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the MArk



Staff Editors

Lauren Smith Creative Editor Fiona Gutierrez-Dewar Executive Editor Samantha Bloom Copy Editor Suzie McMurtry Photo Editor Anna de Benedictis Managing Editor Simone King Indesign Specialist


Joanne Cho Gabe Cohen Nimsi Garcia Francesca Gilles Helmi Henkin Megan Kilduff Lindy LaPlante Alexis Magana Stefany Maldonado Amirteymour Moazami Brett Moriarty Josef Nevigato Alyssa Ostrow Erendira Parra Gianna Prainito Maro Santos Gutierrez Peter Siegler Olivia Solomon Sara Solomon Cayla Stillman Megan Wiebe

Photography the MArk

Jack Boyle Head Photographer


Adviser Betsy Snow

Cover Photography Lake Jack Boyle, 12th

Table of Contents Photography Icicles Vanessa Wijaya, 12th


Table of Contents Student Life

6-7 Freshman Advice 8 Do You Speak DIY? 9 Eight Days Left 11 Ms. Kane 12 The New Facebook Search History Feed 13 MArkbook: Just Saying 14-15 Big Cleats to Fill 16-17 Smile My Honey Dear 18 Sports Credits 19 The Lucky One 23 Report Card 38-39 Twinterview 40-41 Then and Now


26 The Gift Hunt 27 Cloudy With A Chance of Weather Wimps 28 Blue Jew 29 Macarons: The Next Cupcake? 30 Snow Cones 32 Worst Holiday Gift 33 Bears in the Kitchen

10 Ian 20 Brooke Muschott 21 Assorted Paintings 22 Assorted Black & White Photography 24-25 Bear Valley Lake 31 Red-Nosed 34 Assorted Black & White Photography 35 Assorted Black & White Art 36 The Last Train 37 Color Photography 42-43 Black & White Photography 44 Mix Tape 45 Fireworks 46-47 Swings

the MArk



the MArk

Photography Telephone Wire Vanessa Wijaya, 12th


k r A M e Th We are excited to bring you our second issue of the school year. Because this issue is coming out so close to winter break, we decided to draw inspiration from the wintry chill that has set in around campus. We have celebrated the air of anticipation that always surrounds the holidays throughout these pages. With that, we have included many more submissions for your enjoyment. We hope you sit down and read this issue with a nice cup of hot cocoa and have a wonderful winter break. As always, thanks to all our contributors for making their mark. We exist to express your voices.

the MArk

The MArk, a feature magazine published by the students in Menlo-Atherton High School’s journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The MArk is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy, and obscenity. Submissions do not necessarily reect the opinions of all M-A students or the staff of The MArk. Send all submissions to


FRESHMAN ADVICE COLUMN because you need it! Research Essay Guide Illustrated and Written by Nimsi Garcia

Hey, freshman, in this issue of The MArk I decided to create a research paper guide because throughout all of high school and college you will be expected to write many and the process can be overwhelming. This is designed to be a guide to lead you through it and make the process as stress-free as possible.



Pick something that can keep you interested as you begin your research.

Before you begin, make sure you have gone through all of your sources and know them thoroughly, meaning you have actually read them and taken notes.

Sometimes teachers make suggestions or assign your topic, but always try to find something about that topic you find appealing.

Depending on how you learn best, make the outline in a way that will help you work through it easily. Don’t write out complete sentences; just make it brief and specific. This will give you more freedom once you begin writing. The main purpose is to organize and categorize your information to set up a good foundation for a flowing essay.


Begin with going to the library and looking for books on your topic.


You can find some good, reliable sources and it can facilitate your research once you begin looking for sources online. Do not use “.com” websites; oftentimes they’re unreliable. Stick to “.gov” or “.edu”. Be careful with “.net” and “.org” websites also, because they can sometimes come from an untrustworthy source or author.

Don’t think too much about what you’re writing, just begin. Let your outline guide you. The hardest part is always beginning, so just put time into getting a good flow going.


Get your sources in order. And, depending on your teacher’s requirements, begin taking notes and making your bibliography. If you’re not an expert at getting sources in MLA format, try using It does formating for websites, books, newspapers or journals. Another great benefit is that it puts all your sources in alphabetical order, which is something most teachers require. However, don’t rely solely on; it tends to make mistakes so it is up to you to review the information and make the necessary corrections. When you begin taking notes, it would help if you number your sources. Later, when working on your essay and doing in-text citations, you will know which source you got the information from.

Before you even begin writing you need to get a well thought-out thesis down. For many teachers it is the most important part of the whole essay so you should put a lot of consideration into it and make sure to include a strong argument. Once you have completed your first draft, go back and read through your essay, making as many corrections as needed. For the following drafts, have other people look at them because sometimes you will not catch all the mistakes and other perspectives are also very helpful. Also be sure you have more than one person edit it, ideally even ask a teacher.


Before you print out your final draft, take a break from your essay. Don’t take too much time off, maybe a day or so.


Taking time off can help you catch any mistakes you might have missed otherwise. After your short break, go back and read through it, making any final corrections. Finish before midnight the night before. After midnight you are likely to make careless errors.

RELAX. You’re done. Go have some fun or sleep. Remember this though: you will be writing many more throughout high school so you’ll have to get used to it. However, if you break up essay writing into these phases, the process really won’t be as stressful. :)

How many days until your final?

More than one

I don’t know Have you studied?


Sort of No Are you going YOU SHOULD! Go Are you sure? to study? to the homeNo work center in Sounds the library and No Head to G-3 Yes How about good talk to teachers and enjoy going to cocoa ask what they some studying and crunch? think you and treats! should study. It Do you have will pay off in any questhe end. No, I’m tions? Make a study Do you have a busy group and Yes study group? then reward yourself No with a treat No Yes after working Then ask Are you hard. them, sure? Make one or chances are talk to your Yes they know teachers. the answer. No Go talk to your teachers, it can’t hurt.

Teachers’ Advice

“Studying is not going over your notes once. You need to study more than one night before the test, do not study with Facebook, T.V., or music; it does help. Ask your teachers about studying and what to study for finals. Studying has to be active, such as writing or talking.” -Mr. Perry “Don’t throw away your notes.” Ms. Choe

Go talk to your teachers about anything you are confused about and review your notes.

Have you done all the study guides? Yes


Do them, they help. I don’t understand them

Go ask your teachers, that’s what they’re there for!


Go talk to your teacher, we won’t tell anyone you lied.

Well, you are a genius and you are probably ready but it can’t hurt to make flashcards.

