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

VOL.44 NO.5 • Sacramento Country Day School • 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, CA• www.scdsoctagon.com • February 2, 2021

Healthcare workers feel hopeful after receiving vaccine




everal Country Day parents





Country Day parents who have


HOLD STILL Dr. Seth Robinson, parent of freshman Eliana Robinson, recieves his second and final shot of the Pfizer vaccine. PHOTO COURTESY OF SETH ROBINSON






HEALTHCARE page 3 >>


COVID-19 vaccines prompt return for students abroad BY SANJANA ANAND -






NEWS 2 Learn about this competitive table tennis club’s unique culture, and its struggle to stay open and in business with COVID-19 restrictions.


CENTERPOINT 6-7 Are you getting enough sleep? Repeatedly staying up late into the night? Check out students’ perspective on their time crunch and lack of rest.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 10-11 Get out your popcorn while reading reviews of three popular childhood movies including “Kung Fu Panda”, “Indiana Jones” and “Cars.”


Feature • February 2, 2021

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

The Octagon

A past experience from competitive table tennis



acket in hand, anticipating the spin, the player’s muscles are tense as he prepares to receive a serve. Bam! The opponent’s powerful serve can be heard across the room. Whoosh! The prepared player effortlessly returns it into a back-and-forth battle until a The player tenses up once again. Smash! The uphill battle is concluded in a matter of seconds. As a table tennis student, I have personally experienced the intensity of these fast-paced matches during my training at the Sacramento International Table Tennis Association, SITTA, a recreational center on Power Inn Road dedicated to the sport. Unfortunately, the center has -

ger to help each other train. We also picked up many friends while training there, including Terry Huang, a freshman attending West Campus High School. Terry got into the sport a year ago while on a vacation to China to visit his extended family. His aunt and uncle are also enthusiasts of the sport and inspired him to continue training. Terry’s experience at SITTA has also been positive. “Table tennis rackets, balls and ball pickers can be used for free. Their membership pricing is quite reasonable, with discounts for children and seniors,” Terry said. However, due to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders to close non-essential businesses, Han Voqui, the owner of

Paycheck Protection Plan loans, known as PPP loans. The amount distributed to businesses depends on the number of employees they hold in hopes of retaining employment. Despite a major national staff increase from 2,000 to 9,000 employees nationally, Luzzi exproviding immediate service to all applicants because of the overwhelming amount of applications for support.

a position such as now where we simply don’t have the tools to affect the businesses in the manner which we would like to see,” Luzzi said. “We were simply overwhelmed with the applications. At one point, — Garrett Xu through our economic injury disaster loan, we had 13 million applications.” the recreation center, deSince its closure, the club has cided to permanently shut down his business in early July of 2020. gotten a lot of support from its This was due to a shortage of frequent customers, with some “manpower” and restrictions to willing to pay extra for the monthly club membership. But use the space. In addition, the new social-dis- Voqui said he didn’t accept the tancing restrictions on the num- offers because the people in the ber of customers allowed to be community were his friends. “We didn’t take a dime from in a given business also factored them,” he said. into Voqui’s decision. Unfortunately, Voqui could “We had 24,000 square feet of space, but the order just allowed not give the same praise to the government, as his business was not able to get adequate funding. didn’t think that it was reasonWith so few employees, the PPP able to continue it,” he said. loans the association could reThe business had been operceive were low. ated and maintained by a team “When I applied for loans, they gave me $5,000 to $10,000, but it qui. They kept the space clean, wasn’t worth it,” he said. “Our registered player memberships monthly expense was around and maintained logistics to keep $15,000, so we didn’t take it.” track of independent coaches Though this particular busiand events. However, stricter ness was not able to pivot and sanitation regulations added get the support it needed, Luzzi more procedures to implement said the services from the SBA and also made completing the have gained more attention from tasks a greater challenge during more business owners during the

It’s not only about playing table tennis, it’s also about the people you meet in the environment.”

COVID-19 pandemic. The facility was opened two years ago, operating seven days a week. It hosted many events and tournaments for players of all skill levels. Many athletes and students of the sport ranging from both amateur and professional went there to practice with friends or to take lessons. My brother Garrett’s and my journey started when we got a table tennis table at home. Initially, we messed around with it for a few months, sparring with each other and our parents. Soon, our interest grew enough to where we decided to look for coaches to get better. We searched online for a competitive table tennis club nearby. We joined SITTA in June of 2019 and went to the center every Sunday to train for a few hours with freelance coach Tien Kiet Vien. I would go to Mock Trial practice at the Matthews Library afterward. My brother and I learned different techniques every weekend, and then practiced them at home together. We used to spend hours there drilling basic forehand and backhand passes with the many other players there ea-

the pandemic. Heather Luzzi, the director of the Sacramento District Small Business Association located in Citrus Heights, said the SBA has been working hard to help as many businesses get through the

pandemic. Luzzi strongly urges owners to reach out and request assistance, as they are already covered by taxes. “We stand ready to help,” she cause our employees are teleworking, but we are available.” The SITTA facility’s equipment, including the tables, rackets and training robots, have been sold to the club members, as well as to a few buyers online, who plan to open their own clubs in the future. Like the other club members, my brother and I were also very bummed out by the unfortunate closure. Though our time at the center was short, we cherished learning about the sport and sparring against other passionate athletes in the few months we were able to spend there. Terry’s favorite part of playing was practicing with friends and setting new records for keeping the ball going in long rallies. Garrett said he will miss sparring with diverse people. “It’s not only about playing table tennis,” he said. “It’s also about the people you meet in the environment there because I could play table tennis anywhere else.” Coach Vien was also affected by the closure. After the announcement of the closure, he had initially continued teaching students at his house and at a space in the First Christian Church on Folsom Blvd. After a month, however, Vien decided to postpone his lessons until further notice for health reasons. “I think it is better to be safe and patiently wait for the vaccine before I resume teaching again,” Vien said. Voqui still hangs out with the friends he has made in the SITTA community and frequently plays table tennis with them in his garage. Though Voqui doesn’t plan on reopening his business anytime soon, he is hopeful for a change in the COVID-19 circumstances in California. “Maybe within a year, I can change my mind. Maybe one day we’ll get together.”

