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The Highlander March 2019 Vol X Issue V

Carlmont High School — Belmont, California @scotscoop

Changing the body changes the mind Julia Rhodie In 2017, 229,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on girls between the ages of 13 and 19, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports. Living up to the Western standard of beauty has presented many challenges for modern society. This modern society idealizes a narrow prototype of the perfect woman. Young girls in particular fall victim to societal pressures of being “beautiful.” According to a study conducted by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, 98 percent of girls feel there is an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way based on their environment. Additionally, since plastic surgery can be costly and potentially dangerous, psychological implications are something to consider before proceeding with operations. “When assessing a client who is interested in getting plastic surgery, the first thing I consider is their mental health,” said Emily von Scheven, a licensed m a r riage a n d

family therapist (LMFT). “I think the person’s mental health is really important to keep in mind because you can have someone who has a stable ego [have] plastic surgery and respond in a really positive way. On the other hand, some people who have a very poor sense of self will never be satisfied with the results.” Such an obsession on a perceived flaw could lead to a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical center located in Minnesota. It is believed that there are other reasons for people wanting plastic surgery. “I think there's a generational piece to it, too. I think that if you were to look at certain people's older female relatives, we would find a parallel between the way they addressed their insecurities and the way their children do,” von Scheven said. Toby Chasinov*, said, “When I was much younger, my mother got a nose job because she had what could be considered a ‘Jewish nose’ that she was insecure about. Later in my life, when addressing my insecurities, I partially modeled my decision to get plastic surgery after what I witnessed from my mom during my childhood.” But the generational pattern wasn’t the only reason Chasinov decided to get plastic surgery; she also saw the opportunity as a reward for her years of hard work. “I have been on a fairly restrictive weight loss, diet, and workout regimen for over six years. I got the procedures as a treat to myself that I deserved,” Chasinov said. Plastic surgery can either be a major self-esteem booster or a let-down; it is the patient’s prerogative to learn from the situation. “Everybody has their own insecurities that they are battling with. I think that it is important to embrace these insecurities and love yourself, but I am nobody to judge others’ decisions. It does not affect anybody but the person actually getting the surgery,” Oria Farkash, a senior, said. Adults who should be showing signs of aging are being praised for their artificially-devised vitality. However, teenage girls get attention from their peers for having physical features more mature than their age. As the ASPS reports, “Teens view plastic surgery as a way to fit in and look acceptable to friends and peers. Adults, on the other hand, frequently see plastic surgery as a way to stand out from the crowd.” Among the most popular procedures for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 are rhinoplasties (nose reshaping), otoplasty (surgical correction of protruding ears), breast augmentation, and correction of breast symmetry, according to the ASPS. However, before any work can be done, the plastic surgeon must evaluate several factors. While parental support is required, the teenager’s own desire for plastic surgery must be clearly expressed over a period of time. The teenager must also acknowledge and understand both the benefits and limitations of plastic surgery in order to avoid unrealistic expectations for its results. Lastly, the teenager must be in the position to tolerate

the discomfort and temporary disfigurement of a surgical procedure, the ASPS guidelines say. Furthermore, both von Scheven and the ASPS report that plastic surgery is not recommended for teens who are prone to mood swings, abusing drugs or alcohol, or being treated for clinical depression or other mental illnesses. “I think you need to be well-informed before putting yourself in any kind of potential danger,” Farkash said. “You need to make sure that it is actually something that you want to do.” Although plastic surgery appears to be a surface level change, the impacts on patients go deeper than the skin. “The appropriateness of the patient receiving plastic surgery entirely depends on the patient themself,” von Scheven said. “If somebody is not happy, ultimately, within themselves, they're never g o ing to find what they need.” *name has been c h an g e d for privacy

In This Issue

News Sports Lifestyle Features

Psychology of Change

Muscial Passions Students shape their lives around future careers in music. Page 9

Prom Season As prom season comes into full swing, the promposal competition begins. Page 13

Sojourn to the Past Carlmont's annual Soujourn trip inspires students to take action and make a change. Page 14

