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CHRONICLE the harvard-westlake

Los Angeles • Volume 26 • Issue 4 • Jan. 11, 2017 •

American Dreamers By Nicole Kim


Josie Abugov

Axel Rivera de León ’18 said he saw the terror in his mother’s face when Arizona State Patrol Agents demanded she show her identification. His mom was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and when the officers asked for their passports, she had nothing to show. “They took us in a little room,” he said. “There was a desk and a fridge and a stall, and that’s where we had to stay. They said [to my mom], ‘If you don’t have someone pick you up soon, you’re going to be deported, and your son’s going to have to go with you.” Although they were able to avoid deportation, Rivera de León said the • Continued on C3


School considers AP class limit in talks of student well-being, academic balance By Katie Plotkin and Jean Sanders School administrators and faculty are discussing placing a limit on the number of AP classes students are able to take throughout their high school careers as part of their ongoing discussion about the happiness and wellness of students. Currently, they have not decided if honors classes would be included in any future limits. “For lots of reasons, I am hopeful that we will get to a policy decision by the end of this year,” Interim Head of Upper School Liz Resnick said. “That does not mean implementation in the fall, because if we make some decisions that mean adjustments to curriculum, we’re going to need lead time to that, and we will also

need to telegraph that to current and incoming families so everyone understands what it is.” Limiting the number of AP classes students can take in a given year would encourage students to broaden academic horizons and give a greater opportunity to explore other interests, Resnick said. At the same time, the school is looking to ensure that while the happiness and wellness of students improve, the academic rigor and intellectual atmosphere of the school do as well, President Rick Commons said. “We’re hoping not to compromise student health, not to compromise the intellectual atmosphere and academic rigor of the school, and not to compromise college admission outcomes,” Commons said. “We’re hoping, if any-

thing, to make the academic and intellectual life stronger and the outcomes better, and the health and balance of the student body better without compromising anything, and I don’t know how we’re going to do it, but there’s a lot of studying going on.” Upper School Deans Department Head Beth Slattery said that the number of APs and honors classes students must take in order to be a competitive applicant from Harvard-Westlake to the most selective universities has increased over time. Ten years ago, the average student applying to Harvard and Stanford had taken 10 AP or honors classes throughout high school, and last year the average applicant had taken 15. “I definitely think that people believe that they need to take AP’s to get into college,”

Phoebe Sanders ’17 said. “The thing is, if the school enforced this limit, then those receiving our new transcripts will understand [that GPA’s will change].” Information from the 2013 student workload survey, in which reported six hours of sleep or less per night as well as large amounts of nightly homework, spurred conversations among administration about what measures they could take to improve overall student wellness. “If we are to make good on the promise that happiness and balance will become primary values in the culture and the experience of students, we can’t just do business as usual and expect things to change,” Resnick said. Resnick said that although • Continued on page A2

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GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: The team is ranked sixth in MaxPreps’ California rankings. *Story on B1



JAN. 11, 2017

School considers AP class limits

that students enroll in has decreased because they have less the administration has been time for non-academic classes discussing the possibility of in their schedules. this change for three years, “I think it is great that the she wants to finalize the pro- school is looking at this issue posal soon so that the new because we, in the art departHead of the Upper School Lau- ment, as well as the whole ra D. Ross won’t have to chair school, should want to develop a change in policy decision the whole person, and when during her first year working students feel that they have at the school. to sign up for an AP class to According to Upper School get the grade bump, they are Deans, when planning course- not doing it because they are work for the upcoming year, passionate about that class,” students are Visual Arts Deoften more conpartment Head cerned about Cheri Gaulke I feel like APs choosing AP said. and honors Some stuadded real challenge classes rather dents believe to my curriculum and than classes that the proand were a good way that really inposed cap terest them, would only for me to grow as a Resnick said. serve to limit student.” “I feel like their choices, we have comand that they —Oliver Friedman ’17 should be almodified things lowed to take so much, at a place that is about intellectu- as many AP and honors coursalism and ideas, that students es as they choose to. “I feel like APs added real are more interested in stratchallenge to my curriculum egy,” Resnick said. Resnick said that as the and were a good way for me average number of AP classes to grow as a student,” Oliver students take has increased, Friedman ’17 said. “I think it the number of arts courses will place students at a signifi• Continued from page A1

cant disadvantage when compared with other elite private high schools, and on a purely moral level, I think it’s really unfair to limit how much students can push themselves.” Harvard-Westlake isn’t the first school to consider placing a restrictive cap on the number of AP classes students can take per year. The Horace Mann School in New York City, ranked as the sixth best private high school in the country according, only allows their students to take AP classes during their junior and senior years and limits the number to three. While Harvard-Westlake’s proposed policy is focused on adding more balance to student’s academic careers, Horace Mann is looking for a bigger shift away from AP courses entirely. “Since we’re a private school, we want more control of the curriculum, so we are moving away from AP classes, and they will begin to be eliminated in the coming years,” Horace Mann senior Jessie Millman said.

Commons to share result of diversity assesment with faculty By SAMMI HANDLER

President Rick Commons will share the findings of HR Matrix’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Climate Assessment with faculty Jan. 24, he said in an email to all faculty Jan. 4. Commons did not want to share more about the findings ahead of the meeting. “While it is never simple to bring our two campuses together in the midst of our myriad commitments, this topic is critical to our community and to our mission as a school, and I believe that being all together is important in this case,” Commons said in the email. The administration made a joint decision to hire HR Matrix as a third party “facilitator” to evaluate the school’s socioeconomic, racial and gender diversity.

Number of AP Classes Taken

In the issue



5% of juniors surveyed 1.3% of seniors surveyed

17.3% of juniors surveyed



1.5% of seniors surveyed

26.4% of juniors surveyed 8.9% of seniors surveyed



33% of juniors surveyed 28.7% of seniors surveyed

18.3% of juniors surveyed 59.6% of seniors surveyed

According to the group’s large issues like feeling exwebsite, it “specializes in hu- cluded as a minority in the man resources consulting and Harvard-Westlake community.” organization development.” In September, ComThe group was on campus three times during the fall to mons told the Chronicle that talk with students, faculty and he expects HR Matrix to tell the administration parents about their what they are doing identities and how wrong and that he is the school is different committed to fixing from others regarding these issues. diversity, students “I hope that the said. school uses this infor“I really enjoyed it mation to foster more because I got to see of an open dialogue Harvard-Westlake between faculty and from so many dif’ students about isferent perspectives,” Courtney sues and experiences said Sirus Wheaton Nunley ’17 that students of color ’19, who participated face that often go unin one of the focus groups. “This helped me to en- recognized,” Courtney Nunley joy the school more. We talked ’17 said. “I also hope that it’s about many issues from little used to increase representathings like people asking to tion of all forms on campus touch someone’s hair to really from teachers to the books we NATHANSON S

In a poll of 394 students, 89.6 percent felt pressured to take more AP courses.

While it is never simple to bring our two campuses together in the midst of our myriad committments, this topic is critical to our commuity.” —Rick Commons President read in English to the topics we cover in history classes.” Wheaton added that HR Matrix asked his focus group about ideas for addressing the problems of inclusivity and diversity. “I really hope the school will listen to some of the ideas we had because I think with a few changes Harvard-Westlake can truly become a diverse and inclusive community,” Wheaton said. Some students hope that the school will implement actual changes. “I hope that the administration will attempt to tackle actual instances of inequality on campus, instead of at-

tempting to preach a broad message of ‘inclusion,’” Liz Yount ’17 said. “We’re past the point where everyone agrees that Harvard-Westlake should be diverse and inclusive on paper, now it’s time to actually make that a reality.” Commons emphasized the importance of faculty attending this meeting. “I also want to encourage employees who do not normally come to our faculty-staff meetings to attend this gathering,” he said in the email. “The DEI Climate Assesment pertains to all of us equally, and we will need to work together to meet the challenges and opportunities it reveals.”

WALK FOR WOMEN: Students traveling

to Washington, D.C. with HW Go! will attend the inauguration and women’s march and will meet Senator Elizabeth Warren. B2

DREAMING: Alumnus Jonah Ullendorf ’16 is running for California Assembly District Delegate. A4

Features HOLLYWEED: After the recent legalization of marijuana via Proposition 64 in Calif., students discuss the usage of medical marijuana cards for recreational purposes as well as medical reasons. C8

ADMIT ONE: Performing Arts teacher

Ted Walch is continuing to host Cinema Sundays for the fourth year in a row, beginning with a lineup of ten films. A5

BACK OFF MY BACKUP: The college application strategy of having “reaches” and “backups” can be insulting to those attending another student’s “backup” school. A10


Arts & Entertainment






WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: Students share their experiences and stories from over the two-week winter break and New Year’s, such as vacations, charity trips and the holiday season spent with family and friends. C4

THE CHRONICLE, the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, is published eight times per year and distributed free on both the upper and middle school campuses. There are 727 students at the Middle School and 869 students at the Upper School. Subscriptions may be purchased for $20 a year for delivery by mail. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the



cohesion and improvement on defense, the girls’ basketball team hopes to make a strong run for the CIF title. D2

editor may be submitted to or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Oliver Richards at Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or the school.

JAN. 11, 2017 The Glenbrooks Invitational Chicago


Alta Silver and Black Tournament Salt Lake City

Elimination participants

Elimination participants

Evan Engel ’17 (winner), Connor Engel ’17 (semi-finalist), all debaters had winning records

Evan Engel ’17 (winner), Spencer Paul ’19, Matt Gross ’19, Vishan Chaudhary ’19, Alex Mork ’20, Spencer Klink ’20

College Prep Invitational

Newark Invitational

Oakland, CA




Elimination participants

Elimination participants

Evan Engel ’17 (finalist), Connor Engel ’17, Alex Mork ’20, Matt Gross ’19, Kimberley Kimura ’19

Jaya Nayar ’20, Alex Mork ’20, both were round-robin participants




Debate dominates competition By ELLIS BECKER

The debate team earned multiple bids to the Tournament of Champions, continuing its season of multiple wins. So far this season, the Harvard-Westlake team has more Tournament of Champions bids for Lincoln-Douglas debate than any other school in the nation. Five debaters competed at the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament Nov. 1923 in Northbrook, IL. Connor Engel ’17 reached the semifinals and Evan Engel ’17 won the tournament, each earning bids to the Tournament of Champions. “I was pretty happy with how it went overall; I was fourth speaker and second seed and 7-0 going into elimination rounds,” Evan Engel said. “Winning was great, es-

School to host television forum By INDU PANDEY

The school as of press time will host a forum about diversity in television featuring “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris (Leyah ’19) and “All in the Family” creator Norman Lear (Madeline ’13) today at 6:30 p.m. in the Saperstein Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. Winifred White Neisser, a former executive at NBC, former Senior Vice President of Television Movies and Mini-series at Sony Pictures and wife of history teacher Ken Neisser, will moderate the event. The forum will focus on race and television. “In my opinion, ‘black-ish’ has handled issues of race and diversity in a very professional and subtle way,” John Harbor III ’18 said. “This show was a part of this new wave of TV

shows that are based on families with a certain ethnic background and that are ironic and forward with calling out bias and backwards thinking.” Lear is the creator and contributor of many shows in addition to “All in the Family,” including “Sanford and Son,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times.” “[I hope to bring] a sense of our common humanity, you know,” Lear said. “This is a Cuban-American family, but there are Irish-Americans and the Jewish-Americans and the Chinese-Americans. And we all came to this country and all, basically, different as we may have been in terms of our cultures, we are human beings and tied at the heart and soul in our common humanity.” The Television Academy Hall of Fame inducted Lear among the first seven people,


former President Bill Clinton awarded him a National Medal of Arts in 1999 and the Academy nominated him for an Academy Award for writing “Divorce American Style.” “The best advice anyone ever gave to writers was Geroge S. Kaufman, a famous playwright, who said, ‘Write,’” Lear said. “Write! Write whatever your gut dictates you to be writing.” Lear also participates in social and political activism as well as philanthropy, focusing on civic engagement and the First Amendment. “I don’t think of myself as a political activist,” Lear said. “I think of myself as an American citizen. America depends on its citizens and their opinions and their votes and how they’re feeling about where their governments should be heading. The more we reflect

pecially since I had lost finals of an almost equally big tournament two or three weeks before.” Eight team members debated at the Alta Silver and Black tournament Dec. 1-3 in Utah, with three debaters earning bids, while five competed at the College Prep Lincoln-Douglas Invitational Dec. 17-18. Evan Engel won the Alta Silver and Black tournament, but lost the College Prep Lincoln-Douglas Invitational finals on a 2-1 decision, ending his 32 round winning streak. Across the two tournaments, Evan Engel, Connor Engel, Alexandra Mork ’20, Spencer Paul ’19 and Matthew Gross ’19 all earned bids to the Tournament of Champions. Evan Engel is also currently leading in points in the National Debate Coaches Asso-

ciation Dukes and Bailey Cup Standings. The cup, given by the NDCA, tallies points awarded for strong performances in debate tournaments for the year and awards a cup to the highest point winner at the end of the season. A school-hosted tournament will be held at the Upper School and the LA Marriott Burbank Hotel Jan. 12-16. The tournament will include competitions in middle school parliamentary debate, varsity Policy Debate, novice and varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, a Lincoln-Douglas Round Robin and World Schools debate. Additionally, the HarvardWestlake tournament will share a hotel block with Oakwood Secondary School, which will host a competition in Varsity Public Forum debate.

In my opinion, ‘black-ish’ has handled issues of race and diversity in a very professional and subtle way. This show was apart of this new wave of TV shows[...]that are forward with calling out bias and backwards thinking.” — John Harbor III ’18

our citizenship, the healthier our country.” The 94-year-old noted that the development of television has been immense. “I was at the birth of television, and it was all kind of an accident of fate,” Lear said. “[We went] from about three channels to three-thousand places to go for content. The answer is in the arithmetic.” Barris, on the other hand, began his career as the co-creator and producer of “America’s Next Top Model” alongside Tyra Banks, followed by


the creation of “black-ish” of which he is also the executive producer and co-showrunner. “It’s amazing to me on so many different levels, and it’s rewarding,” Barris said in his Peabody acceptance speech. “When you tell a good story, I think that’s what people really relate to.” Barris won a Peabody Award for “black-ish” in 2015. “Someone told me that the point of art is to make conversation and every week that’s what we’re trying to do,” Barris continued.

Faculty, students attend diversity conferences By ALISON OH

Students and faculty attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the People of Color Conference Dec. 8-10 in Atlanta. The two conferences aimed to promote and support students and staff of color in independent schools, according to their websites. Six student representatives attended the SDLC while 17 faculty members of color from both campuses attended the PoCC. Both diversity conferences were hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools. This year’s theme was “Advancing Human and Civil Rights — Fulfilling the Dream Together.” This focused on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil disobedience approach towards the fight for social equality. Attendees participated in workshops and split up into affinity group sessions, which were organized by racial and ethnic identities. According to the program brochure, discussion topics

included the structural racism within the independent school system and management ideas to combat it. SDLC’s theme was “Dreaming Out Loud: Waking Up to a New Era of Civil Rights.” It focused on encouraging students to incorporate the history of civil rights in their efforts for justice. Students split up into family, home and affinity groups to facilitate dialogue among student leaders from schools across the nation. “I was in the Asian-American affinity group, and the main thing that we talked about was stereotypes,” student attendee Lucy Kim ’19 said. “For instance, we talked about the biggest stereotype of the tiger mom and also about underrepresented aspects within our community, such as sports and Asian athletes. It just provided a very open safe space and served as a support group for anything you wanted to talk about.” This year’s student attendees were Fernando Diaz-Ojeda ’20, Taylor Jones ’18, Lucy Kim ’19, Patton, Loyal Terry ’19 and Daniel Varela ’18.


I HAVE A DREAM: Students and faculty listen to guest speakers during the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and People of Color Confederence, respectively, in Atlanta Dec. 8-10. “I was able to meet a lot of like-minded peers who had experienced many of the same issues,” Kim said. Teachers nominated and voted in student representatives from tenth through twelfth grade, one female student and one male student from each year. They considered students of color and leaders on campus for nomination to attend, ac-

cording to the invitation email from Director of Financial Aid Melanie Leon. The names of teachers who nominated participating students were kept anonymous. Middle School Dean Karen Fukushima and Upper School Dean Chris Jones coordinated the trip details. Advising faculty are considering a switch to an application process to attend the confer-

ences in the future rather than the nomination process, Kim said. “The conference went to show that we all have privileges that we don’t even realize until we’re around a diverse group of people who have not lived the same lives,” Patton said. “It was really eye-opening to see that. Other people have it better, but also other people have it worse.”



JAN. 11, 2017

Students run cancer project By DANIELLE SPITZ


FULL OF OPINIONS: Jonah Ullendorff ’16 campaigns to be elected a Democratic Party Assembly District Delegate. Ullendorff was inspired to run by history teacher Dave Waterhouse. As of press time, results for Ullendorff’s election were not available.