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.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Garrett Xu and Terry Huang take turns practicing their forehand strokes with a table tennis robot. PHOTO BY GARMAN XU

The Octagon

February 2, 2021 • News

International: Students make plans to return for SAT, AP exams (continued from page 1) COVID-19 outbreaks are usually contained in one place, Huang said. Masks and washing hands frequently are required, she added. Although public places and transportation have been open for months, people still have to wear masks at all times. If there is an outbreak in a neighborhood, it is shut down and the entire community is tested to prevent spreading, Zhou said. Unlike China, Taiwan, where senior Joanne Tsai is staying, has not released a vaccine yet, but reports show it will likely do so by March. “This past year, we’ve had about 800 cases, most of which are from other people who came from other countries,” said Tsai, who lives in Taipei. “I plan to take it when it becomes available to me because I have friends who have already taken the vaccine in different countries. Then, I don’t have to be that afraid of getting the virus when I return to the states.” Like China, Taiwan has enforced mask-wearing and frequent hand washing, but the country is no longer under quarantine. Tsai plans to return to California before her senior year ends to retrieve her belongings from math teacher Patricia Jacobsen, her host family, and meet her friends before she leaves for college. The vaccine reassures Tsai that everything will eventually return to normal. “I mean, I wish we got the vaccine, but I know more important people like healthcare workers need it,” she said. “What’s happening is scary. I’m always praying that my friends and family are safe, and the vaccine will hopefully wash those worries away.”


Healthcare: Breaking the COVID cycle (continued from page 1)

STROLLING IN THE STREETS Junior Daisy Zhou, center, walks along a busy footpath in Sanya. COURTESY OF ZHOU

“I feel great,” he said. “I sort of feel bulletproof.” He hopes to change his routine by reducing the precautionary measures he takes. “I think once you’re fully vaccinated, I think the whole notion of masks and social distancing is unnecessary,” he said. “But unfortunately, I don’t think the government or scientists are willing to take the leap and say that.” Once more people are vaccinated and recommendations can consider that, he said steps can be taken to return to normalcy. Touw doesn’t plan to change her routine after her second dose of the vaccine. “I’m out in front of patients all the time, so I have to wear all my personal protective equipment all the time,” she said. “I will keep doing that until they tell us we can relax a little bit.” Once herd immunity is achieved when 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, Nasirov said things could be changed with COVID-19 restrictions. However, he won’t change his routine or stop following COVID-19 restrictions. “I’m somebody who needs to lead by example,” he said. “It’s not just because I feel not safe, but because I want to show that it still needs to be practiced.” Robinson also said that a routine change wouldn’t be able to happen for some time. “I think a lot more people need to have the vaccine before we can change our behavior,” Robinson said. “But it’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

AP classes lose discussions, adapt to shortened time BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI Due to the constant switching between the hybrid and remote schedules this school year, teachtime with their students, leading

them to make adjustments in their curriculum, such as cutting out content, using online resources, and dealing with the loss of discussion time. The time constraints have been a concern for advanced place-

ment (AP) teachers because they have to cover a certain amount of information in a limited time to prepare students for their AP exams in May. Last year, classes met for 4 hours and 20 minutes every week with the regular schedule. This year, the remote schedule only allows classes to meet for 1 hour and 40 minutes a week. The hybrid schedule is closer to last year’s schedule, with 4 hours and day week. But there’s only been hybrid schedule. So, generally, classes have only met for 3 hours and 20 minutes in the hybrid schedule.

In addition to the new time constraints, teachers have had to keep adjusting their course plans as the school switches between the two schedules. Last year, due to COVID-19, the exams were held online and were shorter than usual. But this year, the College Board has announced that exams will be in the usual format and will be held in person if possible. The exams will run from May 3-7 and May 10-14. Teachers still have to prepare their students for the full exams while in the hybrid schedule. “As a teacher, I think I’m spending less time going over content like ‘terms’ during our class time since we only meet twice a week

most of the time,” AP U.S. History teacher Chris Kuipers said. “But I’m not necessarily rushing through any topics any more than past years because there’s so much to learn that even in normal years, we go pretty fast.” AP Biology teacher Kellie Whited said that since she’s taught the class for many years, it’s easy for her to stay on schedule. “I know where I need to be in the curriculum at certain points in the year in order to get through everything by the AP exam,” she said. “I’ve been keeping a close eye on my pacing to make sure that we’re staying on schedule.”

APs page 4 >>


News • Feb ruary 2, 2021

The Octagon

College Board cancels subject tests, optional SAT essay BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI On Jan. 19 the College Board anthe optional essay.




aptitude in it. -

ZOOMING THROUGH HISTORY Junior Kali Wells attends AP U.S. History on Zoom from the gym during the hybrid schdule. PHOTO BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI



APs: Still on track despite new schedules (continued from page 3) History and biology are both topics that -

skills,” Portillo said. However, Portillo said the class is a little behind schedule because they haven’t had

Hinojosa, Portillo and Kuipers said dis-

According to the College Board, and subject tests because advanced

isn’t as structured by the College Board. anything so long as the essential skills are covered,” said Jason Hinojosa, who teach“We are on schedule, but that’s because there isn’t really a ‘schedule’ at all. That’s


our own schedule and the precedent set in previous years, we are basically keeping up.”

val’s plan every year.

skills students are tested on — such as listening, speaking, writing and reading — are

year,” Hinojosa said. “Having one less text

604,286 subject tests were taken

have together.

cal, interesting discussions about things

has also cut back on the optional sources and the -

We lose some of the more philosophoical, interesting discussions about things that go beyond the AP exam.”

ny. The essay, according to the College Board, is not necessary because essay writing skills. Also, writing and

Adapting their Kuipers decided to rect textbook, which



to their classes that also ended up helping

— Chris Kuipers

through the Reading and Writing According to the College Board, -

Whited said she has to work harder to adapt lessons and labs to the changing




Board, although

turing. One change all teachers have had to work very hard to stay on track whether -

labs. al and certainly not as exciting as doing the lab in person, but it gets the job done. -

AP Biology student and senior Meghan derstands each topic.


larly during the weeks when we only had two classes,” Kaschner said. -

essay, only about 25 schools (including the 9 UC’s) required it, so it’s not surprising the College Board has abandoned it.” no longer be available, and anyone College Board. However, since the tests are used internationally, they will give the -


applications, the respective colleges -

The essay will be available through June 2021 and then discontinued

Rather than using a textbook, like in the


tivities, to teach students the cultural in-

the College Board said it will con-

es that just don’t work as well in this new

better understand the concept.”

