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VOL.43 NO.6 • Sacramento Country Day School • www.scdsoctagon.com • @scdsoctagon • March 17, 2020

Country Day goes online in response to COVID-19 outbreak

T

BY NIHAL GULATI

he Wuhan coronavirus has been front-page news since its emergence in early January. Around the world, isolations, lockdowns and closures have occurred in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, even in the U.S. Many schools and colleges have already shut down. And now, so has Country Day. Head of school Lee Thomsen announced in an email on March 13 that “we have every reason to expect that the Country Day community will soon be impacted. In an abundance of caution, as of Monday, March 16, Country Day’s campus will suspend in-person classes and begin online learning for the next three weeks leading up to spring vacation. In early April, we will reassess the needs of our community once again.” All school events through spring break, which ends on Monday, April 13, have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. “Beginning this afternoon (March 13), our faculty will begin

preparation for conducting distance learning for the next several weeks and beyond, if needed,” Thomsen said in the email. “Next Monday and Tuesday, faculty and staff will prepare and upload lessons, with remote instruction of students commencing on Wednesday, March 18, and running through Friday, April 3.” Thomsen said in an interview that Country Day was following recommendations of county health officials with this decision. There were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SCDS as of March 12, according to the school’s website. “We’re in very close contact with the Sacramento County Health Department and following their recommendations on a local level,” Thomsen said. “We’re just trying to follow the advice and best practices of the CDC, and communicating with other California schools to see if they have advice for ways that they’re going about doing their work.” While recent news focuses on the global scale, the coronavirus

CORONA CONTROL A nurse at Qingdao United Family Hospital in Qingdao, China, checks a man’s temperature. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHIMIN ZHANG

first emerged and hit hardest in China. At SCDS, Chinese students have watched as their families have been isolated and U.S. travel to China has been forbidden. Alumni and their families who live in China, including Ginger Harper, ’00, have also been greatly affected. “It’s not just the virus that scares us,” said Harper, who left Beijing on Jan. 26 and returned to the U.S. with her husband and two young children. “It’s that 760 million people are effectively quarantined in their homes. It’s that, despite attempts to keep supermarkets stocked, our friends have noticed a strain on resources. It’s that, if our kids take a fall or need stitches, I don’t feel comfortable

going to a hospital there.” The novel coronavirus started in Wuhan, the largest city in central China with a population of over 11 million, and spread to cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. As of March 13, there were 132,567 confirmed cases around the world and 4,947 deaths, according to CNN. Almost 2,100 cases with 48 deaths had occurred in the U.S., The New York Times reported. Thirty-two states, including California, have declared a state of emergency, according to businessinsider.com, to increase the ability to respond to the virus. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease with flu-like symptoms that spreads by cough or sneeze. It has a 3.4% death rate, according

to the World Health Organization (WHO), though this is subject to change. The virus is less deadly than previous ones such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS, 36% death rate) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS, 9.6% death rate). Already, over 65,000 people have recovered, according to CNN. However, it is more contagious, with an estimated R0 value of 1.4 to 2.5 according to WHO, meaning that it spreads to 1.4 to 2.5 additional people per infection. COVID-19 is also much more difficult to contain, as many cases are mild, allowing possible

VIRUS page 2

Middle school teacher takes over high school Spanish II class BY SANJANA ANAND The high school Spanish II class changed teachers on Jan. 27, the beginning of the second semester. Middle school teacher Pepa Novell replaced Patricia Portillo, who had taught the class for 12 years. Portillo, who previously taught all five high school Spanish classes, said it became too much work. “Language classes are harder to teach than others because you

have to build a strong foundation from early levels,” Portillo said. “It was hard to keep up with all of the grading and prepare lesson plans for all of my classes.” According to head of high school Brooke Wells, it’s unusual for a high school class to switch teachers in the middle of the year other than for maternity, paternity or illness. He said this is the first time it’s happened in his six years as the head of high school. Novell earned her M.A. and

SPANISH SWITCH Spanish teacher Pepa Novell instructs freshman Grace Eberhart on her workbook homework during the period 3 Spanish II class. PHOTO BY MILES MORROW

INSIDE the ISSUE

SPORTS 4-5 Former NBA players, ex-Country Day basketball stars and current SCDS coaches reflect on Kobe Bryant’s life and death.

Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University, her master’s in publishing from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature and Language from Universitat de Barcelona. This is Novell’s first year at Country Day, but her three children have attended the school for the last three years. Novell, a part-time employee, also teaches seventh grade Spanish. Before coming to Country Day, Novell was an associate professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she received tenure. She left due to family circumstances. “The high school class really resembles the students I taught in Canada,” Novell said. “They are so much more mature than my middle school class, and they’re not afraid to ask for help. They also have a strong understanding of the Spanish language, which I have to thank (Portillo) for.” Novell added that taking over the class in the middle of the year wasn’t challenging because of her past Spanish-teaching experience. Wells said the 11 students in Spanish II were informed about the switch on the first day of the second semester and their parents on the next day. Wells said

SPREAD 6-7 Five alumnae give insider perspectives on schools for the arts around the country and discuss their atypical experiences.

the parents and students weren’t informed earlier because “it could cause too much stress before finals week.” However, a student in the class, who requested anonymity, disagreed. “I wish that the school had informed my parents or me sooner,” the student said. “Switching to a new teacher was unexpected and sprung onto us.” According to Portillo, in her first year at Country Day, there were two high school Spanish teachers, including one for Spanish IV. That inspired her to approach Novell with the idea in November. “I wasn’t too sure which class (Novell) was going to take over,” Portillo said. “I was just looking for something that worked with her schedule. All I knew was that I didn’t want to let go of my higher-level classes. Thankfully, it worked out well for both of us.” Portillo said she then approached Wells, who supported the idea. “We want more one-on-one time between teachers and students,” Wells said. “It’s also a unique experience for our students because they are exposed to different Spanish cultures around the world.” Portillo is from El Salvador, and

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 9 Senior Emma Boersma searches for Japan-esque ramen in Sacramento’s Downtown Commons with senior Yumi Moon.

Novell is from Barcelona, Spain . Novell said pronunciation and some grammar are different in Spain than Latin America, but she is not teaching the variations because the students are accustomed to Latin American Spanish. Novell added that there are no curriculum changes. “This class is based on a book (“Realidades II”) that provides appropriate grammar and vocabulary lessons,” she said. “I plan on sticking to that book. I like the order it introduces certain subjects.” Novell said she also shows videos about current Spanish music and culture to keep the students interested in what they’re learning. Another Spanish II student, who requested anonymity, said they like the videos. “Using the videos, (Novell) relates (the class) to the real world and how we can use whatever we’re learning outside of the classroom,” the student said. “I also like her because she makes sure that everyone thoroughly understands whatever topic we’re learning before moving on.” Portillo said she’s unsure whether the high school will continue to have two Spanish teachers. However, Portillo has no plans to leave the school soon.

FEATURE 10 Freshman Athenea Godinez’s talent for Mexican folkdance sparked her passion and now connects her with a vast community.


2

News • March 17, 2020

Virus: Alumna evacuates China due to pandemic (Continued from page 1)

Wells, director of admission and enrollment March 13. management Hadley Keefe and internaHarper’s family temporarily moved from infections to slip past health officials. tional student coordinator Lonna Bloedau Beijing to New York because of the virus. (However, most infections still come from met with Chinese students, including se“My husband and I are teachers at an inthose with symptoms.) Severe cases are nior Shimin Zhang and junior Hermione ternational school in Beijing,” Harper said. more prevalent in the elderly, especially Xian, on Feb. 3 concerning the virus. “Around Jan. 19, the news coming out of those with preexisting conditions. Almost “They advised us against going back to Wuhan started to scare me. I told my cono severe cases have been found in chil- China,” Zhang said before the travel ban. workers that I was extremely worried about dren. “They also told us to warn them if any of the virus and that I would leave the counCountry Day took early precautions our relatives were coming from China.” try if it got worse. My husband was a little against COVID-19, according to Thomsen. Xian said the instructions were “nothing more pragmatic and said he wouldn’t be In a Friday email on Jan. 31, students were too useful. Just don’t be stupid.” concerned with leaving unless cities startcautioned to follow Centers for Disease According to a Feb. 6 poll, almost all of ed shutting down transportation. Then Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to Country Day’s 11 Chinese high school stu- Wuhan shut down all trains out of the city, prevent the flu or coronavirus from spread- dents said they have been affected by the and Beijing shut down intercity bus lines. ing, such as washing hands and cleaning outbreak in China — specifically, the quar“Our first day of Chinese New Year break surfaces. Custodians also were directed to antines. was spent in our house, with me panicking disinfect surfaces such as bathroom countSophomore John Fan’s family in Chang- over 20 people dead and 400 confirmed casers thoroughly. zhou, near Shanghai, has had its neighbor- es, so small compared to what it is now.” In another email on Feb. 26, the school hood locked down. Harper’s family left China on Jan. 26. addressed the likelihood of a pandemic, as “They are stuck in the village,” Fan said. “We left for Seoul, then New York, with the CDC and WHO had warned was high- “Only one member of the family can go out lots of temperature checks and temporary ly likely. CDC guidelines were repeated, each day and only for one day. The super- quarantines,” Harper said. “We have been including that face masks are not recom- market has a lack of food and supplies, and jumping from family to family. Our families mended for healthy individuals, due to in- it’s hard for my family to find food.” have been kind, but effectiveness and supply concerns. Fan’s spring break also they don’t have the On March 4, California declared a state has been affected. space for a family of emergency, further preparing for a pos“I was going to travel “Only one member of of four, and our kids sible outbreak, including school shutdowns back to my family (in) the family can go out are really struggling if necessary. Health officials started moving China, but right now I for each day and only with all of the tranto “mitigation” of the virus, meaning that can’t go back,” Fan said. sitions.” “containment” is becoming unrealistic. “The Chinese govern- for one day. The superHarper said her family On the same day, Thomsen sent an email ment has banned travel, market has a lack of won’t return to Beijing to parents concerning a lower school par- United Airlines banned food and supplies, and until housing isolation ent who had been exposed to a COVID-19 all flights to China it’s hard for my family to restrictions are lifted patient in their health work. However, the and the school sent and the U.S. Embassy find food.” parent later tested negative for the virus. us an official letter to lowers its travel warning — John Fan from level four — meanThomsen informed parents that the risk to tell us we shouldn’t Country Day remained minimal and that go back.” ing do not go there, and custodians had begun focused deep cleanJunior Stephanie if you are there, leave. ing to prevent spread. Ye’s family, also in The quarantines and shutdowns attempt Librarian Joanne Melinson held a Changzhou, has had a similar experience. to slow the spread of the virus, allowing hand-washing party to educate students “My family’s OK, but they are just stay- hospitals and health officials to better manon March 10. Then came the March 13 an- ing at home,” Ye said. “They can’t go to the age cases and avoid being overwhelmed. nouncement. markets and get fresh food; they just have Due to the virus’s spread, there has been Other school districts, mainly in Wash- to get food delivered and use concentrat- a backlash in China against the governington (where the coronavirus first spread) ed alcohol with water to clean it. None of ment. and California, have also closed. them are getting sick; it’s all about the “There are people who are saying that Elk Grove Unified School District lockdown.” the government can’t do anything use(EGUSD) closed its schools after an eleXian’s family, who came to the U.S. for ful, and they are trying to cover things up, mentary school student tested positive for Chinese New Year (Jan. 25-Feb. 8), is now which is not true,” Zhang said. the virus. To prevent loss of school days, unable to return home. According to Zhang, its initial spread was EGUSD moved its spring break. Some dis“My grandparents were planning to go to due to a lack of response in Wuhan. liked the perceived lack of consideration China, but now they have to postpone it,” “In the city where the coronavirus broke for parents and faculty. Xian said. “Only my father went back, and it out, the officials didn’t understand the seColleges across the U.S. – including affected him the most because all the com- verity of something like this, and they were Stanford, Harvard and the University of munities are shut down, so no one can (eas- a little arrogant,” Zhang said. “They didn’t California, Davis – have switched to online ily) get in or out. It’s just so inconvenient.” want to listen to doctors, and then the classes, and California State University, Zhang said the pandemic “hasn’t affect- coronavirus spread.” Sacramento plans do so on March 20, ac- ed me just because I’m obviously not in Another effect of the pandemic has been cording to its website. China right now. But in terms of family, my a shortage of medical supplies like face The National Basketball Association mother works at a hospital in China. Not in masks and hand sanitizer, Zhang said. abruptly suspended its season on March the affected regions, but still there.” “My mother has mentioned that her hos11, minutes before a scheduled Sacramento Senior Savannah Rosenzweig said pital has been having problems with getKings home game, after Rudy Gobert of the her grandparents were on the coronavi- ting face masks and hand wipes,” Zhang Utah Jazz tested positive. rus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship said, “and it’s the same throughout the In response to the early spread of the vi- before being evacuated to Travis Air Force country.” rus, Thomsen, head of high school Brooke base. They were still in isolation as of According to Xian, this has affected the U.S. as well. Xian, Zhang, Ye and Fan have been unable to purchase face masks. “The price (of face masks) is insanely high right now,” Xian said. Zhang elaborated. “Usually it’s about 80 cents,” she said. “Now, I think Amazon’s all out, as well as a lot of the websites usually only visited by hospital officials. Now you can only get them for (around) five or 10 bucks per mask. And it’s a one-time-use thing. I know CVS was out.” Four students – Ye, Xian and sophomores Daisy Zhou and Tina Huang – are holding a fundraiser to support hospitals in Wuhan. “(We’re selling) Chinese crafts – some of them are handmade by Stephanie and Tina – to give to Tongji Hospital,” Zhou said. Another effect of the coronavirus, according to Zhang and Harper, is the disproportionate fear surrounding it, caused by the strict quarantines and lockdowns. “(The coronavirus) is not really as dangerous as people think,” Zhang said. “(Officials) are just trying to contain it. It’s kind of annoying how everyone reacts. No one has said anything (xenophobic) to me, but TENUOUS TRAVELING Ginger Harper, ’00, takes a selfie with her family before board- people still worry. “I wasn’t here on (Feb. 10) because I was ing a flight from Beijing, China to Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 26. Harper said she saw people wearing masks, plastic gloves and sunglasses as protection. Passen- feeling dizzy, and I think the school got gers were required to get their temperatures checked before leaving China. PHO- worried. They called my host parents at around 8:30 a.m.” TO BY HARPER