Alum runs for Assembly District Delegate


ting out the youth vote,” Ullendorff said. Ullendorff said that camFormer Chronicle Managing Editor of Opinion Jonah paigning for former Secretary Ullendorff ’16 has launched a of State Hillary Clinton this bid to become a Democratic past election season helped Party Assembly District Del- him in his bid for the position. He is also hoping to reach egate. The election took place out to Republicans alienated by Trump and Sunday during a other conservative meeting at the Sanmembers of the ta Monica Public party. Library. As of press “In regards to time, results for the the Republicans, election were unsecuring their available. votes is crucial,” Ullendorff, a Ullendorff said. freshman at the ’ “That is how we University of ChiJonah win elections. Bill cago, said he ran Ullendorff ’16 Clinton running for the position to as a moderate encourage other Democrats to pay more atten- was able to get some of these moderate Republican’s votes, tion to younger voters. “I hope as delegate I can helping him secure many red help California Democrats cre- states. How do we do this? ate policies and platforms that We become the party of comwill be more successful at get- mon sense. Donald Trump has NATHANSON S

made much of the Republican tending community informaParty look like lunatics.” tional meetings and working Ullendorff said that history with other delegates and votteacher Dave Waterhouse in- ing at the California Demospired him to run for election. crats Convention and Regional “I do owe a great amount Meetings. Delegates can also of debt to Dr. Waterhouse, be elected to serve as an Exthe Harvardecutive Board Westlake hismember and tory departare responsible I do owe a great ment, and all for voting at my teachers amount of debt to E-Board meetthroughout ings. Delegates Dr. Waterhouse, the the years,” Ulare elected evHarvard-Westlake lendorff said. ery two years. history department, and “Before coming Fourteen to the upper delegates, split all my teachers” school, I had between seven —Jonah Ullendorff ’16 men and womno idea what I wanted to do en, are elected with my life. After about one per state assembly district. Ulmonth of taking AP U.S. Gov- lendorff is seeking election in ernment, I knew that politics the 50th district. would be my calling.” “It is great, because there Ullendorff faced 46 other are few people of any age as candidates in the election. smart, dedicated and hardDemocratic Assembly Del- working as Jonah,” Wateregates are responsible for at- house said.

Touched by her mother’s battle with stage four breast cancer, Kelly Morrison ’16 initiated a video campaign to raise awareness about the disease. Commissioned by Morrison to produce a video for the project because of her interest in film, Jillian Sanders ’17 worked to highlight the truths about breast cancer and statistics about stage four breast cancer specifically. The video will be posted on social media to spread the word to a large audience. “Although there’s awareness about breast cancer in general, people don’t know enough about where their money goes when they donate,” Sanders said. “Though we may know what breast cancer is, we don’t know how many women it affects and, more importantly, kills.” In a senior class meeting Dec. 9, Morrison urged students to join her movement to educate the public about the need for stage four breast cancer research and funding. She said stage four cancer receives two percent of funding but is the only stage that has a risk of mortality. Sanders said the project is important to her because as a girl and someone who has women in her life who are very important to her, she believes it is vital that people are informed about the facts of breast cancer and what they can do to enact change. Sanders said she wants the video to educate its viewers about the severity of the cause. “I hope that every person who sees our video understands something about breast cancer that they didn’t know before, and I hope they do whatever they can to reach out and help fight back,” Sanders said.

Alumni Relations team hosts Young Alumni Winter Reception By MADDY DAUM

About 90 alumni attended the event and were able to see The Alumni Relations team their old campus and former hosted the annual Young teachers. “It’s a reception for the Alumni Winter Reception for alumni, seniors and faculty in younger alums to come back to campus the Kutler Cenand reconnect ter. with their Alumni AdIt’s a way for us teachers, reministrator Anne Pyle and to get the younger class connect with each other, Assistant Direcalums back to campus have sometor of Alumni to visit with the faculty thing to eat Relations Ivy and drink,” Bunnak orgathey remember” Pyle said. “It’s nized the event and sent out in— Anne Pyle about bringing them back vitations to all Alumni Adminstrator into the Haralumni from the past decade. vard-West“It’s a way for us to get the lake community.” younger class alums back to Most of the alums were campus to visit with the fac- in college or have just begun ulty and staff they remember their professional careers and and to reconnect and be a part are starting their first jobs, of this community,” Alumni Pyle said. Administrator Anne Pyle said. “It’s nice to see everyone

and it’s good to reconnect with teachers and classmates,” Kelly Morrison ’16. “I think this is a nice midpoint in the year since we have been in school long enough where we can talk about our situations but also long enough where it is really good to see everyone.” The reception is held annually during the winter since many students are back to see their families for the break. It is a good time to catch college-age students so they can discuss their first semester, Pyle said. “I think this is a good time because people are usually here for extended holiday,” Upper School Dean Adam Howard said. “I think it’s really good for alums but I’m not sure how good the timing is for current students. I think a winter reception is always cozier than anytime of the year


ASSOCIATING ALUMNI: Two alumnae reconnect and discuss their time away from Harvard-Westlake in the Kutler Center. and everyone is really excited, particularly the kids from college who are coming back after first semester to share their stories.” Seniors were also able to come to the event and visit

with their old friends and hear about their college experiences. Faculty and staff also talked to their old students about their college classes or first jobs and reminisced about high school.

JAN. 11, 2017



Junior aids Iranian students


Inspired by her heritage and travels to Iran, Nicole Bahar ’18 will host a bake sale Jan. 23 to raise money for an elementary school in the Middle East country. During winter break, Bahar traveled to the Iranian village, Shemshak, which is two hours north of Tehran. “[Shemshak is] like this very poor ski village where my mom actually grew up skiing and became a ski instructor during the Iranian Revolution,” Bahar said. At the local elementary school, she spent five school days teaching English and playing games with the students. She also provided them with resources that are unavailable to the students, such as candy, toys and school supplies. Bahar’s mother had been informed of the school by her friends who still live in Shemshak and was in contact with the school’s principle, inspiring her visit and her fundraising plans.


HELPING HAND: During winter break, Nicole Bahar ’18 visited a school in the village of Shemshak, Iran, where she taught English to ele-

mentary school students. Bahar has been working with Iranian kids since ninth grade when she held a shoe drive for students in Khorasan.

“Hopefully, this bake sale will be able to raise more money for buying computers,” Bahar said. “We already provided them with a few computers, but of course it would be nice if there were enough for the whole school.” Although the project is in-

Funds Raised by Sports Teams $30,000 $20,000

$34,746 $18,456

$13,886 2013-14



Basketball and Cheer $10,000



$2,000 2015-16



To give back to the larger community, some sports teams have started fundraising campaigns, raising thousands of dollars to benefit cancer patients and research. Others have started an effort to raise funds for the Los Angeles homeless population. “I think it’s important for student athletes to do community service projects because it reminds us that life [exists] beyond ourselves,” cheer coach Octavia Ellison said. Baseball players launched a campaign last week to support pediatric cancer, with a goal of raising at least $30,000. Through the Vs. Cancer Foundation, an organization that encourages student athletes to work to fund childhood cancer efforts, half of money raised will go to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA to supply chemotherapy for families that can’t afford it, and the other half will go towards national research grants. This is the second year that all members of the baseball program will shave their heads to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.

Babel urges students to submit work By SABA NIA

To spread literary art in different languages on campus, Babel, the Upper School’s foreign language magazine is officially accepting submissions for this year’s publication. Submissions include poems, short stories, recipes, essays and photos. “I think that [submitting to babel] gives you an opportunity to expand your ability to speak a language that you

really get,” Sophie Levy ’18 said. “It’s definitely something different and really fun, and there’s really no harm in submitting anything.” Students can submit pieces in languages besides the ones offered at the school, though most submissions are in Spanish, French, Chinese, Latin, Italian and German. Previous issues have included works written in Icelandic, Arabic and Hebrew. The editors said they would

har serves as the club’s chief curriculum developer. Bahar also hosted a shoe donation drive as a freshman at the Middle School for an allgirls school in the city of Khorasan. She was able to collect 120 donations for the school. “I just think its one of the

most amazing experiences because these girls and boys who have so much less than us and are living in a very oppressive country are so happy about life,” Bahar said. “They take every day like a piece of candy, and it’s so amazing how positive their attitudes are.”

Sports teams fundraise for charities




dependent from the Project Girl to Girl club, which aims to encourage girls to join STEM subjects by holding workshops once a month at Carpenter Community Charter School, student members of the club will help by baking and selling baked goods during break. Ba-

like to receive pieces in even more languages for this year’s edition so the latest edition will be more diverse in content. All submissions must be edited by foreign language teachers and accompanied by an English translation. Languages that are not offered at the school are recommended to be editted by an adult who speaks the language. Foreign language students who plan to submit to the

In years prior, only the varsity team participated. “As a team, we shave our heads as a symbolic gesture to show that we support these kids who are fighting such a terrible disease at such a young age,” varsity pitcher Adam Rich ’17 said. For the past two years, Harvard-Westlake has been named the number one high school fundraising team for Vs. Cancer Foundation, according to the foundation’s website. “It feels really good to be a part of it,” varsity pitcher Jarod Bacon ’17 said. “Knowing that we, as a program, are able to contribute to our community, and especially to a cause as important as this one, is really significant to us and is something that we enjoy doing.” The cheer and basketball teams worked together to also raise money for Mattel by hosting two bake sales during the week of Dec. 5. By selling shirts and baked goods during the basketball’s triple header game Dec. 9, as well as during the school day earlier that week, the teams raised around $10,000. “As coaches, we try our

best to cultivate a ‘we’ mentality in and out of cheer,” Ellison said. “The success of our program depends on how well we, and the entire Harvard-Westlake community, work together.” The money raised will go towards hiring an art teacher for long term patients to provide an activity that they can enjoy during treatment. “It’s good to know that so many people here are willing to give to a good cause,” JV point guard Emma Sunkin ’19 said. “A lot of the time people didn’t want to pay $10, but once we told them what it was for, they were so generous, and it was really nice.” In a similar effort, as of press time the boxing club was set to sponsor a taco truck for “Taco Tuesday” on the quad Jan. 10. Profits will go to transitional housing organization LA Family Housing. “I’m really proud of [the fundraisers led by sports teams] and the initiative that students are taking toward ‘purpose beyond ourself,’ to use words from our mission statement,” President Rick Commons said.

I love learning languages, and I love to practice them. I take both Chinese and Spanish in school, so I want to get extra practice by submitting my work.” —Zane Grenoble ’19 NATHANSON’S

magazine said they would like to take the opportunity the publication provides to practice their language as well as to showcase their work. “I love learning languages

and I love to practice them,” Zane Grenoble ’19 said. “I take both Chinese and Spanish in school, so I want to get extra practice by submitting my work.”

The Chronicle

A6 News

in brief

Jan. 11, 2017

Jillian Banks ’06 to perform at Coachella

Singer-songwriter Jillian Banks ’06 is set to perform at the opening nights of both weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Banks performed at Coachella in 2014 and was named one of the 10 best performances by the Hollywood Reporter. Her setlist featured original songs as well as a cover of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody.” Her debut album, Goddess, was released in 2014 and features four singles. Alter, her second album came out in 2016. —Alex Goldstein

Club to discuss solving common problems

HW Venture will hold the Complain and Conquer event Jan. 19 as the initial launch to a series of events where students will attempt to solve common problems at school. Rachel Seplow ’17, Nomi Ringach ’17, Elly Choi ’18 and Sydney Pizer ’19 set up the event to give students access to resources and create a space for tackling problems. “I’m hoping that our event will help people to tackle everyday problems in a group cooperative environment,” Pizer said. “The collaborative event is intended to guide people to harness business techniques and the ideas of their peers.” —Alexandra So

Parent Association launches party book The 2017 Harvard-Westlake Party Book, which raises money for the school’s scholarship fund, officially launched Jan. 9 with events ranging from yoga classes to multicultural dinners to exclusive classes taught by Harvard-Westlake teachers. The Party Book is managed by the Harvard-Westlake Parents Association each year. “Our goal is to fundraise by bring the community closer together by going to these events that are somewhat specific to the Party Book and not so accessible to just everyday life,” co-chair Dana Dickson (Ely ’22 and Jonah ’20) said. —Saba Nia

Chronicle members discuss controversies Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Jesse Nadel ’17 and Managing Editor Katie Plotkin ’17 presented at the third annual Jewish Scholastic Press Association convention on Jan 5, alongside previous Communications Department Head and Chronicle adviser Kathy Neumeyer. The conference took place at the B’nai David Judea Congregation on Jan. 5-7. The students spoke about controversial stories, maintaining relationships with sources and how they run the staff. Nadel said he enjoyed discussing the Chronicle and teaching the audience members about their procedures. —Kaitlin Musante


School hosts Special Olympics event

GIVE ME FIVE: Students high-five Special Olympics preschoolers as they walk through a tunnel of love. Athletes participated in events such as walking across a balance beam, running around cones, obstacle courses and bean bag tosses. Students and cheerleaders supported the participants with signs as they competed on the Ted Slavin field between second and third periods.

Students recognized in Chinese essay-writing contest

By Jenny Li and Kaitlin Musante

course, syntax and accuracy, and presentation and characters. Applicants could win a Eight students in various Chinese classes received “Gold Apple,” “Silver Apple,”or awards in an essay contest Honorable Mention. Diego Ayala ’18 won a “Gold run by the Chinese Apple” in the regular Language Association advanced category, of Secondary-ElemenSarah Moon ’19 and tary Schools. Tierni Kaufman ’19 The contest was won a “Silver Apple” divided into three catin the regular adegories of submission: vanced category and the regular category, Strauss Cooperstein the heritage category ’18 and Asher Vogel and the immersion ’ ’19 won Honorable program and all of Kun Li Mentions in the regthose who applied ular advanced catefrom the school won a prize in their designated cat- gory. Sarah Wilen ’19, Francis de Beixedon ’19 and Charlie egory. Students wrote about a Meenaghan ’19 won Honorperson in their life who influ- able Mentions in the Heritage Advanced category. enced them. “I would say I felt accomThe essays were scored based on their strength in plished because I worked very comprehensibility, ideas and hard to write my essay, and content, word choice and dis- that hard work then came to nathanson s

something,” Vogel said. “I just portunity to demonstrate their feel like we write so many es- proficiency level on a bigger says for class anyway that just stage outside school.” Participating in the essay get graded and handed back. I just wanted to write one that contest not only helped with could be read by more people.“ Chinese essay-writing skills that are beneficial for The Chinese proschool, but also program offered stuvided an opportunity dents the opportufor students to reflect nity to participate in upon the people in the contest for the their lives, Kaufman first time this year in said. order to encourage “It was nice to them to demonstrate prove to myself that their proficiency in I can write pretty fluChinese after mulently in Chinese, and tiple years of learn’ it helped me to learn ing the language, Tierni how to use all the Chinese teacher Kun Kaufmam ’19 different sentence Li said. “I am proud of my students’ structures in a cohesive esperformance in this competi- say,” Kaufman said. “I wrote tion,” Li wrote in an email. “I about my dad and how he’s started this because I want influenced me, but I wrote in my students to have a sense Chinese, which is my mom’s of achievement after learning background, so it was interChinese for three years at Har- esting to combine both of my vard-Westlake. It is a good op- heritages together.” nathanson s

Annual Cinema Sundays film seminars commence By Sam Lingard

Cinema Sundays, hosted by Performing Arts teacher Ted Walch, will screen 10 select films at the upper school this year, continuing the eightyear-long tradition. Walch, who has taught at the school since 1991, said that the first event attendees were charged to fundraise for the financial aid program. Now, however, the Kutler Center sponsors the event and admission is free. While the event was at first only open to adults, students are now encouraged to attend. Walch has also incorporated Cinema Sundays into the curriculum of his Cinema Studies class. Walch says the format of the event-- an introduction to the film, the showing, break, and then discussion-has stayed almost exactly the same over the years. The first event of this year took place Jan. 8 featuring the

film “You Can Count on Me” directed by Kenneth Lonergan. This showing was not on the original list of nine scheduled movies, but was added by Walch at the last minute. Walch said due to the success of Lonergan’s recently released film, “Manchester by the Sea,” he felt the film was both an enjoyable and relevant additon. The other films included in this year’s lineup offer a wide variety of time periods to experience, ranging from “His Girl Friday” and “The Shop Around the Corner” that came out in 1940 to “Biutiful” in 2010. Six of the movies will feature guest speakers such as producers, actors or authors afterwards. Walch encourages students and parents to attend the remaining events. “The reason, most always, that we go to movies is that we want to find out something about ourselves,” Walch said. “This is a community event. Everybody’s welcome.”


LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES: Cinema Sundays organizer Ted Walch catches up with Josh Musicant ’17 and his mother before the film.

