__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

THE

OCTAGON

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Sacramento, CA Permit No. 1668 @scdsoctagon

VOL.44 NO.4 • Sacramento Country Day School • 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, CA• www.scdsoctagon.com • December 15, 2020

COVID-19 tests back, Country Day returns to hybrid schedule

C

BY SAMHITA KUMAR

ountry Day conducted COVID-19 testing on Dec. 2 for 385 of its students and employees. Only one person tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an Dec. 10 email from Head of School Lee Thomsen. “Based on the timeline, it is highly unlikely that transmission occurred at school or that others in our community were exposed on our campus,” Thomsen wrote. Classes have been remote since Dec. 1, but returned to the hybrid model on Dec. 14. “Our community test results demonstrate that our policies and procedures are working and that our on-campus community is by-and-large currently healthy,” Thomsen wrote. The decision to return to hybrid learning was supported by the positive results from a school survey used to gauge how many students planned to come back on campus if they tested negative for COVID-19. In order to return to school, students need to test negative for COVID-19, said Head of High School Brooke Wells. Students who choose not to get tested or test positive for the virus will not be able to attend in-person classes the week before winter break Although Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted a stay-at-home order for the Sacramento region that went into effect Dec. 10 after the region’s ICU capacity fell below 15 percent, Country Day’s reopening will not be affected.

BY MING ZHU On Dec. 10, a vaccines advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 17 to 4 to recommend approval of the emergency use authorization cine. The FDA vaccines committee has scheduled a Dec. 17 meeting to discuss the emergency use authorization for Moderna’s vaccine. Moderna, have reported their vaccine trials to have success rates of to its website, and Moderna’s vaccording to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Vinod Trivedi, an infectious

INSIDE the ISSUE PHOTO BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI; ART BY OLIVIA CHILLELI; PHOTO RETREIVED FROM ACTIVISION.COM

Schools that have already opened can stay open, according to the state’s Regional Stay at Home Order. Sophomore Adam Akins favors mandatory testing. “It’s the right choice,” he said. “If students aren’t able or willing to comply with the testing, they shouldn’t be allowed to come back to school.” Akins said the precautions the school is taking have been effective, and he will likely return to school for the hybrid model. The school returned to remote learning over concerns of a post-Thanksgiving spike, Thomsen said. “We decided to test on Dec. 2, but wait two weeks before coming back in person, just to be as safe as possible,” he said. the two schedules hard to keep track of. “For example, I was planning to give a test at the beginning of next week in a class,” she said. “I had to realize that we’re not going to be remote again so I have to split the test into the different cohorts. I understand the need for it, but it is an added challenge.” She prefers seeing students in person, but likes having the entire class together with the remote schedule. “You don’t have to worry about forgetting to tell Cohort B something that you told Cohort A or vice versa,” she said. Conner tested negative for COVID-19 on Dec. 2 and plans to return to school for the hybrid schedule. Her children, junior Vivian Conner and freshman Kasmer Conner,

REMOTE page 3 >>

disease specialist as well as the father of Country Day juniors Arijit and Arikta Trivedi, said the

SAFETY SWAB Director of Physical Education Michelle Myers gets a COVID-19 test on the Oct. 30 on-campus testing day for faculty and students. Another test day was held on Dec. 2. PHOTO BY HERMIONE XIAN

spike proteins with a human cell, that’s when the movie begins,” Dr. Trivedi said. “So, the idea is to alert our immune system to the presence of spike proteins in the body. Once the body knows that there is a spike protein there, then we’ll start churning out

is to synthesize. “You don’t have to get the protein of the virus to grow into a different vector virus, then purify it and then you give it to the subdifferent type of vaccine than an ject of interest,” Dr. Trivedi said. “That’s why, if you look senerger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. at traditional vaccines, it Most vaccines are either a retakes anywhere between conversion of the virus or Once the virus attacherage, it takes about 10 act as a vehicle to carry gees the spike proteins years for a vaccine to denetic material into a cell with a human cell, that’s velop.” The technology used in sponses, Dr. Trivedi said. when the movie begins.” An mRNA vaccine is dif— Dr. Vinod Trivedi this coronavirus vaccine has never been previously used, ferent. It carries mRNA, so potential long-term efa piece of genetic code antibodies that will block these fects are still unknown, Dr. Triveused to produce proteins. In this case, the mRNA in the virus particles or the structures di said. “Just imagine the work has vaccine is the spike protein of the from attaching to the human started sometime in April, and COVID-19 virus, which is what cells.” The mRNA vaccines are fast to you know, just rolling subjects the virus uses to attach to human produce because they don’t need into Phase 1 sometime in June, cells. “Once the virus attaches the a viral vector, he said. All it needs and now comes December, we al-

NEWS 4 Learn how Country Day won a zoning fight to expand enrollment and what the school’s next steps must be.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 9 Read about senior Olivia Chilleli’s art journey and endeavors, such as the creation of pieces like “Mantis,” shown here.

ready had two trials and the vaccine is all ready to be rolled out. This is the quickest technology that can be used to manufacture the vaccine,” Dr. Trivedi said. One Country Day student, junior Miles Morrow, participated personal account of that can be found in this edition of The Octagon on page 8. The Country Day community has mixed responses to the upcoming vaccines. Chemistry teacher Victoria Conner plans to be vaccinated as soon as it is made available to her. cines were being rushed through, I was not sure about the safety,” Conner said. However, after hearing how

VACCINE page 3 >>

OPINION 11 Check out junior Dylan Margolis latest review about the most recent Call of Duty: Black Ops game, Cold War.