The Octagon

February 2, 2021 • Feature

Where should you travel for a phenomenal ski cation? L

ake Tahoe is home to some of the best ski destinations in California. When choosing a place to ski in Tahoe, you should consider many factors: the cost to ski, the size of the resort, the location and the places to eat on the mountain. Having visited over 10 ski resorts in Tahoe, here are my top three picks.


Heavenly Heavenly, 3860 Saddle Rd., is one of the largest ski resorts in Tahoe and is owned by Vail. The mountain has 4,800 skiable acres, and it crosses the California-Nevada border. Lift tickets cost $122 for teens and $149 for adults. This is my favorite place to ski because it offers the most things to do. Heavenly is located in the middle of South Lake Tahoe and borders most hotels and restaurants. Heavenly Village is also located in between all of the hotels. There is a gondola that takes you from the village to the mountain. This means you can walk to the ski lifts instead of having to drive your car to the main lodges at Heavenly. My favorite part about skiing here was that I could wake up early and walk to the gondola right when it opened. This helped me avoid the crowds. The ski lifts at Heavenly are fast, compared to most resorts, so you do not have to worry about wasting your time getting to the top of the mountain. Heavenly offers both outside and inside dining on the resort; however, the food there is a little expensive. For instance, a hamburger at Heavenly can cost you $12, and the price adds up quickly when you are skiing with your family. There are many challenging runs at Heavenly if you are an expert skier. My favorite expert trail is called Gunbarrel, with bumps formed on the snow or moguls, and people rarely ski down it. I enjoy skiing down Gunbarrel because it has a gorgeous view of the lake. Like the other large ski resorts, this place is also very crowded. On holidays, it can take over two hours to get to the top when they are skiing close together. The snow quality at Heavenly is not the greatest either. This is due to the geography of the resort. Most of the runs were icy when I skied there. Heavenly is located in a spot where it maintain control if your skis don’t have sharp edges. Overall, this is the perfect place to bring your family for a ski vacation because Heavenly is massive, is close to the hotels and has many good restaurants.

Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows Squaw Alpine, 1960 Squaw Valley Rd., is a massive ski resort located between Tahoe and Truckee. Although this ski resort may be expensive, there are 3,600 skiable acres. Lift tickets generally cost $188 for a teen and $209 for an adult; however, you can save over $30 if you plan weeks in advance. This family-friendly resort is built for all different skill levels. If you are looking for beginner ski runs, there are plenty of options. My favorite thing about this resort is that there are so many things to do. To cover all the terrain, you would need to spend at least a week skiing here. Squaw Valley also has one of the best villages. They have activities ranging from ice skating to mini golf, which is perfect if you are not tired from skiing at the end of the day. off of KT-22, Granite Chief, Headwall, and Silverado chairs. These ski runs challenge you on your ability to ski steep slopes, navigate through trees, and ski around cliffs. I enjoyed the variety of trail options here because they never got boring. From my experience, this is always the most crowded ski resort in Tahoe. This resort hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and is a prime destination for tourists. I do not recommend going to this resort during any holidays if you do not like waiting in long lines to get to the top of the mountain. The crowds at Squaw Alpine can be dangerous if you are a beginner. I have witnessed many reckless skiers and snowboards knock out other skiers because they were going too fast down some of the beginner runs. Overall, Squaw Valley is an amazing place to ski if you are planning on spending a week in Tahoe and would like to explore this massive place.

Northstar Northstar, 5001 Northstar Dr., is a large resort owned by Vail Ski Resort that is located near Truckee. It’s 3,170 acres have 100 ski runs. Lift tickets at Northstar generally cost $131 for a teen and $160 for an adult. This place has a quarter of its mountain dedicated solely to terrain parks. Because of this, I feel that it’s one of the prime destinations to visit if you are looking forward to going off jumps. Not only does this mountain have a ginormous terrain park, but you terrain where you can choose to venture through the trees or go down The resort also has fast chairlifts which allow you to travel to the top of the mountain faster. Northstar’s main lodge is located at the top of the gondola — a cabin that is attached to a cable and transports people up the mountain. This resort is mostly crowded inside the lodges and contains long lines when you are waiting to purchase your food. ferent lots all serviced by shuttles. However, you have to do a lot of walking in ski boots to reach the gondola. Northstar is very family-friendly and its ski and snowboard lessons are amazing. Although they charge a lot of money for lessons, $150 for group lessons and $665 for private lessons, they will help you improve at either skiing or snowboarding. However, everything in Northstar is overpriced. The lift tickets cost well over $100 for an all-day ticket, and the food is very expensive. For example, one meal can cost $25 for each person. One way to save money is to buy a season pass here if you are a frequent skier. Buying the pass during Black Friday will save around $400, so you can avoid spending $1,000 on season passes.. Northstar is close to many hotels, which makes it a great place to visit if you are spending a week up in the mountains. Overall, I believe that Northstar is the best place to ski if you are looking for somewhere family-friendly and you want to ski many jumps.



February 2, 2021



As schoolwork and the need for socializing pile up, students find themselves pu BY ARIJIT TRIVEDI & ETHAN MONASA


usually wake up around 10 minutes before class.” That’s junior Dylan Margolis. It’s 8:10 a.m. He opens his eyes to the sound of his phone playing “By the Seaside.” Rolling out of the lower bunk, Margolis sleepily slips on his back brace and trudges over to his bathroom counter to brush his teeth. With three minutes left until class, he logs onto his PC, which he’s ironically named Hal after HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The conga drums of “Africa” by Toto echo through the computer’s speakers as the red eye of Hal stares at Margolis — busy trying to remember his Zoom password — through his PC screen. It’s now 9:50 a.m. A look at the clock reminds Margolis of his grumbling stomach

Anxiety symptoms Depressed mood Alcohol use

School and studying Schoolwork is a major factor in the amount of sleep students get, especially the horizon. Senior Hayden Boersma knows this all to catch up on schoolwork. Recently, he pulled an all-nighter to prepare for his AP

