THE HARKER SCHOOL
Nonprofit Org. US Postage PAID San Jose, CA Permit No. 2296
500 SARATOGA AVE. SAN JOSE, CA 95129
THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE HARKER UPPER SCHOOL
500 SARATOGA AVENUE, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA 95129
VOL. 22 NO.3
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2020
Vaccinations begin as stay-at-home order continues in Bay Area counties
Holiday traditions live on with virtual BAD performances
327,000 doses allotted for first California shipment prioritized for medical workers, elderly after fast-rising case counts trigger statewide restrictions LUCY GE
ROUGHLY 80,000 DOSES FOR BAY AREA REGION
SING ON Downbeat members perform “Deck the Nutcracker Hall” for this year’s virtual Holiday Show.
emily tan & alysa suleiman
FIRST VACCINES ARRIVED IN BAY AREA ON DEC. 14 PROVIDED BY DR. JEN ENG
Harker’s middle school and upper school performing arts groups filled screens with wintertime cheer during the Big Assembly Day (BAD) last Friday, overcoming the technical challenges that came with asynchronously recording and compiling a performance to present the annual Holiday Show. Go to p. 2 for more.
Despite claims of election fraud by Trump, Joe Biden was certified as the winner of the 2020 presidential election by the Electoral College on Dec. 14, winning 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232. Biden won approximately 81 million individual votes, notching the highest vote total ever and beating Trump by around 7 million. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Jan. 20. Go to p. 3 for more post-election news.
Master classes in Black music history to be taught by USC professor next semester PROVIDED BY DR. RON MCCURDY
lucy ge Dr. Ron McCurdy, professor at University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School, will present four sessions at the upper school next semester.
USC professor Dr. Ron McCurdy will conduct four master classes with upper school next semester on the Harlem Renaissance; American poet Langston Hughes’ influence as a storyteller; jazz and leadership and a final session based on Hughes’ 1961 “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” poem suite.
arya maheshwari, arushi saxena, varsha rammohan & anna vazhaeparambil Healthcare workers in Los Angeles received the first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations in California last Monday, with 33,150 doses arriving on Dec. 14 according to Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 update the next day. Out of the 327,000 doses allocated for California in Pfizer’s first shipments of their vaccine, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11, around 80,000 have been allocated for the Bay Area region. Initial distributions, or Phase 1a, of the vaccine are being prioritized for healthcare workers “at risk of exposure” and “older or medically vulnerable individuals,” according to the California Department of Public Health. Director of Health Services Debra Nott notes that school faculty and staff were originally planned to be included in Phase 2 but may possibly be moved to Phase 1b. “Vaccination would be a real game changer for us. When teachers can be vaccinated and feel comfortable coming back to campus, that is when things start to move back to normal,” Nott said. “However, it will be quite a while before we reduce our guard regarding wearing masks, distancing and gathering in sizeable groups.” Emily Uphoff, a Medical/Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Registered Nurse at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), plans on getting the vaccine as soon as she can, which has arrived at the SFGH and is being distributed to employees based on a hospital-wide algorithm.
“I trust the scientists who developed the vaccine and the scientists [at the] FDA who reviewed the safety of the vaccine,” Uphoff said. “Our hospital has also been transparent with our resources and information about how they’re addressing our safety, so I trust the people who work here and are working to protect us.”
“Vaccinations would be a real game changer for us. When teachers can be vaccinated and feel comfortable coming back to campus, that is when things start to move back to normal” DEBRA NOTT DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES
Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin Counties meanwhile remain under a temporary stay-at-home order, issued preemptively by health officials on Dec. 6 with a record 300 hospitalizations and over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases reported the week before. As of Dec. 15, the Bay Area ICU capacity, which refers to the percentage of empty beds in ICUs, is currently at 15.8%. The order lasts until Jan. 4 and mandates the shutdown of all nonessential operations except for retail and critical infrastructure. All nonessential travel for the next month is prohibited, as well as any private gatherings among people in different households.
CURRENT GUIDELINES FOR UPPER SCHOOL ON-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MARK KOCINA/ OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
VACCINATED A dose of the Pfizer vaccine is administered by a nurse to Dr. Jen Eng, father of Michael Eng (12), at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center last Thursday. He will receive the second vaccine dose after three to four weeks.
I VOTED Two Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters staff stand in front of a ballot box.
PROVIDED BY RYAN ARALAR
Electors confirm Biden win with 306-232 vote ahead of Jan. 20 inauguration
GOAL TO VACCINATE OVER 2 MILLION CALIFORNIANS BY DEC. 31
TEMP CHECK Rohan Varma (12) looks at a screen after arriving on campus to get his temperature checked as Director of Health Services Debra Nott assists on Oct. 18.
Limited on-campus learning continued until start of winter break, with increased restrictions following Santa Clara County’s reversion to Purple Tier (Tier 1) on Nov. 30. Temperature checks, mask use and social distancing all required for on-campus academic programs. On-campus programs and activities to be paused for first two weeks of January as a preemptive safety measure, with plans to resume on Jan. 19. Monthly COVID-19 testing to be required for students using indoor classroom space starting in January. Indoor sports trainings cancelled after Nov. 30 uptick in cases; outdoor pre-season practices and conditioning in team cohorts continued. DESIGN BY ARYA MAHESHWARI
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 NEWS VOLUME
2 WINGED POST
‘A sense of escape’ Student directors persevere to present 4 plays in new format
MARK KOCINA/OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Jasmine Li (10), Sarah Raymond (12) and Aastha Mangla (10) rehearse lines in Room 501 on Nov. 18 for director Vaishnavi Murari’s (12) play.
WHAT DO THE SDS DIRECTORS HOPE TO DO?
D B Y M AYA
D B Y VA I S H A
R A RI
VAISHNAVI MURARI SENIOR STUDENT DIRECTOR
“In this current environment, I was looking for theater as a sense of escape to take us out of the monotony that we’re feeling in isolation and present something comedic” O
“I liked that [the play ‘It’s Our Town, Too’] had a message that I wanted to share with people, so that’s what really struck me and made me want to direct this one”
MAYA FRANZ SENIOR STUDENT DIRECTOR
Ever since joining the performing arts community at the upper school in freshman year, Alissa Gao (12) knew she found her place of inspiration. Her journey in theater inspired her to dabble in playwriting, and for the past year, Alissa poured time and energy into an original play, “The Little White Bracelet,” hoping to see it come to life one day on the Student Directed Showcase (SDS) stage. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the community in March and closed all four campuses, and at first, Alissa feared that her dream might never come to fruition. Still, she vowed to continue “creating,” adapting to changes and proving to herself and to the upper school that the show must go on. Together, the four senior directors, Alissa, Alexander “Alex” Kumar, Maya Franz and Vaishnavi Murari, quickly shifted gears and began developing their chosen plays over the summer to prepare for the fall semester. Working with Director of Performing Arts Laura Lang-Ree, who mentors the senior directors for SDS, the directors began holding online rehearsals in October and transitioned to in-person in November. Just after five weeks of in-person rehearsals, Santa Clara’s new stay-at-home order on Dec. 6 paused all activities on campus until Jan. 4, according to the mandate. If allowed by COVID-19 restrictions in January, the four plays are set to come out in a video format after filming during the week of Jan. 18. During the months of November and
December, two of the four directors had in-person rehearsal slots on Friday, while the other two had slots on Wednesday. Directors used their rehearsal times for play logistics that were more difficult to conduct over Zoom, such as figuring out spacing on stage or practicing scenes outside in the open air, depending on available space and the comfort level of the cast. “There’s always some nerves and trepidations when you go out in the world during this pandemic, but once people see how careful the school is and how careful we are in terms of the pre-screenings — the temperature checks and social distancing — then they start to relax and have a really good time,” Lang-Ree said. Alex, who is directing six cast members, hopes to share the story of Austin, a high school student with autism spectrum disorder, and Lily, Austin’s neurotypical classmate, in the one-act play “The Other Room” by Ariadne Blayde. “The best we can do is really just go with the flow,” he said. Alex says that SDS is a “wonderful way” to make new friends and create “familial” connections in the theater community, especially crediting previous SDS directors for heavily impacting him as a student performer. Freshman Amit Karoshi, who acts in Alissa’s play, found SDS to be as Alex described, calling it a “warm welcome.” If given the opportunity to perform in SDS again next year, he would “definitely do it again.” “So far, my best memory [from SDS] is going to in-person rehearsals,” he said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Conservatory wishes community happy holidays
Chemistry students Annual holiday show produces unprecedented virtual performances conduct first in-person labs since March
ZOOMING IN Nilisha Baid (12) pours out water from a flask during the Nov. 21 lab as Vaishnavi Murari (12) looks on via Zoom.
HOLIDAY CHEER Cantilena singers Anya Warrier (11), Teresa Cai (10), Abigail “Abbie” Blenko (12), Audrey Liu (12), Anika Pandey (10), Sarina Sharma (12) and Samvita Gautham (10) directed by vocal music teacher Susan Nace, sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and arranged by Nace.
Upper school Jazz Band and Lab Band played “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and arranged by Mike Tomaro while upper school orchestra performed “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. Downbeat sang “Deck the Nutcracker Hall” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and arranged by Greg Gilpin, and Cantilena sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and arranged by upper school vocal music teacher Susan Nace. “Performing virtually was a very new experience,” Emily Zhou (11), a flutist in the upper school orchestra, said. “Nevertheless, I had so much fun throughout the process.” Cantilena started their final recording process around November, and the
singers recorded individual videos that were eventually combined into the final Cantilena video. Teresa Cai (11), a singer on Cantilena, found the overall process “pretty simple.”