“You need to get a good night’s sleep and go get a chocolate ice cream from Coldstone Creamery.” -Ms. Nersesian

“Plan in advance and manage your time wisely.” -Mr. Cotter

I’m not

“Attend Cocoa and Crunch in G-3.” -Mr. Amoroso

By: Megan Wiebe and Gianna by Megan Wiebe & Gianna Prainito Prainito

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FLow Into Finals

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature



December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions

Do You Speak DIY? If you Google “DIY,” you’ll come up with all kinds of how-to websites, social networks for makers and marketplaces for products created by DIY enthusiasts. The Doit-Yourself movement is far-reaching—with people making everything from furniture to clothing to dog treats themselves. All over the country there are Maker Faires, where like-minded engineer-geeks and design-nerds convene to compare creations. These events are sponsored by Make Magazine, with its creed to “celebrate your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.” Some DIY inventions have spurred the founding of companies and the movement has turned into big business for many selfstarters. The DIY (and DIWO-“do it with others”) craze is a notable cultural phenomenon, possibly one for the history books. It is fascinating to consider its causes and implications. The DIY movement seems to have sprung from three main causes, the first being the collision of the green movement with high levels of internet usage. The ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra naturally bred the DIY movement and the internet made it a globalized phenomenon. Specifically, the prominence of YouTUBE has allowed DIY to thrive with unlimited, instant instructions and ideas constantly available. Admit it, you’ve made a snow globe out of a mason jar. The economic downturn which has plagued us since 2008 now is another contributing factor to the staying power of the DIY movement. Significant portions of the population have adopted frugality as a way of life. Rather than waste money, they use what they have to create what they need.

Finally and particularly prevalent in the Silicon Valley, is the elevation of innovation and creativity in our culture. The DIY movement parallels the prominence of start-ups and the value we place upon resourcefulness. With the escalating environmental degradation and economic problems, people have had to be more inventive to generate solutions. The DIY movement is at the forefront. The results of the DIY movement are enormous, though many may take them for granted. The emergence of Maker Faires and their immense success is evidence enough of the popularity of this fast-moving sensation. Further, the new value placed on design and art skills in the professional world is an outgrowth of DIY. Businesses are using the principles of DIY to make creative new startups and to generate jobs in previously unheard of fields. Just as consumerism was a hallmark of the 1950s, the resourcefulness of the DIY movement will become one of the most characteristic features of the early 21st century. Some great DIY websites include: -



by Samantha Bloom


8 Days Left Are the Maya right or did they just run out of space on the calendar rock? You can choose to be a boring Brian and tell yourself nothing will happen, but hey, let’s have some fun.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

iPhone – Total Instagram-worthy pictures to be had. Sock Puppet – Worst case scenario, you have a buddy. Duct tape – Easily the most handy thing ever invented. Shake Weight – Effective and convenient way to stay in shape! Twinkies – Have disaster movies taught us nothing?

the MArk

December 21, 2012: meteors, super volcanoes, floods, etc, will consume the entire planet, leaving complete and utter destruction. But before our imminent demise, we should live it up. Go for that girl or boy you never had the courage to talk to, have a party! However, make sure that you surround yourself with a well balanced group of friends. If you plan to survive, you need to have both brains and brawn amongst your companions. Also, it may be beneficial for you to learn a good handful of languages, this way you will be readily prepared to communicate with any fellow survivors that you may encounter. I highly recommend that you pack a bag full of the supplies listed below if you intend to survive.

by Gabe Cohen9

the MArk



Ashley Garcia, 10th

ms. kane W

e at The MArk sat down with Teacher of the Year, Ms. Kane, who shared with us her interests, as well as her passion for teaching. As an AP Language and ELD teacher, Ms. Kane is able to apply her knowledge to teach students on both sides of the learning spectrum. The MArk: What was the process of winning the Teacher of the Year Award? Ms. Kane: Last year, Mr. Zito nominated me for Innovative Teacher of the Year. To be honest, I have no clue what that means because I would consider myself a bit old-fashioned. I am pretty open to trying new things in my teaching, so in that sense I am innovative. It may also be because I teach two very extreme subjects, ELD and AP English. For the award, I had to write four essays describing what it’s like to be in my class, my teaching style and why I like to teach. The MArk: What was your reaction to winning the award? Ms. Kane: After I submitted my essays, I forgot about it because I didn’t expect to win. I’m also not a very competitive person so I thought whatever happens will happen (though in the fall I did think about it off-and -on). Mr. Zito called me in October and told me I had won; I was pleasantly surprised and genuinely shocked. Next thing I knew, I was getting all kinds of attention and interviews, which made me feel a little uncomfortable because I don’t normally like all of the attention; I’m a shy person basically. The MArk: How would you describe your teaching style? Ms. Kane: I would say my teaching style is Socratic because I ask a lot of questions rather than answering them because I want students to become independent, not dependent on me. I want students to explore ideas and really think for themselves. The MArk: What is your favorite book? Ms. Kane: I don’t read a lot of English language authors; I’m more into North African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American writers. Several of the more interesting novels I have read is Naguib Mahfouz’s The Cairo Trilogy which goes in depth about Egyptian social, political and family dynamics, and has a lot of historical background and Egyptian culture and politics from the Colonial Era. The MArk: So we hear you speak five languages? Do you speak them often?

Ms. Kane: Yes, German was my first language, but French was always in the background somewhere. English was my second language, then in high school I studied French and heard it a lot at home, and I also studied Spanish and later Italian. Off-andon, I also study Arabic. I have had an opportunity to practice each language and I think all that kind of ties into teaching too, in a tangential way. The MArk: Does speaking multiple languages help with ELD? Ms. Kane: I think so, because I really understand what it means to learn a language. I was very lucky to learn English when I was 7 years old when I came to this country. I was just thrown into it. Nobody spoke German and so I had to just sink or swim. It was great because when you are 7, you pick up a language and learn it so fast. It was not taught to me; I just absorbed it. The MArk: Other than teaching, what other hobbies do you have? Ms. Kane: I like traveling, I love music, and dancing too because I studied dance for a few years. I would say that travel and music are the two really big things in my life, and I spend a lot of energy on both. The MArk: What type of music do you listen to? Do you play any instruments yourself? Ms. Kane: I used to play the Egyptian tabla and sing Arabic, Turkish and Armenian music. I listen to a lot of jazz, but I also listen to a lot of music from other parts of the world like Africa or the Middle East, Latin America, and some Eastern European and Indian music as well. I also have a pretty open mind and an open ear when it comes to music. I am lucky that I can listen to so many different types of music; I experience increased pleasure and joy as a result. The more things you like and are interested in, the richer your life is in a lot of ways. The MArk: Can you tell us about an interesting travel experience? I would say the last really interesting travel experience I had was in Tunisia just before the revolution; I went to stay with some friends there. I had a friend who was active there in writing the Tunisian constitution. In fact, I am going to go back there this summer. Morocco is another place I really like traveling to because it is an interesting country, really beautiful and diverse.

