring, the schools in the Ivy League decided to postpone and ultimately cancel the season. Even though Harvard continued online classes, freshmen were allowed on campus for the first semester. During that time, Jeffrey gathered with
that involves playing defense and passing serves. He focuses primarily on defensive strategies and receiving jump spin serves, which are much more common at the collegiate level than in high school. “A big difference between the high school and college game is passing,” Kwan said. “In club, there’s not that much space and in high school, the players aren’t that experienced, so there aren’t too many jump spin servers [at that level]. In college, there’s a lot of spin serving,and so I have to get a lot of reps passing [those serves].” Kwan captained the Eagles for his junior and senior year of high schools, leading the team to a CCS D3 Championship and a second-place finish in NorCals in 2019. Kwan believes his high-school and
Kwan started as a libero on the varsity volleyball team in his freshman year.
Kwan led the team to a 2nd place finish in NorCals in his sophomore year.
Kwan captained and led the team to CCS D3 Championship in his junior year.
The volleyball season was cut short due to COVID-19 in his senior year. DESIGN BY VISHNU KANNAN
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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? tina xu
PROVIDED BY JEFFREY KWAN
With the time of the match approaching, the tennis player reaches into her bag and pulls out her jump rope and headphones. She slips on the headphones, turns on music, and begins to jump rope. Slowly the outside world begins to fade as she begins to lose the anxiety she had about the upcoming game. Once finished, she starts to stretch and then runs a lap. With each step she becomes closer and closer to being mentally prepared for her match until finally, as she goes to check in, Emily Novikov (11) is ready to dominate. Since her parents and coach encouraged to start playing tennis at age five, the sport has played an important part in Emily’s life. Emily began playing on the Harker girls tennis team in sophomore year after being encouraged by her friends. Though she plays both singles and doubles tennis, Emily prefers singles. This is explained by her enjoyment of seeing her own growth and improvement as an athlete. “Being on a team is fun, but when it’s just you and it’s your skills, it’s really helpful to get into the sport because you’re trying to work on your own goals,” Emily said. Tennis is a sport with no timer, meaning that people are able to make comebacks all the time. As a result, Emily believes being in the right mindset before games and practices is paramount. “During practices, I’ll really try to motivate myself. It’s ingrained in my head that if I’m not in it mentally, then I can’t really play the sport,” Emily said. “For tennis, you can play good, but if you’re not in it mentally then you won’t play as well.” During her sophomore year with Harker, she brought her skills to compete at CCS. Harker was able to win against Menlo in its first CCS Championship in tennis with help from Emily playing singles. Facing off against an opponent who she had previously lost to, and with Menlo
PROVIDED BY JEFFREY KWAN
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Find out which one of our beloved Harker food stations you should eat at today!
I’m craving something...
Salad or sandwich?
Dessert Bar Manzanita Hall
Chocolate Chip Cookies Rice Krispies Cheesecake cups
Creative Deli Special
Build your own?
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches Sushi Rolls on Tuesdays!
Manzanita Hall Pre-made salad dishes
Auxiliary Gym Corn dogs French fries
Bistro Salad Bar
Fresh Avocado Fresh fruits Build-your-own salad
Meats, carbs, or both?
Veggie Cafe Manzanita Hall
Wild Wild Wings
Manzanita Hall Chicken Wings BBQ Wings
Taste of Italy
Austin Blues BBQ
Pasta Carbonara Spaghetti and Meatballs
BBQ Ribs Mac’ and Cheese
Beans and rice?
Clam chowder Fish Fillet
Manzanita Hall Teriyaki Chicken Tri-tip Steak
Pork Carnitas Beef Tacos
Thank you to our dedicated Harker kitchen staff for all the hard work they put into making the most delicious food!
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LIU
DESIGN BY EMILY TAN AND MICHELLE LIU