Campus Opinion Community Change my Mind

2-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12-14 15-17 18-19 20



Truffle in paradise

March 2019

Climate change is affecting the farming of truffles Ben Balster From the very first few river valley civilizations, human history has been molded around the reality of an ever-shifting Earth and its cycles of growth and devastation. In settlements scattered across the globe, natural disasters have been bollards to the vehicle of human progress has had to dodge around. And while the term “disaster” certainly gives light to the catastrophic proportions of such events, the aftermath of these cataclysms often left behind the means for an agricultural boom. Flooding and volcanic eruptions revitalized the soil, restoring minerals depleted by farming. This fact can be easily inferred in how frequently various ancient religions have a god reigning over both death and agriculture — symbolizing a domain over both life and death, or more aptly put in this case, birth and rebirth. The Egyptian god of death, Osiris, has ties into agriculture and rebirth — a near parallel to the sort of natural cycle of the refreshing floods of the Nile. In Indonesia, before the introduction of Islam and Hinduism, the Javanese Dewi Sri controls the growth of rice and the underworld, fitting for a region active volcanic islands. However, what these civilizations did not account for in their worship are the long-term shifts in climate patterns. While the Earth is obviously no stranger to an altered climate — having seen multiple ice ages, a range of oxygen levels, and a myriad of globe-impacting meteor strikes and volcanic activity, such changes either occur closer to the pace of evolution, thus allowing for the survival of its flora and fauna, or encompass a shorter time span and lead to those defining moments between eras — the five mass extinctions.

While a change to the world’s climate is According to the International Monnot inherently a negative, the rapid pace at etary Fund (IMF), “Evaporation from the which the climate is being altered can lead soil accelerates when temperatures rise to massive biodiversity losses that chain and plants increase transpiration — that is, into a general breakdown of nature’s func- lose more moisture from their leaves. The tion. combined effect is called ‘evapotranspiraFor humans, despite the advances of our tion.’ Because global warming is likely to technology shielding us from any direct increase rainfall, the net impact of higher impact of the rising temperatures, should temperatures on water availability is a race the weather continue to alter at its current between higher evapotranspiration and rate, there is little doubt that humans will higher precipitation. Typically, that race is face some indirect, arguably more severe won by higher evapotranspiration.” consequences than some warmer years. Additionally, variance in the traditionThe most straightforward effects of cli- ally fairly consistent year-round weather mate change on the whole of human civi- patterns — such as predictable flooding, lization can be described through agricul- monsoon weather, etc. — may be offset ture. by an altered climate, overall causing a net While it is plausible to consider global negative for agriculture. warming to actually be a positive for crops, “Continued changes in the frequency what with more sunlight, carbon emissions and intensity of precipitation, heat waves, providing resources for plant growth — a and other extreme events are likely, all phenomenon dubbed carbon fertilization, which will impact agricultural production,” and increased rainfall, the actualaccording to an excerpt from the Soil ity of the changing weather Science Society of America is, in fact, the opposite. (Soils). “Furthermore, Despite the supercompounded climate ficial positives of factors can decrease increased sunplant productivlight and carity, resulting in bon actualprice increases ly do more for many harm than important good as agricultural rising crops.” temperaAlthough tures lead naysayers to more inmight attense evapotribute these ration of waclaims to mere ter as well as a predictive scigreater demand ences, such warnfor moisture from ings cannot be entirely plants. ignored as early signs of Sean Vanderaa

faltering crop biodiversity have already surfaced. Take the case of truffles, for instance, the renown fungi’s price has been on the rise, not due to the typically invisible hand market forces, but rather due to the physical reality of fewer and fewer truffles being harvested. Appraisals of the industry, such as that done by The Atlantic, note the elevated temperatures and decreased rainfall in the already limited areas where truffles can grow in Europe have drastically reduced the number of truffles being found. In a similar article looking at the truffle industry, National Geographic states, “The European truffle harvest, which topped 2,000 annual tons a hundred years ago, is now down to a mere 20 or so, a victim of climate change’s elevated temperatures and decreasing rainfall.” With how much selective breeding has gone into the most widespread modern crops, even if they are more resilient to varied weather than the delicate truffles, their finely tuned optimal growth temperatures are put at risk by the threat of climate change. The resilience of these crops has thus far staved off the early effects of climate change, but should the Earth’s transformations continue at their present rates, there isn’t much reason to believe the agricultural basis for our society will survive through what may be the sixth great mass extinction. The rise of global warming has turned out to be a greater disaster than the volcanos, floods, and other cataclysms faced by our ancestors, pulling off a feat rarely seen in our world; truly uprooting the natural order of the Earth and threatening the foundation civilization was built upon: agriculture.