by Joanne Cho and Lindy LaPlante


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In September of 2012 a new piece of spyware was let loose on the Internet-using population. Gawker Media reports that in attempt to defend claims that Facebook processes a number of searches competitive to that of leading search engines, such as Google, the social networking site added a new, sparsely-publicized feature; the site now saves every search each user makes to a hidden section of their Activity Log. Could that be true? As not just a Facebook user but as someone who lives within walking distance of Facebook HQ, why had I not heard about the new addition until months later? Despite a dying urge to see if this feature was real, I myself was nervous to peek into my Activity Log’s search section in front of an audience. This fear was not due to the knowledge of specific people I had searched and wished not for others to see, but rather because I wasn’t even sure of what, or rather, who, would show up. Whose profile I had glanced upon was not something I could normally remember even an hour later, let alone weeks or months afterword. Facebook may have single-handedly redefined the meaning of the crime known as “stalking.” Easy access to another’s profile, showing pictures, friends, and short biographies have voided the previous definition of a “stalker.” It has changed how people go about finding information about their peers; Facebook has obliterated the housewife-peeping-through-curtainsto-spy-on-their-neighbors type of lifestyle (Ms. Havershaw added Mrs. Jones husband as a friend, can you say drama?), the famous 90s “drive-by” your recent ex who you haven’t quite gotten over’s house (you can now scroll through his or her life from the comfort of your own room), and the need to physically follow someone to

know exactly where they are at any time of day (checkin and locations on posts are such a blessing.) Moreover, “Facebook stalking” is usually done in the privacy of solitude, and as I feared, mindlessly. So, whose profile had I searched for? Who would show up? I had no idea, but I sure hoped no one else would find out. However, rather than wondering if Facebook “had gone too far” by beginning to save searches, as some believe, I questioned why this addition so instantly enraged the people I told about it. The search history is, in fact, just a log of some of the people one has searched for, but Facebook users often naturally assume it would be revealing whom they may have “Facebook stalked” or, technically, cyber-stalked. Cyber-stalking is in fact a legitimate version of the crime, but has become acceptable in today’s expanding “cyber world” due to a perhaps too-high value of social media. With trouble-free, straightforward access to public profiles, photographs, videos, and open methods of communication, cyber-stalking has transformed from an absurdity into a commodity. Similarly, each time one engages in a form of cyber-stalking by viewing another’s Facebook profile, they acknowledge the action as something socially acceptable. As Facebook users, we have created the standard that cyber-stalking is normal and okay. Respectively, no one can rightfully be embarrassed of doing so. Simply put, though the new record of searches seems unnecessary, we as Facebook users do not have much right to complain about it being a violation of our own security; its contents are the resulting effect of a social norm that we have created ourselves. by Megan Kilduff

MArkbook “Just Saying” submitted to The MArk: Do you evaluate your self-worth based on how many people like your profile picture on Facebook? Lucky for you, we have a fool-proof plan that will ensure you get all of your friends to remind you how pretty you are (but not before you subtly remind them to first)!

1. Post a picture of yourself that is edited to the point where your eyes look black and your skin looks orange

2. No profile picture is complete without a great caption! Here are some ideas:

a. Add a Youtube link to a song that is completely irrelevant to your life. b. Add song lyrics from a totally different song that is also unrelated to your picture. Having the two song references will make you seem in-the-know. c. Make your caption “temporaryy” then keep it for 2 years. d. Make the caption “I needed a new one” e. Make the caption “summer 2012 take me back” f. Make the caption “ew I look so gross” so people will comment and tell you how you don’t look gross at all (the joke’s on them because you already know how un-gross you are). g. Add a lot of random symbols to your caption so it looks as artsy as possible. h. To really spice up your caption, put a phrase in a foreign language like Chinese. Use Google Translate, because the internet is never wrong! i. Don’t forget to give photo and picking creds to several people because taking a picture is such a collaborative effort, and if you forget one of them they will block you. 3. After you have thought of the perfect caption, you need to advertise your picture to other people so they can also appreciate it! Luckily, you have us to guide you on how to make sure that everyone within a 30-mile radius of your hometown sees your picture. a. Tag yourself in your own picture, then untag yourself, then tag yourself again. This way people can be sure that the person in the picture on your profile is actually you (some people need the extra hint). b. Change your profile picture to the last one that you had and try to gain a few extra likes on it, then change it back to your new one so it reappears on everyone’s News Feed. Make sure to tag yourself again once you have changed your picture back. c. Have someone share it and say “She’s only 3 away from her next hundred!!” That’ll get you some sympathy likes which will help you reach your goal. 4. The last step on the road to Facebook domination involves using your friends to help you get ahead. Don’t worry, they don’t mind being your pawns as long as you like their picture, too! a. Get someone to comment “FIRST!” so other people get jealous and feel the need to comment, too. b. Force people to say “omg stop being so gorgg your perfect!” Don’t bother correcting their grammar, since it’s the thought that counts, right? If our tips don’t help you, then you must not have that many friends. Just change your picture to a car and quit while you’re ahead. Stay tuned for our next installment on how to get 1,000 friends in one night!

You and 10,000,000 others love this.




Big Cleats To FILl Last year, the Boys Varsity Soccer Team had an amazing season. They got to the CCS final, where they lost their only match of the season with a final score of 1-3 against Watsonville High School. It will be difficult this year to achieve the standard set by the 2011-2012 team, especially because the team lost 16 seniors from last year, and one junior because of an injury. We have interviewed a few of the returning players as well as some of the new players to get their thoughts on the upcoming season.

the MArk



How is your team going to be successful despite losing many seniors? How will losing one of your star players, Elvis, due to his leg injury, affect your team’s success?

Drew Mathews: There are a lot of expectations because of last year’s success so I hope we are able to achieve these goals. Losing Elvis is a huge loss for the team this year but we have a lot of depth on the team and I think we will be successful this year.

How does it feel to watch your team from the sideline after being a starter last year?

Elvis Abarca Cervantes: It feels sad because I’m not playing but I’ll be there every game supporting my team. We have a good team this year so I am confident.

Being on the team last year, how is the team looking in comparison to last year?

Kevin Gutierrez: I am expecting our team to be as good as last year; I know we might not go undefeated, and we might not have the talent we had last year but we have the heart and the mentality to win, so I am ready to go out and perform the best we can.

Menlo-Atherton SOCCER



The girl’s season was similarly successful. The Bears qualified for CCS. However, they lost against Los Gatos High School 0-3 in the quarterfinals. Since last season, the girls have lost nine critical players, making it difficult for the Girls Varsity Soccer Team to meet the expectations of eager fans. The girls have had a rocky start of 1-1-1 during the pre-season, but they are determined to work hard to go undefeated during league games. In order to understand the expectations of the team itself, we have interviewed three of the returning players.

What are you going to take from last year to help your team be successful this year?

Monika Richardson: Team work, I think last year we had two really good players that we would always pass to but this year we have a lot of good players that

You guys made it to CCS last year. What are your goals for the season to come?

Mari McCarty: We are definitely shooting for CCS again this year and hopefully will make it further than we did last year. Since we lost 9 seniors from last year, we’ll have a pretty young team, but I think we’ll still be awesome. We have lots of talent on the team.

As a new varsity player on the team what are your expectations for the season?