2

News • December 15, 2020

The Octagon

STAFF PRINT EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Sanjana Anand Ming Zhu ONLINE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Ethan Monasa Arijit Trivedi NEWS EDITOR Nihal Gulati FEATURE EDITOR Ming Zhu SPORTS EDITOR Miles Morrow A&E/OPINION EDITOR Dylan Margolis PHOTO EDITOR Hermione Xian PAGE EDITORS Arjin Claire Nihal Gulati Dylan Margolis Ethan Monasa Miles Morrow Arijit Trivedi Arikta Trivedi Hermione Xian BUSINESS STAFF Arjin Claire, manager Samhita Kumar, assistant SOCIAL MEDIA STAFF Samhita Kumar, assistant Arikta Trivedi, editor HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY Nihal Gulati REPORTERS Rod Azghadi Jacob Chand Emily Cook Jonah Angelo David Katie Espinoza William Holz Samhita Kumar Lauren Lu Callister Misquitta Samrath Pannu Natalie Park Aarushi Rohatgi Ishaan Sekhon Hermione Xian Garman Xu PHOTOGRAPHERS Miles Morrow Arikta Trivedi Hermione Xian MULTIMEDIA STAFF Arjin Claire, staffer Samhita Kumar, staffer Dylan Margolis, editor Samrath Pannu, staffer Garman Xu, staffer GRAPHIC ARTISTS Charlie Acquisto Brynne Barnard-Bahn Lilah Shorey ADVISER Bonnie Stewart The Octagon is Sacramento Country Day’s student-run high school newspaper. Its purpose is to provide reliable information on events concerning the high school in order to inform and entertain the school community. The staff strives for accuracy and objectivity. The Octagon aims to always represent both sides of an issue. Errors will be noted and corrected. The Octagon shall publish material that the staff deems in the best interest of the school community. The staff recognizes the importance of providing accurate and reliable information to readers. The Octagon does not represent the views of the administration, nor does it act as publicity for the school as a whole. The Octagon will publish all timely and relevant news, subject to the following exceptions: obscenity; slanderous or libelous material; or material contrary to the best interests of the school community, as judged by the guidelines among the newspaper staff, adviser and school administration. Editorials are approved by an editorial board. Columns/commentaries shall be labeled as such and represent only the opinion of the author. In the interest of representing all points of view, letters to the editor shall be published, space permitting, unless otherwise requested. All letters must be signed and conform to the above restrictions. The staff may change grammar and punctuation or abridge letters for space considerations. Comments can be made on our website to address all stories run.

IN PLAIN SIGHT Junior Arikta Trivedi takes a test with her camera pointed at her table. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ARIJIT TRIVEDI

Online learning adds risk of cheating BY SANJANA ANAND

T

hat search bar is a click away, and that cell phone is just waiting for a text to come in. It’s just so easy for students to cheat during remote or hybrid learning.

exact problem is a looming concern among teachers. Biology teacher Kellie Whited has multiple and she makes the questions hard to search up by requiring students to do more than just “Those are things that you can’t fake because it shows understanding of the concepts, not just ability to memorize, which has always been how I test,” she said. When Whited’s students are taking a test on. Whited said the rustling of paper or the buzz from a text message coming in on a stumethods that they use to cheat, so as a teach-

Kuipers said he’s restructured his tests to focus more on what exactly an assessment untimed and open resource, so answers are not just one simple answer that’s easy to look up. Kuipers proctors the multiple-choice quesget used to the timing for the AP exam. Howthe majority of the test because of the limited class time. He would rather use that time to “It’s not about memorizing the factual content, which is not authentic and the easiest to cheat on. If it’s more open-ended, students can be tested on their writing, critical thinking and/or analysis skills. I’m trying to encourage my students to make an argument based on their ability to interpret the infor“There’s no way a student could cheat on an untimed and open-resource test other than completely handing in someone else’s work, which is easy to notice.”

gets applied in this subject, she added. hasn’t seen anything indicating cheating in any of her classes, which is reassuring to her. History teacher Chris Kuipers is most worried about collaboration during a test. but nothing stops those kids then from sending texts to their friends,” he said. Kuipers begins to suspect cheating when multiple students get the same multiple-choice problems wrong. For questions that require written answers, he suspects plagiarism if the answers don’t seem like a high schooler wrote it. faith in the students that they want to do right and be honest.” Kuipers said there’s a concern with assessments being taken online and students doing their authentic work. “The challenges of remote learning or hybrid learning is just that as a teacher, I’m cion of students necessarily, but it’s harder to gauge and measure online,” he said.

point the camera on Zoom at their workspace the entire time would eliminate any way of cheating.” Kuipers said some colleges are using eye “That’s too extreme and not the type of enare here to learn, and I’m not interested in spending my time being both a police person and a teacher,” Kuipers said. eye-tracking software. “If your pet comes into your room and you she said. Freshman Imani Cochran said downloadstudents can’t open other tabs during tests

-

best they can to make tests as fair as possible,” Cochran said. Whited said she appreciates how Country Day trusts teachers to teach in their own way, and it’s up to each teacher to mitigate that risk of cheating as best they can. “It’s not the school’s job, it’s the students’

lar strategies to how she is doing now. On the other hand, Kuipers said he’s not

their own education and their teachers and

19-22, and split by cohorts.