The Octagon

Undergrads adjust to online curricula, dorm closures as COVID-19 spreads BY ARJIN CLAIRE Due to concerns about coronavirus, many schools and universities are switching to online classes. Stanford University has moved to online classes until the end of the school year, and the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley began the transition. There were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Cal as of March 13, according to the school’s website, but Mohini Rye, ’19, said her classes have gone online. “The plan right now is to have classes be online until spring break, but it’s likely to be extended past that,” said Rye, who returned home on March 11. “Cal isn’t shut down, but the dorms are sending out forms to see who is staying and who is planning on leaving.” Stanford reported three confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 11, according to its website. Jack Christian, ’19, said Stanford initially didn’t want students to leave campus but later changed its view. “Stanford was pushing students to stay on campus,” Christian said. “Students still left regardless, and now Stanford has switched the whole last quarter, as well as finals, to online only. They even have office hours online by using a Zoom conference call where students can type in their questions for the professor.” Christian added general hygiene around campus has improved drastically. “Lots of students are sanitizing extra well, and the cleaning staff is in overdrive,” Christian said. “As I was leaving, the cleaning staff was going up and down hallways, wiping door handles and spraying disinfectant.” Rye said Cal students are also taking extra health precautions. “Lots of students would go to classes wearing masks,” Rye said. “In the dining halls, they are pre-wrapping all the meals.” Yanele Ledesma, ’19, said students at UC Davis are reacting similarly, though there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, according to the school’s website. “Lots of students have been wearing masks and gloves to classes,” Ledesma said. “But regardless, Davis is kind of leaving it up to the professors and students for how to handle it. Some professors have either canceled lectures or posted them online with detailed notes, and some students have decided to go home.” Ledesma had not left UC Davis as of March 13. Overall, the students said they are less than thrilled to take online classes and go home early. “Everyone I know is disappointed we have to go home early,” Christian said. “We were all looking forward to spending the spring quarter with nice weather on campus, and maybe even taking a lighter course load.” Ledesma said online classes are much harder than in-person classes. “Online classes take a lot more discipline,” Ledesma said. Christian seconded this notion, adding he is more of an in-person learner. “There is a certain energy at Stanford that helps motivate students to work hard compared to being at home,” he said.


March 17, 2020 • Sports

The Octagon

Spring spotlight Baseball

Senior Aaron Graves

Swimming

BY ARIJIT TRIVEDI

BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI

Although the varsity baseball team lost outfielder-pitcher Nate Jakobs, ’19, who now plays for Pitzer-Pomona, and assistant coach Gary Jakobs, it is returning big this season with 10 players, two more than last year. Coach Chris Millsback (the only baseball coach this season) suffered a shoulder injury before the start of the season, but it has had a minimal effect on practices, according to senior captain and catcher Max Kemnitz. The team is looking to improve from its winless 2019 season (0-15 overall), sophomore outfielder Miles Morrow said. The team’s next game is Tuesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. at Valley Christian.

After losing freestyle specialist Joe Zales (now competing at Harvey Mudd College), the swim team enters the season with seven members, one more than last year. The girls won last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championships, and the boys finished third. Rebecca Waterson, now a senior and Brown University commit, and Zales qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Swimming and Diving Championships. Waterson finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly and ninth in the 100 backstroke in the state meet. Zales did not qualify for the finals in either of his events, the 200 and 500 freestyle. The Cavaliers will open the season on Wednesday, March 18, at 3:30 p.m. at Jesuit.

Senior captain Max Kemnitz: “This season is going to be a reformation year. We have many new players, so we’re (looking to) improve our team dynamic. Playing cohesively is important, and the team is getting better at catching and throwing, which is really good to see in the first couple weeks of the season. As for Millsback’s injury, the seniors are pitching in to help with drills, so we’re making good progress with each practice.”

All sports events through spring break, which ends on Monday, April 13, have been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Senior Rebecca Waterson

PHOTO COURTESY OF WATERSON

Coach Brian Nabeta: “I expect to three-peat at the Division III section team championships. However, the challenge this year is to have all our swimmers attend every meet at Jesuit to fill our relays so we can qualify for high school sections.” Freshman Shivom Sharma

Tennis

Junior Shiva Wolf

PHOTO BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI

PHOTO BY HERMIONE XIAN

3

Golf

BY NIHAL GULATI

BY ETHAN MONASA

The tennis team (4-0) ended last season with a 6-4 record in the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League (SMAL) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Coed Championships for the second time in three years. Country Day fell in the first round to Delhi. SCDS lost captain and section boys singles winner Leonardo Eisner, ’19, who now attends UC Santa Barbara. The team, after some late additions, consists of 11 girls and seven boys, finally achieving a full roster. Captains Keshav Anand, a junior, and Sanjana Anand, a sophomore, led SCDS to a 6-3 victory in the season opener against Highlands on Feb. 28. The Cavs’ next match is Tuesday, March 17, at 4 p.m. at Encina.

For the second year in a row, the golf team has just six members. This year’s team consists of seniors Anu Krishnan, Yumi Moon, David Situ and Jackson Crawford and freshmen Samrath Pannu and Shivom Sharma. The Cavs lost Harrison Moon, ’19, senior Emma Boersma and sophomore Nihal Gulati. According to coach Matt Vargo last season, Situ may have advanced to the Masters meet had he been able to attend the section championships. Moon qualified for Masters but was unable to attend. Five players are needed for a team score. Otherwise, the Cavs will compete individually. Vargo said that, ideally, the team would have at least nine players. Three Cavs played in the team’s first match on March. 6. Crawford placed first with a bogey-free 35 (-1), becoming the league front-runner.

Coach Jamie Nelson: “We have the strongest team I’ve seen, especially singles, who are very strong and unbeaten. In the past, we’ve had standout players, such as (Eisner). (This year), we have a larger team.”

Track and field BY ARJIN CLAIRE

Sophomore Arijit Trivedi

Though the track and field team gained 14 new members, it lost star competitor Heidi Johnson, ’19. Johnson placed eighth in the long jump at the Masters meet and fourth in the triple jump at the San Joaquin Section Championships last year. Eight competitors from last year return, including seniors Charles Thomas, Emma Boersma, Maddie Woo and Chris Wilson, who is out indefinitely with a partially torn knee ligament. The team’s first meet is March 19 at 2 p.m. at Encina. Coach Rick Fullum: “The ones that are returning show great potential to go far this year, boys and girls. But we are only as good as (the) student-athletes believe in themselves and prepare themselves for improvement. Time will truly tell.”

PHOTO BY SHIMIN ZHANG

Coach Matt Vargo: “Jackson Crawford has put a lot of time into golf the last couple of years. He will compete for the league title, should qualify for sections and hopefully advance to the Masters meet.”

Upcoming events PHOTO BY EMMA BOERSMA

Track and field: 4/18 Meet of Champions @ ARC, 9 a.m. Tennis: 4/20 vs. Golden Sierra @ Rio Del Oro, 4 p.m. Golf: 4/20 @ Rancho Solano, TBA Baseball: 4/21 @ Leroy Greene, 3:30 p.m. Swimming: 4/23 Delta League Trials @ ARC, TBA


4

Sports • March 17, 2020

The Octagon

Remembering Kobe Bryant

Evolution of the ‘Black Mamba’ At age 19, Bryant becomes youngest starter ever in his first NBA All-Star Game.

Bryant wins gold medal at Beijing Olympics as member of U.S. men’s basketball team. (Again in 2012 at London Olympics.)

After losing in NBA Finals, Lakers trade Shaq to Miami Heat.

1998

2004

At age 17, Bryant is selected 13th overall by Charlotte Hornets. He’s traded two weeks later to Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he will spend his entire 20-year career, for Vlade Divac.

Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal Lakers sweep New Jersey Nets to win their third straight NBA title.

2009-10 2006

Bryant scores career-high 81 points, second highest to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, against Toronto Raptors.

Bryant leads the Lakers to back-to-back NBA championships with Pau Gasol (five total) and is named Finals MVP both years.

Stories by Rod Azghadi, Jacob Chand and Jackson Crawford

L

os Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Jan. 26. Among the eight other victims was Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. NBA players and fans have mourned the losses and honored

2016

2013

Bryant wins Academy Award for best animated short film, “Dear Basketball.”

2018

2008

2002 1996

Bryant scores 60 points in his final NBA game, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Bryant ruptures Achilles tendon against Golden State Warriors and never returns to NBA Finals as he suffers barrage of injuries late in his career.

Bryant. Players commemorated Bryant with 24-second shot-clock violations (in reference to Bryant’s uniform number for the second half of his career) and patches on NBA All-Star jerseys with nine stars, representing the lives lost in the crash. Fans held vigils outside Sta-

2017 2014 Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third place on all-time scoring list with 32,310 points.

In December, Lakers retire Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys at halftime.

2019

Bryant authors, publishes first book in children’s fantasy book series intended to inspire young athletes.

Illustration by Eric Lechpammer

ples Center in Los Angeles. Bryant ranks fourth in scoring in professional basketball history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron James. Bryant played 20 seasons in the NBA (1996-2016), all with the Lakers, and nicknamed himself the “Black

Mamba” after the killer snake. The Octagon interviewed former NBA players with Country Day connections, SCDS basketball coaches and two former Cavalier basketball players on what Bryant meant to them. Comments have been edited for clarity.

Former Kings star Peja Stojakovic, who has two children at Country Day, politely declined to be interviewed. Attempts to reach Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica, who has a young daughter at SCDS, were unsuccessful.

Devean George

Devean (pronounced DEH-vihn) George, a 6-foot-8 forward, played with Kobe Bryant on the Lakers from 1999 to 2006, winning three straight NBA titles (2000-02). George’s son, Logan, attends fourth grade at Country Day. I’m still dealing with it. It doesn’t feel like it’s real yet. It just seemed like it was something that couldn’t happen. I lost a great friend and someone who I developed a great bond with playing in a brotherhood. “I remember his intelligence the most, his ability to speak multiple languages and pick up on different things that he didn’t know the day before. Most people just look at him as a supreme athlete and basketball player, but he was really a smart guy. “His mental toughness separates him from other players. He

FAREWELL TOUR Country Day parent and former Los Angeles Laker Devean George reunites with Kobe Bryant in Minnesota during Bryant’s final season in 2016. George played with Bryant from 19992006. PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE

was able to be physically tougher with his pain threshold. And when things didn’t go his way or when he needed to work on a weakness of his, he was just mentally stronger than most people. “Playing with Kobe was intense. He was ready every night to play, and he wanted to make sure all his teammates were ready to go to battle. It’s draining, playing 82 games in the season. Playing night in, night out and practicing every morning is very tough. The toughness and mental focus that Kobe had was like no other.”