“Performing virtually was a very new experience. Nevertheless, I had so much fun throughout the process” PROVIDED BY EMILY ZHOU
emily tan & alysa suleiman
EMILY ZHOU (11) FLUTIST, UPPER SCHOOL ORCHESTRA
“Seeing it all together with everyone else’s recordings, it just really brought the song to life,” she said. “Practicing our own
individual parts, we didn’t get to hear anyone else’s voice and parts, except when we practiced together, but we only had so much time to do that. Seeing it come together in a video where all three parts were present, you could really hear everyone’s voices, that was really beautiful.” With four new dancers on the team this year, Kinetic Krew capitalized on welcoming the freshmen. “It’s a family bond,” Luke Mehta (9) said. “We met up at a park one time, social distancing and all, and I’m really looking forward to doing more team bonding in person.” Luke, who previously danced with the middle school team High Voltage, was pleasantly surprised with the end result of his first performance with the upper school team, which was also shown at school meeting on Dec. 3.
lucy ge With safety goggles on, senior Nilisha Baid carefully lets some solution out of the buret and into an Erlenmeyer flask as part of an on-campus titration experiment, watching for the first sign of a color change in the solution. Six Honors Analytical Chemistry students, taught by upper school chemistry teacher Robbie Korin, headed back onto campus to conduct experiments — one to determine silver metal content in a silver alloy and another to determine water hardness using titration — last Saturday and Nov. 21. Students kept their masks on and were rapid-tested for COVID-19 before entering the classroom. “It was definitely a lot of fun to be able to have a trial and error process,” Hari Bhimaraju (12) said. “You just learn a lot more by doing it in person.” Korin, who thought that the labs went well, hopes to have some in-person labs next year for his AP Chemistry classes depending on the situation with COVID-19. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY LUCY GE
WINGED POST 3
TALK AROUND CAMPUS
Biden and Harris win contentious election
What you need to know:
Transition underway as Trump still refuses to concede, Harris to be first female VP of color
• Electoral College affirmed Biden’s victory on Dec. 14 • Biden will take office Jan. 20, 2021
VI DE H
FARAH HOSSEINI (12)
“We’re not going to remain loyal to this president no matter what. We still have to tread softly”
DE D B Y M AT T H
D B Y B RIA N
BRIAN PINKSTON (12)
“I still don’t really see too much progress being made within the Black community [with] Joe Biden” PRO
A D BY OM T
Although a formal concession from Trump is not necessary for Biden to take office on Jan. 20 of next year, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Professor of Political Science Eric R.A.N. Smith believes that Trump’s refusal to recognize Biden as the winner has delayed the presidential transition process, which usually begins after the winner of the election becomes apparent. On the other hand, upper school history teacher Carol Green thinks that the GSA’s decision to wait to hand over transition resources to the incoming Biden-Harris administration is understandable given the contentious nature of this year’s election. “In any given year, if there was an election that was this contested [and] this close, it makes sense that you would want to wait to see how things shake out before you release a lot of money for a transition,” she said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
“I hope that [despite] a lot of these wounds that so many of us feel on both sides of the political spectrum, we can be brought closer together”
The electoral college formally affirmed Joesph R. Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory on Dec. 14, despite President Trump’s continued efforts to undermine the integrity and outcome of the election, marking the start of a delayed presidential transition. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris now have access to over 6 million dollars in funds for transition staff as well as office space and federal officials after the General Services Administration (GSA) recognized Biden as the winner of the election on Nov. 23. Since gaining approval to start the formal transition, Biden has started appointing members of his cabinet, including Ronald A. Klain, a senior campaign adviser, as his chief of staff. Since Biden won on Nov. 7 at 8:25 a.m. PST, rather than formally conceding, Trump has tweeted over 90 statements and videos that have been flagged by
Twitter as misleading or incorrect regarding election integrity. Among other claims marked as disputed, he called the presidential election “rigged” multiple times, claimed “ballot counting abuse,” asserted that the Georgia recount is a “scam,” falsely declared victory and insisted that “many illegal votes” had been found in Wisconsin. The Trump campaign has also filed dozens of lawsuits alleging voter fraud across states. “He’s tarnishing the integrity of elections officials and the voting systems,” County Clerk of Santa Cruz County Gail Pellerin said. Pellerin says that there is one possible case of voter fraud out of the 146,345 recorded votes in Santa Cruz County, which will be further investigated before a final certification of votes on Dec. 1. Meanwhile, Inyo County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters Kammi Foote notes that she has not found any “targeted fraud” in her own county.
DR. MATTHEW HARLEY UPPER SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHER
“What I really like about presidentelect Biden is his sense of dignity and his reaching out and treating people with respect”
DR. BETH WAHL UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER
SWEET VICTORY Biden supporters stand outside the San Jose City Hall on Nov. 7, waving American flags and celebrating Biden’s win.
D B Y FA R A H
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 NEWS VOLUME
OM TANDON (9) “[My family and I] were really happy to see that someone that resembled us is as high up as [Kamala Harris] is”
PROVIDED BY PERDUE.SENATE.GOV
people voted, highest voter turnout IN HISTORY in over
Biden is the first candidate to beat an incumbent DEMOCRATS gained
in the senate, flipping 2 REPUBLICANS gained
in the house, flipping 13; democrats flipped 3
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LIU
PROVIDED BY JON OSSOFF FOR SENATE PROVIDED BY LOEFFLER.SENATE.GOV
PROVIDED BY WARNOCK FOR GEORGIA
control remains unclear GEORGIA RUNOFF 2020 ELECTION Senate Georgia runoffs will determine 2 key seats, Democrats keep control of House ELECTIONS BY THE NUMBERS
RUNOFFS (clockwise starting from top left) Raphael Warnock (D), incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R), Jon Ossoff (D) and incumbent David Perdue (R) will be facing a runoff election on Jan. 5.
lucy ge & isha moorjani Democrats will keep their majority in the House of Representatives for the next two years, and control of the Senate depends on the outcome of the Georgia runoff elections on Jan. 5, according to election results from the Associated Press (AP). Americans elected representatives for all 435 House seats and 35 Senate seats this year. The AP has called 33 out of the 35 Senate seats up for election this year, with the Republicans currently leading 50-48. Democrats will need to win the two remaining Senate seats in Georgia to take over the Senate, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hold the tie-breaking vote. “Georgia has voted Republican most of the time in recent decades,” said Dr. John J. Pitney Jr., the Roy P. Crocker Pro-
fessor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College. “The cliche is, it all depends on turnout. We’re not exactly certain who’s going to show up to vote in the runoff.” Among the more prominent Senate races, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) won re-election, a state that Democrats hoped to flip. In Arizona, Democratic candidate Mark Kelly won, flipping the state. With a Republican Senate, Biden would face difficulty pushing for a more progressive agenda and will not be able to enact his planned policies to address issues like climate change and healthcare as easily. AP has called 433 of the 435 House seats up for election as of today, and the Democratic House majority stands at 222211. Republicans have flipped 13 seats this election so far. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Regular Senate election results with 99% votes reported: David Perdue (R)
Jon Ossoff (D)
49.7% of votes
47.9% of votes
Special Senate election results with 98% votes reported: Kelly Doug Raphael Warnock (D) Loeffler (R) Collins (R)
When are the Georgia runoff elections? January 5. Voters will have the chance to vote on the top two candidates from each of the November Senate races. Why runoff elections? None of the Georgia candidates reached 50% of votes, which is required by state law to win, resulting in runoffs. INFOGRAPHIC BY LUCY GE DATA FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DESIGN BY LUCY GE
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 NEWS VOLUME
4 WINGED POST
Harker installation will honor Muwekma Ohlone IRENE YUAN
PROVIDED BY CALIFORNIA INDIAN MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER
SDC plans land acknowledgements for Muwekma Ohlone Tribe for all 3 campuses
ORCHARD Harker sits on the native homelands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, which include most of Santa Clara county. SDC plans to install two plaques at the upper school to honor the tribe’s history and legacy.
TALK AROUND CAMPUS “It’s really important to honor [the Ohlone’s] oppressive history because of all the hardship that they had to endure. This plaque honors their heritage; it honors the fact that they were the original peoples on the land”
LEGACY The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa, currently temporarily closed, displays exhibits on the walls.
UMA IYER (11) STUDENT DIVERSITY COALITION STUDENT LEADER
“There were a lot of things that happened before us. What these students have done is opened people’s eyes to the fact that we have not been respectful. I hope it opens up our minds and our hearts to respect [that] the world’s bigger than just us at this moment” ZA
Museum and Cultural Center and member of the Pomo tribe. “These are all where the federally unrecognized tribes are. That first wave depriving Native people of their land really led to their demise because there weren’t any efforts for the federal government that succeeded them to come in and establish a trusting relationship.” After SDC student leader Uma Iyer (11) attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in December 2019 with Natasha Yen (12), another SDC student leader, the pair began to draft a proposal for a land acknowledgement, which they presented to administration this July. After its approval, the K-12 Grounds Committee has been working on plaque size and placement. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
D BY UM A
As a land acknowledgment of the history and culture of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) has started organizing an initiative to install plaques on all three Harker campuses. According to the SDC, the purpose of the plaques, which will be placed on campuses next year — two on the upper school campus and one each on the lower and middle school campuses — is to show appreciation and respect for the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. “It’s really important to honor their history because of all the hardship that they had to endure,” Uma Iyer (11), SDC student leader, said. “This plaque honors
their heritage; it honors the fact that they were the original peoples on the land, and it’s just an homage to their moment, because we’ve come and sort of taken it.” Harker is situated on the native homelands of the tribe, whose lands include most of Santa Clara County and extend north to San Francisco County and south to Santa Cruz County. The Bay Area mission policies, supported by the Spanish Empire, imposed Catholicism on the Ohlone during the 18th and 19th centuries, driving members to the Missions Dolores, Santa Clara and San Jose. “The largest places that were concentrated in missions were Ohlone territory, Chumash territory, the Bay Area and central California,” said Nicole Myers-Lim, Executive Director of the California Indian
nicole tian & isha moorjani
BUTCH KELLER UPPER SCHOOL HEAD
sarah mohammed The upper school did not hold any classes on Nov. 11 to observe Veterans Day. Multiple current upper school Harker teachers are veterans, including mathematics teacher Bradley Stoll, math department chair Anthony Silk, history teacher Karen Haley and history teacher Clifford Hull, who served in the South African infantry. “Veterans Day, to me, is a day for all of us to reflect on the hardships and sacrifices that not only the members of the armed forces have to endure, but also their families and relatives,” Hull said. Silk served on active duty for 10 years in the navy and joined the navy reserves for 12 years before retiring in the rank of a commander. Haley completed the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in college and went on to serve in the army for seven years, ending her career as a captain. “I do think that [military service] helped shape so much of my early adulthood, because I had to focus on discipline, dedication, fitness, and following the chain of command,” Haley said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
STUDENT FEEDBACK Irene Yuan (11) expresses her thoughts during a conference with upper school English teacher Brigid Miller.
tended conferences at the middle school, also felt like conferences went well, although she noted that the online platform made it more difficult to convey emotions virtually than in-person. “It felt nice to be able to speak with your teacher about how you were doing with class overall,” she said. “If I wasn’t
doing well, I got feedback and tips, which really helped me.” With online conferences, upper school mathematics and science teacher Dr. Anu Aiyer noticed that more students and parents alike came to her conferences. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Speech and Debate tournaments transition over to online-only format, eliminating need for travel sriya batchu & lucy ge With a legal pad in her right hand and a pen in her left, Keya Mann (11), dressed in a blouse, blazer and dress pants, stands in front of her laptop and delivers an opening argument during an online debate tournament. After her speech, she hits the “mute” button and listens to the opposing side’s arguments. Since the start of the school year, Harker Speech and Debate has attended over 20 virtual tournaments. Because of no longer needing to travel for tournaments, students can now attend events that would have otherwise been hosted across the
country. But meeting online also means that tournaments lose their social aspect. “Some of my most memorable [memories] is just going to these really nice college campuses with a bunch of friends, and in between rounds we get to just talk,” Caden Lin (11) said. “It’s normally a really fun experience. And now it’s just constant rounds.” Keya believes that online tournaments may continue even after the pandemic. “I think this pandemic will actually revolutionize debate and make more tournaments online,” she said. “It’s a lot less of a hassle [with online events], with travel, expenses and all that.”
PROVIDED BY WILLIAM CHIEN
HONORING VETERANS An American flag flutters in the wind at Memorial Park.