The majority of Country Day students are “It’s a lot of trusting. I hope that they show the same respect and trust that I show them. If you treat a student like an adult, they will act like one.” In biology, there are so many different types of questions — essays, short answers

“If subjects like math can’t do that poli-

by doing exactly that the following day.

exam.

earn,” she said. “We’re all trying to prepare you for college. Country Day students always come back and say that they learned how to study, learned how to apply concepts or learned to take a risk. Our goal is to help raise the next generation of academics.”


The Octagon

December 15, 2020 • News

Vaccine: (continued from page 1) vaccine trials are being conducted and the vaccine’s effectiveness, Conner said she is cines. “Every time you hear in the news about a trial being stopped because of adverse reaction, they’re actually doing the testing properly,” Conner said. She added she is not concerned about will be 100% effective. “Because everybody’s body chemistry is a little bit different, how your body integrates the medicine is going to be a little bit different from other people, which is also why some people have more side effects than others,” Conner said. Though Conner would be vaccinated when possible, she understands there is limited availability.

people — that’s going to be the health care workers, which is appropriate.” Senior Kenyatta Dumisani doesn’t plan “I believe that it’s prudent to be vaccinated in the modern era, but this is a very abnormal time,” Dumisani said. Dumisani feels the development of this vaccine may be rushed. Another factor of Dumisani’s decision is uneasiness caused by how African Ameriicine in the past. “Just looking back on the history of black people in medicine in this country — if you look back to Henrietta Lacks or the Tuskegee experiments — I don’t think it’s in my cines,” he said. “And looking at the rate at which America is taking care of patients in general, not

to mention my community, is a bit troublesome,” he said. Because of the rapid development of this vaccine, Dumisani fears something could go wrong that would put him at risk of COVID-19. “I want to stay as far away from that virus as possible,” Dumisani said. “I’ve read enough about how you have to get a pipe down your throat in order to breathe — it’s horrifying stuff.” Like Dumisani, junior Kali Wells also plans to wait for the second wave of vaccines to get vaccinated. “The vaccine is super new, and I’m not sure how much testing is going on with it,” Wells said. Another factor in Wells’ decision is the possibility of unknown side effects. “I’m honestly not super concerned about the effects, but we still don’t know too much about the long lasting effects and

3

what might happen in the future,” Wells said. Dr. Trivedi urges the spread of information that mRNA vaccines are effective and safe. Though potential long-term effects remain unknown, adverse effects of vaccines will happen within six weeks of the injection, and scientists have three months of data on adverse effects of this vaccine, Dr. Trivedi said. “It is the duty of not only the health care providers but for everybody who is in some sort of position — either journalists or TV anchors — to spread information that these vaccines are safe, these vaccines are effective,” he said. “Since there’s so much out there in social media, and there’s so much misinformation, we have to counter that misinformation by using our methods of communication,” he said.

Remote: Testing required for in-person learning (continued from page 1) will also return. Mandatory testing will continue after winter break and into the new year, according to a Dec. 4 school-wide email. Another switch to remote learning will be made from Jan. 4-8, 2021. This switch will be made to provide a buffer between Christmas and New Year’s travel and in-person school. Families who travel during the break to high-risk areas are required to self-quarantine, according to the school’s COVID-19 Policies and Procedures. However, the buffer is only one week, as opposed to the two weeks after Thanksgiving. This is due to both testing date availability and dates of likely exposure, according to a Frequently Asked Questions document sent to families on Dec. 4. A testing date will be available on Jan. 5 in order for students and faculty to return to campus on Jan. 11. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 on one of the test dates, the family should notify their doctor and Country Day CFO Bill Petchauer.

In the future, the school hopes they would like to be in school He prefers the one asynchroto conduct bi-weekly testing, more,” he said. nous day of the remote schedule Wells said. “There are also a few who have to the two Zoom days and the “I think that the best way to said, essentially, ‘it’s been pretty switching Friday of the hybrid mitigate your risk is to have our safe so far, why go remote now?’” schedule. social distancing, have masks and Thomsen said. When deciding whether to rethen add a layer of negative tests While Wells doesn’t think there turn to campus with the hybrid every week or two weeks,” he said. will be any changes to the high schedule, he’s worried about The bi-weekly testing is - the COVID-19 statistics, but he planned to eliminate the switch- cations to the hybrid schedule are thinks the precautions the school es back to remote learning while being considered. has been taking have been effecawaiting results, according to the “We’re looking for ways to cre- tive. Dec. 4 email sent by the school. ate a longer lunch break, have an “There didn’t seem to be any The school is still working on advisory period, have a morntransmission that I knew the details of the plan, but Arch ing meeting time on Fridays,” about between students,” he said. sulting company, will sponWells corroborated I think that the best sor testing. It will likely that the school wasn’t way to mitigate your take place on either Fridays aware of any transmisrisk is to have our social disor Saturdays after Jan. 15, sion either. Thomsen said. Junior Craig Bolman is tancing, have masks and then This would likely conalso looking forward to readd a layer of negative tests tinue until it seems safe turning to the hybrid schedevery week or two weeks.” to stop, Wells said. ule. — Brooke Wells Thomsen said the re“I feel like I learn better sponse from parents to that way, when I’m not just the switch has largestaring into a Zoom screen,” ly been supportive. he said. he said. Many parents are worried about Akins prefers the hybrid schedHe also likes to spend time with the pre-Thanksgiving spike in ule to the remote one. The human his friends, even if it’s socially COVID-19 case numbers, and interaction of in-person learning distanced. numbers are likely to continue and the effectiveness of teaching Bolman said that the two weeks rising, he said. in person are factors in his deci- may be too long of a switch to re“There are some parents who sion to return. mote learning when considering feel they are being very careful There are also some positives the time in which test results re(and) not really posing a risk, so to the remote schedule, he added. turn.