Jan. 11, 2017

News A7

in brief

Filmmakers dive into MOCA

Bear Boxes holds bake sale for needy children Bear Boxes will sell baked goods to raise money for care packages for underprivileged children in Nigeria, Peru, Cambodia and Mexico. Elly Choi ’18, Amanda Offor ’18, and Hotchkiss student Caroline Phillips ’18 will hand deliver each care package with other club members. The packages will include basic necessities that are personalized to the recipients’ needs. The bake sale will take place on Jan. 9. “We pretty much felt grateful for everything we had and thought it was unfair and some people have almost nothing. So decided to take action,” Offor said. —Alexandra So

By Angela Tan and Lucas Gelfond

Students of the Video Art I, II and III classes visited The Geffen Contemporary building at The Museum of Contemporary Art to visit artist Doug Aitken’s “Electric Earth” exhibit Jan. 6. The exhibit showcased multiple forms of art such as video art, photography and sculpture. The focus of the pieces was centered around nature’s relationship with industrialization and environmental and climate change. Video art pieces included filmed landscapes and explored how houses and other man-made structures interact with the environment around them, including a house in Brazil and an underwater pavilion. The pieces displayed forms of art that students had not previously been exposed to, Video Art I student India Brittenham ’19 said. “The field trip was an awesome experience that, without this school, I never would’ve gone to,” Brittenham said. “My favorite thing was the black mirror room, which was a reflection of short films on the wall with multiple perspectives and dimensions.”


MAGIC SCHOOL BUS: Students in the Visual Arts classes watch an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Jan. 6. At the museum, students viewed exhibits relating to their curriculum. Students also watched a film by minimalist singer and videographer Terry Riley, who performed improvised songs on the piano to Aitken’s videos. “It expanded my knowledge of what you could do with a camera,” Video Art II student Jakob Klein ’18 said. “You were allowed to walk around and see the video happening. It was so cool, and I was not expecting to see the artist there.”

Upper School Visual Arts Department Head Cheri Gaulke and Visual Arts Teachers Kevin O’Malley and Alyssa Sherwood chaperoned the trip to the museum. O’Malley hoped that the field trip would show that there are many ways to use the medium of video art that is not necessarily in the form of a movie. “Aitken’s work has given our Harvard-Westlake students something to think

about the next time they pick up their camcorders,” O’Malley said. “A movie may not be the final, end-all-be-all product for a 21st century visual artist.” Students enjoyed the trip and felt that it was a unique experience, Video Art I student Izzy Yanover ’19 said. “I really liked the trip,” Yanover said. “I thought it was super cool to see an exhibit like that because there are so few of them.”

Community to bury 25th anniversary time capsule By Sofia Heller


WATER YOU LOOKING AT: Keren Johnson ’02 delivered water

filters to South Africa for the nonprofit Clean Water Ambassadors.

Alumnus’ nonprofit distributes water filters

By Claire Keller

Keren Johnson ’02 visited the Westville Boys’ High School in Durban, South Africa, to deliver the water filters for future distribution to areas lacking access to clean water. Community Council and Johnson worked with Cole Kawana ’16 to distribute Clean Water Ambassador water filters in South Africa in November. The council initiated the project after twenty-one Westville students visited HarvardWestlake Oct. 4. Johnson began working with the council at the beginning of the 2016 school year. She assisted in organizing a team to work with Kawana and began the process of planning the trip in October. “Towards the beginning of the year we weren’t as focused on the water project because of larger projects, but we are taking the initiative to change

that,” Community Council Member Natalie Choi ’18 said. Their initial goal was to support Kawana in the distribution of the water filters as well as fundraising. Students from HarvardWestlake, including Evan Keare ’18, have become ambassadors with the program. “It was really special for me because it gave the trip a whole other purpose,” Keare said. The council has been actively encouraging more students to bring filters whenever they travel internationally. “I think it’s feasible [for students] to bring filters abroad, especially if you are able to get a bucket at your destination because that is the most of the bulk,” Keare said. The council and Johnson plan to continue their work with Clean Water Ambassadors throughout the rest of the school year and into the future.

ment in our history during this celebratory year,” Altieri said. Students, faculty and staff Students have had positive members are collecting mem- reactions to the idea of creatorabilia that represent the ing and burying a time cap2016-17 Harvard-Westlake sule. school year for a commemoraEven though she is not tive time capsule. planning to contribute any The time capsule project items to the time capsule projis part of the administration’s ect, Carolyn Kim ‘18 said she initiative to honor the 25th an- sees the value in participating niversary of the school. in the time capsule project by The time capsule will be donating items to preserve the buried at the middle school artifacts from our generation. campus later this year. “The most important conThe time capsule will be opened and examined in 25 tributions are going to be the ones that come from a place years at a school reunion. Assistant Director of Com- of genuine passion,” Kim said. “Those are going to munications Shauna be the ones that best Altieri said that she is reflect what life was seeking smaller sized like at Harvard-Westitems from students, lake, and what we faculty and staff were interested in as members that epitoa school at this point mize life at school this year. in time. If you think Members of the about how much our community can conschool has changed, tribute items includ’ like with the renoing photos, sports Shauna vation of the middle memorabilia, movies Altieri school, seeing the old or events on flash sports uniforms or drives, student-voted year- playbills, it is going to be such book lists and both homework a cool experience for the stuand lecture notes from students who open it.” dents or teachers. Prefect Ryan Stanford ’19 Altieri is also searching for is planning to contribute phoa number of student volunteers from each grade to lead tos and a note to the time capsule. a time capsule committee. “I would love to put someThe committee will help thing in the time capsule bechoose which items should be included and buried in the cause it’s such an incredible and unique opportunity,” time capsule. The deadline for contribu- Stanford said. “It makes me tions to the capsule could be feel like I could leave an impact on Harvard-Westlake in a as late as May. “We hope to mark a mo- small way even after I’m gone.” nathanson s

Construction work closes Upper St. Michaels Juniors with parking spots at Upper St. Michaels temporarily parked on the track Jan. 3-6 due to the repaving of the Avenida del Sol, which leads to the lot. “We were just being cautious to get our kids out of that area and relocate them for a short period of time,” Chief of Campus Operations and Construction Jim DeMatte said. The adjustment did not cause problems for the students, Miles Agus ’18 said. “I was sort of happy it was closer because it meant a shorter walk, but it was a little of an inconvenience as I had to move my car if I wanted to stay late,” Agus said. —Jenny Li

Jewish Student Union holds Hanukkah events

The Jewish Student Union built menorahs and served donuts during Winterfest in the lounge. “The Prefect Council wanted to have some Jewish element involved so they reached out to JSU and we were obviously really delighted to do so,” Allison Gorokhovsky ’17 said. Gorokhovsky said that students built 40 or 50 menorahs. Participants took the menorahs home afterward for decoration. “My favorite part was watching my classmates get really into it,” Gorokhovsky said. “They were laughing and it all really felt like we were one big community.” —Lucas Gelfond

Wifi cuts-out for school due to server errors

Students and faculty had trouble connecting to the WiFi throughout campus Jan. 6. Faculty in the Information Technology department installed updates to the Wi-Fi over winter break. They started receiving reports of slowness Jan. 4. Director of Information Technology David Ruben said members of the department were in contact with Cisco throughout the week and the only solution requires disabling the connection. —Sofia Heller

JAN. 11, 2017



Alumni speak on finance By ALEXANDRA SO


FULL STEM AHEAD: La Femme Speaker Victoria Fox discusses the importance of stem cell research and the significance of women being represented in STEM fields with Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts before the official La Femme meeting Jan. 9.

La Femme speaker discusses women in STEM


Stem cell researcher Dr. Victoria Fox was set to speak to members of La Femme about her experiences as a woman in science and the importance of stem cell work Jan. 9, as of press time. Fox is the CEO of PluriCORE, which provides consultants for researchers who are hoping to incorporate stem cells in their work. She is also the President and Executive Director of Pathways to Stem Cell Science, a non-profit organization that trains students in stem cell biology. The science department told students last year about Fox’s summer programs for high school students. La Femme leader Sohni Kaur ’17 attended and learned how to grow stem cells with

Fox’s guidance, which is how she found her as a speaker for La Femme. “In the short amount of time I spent with her, I realized she was an incredible teacher and clearly a very intelligent woman,” Kaur said. “She made sure we had fun while still maintaining her ‘no-nonsense’ attitude and made sure we were still on track. I just think that everybody should know a woman who knows how to get work done the way Dr. Fox does.” Until recently, Fox’s research was shut down, and she explained to students why stem cell work is helpful, but also controversial. “Not everybody knows exactly what stem cell research entails and how it helps,” Kaur said. “I think that informing everybody, no matter what their gender is, of the actual

scientific facts behind stem have hosted this school year. cell research will help get rid of In October, La Femme held some of the controversy.” the first talk where Senior Vice Kaur said that with such President of Global Commua lack of women in the STEM nications Celebrity and VIP at field, she hopes that the girls Marc Jacobs Celine Khavarani who attended the talk will ben- ’95 spoke about her experiefit from hearing ence as a woman in from a woman sucthe work force. cessful in a complex “I think that [La field. Femme talks] are “I think it’s super empowering very inspiring to and interesting,” von see women havMende said. “It’s not ing larger roles in often that you get to STEM fields,” Bella see powerful womGuanche ’19 said. en in person. These ’ “And, I think it’s imtalks allow you to Sohni Kaur ’17 portant that younghear straight from the er generations see source these womthat it is possible for them to en’s problems that are similar pursue their own interests.” to your own. I also think it’s La Femme members have important that [Fox] is coming been enjoying the talks and to Harvard-Westlake because learning about STEM, Kate we aren’t exposed to women von Mende ’18 said. in the STEM field, whether in This is the second talk they person or in the media.” NATHANSON S

HW Works teamed up with the Future Horizons club to host an alumni panel on finance and investment management. Janice Davies ’95 and Gregory Nathan ’98 spoke about their experience with asset management and answered questions about their experience. Nathan is a managing director for the First Pacific Advisors, where he does analytical work, and Davies manages company portfolios as an investment analyst at Karlin Asset Management, which specializes in investments for individual investors. “[Harvard Westlake] gave me a really good foundation,” Davies said. “Writing skills and speaking skills are very important in our industry. I was also on the Chronicle, and I think that my job is a lot like investigative research. HW Works administrator Zaakirah Daniels ’10 and Future Horizons club president Eric Han ’17 set up the panel. The Future Horizons club has been working with students for three years to help look into careers and opportunities. “Since I was little, people have always asked me ‘what do you want to be?’” Han said. “In sophomore year, I realized that a lot of other students are in the same position, so I set out to create Future Horizons, a club where HW students could learn about a variety of careers and fields together.” In the past, HW Works has been focused on alumni mentoring and networking, but this is the first year it is helping students learn more about options beyond high school. “By coming together, Future Horizons and HW Works form a complete organization that helps students learn about careers with the help of alumni,” Han said.

Psychology students to display masks


ers perceive them. Students designed the Students enrolled in the masks to express their inPsychology course designed ner selves and use a creative method to show their personmasks as part of ality. their final project, In orwhich prompted der to unthem to considYou think you derstand er how they are how othperceived by othknow yourself, but when ers view ers and how they you’re forced to put this them, stuthink of themdown on paper and dents ofselves. ten asked “The purpose creatively express it, you friends of the mask projreally have to reflect on a b o u t ect is for students what imwho you are” to explore how pressions what they out—Oceania Eshraghi ’18 they give wardly show to off. others can be sig“My fanificantly different from how they see them- vorite part was probably trying selves,” psychology teacher to figure out what people think Michelle Bracken said in an of me,” Matteo Lauto ’18 said. email. “It is a project that al- “I asked a couple of my friends lows students to think about what their first impressions of both how others see them and me were and how they saw me before knowing me, and that how they seem themselves.” The inside of the masks was interesting to kind of see depicted how students viewed how similar or different their themselves and the outside points of view were after they showed how they believed oth- got to know me.”

The mask project is worth 10 percent of the final assessment for the class and is related to the final paper that students wrote. The paper asked students to assess their own personality based on theories by Sigmund Freud and Abraham Malow. Students had a choice to present their masks or write a one-page paper explaining their mask and its symbolism in their life. “Unlike other final projects where it’s hard to get through and it’s a lot of facts, I actually really enjoyed writing this and making masks because you actually learn a lot about yourself in the process, even though that sounds cheesy,” Oceania Eshraghi ’18 said. “You think you know yourself, but when you’re forced to put this down on paper and creatively express it, you really have to reflect on who you are and what you need and what you love. I thought it was really interesting. I learned a lot about myself in doing it.”


UNMASKED: Students painted masks to reveal how they felt others perceive them as well as how they view themselves.

C HRONICLE the harvard-westlake

Editors-in-Chief: Sammi Handler, Jesse Nadel Managing Editors: Layla Moghavem, Katie Plotkin, Jean Sanders Executive Editors: Hannah Cho, Carina Marx, Rian Ratnavale Presentations Editors: Eshanika Chaudhary, Sabrina Brito, Emily Rahhal

Opinion The Chronicle • Jan. 11, 2017

Los Angeles • Volume 26• Issue 4 • Jan. 11, 2017 •



News Editors: Teresa Suh, Claudia Wong News Copy Editor: Jackson Novick Assistant News Editors: Maddy Daum, Noa Schwartz, Danielle Spitz, Anthony Weinraub News Associates: Emory Kim, Indu Pandey Opinion Editor: Kami Durairaj Assistant Opinion Editor: Brittany Hong Opinion Associates: Claire Keller, Matthew Yam Features Editors: Sophie Cohen, Danielle Kaye Features Copy Editor: Katie Perrin Assistant Features Editors: Josie Abugov, Nicole Kim, Alena Rubin Feautres Associates: Kristin Kuwada, Kitty Luo A&E Editor: Lauren Kim Assistant A&E Editors: Gabi Berchtold, Sarah Lee, Kate Schrage Assistant Multimedia Editor: Isabelle Eshraghi A&E Associates: Caty Szeto Sports Editors: Juliana Berger, Jake Liker Sports Online Editors: Dario Madyoon, Connor Reese Assistant Sports Editors: Eli Adler, Oliver Akhtarzad, Elly Choi Sports Associates:

Ellis Becker, Sam McCabe, Aaron Park, Zach Swartz, Adam Yu

Online Editors: Cam Stine, Bryant Wu Ads

and Business Manager: Oliver Richards

Assistant Ads and Business Manager: Jiwon Park Arts Director: Tiffany Kim Freelance Cartoonists: Anna Gong, Mady Madison Assistant Photography Editor: Pavan Tauh Layout Assistants And Staff Writers: Ryan Albert, Kaelyn Bowers, Vishan Chaudhary, Jake Davidson, Kendall Dees, Matthew Druyanoff, Lucas Gelfond, Alex Goldstein, Kelly Gourier, Jackie Greenberg, Sophie Haber, Sofia Heller, Ryan Kim, Samantha Ko, Jenny Li, Sam Lingard, Kaitlin Musante, Saba Nia, Alison Oh, Jiwon Park, Nick Platt, Nick Reece, Asa Saperstein, Meera Sastry, Alexandra So, Cameron Stokes, Angela Tan, Ben Tenzer, Jenny Yoon Layout Assistant Adviser:

Juliet Suess Adviser: Jim Burns

The Chronicle is the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School. It is published eight times per year. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Oliver Richards at orichards1@ Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or school.

Checking into reality

As first semester comes to a close, seniors are all looking forward to the freedom that comes with second semester. Although many people see second semester as a time to check out and ignore responsibilities, we believe it’s a time to discover new priorities and check into what matters the most: reality. As the administration focuses on improving student happiness and providing more balance in academia by considering limiting the number of AP classes students can take (see A1 for the full story), we think it’s the perfect time to look at changing the curriculum for senior year. Although it’s important that we still put effort into our grades, during second semester we are given an opportunity we have never been given before—to allow ourselves to relax without the thought of college admissions looming over us. We can take the time to prioritize others over ourselves; we’ve taken four years to think about our own futures, and this could be a time to think about the futures of others. At Loyola High School, students are encouraged to take second semester as a time to get involved in the outside community by participating in a month-long service project of their choice in Los Angeles. This is the perfect example of a way to keep seniors engaged in meaningful work while allowing them to take a break from the typical school experience that they’ve had for years. We acknowledge that a complete overhaul of a month of school might be too


much to ask, but this idea could be incorporated on a small scale with the same effect. Field trips during the school day to underprivileged schools could be organized by seniors for seniors. Even if these trips don’t involve community service, they can still be valuable to students. For example, allowing seniors to plan trips to museums around Los Angeles would let the class get one last chance to appreciate their city while they’re still here. The school could also expand the one day at the end of the year they take to teach us real-world skills we will need in college, and instead spread it throughout second semester. Another possibility is to bring alumni back for a panel about their college experiences. We would also support optional classes that would allow students to learn money management, how to cook inside a dorm room and how to do laundry. It would even be helpful to hold a session about how to choose classes in college that will allow one to both explore new areas and succeed. Being a senior shouldn’t just be a culmination of academic work, it should usher us into the rest of our lives. Many of us will be legal adults before the school year is over, and part of being an adult is determining one’s priorities independent of any outside influence. Harvard-Westlake could help us with this vital transition by starting small and giving us space to learn outside of a classroom, whether it be practical knowledge or civic engagement.