News relevance degraded by constant updates Ailee Lim

Normalization is a part of human nature. Over the years, humans have normalized watching TV, driving, and other activities that would have been impossible in the past. However, normalization is not always a positive occurrence. Within the last few years, negativity has become normalized by President Trump. “This is one of the most disturbing parts of Trump’s time in office and during his campaign. Trump has normalized xenophobia, bigotry, Islamophobia, transphobia, and white supremacy through his rhetoric,” David Tal-

go, a junior, said. Trump’s many scandals have contributed to a lack of concern for issues facing the country. Scandals concerning Trump are now considered normal. “Hate speech and division of our country has become normalized. I don’t think this country has been this divided in a really long time. This is because he constantly tries to provide his supporters with ammo to hate groups of people. No one is as surprised anymore about what he says,” Ishika Agrawal, a junior, said. It is common to write off issues due to how often they occur. It is normal to not care about problems if they happen continuously.

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However, in recent years, Trump is not held accountable for his controversies since they happen so often. An example of this is how Trump has many sexual misconduct allegations. He has radical viewpoints on sexual misconduct with allegations of rape and harassment, but Americans have gotten used to Trump being sexist. “The scandals about how disrespectful he is to women weren’t given much attention, which is surprising. As a president, you expect him to be respectful and accepting of all people, and he’s proven himself to be the exact opposite,” Agrawal said. He also tweets his controversial opinions. Some people have gotten stuck with reputations because of controversy on Twitter. A common way their image is tarnished is by bringing up old tweets. James Gunn was fired by Disney after his old pedophilic tweets were resurfaced. Roseanne Barr’s show “Roseanne” was canceled by ABC after she posted a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an African American senior adviser to Barack Obama. Kevin Hart stepped down as the host of the Oscars after backlash for ho-

mophobic tweets. However, with Trump, the judgment is far less because he tweets so much about controversial topics that it is considered normal. Trump’s Twitter is constantly filled with controversial tweets that are always being slammed for having either racist, sexist, or similar qualities in them. He called Omarosa Newman a “dog”, said Maxine Waters had an “extremely low IQ”, and called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” all on Twitter. “It’s fine for a president to have that kind of social media, but Trump has misused Twitter as his tool for announcing policy decisions. There’s also the simple issue of the disturbing and insulting statements that happen to be on his Twitter,” Talgo said. Trump’s widespread disapproval sparks satirical shows to make comedic skits featuring him. Political satire has been especially popular in the Trump era. Shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert constantly have new Trump-related content. “I think there’s actually immense power in political satire as a tool to question the government’s wrongdoings,” Talgo said. And Trump’s approval ratings

have always been low. In December, they went to the lowest point they have ever been, at 39 percent according to. Having a president the public doesn’t like is also a new normal. However, people usually focus on hating Trump for his personality rather than his policies. According to the Washington Post, Americans “dislike Trump for being Trump.” “Russia potentially interfered in our election, I don’t know if Trump was in on it. We know they are tampering with it though from social media, but people are so focused on hating Trump that we are turned away from that,” history teacher Jarrod Harrison said. Trump issues have become normalized. The general public dislikes him for his morals and has decided that when Trump gets into scandals, it doesn’t matter anymore. Talgo said, “It is absolutely crucial to hold each downfall of the Trump White House with the weight it deserves. Bypassing certain events plays directly into Trump’s hands, allowing him more freedom to commit atrocities with little to no news coverage.”