“I get why they did it — in case, you know, anybody who might have been exposed over the break,” he said. Not all students are planning to return to campus for the hybrid schedule. hybrid schedule too busy. “It is a little stressful to go to school every other day,” she said. “I have to rearrange a lot of my sports schedules for the hybrid schedule.” Fesai prefers the remote schedule because of the time to study in between classes and the fewer number of classes per day. “It’s better for me all the way around,” she said. “While I do miss campus, I think that it’s good that we slow down a little bit and catch up on work,” she said. “Also, with cases going up, that can be stressful for a lot of families.” She was tested for COVID-19 on Dec. 2, and is considering returning to campus. Being able to get help from teachers in person instead of through Zoom is a major factor, Fesai said. “It would honestly depend on my schedule at the time,” she said.

TESTING, 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... Students wait to get a COVID-19 test during the school testing day on Dec. 2. Of the 385 tests administered, 384 returned negative. One test was confirmed positive, said Head of School Lee Thomsen to the Country Day community in a Dec. 10 email. PHOTO BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI


4

News • December 15, 2020

The Octagon

School expansion allowed against neighbors’ appeal

C

BY NIHAL GULATI

ountry Day has won its

-

-

-

-

-

SKINNY SIDESTREET Cars exit and turn onto Latham Drive on Oct. 27 during student pickup. PHOTO BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI -

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

THE SCHOOL

-

-

students, make more of a difference.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

THE NEIGHBORS

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-


The Octagon

December 15, 2020 • Feature

5

CIF to make sports decison at start of new year

C

BY MILES MORROW

ountry Day athletes are ready to play sports, but since the spring of 2019, the status of Country Day’s sports remains unclear. On Dec. 7, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) held a meeting to discuss the future of high school sports in California. Country Day Athletic Director Matt

Vargo attended the Sac-Joaquin section meeting. “The CIF feels like their hands are tied,” Vargo said. “However, the current plan is to still play sports this year.” The sports seasons were split into Season 1, with cross country, soccer and volleyball, and Season 2, with baseball, track were pushed back to allow each sport to

play a full season. Season 1 was originally

Junior Malek Owaidat agreed that some sports should be allowed to practice right 14. now. “Some of the guidelines seem a bit too It was announced at the meeting that ev- strict,” Owaidat said. erything is being halted until at least Jan. 1. “Although the CIF halted things, the sec- ball while maintaining social distancing tion is looking to make a decision between and following the guidelines.” Jan. 18 and 25 to determine if Season 1 Owaidat plans to play soccer if the seasports will have playoffs or not as well as son does not get shut down. Owaidat also what different leagues and schools can cur- plays competitive soccer for San Juan Socrently do,” Vargo said. cer Club. There is a possibility that Season 1 might “We are currently allowed to practice not even occur. with light con“They will have to tact,” Owaidat make their decision said. “For a while, I don’t see any by early February,” though, we were reason why Vargo said. “The CIF restricted to mainhas already canceled sports like golf or tennis taining social disstate and regional tancing while practicshouldn’t be allowed to championships for ing.” practice.” this school Volleyball coach year.” — Matt Vargo Jason Kreps does not Vargo also think that his sport coaches Country should be practicing. Day’s soccer team, “As of right now, things are really up in and from a coach’s point of view, he said the air with the recent rise in COVID-19 that some sports should currently be al- cases,” Kreps said. “Although I do not think lowed to practice. volleyball should or could be practicing “I don’t see any reason why sports like right now, if we do get the opportunity to, golf or tennis shouldn’t be allowed to prac- we will follow all protocols and guidelines.” tice,” Vargo said. Junior Vanessa Escobar still really wants “Even soccer as well. Outdoor sports, to play sports. “However, I still really want to make sure COVID-19 guidelines and still practice. I and my family stay safe,” Escobar said. Even in the NFL, although there have been Escobar plans to play volleyball if the - season does not get shut down. “Although restricted to a smaller space, another.” I think we could accomplish what we need

TIP IT Senior Elise Sommerhaug attempts to tip the ball over the net at the 2019-20 volleyball season senior night. PHOTO BY EMMA BOERSMA