JAN. 11, 2017

To get Bs or not to get Bs By Kami Durairaj and Claudia Wong


e have all heard about what it means to be a second semester senior — cutting class, skipping homework and maybe even failing a test or two. In other words, checking out. Many people think of “senioritis” as a rite of passage, something earned after years of intense work, culminating in a few crazy months of working at high gear on college applications and first quarter grades. And it’s true. We do deserve a break. Being a second semester senior is a really special time. It’s our last few months together before taking off on our own. It is a time to connect with friends, to spend time with family and to recharge before diving into college classes. But being a second semester senior does not entitle us to opt out of an entire academic semester. It’s easy to succumb to the mentality that we are all burnt out and all that’s left to do this year is wait for our college acceptance letters. Many seniors just want to stop trying, or at least stop trying as hard, because they know second semester grades won’t be sent to colleges. They feel like they not only deserve but have earned the right to zone out. But this mindset implies that the only reason we were working hard in the first place was to get into college. Yes, some of the pressure is off, and there’s no need to stress about every assignment, but our performance in classes is still important. When grades cease to matter as much as they did before, we have the luxury of being able to enjoy learning rather than chasing straight As. It is disrespectful to our teachers to imply that the only reason we took their class was to boost our GPAs. It is disrespectful to our parents to devalue the education

they are providing for us. It is also disrespectful to ourselves to abandon everything we have achieved thus far for a few months of total freedom from all academic responsibility. Don’t let a few lazy months cast a shadow over the academic reputation you have built over three and a half years. As our deans have said, we can ease off the gas pedal while not taking our feet entirely off of the brakes. After all, we all came to HarvardWestlake for many reasons, one of which was its academic prestige. We don’t have to spend all night on an essay, but we should at least read the book. Just because we can slack off and not do homework doesn’t mean we should. The fact that no one will see your D- doesn’t make it okay. If you have been on the honor roll for the previous three years, do you really want to throw that all away in one semester? And although it’s tempting to not prepare for AP tests, our results can still determine the classes we take in college. A few nights of hard work now could allow you to have the freedom to take more of the classes you want to take next year. The purpose of high school is not to get into college but to learn and prepare ourselves for our future studies.Acting as if finishing college applications is the ultimate goal only perpetuates the idea that our high school experience is only a stepping stone for something greater. High school is an important experience in and of itself. You don’t need to fail your classes in order to find yourself, recharge, give back to the community or get anything else you need out of your last months at home. Being a good student and having fun are not mutually exclusive. Let’s end on a high note.


New Year’s resolutions for basic human decency By Indu Pandey


wished I were wearing a burlap sack with eye holes instead of shorts on the kind of Indian day that could melt steel. Sitting back in my chair, I attempted to pull my shorts down further, praying they would become pants as I nervously glanced at the boys no older than myself at the next table. I could hear their loud, lecherous whispers and feel their penetrating stares down my legs. I wish I didn’t understand Hindi in those moments — they wanted to take me home with them, and no, not for tea. My cousin mumbled to me as we meandered away from the area, “They liked you!” On New Year’s Eve, a group of women were reportedly sexually assaulted in downtown Bangalore, India. Although there are a multitude of witnesses and evidence, Bangalore’s police chief cast doubts on the validity of the attacks. Indian men responded in droves via Twitter with the trending hashtag #NotAllMen. But say #NotAllMen to the man who pulled up my shorts to grope me in a train station or the man who aggressively stalked me through India’s most famous place of worship.

Rankings vs Reality By Carina Marx


know I sound bitter. I am. Before Early Decisions came out, the deans told the senior class what not to say to people during mid-December. No “You’ll totally get in.” No “Oh, it was a reach for you anyway.” No “Did you get rejected?” or anything of the sort. We understood — those comments can mean a lot when you’re talking about someone’s future. After Early Decisions came out, we discovered who knew how to be sensitive and who didn’t. Those who didn’t soon learned not to be so brash and to respect people who had been rejected or deferred. It’s been about a month now. Everyone has mostly

stopped talking about who didn’t get in and who did, who deserved their acceptance and who didn’t, but there’s one thing we still cannot shut up about. It’s the classic HarvardWestlake stereotype. We only care about the numbers and rankings. We only care about the accolades. So many of the schools that are considered by some as “backup schools” are completely unreasonable reaches to a different group of people. We are given an insane amount of opportunity at this school -- we have access to and chances at schools that anyone at a different school couldn’t dream of. Frankly,

No, not all men, but enough men. Rape culture is societal behavior; it does not refer to a handful of people but a system taught to every person regardless of gender. Why did I feel guilt when others objectified and disrespected my body? I was taught that my clothing was my fault and that I was responsible for the way others treated me for it consequently. In colleges, professors infiltrate classrooms with sexism and sexual harassment but are acquitted every day on first amendment grounds, gutting minorities’ right to a non-discriminatory education. However, most of these instances are never reported at all. Americans tend to believe that they are years ahead in women’s rights compared to “third world countries.” I know I certainly did. Perhaps this is correct in some ways. But I did not learn rape culture in India. I learned from birth right here in Los Angeles. When strangers suggest to your friends that they should “roofie you” in rental car parking lots in Texas or grown men rave about their fetish for “exotic women” to your face on a sixhour flight, you begin to realize there are more uncomfortable

similarities between the two countries. Like the Bangalore police chief, most instantly cast doubt on sexual assault and domestic violence despite significant evidence, like with Donald Trump or Bill Cosby. While these men could be innocent, the issue is that Americans can’t believe that rape happens in their country at a high rate. The doctrine of “comparatively better” isn’t good enough anymore. Many shy away from social reform because it doesn’t affect them or it is too difficult to be done. But this social reform is easy: reevaluate the way you treat women and view gender. Rape culture hits home in more than one way: catcalling, unwanted groping and a litany of other devaluations of women’s bodies. Traveling to India has fundamentally adjusted my perspective on America’s platitudinizing towards women. Please don’t wink and holler at me from your car or tell me that I was asking for it or call me a “bitch” because I said no. You don’t have to call it feminism or rape culture if that scares you. Just think of it as basic human decency.

Students often overlook opportunites to attend lesser-known colleges. Stigmas surrounding rankings add to the taboo of school acceptances.

many of my classmates sound ridiculously pretentious. We are lucky in a way that much of the world is not. Don’t take that for granted. According to infoplease. com, there are 4,140 colleges or universities in the United States. The difference between the first-ranked college and the 200th-ranked college is slimmer than you’d think. The rankings are all subjective, too. Sure, there are clear differences between certain places, but when it comes down to the single or double digits, college rankings are almost arbitrary. Many of the rankings are not just based on education

but also endowments, class sizes and even size of the campus. But numbers shouldn’t matter. Everyone is different. Some people want a different environment from the one we’re all in now. Don’t get me wrong — it is absolutely a privilege to get the level of education we are getting. Yet, some people feel stifled by the lack of social life they have because of their workloads or feel like the level of academic rigor is a bit too high for them. They are not lesser than the people who are willing to apply to top level schools. They just have different opinions.

The reason why I have an issue with this is because I’m attending my top choice school next year. My close friends have all been very supportive of me, and I appreciate that endlessly. But I’ve had the experiences where I’ve told some of my more distant friends and gotten responses that either pitied me or looked down on me. “Oh, that’s nice.” “Wow! That’ll be fun, I guess.” All I’m saying is keep an open mind. We’re all different and want different things. Everyone should be allowed to go where they feel they will be happiest without any judgment about it.

Jan. 11, 2017

quadtalk: “What were your New Year’s Resolutions about?”

Opinion A11

“My New Year’s resolution was based on health; it was to get good sleep every night because I have not been good on that, and it’s not healthy.” — Bianca Bergsneider ’19

“My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with positive people, which I think falls into the category of both friends and health. I want to be in a group of people that supports me and the things I believe in.”


— Erick Gredonia ’17

“I think my New Year’s resolution is working on my character because I am a very big procrastinator, and it’s the worst thing ever. I could never get anything done on time, so being more organized and getting stuff done before it is due would be good.”




Letter from Prefect Council Dear Chronicle, We appreciate your efforts to bring more transparency to the admittedly mysterious Honor Board process, but unfortunately we believe the article “Honor Board” published on November 22nd, 2016 only served to muddy the waters further. As such, we feel we need to set the record straight and hopefully shed light on the true proceedings and purposes of the Honor Board. Given that you appropriately changed the name of your main source to maintain anonymity, we cannot be absolutely positive that we know who “Chris” is. However, based on the information presented in the article, we are confident that we know which instance and person you are referring to, so we will proceed based on that notion to clarify what happened. Chris violated the Honor Code by cyberbullying a peer and threatening physical violence against him/her. As is protocol, when the victim reported what had happened, Father Young called Chris into his office to discuss the occurrence. This is as far as the potential case went. It did not

go to the Honor Review Committee, and it did not go to the Honor Board, because threatening the safety of a peer is a legal matter. All legal issues go automatically to higher administration. You falsely report the progression of events by writing that Chris’ case did not stop at the HRC, therefore implying it became an Honor Board Case. Chris’ “case” never even went to the HRC. And therefore it definitely did not go to the Honor Board. The article makes it seem as though there was an Honor Board case about Chris’ Honor Code infraction at which Chris was not present. This did not and does not happen. Quotes from the article such as “Chris said the Honor Board was ‘out to Honor-Board someone,’ which blinded them from hearing his perspective,” and Chris’ allegation that “[The Honor Board] did not care what I had to say. They did not care what I felt. No one really listened to me” are unfounded considering that there was never an Honor Board case. What did happen next was a meeting with Mr. Barzdukas who told Chris that HarvardWestlake does not tolerate

Letter from the staff bullying. Mr. Barzdukas then explained that if Chris were to violate the Honor Code a second time and go before the Honor Board, he would face magnified consequences for this second infraction, as is the universal practice. A note was made in Didax, but it was not one that would be automatically reportable to colleges. Chris is quoted as saying that “[Applying to colleges] has been difficult because it goes on my record, and when colleges see an Honor Board infraction, they don’t really understand the circumstances.” First, there is no such thing as an Honor Board infraction. Yes, Chris did violate the Honor Code, but he did not go before the Honor Board, and even if he had, Honor Board cases do not automatically get reported to colleges. Chris’ Didax record in this case did not rise to a reportable level and therefore had no impact on his college application process. There were statements made in the article that were unrelated to Chris that we would also like to clarify. Firstly, there have indeed been Honor Board cases in which

the student coming before the Honor Board initially appeared guilty and was eventually found innocent, contrary to what a past Prefect reported. Secondly, there is a set protocol for “reporting and handling” Honor Board cases. We cannot ensure that community members always follow it, but it is our intention to implement a uniform practice. Finally, regarding the article’s cover photo, we want to make it clear that we Prefects do not wear our robes to Honor Board cases. Our goal is never to intentionally intimidate the student who is before us. In conclusion, we understand that Chris was frustrated and felt misunderstood, but we expect you as a quality news source to go to greater lengths to report stories more thoroughly. While we acknowledge that confidentiality made investigating this story more complicated, we would have welcomed the opportunity to clarify the confusion before the article ran. Prefect Council

We appreciate this feedback, and we encourage students and faculty to send Letters to the Editor for future issues. In this case, because Prefect Council and the Chronicle respect the confidentiality of Honor Board cases and anonymous sources respectively, neither can take further steps to confirm or deny Chris’ statements in the November issue as we cannot be sure we are talking about the same person. Upon another review of the story, we continue to standby the solid reporting that was done and cannot in good conscience retract any portion. We attributed any claims Chris made to him, and did not state them as Chronicle endorsements. If any errors were made, we believe they were likely the result of Chris’ confusion concerning the disciplinary measures taken against him. Additionally, we hope that Prefect Council will look into the other matters presented in the article that address aspects of the Honor Board beyond Chris’ story.


Nothing but Net


Jan. 11, 2017

Girls’ and Boys’ basketball kickstart their seasons with wins at home and away. The girls’ varsity team defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and the boys’ varsity team beat St. Francis on Friday night.


SHOTS FIRED: Terren Frank ’20 comes down behind two defenders from St. Francis after finishing a jumpshot. Frank scored 11 points on Friday night.


FANCY FOOTWORK: Carter Begel ’17 dodges a St. Francis defender. The Harvard-Westlake boys’ team defeated St. Francis with 75 points to 68.


STAY ON POINT: Justine Barraza ’17 yells to her teammates as she dribbles. Harvard-Westlake defeated the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy team with a final score of 59 points to 24.


EYES ON THE PRIZE: Johnny Juzang ’20 sets up to make a 3-point shot as Ali Iken ’17 watches for a pass. Juzang scored 19 points out of Harvard-Westlake’s 75 during Friday’s game against St. Francis.


THROWING IT DOWN: Ella Price ’20 lines up and prepares to make a free throw, flanked by her teammates and opponents from the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy at Thursday night’s game.


PIVOTAL MOMENT: Jayda Ruffus-Milner ’18 pivots away from a Flintridge Sacred Heart defender.

Arts & Entertainment The Chronicle • Jan. 11, 2017

Genie Kilb ’17 said she has always loved fashion. Beginning her own clothing line, she aspires to find her place in the industry, whether it be in management or design. • Continued on B4

The Chronicle

B2 A&E

Coming Up Next...

Jan. 11, 2017

As first semester comes to a close and second semester begins, students, faculty and their families have many opportunities to partake in the arts on campus.







Righteous Conversations Project Screening

“Frost/Nixon” Screening

“You Can Count on Me” Screening

Members of the Harvard-Westlake community can attend a screening of “Frost/Nixon” as part of Cinema Sundays.

Upper school performing arts teacher Ted Walch hosted a Cinema Sundays screening of “You Can Count on Me.”

Public service announcements inspired by the stories of Holocaust survivors and their descendants made over the summer will be shown in Ahmanson.







Upper School Winter Play

“Friday Night Lights” Screening Walch will host a presentation of “Friday Night Lights” for Cinema Sundays followed by a discussion of the film.

Actors will perform “Almost, Maine,” a play about the beginning and ending of several romantic relationships told through a series of unrelated scenes.

Chamber Music Concert Musicians in the Upper School Symphony will perform pieces in small groups, such as string quartets.


Choir calls off spring Quebec trip By Sarah Lee Due to a lack of student interest, Bel Canto will not travel to Quebec over Spring Break, Upper School Choral Director Eric Gault said. A minimum of 20 students needed to register for the trip, but only two signed up. The singers were supposed to go sightseeing and sing at venues such as the Ballisque Cathedrale. Michelle Burns ’18, one of the students signed up to go on the trip, said students did not sign up to go to Canada because it was not promoted to the class until a couple of days before the deadline. Burns also said that she is upset that she lost the opportunity to get to know members of Bel Canto that she doesn’t normally talk to. “I was looking forward to becoming closer with everyone especially because I don’t know a lot of the girls, since it’s all three grades combined.” Burns said. Gault said he does not hold it against his students that he had to cancel the trip to Canada, and that he looks forward to the year ahead. “I am sure we will have an excellent term,” Gault said.

HW Go! Inauguration Trip Highlights Jan. 15

Jan. 17

Jan. 19

Jan. 20

Arrival in D.C.

National Archives

Arlington National Cemetery

Presidential Inauguration

Jan. 16 National Air and Space Museum

Tour of Capitol Building

Photo Opportunity

Ghost Tour

White House Supreme Court

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jan. 18

National Museum of American History

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Tour of Monticello

Monument Tour

Old Town Alexandria


National Mall

Capitol Building


Pennsylvania Avenue

Jan. 21 Women’s March

Near Capitol Building

Departure from D.C. GRAPHIC BY SARAH LEE

Digital Storytellers to travel to D.C. for Inauguration By Sarah Lee Photographers and filmmakers will travel to Washington, D.C. Jan. 15-21 for the HW Go! trip to the presidential inauguration. Students on the trip will make projects that try to depict the American political climate in 2017 or that address other important social issues. The trip was announced in September before the results of the presidential election were known. Some students, such as Victoria Steckel ’19, signed up for the trip thinking Hillary

Clinton would win. Despite not getting the result she wanted, Steckel is still going to D.C. because of the effect Trump’s election has had on her as someone born in Mexico, she said. “I find that the issues of racism and hatred have really affected Mexicans and their view of him, specifically mine,” Steckel said. “I feel that I need to be there to witness this event because of everything he has already caused and will continue to cause as the leader of this country.” Steckel aims to depict the effect that a Trump presidency

will have on America through sual Arts Department Head a series of photographs and Cheri Gaulke added the Wominterviews. She is en’s March on Washington to the trip itinmost excited to interview Supreme Court erary in order to give Justice Ruth Bader students an opportunity to tell stories Ginsburg to get Ginsabout the response to burg’s thoughts on how the judicial sysTrump’s presidency. tem will change un“I’m looking forder Trump. ward to seeing the Film and phodifferent points of ’ view and ideals of tography locations Victoria include the Martin people in WashingSteckel ’19 Luther King Jr. Meton, the ones who morial, the Supreme Court support Donald Trump and and the presidential inaugu- the ones who don’t,” Steckel ration. said. “This is a historic event, After Trump’s election, Vi- and it’s worth going.” nathanson s

JAN. 11, 2017




AWARD-WINNING ART BY ARI: Arianna Shooshani ’18 said that her creativity is sparked by the world around her. She focuses on documentary photography to share her perspective on the things that are familiar to her with others. Shooshani’s work has won her recognition from YoungArts twice in the past two years.