Doug Christie

The Kings broadcaster played in the NBA from 1992 to 2007, including 2000-05 with Sacramento. The 6-foot-6 swingman started on the 2002 team that fell to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. A victory in Game 6 in Los Angeles would have sent the Kings to the NBA Finals for the only time in the Sacramento era, which began in 1985. Instead, the Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, won the last two games and swept the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets in four games for their third straight NBA title. Longtime Kings broadcaster Grant Napear recently called Game 6 between the small-market Kings and glamorous Lakers “the worst-officiated game in NBA history.” Christie, a friend of Country Day basketball coach David Ancrum, occasionally instructs at SCDS basketball practices. When I think of Kobe, I feel pain because he’s part of the reason we didn’t win a championship. But I also think of a fierce competitor in so many different battles with him. It was the competition that was the best part. “I got traded from Toronto to the Kings, and in our first year (2000-01), we went to the playoffs. We met the Lakers in the second round (Western Conference semifinals). I was guarding him like always, and I was contesting his shot but not necessarily the basketball. I was putting my hand in his face, right over his eyes, and he was missing it.

They swept us, and we went into the summertime, worked on our game, came back and faced them again in the (Western Conference finals). “That season, I’m doing the same thing, but he’s not missing — it’s just swish. He must’ve spent all summer with somebody having a hand in his face to the point where he could close his eyes and make it. “It speaks volumes to who he was and how he went about his business. I had something over him, and he took it away. He did it by mastery, by being alone and working on something he absolutely loved and cherished. That sort of commitment and professionalism is just incredible. “When you think of him, Jordan, LeBron, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson,

COWBELL KINGDOM Doug Christie, Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, Jason Williams and Peja Stojakovic brought national attention to Sacramento as “The Greatest Show on Court” with flashy highlights in 2001. MAGAZINE COURTESY OF PAUL BAUMAN Larry Bird and you go on and on, Kobe went into a level of rare air. What separates those guys from everyone is the commitment to excellence, willingness to sacrifice and attention to detail. “To be a basketball player or to do anything, to get to the level that you want to go to, you have to sacrifice some of yourself, and Kobe was willing to sacrifice all of himself.”

GREATEST SHOW ON COURT Doug Christie attempts a layup against the archrival Lakers at Arco Arena in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals. PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES


The Octagon

March 17, 2020 • Sports

5

Former NBA players, country day basketball stars, current scds coaches reflect on the ‘Black Mamba’ Bobby Jackson The 6-foot-1 guard played in the NBA from 1997 to 2009, including 2000-05 with the Kings. Now an assistant player development coach for the Kings, Jackson is a friend of Country Day boys varsity basketball coach David Ancrum who occasionally attends basketball practice at SCDS. I was hurt, man, and the whole world had that same feeling. He built a game and competed at a high level every single night, and you can really feel the sorrow that came with his death. “His competitive edge, his pure instinct, was fierce. Kobe’s drive and determination every second

he stepped on the floor and his will to win separated him from the rest of the NBA. “Especially playing against him in the playoffs, his will to win, the fact that he fought every battle with soul, made him extraordinary. He always took the last shot, being the hero at the end of the night.”

Brad Miller The 6-foot-11 center-forward played in the NBA from 1998 to 2012, including 2003-09 with the Kings. He was selected to the All-Star team twice (2003-04). Miller’s daughter, Anniston, attends seventh grade at Country Day. It hits your heart. Makes you think about living life every day and enjoy what’s in front of you today and not worry about tomorrow. Enjoy your day with loved ones.

“Kobe was a stone-cold killer on the court. He represented what being in beast-mode was. He might not pass, but he’d drop 60 points, and they’d win, so you can’t really argue with that.”

MADE YOU LOOK Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, backs down Gary Neal of the Washington Wizards on Dec. 2, 2015. PHOTO RETRIEVED FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

David Ancrum

Latonia Pitts

The boys varsity and seventh-eighth grade basketball coach, Ancrum played professionally for 12 years, including two years under legendary coach Phil Jackson on the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association (1984-86). Jackson won five titles with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

The Country Day varsity and seventh-eighth grade girls basketball coach’s daughter, Aleyah, is the same age as Gianna Bryant. Aleyah attends seventh grade at Country Day.

It just came out of the blue. You don’t want anybody to pass away, but people usually pass away later on in life. With him, that was mad (really) early at 41. “One game, where the Lakers played the Miami Heat, he must’ve not been able to make a shot. When the game was over, in Miami, I guess he asked about three of the ballboys to rebound

I grew up watching Kobe Bryant, and it’s always hard when someone so big in the game passes away. But as a mom with a 13-year-old daughter and as a coach coaching their kid, it was really hard. From that perspective, I’m thinking about what the family is going through.

for him, and he just shot and shot and shot. “That’s why he’s different than the rest of those guys. Everybody else would’ve gone home, but he got the ballboys to stay for 15-20 minutes to get extra shots up. “He was willing to sacrifice going out or hanging out when he’s in the gym working on his

craft. He’s separated by his work ethic. A lot of guys say they want to be good, but they don’t do what it takes.”

Robbie Lemons

Matt Vargo

Now the Kings’ manager of basketball operations, Lemons ranked second nationally with 36.4 points per game as a Country Day senior in 2010. Recruited as a walk-on at Stanford University, the 6-foot-3 guard earned an athletic scholarship. Kobe is a particularly important figure for Sacramento and Kings fans. When I was growing up, the Kings-Lakers rivalry was so intense. That rivalry was a big part of the reason I fell in love with the game. Although he was a villain in my eyes for a long time, he was always so respected for his competitiveness, skill and will to win. “There’s been an incredible outpouring of emotion and support, and especially working in

the NBA, I’ve felt it more intensely. The Kings have done several different video dedications during games. It’s just amazing to know how much athletes can affect people’s lives and how much his loss has affected people throughout the world. “He defined being an ultimate competitor and being committed to excellence and self-improvement. He’s a very inspirational figure and will always be the very

“I was hoping as my daughter was getting older that Bryant and I were going to have a chance to cross paths so she could play against his daughter. The game is connected because when you play ball, you’re like a family. “I remember his Mamba mentality. He outworked anybody in the gym and on the floor. He never took defensive or offensive time off.”

The Country Day athletic director also serves as the fifthsixth grade boys basketball coach. I respect Kobe’s game a lot, and you can see he tried to emulate Michael Jordan. “Personally, my father passed away right before Kobe did. I already had a bunch of crazy feelings, so it brought back some of those. “I remember most the bookends of his career. I remember him forcing it as a rookie, shoot-

best when it comes to work ethic. “He played with passion and focus. I always tried to take tidbits of that to my game. When I was playing, I tried to adopt his work ethic or look at his quotes and commit to being industrious and try to get better every day. Each year, he would add something, and his attention to detail was really impressive.”

ing air ball after air ball, to scoring 60 points in his last game as a pro. There was the evolution — winning all those championships, finishing his last game, knocking down his shots and letting the game come to him. “Much like Michael Jordan, every possession mattered on offense and defense. He tried to raise the level of his teammates’ play.”

Shiyi Zhou As a junior guard last season on the boys varsity, Zhou led Country Day with 16.8 points per game. When we were in middle school in China, we would try to skip class and watch games on the phone. We watched his last game. That one was special. “MJ has the signature Air Jordan logo, but for Kobe it was the fadeaway. We used to wrap paper in a ball, throw it in the trash can and yell ‘Kobe!’ It all started because of him. “It’s hard to compress into

words what his death means. I wonder about what impact he would have if he were still living. I was thinking about him starting the Mamba Sports Academy, developing NBA players and being around his daughter Gianna and women’s AAU teams. She was one of the upcoming players. “He kept contributing to the basketball community as a mentor. When he first retired, I didn’t

see that side of him, but I’ve seen him become a good father and person. “The whole globe feels for him. Everyone has their own story of Kobe regardless of language barriers. They might not know Kobe as a person, but how he played on the court, and that’s powerful. I feel as a basketball player how much sports can affect a lot of people.”

MAMBA FOREVER Time magazine and Sports Illustrated commemorated Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after he died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas. MAGAZINES COURTESY OF PAUL BAUMAN


6

Centerpoint

Wait, you go to

Art school? BY LARKIN BARNARD-BAHN

it’s something you want to work so badly. “The successes feel amazing, and the not-successes hurt a lot more than they should. And it’s hard to find a middle ground, where you’re just like, ‘OK, I feel neutral about this class.’ The way I assess my progress, I either feel like, ‘Yes! I’m killing this! This is going so well,’ or like, ‘Oh, my God. What am I doing? I don’t belong here.’” But contrary to stereotypes in popular media, Lonergan said this doesn’t lead to a toxic or competitive atmosphere. “When people get callbacks or are going on auditions, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, good luck! Have so much fun. Break some legs!’ Everyone’s just rooting for your rise,” she said. “A lot of people think that we’re crazy for investing in such an unstable career and that it’s really cutthroat and intense, and people will stab you in the back. But it’s really not like that at all. “It feels more like I’m in a family and less like I’m trying to compete against these people. It’s a much more supportive environment than people would think.” Due to the personal nature of the work, students are on a first-name basis with their professors, according to Lonergan.

Another true stereotype is that most students are on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, according to Mathisen. “As a queer woman, I haven’t been in areas (before) where I’ve been surrounded by queer people,” she said. “(RISD) has been a community that I really cherish and something that I don’t feel like giving up. It’s something I love so much that I got a job working for the school planning queer events.” Like many art schools, RISD has an unbalanced gender ratio: 69 female students to 31 male students, according to Forbes. “The female-dominated campus has been a good thing: A straight, cisgender man is a rare occurrence on the RISD campus — especially in the fine arts majors — so the positives that come with non-male spaces are prevalent,” Mathisen said. “I think sexism plays a part in who feels comfortable to speak in class and who has power in some social interactions. A (non-male-dominated) place means a safer space for a lot of people.” Because of RISD’s inclusivity, however, she said the gender imbalance is less noticeable. “Just because there are a lot of ‘females’ doesn’t necessarily mean all these people are women-identifying. I also don’t really

Taking on stereotypes, four art students and one musical theater student describe their experiences at schools for the arts.

that all projects related to art, such as writing an artist bio and presenting on an artist. A class’s rigor largely depends on its professor, she said, as her friend took an essay-heavy English class. Furthermore, her “super, super basic” math course covered eighth grade-level material, according to Naify. In contrast, Hilton said her liberal arts classes at SCAD have been just as hard as her art classes, with enthusiastic professors as well. In fact, she said anthropology was among her favorites. Unlike Hilton and Naify, art major Sophie Naylor, ’19, didn’t consider art schools in her college applications. She attends the College of Creative Studies (CCS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) along with 384 other students, five of whom are freshman art majors. “I am exposed to so many other topics and lifestyles besides an artistic environment,” Naylor said. “I am also interested in environmental sciences, and that program is really strong at UCSB, so I (can) easily access other departments that have nothing to do with art. If I were only looking to focus on art, then UCSB (College of) Letters and Science’s art program would be a bad idea, but CCS allows for as much focus on art as desired while also letting students branch out and explore.” Among her perks as a CCS student are separate dorms, access to both CCS and UCSB classes, priority registration for classes, unlimited printing and, by next year, a private studio in the CCS building. “I get the best of both worlds since I have small classes but am a part of a larger school community,” Naylor said. “CCS is a more one-on-one experience. We get much more mentorship and attention individually in class. We are able to work on whatever we like and guide our own studies and art practices. The rest of UCSB (students) may experience mostly large lecture halls and teachers who don’t know your name, but at CCS you work with your teacher, not for your teacher.” With its “homey” atmosphere and supportive community, CCS feels similar to Country Day, according to Naylor. “Teachers and students are as close as we are at Country Day, and I am constantly surrounded by smart people,” she said. “No one ever feels competitive with one another, either, since everyone has their specialty.” Because RISD and Boston Conservatory students can cross-register for classes at Brown University and Emerson College, respectively, Mathisen and Lonergan can take traditional liberal arts courses, which removes what is seen as the downside of art schools, according to Mathisen. “Being passionate about every single class I’m in (wouldn’t) be possible at a liberal arts school,” Mathisen said. “There are things I can find in every class I’m in that I can dedicate myself to (and) fully enjoy. I’ve never been much of a writer, but here it seems like every class is catered toward somebody who’s more (visually) creative, so it really fits the students. “I cannot even imagine going to a liberal arts college. My art classes are extremely long, but I genuinely love it. It’s really great (that) each day I just focus on one thing. And working creatively 24/7 is impossible to replicate anywhere else for me.” Hilton said SCAD has also been an incredibly positive experience for her. “I love that I am passionate about what I do,” she said. “I’m driven, and I care about succeeding and doing well. “All throughout my time at Country Day (I) struggled — I mean constantly getting C’s and failing tests. I was always surrounded by people that I felt were so much smarter and better than me. “Coming to SCAD and getting to not only be passionate about what I do, but to be succeeding in it is amazing.” If SCAD students aren’t driven, Naify said they’ll likely drop out. “It is a little similar to Country Day in that way, where everyone is really motivated to be here, and if they’re not, then they’re not going to last,” she said. “I had some friends that already left. “(At) Country Day, you’re pushed every day to work super hard, and your grade and what you’re doing in school matters to you and tends to be really exciting — that’s how it is here as well. So that’s been really nice, and it really helps me stay focused.” SCAD’s intensity and collaborative nature