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Jackson Margolis, ’20, loves film studies at UC Berkeley; takes classes online due to COVID-19 BY CALLISTER MISQUITTA Jackson Margolis, ‘20, attends the University of California, Berkeley. Margolis is leaning toward majoring in molecular and cellular biology. Q: Why did you choose to attend UC Berkeley? A: Ultimately, I decided to attend UC Berkeley due to its sports culture and a big campus feel, which is very different from the Country Day environment. Due to COVID-19, we aren’t having it this year, but hopefully next year I will get that experience. I really enjoy how the school ties in prestigious academics to its sports and social culture. Q: How has the pandemic affected you? A: All of my classes are online, so we have synchronous and asynchronous learning. This means that in some of my classes, I meet the same way Country Day does. For example in my English class, we meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half. I have assignments due right before class, and I am required to turn my screen on. Q: What is remote learning for college courses like? A: For my physiology class, it’s completely asynchronous. All of the assignments are posted on a website called Canvas. I have to answer questions related to the textbook and my professor grades them. Then, there are four whenever I want. The catch is you have 100 questions and not enough time to look up an answer. college being on Zoom? A: I have mixed feelings about it. Obviously, there would be a better social dynamic in-person. For me, there are fewer distractions. I am the type of person who really likes to get involved in clubs and activities in school that distract me from academics. Because there is a lack of that, I can focus on academics and excel there. Q: How are you spending your time?

A: My math professor assigns weekly quizzes on Fridays, so I sort of center my whole week around preparing for these mini exams. After I study for a while each morning, I will go running for a while. Q: What classes are you taking? A: I am taking math 10A (Calculus), physiology, English and California in the Cinematic Imagination. Q: What are you majoring in? A: I am currently undeclared. Right now, I am on the pre-med track, so I might declare molecular and cellular biology as my major. class is currently my favorite class. I also enjoy storytelling and writing about and discussing med schools like when people meaningfully double major. Q: What is your largest class? A: I am enrolled in a program at UC Berkeley which incorporates a Country Day vibe on a UC campus. Instead of hundreds of students in my classes, it is reduced to 90 students in my lectures.

at least some extra credit opportunities. Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes? A: Over the summer, I was not spending a lot of time joining any social groups or getting to know people. I was partially disappointed because school was only online, and I was stressed because college was starting. I forgot to submit some of my vaccines, and that risked delayed enrollment and signing up for classes I wanted. I freaked out because I thought I wasn’t going to be able to attend UC Berkeley after all the hard work in high school because of a silly medical form. I ended up getting the form in, but the biggest mistake I made was thinking there was a safety net at a University of California. Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2021? A: Don’t think that your life is going to be easier if you get into the school of your choice. There is going to be plenty of adversity that you are going to encounter, and you will have ridicu-

are going into graduate school, the name of your school is important, but your grades are the most important. If you don’t get into your dream school, that just means you have to work

Five Star or Subpar? Quality of Classes:

Student-Teacher Interaction:

Clubs:

School Spirit:

you attend. You have to understand that you are working toward something. When you

Q: What are your smallest classes? A: My smallest classes consist of small discussion groups of approximately 17 people. Q: How are your professors over remote learning? A: They are all managing it well. Since Berkeley is an expansive school with numerous resources, they started planning for this online semester back in March last year. Q: How was the transition you made from Country Day to college? A: Country Day prepares you to do well in a physical setting. I think there are certain skills such as making me participate in class and get my assignments turned in on time. That said, there is a ginormous jump between high school and college. Almost all of your college grades are determined by big exams and essays. Still though, most of my professors offer

ESSAY ESCAPADE Jackson Margolis, ‘20, writes an essay for his college English class about the novel “There There” by Tommy Orange. PHOTO BY DYLAN MARGOLIS


2 2 0 0 6

December 15, 2020

Cente

W

ith hopes of a great new decade, we went into 2020 full of hope, but now as the year comes to an end, we’ve seen events of all sorts that turned our worlds upside down in both good and bad ways. The world learned how to work from home, streamlining a lot of jobs, but on the other hand, many businesses went out of business due to quarantine. While the year has been chock full of events, here are 20 that formed our 2020.

Jan. 1

1

Jan. 26 -

March 13

March 9

6

2

-

7

-

May 30

June 29 -

11

12 Aug. 28

16

-

Sept. 18 -

17

-

IN 20 2


Feb. 9

Feb. 5

6

Feb. 28

-

-

3

4

-

8 Aug. 3

-

Aug. 17 -

14

-

19

-

15

Nov. 7

Oct. 26

-

10

-

Aug. 16

13

-

May 25 -

9

-

-

5

April 29

March 24

18

7

The Octagon

erpoint

-

Dec. 10 -

-

-

20

-

-

2020 020


8

Opinion • December 15, 2020

The Octagon

EDITORIAL:

C

OVID-19 has caused a constant -

-

Yeah, I’m immune to COVID-19. A couple of months ago, I got an COVID-19 vaccine study. I accepted without hesitation despite not knowing what’s going to happen. I was excited about the possibility that I could have the vaccine, as well as the fact that I would be doing my part in

taken.