Sabiha Viswanathan: I expect that we are going to have a really good team this year and that we will go far in league, I predict that we will go farther in CCS.

the MArk


by Brett Moriarty, Josef Nevigato and Maro Santos Gutierrez


December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions

SMILE MY HONEY DEAR The education system was created to lift every new generation of adults into a threshold of opporunity and prosperity. To mold young, developing minds into the ideal adult we long to see in the near future. They are fed facts and information, dates to retain, and a schedule to follow. Slowly a youthful mind blessed with immense potential is sucked of its creativity and wonder, and is formed into the image of man’s psychological perfection. Mistakes, which are necessary in the process of creating new concepts, are looked down upon. Children are afraid to be wrong, to be mentally untouched by the cultural norms around them. The eventual mindset of one placed in the education system of today believes that creativity is developed and kept. The eventual mindset of one placed in the education system of today believes that skill of trade and hobby are separate, that a creative lifestyle is not realistic or practical and that a safe lifestyle is a good lifestyle. Children unable to keep up with the student lifestyle are fed pills and professional attention, are labeled as sick and disabled. All students, regardless of psychological or physical capabilities, are expected to meet a certain set of standards. All students, regardless of psychological or physical capabilities, are expected to maintain the same set of morals in their behavior.

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Those deemed as unruly or unwilling to learn the required curriculum are set aside to their own classrooms, while the intellectual stars shine bright above to attract the owners of other potential bright stars. To further attract hoards of young minds, educational facilities keep in place an image of residential self discipline and safety. Students have a choice in how to behave in this learning environment, yet this behavior almost always directly dictates how their future living situations will take place. For if they don’t aid in their certain school’s pursuit of a flattering image, the student will be treated as such. The education system of today spreads the belief that one’s intelligence is measured by their sucess in their certain set of required classes. There is no need to go in search of obscured experiences of the past or to gain wisdom by facing the unknown when these learning institutions provide each new generation with all we will ever need to know. At the end of this molding period, students leave their own institution in uniform, genderless, shapeless robes with proof of their worth to society in hand. After being spoon-fed knowledege from past students, the ideas spread from each generation seem to mimic one another. Some individuals stray off into their own ideals and thoughts. Some individuals choose to remain safe and repeat what they have been taught to be correct. As the current set of delevoping minds, M-A students need not dream of escape from this institution. All they must do is learn from the experiences of their elders, retain the required material, keep a high mark at all times, hope to keep this safe, carefully planned agenda for the future on path, and keep the minds of their peers and themselves as positive and safe as possible. All will be taken care of while their minds begin to take form. And when they are truly aware, they will be able to absorb all the constant information around them on their own.

Written and Illustrated by Stefany Maldonado

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What a good system of raising children.


December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions

Sports Credits


cording to the Menlo-Atherton School Handbook, “students must pass the physical �itness test or continue to be enrolled in P.E. courses until successful completion of the physical �itness test” in order to receive 20 credits required for graduation. Unfortunately students that play sports outside of school do not receive any school credits for their extracurricular activities. Therefore, they have to enroll in extra P.E. classes and participate in M-A sponsored school sports in order to graduate on time. However, starting with the class of 2015, students will now receive 3.5 sports credits for one season instead of 2.5 credits, meaning that they only need three seasons of sports at M-A instead of four, making it easier for them to balance their schedules. This change does not apply to juniors and seniors but will affect freshman and sophomores. Mr. Lippi offered an explanation as to why students couldn’t receive credits for outside of school sports. This topic has been up for debate for a while, but the school board has found Menlo-Atherton is not in compliance with any sort of education code for providing that credit. We still give sports elective credits for 10th through 12th graders so they do not have to be bothered by taking P.E. for the same amount of credits.

Photography Untitled Jesus Vargas, 12th

Most of the students who play an outside of school sport have similar opinions on this particular topic. Donovan Antonio Dow, a senior at M-A, played football and basketball in an outside of school league. “As a sophomore, I was playing Pop Warner football and broke my hand but had to retake P.E. as a junior because I did not get any credits for it.” Another student, freshman Leki Alipate,“ [felt] bad about not getting credits for playing Rugby because it just adds to [his] daily workload.” Clearly the majority of students who play outside of school sports are frustrated and against this policy because they don’t understand why this rule is enforced. In another interview with Mr. Lippi, he re�lected upon the change that was enforced in 2011. He noted that “the reason why the change was made by the district was to be in compliance with the state education code. It’s the law that kids have to do PE and get the credits for that particular class but school sports are now electives which do not count for PE credits so if you do them you won’t need to do PE for sophomores and above this rule does not yet apply for the freshmen.” This problem still remains to be an issue but perhaps the change made in 2011 will cater to students. If not, further changes will need to be made. by Amirteymour Moazami

When I pull out my laptop to write an in-class essay, people say one of two things. Some people jokingly try to negotiate with me so I can give them my computer for them to type with, but most people ask me why I have a computer in the first place. After I tell them that I have dysgraphia and explain how it excuses me from PE and lets me type assignments, they almost always say, “You’re so lucky!” However, I don’t always see it that way. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects my handwriting, coordination, and motor skills. In layman’s terms, it means that my penmanship can only be read by chickens and I cannot throw nor catch objects to save my life, among other issues. I have never been good at sports, and my handwriting has never looked like “girl” writing, so the diagnosis did not come as a surprise to me. Yet, I get comments every day, even from people that I have known for years, on my organization skills (or there lack of), how messy my writing is, or how klutzy and uncoordinated I am. People make jokes about these flaws, and I usually laugh along with them, but it is not always as funny as I make it out to be. More often than not I become frustrated with my disability. Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to be able to fit in more in the athletically-oriented world known as high school. Even among the academically-oriented crowd there are people who are angered by my inability to perform tasks that they may view as menial labor. I find myself wishing that I could write my assignments neatly and save myself the trouble of bringing a computer to school and conspicuously taking it out during class, and avoid the snide comments that people seem to find so clever and original on a daily basis. It can be hard to believe sometimes that people consider me the “lucky one” when they have so many more freedoms that they don’t appreciate. There are many instances throughout my daily life where having motor skills or coordination would be helpful. Tying a bow comes naturally to most of my classmates, but I have never been able to make my bows long-lasting or aesthetically pleasing. Writing notes during class is not that difficult for me, but it is occasionally challenging to read what I wrote when I review my notes at home. Sometimes people may casually toss something to me from across the room instead of handing it to me directly, but it would be ideal if I were able to receive the pass successfully. Since these occurrences happen so often I have gotten over the awkwardness that stems from them, yet I cannot help but wonder what my life would be like if I did not have to experience the awkwardness at all.

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Even though my dysgraphia limits me from participating in many activities, I do not use it as a crutch or excuse not to partake in all of them. My disability has allowed me to pursue more academic interests rather than athletic ones, and has allowed me to cheer on teams from the stands rather than on the field, which is arguably more fun. Through dealing with my dysgraphia I have learned what my own strengths and weaknesses are and have become comfortable with who I am. Listening to people’s remarks has allowed me to build up a relatively thick skin so that the comment does not offend me, but the fact that they said the comment might. Living with my disability has made me so much more aware of how blessed I am that I am able to live a relatively normal life where my problems are just an aspect of it instead of being an inhibiting factor in everything that I do. Dysgraphia has allowed me to stay grounded and has helped me accept that I may not be good at everything, but that does not mean that I am not good enough.


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Photography Untitled Brooke Muschott, 12th

Acrylic I Have Been There Aliya Hasoon, 12th Acrylic Color Vanessa Wijaya, 12th

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Oil Paint Instability Marissa Lai, 11th

Digital Untitled Stefany Maldonado, 11th


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Photography Untitled Suzie McMurtry, 12th


Photography Braid Katie Mahler, 12th

Photography Sticks Vanessa Wijaya, 12th

The MArk presents our very own High MArk, Low MArk

Report Card

Menlo-Atherton High School




December Issue






apocalypse! ahhhh!