surprised Hilton, she said. “Every project I’ve done I have collaborated with people inside and outside my major,” Hilton said. “I’ve worked with photographers for photoshoots, interior designers for shop renderings, graphic design majors for logos, etc. SCAD forces students to collaborate with each other, which is great because that’s what it is like in the industry.” While SCAD’s emphasis on career readiness helps, Hilton said she stresses about employment after graduation. “There is a ton of anxiety and pressure to get a job before I graduate — something I am struggling with right now,” she said. “SCAD does help a ton with this, however: We have a site through our school that posts jobs that we can apply to, and lots of companies will come to SCAD for in-person interviews. I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of interviews already because of SCAD.” SCAD has a good track record for post-graduation employment, contrary to stereotypes of “starving artists,” according to Hilton. “(A) misconception is that everyone that goes to an art school is going to be a starving artist,” she said. “I remember a (teacher) at Country Day made that comment to me when I got accepted. It was in a joking way, but (it was) hurtful all the same. “It just isn’t true — 98% of SCAD graduates get jobs in their field by six months after graduating. It’s ridiculous people still think that way because if we were to take away everything that art majors are involved in, you’d be staring at a blank wall. Every piece of clothing you buy — someone designed it. Every company logo you see — somebody designed it. Every piece of furniture, every blanket, every show you watch or magazine you read — that came from the arts. Without the arts there would be no form of entertainment, and I think people forget that.” As a freshman, Naify is more focused on employment during college. “Most people are anxious about getting a job in college because art supplies cost so much,” Naify said. “Your art supplies aren’t provided to you. Facilities are, but it’s not like at Country Day, where you can use the watercolor paper and the paint. You have to buy all of your materials — everything you use. So that sucks. A lot of people are stressed about keeping afloat in college. “This week’s been rough. There’s midterms. The professors tell you, ‘You can get student-grade stuff, which will be cheaper, but in the long run, that’s not worth it.’ And to me, it’s not worth it because then you’re going to be using crappy art supplies, and it shows in what you’re doing. “I don’t spend less than $40-$50 every time I (buy supplies), about once a week. It’s kind of nuts. But we don’t really have to pay for textbooks, so it’s the equivalent.” Similarly, Lonergan stresses about booking shows during the summer. “Right now is what we call summer stock season,” she said. “The months of February to March are prime time for doing auditions for most theaters that do shows in the summer. So everyone’s stressed like, ‘Am I gonna book this summer? What if I don’t book?’ The anxiety is definitely there, but I’m just trying to trust that everything will be OK.” Along with allowing students to audition during the school year — which many conservatories forbid — the Boston Conservatory helps by giving students a well-rounded theater education, teaching both the technical and performative sides, according to Lonergan. “There are so many different paths you can take, and it doesn’t have to be performing — you could teach,” she said. “There are more jobs than what people who aren’t involved (may think). But it’s definitely stressful thinking about it.” Lonergan added that another stressor is the widespread imposter syndrome. “I feel like this applies to a lot of first-semester students at college, but basically you feel like everyone around you is super smart or talented,” she said. “It’s very real, and I definitely experienced that a little bit when I first came here because we’d all sing in front of each other, and I was like, ‘What? I don’t belong here at all.’ But I auditioned (and) got in — I obviously was meant to be here. “But even if you don’t go to a conservatory, that’s my advice for the senior class and classes after that: Know that wherever you go, you’re meant to be there, and you got in for a reason.”

Grace Naify, '19

7

“It is a little similar to Country Day in that way, where everyone is really motivated to be here, and if they’re not, then they’re not going to last. I had some friends that already left.”

— Naify

“(The College of Creative Studies) allows for as much focus on art as desired while also letting students branch out and explore.”

— Naylor

Sophie Naylor, '19

“As a queer woman, I haven’t been in areas (before) where I’ve been surrounded by queer people. (RISD) has been a community that I really cherish and something that I don’t feel like giving up.”

Bella Mathisen, '19

— Mathisen

“(A) misconception is that everyone that goes to an art school is going to be a starving artist. It just isn’t true. Without the arts there would be no form of entertainment, and I think people forget that.”

— Hilton

Elinor Hilton, '16

Monique Lonergan, '19

voice and speech, movement, jazz, ballet, tap, a private voice lesson, ensemble singing, music theory, piano, and Theatre Process and hen sculpture major Bella Production. In addition, she took Theatre Mathisen, ’19, tells people she Literature and Structure and Engaging with attends Rhode Island School of the Artistic Space last semester, which were Design (RISD), she said their rereplaced with Musical Theatre History and actions range from congratulations to curiWomen in Dystopian Fiction this semester. osity to confusion. For Lonergan, the focus of her classes is “Some of my more extended family was the main difference between attending SCDS like, ‘What are you gonna do with your life?’” and the Boston Conservatory. she said. “My artistic extracurriculars and my Savannah College of Art and Design schoolwork were very much separate (at (SCAD) student Grace Naify, ’19, who is maCountry Day), but now my artistic activities joring in fashion design and minoring in are my (schoolwork),” she said. business of beauty and fragrance, agreed. “I won’t lie — it was a really weird adjust“(Some people) are just like, ‘What the ment at first because I had so much more hell?’” she said. “They don’t really know how free time than I ever had in high school. I to act because it’s just so different. There’s (am not) trying to balance school and art, nothing relatable.” and it’s so nice. I can just put all my energy Without exposure to art schools, many asinto something I’m so passionate about. I’m sume that such students only draw or paint, really grateful that I get to put all my energy according to Naify. Instead, art schools offer into classes that I genuinely love.” a wide range of opportunities, from dramatic Lonergan added that these classes are writing to filmmaking to animation, she said. incredibly different from those her former “People assume that you’re just sitting SCDS classmates are taking. around drawing and that it’s really fun, which “We have this one voice and speech class it is,” Naify said. “But a lot of people during about releasing emotional and physical tenthe college application period are like, ‘Oh, if sion,” Lonergan said. “I’m telling my friends, I can’t do this, I’ll just drop out and go to ‘Yeah, for my final I had to tell my life story art school.’ It should not be a last resort through poetry and dialogue.’ And they’re because it’s a lot of work.” like, ‘What the heck? What is going on?’” Fellow SCAD student Elinor Hilton, Although Lonergan has certain lib’16, who is majoring in fashion marketeral arts requirements, she said those ing and management, said this is the courses, such as Social Justice in The“most frustrating stereotype.” ater, usually relate to an art form. “Go to any SCAD (student’s) webThese classes have proved an adjustsite, look at their work and try to tell ment for both Lonergan and her peers. me that it’s easy,” she said. “It’s not. “I was used to the academic rigor at It is normal for students to constantly Country Day, (but) some people have pull all-nighters and be stressed.” gone to art schools their whole life,” Hilton added that people outside of Lonergan said. “They’re like, ‘I can’t SCAD would be surprised by the workbelieve we have to write a paper.’ I’m load. like, ‘Well, yeah. It’s school.’” “For instance, last quarter my group However, she said her school’s focus on and I had to ideate a pop-up shop for the arts is both a blessing and a curse. Under Armour in five weeks,” she said. “Some days, I’m just like, ‘Man, it would “This included location research, be really nice to just go to an art history class customer psychographics and demoor something that doesn’t have anything to graphics, rent of the space, zoning do with this,’” Lonergan said. “We call it the laws, how much to pay employees, BoCo Bubble: It’s so easy to get trapped in assortment plan, foot traffic, budget just this environment and just (and) renderings of the pop-up. We doing theater.” basically had to do all the reOften, she needs to search as if we were really burst the BoCo Bubmaking the pop-up. ble. “We aren’t just “I try to do drawing flowers,” she ARTIST BY DESIGN For a group project at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Elinor Hilton, ’16, helped create this lineup for something like said, laughing. Alice and Olivia product development. ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF HILTON once a week that In fact, art school doesn’t have anyis harder than tradiNaify said SCAD also has a supportive at- notice (the gender balance) — lots of people thing to do with musical theater to broaden tional college in some aspects, according to mosphere, despite her expecting it to be “su- are nonbinary. (The culture of) our genera- my mind and so I don’t go crazy,” she said. Naify. tion combined with the way artists are has “In the end, going to a planetarium, going on “The way you’re being tested is a very per- per competitive and cutthroat.” “In classes, if you forget your materials, created a safe space for gender expression a hike or going to an art museum are human sonal thing — it’s something that you physiyour neighbor next to you will let you borrow and identity, so the sex of a person is less experiences, and that will make you a better cally created,” she said. relevant.” artist no matter what art form you do. It’s Naify said this is exacerbated by the grad- some paper or use their pens,” she said. Hilton agreed. Besides the community culture, Mathisen just good to get outside your comfort zone ing method, critiques, in which students “SCAD has a lot more acceptance for peo- said exhaustion is common at RISD. Art and try something you don’t do every day.” present their art and receive feedback. ple, so it is more common to see people ex- classes, called studios, are 7½ hours long Although Naify said she loves SCAD’s “That pressure is so much more intense pressing themselves in whatever physical and meet once a week. This year, Mathisen’s career-focused nature, she added that she when it comes to your performance as a student because if you really screw up on a proj- way they choose,” she said. “At Country Day, studios are drawing, design and spacial dy- would love to take foreign language courses. ect, everyone’s going to see that on critique I used to get comments like it was a big deal namics. Her other classes are Theory and Since these classes are offered as electives, day,” she said. “Your stuff is going to go in when I would dye my hair red or purple, but History of Art and Design (year-long) and students can take them for only a few quarfront of the whole class and the professor, at SCAD a guy can come to class with high Economy and Society (semester-long), which ters, which doesn’t facilitate fluency, according to Naify. and they’re going to pick it apart and tell you heels and a full face of makeup, and no one’s replaced her first-semester literature class. going to bat an eye.” “(There are) a lot of all-nighters,” Mathisen “At a lot of liberal arts schools, you can everything that’s wrong with it. Naify added that SCAD students stick out said. “(There’s) just a lot of passion and a lot study things way outside your major that “But it goes both ways. When you nail something, it feels really good, and that mo- from the general Savannah, Georgia, popu- of people working their hardest every sin- have nothing in common with it. Here, if gle minute of the day. It’s enjoyable. You’re I took a class that was outside my major, it tivates you to keep that standard up because lation. “Everyone has dyed hair and really cool exhausted, but you can’t stop working on it, would still be an art course,” Naify said. “If everyone is impressed by what you did.” The same is true for musical theater ma- tattoos because they’ve all designed them sort of like an obsession. It’s better than hav- you’re exploring other interests, they’re gojor Monique Lonergan, ’19, who attends the themselves,” she said. “A girl in my drawing ing that much work and not being passionate ing to be other art-related interests. It’s very, class will do stick-and-poke tattoos for you about it.” very, very focused. Boston Conservatory at Berklee. While Lonergan’s work is incredibly tax“(The general education classes) are tech“(With) acting, you are your art form,” she in her room. Everyone’s dressed super crazy. said. “You are your instrument. You have to There’re people who will cosplay (dress up as ing physically and emotionally, she said she nically normal classes, but the way they’re loves putting all her energy into her passion. taught is very different because they know go home with yourself — you can’t just put a fictional character) every day.” Art students frequently cutting and dy“I feel like all my classes are really helping we’re a bunch of artists. It’s clear they only yourself away in a case and forget about it for a little bit. When you take criticism, it hits a ing their hair is a true common stereotype, me toward my future, and I like that every have them to keep the school accredited.” day I’m like, OK, I can take this and use this,” In her 10-week-long English class, Nailot deeper than if you just got a bad grade on Mathisen said. “I gave myself a buzz cut, and now my hair she said. fy said she wrote just one essay and added a quiz. It’s you, and it’s what you love, and is dyed bright pink,” she said. Lonergan’s year-long coursework is acting,

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March. 17, 2020

The Octagon

“(With) acting, you are your art form. You are your instrument. You have to go home with yourself — you can’t just put yourself away in a case and forget about it for a little bit. When you take criticism, it hits a lot deeper than if you just got a bad grade on a quiz.”