I was excited leading up to it, but

-

-

idea what was about to happen. On a Thursday afternoon in November, I was sitting in the hallway outside of the vaccine study at Kaiser Permanente in Arden. After about 10 minutes, a nurse came out and brought my mom and me inside. we spent about 30 minutes talking about the entire study. I would go

-

-

-

EDITORIAL: -

-

-

-

-

check-in with the study using an app on my phone at least once a week — for the next two years. Afterwards, we began the actual appointment. I had my blood drawn; they performed a nasal swab — probably what I was most nervous about — and then I received the injection. The interesting thing about the study is that there are two different injections I could have received, but I don’t know which one I would get. is working on, and the second being saline, just a placebo. I was very worried that I would receive the saline and not the vaccine, but I believe That night, I started to get fullbody chills and aches. This may sound bad, but I think this was a good sign. My mom and I have a friend in Los Angeles who also participated in the vaccine study. After her injection, she became symptomatic. She later tested her antibodies and conI went back for my second appointceived a second injection. That night, I felt no symptoms, which worried me. However, I woke up the next day feeling terrible. I felt symptomatic throughout the rest of the week, which was a big relief to me. I am super happy and grateful to be a part of this ongoing study. I am surrounded by a lot of high-risk cases, people I really care about, so more than anything I want a vaccine to be er received good news when an FDA vaccine committee recommended approving its vaccine for emergency use in the United States. On Dec. 8, I went to get my antibodies test. 48 hours later, I received my results. I’m immune!

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS FOR KEEPING US IN THE BLACK!


The Octagon

December 15, 2020 • Feature

9

Senior art prodigy comissions art, wins Congressional Art Competition

F

BY JACOB CHAND

rom sketching anime-style drawings in the third grade to selling her award-winning gouache painting for $250, senior Olivia Chilelli is Country Day’s art prodigy as she continues to pursue her artistic dreams. when she was 10 after watching her friend bring TV characters to life, but as the years changed, so did her style and capabilities. She said being picked for school projects as the designated artist cemented her future as she continued to practice, progress and perfect her craft. Chilelli used to draw cartoon-like illustrations in the third grade, but now she creates realistic portraits in both gouache, watercolor and acrylic. Chilelli said her art game was taken to the next level when she came to Country Day in the 10th grade. “Once I went into (art teacher Andy) Cunningham’s class, it all kind of changed because suddenly I had all this watercolor paper, all these acrylics — everything at my disposal. I could actually start making the art I really wanted to,” she said. Chilelli said Cunningham has

been a big factor in her art progress because “he knows what to say at the right time.” “What I really like about his teaching style is that he doesn’t really have actual classes. He just kind of sits back and lets you do what you need to do,” she said. “I love him because he’s always encouraged me to really step out of the box with my art, really worked me out of my shell and pushed me to where I wanted to be as an artist.” Cunningham said Chilelli has been a leader to her peers from day one. She’s never really needed him and has only helped her a handful of times with little questions. “It was obvious she already came with direction and that she had spent many years prior already perfecting her craft,” Cunningham said. Chilelli’s most obvious quality that he’s seen her improve on is the boldness in the way she carries herself and artwork, Cunningham said. “She’s never in your face about her work or how good she is, but rather just lets her art speak for itself,” he said. “She is thoughtful, considerate, smart and an extremely hard worker. She regularly tackles

“The Burden of Nostalgia” large and pertinent social issues

in her work like Artists of Color, this year’s chalk mural theme.” Cunningham said his favorite memory of Chilelli was at a music festival, where she drew an illustration on a canvas that was minutes. “She practiced a couple of times before, but she just has raw talent,” he said. “She was able to completely tune out the crowd and draw under extreme pressure in front of hundreds of people, which is incredible.” Cunningham said he will sincerely miss seeing her art next year. “Her art and the process she goes through is a huge part of her leadership in my class,” he said. “From it, kids get to see what it takes to become that good, and it’s truly great to just see the pieces she creates.” Although it’s just the beginning, Chilelli already has started building her resume of artistic accomplishments. Chilelli’s second favorite piece, named Cow-ifornia Dreaming, sold for $250, the highest amount she has received for one of her artworks. Her piece named “Scrutiny” ranks as her favorite as it won the Congressional Art Competition Award.

“My Favorite Fish”

Chilelli attracted buyers for her art, as she was paid $20 in middle

school for doing various pieces. As art has done for so many, Chilleli has found the ability to represent herself through what she puts on a canvas. “I really like it because I’m extremely shy,” she said. “It gives me an outlet to put something out there that’s been stuck in my head that I’m too shy to communicate with other people about. And when I show them, they get the concept and what I’m trying to express,” she said. art provides, it can be tasking at times. The worst part about art is making a mistake and having to redo your whole project, Chilelli said. She said she won’t continue art as a professional career, and is applying to become a biology and pre-med major, but will still hold on to the skills she’s claimed to cope with the big changes college life comes with. Art in the future will be more for her community and the people around her rather than for herself and for money. “My main goal in college is helping my community, and I really want to do a mural,” she said. “I think that’s my favorite part about doing art, is getting to reach out to people, interacting and inspiring them.”