Upper school students, parents and teachers met virtually on Nov. 20, Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 for conferences to reflect on student progress and growth in their classes. This year, conferences took place over the platform Meet the Teacher. Wilson Zhang (12), who attended all his conferences with his parents, thought that the online platform allowed for more timely transitions between conferences. The website automatically ended meetings for the participants, eliminating the possibility of meetings running late. Some teachers elected to send self-reflection questions or surveys to students beforehand to allow them to take the lead in conferences. The upper school made grade snapshots available on Nov. 16 for students and parents to review before conferences. Emma Cai (9), who had previously at-
PROVIDED BY CADEN LIN
‘Discipline, dedication, Conferences held with new format but same purpose fitness’: Upper school Online format allows for timely transitions, students encouraged to attend veterans share stories lucy ge
ALL SMILES (top) Harker Speech team members pose for a photo in between tournament rounds on Nov. 22. DEBATE (bottom) Juniors Caden Lin and Vedant Kenkare listen as another debater speaks during a virtual tournament round. DESIGN BY LUCY GE
WINGED POST 5
VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020
AROUND THE WORLD sara yen
Countries around the world honored the lives lost to anti-transgender violence on International Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. Advocate and transgender woman Gwendolyn Ann Smith created the holiday in 1999 in memory of a Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman whose murder in 1998 remains unsolved today. At least 40 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed since the start of 2020. Transgender violence often goes underreported. “[This day] is an incredibly important day observed each year to honor the transgender and nonbinary people who have been murdered in hate crimes. It is also essential that we celebrate and honor transgender people while we are alive — we deserve to feel loved, respected and safe in who we are,” Kai Huang (‘17), a UCLA junior majoring in psychobiology, who is transgender and nonbinary, said in an email interview.
‘Rubber duck revolution’ spreads in Thailand from pro-democracy protests Thai pro-democracy protesters have sported rubber duck paraphernalia for the past month in rallies calling for reform of Thailand’s monarchy. When marchers used rubber duck inflatables as shields against tear gas and water cannons fired by police last month, the yellow bird became a protest symbol. Sparked by Thai youth, the demonstrations call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, reform of the monarchy and a rewriting of the constitution. Thailand’s military-backed monarchy has a history of stifling dissent. The three-fingered salute from “The Hunger Games” series is another prominent protest symbol.
45,000 Tigrayan refugees flee to Sudan amid Ethopian civil war 45,000 refugees are fleeing from Ethiopia’s Tigray region for nearby Sudan amid the war between Tigray People’s Liberation Forces, Tigray’s ruling party, and the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since early November. The Ethiopian government has imposed a communications blackout, restricting information about the conflict. Tigray had organized its own elections in September against Abiy’s order for postponement due to the pandemic. The Ethiopian government responded by reducing funding for Tigray, which incited armed fighting. Tigray’s leaders have protested being persecuted by Abiy since his rise to power in 2018. The United Nations have labeled the Tigray situation a “full-scale humanitarian crisis” and estimate that 100,000 Tigrayans will flee over the next half year.
UK becomes first to administer vaccines, COVID-19 cases surge around the world arely sun With the second wave of the pandemic, the U.S. leads at 16.2 million cases with India, Brazil and Russia behind. The United Kingdom became the first country in the west to administer a widely-tested vaccine to the public when 90-year-old Margaret Keenan received a vaccine by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. The U.K., which has the sixth most COVID cases worldwide, commenced vaccination efforts last Tuesday. The National Health Service (NHS) continues to require face coverings in public spaces and discourages large holiday gatherings. While many countries have enforced similar measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, specific actions vary from country to country and from region to region. Aastha Mangla (10), who is currently staying in Chandigarh, India, has observed looser following of guidelines. Although she and her family have mostly been staying at home, when they do leave, they take precautionary measures to stay safe. “If you go out on the streets, there’s
not a lot of people wearing masks,” she said. “They only do it if it’s regulation, like if you’re getting in a taxi, they’ll tell you to wear your mask, and they’ll wear their mask.” Brazil’s federal government has delayed transfers of essential supplies to certain regions, overlooking the usage of its public health system Sistema Único de Saude (SUS), and has refused to establish mandates for mask-wearing and social distancing. Russia has implemented a mask mandate, and Moscow has started providing nationally-developed Sputnik V vaccines for healthcare workers, teachers and social service staff. Although vaccine trials show signs of hope, Hoda Magid, lecturer in the Santa Clara County public health and sciences department at Santa Clara University, emphasizes these findings do not indicate an instant solution. “Even though having the vaccine is really great, it’s not an end-all-be-all in terms of being able to say, ‘Okay, now all the masks go off, and we can just interact with everybody,’” she said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article
COVID-19 CASES BY COUNTRY
2.73 MILLION DATA FROM WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AS OF DEC. 17
OF STUDENTS HAVE A RELATIVE in another country WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 DATA FROM WINGED POST DECEMBER SURVEY WITH 142 STUDENT RESPONSES
Yemenis face poverty, famine during crisis
Ongoing civil war has left 112,000 dead since 2014, faltering economy isha moorjani
Yemeni civilians continue to be affected by the conflict between a Saudi Arabian coalition and the Houthis, with an estimated 12,000 civilians dead and 112,000 death toll according to a report by Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen. Yemeni civilians face starvation, lack of education, little clean water and short-
“Yemen has been thrown into chaos. The famine is the number one humanitarian crisis in the world” FLAGG MILLER
SECRETARY OF AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR YEMENI STUDIES
age of healthcare centers to respond to COVID-19. UNICEF’s September 2020 report states that 24.3 million people are in need. “Yemen has been thrown into chaos, further chaos. The famine is [the] number one humanitarian disaster in the world, according to the UN. Child malnutrition or food insecurity is humongous,” said
PROVIDED BY FLAGG MILLER
Countries around world celebrate 22nd Transgender Day of Remembrance
PANDEMIC DINING Customers eat at a restaurant in Chandigarh, India, without social distancing as the pandemic continues.
PROVIDED BY FLAGG MILLER
Tens of thousands of Indian farmers protest for the second time in a week for the rejection of three new agricultural laws that they say will hurt their profits. Farmers have blocked major highways to New Delhi for over 20 days, and several farmer leaders led a hunger strike last Monday. Police with riot gear have monitored the protestors. The farmers call the three laws “black laws” and say they will lower their crop prices and help large corporations. Several talks with the government have not made significant progress as farmers press for total repeal.
Tens of thousands of Indian farmers protest new agricultural laws
REMEMBRANCE Yemenis play music at a cultural club in Aden, Yemen.
Flagg Miller, secretary of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and professor of Religious Studies at UC Davis. Conflict plagued Yemen before the civil war began in March 2015, with wars between the government of Yemen and the Houthis from 2004 to 2010. According to Saeed al-Mahri, a Yemeni from Al Mahrah who researches Mehri language and culture and also focuses on bringing international attention to Yemen, the coalition has occupied Al Mahrah. “When the Arab coalition came to Al Maharah, I felt this way that they might take over my land, my tribes, customs and
cultures. And for us, the land is our dignity,” al-Mahri said. The Yemen war hinders the population from receiving humanitarian assistance. “You’ve got three sides. You’ve got the Saudi coalition. You’ve got the Houthis. And then you’ve got the Yemeni people. And the Yemeni people are the victims, of course,” Janet Watson, University of Leeds professor of language with expertise in Yemen, said. To help, donate to UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY ISHA MOORJANI
6 WINGED POST
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 FEATURES VOLUME
“IT’S A STORY OF AMERICA”
Harker alum Wajahat Ali embraces his multicultural identity through storytelling as playwright and author
I WAJ AHA T AL D BY PRO VIDE
Some of the first people who helped fund Ali’s play were his friends at Harker.
Ali is currently working on writing a memoir that will be published in fall 2021.
Staying connected as an alum
Wajahat Ali @WajahatAli
At Harker, Ali enjoyed reading and directing homemade movies with his friends.
W A J A H AT
Experience at Harker
Wajahat Ali remembers working on his first short story in Harker’s fifthgrade English classroom. When he read his story aloud in front of his class, his classmates laughed at all the right moments. “I stood up on the small little stage… I kind of discovered my superpower at that moment,” Ali said. Years later Ali would become a playwright and journalist, writing for publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Washington Post and sharing touching, witty stories that speak to the diverse audience of America. Ali attended Harker Academy until eighth grade, where he fell in love with writing and storytelling. His experience diving into storytelling as a career was natural for him, since he was always very creative, but it was not easy to choose this path as a child of immigrants. “There’s a recipe of success [for children of immigrants]. You have to go to a good school, you have to get a good degree,” Ali said. “Nowhere in that narrative is, ‘Go be a creative, young brown man. The world needs your poetry and art.’” But Ali didn’t shy away from what he loved when he attended college. He started to draft his play The Domestic Crusaders, which explored the dynamics of a Pakistani-American Muslim family. He
didn’t know that, one day, his play would be reviewed by Toni Morrison. The people who have had faith in Ali’s abilities as a writer have made a significant impact on him. “Never underestimate the power of a friend or a loved one giving you a bit of encouragement. [This is] all we need to sustain ourselves through what is oftentimes a long uphill journey, especially when you PR O VIDE
It’s not over. Never give up. Never. We are the majority. We stand for human rights, decency, affordable health care, science, & the preservation of our elections & democracy.