— four of which are advanced placement — slowly tick by as the hands on the clock approach 3:25 p.m., the end of the school day, and soon, the start of paste-up, where Margolis must work on his page for the upcoming Octagon issue. He calls it a night at arriving at a suitable stopping point for his Margolis said he doesn’t regret getting little sleep. He would rather stay up and or socialize with his friends than get more than six hours of sleep. “Sleeping is for the weak,” he joked. Margolis isn’t alone, either. Sleep deprivation is a widespread problem in high schools across the country — 68.4% of teenagers get less than eight hours of sleep, according to a 2013 survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). Sleep deprivation has also permeated the Country Day bubble. Thirty-six of 51 high school students who responded to an Octagon informal poll on Jan. 23 said they got seven or fewer hours of sleep on average. Thirty-one students said schoolwork, or stress stemming from it, keeps them burning the midnight oil. Dr. Kapil Dhawan, who specializes in pulmonary and sleep medicine at Pulmonary Medical Associates and father of seventh grader Eesha Dhawan, said nine to 10 hours of sleep is ideal for teenagers. “When you are sleep deprived, unfortunately, you are depriving yourself of rapid eye movement sleep,” Dhawan said. Rapid eye movement sleep, or REM, usually occurs in multiple phases later in the night and is one of the most important phases of sleep because a lot of body maintenance happens during it, such as memory consolidation and hormonal changes, Dhawan said. In academics, sleep deprivation is problematic. Sleep-deprived students experience poor memory recall, longer reaction times, and a harder time focusing and learning. Dhawan said another worry with sleep-deprived teenagers is when they are learning to drive. “When you are sleep deprived, your response times are slower, so your ability to respond to the external environment or react to somebody who might hit you is affected,” he said. In addition, according to the National Institutes of Health sleep deprivation can cause: Obesity in adults and children Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance Cardiovascular disease and hypertension

From a poll of 51 Country Day high school students, the lowest reported sleep time is three hours per day. “I stayed up for like 38 hours, and I told So, I wanted to go to bed early the next night but I ended up staying up until 1 a.m. without even realizing it since I’m so used to it,” Boersma said. Boersma, Margolis stayed up all night

ucator Pat Reynolds said it’s counterproductive. “People who stay up all night and study and then don’t get any sleep are not going to be able to access what they’ve been trying to learn because it hasn’t gone from short term to longer term memory,” she said. Not getting adequate sleep can negatively affect students’ performances on tests; sleep deprivation limits how fast you can and recall information you may need to answer a question, he said. Dr. Dhawan expressed similar views. “The night before a test, you should try and get as much rest as possible,” Dhawan said. Boersma and Margolis are well aware of the lower energy levels associated with sleep deprivation. “That’s my secret, Cap. I’m always tired,” Margolis said, parodying a famous scene in “The Avengers.” Boersma also has seen problems arising from sleep deprivation seeping into areas of his life other than academics. With hopes to go pro in the video game Valorant, Boersma has to set aside a few hours every day to consistently practice. However, he notices that his reaction times are often slower and that he can’t play as well when he hasn’t had enough sleep. This makes doing well in important tourDespite various attempts to correct their sleep schedules, both Boersma and Margolis have failed repeatedly. For Margolis, sleeping early isn’t an option. For one, he can’t do his work until he’s in a quiet environment — something that only happens in his house late at night. Secondly, if he went to sleep early, he wouldn’t have enough time to stay on track with his work. “I’m sort of in this cycle. Like ‘I have so much work. I have so much work. I have so much work,’ and then suddenly it’s the weekend,” Margolis said. “Then I sleep in during the weekend and end up staying up late to do everything I want to do in a day. So, I end up just repeating the cycle over and over again.”

Thirty-one of the 51 students polled reported their sleep time is shortened due to schoolwork or school-related stress.

everything done and get adequate sleep, they’re rare. “It’s an endless cycle of your health bar depleting until you can grab that little power-up of sleeping for 10 hours on that one lucky night,” Margolis said. Boersma can’t break out of his cycle because he doesn’t fall asleep until around 2 a.m., despite trying to go to bed at midnight. “It’s tough,” Boersma said. “Going to sleep is something everyone does every single night, but no one actually knows how to go to sleep. The more you try to force sleep, the longer it takes to fall asleep.” Delayed sleep phase disorder could be the culprit. “Adolescents can have delayed sleep phase disorder where they can’t go to bed until late and wake up until late,” Dhawan said. Teenagers with this disorder might

AP Calculus BC and study for his AP Com-

few periods because of sleep deprivation, Dhawan said. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to

“I don’t think I procrastinate that much,” looking at the clock, thinking it’s not too late and seeing it’s 1:30 a.m., and I have two more assignments left. That’s basically every night.” Even though students like Margolis and Boersma stay up to do work and increase their chances of getting better grades on tests, Social-Emotional Counselor and Ed-

delayed sleep phase, Dhawan said.

ing to decide overnight that you’ll be able to sleep an hour or two earlier,” he said. Junior Malek Owaidat’s sleep schedule is shifted later — and fragmented. On weekends, he goes to bed around 5 a.m., waking up around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.. But on weekdays, Owaidat cannot sleep in. Instead, he takes naps in the afternoon after school


The Octagon




ushing one of the most important activities out of their schedules — sleep.


ends and a nap in the evening after his soccer practices. In total, he said he gets nine to 10 hours spaced throughout the day. Fragmented sleep phases often result in unrestfulness because the body is usually not getting the REM sleep it needs, Dhawan said. During evening soccer practices, Owaidat feels more fatigued. But, he said it does not hinder his ability to focus in class. Procrastination is the primary cause for his late bedtime. Owaidat has his phone and his PC in his bedroom. While the PC is not a distraction, he said the phone can be. Owaidat said his sleep schedule has become worse recently. Earlier in high school, he went to bed by 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Since he has maintained the same sleep schedule for so long, he has found it hard to break. The inconsistency and “awkwardness” of the hybrid schedule also makes developBoersma. “Nobody knows what’s going on except the students sitting there because they’re the ones who are suffering through it,” Boersma said. Margolis also said that the additional work that six classes back-to-back brings while getting enough sleep. “For AP Calculus BC, we have all these extra assignments,” he said. “And I’d love to do them, but I can’t do them because I either don’t have the time or when I do, it’s the one time I can take a break. Am I going to choose that one break or more homework?”

Social life Social lives have a large impact on student’s overall well-being, with social media platforms as an integral part of this. According to a 2018 Pew Research study, 72% of teenagers use Instagram, 69% use Snapchat and 51% use Facebook. Widespread use of social media has become an addiction for some, Dhawan said. “I think it’s adding undue stress because all you’re seeing is a snapshot of someone’s life,” he said. In addition, viewing politically charged media also can increase stress, making it sleep quality, Dhawan said. Due to COVID-19, more social interactions have been moved online.