Capturing Culture By GABI BERCHTOLD

A 10-year-old Arianna Shooshani ’18 borrowed her mom’s DSLR camera and ventured into her backyard. There, she played with the settings and shot images of the plants and objects around her. Shooshani is a two-time winner of YoungArts. This year she became a finalist in the competition, and she received an honorable mention last year for her portfolio. “YoungArts is a really cool program,” Shooshani said. “I submitted [my portfolio] last year, and I got honorable mention, which I thought was going to be the peak. I submitted [my portfolio] again this year, and I didn’t think that I would win anything to be completely honest, but I ended up getting a Finalist award.” Finalists in the YoungArts competition have the opportunity to participate in National YoungArts Week. The week-long program is located in Florida, where finalists are able to take classes and participate in workshops. Participants will also be evaluated for additional awards. Internationally recognized individuals in the photography field will be Master Teachers in the program. One such teacher is Sylvia Plachy, a celebrated photographer. “Not only will I be talking to professional adult photographers, but [I will also speak to] other people my age doing the same thing as me and figuring it out as well,” Shooshani said. “Also, there will be a lot of creativity and people trying to help [me] succeed.”

Shooshani first heard about the YoungArts competition in her ninth grade photo class when visual arts teacher Joe Medina told the class about the program and encouraged them to apply. Medina said the program was a good opportunity for college because of scholarships and experience. Shooshani has been interested in photography for most of her life, and her interest in photography further developed in her ninth grade photography class. Shooshani said she was interested in taking photography when she first applied to Harvard-Westlake; however, she was not able to fit classes into her schedule until she was in ninth grade. Shooshani took both Photo I and Photo II in ninth grade. During second semester, there was no class period she could join, so she and Kate Von Mende ’18 had their own section and did assignments together. As her knowledge of photography expanded in her classes at school, her level of seriousness in the discipline increased. “I only started doing serious photography in ninth grade in the photo class,” Shooshani said. “Mr. Medina introduced us to [the ‘Sense of Place’ project], and that was the first unified body of work that I’ve ever developed that I’m proud of.” Shooshani also had her photography displayed in an exhibit at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica last year. Two works from her trip to Cuba

Arianna Shooshani ’18 is a two-time YoungArts competition winner for her work in documentary-style photography. Her photography draws inspiration from her family and heritage.

and one from her “Sense of Place” project were featured in the dnj Gallery. Photography is Shooshani’s favorite medium because it allows her to instantly have an end result and it is easier to continuously take photos until she is satisfied. According to Shooshani, she tried to do other types of art, but she was never interested enough to continue with it, or she became frustrated that she wasn’t good enough. “I’ve always thought photos are really cool as a concept because you’re able to capture a moment in time that may not be the same in a few seconds,” Shooshani said. “I’m able to express myself in that way. I can show people my point of view on something, and I am able to capture and keep it for as long as I want.” She said she doesn’t take her camera out that much unless she has a set goal. She always has her phone on her, and when she sees something pleasing to the eye, she will take a picture or two to keep for herself. Shooshani’s favorite pieces draw inspiration from the people and things around her that she then combines with her unique perspective. Shooshani’s style is mainly documentary photography, but she still takes abstract and natural photos as well. “My best work comes from stuff that’s closest to me, more specifically my family and my life because I’m able to see points of view that most people can’t see,” Shooshani said. “Even if you know me super well, it’s hard to explain some

things that I show in my photos.” Shooshani’s works depict her influence, she said. One of Shooshani’s recent photographs depicts her sister in her bathroom, gazing into a mirror. “Recently, I was doing a project at my sister’s house with her, and she had just broken up with her boyfriend. She was really upset about it, and on top of her mirror in her bathroom, she had a poster that she painted ‘I will love life unconditionally’ on,” Shooshani said. “I think it’s a really cool photo because the lighting is interesting and it captures a mood.” Shooshani said her sister Camille Shooshani ’13, whose house she shot at, was receptive to the idea of modeling for her. Camille Shooshani thought that the idea was cool and encouraged her to photograph even more. Shooshani said she has done photography projects at her grandparents’ house in Beverly Hills because it’s really unique and displays their culture in a meaningful way, and her family was happy that she did so. Shooshani said she wants to go back to her grandparents’ house and work on shooting more to capture their family’s rich culture and heritage. PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF ARIANNA SHOOSHANI ’18



Fashion Forward By EMILY RAHHAL

Genie Kilb ’17 had only ever been exposed to the fantastical world of fashion design represented in magazines and videos of runway shows. The summer before junior year, she realized that the fashion world wasn’t quite as sexy as she had expected. “It’s a lot different than I imagined it,” Kilb said. “It’s a lot less glamorous and a lot more nitty-gritty hard work, but I enjoy it.” The summer after her sophomore year, Kilb interned at Photogenics Media Company managing model’s online portfolios. It was her first time seeing inside the fashion world, and though it wasn’t quite what she had pictured, Kilb could also see herself entering the unseen business needs of the fashion industry. A future in fashion seemed more achievable. “When I was a little girl, that was my dream, to be a fashion designer, but when I was in high school, I thought it [might be] unrealistic,” Kilb said. “But there are a lot more careers in the industry than I originally thought.” Kilb was drawn to fashion because she wants to affect the world around her and use her creative talents to manufacture

Genie Kilb ’17 is making her way towards her childhood dream of working in the fashion industry, hoping to utilize her talents to make an impact on the world.

Kilb carries out the something tangible and process from start to finmeaningful. “I’ve always been into ish; once she sketches the arts and I’ve always her croquis, or model, she wanted to do something draws the actual clothes to functional that people can perfection in marker. Once she’s pleased use,” Kilb said. “Fashion with her sketch, she sews reflects culture.” The first time Kilb saw her own clothing, a skill some of her designs pro- she picked up at a young duced was this past sum- age from her mom. Soon, mer at a program at the she will learn to create her own patterns but for the Pratt Institute. time being, S h e she uses h a d worked all It’s a lot different commercial ones. summer than I imagined it. It’s a Kilb’s dewith Rasa signs have Barzdulot less glamorous and also largekas ’17 a lot more nitty-gritty ly been inon designhard work, but I enjoy spired by ing a coldesigner Islection of it.” abel Marant. clothing, “She has largely —Genie Kilb ’17 the abiliinspired ty to creby her favorite work of art, The ate clothes that are both Swing by Fragonard. See- structural and elegant, ing something tangible and that’s something that I and wearable that she had want to do,” she said. Kilb’s mom not only designed only made Kilb more motivated to find her taught her to sew, but place in the world of fash- has had a large influence on Kilb’s design career. ion. “I just sketch what I Since her mom works as imagine,” she said. “When a graphic designer, artisyou create something tic expression has always you’re proud of, it’s proba- been important in the Kilb household. When she was bly the best feeling.” While Kilb draws in- younger Kilb’s mom made spiration from the Internet clothes for her, and even and the world around her, dedicated a room in their she often finds herself in- house. “She always [encourspired by works of art, she aged] me to do creative said.

JAN. 11, 2017

things,” Kilb said. “She’s always been a supporter of the arts and of me pursuing a creative career.” Sophia Van Iderstine ’17, who modeled some of Kilb’s collection, was able to follow Kilb’s collection via Instagram, which made it all the more exciting to help bring her creations to life. “She is unbelievably creative and talented and so fun to be around,” Van Iderstein said. “Her designs are very versatile and easy to wear, yet every one has its own unique flare.” Kilb said it’s difficult to find time for fashion with the responsibilities of school and horseback riding filling Kilb’s schedule. Therefore, the majority of her experience has come from her summer work, but second semester will finally give Kilb the freedom of time to focus on her interest in fashion, given that most of her collection has been made during the weekends and break. She plans to study fashion in college.


Features Features The Chronicle • Jan. 11, 2017

The Chronicle • Jan. 11, 2017

Some students say they’ve had negative interactions with teachers or deans. These exchanges can lead to an uncomfortable learning environment. • Continued on C7


C2 Features

The Chronicle

Jan. 11, 2017

Students explain their tattoos and the significance that they hold. By Layla Moghavem and Jesse Nadel

yourself. It is another form of fus-Milner said. “It is a constant art,” Jayla Ruffus-Milner said. reminder to ourselves and to “As long as our tattoos have a those who bother to ask to conWhen talk show host Wendy positive meaning behind it, she tinue to see things in a positive light.” Williams asked reality star Kim will be supportive of them.” Other students’ parents, Their third and most recent Kardashian if she had any tattoos, Kardashian responded, however, are less supportive of tattoo is of a Celtic knot on their “Would you put a bumper stick- their child getting tattoos, leav- upper right arms, which their ing them to get a tattoo through mother has as well. This tater on a Bentley?” too, Jayla Ruffus-Milner said, While some students, like illegal means. Amy* ’17, who wished to re- represents their family and how Kardashian, think that tattoos deface one’s body, others see main anonymous for legal rea- they support each other. Ian* ’18, who is a minor, is them as a form of self-expres- sons, got a tattoo when she was sion and appreciate them for 17 years old using her fake ID planning to get a tattoo next last year. She said the decision month using a letter of consent their individuality. “The Bentley will remain a was made in the spur of the mo- from his mom. If that doesn’t Bentley no matter what,” said ment, and she knew her parents work, he plans on using his fake ID, he said. Jayla Rufus-Milner ’18, who would not give her like Similar to the has three tattoos. “The bumper permission Ruffus-MilI like the idea of Ruffus-Milners sticker adds personality and the character to the car; without ners’ mother did. placing art on myself and Amy, Ian’s Though Amy’s tattoo will hold a it, the Bentley would be indisthat has meaning.” personal meantinguishable against any other tattoo was spontaneous, she said it Bentley.” —Amy* ’17 ing to him. “Someone inAccording to a study conduct- has a lot of meaning to her and credibly close to ed by The Harris Poll, a market research firm, there has been a is not something she regrets. me died, and I wanted to honor 10 percent increase in the num- Her tattoo, she said, referenc- her with the tattoo,” Ian said. Despite the permanence of ber of Americans getting tattoos es something from a difficult over the past four years. Given time in her life and serves as a the tattoos, neither Jayla Rufthis increase, the dichotomy of reminder to her to always stay fus-Milner nor Amy said that they regret getting their tattoos. perceptions of tattoos is becom- positive. “I always wanted one, and I “We never worried about the ing more and more prevalent. In addition, approximately 25 per- will get more,” Amy said. “I like permanency of the tattoos becent of Harvard-Westlake stu- the idea of placing art on myself cause we have always took a lot of time to consider what we dents said in a Chronicle poll that has meaning.” Jayla Ruffus-Milner said her wanted on our bodies so that out of 389 students that they plan on getting a tattoo at some and her sisters’ tattoos all hold we would never get anything we significant meaning to would regret,” Jayla Ruffus-Milpoint in their life. them as well. For their ner said. “We understand that Jayla Rufus-Milfirst tattoo, Jayla Ruf- they will be on our bodies for the ner and her twin sisfus-Milner got the Yang rest of our lives and that was the ter Jayda Ruffus-Milhalf of the Yin-Yang sym- entire point of getting one – so ner ’18 have three bol on her wrist, while that the message of the tattoo is matching tattoos, the Jayda Ruffus-Milner got always there.” first of which they got the Yin. This tattoo, Jayla Despite the sometimes negain Nevada with their Ruffus-Milner said, was tive societal connotations of tatmother when they meant to remind them toos, she said she and her sister ’ were 15 years old. Acthat they will always be will likely get more so they can Jayla cording to California there for each other. continue expressing themselves. Ruffus-Milner Penal Code 653, it is The next tattoo they “Tattoos do not damage the ’17 a misdemeanor for a got was the word “excel- image of people but rather clarminor to get a tattoo sior,” which translates to ify it by allowing one’s inner self in the state of California. In most regions of Nevada, however, a “ever upward” in Latin, with an to be expressed on the outside,” minor age 14 or above can get a arrow going through it, on the Jayla Ruffus-Milner said. “Everyone should be able to express tattoo if he or she has parental outside of their lower left arms. “It is basically our life motto themselves in positive ways consent, according to the Southbecause we believe in always without having to fear the judgern Nevada Health District. “[My mom] has many tattoos looking at the positive even in ment of others.” herself and believes tattoos are very tough situations, and there *Names have been changed just another way to express have been many,” Jayla Ruf-

nathanson s


C3 Features

The Chronicle

a citizen. “As a legal immigrant who has gone through the process, experience was a turning point I am not sympathetic towards for his mom. illegal immigrants who don’t “She was almost deportpay taxes and take advantage ed, and I would’ve had to go of the country’s social benewith her even though I was fits,” he said. born here,” he said. “Because Rivera de León’s mom got I was a minor, they couldn’t her citizenship in 2011 and have just left me. Luckily, we cast her ballot for a U.S. presigot picked up by my dad. After dent for the first time last year. that, she was like, ‘I have to Both his parents were disget my citizenship.’ ” appointed by President-elect According to the DepartDonald Trump’s victory, he ment of Homeland Security, said. there were 1,051,031 new leThroughout his campaign, gal immigrants to the U.S. Trump promised to impose during 2015. Due to limited stricter regulations on imstatistics, it is difficult to estimigration than restrictions mate the number of illegal imunder Obama. According to migrants living in the United Trump’s campaign website, his States. However, drawing from “10-Point Plan to Put America data from the Current PopFirst” includes the construculation Survey, the Pew Histion of a physical wall on the panic Center U.S southern estimates 11 border, funded million undocPeople get very by Mexico, and umented imthe immediate mad about immigrants migrants curdeportation rently residing taking jobs, but they’re of “criminal in the U.S. taking jobs people aliens.” For Rive“[Trump’s aren’t lining up to do.” ra de León’s rhetoric] is very mom, immi—Axel dividing, and it gration seemed Rivera de León ’18 makes illegal to promise ecoimmigrants the nomic opporenemy when tunities, he said. they don’t have to be,” Rivera “She’s from Guatemala, de León said. “People get very which is a third world counmad about immigrants taktry,” Rivera de León said. ing jobs, but they’re taking “There was a lot of crime, and jobs that people aren’t lining her mom had thirteen chilup to do. No one’s lining up dren, so the financial situato do janitorial work for less tion was terrible. It’s a very than the minimum wage or to ‘the American Dream, move to take care of kids. I think peothe U.S. for a better life’ type ple don’t realize the actual imof thing.” pact that illegal immigrants do He was also personally afhave. All of a sudden, making fected by witnessing his mom immigration a much bigger go through the naturalization problem than it actually is is process, Rivera de León said. kind of scary. “I was relatively involved While Rivera de León finds in the [citizenship] process, some of Trump’s comments on just because I do help her a lot immigration frightening, Davis with her English because she’s Ford ’18 said the lack of inforstill not amazing at it,” he said. mation about people entering “She was really proud of it too, the U.S. is a greater issue. and she made it kind of fun “If I myself was undocubecause she had a little CD mented, I would be extremely with the questions. She would scared if Trump was elected,” listen to it in the car, and she Ford said. “But here’s the would practice a lot.” point. The point is not individRivera de León said anual. The point is the scale. We ti-immigrant sentiment, don’t know where they’re livprevalent in current political ing. We don’t know who they discussions, is especially upare, and I think that’s scary as setting because it is grounded a citizen because there’s peoin inaccurate stereotypes of ilple who can commit crimes, legal immigrants. and we don’t know their “Even if [illegal immigrants] names.” don’t, say, save the world or Moreover, he thinks that save the United States, they’re all people living in the U.S. not always here as a negative should pay their fair share of presence,” he said. “Straight taxes. off the bat, my mom was like, “They’re taking advantage ‘Okay, I want to learn English, of some of the systems that and I want to get my citizenare being paid for by taxpayers ship,’ even though it almost and taxpayer money,” he said. took getting deported to get it. “I don’t really have a problem I think that illegal immigrants with them living here. My iscan get depicted as evil people, sue is that people are living here to take jobs and to ruin here, and we don’t know who the economy, when that’s realthey are, and they’re not payly not true.” ing taxes.” Chad*, who immigrated leThe best solution, Ford gally to the U.S. from Europe, said, would be to have polisaid he found the immigration cies that distinguish between process generally easy. Morenewly arriving undocumentover, he said that with current ed immigrants and those that policies illegal immigration is have been living in the United cheaper than undergoing takStates for a loning the legal steps to become ger amount of

time. “One of the best things to do is have a limit,” he said. “If families have been here for a set number of years, let’s say, five or more years, I think, in that scenario, they shouldn’t be able to be deported. I think in scenarios when they’ve been living here for less than five years, they should be able to be deported because they haven’t really established a huge family life here yet. They’ve only been here for a certain amount of time, and I think they should be able to go back to the place they come from and then go through the process legally.” While Ford said illegal immigration is a detrimental nationwide issue, Daniel Varela ’18 has experienced the implications of anti-immigrant sentiment on a more personal level. When his grandmother was 14 years old, she crossed the U.S.-Mexican border to work as a migrant worker with her 11 siblings. At the end of every year, her family sent 90 percent of their profits back to her parents in Mexico. The four years that his grandmother spent as an undocumented immigrant were the most transformative, he said. “During those four years of her adolescence, she knew that she couldn’t be caught [or] do bad things and had to present herself well,” Varela said. “Most of the time, it was hiding when the police were around. As a woman and a person of color, going through the hardships she faced while undocumented gave her strength.” Similar to Rivera de León, Varela said he sees negative stereotyping of Hispanics in the current political climate. “Latin America is perceived for solely its cartels and corrupt governments,” he said. “But not enough people realize that the people of Latin America aren’t bad. It’s the same as America, where there are a handful of people doing bad things, while the majority are good citizens. I feel like white people think we’re invading their space or something.” However, Liam Douglass ’18 said the people of color he knows do not seem to be fearful of the immigration policies that Trump has promised to enact. “I have friends of different races, religions, genders and sexualities, and none of them have been affected in any way,” he said. “That’s not to say there haven’t been incidents, but none of my friends have experienced them, and based off of what they have been saying, they do not seem to be that worried.” Douglass said he does not expect Trump’s policies to be successful. “I am in no way a Trump supporter, and I think he is a