— Lonergan


6

Centerpoint

Wait, you go to

Art school? W

BY LARKIN BARNARD-BAHN

hen sculpture major Bella Mathisen, ’19, tells people she attends Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she said their reactions range from congratulations to curiosity to confusion. “Some of my more extended family was like, ‘What are you gonna do with your life?’” she said. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) student Grace Naify, ’19, who is majoring in fashion design and minoring in business of beauty and fragrance, agreed. “(Some people) are just like, ‘What the hell?’” she said. “They don’t really know how to act because it’s just so different. There’s nothing relatable.” Without exposure to art schools, many assume that such students only draw or paint, according to Naify. Instead, art schools offer a wide range of opportunities, from dramatic “People assume that you’re just sitting around drawing and that it’s really fun, which it is,” Naify said. “But a lot of people during the college application period are like, ‘Oh, if I can’t do this, I’ll just drop out and go to art school.’ It should not be a last resort because it’s a lot of work.” Fellow SCAD student Elinor Hilton, ’16, who is majoring in fashion marketing and management, said this is the “most frustrating stereotype.” “Go to any SCAD (student’s) website, look at their work and try to tell me that it’s easy,” she said. “It’s not. It is normal for students to constantly pull all-nighters and be stressed.” Hilton added that people outside of SCAD would be surprised by the workload. “For instance, last quarter my group and I had to ideate a pop-up shop for

March. 17, 2020

The Octagon

it’s something you want to work so badly. “The successes feel amazing, and the not-successes hurt a lot more than they where you’re just like, ‘OK, I feel neutral about this class.’ The way I assess my progress, I either feel like, ‘Yes! I’m killing this! This is going so well,’ or like, ‘Oh, my God. What am I doing? I don’t belong here.’” But contrary to stereotypes in popular media, Lonergan said this doesn’t lead to a toxic or competitive atmosphere. “When people get callbacks or are going on auditions, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, good luck! Have so much fun. Break some legs!’ Everyone’s just rooting for your rise,” she said. “A lot of people think that we’re crazy for investing in such an unstable career and that it’s really cutthroat and intense, and people will stab you in the back. But it’s really not like that at all. “It feels more like I’m in a family and less like I’m trying to compete against these people. It’s a much more supportive environment than people would think.” Due to the personal nature of the work, professors, according to Lonergan.

Taking on stereotypes, four art students and one musical theater student describe their experiences at schools for the arts.

Another true stereotype is that most students are on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, according to Mathisen. “As a queer woman, I haven’t been in areas (before) where I’ve been surrounded by queer people,” she said. “(RISD) has been a community that I really cherish and something that I don’t feel like giving up. It’s something I love so much that I got a job working for the school planning queer events.” Like many art schools, RISD has an unbalanced gender ratio: 69 female students to 31 male students, according to Forbes. “The female-dominated campus has been a good thing: A straight, cisgender man is a rare occurrence on the RISD campus — es-

voice and speech, movement, jazz, ballet, tap, a private voice lesson, ensemble singing, music theory, piano, and Theatre Process and Production. In addition, she took Theatre Literature and Structure and Engaging with the Artistic Space last semester, which were replaced with Musical Theatre History and Women in Dystopian Fiction this semester. For Lonergan, the focus of her classes is the main difference between attending SCDS and the Boston Conservatory. “My artistic extracurriculars and my schoolwork were very much separate (at Country Day), but now my artistic activities are my (schoolwork),” she said. “I won’t lie — it was a really weird adjust-

positives that come with non-male spaces are prevalent,” Mathisen said. “I think sexism plays a part in who feels comfortable to speak in class and who has power in some social interactions. A (non-male-dominated) place means a safer space for a lot of people.” Because of RISD’s inclusivity, however, she said the gender imbalance is less noticeable. “Just because there are a lot of ‘females’ doesn’t necessarily mean all these people are women-identifying. I also don’t really

free time than I ever had in high school. I (am not) trying to balance school and art, and it’s so nice. I can just put all my energy into something I’m so passionate about. I’m really grateful that I get to put all my energy into classes that I genuinely love.” Lonergan added that these classes are incredibly different from those her former SCDS classmates are taking. “We have this one voice and speech class about releasing emotional and physical tension,” Lonergan said. “I’m telling my friends,

the students. “I cannot even imagine going to a liberal arts college. My art classes are extremely long, but I genuinely love it. It’s really great (that) each day I just focus on one thing. And working creatively 24/7 is impossible to replicate anywhere else for me.” Hilton said SCAD has also been an incredibly positive experience for her. “I love that I am passionate about what I do,” she said. “I’m driven, and I care about succeeding and doing well. “All throughout my time at Country Day (I) struggled — I mean constantly getting C’s and failing tests. I was always surrounded by people that I felt were so much smarter and better than me. “Coming to SCAD and getting to not only be passionate about what I do, but to be succeeding in it is amazing.” If SCAD students aren’t driven, Naify said they’ll likely drop out. “It is a little similar to Country Day in that way, where everyone is really motivated to be here, and if they’re not, then they’re not going to last,” she said. “I had some friends that already left. “(At) Country Day, you’re pushed every day to work super hard, and your grade and what you’re doing in school matters to you and tends to be really exciting — that’s how it is here as well. So that’s been really nice, and it really helps me stay focused.” SCAD’s intensity and collaborative nature

surprised Hilton, she said. “Every project I’ve done I have collaborated with people inside and outside my major,” Hilton said. “I’ve worked with photographers for photoshoots, interior designers for shop renderings, graphic design majors for logos, etc. SCAD forces students to collaborate with each other, which is great because that’s what it is like in the industry.” While SCAD’s emphasis on career readiness helps, Hilton said she stresses about employment after graduation. “There is a ton of anxiety and pressure to get a job before I graduate — something I am struggling with right now,” she said. “SCAD does help a ton with this, however: We have a site through our school that posts jobs that we can apply to, and lots of companies will come to SCAD for in-person interviews. I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of interviews already because of SCAD.” SCAD has a good track record for post-graduation employment, contrary to stereotypes of “starving artists,” according to Hilton. “(A) misconception is that everyone that goes to an art school is going to be a starving artist,” she said. “I remember a (teacher) at Country Day made that comment to me when I got accepted. It was in a joking way, but (it was) hurtful all the same. “It just isn’t true — 98% of SCAD gradu-

Grace Naify, '19

“(The College of Creative Studies) allows for as much focus on art as desired while also letting students branch out and explore.”

— Naylor

graduating. It’s ridiculous people still think that way because if we were to take away everything that art majors are involved in, you’d be staring at a blank wall. Every piece of clothing you buy — someone designed it. Every company logo you see — somebody designed it. Every piece of furniture, every blanket, every show you watch or magazine you read — that came from the arts. Without the arts there would be no form of entertainment, and I think people forget that.” As a freshman, Naify is more focused on employment during college. “Most people are anxious about getting a job in college because art supplies cost so much,” Naify said. “Your art supplies aren’t provided to you. Facilities are, but it’s not like at Country Day, where you can use the watercolor paper and the paint. You have to buy all of your materials — everything you use. So that sucks. A lot of people are stressed about “This week’s been rough. There’s midterms. The professors tell you, ‘You can get student-grade stuff, which will be cheaper, but in the long run, that’s not worth it.’ And to me, it’s not worth it because then you’re going to be using crappy art supplies, and it shows in what you’re doing. “I don’t spend less than $40-$50 every time I (buy supplies), about once a week. It’s kind of nuts. But we don’t really have to pay for textbooks, so it’s the equivalent.” Similarly, Lonergan stresses about booking shows during the summer. “Right now is what we call summer stock season,” she said. “The months of February to March are prime time for doing auditions for most theaters that do shows in the summer. So everyone’s stressed like, ‘Am I gonna book this summer? What if I don’t book?’ trying to trust that everything will be OK.” Along with allowing students to audition during the school year — which many conservatories forbid — the Boston Conservatory helps by giving students a well-rounded theater education, teaching both the technical and performative sides, according to Lonergan. “There are so many different paths you can take, and it doesn’t have to be performing — you could teach,” she said. “There are more jobs than what people who aren’t inful thinking about it.” Lonergan added that another stressor is the widespread imposter syndrome. mester students at college, but basically you feel like everyone around you is super smart or talented,” she said. “It’s very real, and I of each other, and I was like, ‘What? I don’t belong here at all.’ But I auditioned (and) got in — I obviously was meant to be here. “But even if you don’t go to a conservatory, that’s my advice for the senior class and classes after that: Know that wherever you go, you’re meant to be there, and you got in for a reason.”

“It is a little similar to Country Day in that way, where everyone is really motivated to be here, and if they’re not, then they’re not going to last. I had some friends that already left.”

— Naify

Sophie Naylor, '19

“As a queer woman, I haven’t been in areas (before) where I’ve been surrounded by queer people. (RISD) has been a community that I really cherish and something that I don’t feel like giving up.”

Bella Mathisen, '19

— Mathisen

“(A) misconception is that everyone that goes to an art school is going to be a starving artist. It just isn’t true. Without the arts there would be no form of entertainment, and I think people forget that.”

— Hilton

Elinor Hilton, '16

Monique Lonergan, '19

through poetry and dialogue.’ And they’re like, ‘What the heck? What is going on?’” Although Lonergan has certain liberal arts requirements, she said those courses, such as Social Justice in Theater, usually relate to an art form. These classes have proved an adjustment for both Lonergan and her peers. “I was used to the academic rigor at Country Day, (but) some people have gone to art schools their whole life,” Lonergan said. “They’re like, ‘I can’t believe we have to write a paper.’ I’m like, ‘Well, yeah. It’s school.’” However, she said her school’s focus on the arts is both a blessing and a curse. “Some days, I’m just like, ‘Man, it would “This included location research, be really nice to just go to an art history class customer psychographics and demoor something that doesn’t have anything to graphics, rent of the space, zoning do with this,’” Lonergan said. “We call it the laws, how much to pay employees, BoCo Bubble: It’s so easy to get trapped in just this environment and just (and) renderings of the pop-up. We doing theater.” basically had to do all the reOften, she needs to search as if we were really burst the BoCo Bubmaking the pop-up. ble. “We aren’t just “I try to do ARTIST BY DESIGN For a group project at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Elinor Hilton, ’16, helped create this lineup for something like said, laughing. Alice and Olivia product development. ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF HILTON once a week that In fact, art school doesn’t have anyis harder than tradiNaify said SCAD also has a supportive at- notice (the gender balance) — lots of people thing to do with musical theater to broaden tional college in some aspects, according to mosphere, despite her expecting it to be “su- are nonbinary. (The culture of) our genera- my mind and so I don’t go crazy,” she said. Naify. tion combined with the way artists are has “In the end, going to a planetarium, going on “The way you’re being tested is a very per- per competitive and cutthroat.” “In classes, if you forget your materials, created a safe space for gender expression a hike or going to an art museum are human sonal thing — it’s something that you physiyour neighbor next to you will let you borrow and identity, so the sex of a person is less experiences, and that will make you a better cally created,” she said. relevant.” artist no matter what art form you do. It’s Naify said this is exacerbated by the grad- some paper or use their pens,” she said. Hilton agreed. Besides the community culture, Mathisen just good to get outside your comfort zone ing method, critiques, in which students “SCAD has a lot more acceptance for peo- said exhaustion is common at RISD. Art and try something you don’t do every day.” present their art and receive feedback. ple, so it is more common to see people ex- classes, called studios, are 7½ hours long Although Naify said she loves SCAD’s “That pressure is so much more intense pressing themselves in whatever physical and meet once a week. This year, Mathisen’s career-focused nature, she added that she when it comes to your performance as a student because if you really screw up on a proj- way they choose,” she said. “At Country Day, studios are drawing, design and spacial dy- would love to take foreign language courses. ect, everyone’s going to see that on critique I used to get comments like it was a big deal namics. Her other classes are Theory and Since these classes are offered as electives, day,” she said. “Your stuff is going to go in when I would dye my hair red or purple, but History of Art and Design (year-long) and students can take them for only a few quarfront of the whole class and the professor, at SCAD a guy can come to class with high Economy and Society (semester-long), which ing to Naify. and they’re going to pick it apart and tell you heels and a full face of makeup, and no one’s going to bat an eye.” “(There are) a lot of all-nighters,” Mathisen “At a lot of liberal arts schools, you can everything that’s wrong with it. Naify added that SCAD students stick out said. “(There’s) just a lot of passion and a lot study things way outside your major that “But it goes both ways. When you nail something, it feels really good, and that mo- from the general Savannah, Georgia, popu- of people working their hardest every sin- have nothing in common with it. Here, if gle minute of the day. It’s enjoyable. You’re I took a class that was outside my major, it tivates you to keep that standard up because lation. “Everyone has dyed hair and really cool exhausted, but you can’t stop working on it, would still be an art course,” Naify said. “If everyone is impressed by what you did.” The same is true for musical theater ma- tattoos because they’ve all designed them sort of like an obsession. It’s better than hav- you’re exploring other interests, they’re gojor Monique Lonergan, ’19, who attends the themselves,” she said. “A girl in my drawing ing that much work and not being passionate ing to be other art-related interests. It’s very, class will do stick-and-poke tattoos for you about it.” very, very focused. Boston Conservatory at Berklee. While Lonergan’s work is incredibly tax“(The general education classes) are tech“(With) acting, you are your art form,” she in her room. Everyone’s dressed super crazy. said. “You are your instrument. You have to There’re people who will cosplay (dress up as ing physically and emotionally, she said she nically normal classes, but the way they’re loves putting all her energy into her passion. taught is very different because they know go home with yourself — you can’t just put Art students frequently cutting and dy“I feel like all my classes are really helping we’re a bunch of artists. It’s clear they only yourself away in a case and forget about it for a little bit. When you take criticism, it hits a ing their hair is a true common stereotype, me toward my future, and I like that every have them to keep the school accredited.” day I’m like, OK, I can take this and use this,” In her 10-week-long English class, Nailot deeper than if you just got a bad grade on Mathisen said. “I gave myself a buzz cut, and now my hair she said. fy said she wrote just one essay and added a quiz. It’s you, and it’s what you love, and is dyed bright pink,” she said. Lonergan’s year-long coursework is acting,