“To hang out with your friends or do anything social, you’re basically online,” Boersma said. amount of his free time interacting with his friends, more so during senior year than previously. A lot of times, conversations late at night or early in the morning limit the amount of time he spends sleeping.

Thirty-six of the 51 students polled reported an average of seven or less hours of sleep per day. free time with his friends right before his bedtime. During winter break, he tried to correct his sleep cycle, but he ended up staying up late, relaxing and talking with his friends, further worsening his sleep schedule. “The big reason why I’m so screwed up is that I don’t have any free time,” Boersma said. “I stay up trying to talk to my friends. Sure, I could change it, but it’s at the cost of being social, which is a big issue during quarantine since you don’t actually see anyone.”

Sleep disorders A sleep disorder is a condition that disrupts sleep patterns. There are over 80 types of sleep disorders, with the most common being insomnia, according to medlineplus.gov. Junior Hailey Fesai has insomnia. On top of that, she has anxiety which is worse at night, keeping her mind racing some nights.

“I lay down to go to sleep. It’s 12, and morning, and I have to get up,” Fesai said. “There would be nights where I wouldn’t sleep at all.” On average, Fesai goes to bed around 10:30 p.m. and wakes up around 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Because staying asleep the whole time is a challenge, she has devised numerous ways to help her fall asleep, such as reading before bed or listening to the white noise of a heater in her bedroom. In addition, she takes medicated Cannabidiol (CBD) oils to counter her insomnia. With both insomnia and anxiety running in her family, she has a support system of people who can help her cope. “I think it’s important to take time for yourself and journal or talk about what you’re feeling with somebody you love,” Fesai said. She has found that the more she acknowledges her challenges, the better she is able to combat them. One method she uses to do so is a poster board where she writes down thoughts that go through her mind during an anxiety attack. This allows her to organize what runs through her head. While her sleep issues grew worse in high school, especially at the end of sophomore year, she said they have improved more recently.

Tips to get more sleep So, how can you ensure sleep quality? Good sleep hygiene is key, Dhawan said. A consistent sleep schedule, using the bed exclusively for sleep, and keeping a quiet, dark and cool environment make good sleep hygiene. He recommended avoiding caffeine from coffee or dark chocolate after 2 p.m. In addition, warm showers and baths are best taken several hours before bedtime as they can also affect your ability to sleep. Also, Dhawan said to avoid exercise within two hours of going to sleep. To avoid stress, it’s recommended to do deep breathing exercises before bed and avoid social media, Dhawan said. Reynolds suggested creating a ritual or routine for yourself before going to bed. Creating patterns or habits — such as drinking a warm glass of milk or washing your face — can teach the body when it is time to go to bed, she said. Above all, consistency is important.

“Working Late” by Charlie Acquisto


Opinion • F ebruary 2, 2021

The Octagon

EDITORIAL: Red or blue, we’re all American


n Jan. 20, America welcomed its 46th president. Years of un-

end. Due to the lies of the last presidency, tensions between the two parties have been pushed to the peak, and the country became more and more divided. Because of the most recent falsities of a fraudulent election, an insurrection occurred in the Capitol building on Jan. 6, dead. Had the mob succeeded in overpowering law enforcement, members of Congress would’ve been killed. With a new president and a more stable country, it’s time for both parties to reconcile with one another. In President Biden’s words, we have “much to repair; much to restore; much to heal; much to build and much to gain.” ship between liberals and conservatives. This should begin with the way we conduct civil discourse. The purpose of the two-party system is for democracy, so we as a country can see multiple perspectives of an issue and Sadly, most recent discussions have tacks. For example, when Justice Amy Coney Barrett was chosen to become the new Supreme Court justice, Twitter was bombarded with insults targeted against her and even her family. This same situation happened with Biden when his sons became the target of personal attacks on social media and the presidential race. There is nothing wrong with having opposing views, but there is no reason for personal attacks. The whole point of

Nihal Gulati

Build a PC!

“Political Divide” by Lilah Shorey having civil discourse is so both sides can be understood and either a consensus or compromise can be established. Personal attacks are neither civil nor are considered discourse. Moreover, these attacks aren’t only ditheir family, who have nothing to do with the political dilemma in question. Looking back on all the clashes between the left and right leading up to the election, a question arises: What’s the When both wings staunchly support their sides, the last thing they are considering is the validity of the opposing side. both extremes. No matter which side wins out in the end, if it fails to consider the opposing side, the society it creates would It’s obvious that no society is going

to be perfect, but the best way to approach perfection is by accepting the opposition. This doesn’t mean you must abandon your own beliefs; just give the opposing idea a minute of thought before agreeing or disagreeing. We must unite quickly, for the pandemic waits for no one. One of Biden’s priorities is to distribute vaccines as quickly as possible, and this cannot be done without the coordination of the entire country. Mutated, more infectious forms of the coronavirus are emerging, and if vaccinations don’t outspeed the virus, our nation would continue to be held in a chokehold by the pandemic. With such a polarized country, being able to emphasize with the opposition is more valuable now than it ever was. Radicalism can cause the country to descend into chaos, while reconciliation can bring the country together.

EDITORIAL: Social media — be consistent Following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, social media and Big Tech companies responded by limiting accounts on their platforms that they considered dangerous. While this may not initially ring any alarm bells for some,

it is a topic worth giving a second thought. Former President Donald Trump was removed from Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. The bans themselves are not problematic — Trump broke

social media platforms’s Terms of Services, and is being tried in the U.S. Senate for inciting an insurrection, a violation of free speech in the First Amendment. But, Trump’s bans sparked a conversation on censorship and social media bias. We live in a world where impact on our day-to-day lives and the way we view the world around us. A Pew Research study published in February 2019 shows that of US adults, 73% use YouTube, 69% use Facebook, 37% use Instagram, 24% use Snapchat and 22% use Twitter. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (90% of Republicans and 59% of Democrats) believe social media companies censor certain political viewpoints, according to another Pew Research study. Furthermore, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has admitted to left-leaning bias on Twitter. But, as with many of the allegations of bias levied against social media companies, he said these biases do not affect company policy. Proving bias in the removal of social media accounts

“Banned” by Charlie Acquisto

no concrete evidence. But, Terms of Service have loopholes that can be subjectively

interpreted. In some instances, inciting violence is easy to see. In other cases, determining what has led to violence can depend on who’s interpreting what happened. Social media platforms often become toxic. Rules are in place allowing certain suggestive violence given a comedic context. But when reading text on a screen, what is or is not comedy is not always clear. What is most important is that social media platforms are consistent with their enforcement of policy. In addition, the government should be aware of the activity of these platforms. Hearings, such as ones that have occurred with CEOs Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) or Dorsey, are worth having if boundaries appear to be crossed. A completely objective policy is near impossible to achieve because social media platforms cannot predict every issue that will occur. But what is important is that these companies are aware of their biases and that they interpret subjective policies fairly. In a day and age where social media is integral to communication, the onus is on platforms and their executives to ensure the rules are enforced equally.