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Jan. 11, 2017 despicable man; however, I do up that often,” Slattery said. Nonetheless, President not think it is fair to judge him as a president when he hasn’t Rick Commons said Harvard-Westlake strives to prispent a day in office,” he said. Varela, in contrast, said oritize inclusion of students of Trump’s future presidency all backgrounds and opinions. “To the students who may leaves him with a sense of disfeel that the emotions or the appointment in America. “Hearing about Trump’s rhetoric of the presidential views makes me feel bad that election was putting them in I’m in America, the very coun- a place that they didn’t belong try that my grandma thought to, I want to say that we are would be her safe haven,” he not the community that we assaid. “You don’t want someone pire to be without you,” Comwho is against some Ameri- mons said in a letter to the school community following cans to represent America.” Under the Obama admin- the presidential election. “We istration, the Deferred Action hope things will get better, not for Childhood Arrivals policy worse, for people who feel a was taken into effect in 2012, sense of not belonging.” Slattery also said that unaccording to the Department of Homeland Security’s web- documented immigrants have site. This policy exempts ille- a support network both within gal immigrants who came to Harvard-Westlake and legally the U.S. before the age of 16 in the state of California. “I don’t think from deportation for [undocumented stutwo years, subject to dents] know how renewal. DACA also many allies they ensures eligibility for have, in California a work permit. and at this school,” According to DiSlattery said. “The rector of Admission fact is that there are Elizabeth Gregory, lots of people who are the Harvard-Westlake supportive of both application does not ’ those students and explicitly ask about Daniel their family memthe immigration staVarela ’18 bers. I think partictus of an applicant’s parents. It does, however, ask ularly students in California for the student’s country or are fortunate because we have a state government that’s gocountries of citizenship. Furthermore, since the ing to help protect those stu1982 Plyler v. Do Supreme dents, and they certainly go to Court case, students living a school that will protect them in the U.S. have the right to and their family members to a free primary and secondary the best of its abilities.” As someone who belongs education, regardless of immito several minority groups gration status. There are no federal laws Mexican-American, Guatemapreventing the admission of lan, black, and Native-Ameriundocumented students to can - Varela said opposition to colleges. However, students immigration only hinders the with undocumented parents American dream. may run into complications “Because I’m Native-Amerwith receiving financial aid. ican, I feel like the entire de“I want to say it doesn’t bate on immigration is pointhurt students if they’re un- less because everyone here documented unless they’re is an immigrant one way or looking to apply for any need- another,” Varela said. “Even based financial aid,” Upper Native-Americans came across School Dean Jamie Chan said. the Siberian Ice Bridge. Na“Then to fill out the [Federal tive-Americans have been here Application For Student Aid] the longest, but America is reand the [College Scholarship ally no one’s land. I feel like Service] Financial Aid Profile, we’re taking steps backward you need to have a social se- instead of forward.” curity number or a green card or something like that.” However, Upper School Deans Department Head Beth Slattery said the deans try to accommodate students without documentation in the college counseling process. “Most of what we try to do is to help them navigate towards schools that have more flexible policies or have created policies around supporting those kids, but it hasn’t come nathanson s


The Chronicle

C4 Features

Jan. 1

Around the World in 14 Days During winter break, many students and their families traveled abroad to perform community service or gain exposure to other cultures. Some opted to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s abroad as well. All Articles by Danielle Kaye and Sabrina de Brito

Nicole Bahar ’18: Teaching English in Iran When the Iranian Revolution broke out in 1979, many of the na’ tion’s universities shut down, forcing those about to attend college to put their plans on hold. Nicole Bahar’s ’18 mother was one of those people. Instead of leaving for university, Bahar’s mother worked as a ski instructor in the nearby mountain village of Shemshak, where Bahar said she formed meaningful connections to the town and its residents. nathanson s


Decades later, Bahar and her mother returned to Shemshak during winter break in order to give back to the community, which Bahar said gave her mother a sense of purpose in a time of uncertainty. They taught English and donated educational resources to the underprivileged Shemshak Elementary School. The school is one of the only co-ed institutions in Iran. Once the revolutionary regime came to power, it imposed laws requiring gender segregation in

education. “I think it’s an important cause,” Bahar said. “Especially since we’re coming from a school with so many opportunities, it’s great to give back to other schools that don’t have those resources.” Bahar said that she wanted to help ensure that the co-ed school had the resources to produce successful students. Before traveling to Shemshak, Bahar and her mother also visited family in the capital city, Tehran.


Eitán Sneider ’17: New Year’s in Cuba On the day that Eitán Sneider ’17 arrived in Havana, his Cuban taxi driver explained that he makes 30 times more than an attorney does. This revelation was Sneider’s first insight into the combination of traditional Cuban culture and increasing foreign influence, given the recent restoration of U.S.-Cuban relations. Sneider’s family was eager to visit Cuba before the impact of tourism overshadowed authentic Cuban society, he said. He said that decades-old cars were mixed with modern taxis on the streets of Havana. “You don’t really see homeless people there when you’re walking around, but you also don’t really see people living a lavish lifestyle,” Sneider said. “Everyone is content and super happy.”


On New Year’s Eve, Sneider experienced two aspects of Cuban culture: music and hospitality. He was struck by the generosity of an employee at his hotel in Havana who offered to save him and his family a table at the popular restaurant Sociedad Cultural Rosalia de Castro without asking for a tip. “I’ve traveled quite a bit, and Cuban people ’ are, of everywhere I’ve been, the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Sneider said. At the fully-booked restaurant, Sneider joined dozens of Cubans for a show about the history of Cuban music. A live Cuban band and various singers performed Cuban songs from various eras. nathanson s



11, 2017

Features C5

Catherine Crouch ’19: Shrimp and Shrines in Japan Catherine Crouch ’19 was enjoying sushi with her family at a traditional Japanese restaurant in ’ Tokyo when the chef, a live shrimp in hand, asked her, “Raw or boiled?” Repulsed by the idea of eating a live animal, Crouch responded with a confident “boiled.” The chef, however, ignored her preference, insisting that she try the nathanson s


raw shrimp. “I couldn’t say no because of their culture,” Crouch said. “You can’t just turn it down, especially at a small sushi tasting like that. So I just took a deep breath and ate it. It was so bad. It moved in my mouth.” Crouch said that she loved exploring Tokyo and Kyoto during her weeklong trip to Japan during winter break. She was particularly impressed by the cleanliness of the cities and the

politeness of the Japanese people, she said. Crouch said that visiting the Fushimi-Inari shrine in Kyoto was one of the highlights of the trip. She also said she enjoyed participating in an authentic sushi-making class with her mom. “It’s an insanely beautiful country,” Crouch said. “Every part of it, whether it’s metropolitan or an old shrine, is just beautiful.”

Sophia Dienstag ’17: College Apps on a Boat Sitting on a boat in the middle of the Galapagos, Sophia Dienstag ’17 squinted at her computer screen, ’ trying to make out the blurry letters on a college application. She began to worry that something was wrong with her eyes, only to discover that blurry vision is a side effect of the seasickness patches that she was wearing. Dienstag wore the patches throughnathanson s

out the duration of her family boat trip in the Galapagos Islands, Dec. 22 - 31. Although she could not escape college applications, she said she enjoyed engaging with the natural beauty of the South American destination on hikes and snorkeling adventures. “There were a few villages on some of the islands, but mostly, there’s no human interference,” Dienstag said. “We saw a lot of blue-footed boobies nesting in the cliffs and sometimes you


could see them start to do a special mating dance.” Dienstag also spent a couple of days in Quito and walked along the equator, located just outside the city. On Christmas Eve, she ate traditional Ecuadorian food at the oldest hotel in Ecuador’s capital Quito. “It’s really different than any other trip I’ve done,” Dienstag said. “But make sure to bring some seasickness meds.”







Graphics by Sabrina de Brito House image licensed for reuse with modification from Creative Commons, Image edited by Sabrina de Brito

C6 Features

The Chronicle


Jan. 11, 2017


Finally Coasting

Seniors recently received admissions decisions from Early Action/Decision schools. For some, this meant the end of the college application process. By Sophie Cohen and Danielle Kaye The All-Around: After weeks of worrying that her Early Action school was too much of a reach, Amanda’s* anxiety was put to rest when she found a letter in her mailbox congratulating her on her acceptance to Georgetown University Dec. 22. However, she had been awaiting the official decision since Dec. 15, the expected notification date, and had to call the admissions office Dec. 19 to inquire about the status of her application. As relieved as she is to have been accepted to her top choice school, Amanda cannot officially decide whether or not she will be attending Georgetown until she receives her official financial aid package in April. For this reason, she applied to four other regular decision schools – University of Southern California, Williams, Yale and Dartmouth – just in case Georgetown does not grant her the financial aid package her family needs. “Obviously, if financial aid works out, Georgetown is where I’ll go,” Amanda said. “It’s my top choice, so I’m very happy.” Amanda is pleased with her first semester academic performance. “There was a lot on my plate, just like for every senior, with college applications and everything I had to get done,” Amanda said. “It surprisingly went well for me, and the pres-

sure to do everything actually helped me to spend a lot more time on my work and focus a lot.” During winter break, Amanda was able to spend time with her friends and family and make up for the time she spent studying and engaging in her extracurricular activities throughout first semester. “I’m excited to spend more time with friends now that I have more free time and [to focus] more on those relationships because I’m not always stressed about school,” Amanda said.

over Caltech. Sean’s acceptance to Caltech prompted him to withdraw his application from USC. Sean submitted most regular decision applications before the start of winter break due to early deadlines for his art portfolio. This allowed him to relax during winter break. “I’ve lived in LA my whole life, so maybe I will be here in the future, or maybe I won’t,” Sean said. “But definitely I would like to spend some time with friends and family and have a nice second semester, still with a focus on school and grades.”

The Brain: Overwhelmed with excitement, Sean was admitted Dec. 10 to one of his three top choice schools: The California Institute of Technology. He was deferred from his other top choices, the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but is still pleased with the results because he would be equally happy to attend any of the three schools. “It is definitely really exciting to know that there is a great place that I can go to next year,” Sean said. Sean decided to apply regular decision to Princeton, Stanford, Harvard and Yale and sent in a video of him playing the violin to each college. If he is accepted to any of these schools, he will have to visit the campus and assess whether he would prefer to attend one of these institutions

The Artist: On Dec. 16, Christina* received good news: she got a callback from USC, her topchoice school. She will move onto the next round of auditions for USC Jan. 22. Although she will not find out if she will be a Trojan until the spring, Christina felt relieved when she was notified of her admission to Indiana University Jan. 2. “[Indiana] is not necessarily where I want to go to school, but worse comes to worst, I always have that to fall back on,” Christina said. “And I don’t have to worry about not getting in anywhere.” The number of regular decisions schools to which Christina applied was contingent upon whether or not she received a callback from USC. After receiving positive results, Christina and her dean felt

confident enough to forgo applying to other safety schools. Christina’s admissions decisions from two other schools are a bit less clear. She suspects that something must have gone wrong with her application to Emerson College, as she has yet to receive an admissions decision weeks after the notification date. She thinks that this may be due to the fact that she submitted her audition online because she could not fly to Boston for a live audition before the deadline. Additionally, Christina did not receive a formal decision from the University of Michigan in her application portal. “Everyone else who was deferred had that written in the Michigan portal, but mine didn’t say anything,” Christina said. Moving forward, Christina is now in the process of preparing for her live auditions that will take place later this month and throughout February. Some of her song choices include “Big White Room” by Jessie J and “Not in That Way” by Sam Smith. She is also looking forward to the reduced stress from schoolwork this semester. “I’m definitely really excited to be a second semester senior,” Christina said. “Hopefully I’ll have time to spend my last semester with my friends and feel less stressed about school.” The Athlete: Though confident on the

morning of Dec. 9, Pomona’s early decision notification date, Mark* still worried that his verbal commitment could fall through the cracks. Upon opening his letter in his hotel room in Austin after competing in the Speedo Junior Nationals, Mark received a concrete acceptance. “When I was admitted, it was such a relief that I could see the actual letter rather than having just the guarantee from the coach,” Mark said. Mark will begin training with Pomona in August as the school’s number one recruit for the class of 2021. He expects to be competing in Pomona’s top relay for breaststroke. In addition to looking forward to competing on Pomona’s team this fall, Mark is also excited to be a leader on the Harvard-Westlake boys’ swim team this spring. Academically, Mark is enjoying his post-AP Chinese class thanks to its flexible syllabus. Mark has felt relaxed since his verbal commitment in September, but is now even more relieved with an official acceptance. He is not studying as hard now, though he is still trying to maintain solid grades to avoid having his acceptance rescinded, he said. Next week, Mark will be competing at the Austin Grand Prix, an international competition. He will be swimming breast-stroke and sprint freestyle. *Names have been changed.

Jan. 11, 2017

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to students’ confidence in their abilities. By Noa Schwartz Out of 352 Harvard-Westlake students polled, 87 percent said they Bill* sprinted from his dean’s office have witnessed a teacher pick on a felto his mother’s car with tears stream- low student, and 63 percent said they ing down his face, hoping his dean have had a negative relationship with could not see him crying through his a teacher. 87 percent said they felt office window. this relationship affected their ability He had just been reprimanded for to succeed in the class. goofing off in his middle school his“I mean this in the nicest way postory class. His teacher had previous- sible, but teenagers are notoriously ly talked to him about the issue. Bill self-centered and kind of think the apologized immediately, promised to world revolves around them,” Upper change his behavior and was forgiven, School Dean Beth Slattery said. “A lot thanks to his strong relationship with of times kids are only paying attention his teacher. to how they’re being treated.” He said he thought the issue had Slattery said she agrees with the been resolved when his dean idea that different treatapproached him at the end of ment is usually subconthe day to discuss his lack of scious. seriousness in class. His dean “Occasionally I have had already intimidated him had a teacher admit that and made him feel disliked, he they snap at certain kids said, for reasons he could not because they feel disreidentify. spected, and so they can’t “He asked me why I thought help treating them differI could get away with my beently,” Slattery said. ’ havior,” Bill said. “I said that I Bill said he disagrees Beth Slattery thought it was because my hiswith the principle that if a tory teacher and I were friends teacher or authority figure and he responded, ‘Your teacher has feels disrespected by a student, tarfriends, you are not one of them. I geting that student is the best way to have friends, you are also not one of handle the situation. them.’” “I see how it could be a tough love This was the comment that upset sort of thing that works with some him the most, as he considered it his people, but teachers need to realdean’s responsibility to be someone ize that it absolutely does not work that he could go to with any issue at for others and stop, because kids do any time. It was a blatant example of things subconsciously too and can be favoritism, he said, as this same dean really sensitive,” Bill said. had clear favorite students whom he Upper School Psychologist Kaviwould praise in front of the grade fre- ta Ajmere conducted a study on the quently. impact of teacher comments during Throughout the year, Bill said his graduate school. Ajmere surveyed coldean continued to have a short tem- lege sophomores, asking them about per with him and single him out. their experience with teachers. “I absolutely lived in fear of him “People were writing about things in middle school and my self-esteem from what happened to them in third and confidence was at an all-time low, grade or fifth grade,” Ajmere said. solely because of him,” Bill said. “I “When we have an emotional impact hated going to school, because he was that can be potentially negative, it can there.” inhibit our process of learning.” According to a study conducted Jamie* ’19 agreed with Ajmere, as in 2015 by PsychCentral, a mental she felt unmotivated to work hard in a health social network run by profes- class after a negative experience with sional psychologists, teachers’ ten- her teacher, she said. dency to treat some students differ“I was messing around laughing ently is often either subconscious or with a couple of other kids at the end reactionary to a student’s behavior. of class, which I shouldn’t have been However, it can often be detrimental doing, but then my teacher got really nathanson s