come from certain communities where you’re forced to be a trailblazer,” Ali said. It was important to Ali to convey a story that was a rich portrayal of an immigrant family. “My play is not a play about Islam or Muslims in America or even about America. It’s a story of America,” he said, “I’m
always trying to be very culturally specific, because I think the universal is often found in the specific and this allows me to put my fingerprints on it.” When he realized that America might elect a Black president for the first time in 2008, Ali believed America was finally ready for his play. He raised funding for The Domestic Crusaders to be premiered. As Ali continued on his path of storytelling as a Pakistani-American and Muslim, he has seen a lack of representation. “Oftentimes, I’ve been the only person of color in Hollywood, in the media. And it’s exhausting,” Ali said. “Because you have to be yourself. But then you also have to perform these gymnastics to overcome these subtle, invisible hurdles that exist about you before you even open your mouth, based upon your name, your religion, your gender, or your race.” Although these experiences were frustrating, Ali persevered, recognizing the privilege he had to be in these spaces. “You’re simply trying to tell your story. But then you also realize you are running up against a wealth of orientalism and colonialism and racism and bigotry. And so you sit there and go: with great power comes great responsibility,” he said. Throughout the years, Ali continued to anchor himself in his Muslim and Pakistani background. By doing so, he helped bridge the cultures of America in larger and larger ways. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Biden-Harris and the promise for change arely sun & alysa suleiman On Election Night, Jeaneatte Fernandez, upper school math teacher who identifies as Latina, recalls sitting in her living room, watching with bated breath alongside millions of other Americans as the nation collectively waited for the numbers to climb higher, by the second, then minute, then hour. Over the next few days, she reloaded the results again and again as the blue electoral vote numbers rose, before finally flicking to over 270. Immediately, Fernandez texted her father and two sisters as her family, all “big supporters,” celebrated Biden’s victory. President-elect Joseph R. Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris’ win on Nov. 7 brought about the possibility of increased representation for marginalized communities. The last four years have exacerbated discrimination and underrepresentation for groups such as Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+ communities, but Biden’s administration signals potential changes for the better. During his presidency, Trump’s plan for immigration reform included increased border security funding and ending the diversity visa lottery, as well as restrictions on family-based immigration. Fernandez identifies her attitudes toward Trump’s stance on immigration and the border crisis to be “extremely negative.” She feels fortunate that, in the past few years, she herself did not experience hate speech, although she knows Mexican-American friends who have heard phrases like “go back to your country.” Despite initially celebrating Biden’s victory, Fernandez believes that Biden’s next four years in office will be critical in providing necessary changes. Biden’s message of repairing and healing from the last four years also deep-
President- and vice president-elect plan to heal divided nation, advocate for marginalized
ly resonated with Reja Raghib (11), who is Muslim and found it difficult to come to terms with the Trump administration’s anti-immigration crusade. “Trump would continue to promote his ethno-nationalist ideologies and further this deeply rooted ‘us versus them’ mentality, something that has been exemplified by the race riots that broke out in 2018 and also earlier this year,” Reja said. Brian Pinkston (12), who identifies as Black, notes the negative impact of Trump’s “racist behavior.” Trump repeatedly refused to directly condemn white supremacy during the presidential election and denounced the Black Lives Matter protests that broke out after the killing of George Floyd. Brian emphasizes the need for strong leadership. “The Black community has been hit especially hard with COVID-19 in terms of number of cases, the number of deaths, jobs lost and all that stuff,” Brian said. “The president is supposed to be able to set the social tone, and now we have this racist in the White House who isn’t really doing much and also accelerating gentrification.” Biden’s promise of reversing other Trump policies, such as the ban on all transgender people from serving and enlisting in the military, encourages Alyssa Tomberg (11), a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “I’ve also heard of queer-related bullying in schools that is sort of just brushed aside or not really taken seriously, especially in public schools that are underfunded. In an ideal world, hopefully Biden’s presidency will lead to more protections for queer kids, as well as improvements for the public school system in general,” Alyssa said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
OF THE PEOPLE
ILLUSTRATION BY PRAMEELA KOTTAPALLI
A NEW BEGINNING President-elect Joseph R. Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris’ win on Nov. 7 brought the possibility of increased representation for marginalized communities. The last four years have exacerbated discrimination and underrerpesentation for groups such as Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+ communities, but Biden’s campaign promises and Harris’s background as the first female vice president signals potential changes for the better. DESIGN BY SARAH MOHAMMED
WINGED POST 7
Gratitude all around Our community reflects gratitude in spite of challenges “Harker teachers — it’s especially tough for teachers to be able to continue classes with the same rigor and engagement as before and probably very mentally taxing on them as well, but every day we’re greeted with smiling faces eager to help us, which I think is really precious as we’re all trying to get by.” -Kailash Ranganathan (11)
-Aditya Roy (12)
“I’m grateful for the return of the NBA. #LakersIn4” -Aditya Singhvi (12)
“I’m grateful for music in general because it takes me through hard times, study sessions and helps me connect with the Harker community.” -Richard Zhang (10)
“I’m grateful for the rain. I know that’s an odd thing to appreciate, but I think the reason I love it is because it’s almost always sunny here, and so when I see it rain, my spirits lift a little, no matter how down I’m feeling.” -Anika Maji (9) “My dog, for being the greatest emotional support.”
“I’m thankful for being able to sit in bed on rainy Sundays and read books.” -Michelle Si (12)
-Leah Anderson (12)
“I’m grateful for my friends and advisers, who’ve offered so much of their time and emotional energy to support me and everyone in our community despite the individual challenges they may be facing.”
“I’m thankful that all my friends and family and myself are still well and that the vaccine may be able to help us return back to normal again.” -Alice Feng (11)
4 keys to a healthy and happy holiday season arya maheshwari
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—or so we’re told, by holiday jingles and wintertime advertisements on TV. But even in normal years filled with fun and festivities, the holidays can bring lows alongside the highs, and this winter probably won’t be ranking highly on our best holiday seasons lists. So as we head into these much-deserved weeks off, here are four key ways to actively support your health and well-being.
“The internet has come in clutch.” -Elvin Chen (12)
“I’m grateful for the amazing weather we have and the opportunity to still be able to go out and appreciate it with family.“
“I am thankful for my grandparents, as they are all still alive and healthy, thankfully not having contracted the coronavirus so far. One of my grandfathers smoked for over 40 years and would have severe repercussions to his health if his lungs lowered in capacity any more, which has been proved to be a lasting affect of contracting COVID-19.” -Rahul Herrero (10)
“I am grateful to have a roof over my head and a source of steady income during this time of crisis since many people are not able to have this.” -Ria Kohli (8)
-Emily Tan (11)
“I’m grateful for the sun. It’s pretty random, but it’s just nice to wake up every day and see the sun shining outside and radiating its warmth and light onto the earth.”
-Arya Maheshwari (12)
-Jason Lin (12)
-Sara Yen (12)
-Tiffany Chang (10)
“I am grateful for my family. During this pandemic, countless people have lost their loved ones without being able to say goodbye. Throughout these months in distance learning, I have probably spent more time with them during the day than the past several years. I will cherish these memories forever!” -Katelyn Zhao (9) I am so grateful for my academic coach, Emily, who has helped motivate me/helped with assignments through all of my school assignments and college applications.”
“I’m grateful for my friends— always there to talk, study, or just play games together. We’ve stayed very close through the pandemic.”
-Michelle Wei (9)
“My cat, friends and family.”
“This winter has felt especially cold without the action and hustle the holidays are normally full of. I’m thankful for all of the things that keep me warm during this time, from steamy hot chocolate to fluffy blankets.”
ILL AR UST EL RA Y S TIO UN N
2020 has certainly been a difficult year for all of us. In the midst of all the chaos, however, our community has found ways to stay connected and support each other. These challenges have allowed us to reflect on the things that bring us joy as well as those we often take for granted. As the year comes to a close, we asked our staff and community members to share what they are grateful for.
EAT & EXERCISE
Whether you plan to take break off or grind on your work, make sure you have some fun scheduled in your day. Pick up a new hobby, or use your existing arsenal of activities: give yourself a reason to smile!
It doesn’t have to be a marathon. It doesn’t even have to be outdoors. But every day, try to get some exercise: yoga, runs, push-ups, dance or whatever works for you. And keep eating healthy while you’re at it!
Being physically distanced makes it more important to connect with others. Check in with others, and start conversations about how you’re doing: destigmatizing mental health discussions is crucial.
Sometimes, no matter what you try to do, you might hit a low. That’s OK—it happens. Rather than trying to fight through it, accept it, and take a breather. Slowing things down is sometimes all you need to do.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARELY SUN
THE PANDEMIC JOURNAL Heart to heart, mind to mind alysa suleiman
ILLUSTRATION BY ARELY SUN
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 LIFESTYLE VOLUME
Our new Pandemic Journal repeater chronicles student experiences relating to the pandemic. In this journal entry, Alysa Suleiman (11) reflects on her father’s experience self-quarantining for 14 days upon his return from attending the funeral of his mother in China, who passed away in April from COVID-19. “Qi Qi!” My dad’s beaming face fills up my small phone screen, a tiny beacon in the post-sunset gloom of a November evening. “Hello?” I said, happy to see him, but nonetheless surprised. My dad and I rarely interact through messaging apps, and his unexpected call made me wonder if something had gone wrong. Six months into quarantine, my father finally obtained the first available international ticket to fly overseas and officialize my grandmother’s passing. The fears brewing in my mind from the week before – whether my dad was still virus-free and how he was faring in a foreign country over 6000 miles away – crowded my mind. “I just missed you,” were his next words, halting and choppy, as if they too were an unfamiliar taste in his mouth. My dad and I, as tight and fun-loving goofballs as we were, rarely affirmed our father-daughter bond through word of mouth. “Oh,” I sighed, relief coursing through me as I went limp. “No virus then, right? You’re doing okay? Enough food? Enough exercise?” Until now, I only saw my own sphere of self-isolation, while my dad ventured into China, a country entrenched in heavy social stigma as the birthplace of the COVID-19 pandemic. My heart clenched, thinking of the one week left in my father’s government-mandated 14 days of quarantine upon arriving in Shanghai. In the next few minutes, we spoke of the usual trivialities: grades, sleeptimes and so on. “I love you,” my dad said, before his cheery smile, with the scruffy beginnings of a beard, disappeared from the screen. In those short minutes, my dad never once mentioned how it felt being completely isolated for two weeks, pacing back and forth in less than 300 square feet of space with just a small window overlooking a measly freeway. As much as I despised quarantine at home—missing my friends, attending Zoom school, gaining unhealthy snacking habits—I had my mom and sister beside me, there to lean on whenever I needed it. When my father stepped through the front door two weeks ago, and I prompted him to speak about his own isolation experience, I felt humbled and ashamed. Through a simple phone call, he made me realize how necessary human connection is during a pandemic, whose mental burdens were just as deadly as its physical ones. In retrospect, my complaints seemed shallow when my father had patiently waited five months and braved a deadly virus to pay his respects to my grandmother, taken away by the pandemic in late April. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article. DESIGN BY ARELY SUN
22 • ISSUE 3 DECMEBER 21, 2020 FEATURES VOLUME
ERICA CAI (11) HUMANS OF HARKER TEAM
emily tan & michelle liu
at Hanukkah derives its name from the Hebrew word for dedication, “Chanukah” The ninth, central candle used to light the eight other candles is the shamash
“I’m a big foodie, so probably the eating [is my personal favorite part of Hanukkah]. It’s also nice because [I can meet] a lot of [relatives] that don’t show up normally” PR
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
D BY J OSH
JOSHUA TSEITLIN (11) CELEBRATES HANUKKAH TS
EMILY TAN (11) NEWS STAFF
“My favorite part of Hanukkah is the eighth night when all the [candles] are lit. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that right near the winter solstice when it’s dark out, we have all these celebrations that involve light”
One of my favorite holiday smells is the quasi-homemade hotpot sauce my family makes once December arrives. Its unique yet subtle flavor, combined with the warmth of a leisurely meal shared with loved ones, is perfect for combatting the encroaching cold. There’s a medley of ingredients, hastily grabbed off the shelves during a last minute grocery run to Ranch 99 or H-Mart: Lee Kum Kee’s oyster sauce, Lao Gan Ma’s spicy fermented tofu, any leftover chili oil, Chinese BBQ sauce (its grainy texture and lack of sweetness sets it apart from the American one) and sesame oil. Sprinkle in some diced garlic and green onions into the mixture, and it’s done – a heavenly combination of spice and umami. EM
JULIE TURCHIN PSYCHOLOGY TEACHER, CELEBRATES HANUKKAH
“Now it’s really more important for people to feel included because [Jews] don’t have Christmas, so [Hanukkah] is lumped into the winter holidays”
of 135 upper school student survey respondents celebrate Hanukkah
DE D B Y SY D N
SYDNEY ADLER (10) CELEBRATES HANUKKAH D
“With the holiday season, there’re so many special baked goods, so already enjoying to bake plus the little Christmas feeling that you get [when baking is an added bonus]”
DE D BY NAGE
Historians believe the tradition of Christmas trees may have originated with the Romans and Ancient Egyptians
NAGEENA SINGH (11) CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS NG
“We’re just mainly celebrating within our family this year, instead of inviting others over”
“Jingle Bells” was originally written as “One Horse Open Sleigh” by James Lord Piermont in 1850 for Thanksgiving
VI DE D B Y TYLER
TYLER BEEDE (10) CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS
The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown; Dec. 25 was the day the Roman Catholic church chose to mark as his birthday
of 135 upper school student survey respondents celebrate Christmas
“It’s a really happy time, celebrating the birth of Jesus. I really like Christmas mass, and then all of the Christmas carols. I love music”
Source: National Geographic
LIU O AT I TR US
“We put up the decorations a weekend earlier than we normally do. It’s a very nice atmosphere in my house at this time of year, and it definitely helps with everything crazy going on”
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
OF C MM U O
BUNE BLOOMQUIST MATHEMATICS TEACHER, CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS
A Hershey’s kiss sits in the palm of my hand, the silver stripes on the mint green tin foil resembling the garlands of tinsel draped around our family tree, drawing memories of notable Christmases in the cabin in the woods, hotels in faraway cities and Airbnbs in quaint, but unfamiliar neighborhoods. These chocolates, a capsule of the festivities at home in past years, bring comfort in times away from home.