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS FOR KEEPING US IN THE BLACK! Anand family, Claire family, Cook family, Gulati family, Intel foundation, Kumar family, Monasa family, Trivedi family, Zhu family

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February 2, 2021 • Feature

Senior athlete Erin Wils n rekindles love for art while enduring concussion



uarantine started early for senior Erin Wilson. It was Sept. 20, 2019; the high school campus was streaked with red and masked in black. Excited students were awaiting buses to Ancil Hoffman Park, where they would begin the annual By the game’s end, the Red Team accumulated 328 points, the Black Team got 265 points and Wilson had sustained a concussion from colliding with another student.

“A Little Son”

“I remember I was so sad I would be missing the “Concentration” volleyball tournament that week,” said Wilson, then captain of the volleyball team. “I was like no the tourtion and determination,” Leavy said. “The concussion nament! No, a whole week of school!” didn’t stop her. It was more like a speed bump and she However, Wilson wouldn’t be out for a week. She took it in stride pretty well.” wouldn’t come back to school for another four months Still, Wilson was unable to fully return to her sports — missing the entire volleyball season. Having played and music. She couldn’t do any vigorous physical acvolleyball every year since sixth grade, Wilson was tivities. Even now, she experiences headaches when frustrated she had to miss her captain season. she plays volleyball with her sister — and she could The injury put a stop to all of Wilson’s activities: only listen to the orchestra play. reading, playing cello and piano, attending school, However, before the end of her junior year, Wilson participating in sports and socializing with friends was able to return to playing the cello, although the among other things. quarantine was already in effect. “I was already basically quarantining,” Wilson joked. Having played her piano “I was always so tired. I’d go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake since age 6 and cello since up at 9 a.m and nap again in the fourth grade, Wilson had a afternoon.” I’m more thankful hard time not being able to She said she also suffered memplay music. for the little things ory loss, forgetting her friends’ “It was really frustrating for names from time to time. I can do, like going on me. So that frustration and Wilson was also sensitive to walks, reading, doing art anger led me to doing emotional light, sound and movement nauportraits — mostly self-portraits,” and playing my instruseated her. As a result, she Wilson said. couldn’t use her phone and ments.” The determination that had usually wore sunglasses in— Erin Wilson gotten her started with music doors. when she was in lower school “I probably looked like a shifted to her art. She painted or drew often when she zombie,” Wilson quipped. Unable to use social media or messaging apps, Wil- had her concussion because it helped her calm down and let her emotions out onto the canvas. son was left out of touch with her friends. She experimented with different emotions — mostly She spent most of her time listening to the news through her Google Home, drawing, knitting or sleep- negative — and eyes. “When I’m really enjoying painting a piece, it’s a reing. Her concussion also affected her junior-year classes, ally good way for me to escape schoolwork or just life in general,” Wilson said. some of which were advanced placement. When she tried to go to school, she could only stand two classes at a time. Determined not to repeat her ju- ished. AP Art teacher Andy Cunningham praised Wilson’s nior year, Wilson attended her AP French and AP Enwork ethic. glish Language & Composition classes. “With some students, they sit down and don’t do “English required a lot of reading and writing, so I had to plan out when I could read because I couldn’t much, but she just goes to work when she walks into read for more than 20 minutes at a time,” Wilson said. the room,” Cunningham said. Looking back on her concussion, Wilson said she’s “And I had to handwrite all my essays, which was just become more appreciative of “the little things.” insane.” “Before the lockdown, when I was back at school, I She was able to take her AP English and AP French was so thankful of being able to see my friends, talk to exams in May, along with her AP U.S. History exam. them, and be back in that environment where we could all laugh and joke around.” over the summer, avoiding a repeat of junior year. “I still have some repercussions from it,” Wilson “Repeating the school year was a huge concern,” Wilson said. “I wanted to have my senior year with my said. “But I’m way more thankful for the little things I can do, like going on walks, reading, or doing art and friends and graduate with them.” Her friend of 14 years, senior Nate Leavy, was playing my instruments.” Looking to the future, Wilson said she wants to amazed at her ability to bounce back. study abroad for a while to fuel her once childhood and classes and succeed is a real testament to her dedica- now adulthood passion for adventure.

“Artist’s Block”

“A Zoom Self Portrait”

“Emotionally Blank”

“An Overwhelming Notion”



Arts & Entertainment • February 2, 2021

CARS BY ARJIN CLAIRE Pixar’s “Cars” wasn’t a groundbreaking movie like it’s predecessors “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” or “The Incredibles.” Still, it earned a respectable 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, and many people — myself included — consider “Cars” to be one of the most underrated and unAs a 3-year-old watching “Cars” for the ematic masterpiece that I was watching. At the time, I saw fast cars racing with a great story that made the main character, Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, seem more like a real person, or car in this case, rather than a far-fetched mit, as a 3-year-old, I could only relate so much, but it was enough to catapult “Cars” into my top three movies of all time, where it remains today. The greatest thing about “Cars” isn’t its story, but rather the message behind it. The simple title can be misleading. Despite the characters all being cars and living in a world where almost everyone is a vehicle, the movie is about the small, special experiences that we give up in the name of convenience. It’s a great learning experience for people of all ages. his rookie season. He has his sights set prestigious Piston Cup. His main competition? Strip “The King” Weathers — a racer with seven Piston Cups to his name — and Chick Hicks, who has always lived in The King’s shadow, consistently earning second place. As the race begins, Hicks, desperate to win, sideswipes another car