Hearing back from colleges early

good if you’re accepted, sucky if you’re not.

Pride Hall bathrooms still being closed

enrollment grows yet bathrooms close.

Winter Formal being cancelled

saves M-A money despite our lack of spirit.

Frolicking on the flooded turf field

so much fun!!

Extra day of Thanksgiving break

Woot Wednesday off! (maybe next year we’lll get the whole week!)

Holiday Gift Drive

everyone deserves some fun at the holidays.

Announcement threatening to tow parked cars

what was that about?

Best fall sport season ever Anticipation of Legally Blonde: The Musical Finals Canned Food Drive

the necessary bribery: come on guys!

SUHSD vs. Delgado

we won and get Zito back!


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Photography Bear Valley Lake Jack Boyle, 12th


December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions

The Gift Hunt by Francesca Gilles

The realization hit me with the force of an oncoming train. I gasped, interrupting my family’s annual Christmas Eve brunch. I hadn’t bought gifts for any of my family members. I stared into the smiling faces around me, thinking all the while that if I showed up empty handed on Christmas morning, I would be in a world of hurt. The Canadian cousins would torture me with never-ending jokes about my “fergetfullness.” My mother would guilt me with the “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” speech. Or maybe no one would care. I tried to comfort myself with this thought as I watched my cousin shoot scrambled eggs through his straw at my Grandpa, but to no avail. I concluded that when one is surrounded by family on a holiday that requires gift giving, there is nothing more dangerous than depriving them of presents. “I have to go,” I said, and I sprinted out the door, wallet in hand, praying for the traffic gods to smile upon me. Sadly, this was not the case. The Porches and Ferraris of venture-capitalist fathers crowded the streets, laden with iPhones and laptops. My dirty automobile couldn’t compete in the stampede towards Atherton. After hitting every single red light down Sand Hill Road, I reached the Stanford Mall. The parking lot was chaos. People abandoned common courtesy, and their most primal instincts of competition were showcased in deft maneuvers through the lot. I finally found salvation in the form of a “motorcycle only” space next to a planter box, and I rushed to Sephora. The already overwhelming space was a madhouse. Girls, dressed in their holiday best, scratched and screeched over bottles of nail polish. Mothers scrambled to snag hundred-color eye shadow palettes that the recipient would never use. I snatched the last bottles of Philosophy shampoos, made my way to the front of the line, and the cashier, eyes painted in a heinous combination of purple, orange, and magenta, rang me up. Liquid foundation splashed me as excited youngsters tried sample after sample. My only coherent thought was get me the HELL out of here. At last, the cashier handed me the black-and-white striped bag, and I forced my way through the crowds of sweaty men buying perfume for their girlfriends. I had only been in there for fifteen minutes, but it had felt like forever. My next stop, Macy’s, proved to be nearly fatal. Droves of people, resembling a pack of wildebeests, jostled me on their way to the sale racks. My hair, already a damp ball of frizz, became entangled with the dangling earrings of a salesgirl. Disgusted, she ripped her earring out, along with a chunk of my hair. I glared at her as I staggered towards the jewelry section, intent on buying a watch for Dad and a necklace for Mom. In my dizzyingly claustrophobic state, I only dimly remember picking out a large, bedazzled chain that spelled “SWAG” for my mom, and a women’s watch for my dad. Purchasing the gifts was the easy part; if I made it out of the store alive, I could return home, away from this jungle of consumerist insanity. The part that scared me was that I had no plan of escape. My only option was to reenter the hordes, infiltrate the deserted Betsey Johnson section, occupied only by a few lonely seventh-grade girls, en route to the fire exit. I took a deep breath, and plunged into the masses, thinking all the while that I should’ve just gotten some gift cards at Safeway.

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I’m not sure how I was able to get out of that hell-zone, but I emerged in one piece, minus a halfinch section of hair. My car, the windshield plastered with tickets, was waiting for me in the planter box/ motorcycle space, and I drove home. My parents and cousins opened their thoroughly underwhelming gifts on Christmas morning. My mom donned the SWAG necklace over her button-up cardigan, while my dad put on the Juicy Couture watch underneath his suit, both blissfully unaware of the sacrifices I had made to bring them some holiday cheer.


art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Cloudy With a Chance of Weather Wimps I wake up in the morning to something odd. Are my feet cold? What? Usually just a light blanket will do, but I guess the “Menlo Park Ice Age” is rolling around. I look up the temperature on my iPhone: it’s only 45 degrees Fahrenheit! This is astounding, considering that only weeks ago my pumpkins were melting and rotting in the late October California heat. I grab a cup of hot cocoa and quickly slip on a pair of Uggs in preparation for the harsh weather that I will have to endure on my walk to school. The scene outside is different from usual. The grass is white with frost. Where did it come from? Who brought it here? These thoughts plague me as I continue my arduous trek. After running across the street, I see my breath. Is this a new sickness? Could I have the plague? After crossing the street, I notice that traffic has come to a complete stop. Is there an accident? Approaching closer to the unusual traffic congestion, I see a three-inch patch of ice. As each car approaches, the drivers carefully swerve around the daunting expanse. After passing this hazard, many of the drivers pull over to equip their vehicles with snow chains in order to prepare for other perils further down the road, struggling. Many others freeze on this tiring trek to school. However, some students I pass are prepared for this drastic change in weather and it is clear that they have stuffed pillows and other household items into their clothing for additional insulation to make up for the lack of foul weather gear. Upon arriving to school, I overhear one of the campus aides on the walkie-talkie reporting a sighting of the “Abominable Snowman.” After looking into this incident and retrieving the suspect from the roof, it is discovered that it is merely a frozen student dressed for the below average temperature. As I walk by the pool, I wonder how the water polo team is faring the cold temperatures. Peeking through the locker room window, I see a line of players bundled up by the hand dryers, desperately trying to keep warm after their early morning practice. The bell rings. School starts, and in each and every class, complaints flood the room regarding the “Menlo Park Ice Age.” As soon as the lunch bell rings, there is a hectic scene in the hallways. Students flee in order to claim seats in classrooms. The librarian reported an all-time high occupation of the library at lunch. After successfully making it through the day, I wait on the corner for my mom to pick me up, shivering alongside many other students. As I spend every minute waiting by the curb, I begin to feel colder and colder. I hope I don’t die of hypothermia...

by Ally Ostrow

December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions


Blue Jew

hile others spent the night before in wakeful anticipation, restless and roused by the faintest sound, you slept deeply, your sadness an enveloping anesthetic. This morning, you feel alone, so very alone. You are a Jew on Christmas.