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
OF C MM U O
8 WINGED POST
VI DE D BY EM MA
Many religious traditions involve the spirit of giving: here are some local ways to give back to the community.
EMMA ANDREWS (12) CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS EW
The Family Giving Tree is hosting SV provides home care JEWISH FAMILY JFS The Family its annual 2020 Holiday Wish services, counseling for to give back to children in SERVICES OF families and employment Giving Tree Drive need. Volunteer to help make to support all SILICON VALLEY services Visit familygivingtree.org masks, make holiday cards or members of Silicon Valley,
Visit JFSSV.org TO VOLUNTEER AND DONATE
regardless of religion, ethnicity or financial status.
for more on how to volunteer AND donate
organize a gift drive to spread cheer this holiday season.
WINGED POST 9
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 FEATURES VOLUME AN
Kwanzaa, the week-long AfricanAmerican celebration of life, features five common sets of central values: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment and celebration. One of its main symbols is the kinara, or candleholder, that bears the mishumaa saba, or seven candles—three red, one black and three green, representative of the flags of African liberation movements. Each of these candles represents one of the seven nguzo saba, or principles of Kwanzaa, all of which derive their names from the Kiswahili, the native language of the Swahili people.
ANIKA MANI (11) TALON STAFF
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
R JA N I
C H OL
AS W I E
The sweet aroma of red bean paste filled the air as my mother carefully took our nian gao, or year cake, out of the oven. Following our family recipe for making nian gao was a new year’s tradition, one that my mother had kept to in her own childhood even when food and money were scarce. As a kindergartener that year, I pitched in for the first time, helping measure cups of milk and walnuts, dusting the countertop of fine-grained mung bean flour and waiting expectantly as the nian gao turned soft and golden in the oven. Year after year we still continue our custom, and the rich taste of gratitude and joy has never faded.
“My personal favorite part [of Diwali is] bringing family together, understanding the importance of our rituals, the stories behind it and passing that along to my daughters” PR
RITU RAJ ATTENDANCE COORDINATOR, CELEBRATES DIWALI
VI D ED
B Y R IT U RA
“I think [Diwali is] special because of what we do to celebrate. The sparklers and the lights look really nice against the dark sky” PR
VI DE D BY ARNA
ARNAV SWAROOP (9) CELEBRATES DIWALI OO
“You get to meet a lot of people [whom] you don’t necessarily get to meet on an everyday basis. I also really like wearing traditional clothing because usually I don’t wear it on other occasions” PR
DE D B Y A RIA
ARIA JAIN (10) CELEBRATES DIWALI
“I just find it kind of cool how I can still celebrate something that’s part of my culture, even though I’ve never actually lived in India. I feel like it’s just a part that I can connect back to my roots” KU
KUSHAL SHAH (12) CELEBRATES DIWALI
THE VILLAGE PROJECT SF
Visit thevillageprojectsf.org for more on how to attend events and donate
In Hinduism, celebrate the return of Lord Rama after his defeat of the demon Ravana Also known as “The Festival of Lights,” Diwali originated as a Hindu celebration that nowadays, most Indians observe. This celebration commemorates the triumph of good over evil, spiritual light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance with an emphasis on connecting with family. Diwali derives its name from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning “row of lights,” referring to the rows of diya, or clay candles, that followers use to represent the essence of Diwali. The date of its observance usually falls in October or November, varying based on the Hindu lunar calendar. Observers celebrate Diwali over the course of five days, with a specific focus on each day. For Hindus, the first day, Dhanteras, consists of charitable giving, service and cleaning and will often make rangoli, or flowers drawn from colored powders. The next day, Hindus will place diya around their home, and for the main day of Diwali, Indians dress in new clothing, perform puja, or worship, at temples, and light firecrackers and diya. Observers primary enjoy sweets on Diwali, such as halwa, a thick mix of grated vegetable and condensed milk, and laddu, sugary balls of flour often flavored with nuts. Visit harkeraquila. com for full article.
The Village Project SF is hosting a virtual Kwanzaa celebration starting Dec. 26 promoting community events throughout the week on social media and featuring one of the 7 principles of Nguzo Saba on each day.
Name comes from the diya (small clay lamps) used to decorate homes on Diwali Commemorates triumph of good over evil, spiritual light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance
Indian Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists celebrate Diwali
of 135 upper school student survey respondents celebrate Diwali
BHARTIYA MANDAL FOUNDATION Visit bmfbayarea.org for more information on how to VOLUNTEER AND DONATE
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
NICHOLAS WEI (10) HUMANS OF HARKER TEAM
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
n d n d f g
A glimmer of silver from the cover of a candle sparkles from behind an endless collection of stationery, a faint aroma wafting around the room. In precise, elegant calligraphy handwriting, the words “Cinnamon Pine Cone” sit in the center of the design, and as I light the candle, the walk down memory lane begins. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” plays loudly in the living room as my siblings and I dive into the box of glittering ornaments and begin to decorate the tree. A few minutes later, our parents bring hot chocolate. Delighted, we run across the room and pick up the steaming cups, settling down to watch a movie as the warm gold Christmas tree lights glitter from afar. I found this candle in a cabinet in my house when quarantine first started, and the cinnamon pine cone scent brings back fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree during the holidays a few years ago. This year, we found time to look for the silver lining by bringing back this tradition and making the most out of quarantine.
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
I awakened to the sweet scent of hot cocoa. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that my clock read 8:30 a.m. Outside the window, I watched as large snow chunks of snow fell onto snow capped trees. What a perfect way to start Christmas morning in New York, I thought to myself. I hopped out of bed and ran down the stairs, making a beeline for the small present under the Christmas tree where my family gathered. Grabbing the first present and tearing through a box with red and gold wrapping paper, a huge smile spread across my face as I saw what was inside: a pair of dark blue jeans and a gray fuzzy sweater for the winter. N
ISHA MOORJANI (10) NEWS STAFF
The Bhartiya Mandal Foundation hosts community events open to all who are inspired to learn more about the Indian culture. Volunteer to help coordinate activities, participate in events or donate this holiday season. DESIGN BY EMILY TAN & MICHELLE LIU
10 WINGED POST
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 STEM VOLUME
DE AT D BY ANU D
“At the moment, I think [the vaccines] are impacting us negatively in the short term because people know that there is a vaccine, so they’re being more risky and disregarding social distancing and quarantine more” PROV
ANU DATAR UPPER SCHOOL COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHER
VI K AI
LASH RA NG
“Make no mistake, distribution has begun,” Army General Gustave F. Perna, who is the chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, said in a press briefing on Dec. 12. “Right now, boxes are being packed and loaded with vaccines, with
“For me, the news of a vaccine makes me hope that someday we will all be back on campus, doing things that we used to, and we would still feel safe. But I don’t think that that would happen anytime soon” O
DR. MATTHEW HARLEY UPPER SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHER
SHRAY ALAG (12) DID RESEARCH ON COVID-19 TRIALS
“It’s great that we have a number of different companies and vaccines on the market, and hopefully [we see] overlapping efficacies”
emphasis on quality control.” Biotechnology company Moderna also filed for an EUA in late November after announcing similar results in their Phase 3 trial, achieving an efficacy of 94.5% with their messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, mRNA-1273. Last Thursday, an independent advisory committee recommended the FDA to authorize the vaccine, and the company expects to have 20 million doses in the U.S. by the end of 2020. AstraZeneca announced on Nov. 23 that its vaccine, AZD1222, was 70% effective, based on two clinical trials performed in the United Kingdom and Brazil. The company reported no serious safety events during the trial, where participants received either a half and full dose of the vaccine or two full doses of the vaccine or a saline solution as a control group. “It’s great that we have a number of different companies and that we’re going to get multiple vaccines on the market, which means more doses, and hopefully [we see] overlapping efficacies, so the 5% that aren’t helped by one vaccine might be vaccinated by a different vaccine,” upper school biology teacher Dr. Matthew Harley said. Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Biotechnology company Pfizer began initial shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to all fifty states this week, prioritizing front-line workers and the elderly after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11. In July, the company announced a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of their vaccine for $1.95 billion. After promising Phase 3 trial data was released in November, where the vaccine was effective in 95% of participants who had not contracted a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past, the company filed for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the FDA in the following days. “I think it’s definitely a positive sign, to see that these rigorous, clinical trials, Phase 3, have shown success,” Shray Alag (12), who has performed research and data analysis on COVID-19 clinical trials, said. “But at the same time, I think we should all take it with a grain of salt because it’s going to take a long time in the process to distribute the vaccines.” The company announced that the FDA Advisory Committee voted to sup-
port the authorization of the vaccine on Dec. 10, and the FDA officially approved it the following day. Shipments began on Dec. 13 from one of Pfizer’s U.S. manufacturing sites in Kalamazoo, Michigan to United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx hubs, where the vaccine will be transferred to 636 planned sites across the nation in the upcoming week.
mark hu & sabrina zhu
“In the long-term, I think it will leave us with a greater appreciation for scientists and researchers who are doing these kinds of things to help everyone”
Moderna and AstraZeneca await response for EUA
WHAT DOES A VACCINE MEAN FOR OUR FUTURE?
Rapid FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine sparks initial phases of distribution
KAILASH RANGANATHAN (11) CURRENTLY TAKING HONORS BIOLOGY
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LIU
HOW THE PFIZER VACCINE WORKS
STORAGE Pfizer’s vaccine is transported in thermal shippers which use dry ice to maintain an internal temperature of -70˚C, providing storage for up to 30 days. The vaccine is then transferred to refrigerators at 2-8°C for up to five days and must be diluted in a saline solution before being used within six hours.