that all projects related to art, such as writing an artist bio and presenting on an artist. A class’s rigor largely depends on its professor, she said, as her friend took an essay-heavy English class. Furthermore, her “super, super basic” math course covered eighth grade-level material, according to Naify. In contrast, Hilton said her liberal arts classes at SCAD have been just as hard as her art classes, with enthusiastic professors as well. In fact, she said anthropology was among her favorites. Unlike Hilton and Naify, art major Sophie Naylor, ’19, didn’t consider art schools in her college applications. She attends the College of Creative Studies (CCS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) along with man art majors. “I am exposed to so many other topics and lifestyles besides an artistic environment,” Naylor said. “I am also interested in environmental sciences, and that program is really strong at UCSB, so I (can) easily access other departments that have nothing to do with art. If I were only looking to focus on art, then UCSB (College of) Letters and Science’s art program would be a bad idea, but CCS allows for as much focus on art as desired while also letting students branch out and explore.” Among her perks as a CCS student are separate dorms, access to both CCS and UCSB classes, priority registration for classes, unlimited printing and, by next year, a private studio in the CCS building. “I get the best of both worlds since I have small classes but am a part of a larger school community,” Naylor said. “CCS is a more one-on-one experience. We get much more mentorship and attention individually in class. We are able to work on whatever we like and guide our own studies and art practices. The rest of UCSB (students) may experience mostly large lecture halls and teachers who don’t know your name, but at CCS you work with your teacher, not for your teacher.” With its “homey” atmosphere and supportive community, CCS feels similar to Country Day, according to Naylor. “Teachers and students are as close as we are at Country Day, and I am constantly surrounded by smart people,” she said. “No one ever feels competitive with one another, either, since everyone has their specialty.” Because RISD and Boston Conservatory students can cross-register for classes at Brown University and Emerson College, respectively, Mathisen and Lonergan can take traditional liberal arts courses, which removes what is seen as the downside of art schools, according to Mathisen. “Being passionate about every single class I’m in (wouldn’t) be possible at a liberal arts school,” Mathisen said. “There are things I icate myself to (and) fully enjoy. I’ve never been much of a writer, but here it seems like every class is catered toward somebody

7

“(With) acting, you are your art form. You are your instrument. You have to go home with yourself — you can’t just put yourself away in a case and forget about it for a little bit. When you take criticism, it hits a lot deeper than if you just got a bad grade on a quiz.”

— Lonergan


8

Opinion • March 17, 2020

The Octagon

‘The show must go on’ by Emma Boersma

My Angle

STAFF PRINT EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Anna Frankel Héloïse Schep

By Jackson Crawford

ONLINE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Larkin Barnard-Bahn Jackson Crawford

I’m overwhelmed by March Sadness

NEWS EDITOR Ming Zhu SPORTS EDITOR Jackson Crawford A&E/OPINION EDITOR Emma Boersma FEATURE EDITOR Larkin Barnard-Bahn BUSINESS STAFF Larkin Barnard-Bahn, manager Arjin Claire, assistant PAGE EDITORS Sanjana Anand Larkin Barnard-Bahn Emma Boersma Jackson Crawford Anna Frankel Ethan Monasa Héloïse Schep Arijit Trivedi Ming Zhu SENIOR REPORTERS Dylan Margolis Miles Morrow Arikta Trivedi REPORTERS Emily Asperger Rod Azghadi Jacob Chand Nihal Gulati Samhita Kumar Sicily Schroeder PHOTO EDITORS Emma Boersma Shimin Zhang PHOTOGRAPHERS Miles Morrow Elise Sommerhaug Arikta Trivedi Hermione Xian GRAPHIC EDITOR Emma Boersma GRAPHIC ARTIST Eric Lechpammer MULTIMEDIA STAFF Ming Zhu, editor Miles Morrow, staffer ADVISER Paul Bauman 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 entire 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.

T

EDITORIAL: Don’t overreact to COVID-19’s danger, but take necessary precautions

he coronavirus swept the world like a storm, and our reactions to the outbreak are constantly changing. Some say it’s worse than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS); others contend it’s weaker than the flu. Since the virus took everyone by surprise, we often find ourselves pondering: How should we react to this pandemic? Though there is no need to blindly worry about the new coronavirus, there is no excuse to underestimate it, either. COVID-19 demands more caution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has a low fatality rate but is highly contagious. As of March 13, the U.S. had at least 2,100 confirmed cases of the virus and 48 deaths, according to The New York Times. With a fatality rate of 3.4%, COVID-19 might be much more dangerous if its influence reaches the scale of the common flu. In response to the rising numbers, 32 states, including California, have declared a state of emergency. California has the third-most diagnosed patients in the country. The Grand Princess, a cruise ship carrying infected passengers, docked in Oakland. According to NPR, Sacramento County ended automatic 14-day quarantines to focus on mitigating the impact of COVID-19, acknowledging that the county cannot effectively manage the quarantines while it’s handling

COVID-19 cases. Worried about the impact of the virus and the county’s ability to contain it, some schools in the Sacramento area, including Country Day, have taken swift measures to ensure the safety of their students. On March 13, SCDS suspended all in-person classes and implemented online learning through spring break, which ends on Monday, April 13. Before this decision, Country Day had taken several steps to counter the spread of COVID-19. In addition to increased classroom and surface sanitation, librarian Joanne Melinson hosted a handwashing party on March 10 for students to learn proper techniques. Still, is there a need to panic? Absolutely not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO, most of those killed by the virus are elderly, have preexisting lung conditions or both. For teenagers and healthy adults, COVID-19 would most likely result in flu-like symptoms and no long-term damage. That said, we can’t ignore the outbreak. The indifference of adolescents and healthy adults may, in turn, result in uncontrolled, rapid transmission to more at-risk persons. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, COVID-19 bears some parallels to two recent epidemics: SARS and

influenza. China’s responses to COVID-19 and SARS, which began in Guangzhou in 2002, are very similar. SARS had a frightful death rate of 9.6% but totaled only one-fourth of the deaths of COVID-19 thus far. Influenza, on the other hand, shares a closer resemblance in its spreading pattern to COVID-19, with a rapid outbreak and swift expansion. Though the flu is responsible for thousands of deaths each year and infects 5% to 20% of Americans, its death rate is only 0.1%. COVID-19’s current death rate is 36 times greater. We should take manageable measures to defend against the virus. As the virus only has lung cell receptors — meaning the virus takes effect when in contact with the lungs — washing your hands frequently and thoroughly and not touching your face are effective preventative measures. Being aware of potential symptoms such as fever, cough and fatigue — similar to flu symptoms — also aids in identifying infection early and preventing its spread — though some patients may show few to no symptoms. Seeking early medical treatment, using face masks and executing self-quarantine are potent yet undemanding practices. However, with potentially undiagnosed patients and unnoticed community transmission, avoiding crowds and canceling plans is the most effective step.

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS FOR KEEPING US IN THE BLACK! Anand family, Barnard-Bahn Coaching and Consulting, Crawford family, Frankel family, Intel Foundation, Monasa family, Rye family, Schep-Smit family, Situ family, Trivedi family

Last week was the worst of my life as a sports fan. As a high school senior, I had already braced myself for a March filled with uncertainty and anxiety regarding college admissions decisions. But I never envisioned COVID-19 disrupting my life. Now, college admissions sit much lower on a long list of worries. Last week, all U.S. professional sports leagues postponed, canceled or paused their seasons. The NCAA also canceled the conference tournaments and March Madness for both men and women. As a diehard Sacramento Kings fan, I was hit hard by the news of the NBA suspension on March 12 for “at least 30 days,” according to Commissioner Adam Silver. The Kings trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 3 1/2 games for the eighth (last) playoff spot in the Western Conference with 19 games to play. Sacramento was scheduled to host the New Orleans Pelicans, another team in the playoff race, on March 11 on ESPN. I was in Golden 1 Center when the NBA suspension news broke. The Kings were supposed to play the Pelicans, and I was excited to see New Orleans’ Zion Williamson rock the rim in person for the first time. Unfortunately, the game was postponed because one of the refs had been exposed to Rudy Gobert, a Utah Jazz player from France who tested positive for COVID-19 two days prior. The Kings players were warming up with less than five minutes until game time, but I noticed none of the Pelicans had come out of the locker room. Fans booed the PA announcement as the surrealism of the situation set in: The Kings wouldn’t be playing. Depending on how long the season is suspended, the NBA could skip straight to the postseason. Or the league could cancel the rest of the season. Either way, the Kings would miss the playoffs for the 14th consecutive year. The following day, the floodgates opened: March Madness was canceled, and I had tickets for the first and second rounds at Golden 1 Center on March 20 and 22, which I’d been looking forward to since the fall. I feel for the NCAA student-athletes, especially the seniors, who were going to make the Big Dance and play their final collegiate games. Luckily, there are discussions about flexibility for seniors to extend eligibility. Beyond my concern for basketball, I’m worried about my college applications. I was hardly surprised to hear that school’s been closed through April 13. Seniors are probably the least academically affected. However, with the mass closing of universities across the country, deciding where to attend by May 1 seems nearly impossible, especially for students who were planning visits in March and April. In all regards, the first three months of 2020, especially last week, have seemed unreal. It’s hard to quiet the voice of uncertainty and instability in my head. We are navigating uncharted territory, so making assumptions about when everything will go back to normal is pointless, especially when I can’t even keep up with the constant updates and notifications on my phone. I was looking forward to a month of madness in March, including an exciting NCAA Tournament and increasingly competitive NBA season. Instead, all of the above has been postponed or canceled, and I’m stuck at home with no live sports to pass the time. Playing games without fans seemed like a great option.