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Classics causing a major crash. As all the other racers pit, McQueen stays out to establish a lead. Throughout the race he refuses to make complete pit stops to change his tires, only stopping for fuel. This infuriates his pit team, who we learn is the fourth crew of his rookie season after he on the last lap when some of his tires explode. McQueen valiantly tries to cross dead tie between The King, McQueen and Hicks. In a post-race interview, McQueen repeatedly states he is a “one-man show,” prompting his pit crew to quit on the sonality. As he heads to California, he gets split from his transporter, Mack, and takes a wrong turn, ending up in Radiator Springs, a forgotten and run-down town off of Route 66, where he is tasked with he arrived. As McQueen spends time in Radiator Springs, he begins to blossom into a humble and genuine friend. Here, he meets his best friend, Mater the tow truck, and his love interest, Sally Carrera. He also wanders into the garage of the town’s physician and judge — Doc HudDoc as the famous Hudson Hornet, one of the most renowned racers in the world. Eventually, Doc comes clean to McQueen about why he didn’t continue racing. He didn’t quit, but his organization dropped him for a hotshot rookie (like McQueen) after he was forced out for a season following a terrible accident.

has the chance to leave for California for his big race, but decides to stay behind and interact with the townsfolk, showing more character development. He respects others more, spends less time thinking about himself and more time caring about other people and learns to appreciate the little things in life. As McQueen and Sally look out on the Interstate, McQueen notices how people just drive by and don’t realize the hidden gem they’re missing. He makes a silent vow to himself to change that. After McQueen is found in Radiator Springs, he is grabbed by Mack and rushed to California for the tiebreaker race despite his reluctance to leave his new friends. In California, McQueen struggles to get into his racing mindset and lags behind The King and Hicks because his memories from Radiator Springs affect his performance. As McQueen struggles to pull himself together, Doc’s voice comes over the radio. He and other residents of Radiator Springs have come to be his much needed pit crew for the race. Invigorated, McQueen sets out for the other racers. As McQueen reels in the competition, Hicks makes contact with him, blowing Queen limps back to the pits and sets up one of the greatest moments in cinematic history in the eyes of a 3-year-old child (although it is still one of my favorites). Having been taunted by Hicks’ pit crew throughout the race, Guido, a friend of McQueen from Radiator Springs and his one-man pit crew, puts on his game face and executes the fastest pit stop in Piston Cup history, single-handedly changing all four tires in under four seconds. After blowing the smoke from his drill like a cowboy would his revolver, Guido glares at Hicks’ pit crew with the corner of his eyes and exclaims “pit stop” in his brilliant Italian accent, causing their mus-

taches to clatter to the ground in their surprise. As McQueen beats the pace car out and makes up the lap he lost, the racers enter the last lap of the race neck and neck. McQueen pulls into the lead before being crashed into once again by Hicks, sending him sliding off the track and onto the grass. Lighting however, recalls the words of Doc Hudsosn, “turn right to go left.” He does so and reclaims the lead by a considerable margin, almost guaranteeing him the win. In anger and desperation, Hicks sideswipes The King, sending him into a horrible crash, eerily similar to Doc Hudson’s career ending accident. The King coming to a stop on the grass. Noticing the silent crowd, McQueen sees The King on the big screen and can’t help but compare him to how Doc looked in the picture after his crash. This set up one of the most moving scenes that brings the movie full circle. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best scenes in any Pixar movie. In a split second decision, McQueen slams on his brakes — stopping inches cords and the championship. As Chick Hicks zooms past him to claim the Piston Cup, the crowd remains silent and dumbfounded as to why McQueen stopped. He shifts to reverse, backs up to The King, last race.” When asked why he gave up the Piston Cup, McQueen simply responds “this grumpy old racecar I know (Doc) once told me something — it’s just an empty cup.” Since I was young when I watched this movie, I never understood just how profound the meaning of this scene was. Racing isn’t just about winning. Actions and character are true measures of a person rather than “an empty cup.” Overall, “Cars” gives insight into how a person should live their life. Turn off of the quick and unforgiving “racetrack” that is life and learn to appreciate the smallest, most simplistic things. We see this progression happen throughout the movie with McQueen. He slows down from his fast-paced racing lifestyle and learns to appreciate the life“Cars” was a brilliant movie with a great story, character development and amazing graphics for its time. As a kid I loved the movie, and as I grew up, I began to understand the message it was conveying. line.

The Octagon

February 2, 2021 •Arts & Entertainment


KUNG FU PANDA BY JACOB CHAND The timeless Dreamworks classic, “Kung Fu Panda,” is a must watch for all audiences alike. Suited for both kids and adults, “Kung Fu Panda” is my family’s go-to entertainment for movie nights, taking the crown as one of my favorite childhood movies ever. into the life of the main character, Po the panda, as he saves his home while journeying on a treacherous road of self-discovery. Starting as a normal civilian, Po works at his father’s noodle shop. Contrary to what his father has envisioned for him to do, Po wants to explore the art of kung fu. He is obsessed with the notorious Furious Five, a notable kung fu group comprised with the valley’s best martial artists. After hearing news that an evil ex-student of master Shifu is coming to destroy the valley, master Oogway holds a comto defeat the ex-student. The competition ends, yet instead of Po even though everyone thinks it a mistake. Po has thoughts of quitting but is reassured of his destiny through Oogway, who reminds him of the importance of faith and perseverance.

The end of master Oogway’s life comes to an unexpected end on top of a beauti-

The different beautiful settings, such as the ranging mountains to the luscious

petals of a cherry blossom tree. Before dying, Oogway reassures Shifu of Po’s potential and instills the importance of believing in him. Shifu then lets go of the illusion of control by accepting the hand he has been dealt and willingly training Po despite his doubts about him. To do so, he has to take a very different approach, training and rewarding him by giving him food. Shifu orders an evacuation of the valley

life-like feel. The cinematography artistically crafts action scenes, as every strike feels kinetic

Tai Lung, as viewers watch a remarkably animated scene that powerfully embraces an extreme tension built up throughout On the brink of death, Shifu is saved by of breath manner from climbing all the stairs. Po and Tai Lung have an epic battle, as Po realizes that his true power comes from his abnormally large body and embracing his unique abilities. designated as the hero of the valley. As a young child, I could never appreciate the mesmerizing animation partnered The visuals and the world of China that the series constructs can only be described as magical realism.

styles of each animal. The beautiful animation is accompanied with comical dialogue shared by every character, which is heightened by the amazing cast. With voice acting from Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen and Jackie Chan, the The cast embodies their roles on screen amazingly, welding their own unique personality to produce a through the intriguing plot, incredible character development, important themes and quotes. My favorites coming from master Oog-

way who said “there are no accidents” and “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” The ongoing theme of relinquishing control over life, and seeing purpose in everything and everyone is one of the tive in my life. Realizing the importance of this movie now has

forever impacted my future, as I carry the philosophies, quotes and lessons I have learned from my favorite childhood movie, “Kung Fu Panda.”