Features C7

fed up and said that I ‘didn’t have time felt like a very personal attack.” to be goofing off,’ and put my grade Bahar said this remark caused her spreadsheet up on the board,” Jamie to tear up in front of her class, while said. “It was really embarrassing.” her teacher seemed to feel no sense of While Jamie said that her teacher remorse. humiliating her was effective in stop“When he called me annoying, I alping her and anyone else from misbe- ready struggled with the class due to having in class, she said she wished my anxiety over my teacher’s opinion her teacher had been more respectful of me,” Bahar said. “I think he knew of her feelings. how much I cared and was trying to “I could not tell you why she had impress him, too.” to do that,” Jamie said. “I was just Slattery has dealt with similar sitlike ‘oh my God this is so awkward,’ uations before, at times acting as the and I was messing around but it was mediator between teacher and stuonly because I had asked the same dent to help fix the relationship. question so many times because I was “Sometimes intervention can be confused and she kept ignoring me. I helpful, because I do think [the way a just kind of didn’t talk at all in class teacher treats a student] can affect a anymore and stopped caring.” student’s ability to do well in Ajmere said that the apa class, because it can end propriate way for teachers to up being self-sabotage, behandle feeling disrespected cause kids will get convinced is to have a calm and mature that no matter what they do, conversation with the stutheir grade will not go up,” dent. Slattery said. “I don’t think that public However, Slattery said shaming has ever helped a that the most proactive resstudent,” Ajmere said. “I genolution is for the student to ’ uinely think students have talk to the teacher himself or Nicole Bahar’ 18 good intentions and they don’t herself. realize sometimes when they “Usually, the problem is are being disruptive. However, when not that the teacher doesn’t like you, a student continues to be disruptive, it’s that for a lot of kids, when they sometimes we have short fuses.” feel a teacher doesn’t like them, they Nicole Bahar ’18 said she has also avoid that teacher like the plague; reexperienced being treated differently ally, the best thing is to do the oppothan the rest of her classmates. Al- site and bridge that gap so that the though she described herself as a ded- teacher knows how much you care,” icated student in her middle school Slattery said. English class, she also described After continuing to feel personally herself as the student her teacher victimized by her teacher, Bahar deliked least, even less than those who cided to take this approach. slacked off or disrupted the class. “He actually admitted to purposeHer teacher would constantly take fully picking on me at times, and apolsmall digs at her, she said. At first she ogized,” Bahar said. “He said he recogthought they were funny, but then nized and appreciated the hard work I they became personal. put into his class, which I don’t think As the year went on, her teacher’s validates his actions, but he definitely temper with her became shorter and was kinder after we had a conversahe would insult her intelligence in mo- tion about it.” ments that it was uncalled for, Bahar Bahar said she felt a sense of relief said. after the conversation. Slattery said “I was working quietly on an in- that differences in teacher-student reclass worksheet with a classmate, lationships are an avoidable problem. and we were laughing about some“Teachers are human, too. They thing that happened in a book, and make mistakes,” Slattery said. “A lot my teacher exploded,” Bahar said. of the time, I think kids need to take “We were doing group work, he only ownership for their actions. That’s the got angry with me, and he called me first step.” out in front of everyone, saying ‘God, you are such an annoying kid,’ which *Names have been changed. nathanson s


C8 Features

The Chronicle

Doctor’s Orders By Sophie Cohen and Alena Rubin

Upperclassmen discuss the process of obtaining medical marijuana cards for recreation. Since the enactment of Proposition 215 in 1996, Californians have been allowed to possess marijuana for medical purposes.

you need the card?” were among the questions the doctor asked. She had already Colorful sugar-dusted gummy edibles. A medical planned her response to bottle packed with a few the last question. “Anxiety is something grams. Perfectly-rolled joints packaged in plas- that I deal with, and I do tic tubes and a Bic lighter take medication for it,” Ali enameled with a gopher told him, noting that she was willing to try somegraphic. These items lay askew thing new to help relieve on the console of Ali’s* her anxiety. Less than 30 minutes ’16 car as she and her boyfriend stared at the later, the door with the assortment, their mouths painted green cross swung agape. It was not the first shut, and Ali walked away time they’d bought pot, with a medical marijuana but it was the first time card. She could now legalthey had done so legally. ly enter a dispensary and According to a Chronicle purchase marijuana for herself. poll of 372 Ali felt students, 86 an air of percent beHaving a uneasilieve students ness as who have medical marijuana she apmedical marcard eradicates the proached ijuana cards shady back door the disuse them for recreational aspect of getting weed p e n s a r y due to purposes. from a dealer.” its nonHours earlier, Ali had —Heather* ’17 d e s c r i p t exterior walked past and darkstorefronts lining a Hollywood strip ly tinted windows. After mall and entered one flashing her medical marwith a sign that read “Hol- ijuana card to an employlywood Easy Clinic” in ee, she was led back into a glowing green lights. Not salesroom where she was knowing what to expect, filled with a sense of awe she said her palms were as she saw jars of weed sweaty as she nervous- lined up on the shelves ly approached the vap- and edibles displayed in a ing receptionist, who was glass case. “Buying marijuana sitting behind a desk in products was as easy as what looked like a typical doctor’s waiting room. Ex- buying candy at a candy pecting to be given a hard shop,” Ali said. Back in the car, Ali and time over her young age and assuming the doctor her boyfriend couldn’t would consult her pedi- wait to pop open the atrician about the valid- shiny plastic prescription ity of her claims, Ali was bottle, laden with medical shocked to find that the labels, containing a joint. process was as easy as The two shared one in the parking lot. advertised. Although she was imAfter filling out a medical form with basic con- mediately grateful for the tact information and the medical marijuana prename of her general prac- scription, Ali said it was titioner, someone took not something she iniAli’s blood pressure and tially planned to do upon led her to a back room turning 18. Though her where she consulted with claim of anxiety is legita licensed medical mari- imate, and she believes marijuana helps alleviate juana card doctor. “Have you tried weed it, she admits that, prior before?,” “How does it af- to her prescription, she fect you?” and “Why do primarily smoked weed

Jan. 11, 2017

for recreational purposes. Her friends convinced her to get the medical marijuana card solely for legal protection. Medical marijuana first became legal in California in 1996 with the enactment of Proposition 215, which made it legal to possess and cultivate marijuana for the purpose of medical conditions such as anxiety, arthritis and glaucoma. California’s medical marijuana industry has since grown to include 1,250 shops, generating $1.3 billion in annual sales, according to the Los Angeles Times. Although the 1996 proposition states that smoking marijuana should be used solely for medical purposes, students often abuse this. The driving force for many to obtain medical marijuana cards when they turn 18 is not legal protection but rather the ease with which they will be able to acquire weed, students say. “Having a medical marijuana card eradicates the shady back door aspect of getting weed from a dealer,” Heather* ’17 said. Heather plans to get a medical marijuana card when she turns 18 so that she can eliminate a middle-man dealer and instead purchase directly from a dispensary, which she anticipates will be more convenient. Heather will be able to select specific strains and quantities of marijuana and not have to worry about prices being arbitrarily raised, something she said she has experienced with dealers who she feels have tried to take advantage of her. Chaplain Father J. Young believes that the combination of legal protection and hassle-free transactions enabled by Proposition 215 led to an up-tick in marijuana usage among Harvard-Westlake students. Although studies by Forbes suggest there was no correlation,

Young believes otherwise The Cannabist. and consequently wishes Young said he expects that Proposition 215 ap- the new law to have litplied only to individuals tle impact on smoking over the age of 21 or re- among 18 to 20-year-olds. quired parental consent “I would say a kid usfor individuals between ing a fake ID is going to 18 and 20 years old. put him or herself at an “I noticed a movement, extra risk that he or she not totally obviously at wouldn’t have to do if they first, but a definite move- had a medical marijuana ment away from alcohol card,” Young said. and towards marijuana Young’s position is [amongst Harvard-West- supported by data from lake students],” Young a 2015 Healthy Kids Colsaid. “I felt like the num- orado Survey, which disbers of kids that were covered that the state’s drinking heavily may have legalization of marijuana actually gone down, and in 2012 had no significant the numbers of kids who impact on teen smokers. smoke heavily went up.” However, cannabis leNic Smith ’17, who galization in Colorado said he used has led to the first to smoke frereported overdose quently but deaths from pot, has since beaccording to CBS come sober, News. agrees that “The high that medical marcomes from ingestijuana cards ing marijuana takes lead to an longer to kick in, so increase in as you can imagine, N ’ recreational it would be a little Chaplain J. smoking. easier to overdose Young “Medical because you eat a marijuana cookie and don’t cards make cannabis a lot feel anything, and then more accessible to a lot of you eat 20 more, and then people,” Smith said. “It is - surprise - it kicks in, easy to slip into unhealthy and you have overdosed,” habits and relationships.” Young said. Students who currentRegardless of the negly possess a medical mar- ative effects of marijuana ijuana card said that their legalization, Smith said consumption of cannabis he believes that cannabis has increased since they is always going to be very received the prescription. prevalent among teenag“The fact that there ers and adolescents, and are so many dispensa- medical cards increase its ries makes it so easy to accessibility to students. smoke, and having the “I think that cannabis card makes me smoke is always going to be prevmore,” Steve* ’17 said. alent among teenagers The passage of Cali- and adolescents because, fornia Proposition 64 in although I wouldn’t say it 2016 has led to specula- is a healthy option, it is tion amongst health pro- an easy solution to a lot of fessionals over whether the stress that a lot of high the legalization of rec- schoolers and college stureational marijuana will dents are under,” Smith increase smoking among said. “I wouldn’t say that high school students. The medical cards are a bad proposition, which goes thing, but I don’t know into effect Jan. 1, 2018, that it is neceswill allow for adults sarily helping 21 and older to with a lot possess, transof people’s port, purchase productivand use marijuaity.” na, according to athanson s



Sports The Chronicle • Jan. 11, 2017

Girls’ Basketball


IT’S A LONG SHOT: Jayla Rufus-Milner ’18 fires off a buzzer-beater during the team’s 59-24 victory over FSHA on Jan. 5. The team is 14-1 and ranked 17th in the nation as of press time. It will play against Alemany, the state’s 15th-ranked team, on Jan. 19.

On Cloud Nine By Oliver Akhtarzhad and Adam Yu

Injuries have left the girls’ basketball team with few players, but they have even fewer losses. After winning three consecutive tournaments, the team has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in California. Despite having just nine players on the roster and often being reduced to a 7-person rotation, the squad has one defeat this season, a 4441 loss to Ventura in December. “One of the main reasons why we have been successful this season is because of the cohesiveness of the team,” guard Ashlee Wong ’18 said. “Each player knows where her other teammates are going to be on the court, which has helped improve our offense.”

The undermanned girls’ basketball team is a mainstay near the top of both national and statewide rankings

Wong also said that the teammates’ bond with each other contributes to the success. “Our team is exceptionally unselfish which helps us find open players and take good shots,” she said. “Our work ethic as a team is good, and we work hard during practice and during games.” Another guard, Melanie Hirsch ’18, attributes the strong record to the team’s physical fitness. “I’d said one of our biggest strengths is our conditioning,” she said. “We’re able to outrun teams, and that’s what allows us to win in the long haul a lot of the time.” Hirsch echoed Wong’s sentiment about the team’s strong bond neutralizing their lack of personnel. She has a point; the El Camino Real varsity girls’ basketball team has 13 players, and Flintridge Sa-

cred Heart has 12. The Wolverines defeated both teams. “Our pure desire to win definitely accounts for our success,” Hirsch said. “We don’t care about our individual stats or making ourselves look good. We just care about winning at the end of the day. Also our team has been together for the past three years, so we’ve all gotten really close. We know each other really well both on and off the court.” Power forward Jayla Ruffus-Milner ’18 belives the team’s confidence, which has only grown as the wins have piled up, plays a big role in its success. “We all have confidence in the capability of our team to do great things and win challenging games,” RuffusMilner said. “This confidence allows us to have more trust and closer bonds on and off

the court, making us a really strong force to mess with.” Their work is far from done, as the team still has seven league games to play. However, the squad still retains its high hopes and expectations for the remainder of the season. “I expect us to win league this year, given our upward improvement and momentum,” Wong said. “If we can limit our mistakes, I believe this will happen.” The squad’s next league matchup is a highly-antipicated home game against Alemany on Jan. 19 at 6 pm. Both teams are high up in MaxPreps’ California state rankings (as of press time, the Wolverines are 6th, and the Warriors are 15th). “I believe in my team’s capabilities one hundred percent,” Ruffus-Milner said.

Girls’ Soccer

Team opens season with strong play

By Elly Choi


ON THE RUN: Forward Paige Howard ’17 chases the ball during the team’s 3-2 victory over Newbury Park last season.

The girls’ soccer team started off the season with a win against Palos Verdes, one of their top rivals, in the Beckman tournament on Nov. 29. The squad won all four of its matches in the tournament, save a 2-1 defeat against Junipero Serra. The team is currently focusing on working more cohesively before the league matches start. “This season, we have gone in not really knowing what to expect but I surprised ourselves,” left winger Ariana Miles ’18 said. “We are now mainly trying to work on our rhythm on the field and to play together by connecting passes and defending well together. We are also working on talking and com-

municating on the field because we are generally a more quiet team.” The team is also undergoing a shift in leadership. As opposed to the eight seniors that were leading the squad, this year there are only three seniors to lead the team. “It makes the leadership role a lot different because it makes it so that the juniors also have to step up and have a leadership role,” Miles said. “It also makes it so our team doesn’t have as much experience at the varsity level, but we have a deep bench and a lot of people who can step up and play.” Although the team is still adjusting to the change in leadership, players see some benefits in delegating leadership roles to players of different grade levels.

This season is also one of the few that the soccer team has had a junior, Bridget Stokdyk ’18, as the team captain. “When I pick a captain, I’m really just looking for people that will step up to the leadership job, be a catalyst for our team, and gain the girls’ respect,” Girls’ Soccer Program Head Richard Simms said The team is 6-2-1 as of press time, and is looking forward to the rest of the season and the first league game against Chaminade High School on Jan. 11. “I’m really excited about the upcoming [games],” center midfielder Olivia Bautista ’19 said. “We all have each other’s back sand we are excited to play together and win.”


Game to watch


JAN. 11, 2017

Boys’ Basketball


Girls’ basketball vs. Alemany High School Taper Gym The girls' basketball team will be playing Alemany High School for the first time this season Jan. 19. The Wolverines were 0-2 against the Warriors last season losing two tight games by defecits of 2 and 3. The Wolverines have started off the season well going 13-1. Alemany is 10-4 this season.

KEY PLAYER Jayla Ruffus-Milner '18 The Wolverines are led by Jayla Ruffus-Milner who is averaging a double-double with 14.3 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. She leads the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks per game. Ruffus-Milner has shot an efficient 46 percent from the field this season.

& Figures Facts

Highest point total by the boys’ basketball team this season

6 Points per game by Jayla Ruffus-Milner for girls’ basketball


99 Shut outs pitched by the boys’ soccer team AARON PARK/CHRONICLE

GETTING BUCKETS: (Top left): Carter Begel ’17 drives the paint for a layup attempt. (Top right): Terren Frank ’20 takes a jump shot in the Woleverine’s 75-68 victory Jan. 6. (Bottom): Johnny Juzang ’20 dribbles left around a St. Francis defender.