The vaccine’s high effectiveness comes from its use of messenger RNA (mRNA), which sends instructions to human cells for the production of spike proteins. These proteins, found on the surface of the virus, stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies and prepare it for a severe infection.
If infected, the body’s antibodies bind to the viruses’ surface, engulfing it and preventing its spike proteins from attaching to human cells. Immune cells can then find and destroy any potentially infected cells, which contain spike proteins on their surface.
DOSAGE In order to achieve its full efficacy, the vaccine must be administered in two doses, three weeks apart. Pfizer expects to produce 50 million doses by the end of the year.
DESIGN BY MARK HU
WINGED POST 11
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 STEM VOLUME
Biden pledges progressive
ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED BY SALONI SHAH
sabrina zhu & arushi saxena
WiSTEM invites company Anatomage’s experts for club week
From Nov. 16 to 20, the Women in STEM (WiSTEM) club had their club week to gain exposure with more students and to promote their organization. Throughout the week, club members participated in engaging discussions and interacted with the invited members of the Alumni Panel and Anatomage Speaker Panel.
President-elect Joe Biden promises to drive a clean energy revolution and to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, after environmental setbacks from President Donald Trump’s administration. However, Biden has been reluctant to ban fossil fuel use and fracking. irene yuan & sabrina zhu
of students support Biden’s climate change plan over Trump’s out of 110 responses
of students believe Biden’s climate plan is insufficient out of 98 responses
of students believe Trump’s climate actions were insufficient and harmful out of 102 responses Data comes from a survey sent out to the upper school student body on Dec. 15. The Winged Post plans to send out a survey for each issue of the paper to engage with our community.
ing for me and for a lot of people in our youth in our generation because it affects our future,” Natasha Yen (12), the co-president of Green Team, said. “I think this election was such a big turning point in the direction in which the American people wanted to take our future, and I think the environment was a huge factor in it.” Throughout his presidency, Trump established policies that erased or loosened nearly 100 rules and regulations on pollution in air, water and atmosphere. He dismissed several United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) panels and cut the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Climate Monitoring Program. Not only did his administration roll back on these policies, but they also promoted fossil fuel and coal use and proposed to subsidize carbon emissions. Most substantially, in 2017, Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement, an international agreement which aims to mitigate climate change. “Paris was in some ways a breakthrough because countries agreed to a different framework: they agreed to say ‘let’s individually as countries set targets and limits and timelines that we think we can achieve, and we will pledge those reductions,’ and everyone will do what they think they can do,” said Professor Matt Steuerwalt, an associate professor at the University of Washington. According to the Biden For President campaign, Biden’s plan for a clean energy revolution includes a pledge to get the United States to a net-zero emissions and 100% clean energy economy by 2050. Recognizing that transportation is a large contributor to climate change, he promises to lock in enforceable commitments that will reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation. Furthermore, his administration wants to rejoin the 2015 Paris Agreement. Although Biden’s plan pushes our country in the right direction, there is still
more that he could do. His ambitious new regulations would come with challenges, including being able to provide jobs for those previously in the coal mining and fossil fuel industry, so he has been reluctant to outright ban fossil fuel use. “I personally think [Biden is] focusing on the wrong areas, and I also understand why. Because as a politician who’s not as rich as Trump, Biden is being funded by a lot of private corporations, and it is directly against the interests of these corporations to have laws passed that will inhibit their production capacity,” Ada Praun-Petrovic (10) said. “I think that’s also part of the reason why Biden has publicly stated that he refuses to ban fracking.”
“Even with our new president who obviously believes in science, we still need to push forward a strong agenda in addressing climate change and other environmental issues” PROVIDED BY NATASHA YEN
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to adopt a progressive stance on climate change and to reverse President Donald Trump’s actions. Biden’s main plan, driven by a desire to see a clean energy revolution and to bring environmental justice, focuses on reviving programs targeted by Trump and developing sustainable energy sources. “The Trump administration rolled back a lot of the environmental regulations—over 100—and it was dishearten-
NATASHA YEN (12) CO-PRESIDENT OF GREEN TEAM
With more progressive actions from the Biden administration, hopefully, the dangerous effects of climate change can be delayed or diminished. “Even with our new president who obviously believes in science, we still need to push forward a strong agenda in addressing climate change and other environmental issues,” Natasha said. “It doesn’t stop with just an election.” Visit harkeraquila.com for full article.
Multiple national level STEM competitions have confirmed moviing to online for the 2021 year, including the F=ma physics exam, the United States of America Biology Olympiad (USABO) Open exam, and the American Math Contest (AMC) 10 and 12, due to precautions for COVID-19. Harker students have begun registration for the olympiads, which will take place in early 2021.
SpaceX SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 vehicle On Dec. 13, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 with SiriusXM’s SXM-7 satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This launch was the Falcon 9’s seventh flight, and it came following the explosion of SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype in South Texas last week, technology that the company hopes to deploy in the future to allow humans to make regular trips to Mars.
Slack Saleforce buys Slack, lead tech companies go public in past weeks San Francisco-based cloud software company Salesforce recently acquired Slack in a $27.7 billion deal. Slack’s market cap was approximately $24 billion at the time of the purcahse, with the deal placing Slack at a premium, as it was carried out in half cash and half stock. Rental company Airbnb, food delivery company DoorDash and real estate investment trust company C3.ai recently went public and filed for initial public offerings (IPO).
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LIU AND NICOLE TIAN
ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU
F=ma, USABO open, AMC 10 exams shift online
DESIGN BY SABRINA ZHU
12 WINGED POST
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 OPINION VOLUME
this I believe...
A project documenting the values that matter the most. For more essays, visit harkeraquila.com.
A MIDNIGHT DRIVE, AN ILLUMINATING TRUTH AFTERWARDS FILLING RELATIONSHIPS‘ BROKEN PROMISES emily tan
...trust EMILY TAN
The dining room light shone through our thin curtains, outlining my mother’s shadowy figure as she shifted slightly, but otherwise, remained unmoving. Was she asleep, I thought? Or was this demeanor a reflection of her anger, or perhaps disappointment? “Turn it down,” I urged, motioning with my hand to the radio blasting upbeat music as we pulled up near my house. I exchanged anxious glances with my friends, our faces illuminated by the digital clock on the dashboard flashing a neon green “Sunday 1:24 AM”. In the dead silence of the night, as the soft hum of the car slowly faded, even the sounds of my own breathing felt intrusive. As I hesitantly entered the front door with a creak, I realized that what scared me most wasn’t my parents’ lecturing about my teenage responsibilities, or the heavy weight of my guilt, or my reduced privileges in the future—it was facing their realization that I did not live up to be the daughter, or even person, they had raised and expected me to be. The foundation of our relationship, that between me and my parents, is built almost solely on trust: they trust that I will show self-restraint and discipline in
my indulgences and that I will put forth my best effort in each of my endeavors. In turn, I trust them to establish healthy boundaries between us and in terms of what I am allowed to do. I peeked around the corner and slipped into the dining room, anticipating a vicious scolding from my parents. Never had I felt so isolated yet so overwhelmed in the same moment. The few short minutes my parents spent lecturing me were an eternity, but if they felt disappointed,
hurt or even betrayed, never once did they let those emotions seep through. I knew, though, that there was something behind the cool facade they put up in front of me. These small mishaps build up and eventually erode away the mutual trust between me and the people I cherish most. It tunnels holes in the foundation of relationships and weakens planks in the bridges connecting people. Numb and empty, I dragged myself down the long corridor from the dining
room to my bedroom. Crashing onto my bed, I let out a silent breath not of relief, but of contemplation. I realized that all the effort I had put into building the trust between me and my parents leading up to this moment was the bare minimum of what it takes to maintain trust. Ultimately, maintaining our relationship came down to actions in these decisive moments disguised as insignificant choices.
THE STRENGTH IN STICKY RICE BALLS TWO-CENT SNACKS AND PRICELESS LESSONS
On a taxi back from the military hospital in Beijing, I asked my grandmother to speak Japanese. “Konnichiwa, arigato,” she said, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she smiled down at her eight-year-old granddaughter. She knows Japanese! Happily intrigued by her understanding of a foreign language, I pressed on, asking what “arigato” meant. “Thank you,” she replied. “Arigato,” I giddily repeated, rolling the round syllables off my tongue. My grandmother was born in Manchuria a month after Japanese armies solidified their occupation of the northern district, beheading the rooster and hauling away the spoils of the landscape. Oil. Rubber. Lumber. Livelihood. My grandmother also remembers the moments of joy packed into sweet rice balls costing two cents yet worth recalling decades later at her apartment dinner table. Between becoming an opera sing-
What do you believe?
er, raising a family through the Cultural Revolution and keeping my grandfather company in the hospital amid lengthening shadows, she radiated unfailing energy. Her tenacity shone through in little ways. When she brought me along to the bargain market, haggling with a merchant to lower the price to buy me an ox horn comb. When she accompanied me on a crowded bus or in a busy supermarket, her steps brisk, her back ramrod straight, and her hand holding on so tightly to mine. Watching my grandmother’s un-
“Even though I feel helpless sometimes, I remember my great-grandmother’s words. She believed in the power of taking time to step away, H M OHAM RA M E SA especially when she feels uncomfortable with directly fighting back against the violence” D
We want to hear from you! DM us on Instagram @harkeraquila or email email@example.com to write about an impactful moment in your life.
SARAH MOHAMMED (10)
flinching tenacity, I realized that I wanted to reflect the same determination. I believe in perseverance. I believe that it clings on during moments of hopelessness, when burdens and responsibilities have me pinned in a corner. There may be no easy handouts to satisfy every need, every goal, every hope, and each day orbits wins and disappointments. But I choose to dwell on the future possibilities, the chance of reaching that goal, becoming an opera singer, or a playwright, or even simply speaking up more often in class.
“Behind a screen, I can condemn racism easily with just a few taps of my fingers. That day at summer camp when I heard a racial slur, I learned that inclusion LU CY G E involves work and courage on the part of every community member” LUCY GE (11)
This past year, our family confronted the fact that our planned visit to China hung in an uncertain territory between the pandemic and U.S.-China political relations, dimming even my grandmother’s lively spirit. In the meantime, she happily greets me with a birthday message over the phone, her eyes and voice lighting up at the sight of her now grown-up granddaughter. So I wait. And we persist.
“When I fell into the ‘moose muck’ two years ago during a Boy Scout backpacking trip, I was grateful for my crewmates, who worked MALYUG NA IN A IR I together to drag me out. Whenever you’re on a team, you always have each others’ backs” MUTHU PANCHANATHAM (11) DESIGN BY NICOLE TIAN
WINGED POST 13
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 OPINION VOLUME
Aquila Managing Editors Arushi Saxena Aditya Singhvi Aquila A&E Editor Alysa Suleiman Aquila Sports Team Kushal Shah Muthu Panchanatham Saurav Tewari Humans of Harker Editor-inChief Saloni Shah Humans of Harker Managing Editors Erica Cai Esha Gohil Humans of Harker Team Nicholas Wei Sally Zhu Reporters Arjun Barrett Aastha Mangla Sriya Batchu Anmol Velagapudi
2020 has challenged us, throwing obstacle after obstacle. We have to turn the page on our chapter of loss and trust in our future.