INDIANA JONES BY DYLAN MARGOLIS Blocky letters fade in and out as the camera pans through a dense South American landscape, revealing a caravan ation — all except one. Our titular character clad in shades of brown topped with an iconic fedora and whip stands calm. He wasn’t just cool; he was cooler than the fastest kid in a second-grade class; cooler than James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” — he was Indiana Jones. I was hooked right off the bat, my eyes glued to the screen for the complete hour and 55 minute runtime. That’s a long “Indiana Jones: Raiders of The Lost the perfect adventure movie — the best in all of time. So, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Dylan, have you lost your mind? You’re forgetting about “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” the 2012 epic starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, John Hutcherson and Vanessa Hudgens!” Don’t fret, worried readers, that is No. 2 on the list.

centers around the ark of the covenant and Indiana Jones trying to get it before the Nazis can because “it belongs in a museum.” This movie has the second-best openmay sound subpar, but on a list of 623 so years, that’s pretty good. In this scene

alone, there are at least three notably iconic moments that have been repeatedly referenced in all forms of media: the classic sandb a g switch, followed by Indiana Jones grabbing his hat at the last second and the most infamous of these story beats, when Indiana Jones runs from a massive boulder. As a child, this has always marveled me and still does to this day. The movie is not presented as a joke but as a thrilling adventure. Seriousness cloaks the movie in a shadow of realism. This allows for large stunts to seem real. However, there are many fantastical

elements that keep the movie fun and lighthearted. For example, the boulder chase is obviously unrealistic, yet still amusing. As I watched this movie again and again as a child, I formed a deep connection with Indiana Jones. A t t h e climact i c finish Indiana Jones m u s t close his

eyes, something the Nazis can’t seem to from the ark of the covenant. Every time I got to this scene, instead of actually watching what happened, I would always close my eyes like I was also part of t h e

adventure, opening them when the music stopped, indicating the scene had concluded. Sure, it’s not unusual for a kid to get too involved when watching a movie, but I really felt like I knew this character and had to get involved. To top it all off, John Williams composed the score, creating a musical masterpiece that you could listen to for hours on repeat — well at least I could. The main theme was always a favorite of mine, setting the mood for the entire movie in just a few good measures. No travel transition comes even remotely close to the plane animation in this movie, especially when set to the main theme. ing its villains easy to hate, and by hate, it’s in a good way. Casting the Nazis as the bad guys is a perfect choice due to their ability to lack any backstory yet still be blatantly terrible. Also, this movie makes them seem reasonably scary — especially at 5 years old — casting dark place in 1936, making the choice of Nazis even better due to their state of power. They still are obviously formidable but aren’t yet the enemy in the second world war. This helps ground the of World War II. If you haven’t seen this absolutely outstanding, stand-out-of-your-chair-andclap-when-it-ends, masterclass in the art of cinema, then you need to immediately. I still watch this movie with the exact same amount of joy that I did over a decade ago and will continue for many years to come.


Endpoint • February 2, 2021

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Shivom Sharma


In addition to schoolwork, sophomore Shivom Sharma trades stocks every day from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sharma trades about 20 to 30 stocks, including Apple and Tesla, using multiple websites. His goal for 2021 is to continue making year — 6 a.m. the day of a math test, he traded an Tesla stock option from which


He plans to increase his value and hone his stock-trading skills throughout the year.

Free time is scarce for sophomore RJ Vargo. Vargo’s New Year’s resolution is to be more productive, making the most of every minute. He wakes up at 5 a.m. and starts his day off with a cold shower, which gives him energy to complete his daily tasks.

Freshmen Annalucia King and Brooke Barker have a joint resolution. They plan to text each other daily goals in the morning and complete them throughout the day. King took on this resolution to better herself and enrich her relationship with Barker. So far, they have walked four miles, spent an hour example, she can pick what she wants to do based on her mood and energy levels. Due to her love for writing, King sometimes makes Barker write about deep questions such as, “where do you see yourself in 10 years?”

his day with practicing soccer with his friends and daily runs. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” Vargo said. He also produces music on Logic and shares it via Spotify and Soundcloud. His music goals for 2021 are to collaborate with bigger, local artists and to start making an income for his music.

New Year’s Resolutions


s the new year commences, Country Day students and faculty celebrated by sharing their goals and resolutions for 2021.

brooke wells


andy cunningham Art teacher Andy Cunningham uses Instagram to promote and sell his artwork. Going into 2021, Cunningham wants to make and sell more art at his studio in East Sacramento. He compares selling artwork to cooking a meal for people: everyone liking and eating the food you made is similar to people buying your art. “It’s a real good feeling when you perfect what you do and everyone likes it,” Cunningham said. He also wants to be more present in his artwork by including social and political messages in them.

ashwin rohatgi

Head of High School Brooke Wells got a disc golf basket for his 12th wedding anniversary and wants to put it into good use. Wells’ goal for 2021 is to score under par on a full disc golf course. He got into disc golf when the husband of the former Director of Advancement Carolyn Woolf took Wells to Donner Ski Ranch to play. Since then, Wells has fallen in love with disc golf. He plans to practice putts in his backyard everyday and go out on courses at least once a week.

Time is ticking for senior Ashwin Rohatgi to get his driver’s license before departing for college. Last summer, Rohatgi tried twice to get his permit; both right documents, and the second time, the DMV was closed due to COVID-19. In 2021, Rohatgi plans to pass his permit test, take behindthe-wheel lessons and pass his driving test. Since he is older than 17 ½, completing online drivers-ed isn’t necessary. As soon as Rohatgi completes all the required steps, he’s going to start saving for a second-hand car. “I hate being cooped up at home. I need my license ASAP,” he said.

KAITLYN DIAS Freshman Kaitlyn Dias’ resolution is to be healthier: mentally and physically. Dias wants to enter 2021 with a healthier mindset by accepting herself and putting 100% into everything she does. “I want to live in the moment and not care about what everyone else thinks of me,” she said. On top of playing competitive volleyball, Dias wants to work out more and eat healthier. Although she isn’t ready to give up comfort food such as tacos and mac and cheese. Dias tries to limit her dairy and carb intake.

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