March 17, 2020 • Arts & Entertainment

The Octagon

9

Ramen restaurant falls short of authentic Japanese cuisine

S

BY EMMA BOERSMA

ince returning from my summer exchange program in Japan, I’ve been craving a quality bowl of ramen. So I was excited to hear that the owner of the highly rated Sacramento sushi restaurant Kru, Billy Ngo, was opening a ramen restaurant in downtown Sacramento (718 K St.). Situated at the edge of Downtown Commons (DOCO), Kodaiko Ramen & Bar is the prime location for a bite before catching the latest event at Golden 1 Center. On a brisk Saturday evening, senior Yumi Moon and I braved the downtown parking to visit Kodaiko. The restaurant is basement-level with only a sign on the door and a neon bowl of ramen announcing its presence. Yumi and I felt as if we were descending into a set from the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby.” The dim lighting, exposed brick and creative murals on the wall accentuated the modern, cool atmosphere. “I feel like this is the place I would come to if I was to eat out with my coworkers,” Yumi said as our hostess seated us. To start, we ordered the korokke takoyaki ($10) and Brussels sprouts dengako ($8). Yumi and I were both excited about the takoyaki, a doughy octopus ball usually eaten during Japanese festivals, but when they arrived around 10 minutes later, we were surprised. “You’re not supposed to deep-fry it, so I’m a little confused,” Yumi said. Despite the breach in tradition, the crispy shell made for a pleasant biting experience. The inside, however, was extremely disappointing. “They don’t have octopus,” Yumi noted. Actually, they did: a few small slices of tentacle buried in the obscene amount of potato. This was not the takoyaki we knew and loved, nor was it a new take on a favorite. It tasted like a large french fry — and not in a fun way. Yumi and I agreed that it was not worth $10. Next, we tried the pan-fried Brussels sprouts, which arrived just after the takoyaki. They were served alongside a dish of peanut sauce and seemed to have no fun (or not-so-fun) surprises — which, contrary to the takoyaki, were their downfall. While the Brussels sprouts didn’t taste bad, they definitely didn’t taste like an $8 dish. In fact, they were so simple, I could’ve cooked them myself — and I’m a terrible cook. As with the takoyaki, Yumi and I agreed they were not worth the cost. Before we could reluctantly finish off the Brussels sprouts, our ramen arrived. Yumi ordered the tonkotsu-gyokai ($11), or pork and fish broth, with the ajitama ($2.50), or seasoned, soft-cooked egg. I got the spicy mushroom paitan ($11.50), ITADAKIMASU! (From top right down) The warm chocolate mousse came with sorbet and cookie crumble. The takoyaki was filled with potato and “disappointing.” The Brussels sprouts tasted like something one could make at home and was not worth its price. The spicy mushroom paitan’s vegan broth was surprisingly rich. The tonkotsu-gyokai broth was lacking in flavor. (Middle top to bottom) Senior Yumi Moon takes her first bite of her ramen. Senior Emma Boersma digs into the takoyaki. PHOTO BY MOON (Left) Moon is pleasantly surprised by the pudding-like mousse. PHOTOS BY BOERSMA

a vegan broth primarily made with cashew cream, and a scoop of house-fermented sambal (an Indonesian chili paste), as well as the ajitama. Again, I was displeased about the price. Typically, $11 for a bowl of ramen seems reasonable, but at Kodaiko, basic toppings such as nori (seaweed) were omitted in favor of odd ones such as leafy greens. Some toppings, such as chashu (pork belly), were an extra $4, which, including my ajitama, would’ve brought my bowl to $18, an abnormally high price. But seeing my beautiful bowl of ramen made me hopeful that the cost would be worth it. After stirring the aesthetically separated oil into the broth, Yumi and I eagerly dug in … and were immediately let down. Rather than characteristically chewy, the noodles were soft, something especially important considering that they sit in hot broth. Although our waitress explained that the noodles were not made in-house (rather, they were shipped from Los Angeles), it seemed to us that Kodaiko had committed a huge faux pas. “I feel like that’s the whole point of ramen,” Yumi said. I agreed: Soft ramen isn’t really ramen. The noodles can make or break any bowl of ramen, especially when the bowl is as pricey as this one, and unfortunately, these noodles didn’t make the cut. Next, we broke open our egg, which was soft-boiled and gooey on the inside. “It’s a little overcooked,” Yumi said, “but I feel like it doesn’t hinder the taste.” Usually, because of its sweet taste and soft texture, the egg is my second favorite part of ramen — next to the noodles, of course. While Kodaiko nailed the texture, it missed the taste, and the egg was underwhelming for its price. Following the egg, Yumi and I sampled the broth. According to our waitress, the broths are house-made, so we were expecting great things. The first thing we noticed was its thickness. The broth was rich and heavy, which Yumi said she “was digging.” On the other hand, it lacked a strong flavor, particularly Yumi’s pork and fish broth. Yes, it was salty and fatty, but it lacked a strong punch of pork, for example, to keep the palate engaged. Also, the fish was overpowering for a few mouthfuls before dying down to nothing. My vegetarian broth, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. Like Yumi’s, mine was rich and fatty despite lacking actu-

al animal fat. Although I encountered the same want of flavor, I was so impressed by the vegan broth’s richness that I didn’t care. I did care, however, about the spiciness. The sambal I had mixed into my broth offered not an extra layer of flavor but an uncomfortable kick to the back of the throat. “That’s not the kind of spiciness I’m looking for when I order spicy ramen,” Yumi agreed. “I like it when I taste the spiciness, not when it hurts my throat. I only drank a spoonful, but it’s hurting my throat.” Luckily, this issue is easily solved by ordering the non-spicy version. But even my impressive vegan broth couldn’t salvage the ramen. “I don’t feel satisfied with this meal,” Yumi said. “I only finished it because it was expensive, and I don’t like to waste food.” I couldn’t help but agree. Usually, after a bowl of ramen, I feel warm and content. Instead, my stomach hurt from the spice, and I had no satisfying flavor on my tongue to justify it. The noodles filled me, but not because I enjoyed eating their limp forms. In fact, I might’ve enjoyed myself more slurping some instant ramen at home. Yumi agreed, adding, “The more I eat it, the more I think that the ramen I’d buy at the store would be better than this. There’s nothing special about this.” Perhaps it was our fault for having such high expectations. After all, we had both been to Japan, the birthplace of ramen.

Perhaps comparing a Sacramento ramen place to a Japanese one is like comparing a high school athlete to a professional. So although Kodaiko is by no means traditional, authentic Japanese cuisine, for the general Sacramento demographic, it’s a winner. To end on a good note, Yumi and I ordered the warm chocolate mousse ($8), which, according to our waitress, is made in-house. It comes with blood orange sorbet and is sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumble. This was absolutely our favorite dish. The mousse was exceedingly soft — almost pudding-like in texture. “I didn’t think that sorbet and chocolate mousse would go together, but I honestly really like it,” Yumi exclaimed. The light fruitiness of the sorbet clashed perfectly with the rich chocolate of the mousse, and the cookie crumble offered a juxtaposing crunch. If you have high expectations of Japanese food, avoid this place. But if you want a hip place to chat with coworkers or friends, Kodaiko is highly recommended.


10

Feature • March 17, 2020

The Octagon

Freshman fosters fervor for folklórico dance, performs at Kings halftime show BY ANNA FRANKEL

“B

allet Folklórico Nube de Oro!” calls director Erik Diaz, prompting two lines of dancers to spring onto the floor. They whistle, coo and wave as they assume their positions throughout the room. The women, in black T-shirts and long red skirts (typical practice attire), move to form the outer two rows as the men, in simple athletic wear, take the inside. The crowded studio (1103 North B St.) is steamy due to the constant movement of the 34 dancers, from age 12-25, in the advanced group of the Ballet Folklórico Nube De Oro. With a bow, the dancers take off, moving in a circular pattern as the men stomp and the women wave their skirts. Parents and younger siblings line the back wall as fans whir in an attempt to combat the growing heat. Traditional music from the Jalisco region of Mexico blares, combining with the whistles, shouts and echoing stomps of the dancers. The floor vibrates with the sheer force of the dance. Just as suddenly as he began the dance, Diaz cuts the music, and the dancers look up, startled. “Have fun, smile,” he shouts as they file back to their starting lines. “You guys look dead.” The scene repeats itself, but this time, the energy is palpable. One of the most radiant smiles belongs to freshman Athenea Godinez, who has performed folklórico, the traditional Mexican dance that emphasizes local folk culture, for seven years. On March 1, the group performed during halftime at a Sacramento Kings. “Every year it’s more demanding for the dancers and for me as a director,” Diaz explained beforehand. “The audience there is not mainly the Latino community, so they expect more and more every year. We always want to look synchronized. We have to project the whole feeling so that the people who go to watch basketball can get into it and say, ‘Oh, my God, we really like this!’” This year’s dance, from the Jalisco region, is the most popu-

lar, Godinez said. Each dance represents a region in Mexico, according to Godinez. The regions are reflected in the dancers’ costumes. All of the dances are elegant and involve complex skirt work. “For Jalisco, it’s a lot of ribbons and long skirts,” Godinez said. “But for a region like Chihuahua, it’s more of a princess (dress). It’s short, but also really flowy. “I like dances from Chihuahua most just because they’re really fast. We do a lot of turns (that) make the skirt look really pretty.” Godinez began dancing folklórico through an after-school program at her previous school, the Sacramento Language Academy. There, she learned about her current group through a friend. While she now loves the dance, she said she hasn’t always. “When I first started, I was forced to continue by my mom, so I didn’t really like it,” she said. “I moved to the intermediate class and stayed there for a while because I didn’t put much work into it.” But when Diaz first saw her dance, Godinez said he knew she had potential. “He talked to my mom and was like, ‘I really think she can do better,’” Godinez said. “So he moved me up (to the advanced level). And he really started pushing me and forcing me to work harder, and I’ve gotten a lot better.” Godinez said she began to love the dance once she joined the advanced class. “In the intermediate class, I didn’t really like my teacher, and I didn’t like what we were learning,” she said. “She didn’t put me in any of the dances. It was kind of boring. But once I moved, it was a challenge for me.” Godinez is now glad her mom encouraged her to continue dancing, she said. “It caused us to fight a lot when I started, but I’m glad she pushed me,” Godinez said. “It’s just something I love now.” Karen Pulido, who has danced with Godinez for six years, said her growth has been vast. “Out of nowhere, she just popped into the advanced group,” Pulido said. “And from there she grew dramatically.”

Pulido said Godinez’s styling — how she becomes a character — is the strongest aspect of her dance. “Sometimes she puts on a flirty character, sometimes angry,” Pulido said. “And she knows how to play those roles really well. I love her turns, her little smile, the way she moves with skirts and with partners.” Diaz, who has directed the group for three years, said Godinez is now one of its strongest dancers. “Like other young kids, they start off shy, not having strong coordination, maybe struggling to be on time or wear the appropriate clothes,” he said. “With her, every year and every month there’s something new. She is getting mature, (learning) more sequences, being more professional and working a little harder than before. “Why? Because she understands now that (her dance) is something strong.” Her class practices three days a week for two hours a day, but Godinez said the sessions increase in frequency and duration when the group prepares for large performances. Practices, according to Godinez, are the hardest part of dancing. “My instructor wants the best from us,” Godinez said. “When we can’t make it or we’re goofing off, he’ll get mad. So we really have to stay on top of everything. Every dance is hard to learn, but it just takes practice.” Godinez said dancing folklórico has taught her the value of hard work. “If I really want something, I have to work hard for it,” Godinez said. “If I want to perform at the Kings game, I have to really push and do the best I can.” The group’s performances range from private parties and events to large dance festivals, including the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and El Festival de los Danzantes, an annual convention at California State University, Fresno, at which her group has performed for the past three years. “There we learn different styles and new regions from different teachers,” Godinez said. Her group, which has almost

¡BAILE! Freshman Athenea Godinez (right) and a fellow dancer pose in Durango costumes. PHOTO COURTESY OF GODINEZ 200 members, has gained popularity due to its performances with famous Mexican singers, according to Godinez, including Steeven Sandoval, Aida Cuevas and various mariachis. Godinez’s group has also performed alongside other folklórico organizations, including the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company in Los Angeles and Generaciones Dance Company in Stockton. “We’re all like a big family,” Godinez said, noting that this is one of her favorite aspects of the dance. “There isn’t competition. I get to meet new people from around the world.” She said seeing different cultural dances, particularly Indian, at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is also very interesting. Godinez added that the size of performances depends on their location and the style of the dances. “If it’s close, (Diaz) will try to put more people in (the dances),” Godinez said. “The parents usually drive, or we carpool. But it’s a big community, so we all help

each other out.” However, she said performances can become difficult when they interfere with school or homework. “There are times where (performances are) during the week, which is challenging,” Godinez said. “My siblings help out and drive me places. When we do performances, we’re there for like five hours. So it is a lot of work for my family.” Despite her love for folklórico, Godinez said she has wanted to try other forms of dance. “A few years ago, when I didn’t really like it, I wanted to try ballet, but my mom didn’t let me,” Godinez said. “Recently, when we went to Los Angeles (we learned that the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company) has a mandatory ballet class before their folklórico class to incorporate it into the dance. Our group is thinking about doing that.” As for her future in folklórico, Godinez said she isn’t sure if she will continue past high school, depending on where she goes to college.