EDITORIAL: THE OFFICIAL OPINION OF THE WINGED POST
the editorial board
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
Ending the year of our lifetimes
acquaintance we used to wave to in the hallway nine months ago is faring. As our connections to others strayed into unfamiliarity, we also have quite literally been stuck with ourselves, filling the unsettling void by reflecting on our personal identities that were lost in the stacked activities and heavy traffic of “normal.” The announcement of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provides a hint of light at the end of an extensive tunnel. Two hospitals in the Bay Area have already received initial doses of the vaccine. Our last minutes this year will be spent with a quiet countdown to zero, possibly followed by exhausted laughter, a tentative smile, a glance at a family member with raised eyebrows. But what does a new year change aside from the dates? A flip of the calendar reveals stains where the ink of 2020 bled through, but we have the ability to face lingering wounds with new treatments. We greet 2021 not only with vaccines and change in national leadership but also with a change in our mindsets. Burnished in a crucible of a year defined by Murphy’s law, our forged resilience lasts all the longer. We’ve persevered through the past year of loss. Let’s flip to a new chapter of hope.
During the last minutes of 2019, our social media accounts flooded with posts of New Year’s parties and captions riffing off of the phrase “2020 vision.” As it turns out, not even the keenest pair of glasses could begin to clear up this decade of a year. Over 308,000 Americans could have been with us today if not for the deadly disregard of science piled on top of structural mismanagement of the pandemic response. The responsibility for the silent music of a violinist or a classroom with a permanent substitute also lies collectively on the shoulders of individuals who refuse to wear masks, defy lockdown orders or perpetuate falsehoods against fact. Loss also strikes in little ways, in a landscape of lost connections. The classmates we casually walked by while milling around the campus reduced to a name in Arial font on a black Zoom screen during class meetings. The sight of students studying inside a coffee shop filtered into a memory smelling of fresh baked goods mingled with notes of jazz in the background. Wondering how an old
Defend our democracy
The path behind and our journey ahead
Stitching together divided citizens
SRINATH SOMASUNDARAM AND NICOLE TIAN
Editors-in-Chief Arya Maheshwari Sara Yen Managing Editor Srinath Somasundaram News Editor Lucy Ge Assistant News Editor Isha Moorjani Features Editor & Graphic Designer Emily Tan Assistant Features Editor Sarah Mohammed Lifestyle Editor & Social Media Editor & Graphic Designer Arely Sun Opinion Editor & Graphic Designer Nicole Tian STEM Editor Mark Hu Assistant STEM Editor Sabrina Zhu Sports Editors Vishnu Kannan Muthu Panchanatham Photo Editor Esha Gohil Multimedia Editors Michael Eng Irene Yuan Design Editor Michelle Liu Adviser Ellen Austin, MJE Aquila Editor-in-Chiefs Varsha Rammohan Anna Vazhaeparambil
EDITORIAL: THE OFFICIAL OPINION OF THE WINGED POST arya maheshwari & srinath somasundaram & sara yen
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Crown Recipient 2019-2020 NSPA Pacemaker Winner 2018-2019 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2017-2018 NSPA Pacemaker 2017-2018 NSPA Best-in-show publication 2017-2018 Gold Crown-winning publication 2016-2017 NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2016-2017 Silver Crown-winning publication 2015-2016 Gold Crown-winning publication
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
Visit The Winged Post online at www.harkeraquila.com Follow us on instagram with the handle @harkeraquila
the editorial board Nearly two years ago, Harker Aquila drove up to Oakland, the hometown of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-C.A.), scrambling for a front seat in the press stands as she flung open her arms to a crowd of waving yellow and blue signs at the announcement of her bid for presidency. Two years later, we stepped onto the threshold of the next chapter, gathering community reactions as Harris and former vice president Joseph R. Biden ascended to the White House. As the first Black and South-Asian woman vice president, Harris’ modus operandi of shattering ceilings carries on to the smooth sandstone of the White House, inviting a new phase of American politics that reflects the country’s shifting racial demographics. For our predominantly Asian community, this heralds a groundbreaking step in representation at the highest levels of government, welcoming our shared racial and cultural experiences to inform future policy.
The 156 million ballots cast constitute the greatest voter turnout in American history, split with a 5% gap between candidates. This race was by no means a moment of unification but instead a harsh scramble to the top with both candidates caught in a tight headlock. President-elect Biden is not a panacea for all our ailments, but he is a step in the right direction. Biden has promised to “be a president for all Americans,” regardless of political affiliation, and he brings with him a history of bipartisanship in his nearly 50 years of public office. We want a return to civil discussions and a rest from turmoil. We need to set aside partisan interests and focus on healing the pandemic at hand. Most of all, we want a return to normalcy — and Biden’s history of political compromise might steer us in the right direction. The bedrock of our democracy may have cracked over the past four years, but it’s time to fill it in. Piece by piece, day by day, hand in hand.
We’re in the final stretch of 2020. From the pandemic to the election, from protests to wildfires, our textbooks will remember this year for the rest of history. Although we’re all hasty to put this movie of a year far behind us, 2020 taught us lessons that we’ll keep for years onward. New initiatives emerged from our challenges. It shouldn’t take a brutal murder to catapult us into action, but the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd spurred changes in our school curricula and strengthened our commitment to diversity and equity coverage, the first baby steps toward large strides addressing systemic racism. Out of a contested election came a win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of color to be elected vice president. We’ve learned to make time to check in with our loved ones, closing the distance by remembering who and what we’re thankful for. This issue, we dedicated a page to recognize our community’s gratitudes during this time. This winter is unlike any other. With over 52,000 COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County as of Dec. 16, we remain under lockdown orders. At least we can garner comfort from the smiles of friends and family moving across a screen. We hope that our coverage of the holiday season, including our two-page feature on major holidays celebrated in the Harker community, can bring us together even while physically apart. Here’s to hoping for a new year that eclipses 2020 in every way. DESIGN BY NICOLE TIAN
14 WINGED POST
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 SPORTS VOLUME ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY TAN
Why I am a Dubs believer
as Professional Sports fans
vishnu kannan & muthu panchanatham
SHarks vs. Golden knights
“It was pretty insane. We were watching from home, thinking it was all over and then [the game] went into overtime. Everyone was extremely excited, and we were all watching as [Barclay Goodrow] came down and scored on Mark-André Fleury, the other team’s goalie. It was the most amazing and saddest thing to watch Fleury melt away” PR
JULIE WHEELER PATRIOTS FAN ON MALCOLM BUTLER’S GAME-CLINCHING INTERCEPTION IN SUPER BOWL XLIX
F KK O C IN A/ O
FEBRUARY 1, 2015
Cavaliers vs. warriors “I feel very fortunate, because there are probably many people who would’ve paid so much to go to that game, knowing what it is now. That was my first time going to a game, and I think it’s almost a blessing that I’ve never gone to one since, because that is my singular, live basketball experience” PR
ANDREW SUN (12) ON GOING TO GAME 7 OF THE 2016 NBA FINALS
VI DE D BY A N DR
“Overtime was just Curry and Westbrook shooting threes back and forth, until finally Westbrook missed. Curry took the ball down the court and pulled up from 38 feet and made the shot. He did his little shimmy afterwards, and it was super exciting because it was Curry’s 12th three, which was [recordsetting]. It was just so much fun to see how happy the players were after the shot. pR
VI DE D BY NA G E
In the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting 2016 regular season, no game was more exciting than the shootout between the Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Down 12 at the half, the Warriors staged an impressive comeback, with Andre Iguodala sinking the game tying free throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation. In overtime, Stephen Curry took the reins, finishing the Thunder off at the buzzer with a 38 foot dagger.
NAGEENA SINGH (11) WARRIORS FAN ON STEPH CURRY’S GAME-WINNING BUZZER BEATER VERSUS OKC
JUNE 19, 2016
Leading up to Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors had lost two games straight after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead. With the score tied 89 - 89 in Game 7 with under two minutes to play, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers chase-down blocked Andre Iguodala on a Warriors fastbreak. From there, momentum shifted in favor of the Cavs, culminating in an NBA championship for Cleveland.
warriors vs. thunder
FEBRUARY 27, 2016
ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LIU
After a record-breaking 2015-2016 season, the Golden State Warriors and their fans were both shocked by the team’s first three performances in Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. When the Thunder stunned the Warriors again with a dominant 24 point victory in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead, I knew that the Warriors would have to win three consecutive games to keep their hopes of winning another championship alive. The team was already on thin ice and they could not afford to slip up again, and needless to say, I wasn’t too confident in their chances. Despite my doubts, the Warriors were able to feed off of their fans’ energy in Oakland and defeat the Thunder in Game 5 to bring the series to 3-2. I was surprised by the outcome, but I knew that Game 6 would be even tougher, since it would take place at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the home of the Thunder.
Until that point, I was a casual Dubs fan, but [Game 6] inspired me to follow the Warriors, in not just the big games, but also the most trivial ones as well (like against the Knicks)
PAtriots vs. seahawks
C O M M U NI
“Without question, [it was] 2015 Super Bowl against Seattle, which I do believe Pete Carroll lost. Why didn’t you give the ball to Marshawn [Lynch], the most dominant running back in the league? When Malcolm Butler picked the ball off in the end zone, I was in shock and awe. I still remember screaming and jumping up and down watching that play”
Y PR O VID ED B
Down 24 - 28 in Super Bowl XLIV, the Seattle Seahawks found themselves at the one yard line on 2nd down with 26 seconds left. Seattle had arguably the league’s best running back in Marshawn Lynch, and so most thought they would run the ball. Instead, they opted to throw, and Russell Wilson’s pass was picked off by Malcolm Butler in the end zone, leading to a 3rd Patriots championship in a 13 year period.
IS D B Y L E XI N
APRIL 23, 2019
LEXI NISHIMURA (10) SHARKS FAN ON THE SHARKS’ GAME 7 COMEBACK AGAINST THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS IN THE 2019 NHL PLAYOFFS
Trailing 3-0 with 10 minutes to go in the third period after having won two straight games to tie the series 3-3, the San Jose Sharks needed a miracle to complete their comeback against the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the 2019 NHL playoffs. During the next powerplay, the Sharks capitalized on their numerical advantage, scoring four goals. Then, with two minutes left in overtime, Goodrow scored again, securing a Sharks victory.