March 2019


Measles outbreak threatens world health Sarah Chueng

Seventeen studies conducted in seven countries and three continents involved hundreds of thousands of children. None of which have suggested a link between vaccines and autism. Yet the anti-vaccination movement persists. While the majority of the Bay Area supports vaccinating their children, pockets of the U.S. are facing a resurgence of the measles virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 228 cases of measles since the start of 2019, in states like Washington, Texas, and Oregon. This is likely due to resistance of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, or vaccine hesitancy, which the World Health Organization even identified as one of the top 10 global health threats of 2019. People are afraid that vaccines increase the risk of autism, despite multiple scientific studies disproving any association. The myth started in 1998, when Andrew Wakefield fabricated the results of a study on 12 children to sue MMR vaccine manufacturers. However, investigations invalidated the study and multiple studies since then have failed to replicate Wakefield’s data. However, the internet may be

keeping fears from dissipating. Biology teacher Sara Shayesteh believes many anti-vax proponents are victims of misinformation. “There’s a lot of access to so many websites now. It’s so easy to get onto any webpage and people don’t often do their research and due diligence to figure out if a site is legitimate or based off of real science,” Shayesteh said. Other factors fueling the antivax movement include religious and philosophical beliefs. According to a 2017 study published in PLOS Medicine, 15 “hotspot” cities of unvaccinated kids granted families nonmedical exemptions from vaccines. Brett Guthrie of the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce said this means “that most people can opt out for any reason.” Of course, there are legitimate exemptions. Vaccines can harm immunocompromised people and those undergoing cancer treatment. Additionally, vaccines are potentially dangerous for some who do not even appear to have any pre-existing medical conditions. “The Institute of Medicine has acknowledged […] that doctors cannot accurately predict who is more susceptible to vaccine harm due to genetic, biological, and environmental high risk factors,”

according to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). “Despite vaccine science knowledge gaps, medical contraindications have been narrowed by the CDC and medical trade associations so that no family medical history and almost no personal medical history or health condition qualifies for a medical vaccine exemption.” Despite the difficulty of determining how a recipient’s body will react, the CDC still urges those without obvious threats to get vaccinated. Herd immunity is intended to protect people who are medically unable to receive shots against disease. When a sufficient portion of the nation’s population has built immunity to a disease, there’s a much lower chance it will spread amongst the community. However, the CDC claims herd immunity is only effective when 95 percent of the population is vaccinated. As stated by Diana DeGette, the chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, only 91 percent of Americans are currently vaccinated, and this is a problem. “Outbreaks, like the one we are seeing with measles, remind us of just how interconnected our communities are,” DeGette said. “They remind us of how the decisions of one community can directly affect other communities

across the country.” But some states are still pushing back. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that at least 20 states have proposed bills this year that would expand the list of reasons to exempt from vaccinating, including nonmedical ones, and require doctors to provide more information on the risks of vaccines. The NVIC showed support of these bills in Iowa and Hawaii, and is urging Arizona to support them as well. Arizona state Sen. Paul Boyer even co-sponsored three such bills after he learned that some children were being harmed by vaccines, telling CNN that he felt the state was “not engaging in fully informed consent.” This idea is part of a wider debate. It concerns at what point the government should intervene in citizens’ health decisions, especially to the point of declaring those decisions a public health emergency. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes the measles outbreaks may motivate federal health agencies to intervene in state laws regarding vaccinations. Gottlieb told CNN, “Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they’re creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national im-

plications.” Until vaccination proponents and adversaries can come to an agreement based on both facts and potential individual circumstances, the U.S. population could continue to experience recurring diseases such as measles. Through objective scientific research, perhaps both sides will be able to acknowledge some validity in each other’s rationalizations. DeGette said, “If there was any one topic that would transcend politics or party lines, this should be it.”

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Everything a student needs to know about taxes Nina Heller The last day to file your taxes for 2018 is April 15. Here is everything you need to know. Three important questions should be asked when trying to figure out if you need to pay taxes or not: • Are you considered a dependent by the IRS? • How much income do you have? • What type of income do you have? Almost all high school students are dependents. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about high school students who are dependents. The IRS considers someone to be a dependent if: • They are under 19, or under the age 24 and a full-time student, or permanently disabled at any age; • They live with the person who is financially supporting them for more than 50 percent of the year; and • They don’t provide more than half of their own financial support. There are two types of income: earned and unearned. Earned income is money derived from paid work. Unearned income is money derived from investments.

Do teens need to pay taxes?