While the masses giggle over the cookie crumbs Santa left or the novelty socks they received this year, you wallow in selfpity. Why did Hanukkah fall so early this year? And why is it so hard to spell? By 9:00 a.m. your contemporaries are in trendy Christmas pajamas, watching Rudolph’s Shiny New Year or having some other wholesome family fun. You stare at the menorah still on the dining room table, the dried wax uncannily forming the shape of the lonely tears trailing down your cheeks. They are eating a Christmas ham; you are eating your feelings in the form of leftover fried rice. They are drinking eggnog-flavored hot cocoa; you are lactose intolerant. Perhaps the movies will cure your sorrows; it worked for the people in the 1930s, and their plight was probably as dire as yours. You drive through the ghost town. The green and red traffic lights add insult to injury, reminding you of your isolation from the Christmas spirit. Alas, the movies offer no solace for virtually every film playing has some Christmas-y facet. Moral fables, family dysfunction, wisecracking cartoon characters—they all assemble under the tree at some point. What about Hanukkah movies? Don’t the Jews run Hollywood? Surely Home Alone…For Eight Long Nights, The Latke Express and A Charlie Brownstein Hanukkah could be added to the canon of classic holiday movies. You laugh to yourself at your subtle wit, for there is no one around to share in your utter hilarity; they are all getting paper cuts from the overpriced, seasonal gift wrap. Arriving back at home where it is still only 2:30 p.m., bitterness seizes you (or maybe hunger for something other than fake buttered popcorn). Overcome with the desire to express your burgeoning rage, you turn to poetry, moody haikus to be precise. Despair breeds brilliance. You examine your work: Candles have burnt out The dreidel has stopped spinning No presents for me Happy Holidays There are no ugly sweaters That can save me now Latkes drowned in grease They will never parallel A fine Christmas goose Do I need more gifts? That is really not the point I don’t have a tree Peace on Earth, they say But they do not have to clean The menorah wax Everybody knows That Santa is on his way But not to my house

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Fat and Jolly Guy He knows when I’ve been sleeping But he doesn’t care


Santa Claus, a man Whose morbid obesity Is celebrated All better. And a Happy New Year.

by Samantha Bloom

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Macarons: The Next Cupcake?

Cuter than a cupcake and wilder in both color and flavor, the macaron is a rising sensation to the world of decorative deserts. However, many have yet to discover the wonders of this elusive little pastry. What is a macaron and does it really have the potential to become the new cupcake with its popularity? Given its adorable shape, size, color, and taste it certainly may. A macaron is a French pastry so common in France it is actually sold in McDonalds. A little meringuebased cookie sandwich, the macaron can be filled with anything from jams to ganaches to buttercream frostings. Similar in appearance to whoopee pies and easily confused with the well-known coconut macaroon because of the pronunciation and subtle spelling difference, a macaron is truly of a different caliber with its artsy stylishness. To begin with, the flavors are endless. The classic chocolate, lemon, vanilla and raspberry are only the start to the options. Coffee, pistachio, rose, green tea, almond, rum raisin, strawberry and hazelnut are just a few examples of the incredible array of flavors in existence. This variety allows for almost everyone to enjoy the little French delights. Another perk of the macaron is that the almond-based meringue cookie can be naturally gluten free. An additional appeal to this cute dessert is the display and design possibilities it presents. The circular shape and rainbow colors allow it to be used for brilliant plating patterns and even stacked pyramids. Within the last six months, two stores carrying and specializing in macarons have opened up on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. In visiting the two, it was evident that Chantal Guillon Macaron & Tea surpassed Le Boulange in macaron quality. Le Boulange carries macarons in eleven different flavors all beautiful and tasty, however the flavors and texutres of the macarons from Chantal Guillon Macaron & Tea were on a different level. Le Boulange serves as a restaurant in addition to a pastry shop and is part of a growing chain. Its macarons are shipped from San Francisco and cost $1.50 each. They have special flavors including rum raisin, pumpkin, and passion fruit mango. However, if one is to spend over a dollar for less than a quarter inch of product it should be the absolute best. Upon entering Chantal Guillon Macaron & Tea, just

the displays of the macarons alone were breathtaking. Mirrors reflected the dozens and dozens of beautifully painted and sprinkled cookies. Violet, electric orange, and even gold brushed macarons, lined the white display boxes. The two women working at the counter even had authentic French accents. Unfortunately the price is even higher at $1.75 per pastry. If you buy 24 macarons it will cost $40. However, the experience of biting into their salted caramel flavor was absolutely dreamy, leaving price far from mind. A rich, powerful pop of real, gooey caramel left our tongues tingling. The chocolate yuzu was lemony and refreshing, reminiscent of tasting the aroma of pine needles. The coffee espresso was as luscious as biting into a mocha truffle. Only opened in August, Chantal Guillon Macaron & Tea is already a hotspot for students to hang out. “I love Chantal Guillon, it is like France in one store,” said M-A sophomore Grace Baker. We first noticed the macaron a few years ago when watching a Gossip Girl episode. Witnessing “Manhattan’s elite” Blair Waldorf, munch on these tasty delights, gave a posh quality to this treat. In addressing the M-A student body, however, it was evident that not many students knew what the macaron actually was, but those who did had nothing but positive remarks. Junior Sarah Hagadone says macarons “are really cute and are very French.” Junior Mark Evans went as far as to say, “macarons are my life.” Given these responses it is undisputable that the macaron is here to stay and is already gaining popularity at M-A. Although it may be too early to tell, it is clear that the macaron is a competitor to the cupcake. These fashionable treats are an up-and-coming trend due to their delicious taste and presentable image. According to, the macaron fan base is steadily inclining each week. Just this month macaron’s went from 8,000 followers to 9,000 followers. Obviously we can imply from these statistics that macarons are going to be the next big thing in the baking industry. With the holidays on their way think macarons. If you are struggling to think of a gift, keep in mind that these elegant treats are a great way to celebrate special occasions. They are sold in fancy gift boxes too so they make the perfect, edgy gift. Cute, sophisticated, colorful, and, on top of all that, delicious, macarons are worth a try. by Fiona Gutierrez-Dewar and Cayla Stillman


Snow cones in winter? That’s right one of the most delightful snacks to enjoy in the middle of a snowy blizzard is a snow cone. Typically considered a Hawaiian, warm-weather treat, the quality of snow can, in fact, get no better than fresh powder fallen from the sky.

For those planning a trip to any snowy destination this December, I strongly urge you to take snow cone syrup along. However, this syrup can be hard to come by in stores. This should not be discouragement as it is easy enough to make at home. Merely purchase Koolaid powder packets of varying flavors. Then saturate boiling water with sugar, add the Koolaid mix, and you’ve created a strong, flavorful syrup. Pour the syrup into emptied plastic water bottles for convenient transportation. Bring varying flavors along to satisfy everyone’s preferences: grape, lemon, cherry, blue raspberry, fruit punch… there are endless options! Once you arrive in your snowy location of choice, simply pull out your syrup filled water bottle, sprinkle a little color directly onto a fresh powdery bank (avoiding yellow snow of course), kneel down, stick your face in the snow, and eat the syrup right up! Nothing could get fresher or tastier. Keep a bottle of syrup on you constantly, whip it out for a mid-sledding snack,

or pour it over a snowball in the midst of a fight to restore vigor. Feel free to serve snow cones in a more conventional manner by filling glasses with freshly harvested snow from outside your doorstep and enjoying them with proper cutlery at a formal dining table. To form a perfectly round ball, use your nifty snowball makers if you have one to create a beautiful presentation. Parents even love this sweet and tasty treat. If you have the pleasure of being somewhere with an outside hot tub, bring the syrup bottle with you and, leaning your face right over the rim, enjoy a snowy treat from the piles of snow building up around the tub. I caution you not to let the syrup spill into the water. Bathing in the sugary substance could gum up the Jacuzzi. Take the syrup everywhere you go. If you by chance get lost in a blizzard while snow shoeing, it’d be comfort to have sustenance enough to keep you going for a few days. So make yourself snow cone syrup this winter season if not for the pleasure of tasting this treat rather for matters of life and death. I guarantee you will not regret introducing this activity into your winter wonderland to-do list.