The results were astonishing to say the least: the Warriors came out battling from the tip-off, and although they trailed for the majority of the game, Klay Thompson went nuclear to drain 11 three-pointers and score 41 points, allowing the Warriors to come-back and win. Until that point, I was a casual Dubs fan, but it was this game that inspired me to follow the Warriors, in not just the big games, but also the most trivial games as well (like against the Knicks!). In Game 7, I believed the Warriors would win, and even though the Thunder built up a 13 point lead during the game, the Warriors were able to adjust in the second half to win the game and the series. Ever since, I have always attempted to watch the Warriors’ games and constantly check for updates on the team — whether it be about any of its players (specifically Steph and Klay) or about injuries or upcoming games. Now, as the start of the regular season approaches, the Warriors are once again the underdogs (in what feels like forever) — no more are the days of Kevin Durant and reliable veteran players Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. And though I haven’t even mentioned Klay’s tragic ACL injury this past offseason yet, trust me, don’t count out our Golden State Warriors just yet. I agree that dismissing the Dubs this season may be tempting considering our last season but, then again, neither Klay and Steph had the opportunity to lead their young teammates to a respectable season. Now more than ever, the Warriors are equipped to prove all their doubters wrong thanks to the efforts of our general manager Bob Myers, who brought us not only James Wiseman (finally a true center for us!), but also Kelly Oubre Jr., a young two-way talent. And who knows? Maybe you’ll see the Warriors ascend to the status of a true contender in the Western Conference. Disregard us at your own peril. DESIGN BY VISHNU KANNAN AND MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
WINGED POST 15
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 SPORTS VOLUME
Athletic seasons postponed
ONE YEAR AGO, WE WERE...
Sports put on hold as COVID-19 cases surge
PANCHANATHA THU M
AZH NA V AN
4 AZH NA V AN
6 AZH NA V AN
Santa Clara County’s stay-at-home order implemented on Sunday, Dec. 6 does not affect schools, so athletes continue to practice outdoors at the upper school campus. Conditioning will still be arranged by team cohorts (girls volleyball, water polo, football, basketball, swimming and tennis) and implement the same protocols that they have been using for the past few months. All conditioning sessions are held outdoors and require masks and social distancing. To avoid further delays when sports officially resume, upper school athletics director Dan Molin advises students to fill out their Magnus medical forms and register for their respective sports as soon as possible. He stresses the importance of conditioning and patience as athletes eagerly anticipate the start of their seasons. “I would say just be patient and continue to stay in shape, join our conditioning, or if you have workout programs on your own, continue doing that,” Molin said. “We’re providing as much as we can on our end, so I think everyone during this time just has to be patient, as we’ve all been accustomed to doing.” To ensure that all athletes get an equal opportunity to play their sports this year, the CIF eliminated fall, regional, and state championship events. This allows every team to compete for an equal amount of time, as opposed to in years past, when
only select teams would advance to the regional and state championships. The CIF also stated that the boys volleyball season will be moved to Season 2 to prevent the season from being cancelled for two consecutive years. Girls volleyball has also been affected by the new COVID-19 regulations. The girls volleyball team was practicing indoors with masks on for the past couple weeks, but the new regulations have forced them to shut down their practices and rely on outdoor workouts only. The boys and girls water polo teams recently transitioned from the no-ball practices they were having during the summer to practices with balls and other game-like scenarios. But when the county moved back up into the purple tier this past week, the water polo team was forced to practice without balls once again in what are now essentially swim practices. Like the water polo and football teams, the cross country team has also been holding practice over the past couple months. Practices are either two or three days a week, and they are held at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale and conducted in a socially distanced manner. Prior to the county escalating to the purple tier, the boys football team was able to work out in the weight room and could practice ball work without pads. Due to the new regulations, the team’s activities have been reduced to watching film together in weekly Zoom meetings and conditioning on Davis Field.
VAZHAEPARAMBIL NA AN
vishnu kannan & muthu panchanatham
HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED HARKER SPORTS?
SHOUT OUT Eric Zhu (12) calls out a play during the Eagles’ first-round CCS win over Design Tech, advancing to a second-round against Scotts Valley.
STAMINA Kara Kister (10) sprints during a cross country meet. The cross country team has been practicing at Baylands Park two to three times a week this year.
MAKING HEADWAY Justin Fung (10) attempts to gain possession of the ball during the second half of their CCS quarterfinals matchup.
UP AND OVER Deeya Kumar (10) attempts a shot during a water polo match. The new COVID-19 regulations have forced the water polo teams into no-ball practices.
TIP DRILL Lauren Beede (‘20) tips during a volleyball match. The girls volleyball team’s practices have been shut down due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
HALFBACK DIVE Vijay Vyas (12) hands the ball off to Devin Keller (‘20). The football team has been holding weekly Zoom meetings to watch film.
BUILT FOR THE GAME
Claire Chen (10)’s drive is unmatched
MIA PURNELL CROSS COUNTRY COACH
A silence settles on the rich green grass as she steps up to putt on the last hole of the course. With her eyes fixed on the pristine cylindrical divot, she measures the distance between the hole and the small white ball at her feet. It was a good distance away, but not a particularly hard shot for her. Taking a deep breath, she sets her feet and draws her silver club back, preparing to strike. The crowd watches as the club taps the ball, sending it gliding over the grass towards the hole. The spectators attempt to will the ball on, but she has no doubts about her putt. The silence that had enveloped the grass is finally broken as the ball rolls gracefully into the hole for a birdie, and the spectators burst into applause. Claire Chen (10) is the epitome of calm on the green. Ever since her first tournament at the age of 10, Claire has worked towards becoming a sensational golfer, drawing on support from her family and inspiration from her favorite pro-golfer Rory McIlroy. “When I was little, I used to watch Rory McIlroy’s swing. I grew up watching him, and I still [do],” Claire said. “Golf was more of a hobby back then because I
played many other sports. At my first golf tournament, I found out that I was better at golf than any other sports, and I’ve just moved on from there.” One of Claire’s biggest skill advantages is her powerful swing. By utilizing her physical strength and refined technique, she is able to launch the ball further and cover more distance than most of her competitors. This ability in particular has caught the eye of her teammates. “Despite all her accomplishments, Claire’s progression is most impressive to me. In sixth grade, she was decent. In seventh grade, she came back, and her swing was completely different. In eighth grade, she added length and strength to her ball striking that was unbelievable,” Claire’s coach since middle school, IeChen Cheng, said. In addition to her physical strength, Claire’s other asset is her mental toughness. Even in the most stressful of circumstances, she is able to maintain her composure and deliver her swings with ease. “When Claire’s competing, she’s completely focused, which is a really good strength to have in golf because you need to be mentally strong to play. She’s able to handle stress, [and] I just think she’s built for the game,” one of Claire’s other team-
The APEX repeater profiles Harker athletes who compete at the highest level in their respective sports. This installment features sophomore Claire Chen’s growth as a golfer. mates, Tina Xu (11), said. Above all, Claire’s drive comes from within. She pushes herself to the limit in order to produce the best score possible, viewing mistakes as opportunities to improve and achieve greater heights. “My coaches are always there with words of inspiration, but mainly I just want to get better. Looking at the scoreboard and not being where I want to be really motivates me,” Claire said. Claire demonstrates her love for golf in every swing of her club and every hole she completes. She acknowledges the toll that golf often has on its players, but by reminding herself of her fascination with the game, she drives any fatigue away. “It’s really easy to get burned out since you play the sport everyday and for so long. I often check in with myself and ask myself ‘Do you still love the game? Do you look forward to playing tournaments and getting out there?’” Claire said. “If you love the game, then you’ll play really well. If you don’t, then there’s no point to playing at all.”
DESIGN BY VISHNU KANNAN AND MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
ILLUSTRATION BY MUTHU PANCHANATHAM
D BY M ARK
D BY R O H A A
ROHAN VARMA (12) FOOTBALL TEAM CAPTAIN
“The kids arrive, and they get checked in wearing their mask. They get scanned on the forehead with the thermometer, and then they all sanitize their hands. Everything tends to be very single file, no need for them to cross or group together” PR
“I think we’re all a little heartbroken, but I think the team realizes that this is bigger than football. If we have to sacrifice our season for the greater good of the community, it is without a question the right thing to do”
2020 A DECADE
16 WINGED POST
CLASS OF 2020
Sparked by the killing of George Floyd on May 25 and other Black deaths to police, Black Lives Matter protests spread across the nation. Students, faculty and admin participated in a Town Hall and created artwork to show solidarity with the Black community.
as of Dec. 17
2. Sourdough bread baking — then stores ran out of yeast and flour
of eligible voters cast votes in the 2020 election
PROVIDED BY PATTY MARSETTE
1.64M global deaths to COVID-19 as of Dec. 17
died to colon cancer on Aug. 28, first Black actor to headline a Marvel movie
died to pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18, second woman to serve on the Supreme Court
days in remote learning since March 16
Many electives and courses relied on in-person interaction and activities, yet each thought of new ways to provide members with similar experiences, whether with supplies given to students through curbside drop offs or new educational software.
Data for statistics from The New York Times, National Interagency Fire Center, Mapping Police Violence, Statistica and NBC News.
RUTH BADER GINSBURG
Supreme Court Justice
IN MEMORIAM Actor
PROVIDED BY CAMPAIGN FOR UYGHURS
PROVIDED BY FLAGG MILLER
Yemeni civilians killed in conflict between Houthis and Saudi Arabia since 2014
6. Harry Potter fandom resurged with the rise of DracoTok, a side of TikTok fawning over the acres burned character Draco in California in Malfoy 2020 7. The color sage green for its earthiness and neutral tone
Labs, extracurriculars and parent teacher conferences shifted to virtual format.
Humanitarian crises in Africa, the Middle East and Asia call for international action and aid.
5. Spotify podcasts rise in popularity, such as The Daily, Reply All and The Joe Rogan Experience
4M ESHA GOHIL
Australian fires affected nearly 3 billion animals, burning from July 2019 through March 2020. California fires resulted in poor air quality for months and burned down the homes of those close in our community, including lower school academic counselor Patty Marsette and upper school English teacher Beverley Manning.
3. Plant-based meats became mainstream and began to be sold by fast food chains, such as Subway and Carl’s Jr.
4. Cottagecore, an internet with ELECTION aesthetic a romanticized President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump with 306-232 electoral votes to become 46th president. view of a simple agricultural life
Black people killed by police in 2020
died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, won five NBA championships, 18-time All-Star
1. Hand whipped dalgona coffee (dalgona means “honeycomb toffee” in Korean)
as of March 17
PROVIDED BY MARK KOCINA /OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
ILLUSTRATIONS BY EMILY TAN AND MICHELLE LIU
Total COVID-19 cases in California
graduates from class of 2020
10 trends from 2020 that might’ve slipped by you
Highest presidential voter turnout in
Due to the pandemic, the class of 2020 could not graduate on stage. Harker held a drive-thru ceremony for the seniors on May 28. A historic number of seniors chose to take a gap year.
BLINK & YOU MISSED IT
The first case of COVID-19 in the Bay Area appeared on Jan. 31. After a parent of a staff member tested positive, Harker closed all four campuses on March 12, planning for virtual school to begin on Zoom the following week. California governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home lockdown on March 19.
Through loss, social unrest and natural catastrophe, we’ll never forget this year shaped by the pandemic
OF A YEAR
22 • ISSUE 3 DECEMBER 21, 2020 BACK PAGE VOLUME
8. Virtual reality headset and consoles system Oculus Quest 2 sold out until next year 9. Hot cocoa bombs — chocolate spheres that explode in marshmallows when dropped in hot milk 10. Kids’ toy brands expand their inclusiveness, with more skin tones, body shapes and disabilities DESIGN BY SARA YEN