If you make less than $12,000 at your job, you do not have to file taxes. If you make more than $12,000, you must file. However, according to Turbotax, if you earned less than $12,000 in 2018 then you may still wish to file your taxes in order to receive the refund of any withheld income taxes. For single taxpayers, the 2018 tax year deduction is $12,000, according to the IRS. In 2017, the amount was $6,350.

What about the taxes my job takes out?

When you first start your job, you fill out a W-4. On the W-4, you put how much you expect to be making for the year, which will tell your employer how much of your paycheck to withhold for the correct amount of federal income tax. At the end of the year, your employer will send you a W-2 form, which tells you how much you made. You will then either receive a refund, which means that too much was deducted from your paycheck, or you will have to pay the correct amount owed.

How do I pay my taxes? Taxes can be paid online using the IRS website (

What happens if I don’t pay taxes or I pay them incorrectly? There are different penalties for filing your taxes and for not paying them, as well as for paying them incorrectly. According to CNBC, the failure to file penalty is is five percent of your unpaid taxes for each month your tax return is late, up to 25 percent. On top of that fee, for filing more than 60 days late, you’ll pay a minimum of $135 or 100 percent of the taxes you owe (whichever is less). If you file your taxes but don’t pay them, the IRS will charge you a failure-to-pay penalty. The penalty is 0.5 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month you don’t pay, up to 25 percent, as well as the interest on the unpaid amount. Failing to file your taxes at all will result in the IRS filing a W-2 for you, and the possibility of missing out on a return.

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Why do I have to pay taxes?

We pay taxes because of federal, state, and local laws enacted. Not only do tax dollars pay the salaries of government workers, they also pay for resources like police and firefighters. The money that gets paid from taxes goes to maintain the roads you drive on, for social security, and to fund schools, to name a few. While you did work for your money, you also need to give some of it back to the government in order to pay for the services you enjoy.

Why does everyone have to pay a different amount? The history of income taxes dates back to the civil war, when Abraham Lincoln signed the nation’s first ever tax on income to aid the war effort. A decade later, that was repealed and in 1894, Congress tried to pass a flat rate federal income tax, which was struck down by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional because it considered this tax to be a direct tax, and direct taxes are not allocated among the states.



March 2019

Students find ways to get PE credit Taya Yakovenko

All the students that want to graduate from Carlmont need to take required subjects, such as math and English. However, there is one required subject that is overlooked: physical education. While most students are required to take PE 1 during their freshman year, which fulfills half of their required credits, it is their responsibility to figure out how to receive remaining half during their time in high school. The state of California requires all students to take two years of physical education, meaning that all students should take PE 1 and PE 2. However, the Sequoia Union High School District modified that requirement, allowing students to have more choice when it comes to their fitness classes. “A while ago a group of parents pushed through the idea that athletics and sports outside of school should count for graduatiation credit,” physical education teacher Irene Oliveira said. “The board approved it but they also made the FitnessGram Pacer Test, a test that all students are required to take, determine whether or not a student would be able to take advantage of that alteration.” In recent years, there has been debate surrounding that specific decision because of an implication that the Pacer Test would determine a student’s ability to

receive credit with outside of class activities. “When they made the Pacer Test count, they put a lot of pressure onto the students,” Oliveira said. “Back in the day, I didn’t even tell the kids what their test result was but now I see hundreds of kids worrying about whether or not they will meet the requirements of the test.” Even though the policy is somewhat controversial, it allows students to have more freedom with their classes and the way they structure their schedules. “I took online PE at Skyline College because it worked out better for my schedule,” Isabella Mattioli, a junior, said. “I had a lot of classes that I wanted to take my junior and senior years so PE simply did not fit into my schedule.” Some concerns arise as students are able to take classes outside of school that might be beneficial for their schedules but hurtful for their learning process. “Some students take classes outside of school because they do not feel like taking the class at Carlmont or they just wanted to take academic classes instead of just taking PE,” physical education teacher David Low said. “The only problem with that is that we can not really track whether or not the student is actually doing the work. We can not guarantee that they are learning what they need to learn because with online classes there is a lot more ac-

countability coming from the student.” After taking PE 1, students have options such as PE Dance, PE Weight Training, or alternative classes, outside of Carlmont. The variety of options that students have when it comes to receiving credits for their second year of physical education creates some conflicting situations for Carlmont teachers and adds on to the debate over the district’s policy. “It would be easier if every student just took PE 1 and PE 2,” Oliveira said. “They would learn everything they are required to learn while still getting their credits and there would be no pressure to pass the pacer test because it would not count for anything.” The students, however, do not necessarily share the same viewpoint, since only having one op-