16.3 Team works to improve on-court chemistry Miles travelled by girls’ soccer to play in Dallas, Texas

Junior Varsity Boys’ Basketball Next Game: Jan. 13 @ Notre Dame

Girls’ Basketball Next Game:

Jan. 19 @ Harvard-Westlake

Boys’ Soccer Next Match: Jan. 13 @ Notre Dame

Girls’ Soccer Next Match:

Jan. 13 @ Occidental College



Basketball is a team sport. This year’s squad certainly has all the off-court chemistry of a championshipwinning team, but on the court, the group is still experiencing some growing pains. This season is by no means a rebuilding one, but it has been one full of change. “I think from a personal standpoint we have good chemistry, the guys really love each other, they get along, they enjoy being around each other,” Boys’ Basketball Program Head David Rebibo said. “But I think chemistry off the court and chemistry on the court are two different things. You develop chemistry on the court with time, and this is year two for me as a coach. Chemistry is something that takes time, and yes we have great chemistry, but I think that our chemistry on the court needs to get better.” Rebibo is hopeful that as the season progresses and the team spends more time playing together their on-court dynamic will improve. “Although we return a lot of guys it is a different team, that’s going to be that case year-to-year,” Rebibo said. “We may return a few guys

that understand, but goals change, your identity as a team changes, and sometimes systematically you change, and that changes things.” On the goals front, murmurs of an Open Division bid followed the team preseason. But those goals have indeed changed after going just 8-6 against a tough slate of nonleague opponents. “The goal is to become the best team we can become at the end of the day, and hopefully that means Open Division,” Rebibo said. “But even if it doesn’t, the expectation level for any team is to become the best team, right? We just work daily to become the best team, and we haven’t had the luxury of being together two, three years, let alone five, six months, unfortunately.” The team was also limited by missing players and injuries, such as Cassius Stanley’s ’19 concussion that took him out for three games and L Simpson’s ’19 torn thumb ligaments which required surgery. There was no timetable for the forward's return. “While we’ve been in school, we’ve dealt with a lot of injuries, for the summer we were missing half of our varsity team due to injury or conflict with college requirements or

traveling for other various game,” Iken said, “none of the basketball things,” Rebibo freshmen have played in a said. “So it hasn’t been easy game like that, so I was just but we’re making progress and telling them, making sure headway to becoming the team they’re okay, talking to them during the game like ‘are you we need to become.” Among those who dealt okay,’ ‘what’s up,’ stuff like that with conflicts this past summer just to give them a heads up.” Despite being plagued by is Ali Iken ’17, who was on a college trip. But now his multiple losses early in the primary concern is bridging the season, the team is 2-0 in gap between the large senior league, thanks to victories over class and a high number of rival Loyola and St. Francis in the first two games of league. freshmen and sophomores. “We have “ O u r a lot of young underclassmen guys that play play a lot, they The goal is to a lot, and being have the ball someone that in their hands become the best team also played more than the we can become at the varsity as a juniors and end of the day and freshman, I seniors,” Iken know it takes said. “So it’s hopefully that means time to get used been interesting open division.” to the speed of trying to blend play,” Carter them together —David Rebibo Begel ’17 said. because the seniors and Boys’ Basketball “We also have a very different juniors have Program Head team this year the experience, and it takes they’ve been on a State Championship team, time, and a few losses, to learn they know what it takes to get how to come together and win. there, but they’re also not the With league play starting I just feel a renewed sense of focus ones playing.” The upperclassmen use within our team, and I feel like their experience to try to guide our early losses have made us the younger players through more hungry.” The team’s next game is some of the tougher games the away, playing Notre Dame team plays. “Like the first Loyola Friday.

Jan. 11, 2017

Sports D3

in brief

Boys’ Soccer

Scorekeeper Dewell honored with ring

The varsity boys’ basketball team honored alumnus John Dewell ’80 for his commitment to the basketball and football programs Friday night. Dewell was presented with a championship ring from last year’s division championship on behalf of the team. For 30 years, Dewell has been the primary scorekeeper at both basketball and football games. He plans to remain as scorekeeper and looks forward to the possibility of back-toback division championships. The team improved to 2-0 in league play after winning on Friday. —Asa Saperstein AARON PARK/CHRONICLE

KICK BACK: Henry Sanderson ’20 attempts to evade defenders during a game against St. Franics High School. The Wolverines tied the Golden Knights 0-0. Afterwards, the squad had a league record of 0-0-2 and six wins, four losses and three ties overall.

Goals missing in Mission League play

By Eli Adler and Aaron Park

The boys’ soccer team entered the season with a firstyear head coach and facing a gauntlet of winter break tournaments. Over a ten-day stretch, the players participated in eight games, from which the team has emerged as a unit, prepared to take aim at a playoff run. The squad had four wins, three losses and one tie over their two tournaments. However, the greatest takeaway from the tournaments may have been the experience the team gained playing together despite missing a number of players due to the holiday break. Overall, Head Coach Kris Ward believed the tournaments were beneficial for the team. “I think the tournaments and the early games were good to give me a sense of the level of competition that we’d be playing in general and the level of our team,” Ward said. “The tournaments in particular were a real [reality]-check for a lot of people.” Ward is in his first season as Boys’ Soccer Program Head, having replaced Lucas Bongarra. Formerly an assistant scout for Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, Ward is working to bring a

winning culture to the soccer about his team’s health issues. “There’ve been guys program. “At the start of the season who’ve stepped up, like Josh with the new head coach, it Lyons [’17]. When we had peowas a very different feel and ple who were hurt or couldn’t vibe than the previous years,” go, he stepped in and did a center back Jeremy Yariv ’18 good job.” Lyons was forced to play said. “[He] is very serious and takes his job as serious as out of his natural position of any coach has ever taken it left midfielder, filling in at left and really wants the best and back. “I’m just trying to get out the highest potential out of every player out here, so it’s there on the field to put my really brought the level up of team in the best position to win games, and if that means the entire team.” Ward and his players playing positions I’m unfamiliar with, I’m up for have faced adversity it,” Lyons said. “It’s throughout the seadefinitely a tough son, dealing with inadjustment, but I’ve juries, absences, and got the support of the lack of a proper great teammates to schedule. help prepare me for “The first tournathese different posiment, we played five tions.” games in fifty hours, Lyons’ situaand that’s a little nuttion is not unusual ty,” Ward said. “Now ’ amongst the playthe games are a little Jeremy ers. The season has more spaced out, but Yariv ’18 been marked with it’s on a more regular schedule. The guys have got- players rising to fill crucial ten used to a certain rhythm roles, such as Will Roskin ’18 and Jacob Frank ’17. in training.” Furthermore, the program Both team captains, Ethan Blaser ’17 and Theo Velaise has also been forced to look ’17, went down with injuries to underclassmen. Langston Holly ’20 has in the season opener against Hueneme, which forced other started each of the team’s last six games, including players to step up. “I think the strength of both league matches. Coming into their regular the team has really shown around that,” Ward said season, the team has posted white s

a 0-0-2 record in league play, tying both Loyola and St. Francis last week. While they did not beat Loyola, the squad was able to find positives in their performance. The defense held the defending CIF Division I champions scoreless, a distinction the players largely attribute to the preseason tournaments. “I think [our hard work] was very visible in our game against Loyola, where we were able to fight for eighty minutes and hold a clean sheet,” Yariv said. Following the Loyola match, the team posted an identical result against St. Francis last Friday, playing to another 0-0 draw. Notably, the game saw a trio of red cards awarded in the second half. Although they failed to win either of their first two league matches, the team believes their results so far promise coming success, especially as the team begins to settle into a groove. “This is a team filled with a bunch of young kids who want to win,” Yariv said. “Everyone has to prove themselves, and this has brought the level of the team very high. We’re looking at a good shot in playoffs, and we’re in for a good season.”


FAST PASS: (Left): Boden Stringer ’18 begins to pass the ball to a teammate during the match against St. Francis. (Right): Henry Sanderson ’20 receives the ball from another player. The Wolverines have played three home games, winning one and tying two.

Copeland now a shooting star for Yale Two years removed from playing his final game for the Wolverines, Alex Copeland ’15 is having a breakout season at the collegiate level. The sophomore guard leads the Yale men’s basketball team in scoring as of press time, averaging 13.3 points per game, despite the fact that he does not start for the Bulldogs. Copeland is shooting 51.3 percent from the field, a likely reason for his increase in playing time from 4.6 minutes per game last season, to 25.6 this year. —Ben Tenzer

Former student scores first NFL touchdown Former Harvard-Westlake basketball player Erik Swoope ’10 caught his first touchdown in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts, a 27-yard reception against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 18. Swoope played four years of college basketball for the University of Miami Hurricanes, but didn’t start until his senior year, after which he made the decision to pursue football. 2016 marked his first full season on the Colts’ active roster. He finished this season with 15 receptions and 297 yards. —Matthew Druyanoff

Two sports get record student sign-ups Wrestling and girls’ water polo had a record number of sign-ups this year, according to Athletic Director Darlene Bible. Wrestler Max Erlich ’19 thinks the number of freshmen on the wrestling team has already impacted the team’s success. “[Having] freshmen on our team has really helped,” Erlich said. “Many times we would lose simply because we wouldn’t have enough people to beat the other teams, so having them gives us a much better chance.” Players on the girls’ water polo team said they hope the underclassmen interest will contribute to their undefeated streak in league play. —Kaitlin Musante



JAN. 1

Oh, the Places The boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball teams travelled this winter to compete in their respective tournaments.

LAX Date: 12/16

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D6 Sports

Jan. 11, 2017

The Chronicle

Girls’ Water Polo

Team seeks to assert league dominance By Ellis Becker

The girls’ water polo team began its season with below average performances, entering the season with a 1-2 record in preseason games, along with an average campaign in the Arroyo Grande High School Winter Classic. The squad won its season opener over Oaks Christian 10-8, with six goals coming from Villanova commit Camille Oswald ’17. They dropped their next two games against Temple City and Mater Dei away before going on winter break. “We still have a lot of work to do,” Princeton commit Paige Thompson ’17 said. “League play start[ed] this week, and we definitely need to improve our front court offense and add more movement, which we will be working hard on in practice.” After the break, the team travelled to San Luis Obispo for the the Arroyo Grande High School Winter Classic Jan. 6-7, ending the trip with a tournament record of 3-2. The team won its first game of the tournament, beating Paso Robles 14-6. Despite the early victory, the girls dropped their next

two games against Righetti and Rio Mesa, losing by two goals against Righetti and five goals against Rio Mesa. The squad ended the tournament well, with a 7-6 victory over the Ventura Cougars. “We definitely had some great highlights during the tournament, but overall we were somewhat inconsistent,” Thompson said. “Looking forward to the rest of our season, we definitely want to focus on maintaining consistency throughout our play. Our team has a lot of potential, and I think just working as hard as we can in practice will benefit the rest of our season.” The team believes it can bounce back from its average play in the tournament to dominate the league. The varsity team has been undefeated in league play since 2009, and they hope to continue that streak through the 2017 season. Its efforts will be boosted by Thompson, who recently became eligible for CIF play because of her transfer, as well as veteran Oswald. Oswald currently leads the team in scoring and has been one of the squad’s key defenders so far.


TREADING LIGHTLY: Beata Hitterer ’19 passes by her opponent during the season opener. Despite the advantages, many players believe the fight for the league title will not be an easy one. “This year our league di-

vision is definitely going to be toughest and the closest that it’s ever been, but we hope to win league and keep our streak alive,” Pria Pant

’18 said. “ [Oswald] has definitely emerged as a leader on our team, and has stepped up and filled those spots that our seniors filled last year.”



HAIL TO THE VICTORS: Calvin Kaleel ’18 wins his match versus Chaminade in Hamilton Gym.

Squad looks to improve skills and advance to the playoffs By Sam McCabe and Zach Swartz

one,” Liam Douglass ’18 said. “Although we are 0-1, we have to not let this affect our mindset when Despite a 30-27 we train and pracloss to Chaminade tice, in fact it just in their first Mismotivates us. We sion League match, are trying to take it the wrestling team one duel at a time.” remains optimistic With only one exdue to multiple indiperienced senior on vidual victories. the the squad, the Russell Davis ’17 team is readily inand Jake Kelly ’20 W ’ corporating its newboth won by fall, Liam est players. and Calvin Kaleel Douglass ’18 “This season has ’18, John Cahill ’20 been a fun one,” and Justin Butler Douglass said. “The team ’19 won by decision. “We lost by three points welcomed me with open arms but there was a lot of posi- and I cannot be more thanktive progress and we are in ful for them. It is my first good shape to win the next year of wrestling and I am hite s

just trying to learn as much as I can from my teammates and coaches.” Also a varsity football player, Douglass is excited to learn everything he can about his new sport. “The most important thing for my development as a wrestler is to listen to what my teammates and coaches have to say,” Douglass said. “I am gradually picking up how to wrestle from Coach Cartmill, Coach Craig and all of my teammates.” The team’s first tournament was at Newbury Park Dec. 3. “My favorite moment of the season has to be the first tournament,” Douglass said.


3...2...1... LIFTOFF: Riley Ruiz ’19 lifts a Chaminade opponent off his feet in their first Mission League match Dec. 7. “Just walking in and seeing all the different athletes getting ready to compete, and competing in the tournament myself, was an incredible experience.” Having 13 players this year compared to only nine last season, the team is hoping to improve from their 0-4 season. In the Blackwater tournament, Calvin Kaleel ’18 finished 3rd, Russell Davis ’17 finished 4th, and John Cahill ’18 finished 5th. “We’ve really improved both as a team and individuals. We are looking forward to three more duals against Bishop Alemany and Crespi,” Kaleel said. “We have two more tournaments at Santa

Ynez and Montclair as we head into Mission League Finals and beyond.” With only two league games left before Mission League playoffs, the team hopes to win their upcoming meets. “I am looking forward to finishing out the season on a high note, and we as a team hope to move forward once we finish in the top three in league,” Douglass said. Kaleel also has a positive outlook on the team’s season. “Overall, we have done well, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Kaleel said.

Jan. 11, 2017

Sports D7


Valiant victory in Victor Valley

By Katie Perrin

Boys’ and girls’ varsity epee and saber fencers competed at the Victor Valley High School event of the Southern California Scholastic Fencing League Tournament Dec. 4. Kimberly Kimura ’19 placed first in the varsity girl’s epee league at the competition. Varsity Girls’ Saber Captain Sylvie Sanders ’17 placed second in the league for women’s saber and advanced to the Gold Medal Bout where she was defeated by a Marlborough fencer. “My performance wasn’t as good as I would have wished,” Sanders said. “I got second overall, but lost by one touch to win to tournament. There’s always next time though.” Varsity Boys’ Foil Captain Dylan Faulcon ’18 placed second in the league for men’s epee, advancing to the Gold Medal Bout but was defeated by VAPA Legacy in the final bout. “Since epee wasn’t my main sport, I was not expecting to do totally well,” Faulcon said. “I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to be so competitive and have

such good results. I was very pleased that my skills in one event crossed over and were successful in another.” Varsity boys’ fencer David Ahn ’18 placed fifth in the league for saber, Charles Connen ’18 placed ninth for epee and captain of varsity boy’s epee Noam Ringach ’17 placed tenth for epee. For girls’ varsity epee, Shana Brindze ’19 placed sixth in the league, Sophie Kim ’19 placed seventh , and Elly Hong ’17 placed eighth. Zohar Levy ’18 placed eighth saber. The varsity girls’ and boys’ foil teams will compete for formal awards at the Upper School Jan. 22 as part of the tournament, and the varsity boys’ and girls’ epee and saber teams are set to compete again March 19 at the Upper School campus. The Wolverines are looking forward to competing at the tournament on home turf later this month and in March. “It’s really fun to have [events] here finally,” Ringach said. “We’ve been feeling really good about it and practicing twice a week after school. We’ve been doing really well and are all very excited.”


SWORDPLAY: (Top): Bryce Porter ’19 lunges at his opponent hoping for a strike. (Bottom): Zohar Levy ’18 begins her fight as she touches her saber with her opponent’s during the tournament.

D8 Sports

The Chronicle


Jan. 11, 2017

Cassius Stanley Boys’ Basketball

By Dario Madyoon Why did you start playing basketball, and who did you idolize as a kid? Growing up, I idolized a lot of guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James. All of those guys were big influences, and I try to model my game after them. As for how I started, I started playing basketball because I loved the game ever since I first started watching it on TV. It was just something I always did. What has been the most memorable moment of your Wolverine career? It was definitely winning the state championship last year. That was probably the best moment I’ve ever had playing basketball, period. It was really great because we worked so hard for it. We busted our butts for nine months, and we finally got our reward at the end of it. Do you have any pre-game rituals? Music-wise, L [Simpson ’19], Johnny [Juzang ’20] and I always listen to stuff that gets us hyped up before games. L and I especially listen to Lil Uzi [Vert] before games all the time. We always make sure to listen to him. As for superstitions, I guess the only thing is that I don’t stretch. I don’t really know why, but I don’t. How does Coach Rebibo feel about that? He doesn’t know about it. I just put my clothes on and start listening to music and start moving around. I don’t really stretch. I know it’s not a good thing to do, but it’s just a ritual for me at this point. Do you guys feel any pressure to replicate your success from last year? There’s definitely some pressure to perform again this year. We have a good core of young guys, so the seniors, as well as me, have to just show them the way we do things in order to succeed. We have to show them how to get back to that point we were at last year and win another state championship. What did you work on in the offseason? I worked on getting more consistent with my jump shot and getting space to create my own shot. I also spent a lot of time working on the other aspects of the game like creating opportunities for my teammates to score. What goes through your mind when you’re on the court? Basically, I just try to let the game come to me. I’m not going to force anything. I’m just going to play the game the way I know how to and play the right way.


How do you deal with the pressure of being a highly scouted prospect? Whatever is out there on the sidelines is out there. I don’t really pay attention to it. I just focus on what’s between those lines when I’m on the court. I try to unite with my teammates and play the game the way it should be [played] in the gym. What are your personal and team goals for this season? Even though we won the state championship, we weren’t able to win CIF [Southern Section] last year. That kind of made me a little mad. So this year winning CIF would be huge for us. Personally, I want four state championships. I know it’s tough, but that’s just a goal I have.

6 19.3 9

Offers from D1 schools Points per game ESPN Class of 2019 ranking BENNETT GROSS/CHRONICLE

January 2017 Issue  

The January 2017 issue of the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle.

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