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by Fiona Gutierrez-Dewar


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Pencil Red-Nosed Becca Milman


December 2012 student life | holiday | submissions

? Your


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Holi day






The List “I wanted the Plain White T’s album, got the actual white t-shirts.” Mark Gerhart 11th “A savings bond…when I was 5.” Sophia Bercow 10th “Socks. For every holiday. All the time.” Jenna Ebert 12th “An ash tray when I was twelve.” Roxanne Mein 12th “Bacon flavored toothpaste was pretty bad. And turtlenecks throughout my childhood. Simply traumatizing.” Gabriela Nighan 12th “For Christmas my dad got me a ‘First Tooth’ box, and I was 15.” Breanna Sevy 12th “Santa gave me a broken snow globe, and then my mom told me she was going to return it.” Jackie Gonzalez 12th “My parents gave me a big box, and inside was a smaller box, and then a smaller box, and finally inside was a Kirkwood keychain.” Nicky Mullen 12th “My mom gave me a ruler and lead. Not even the pencil. Just lead.” Kotaro Kihira 12th “My “Secret Santa” for volleyball gave me a bell pepper with a bow on it.” Ali Spindt 12th “When I unwrapped the gift from my brother, it was an X-Box… and then when I opened up the box, there was only coal inside.” Josh Williams 12th “A traveling croquet set.” Morgan Olson Fabbro 12th “ My brother took pictures of Pokemon cards and then printed them in black and white, and gave them to me.” John Lovegren 12th

by Simone King & Alexis Magaña

Bearsin theKitchen Here are some fun holiday recipes to make for your family and friends (or you can keep them all to yourself, I won’t tell!). Have fun making some simple Reindeer Poop, or challenge yourself and create some fun, and tasty Annisettes!

ANNISETTES Italian Christmas Cookies Cookies


1 Stick softened butter 1 Tbs melted butter 1/2 cup sugar 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 3 large eggs 1/4 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 tsp anise extract 2 tsp anise extract 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbs baking powder 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar Sprinkles 1. Mix on Low speed: butter and sugar. Increase to high and beat until creamy. 2. At medium speed beat in eggs, vanilla and 1tsp of anice extract. 3. Reduce to low speed and slowly beat in flour and baking powder. 4. Divide dough into 4 parts, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour.

REINDEER POOP 1 (16 ounce) package Oreo cookies, crushed 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 (24 ounce) package white chocolate bark 1 (24 ounce) package milk or dark

5. Preheat oven to 350. 6. On lightly floured surface divide ball into 9 equal pieces 7. Roll pieces into 7 inch long ropes. 8. Tie in desired way. 9. Place cookies on ungreased pan 2 inches apart. 10. Bake for about 12 min, or until bottoms are brown.

chocolate bark. 1.Using a blender or handheld mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together. 2. Roll into walnut size balls. 3. Chill for an hour. 4. Melt approximately 3/4 package of either milk or dark chocolate bark. 5. Stick a toothpick in an Oreo ball and dip it in the melted milk or dark chcolate bark. 6. Allow to harden on wax paper, for about 15 min. the MArk

8. While waiting, melt about 1/4 package of white chocolate bark. 9. When Oreo balls are no longer sticky to the touch, deco-


rate with drizzles of milk or dark chocolate and white bark.

by Simone King

December 2012 student life | holiday| submissions Photography Columns Nina Fox, 10th

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Photography Sapling Jack Boyle, 12th


Photography Bridge From the Ferry Lauren Nathan,11th

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Charcoal Untitled Shannon Aguiar, 10th

Marker Baby Becca Milman, 12th

Photography Untitled Nina Fox, 10th

Photography Sunset Joanne Cho, 11th

The Last Train Sergio Rodriguez


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lways the same station, at the same time, on the same train; I’d see her. I always sat across from her. She does not know, but I always try to look my best for her. “Oh, if only I was a better man. If only I had more money.” I thought, “I would have the confidence to ask her name.” But that will never happen. I cannot do it. Why can’t I do it? Why am I always so insecure? I am always afraid of doing things out of my narrow comfort zone. The train always gets to our destination. Sadness. And our paths differ. As usual, it is the same train, at the same station, and the same time. However, something is not right today. Something is different. She is not here. The day I had finally decided to talk to her and I can’t because she is not here. The rest of the day, I wondered if anything bad had happened to her. Why wasn’t she there? The next few days, she wasn’t there either. My worry grew exponentially bigger. Was I in love? But not, that couldn’t be. I have never talked to her. How could I be in love with someone that I have not talked to? That Thursday morning, the doors of the train were about to close. That is when I saw her. She was running towards the door of the train, but it would be too late and she wouldn’t make it. I decided to go back and I held the door. She finally got in. “Thanks,” she with a smile. Her voice was sweet, like music to my ears. Her smile killed my heart. That is the day, I won’t forget for the rest of my life.


He’s always there. That person always takes the same train, in the same station, at the same time. He always looks handsome. It’s not hard to tell that he does his best to look good. He sits across from me but I think that is just a coincidence. He always looks like he tries to tell me something, or is it just my imagination? I’m not sure. Sometimes, I wear the pink skirt that I really like just to see if he reacts to it. That day I was sick. I felt like the sun. My body temperature was in the clouds; high. All the objects in my room were orbiting around me like the solar system. I was in the middle. It was really strange, but the first thing I thought that morning was, “I won’t see him today, how sad.” The next few days I was alone in my room. My girl friend was the one that was taking care of me. Part time of course. Since I had nothing else to do, I imagined him in my head. I wondered what he was doing. I wondered who he was or what he does. Finally, I started to feel better. My body temperature went back to normal after a while and I was able to go out. That Thursday morning I overslept. I rushed through all my clothes and I rapidly got dressed. I wouldn’t be in time for the train. I ran to the station and I saw the door closing. Then, I saw that the doors stopped. Someone was holding the doors open. And that’s when I saw him. My heart skipped a beat when I saw him. I found no words but “thanks” and I smiled. He smiled back, his smile was so bright. All my worries seemed to disappear from of my eyes when I saw him. That was a special day. The day I will remember for all my life.