SWOOSHING SKIRTS Athenea Godinez rehearses a dance from the Jalisco region on Feb. 28 in preparation for the halftime performance at the March 1 Kings game. PHOTO BY EMMA BOERSMA


The Octagon

March 17, 2020 • Feature

Award-winning pianist plays at Carnegie Hall, performs with Country Day Jazz Band

H

BY HÉLOÏSE SCHEP

e’s traveled to piano competitions around the country, from New York City to San Diego. Last summer, he was invited to play in Vienna. And he’s performed at Carnegie Hall — twice. While this list of accomplishments may look like the résumé of a musician with decades of experience, it belongs to freshman Garman Xu. In 2019, Xu won a trophy at the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Sierra Fall Festival in San Diego in the age 14-15 division and placed first in the Category C, age 13-15 subdivision of the California Association of Musical Teachers District V Honors Competition. He also performed Chopin’s “Fantaisie” at the Crescendo International Competition at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 12, 2019. (Xu performed at Carnegie Hall for the same competition in sixth grade.) Xu said his performance at Carnegie Hall was for a large audience in a “famous” building with an especially “nice and expensive” piano. “While I can still improve more, it was a good morale booster,” he said. After that performance, Xu was invited to the International Student Exchange Program in Vienna over the summer. He was unable to travel to Vienna due to scheduling conflicts but played at a variety of locations on the East Coast in January and March instead. Xu said his performance in Boston also stood out due to the location. “I played right behind a giant glass wall overlooking the sea, so that was pretty cool,” Xu said. Despite his busy schedule, Xu still performs at Country Day. He joined the Jazz Band and soloed at the annual Rockvember Fest on Nov. 8, when his rendition of “Prokofiev Gavotte Op. 12, No. 2” by Sergey Prokofiev and “Étude Op. 10, No. 12” by Chopin earned him first place. But Xu’s musical journey started years earlier. He began taking lessons when he was 6, but his mother, a recreational piano player, introduced Xu to the instrument even before then. His younger brother started lessons

when he was just 5. Over his eight years of piano, Xu has taken lessons from three teachers. The first was Todd Walker, a jazz and blues pianist in the Rocklin area, who taught Xu for two years. During that time, Xu learned notes and basic rhythms in a recreational setting. “I enjoyed it, but after I played for a while, I wanted a challenge, so I began learning classical pieces by myself after listening to them on the radio,” Xu said. Xu’s adoration of composers such as Mozart influenced him to pursue classical music, so his family searched for a classical teacher. When a few friends recommended Tatiana Scott in Sacramento, Xu decided to take a lesson from her and ultimately stayed with her for two years. Xu said Scott helped him build his technique and the “mindset” of a classical pianist. His lessons lasted an hour every week. She also encouraged him to start playing competitively when he was 8 and recommended the Certificate of Merit (CM) program from MTAC, which trains students in performance, technique, ear training, sight-reading and music theory. To join MTAC, students must have a teacher who is a member of the organization, register online, pay an exam fee and pass the test. The annual program involves approximately 30,000 students in piano, violin, cello, viola, flute, French horn, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, baritone/euphonium horn, voice and harp, according to MTAC’s website. Each instrument has its own 10- or 11-level syllabus with a specific set of requirements; the piano program has 10. Teachers decide the appropriate beginning level, then students participate in an annual evaluation between mid-February and April. Xu began at level four due to his previous piano instruction. During the statewide assessment — which Xu said he takes at California State University, Sacramento — students complete a written theory exam with an ear-training component and

11

FORTE FANTASY Freshman Garman Xu plays “Fantaisie” by Chopin on Jan. 12, 2019 at Carnegie Hall. After his performance, Xu was invited to play in Vienna. PHOTO COURTESY OF XU perform in front of a panel of judges. “You have to study music history — the biography and style of composers in different periods, like Beethoven and Chopin,” Xu said. “You also have to learn music composition, or how to use scales or chords to inflict certain emotions.” To prepare, Xu said his teacher used official guidebooks and practice tests. Students later receive an official MTAC CM Certificate for their level. They may advance a level or remain at the same level for the next year depending on their results. Xu passed level 10 last year, so he’s currently “freelancing,” pursuing pieces that interest him rather than pieces from a certain curriculum. He said he enjoyed the MTAC system. “The stuff you learn from it is really valuable, and I think you should take it if you’re serious about music, not just piano,” he said. As Xu advanced through levels, he became eligible for a variety of competitions, starting in Sacramento and Folsom. His results and his teacher’s connections allowed him to find slots in bigger competitions. While attending competitions, Xu discovered that many of his competitors attended the Pacific Institute of Music (PIOM) in Folsom. “They said it was really good, so we decided to try it,” he said. This led Xu to Carol Chuang, a PIOM teacher with whom he’s taken lessons for over three years. PIOM instructors primarily have master’s or doctorate degrees in music performance, according to the organization’s website. Xu now practices an hour and a

half per week at PIOM. He spends another hour and a half per day practicing alone. At a rate of one page of sheet music a day, memorizing a piece can take him one or two weeks, depending on its length and difficulty. “When I’m playing the pieces I like to play, it’s fun,” Xu said. “Right now, I’m digging Chopin, as well as a lot of Liszt. I’m playing his ‘Liebesträume,’ and I really like that.” Xu added that there is a big difference between being taught in a group at a school and privately at home. “It’s much more diverse (at a school),” Xu said. “You can witness all these students practicing their instruments just by walking around.” Besides his lessons and practice, Xu plays piano for PIOM’s chamber group, which he joined about two months ago, and for the Jazz Band. Xu practices an additional hour per week at PIOM for his chamber group after his teacher recommended it to him. He is currently accompanied by a cellist and violinist, but the combination depends on the piece. The group has yet to attend a competition. “I’ve done concertos with orchestras or other piano players before as a side job under my second teacher, but this is different,” Xu said. “In concertos, the sound of the orchestra can drown you out, but here I really have to work on coordinating.” Though Xu said he has little knowledge of jazz, he decided to join the Jazz Band because he was interested in learning more about the genre. “Jazz is completely different — it’s more improvisation- and scale-based, whereas classical music is based on

interpretation and very precise in its notes,” he said. Band director Bob Ratcliff agreed, adding that while classical music focuses on playing sheet music as accurately as possible, jazz pieces do not sound correct when played exactly as they are written. “It’s not as if the two (styles) don’t complement each other, but sometimes they get in each other’s way,” Ratcliff said. “If you play a classical piece with a jazz feel, it doesn’t work. If you play a jazz piece with a classical feel, it doesn’t work.” Thus, he said Xu can improve his knowledge of the music theory in jazz: the chord voicings — where notes are placed in each chord — and the scales. Nevertheless, Ratcliff said Xu learns quickly. “He is doing a great job, especially because it’s something he’s never done before,” he said. “He’s a good pianist, which is great because he picks up on stuff very quickly.” Ratcliff added that Xu’s experience with concertos aids his timing, which helps his performance in the band. “I often get piano players that are used to playing by themselves, so their idea of a steady beat is nebulous,” Ratcliff said. In jazz, the piano is part of the rhythm section, which is responsible for a steady beat. “If you’ve got a pianist who doesn’t keep steady time, it can be really detrimental to the feel,” Ratcliff said. “But Garman’s got a solid sense of time.” Despite his years of training, Xu said he still faces obstacles during performances. At the MTAC Sierra Fall Festival last November, Xu had a slight fever. However, his performance of “Prokofiev Gavotte Op. 12, No. 2” and “Étude Op. 10, No. 12” still earned him a trophy. Xu added that the music itself can also be challenging. “The Liszt pieces are pretty hard, with a bunch of technique and crazy stuff, and the trios from chamber require lots of communication with other players,” he said. Xu said he wants to add to his repertoire and his knowledge of music composition. “There’s always something you can improve on, either your interpretation or your execution,” he said. Furthermore, playing a certain piece for an extended period of time can cause Xu to feel “bored,” he said. Nevertheless, he said the players he’s met and the skills he’s learned are worth the time and effort. Xu said he is uncertain if he wants to attend a conservatory after high school or play professionally. He said he may even teach piano to others. “I will never stop playing music for enjoyment, no matter which path I decide to take,” he said.


12

Endpoint • March 17, 2020

The Octagon

How should you meet the

COMMUNITY SErVICE graduation requirement? S

ST

ART

till need to fulfill your 50 community service hours? Use this flowchart to find an activity that’s perfect for you! Students are allowed to choose their form of community service, as long as they aren’t paid. INTERVIEWS BY SANJANA ANAND AND GRAPHICS BY HÉLOÏSE SCHEP

Do you want to volunteer at Country Day?

Do you like to teach?

No

Do you enjoy working with groups?

Yes

Are you a cinephile?

Yes

Do you like working with kids? Yes Yes Yes

No

No Choreography director, lower school play “This year, they are performing ‘The Lion King.’ I have performed this before, so I help the kids pronounce words in Swahili or Afrikaans whenever it comes up. “The choreography is my favorite part because it’s fulfilling to see synchronized tiny people.” - Junior Nate Leavy

Teaching assistant “I’m a teaching assistant to biology teacher Kellie Whited. Most of the time, I clean dissection equipment or set up labs in her room. It’s a very hands-on science classroom. “Because I transferred last year, I learned biology from her as a sophomore, which is earlier than most students. So, I would say I’m close to her, and as a TA, I have special privileges such as going into her classroom when she’s not there.” - Junior Hana Lee

Teacher’s assistant, Korean School of Sacramento “I grade homework and tests, answer the middle and high school students’ questions and translate everything in the textbook from Korean to English or English to Korean. I also plan cultural activities, like fashion shows and games. “I like interacting with the other volunteers because I get to be a part of a rare cultural community in Sacramento.” - Senior Yumi Moon

Do you enjoy the arts?

No

No

Yes

Volunteer, Empire Ranch Alzheimer’s Special Care Center “I help with simple activities like reading stories from books and newspapers, setting up for lunchtime and playing games with them. It’s really interesting to hear stories and memories they share.” - Freshman Grace Zhou

Can you work in the summer?

No

Do you like playing sports?

Yes

Do you want to work with the elderly?

Yes

No

No

Yes Assistant soccer coach “I help little kids as an assistant coach. I lead them in drills and watch them maneuver the ball. “My favorite part is the development of the kids throughout the week. From when they first touch the ball in the beginning to when they play games at the end, there’s major improvement.” - Freshman RJ Vargo

No

Movie reviewer, Breathe Sacramento “Breathe Sacramento researches and helps to prevent cigarette use in movies. I watch movies and note down how many times a cigarette is shown. Then, I give it to a coordinator in the organization who posts it on their website. “It’s fun to watch movies with your friends and get community service hours at the same time.” - Sophomore Hannah Shan

Tutor, Baptist Church “I tutor a middle school student in math and science. He’s a refugee who came from Sri Lanka six years ago. I not only teach him academics, but also discipline and work ethic. “It’s rewarding to see him do well, succeed and find things he’s passionate about.” - Senior Anu Krishnan

Musician, Arcade Church “I play the baritone saxophone in a church orchestra. We have rehearsals every Wednesday, and we get a new set of music every Sunday. I get more exposure to more challenging music with six sharps or five flats, which I don’t generally have to play (otherwise).” - Junior Elijah Azar

Volunteer, Sacramento Zoo “As a volunteer, I run educational crafts stations for kids and give enrichment talks about animals. Sometimes, I can even go inside the animal exhibits! “Being part of this program allows me to be with wildlife — something I’m fond of — and support animal conservation.” - Senior Emme Bogetich

Camp counselor at Ronald McDonald Summer Camp “I was in charge of the safety of about eight 11- to 12-year-old girls, helping them with camp activities and making sure they were having fun. I was with them 24 hours a day. “My favorite memory was when all the counselors played hide-and-seek with the kids. I hid under a cabin, which was disgusting and dangerous, but I wasn’t found!” - Senior Kaitlyn Canepa

Do you like animals?

Yes

No

Boy Scout “(My troop) helped out with community cleanup once a year. A community brings us large items that they can’t throw away, like furniture or electronics, and eventually, we would unload it into large dumpsters. “In another program, we would take people’s Christmas trees every January, load them in a pickup truck and shred them.” - Senior Garrett Shonkwiler

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