10

Feature • December 15, 2020

The Octagon

Computer Craze COVID-19_pandemic_ sparks_uptick_in_ computer_building_;

W

BY ARJIN CLAIRE

ith the COVID-19 pandemic cocooning people within their homes, there has been a large surge of people, including Country Day students, building Personal Computers, or PCs, for work and recreation. According to market research company NPD Group, which tracks consumer and retail sales in the U.S., desktop component sales have shot up since the pandemic started. “DIY Hardware sales are up 89% over the last four weeks, led by motherboards, graphic processing units (GPUs) and central processing units (CPUs),” said Vice President of NPD Group Stephen Baker in a May 13 story by PCMag. All three components sales were up well over 100% in the four weeks prior to the May article. Junior Miles Morrow went with the crowd “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Morrow said. “I thought it would be fun and exciting to build, and it would be a nice upgrade from my Xbox in regards to gaming.” Senior Hayden Boersma has built eight PCs in his lifetime — including the four in the school’s computer lab. “It’s fun,” Boersma said. “I enjoy the process of building one, and I like watching people use my computers and introducing them to gaming.” These PCs aren’t just used for gaming. “It’s too convenient to not use for other things,” Boersma said. Morrow regularly uses his PC to watch ing it for schoolwork so he can avoid the urge to play video games. Senior Elise Sommerhaug has helped her brother build his PC for years, and completed her own last summer. She uses her PC on an everyday basis. “It’s like a normal computer. It can do everything that our school MacBooks can do,” Sommerhaug said. “I can do my schoolwork on it, and I can play video games on it. It’s like an all-inone computer.” Morrow, Boersma and Sommerhaug all believe the versatility of a PC was an answer to the long time war between PCs and consoles — such as the PlayStation or Xbox. “A PC allows you to do so much more,” Morrow said. “You can browse the internet while gaming at a higher frame rate and quality than on consoles.” Boersma explained that the cost of the compared to the same part in a home-built

PC because the console is pre-built. He said cause that’s where it was cheapest,” Morpeople get more out of a PC than a console. Sommerhaug spoke on the technical side get because everything I wanted had been of gaming on a PC along with the versatil- out for a little while, except for my graphics ity of one. card.” “With a mouse and keyboard on a PC, you Unlike most people, Morrow was able have more range of motion and preciseness to get his hands on one of computer game in almost every aspect,” Sommerhaug said. company NVIDIA’s newest graphics cards “It’s a lot more technical than a console, — the GeForce RTX 3070 — before it sold and I’ve always been partial to that.” out in mere minutes, a trend that continWith numerous components such as a ues with all new parts coming out. Junior motherboard, GPU, CPU, case, power supDylan Margolply, cooler and more making up a PC, it is had to wait 2 can take a while for a weeks for a popnewbie to completely It reminded me of ular CPU released in 2019 to be back putting together there’s a lot of room in stock at Best my Christmas list when I for error building Buy, and was able a PC, as Sommerwas younger.” to get his hands on it haug knows all too — Miles Morrow before it sold out in well. “It

took

me

Sommerhaug said. “I got frustrated because my cooler wasn’t working properly and decided to leave it alone.” Boersma estimates that someone who is brand new to PC building would take about the pandemic, Morrow estimated that it to complete it on his own with the help of YouTube videos, but around eight hours without. With the help of an experienced his PC in just over two hours. Buying new parts isn’t always enough to guarantee a good PC. Sommerhaug explained that you have to research what will and won’t work. motherboard, and that motherboard has to be compatible with all the other parts,” Sommerhaug said. “If you buy an intense power supply so the parts can function.” Morrow recommended comparison shopping website pcpartpicker.com which allows users to compare the compatibility of certain parts as well as their prices on different online retailers. Morrow also strategically decided to build his PC when new parts were beginning to come out. “I was able to get a job, so I was making money that I could spend on something,” Morrow said. “When I decided to build a PC, I wanted to do it properly so it would last me a while. I got lucky that a very good graphics card was coming out soon.” Morrow also detailed how he bought his components. “I got a lot of my stuff from Amazon be-

Building PCs is not a cheap process. Morrow spent around $1,700 building his. However, spending the money to build a brand new PC isn’t always necessary. Instead, upgrading certain components could be all an older PC needs before it runs smoothly again, as was the case for Sommerhaug. “I had very outdated parts in my PC,” Sommerhaug said. “New parts are coming out quickly so I wanted to get a new case and upgrade the parts inside.” Sommerhaug got most parts as handme-downs from her brother and only bought a $50 CPU cooler. Morrow enjoyed using his newly-built “It reminded me of putting together my Christmas list when I was younger,” Morrow said. “The experience of building a PC

AMD

RYZEN

5

Part: CPU (Central Processing Unit) Model: Ryzen 5 3600 Price: $229.99

Part: GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Model: NVIDIA RTX 3070 Price: $499

prebuilt one.” Due to its “practicality and near-limitless usage possibilities,” Morrow recommends that everyone build a PC at some point.

N Z X T

Miles Morrow’s PC

MSI

Part: PC Case

Part: Motherboard

Model: NZXT H510

Model: B450 Tomahawk Max

Price: $69.99

Price: $114.99


11 Review: Black Ops Cold War repeats past mistakes, improves on few The Octagon

T

BY DYLAN MARGOLIS

he most recent installment of the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, released on Nov. 13, has brought back many of the problems from previous installments, such as skill-based matchmaking, but this version has improved on a few items, like gunplay. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has three main modes: campaign, multiplayer and zombies, which all have their own set of pros and cons. The campaign, as you would expect, takes place during the Cold War, where the player is put in a team of special agents trying to take down a Russian operative named Perseus. From Berlin to Cuba, the campaign takes you all over the world, making each level seem unique. With high-intensity escape sequences as well as eerie stealth sections, the campaign does a great job creating a balance of different level types. The approximately six-hour long story stays interesting throughout, with many twists and turns as well as multiple endings. The amount of replayability is extremely high, especially for a Call of Duty game. light, Greenlight,” a mission where your goal was to break into a Russian facility and gather intel about their nukes. What makes this mission one of the best is its twist-setting. Instead of entering an average facility with lots of locked doors and boring grey walls, the facility is a fully recreated, stereotypical 1980’s American town