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Photography Lights Miranda Rose Alfano-Smith, 10th

Photography Stained Glass Helmi Henkin, 11th

Luis & Carlos

Jonathan & Nicholas

Dominique & Azune

Tashie & Sophi

Twinterview Twins are a biological phenomenon that are becoming more and more common. The twin birth rate has gone up 76% in the last three decades. That is probably why there are so many twins here at M-A and I was fortunate enough to interview four sets of them. I interviewed Nicholas and Jonathan O’Farrell, 12th graders who are triplets, but their sister does not attend M-A; Azune and Dominique Simpson, 11th graders who are not only twins but also best friends; 10th grade twins Sophi and Tashie Bock, who

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have more differences than similarities; and to ďŹ nish it off, Luis and Carlos


Acosta, 9th graders who often get mistaken for each other and must constantly remind people which twin they are.

What is the best and worst part of having a twin? Dominique Simpson: I love it. If someone doesn’t want to hang out with me on the weekends then I have Azune to hang out with. Azune Simpson: The worst part is competition; you always try to be better than each other at stuff. Nicholas O’Farrell: The best is having a constant companion. It’s nice having someone doing the same thing as you. Jonathan O’Farrell: The worst is you know how to rub each other the wrong way because you have grown up together and you know each other so well. Luis Acosta: The best part is that you share stuff, and I can tell him everything. Carlos Acosta: The worst is that people confuse us too much. Sophi Bock: Not having to be alone in family situations and when buying gifts for our friends we don’t have to pay as much because we can buy gifts together. Tashie Bock: The worst is getting compared to each other a lot.

Have you ever used being a twin to your advantage? Dominique: We tried to switch classes one day, but it didn’t work so well. Azune: Definitely, if I’m talking to someone and they don’t know that I’m a twin I’ll say ‘oh yeah I have a twin’ and they’ll be like ‘really?’ and I’m just like ‘yeah, you like me more now, huh.’ Sophi: It makes me more interesting. When everyone has to share facts about themselves, I get to say I have a twin. Tashie: I use her for homework and editing my papers.

Do you ever have twin telepathy? Dominique: It just happens like something I’m thinking, she’ll say, and something she’s thinking, I’ll say: it’s crazy. Azune: All the time. Sometimes it won’t happen instantly, but eventually, you know what she’s thinking and you’re like what is wrong with this because we’re not even identical. Nicholas: No, I don’t think that’s a real thing. Jonathan: Nope. Sophi: When we were little, Tashie refused to talk because she was antisocial so I would talk for her and tell people what she wanted. Tashie: Sometimes we’ll say the exact same thing like ‘I want cookies’ but we always want cookies.

How often do people mistake you for your twin? Dominique: Every day, and we’re not even identical. We’re fraternal. Like my parents do it and its like come on. Azune: All the time, and with this hair I don’t understand. for three years I’ve had this haircut and people still confuse us. Nicholas: Now that we’re seniors it’s very rare because we don’t look that much alike, but freshman year we had a lot of the same teachers and they would call me Jonathan and I assume they called him Nicholas.

Luis: They confuse our names a lot because we’re identical twins. Carlos: A lot, and I have to tell people, ‘I’m Carlos, and he’s Luis.’

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Jonathan: Never.

Sophi: They don’t mistake us because we look completely different, but people will call me Tashie and I know it’s not because 33 we look alike; It’s because they associate me with her.

Then and Now

by Sara Solomon

The MArk Staff thought it would be fun to go around campus and ask teachers who graduated from M-A or have been teaching at M-A for a long time, in their words, the biggest change at M-A since they first arrived. However, this article would not be complete without embarrassing the teachers thoroughly by showing what they looked like in their prime, from their time as a student or from their early years of teaching.


“I think one of the biggest changes has been the diversity in the student population here. At one point on campus we were represented by over 50 nations, and that wasn’t that way in 1968. Also, the physical environment of this campus looks like a college campus. Overall, the biggest change that I have witnessed is the change in diversity.”

MS. BESSE-1986

“There have been many changes, most notably the positive change in campus climate, which includes teacher and student morale, and student behavior and motivation.”


“Probably new buildings: the PAC, G-wing, H-wing, F-wing, I-wing, the new gym, and C-0.”


“We actually have computers now, so the technology aspect. Also, the number of kids in the classroom has changed, and the number of honors classes has tripled. There were two AS Chemistry classes, now there are seven. Everyone is smarter!”


“The biggest change…well, they have all these fancy buildings now. Also, the demographics are completely different. There was a much bigger African American population than there is now.”

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature


“In my nineteen years here, the biggest change so far has been the construction of so many new facilities.”


“The campus has definitely improved in terms of aesthetics, the physical aspect of the campus. We have also changed the way we work as teachers. There is much more collaboration, and it is more consistent in terms of who teaches what. Also, in terms of technology, when I started here we didn’t have computers. Now we have computers, SMART Boards and computer labs.”

photo not avaliable

MS. STRUB - 1995 photo not avaliable

photo not avaliable

“Probably the biggest change over these eighteen years that I have been here has been an almost complete turnover of the staff. This is because some long-time, beloved teachers have retired in the last five to ten years, teachers that were legendary.”

*Does not partake in yearbook photos


“The biggest physical change is the number of classrooms and buildings. Then the imposition of the STAR test and the ludicrousness that it started.”

“I can’t use new buildings as my answer? Fine. The new pool, built in 2001, had a huge impact on my coaching career and the improvement of the M-A aquatics program.”

the MArk



December 2012 student life | holiday| submissions

Photogrpahy Leaf Shannon Aguiar, 10th

art art || poetry poetry || creative creative writing writing || news news || opinion opinion || sports sports || feature feature

Photography Boots Virginia Lane, 11th




ap t x i M

or, seni t by s that, n e m tle ssign ng ti ing a on of so yline. t i r r W ti e sto tive pila Crea d a com cohesiv a s i a te crea form wing follo ith. She gether, e h o T t m rung ren S Lau when st

Wake Up Arcade Fire

Girl Beck

Someone Great LCD Soundsystem

Worried Before We Shoes Talked Karen O and The Kids Gold Panda

Waiting For Her Pretty Lights

Strangers The Kinks

Lebanese Blonde Thievery Corporation

The Dreamer The Tallest Man

Cheerleader St. Vincent

Blue Eyes Cary Brothers

on Earth

Can I Thinking Kick it? Bout You A Tribe Called Quest Frank Ocean

Where Is Fall In Love My Mind? (J Dilla Pixies Tribute) Flying Lotus

the MArk

Le temps Everything Something Stay The deFrancoise l’amour Same in Its Right Goes Right Hardy Bonobo & Andreya Sbtrkt Place Triana Radiohead


After We Talked Gold Panda

It Is Not Meant To BeTame Impala

She’s Leaving Home


I Can Change

LCD Soundsytem

How to Where Do You Go To Disappear (My Lovely) Completely Radiohead Peter Sarstedt

art | poetry | creative writing | news | opinion | sports | feature

Photography Fireworks Simone King, 12th

Thanks for reading this issue of The MArk. We hope you have a wonderful break and do not despair, we will be back with another issue before you know it. In the meantime keep doodling, photographing, painting, writing and, more importantly, submitting. Our email,, accepts rolling submissions. Be sure to include your grade level, title and medium of the work.

Photography Swings Megan Wiebe, 10th


the MArk

The MArk  

Menlo-Atherton High School Volume III Issue II December 2012

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