Decem ber 15, 2020 • Arts & Entertainment

The biggest problem with this year’s multiplayer was the same as last year matchmaking is the process of secretly putting players in different lobbies based on how they performed in previous games. This may seem like a good thing because everyone has a fun challenge, but it is quite the opposite. When players do well in a match, instead of being rewarded, they are punished. This punishment comes by being put in a higher skill group where they most likely can’t compete. To make things even worse, before they can adapt to the higher skill level, they will be dropped back down, creating a constant state of up and down, where only a few games are fun. As a casual player, this up and down consistently happens to me, making most games seem either impossible or too easy, with only rare perfect games. What makes this so frustrating is how

you into thinking this was just an average facility. The interactivity in this area is well done. The player is allowed to play a large number of emulations of real arcade games in the mock arcade. Some highlights are Pitfall and Grand Prix. Another great feature of the campaign is the optional side quest puzzles. These

majority of players. Instead of having skillbased matchmaking, they can create two separate modes. One is a casual mode with no skill-based matchmaking whatsoever, ways try their hardest. The other would be a ranked mode where it visually shows you if you go up or down. It makes no sense to me why this has not been implemented yet, but hopefully, that day is soon to come. With only eight maps at launch, the game feels incomplete. The lack of versatility causes boredom to arrive quicker, as well as the fact that none of the layouts are very original. Even though I know that future updates will add more maps to the game, I still wish they were added at launch. I do not like this style of releasing a bare-bones game that feels half-done until it’s done updating to reach a full game. Do not get me wrong, I love the updates because it keeps bringing people back to the game, but I would prefer fewer updates and more content at the start. Weapons in the game produce a small amount of damage, allowing for longer

numerical pattern ones, but that does not mean they are not fun. They are a positive

quick burst of action. This is much better

diner and much more. This reveal is welltimed and extremely unsuspected, mainly

game well. I loved stepping back from just holding down a trigger and thinking about a classic whodunnit type puzzle, something I have never done before in a Call of Duty game. The multiplayer has many more prob-

like you can actually prevent yourself from dying after you get shot once or twice. This improvement keeps bringing me back to multiplayer because the requirement of maintaining a high amount of accuracy makes it a more challenging and intense game. Even though multiplayer does have a lot

of problems, they are not fatal, allowing for an experience that can still be fun, especially with a group of friends. experience for both rookie and veteran players due to the game’s beginning ease as well as nostalgia. rounds are more manageable than usual, allowing new players to feel victorious after easily completing that milestone. There is only one map in this game mode, a very disappointing number, but this map, called Die Maschine, has a lot to offer. The easter egg, which further tells the lore between the characters, is complicated enough to feel rewarding as well as still fun to put the time into completing it. The wonder weapon feels balanced, and its four different options of ammunition allow for games to have more variability. The lightning type ammunition is effective and fun, but I would still recommend trying all four at one point just to get a sense of options. In this incarnation of zombies, instead of spawning in with just a pistol and a knife, you spawn in with a complete loadout, just like you would in multiplayer. You cannot stick with this loadout forever, though, due to the zombies’ health becoming too high for those weapons to do anything. This forces you to buy other weapons in the game with points gained from killing zombies. This practically mandatory step of purchasing new guns makes players try new weaponry they might never have tried before, especially in the zombies mode, which is always a good thing. Season 1 of Cold War releases on Dec. 16 with the enormous integration of Warzone, the Call of Duty battle royale as well as new multiplayer maps and weapons. As a big fan of the battle royale, I’m excited for this update, but I’ll really have to wait and see before forming any opinions. The campaign was fantastic, and I would recommend anyone who has the game to player is treading on thin ice, it is still fun. due to only one map, it fell a little short.

Rating: “Lag” by Charlie Acquisto

VICE CITY Two enemies face off on the new map, Miami, in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. PHOTO BY DYLAN MARGOLIS


12

Endpoint • December 15, 2020

The Octagon

C

'Tis the Season

an’t decide what to get your friends for the holidays? Use this flowchart to find a gift that’s perfect for them! How to use: Starting from the top, once you reach a wrapped ornament as an answer, match the color of the ornament to the presents at the bottom and voilà!

Is the person you’re getting a gift for someone you know well?

Yes No

Do they have a lot of work on their plate?

Yes

Yes

No

themselves bored and need new ways to spend time?

No

Would they rather spend their free time trying new recipes in the kitchen or using gadgets?

Gadgets

Cooking

Book

Blank et Hoodie

Weigh ted Blanke t Candle

s

Video s Game hones

Headp

ooth Bluet er k Spea

rging 1 Cha 3-in- tand S ble Porta er g r a Ch

Mini W affle Maker Cookb ook Micro Popco wave rn Pop per

Cash Gi! Ca rd Food

Profile for The Octagon

Octagon 2020-21 Issue 4  

Octagon 2020-21 Issue 4  

Profile for octagon25
Advertisement