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tion would restrict their freedom and put certain pressure on them. “There are certain kids that just do not like PE,” Mia Rosas, a junior, said. “They might be ashamed or not feel confident enough to do the exercises along with more athletic kids. That puts a certain amount of pressure on the students.” Although there is debate surrounding all the options that stu-

dents have to fulfill their physical education credits, the policy that has been established allows for the most convenience and flexibility. “I’m glad I have a lot of options, even though I took PE 1 and PE 2,” Nicole Crusick, a junior, said. “I really like how PE 2 was structured because it puts emphasis on the effort that you put in instead of how fast you run.”

The benefits of growing up with sports are changing

Students question the pros and cons of growing up playing sports Andrew Shen

Sports can teach a multitude of essential life skills. They can teach players to stand tall in the face of adversity, hard work, and time management. Though for many children, this is not the case. According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, close to 70 percent of kids in the U.S. stop playing sports by the age of 13. This is partly due to the stress received from their parents and coaches, causing them to lose interest in their sports. “Sports can be highly detrimental to one’s development, especially if the athlete perceives and interprets their sports experience negatively. One of the top reasons why kids quit their sports is because of the pressure [that they get] from their parents,” said Mental Game Coach Dana Magdaleno. There is one main reason why parents put so much pressure on their children, according to Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D., a University of Washington psychology professor. “All parents identify with their children to some extent and thus want them to do well. Unfortunately, in some cases, the de-

gree of identification becomes excessive, and the child becomes an extension of the parent’s ego,” Smoll said. Smoll also explains the dangers of parents becoming too focused on their child’s performances. “When parents over-identify with their child’s sports performance, they begin to define their own self-worth in terms of their son’s or daughter’s successes or failures,” Smoll said. In addition, according to Dr. Marika Lindholm, society’s obsession with sports can provide a false sense of self and superiority to young athletes, where they think that they are above others who are not at their level. “Schools and towns may even afford young athletes privileges and leeway that other students don’t receive. There are too many instances of successful athletes who think they are above the law or the norms of a school,” Lindholm said. However, parents can stop their children from developing this type of mindset. “Parents need to be vigilant for signs that their young athletes lack humility and empathy. It’s up to us to make sure that

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sports don’t bring out the worst in our children,” Lindholm said. Additionally, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, as some athletes become more involved in their sports and begin to train more intensely, there is an increased risk of injury. Some of these injuries can lead to permanent physical and mental trauma. One common injury, a concussion, can cause a decline in cognitive brain function; multiple sustained concussions or concussion-like injuries can lead to “longterm neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.” Kaija Villagrand, a junior and former Carlmont soccer player, had to quit playing soccer due to her concussions. She sustained six concussions in a span of five years. “Going through my concussions was really difficult. I was a completely different person. I couldn’t handle social events because loud noises and bright lights caused me a lot of pain. Also, in general, [the concussions] gave me really bad migraines so having intellectual conversations or any conversation that required deep thinking

was really strenuous” Villagrand said. Sports can also be time-consuming for many serious athletes. “I have really sacrificed a lot of my free time and social life. I love what I’m doing, but the only thing I wish I had more of is some free time and time to travel,” said Amanda Kondo, a junior and UC Berkeley softball commit. Kondo also mentions what she hopes to get out of playing softball and why she is so dedicated to the sport. “For my whole life, I’ve been working really hard at softball, and I can’t really think of a day that I didn’t think about it. I hope that my hard work throughout the years can help with future opportunities,” Kondo said. Athletic Director Patrick Smith, believes sports should truly be about athletic development and sportsmanship and that this is what parents and kids should be focusing on. Smith said, “Athletics can give so much more than just athletic achievement. From sports, kids can learn how to be part of a team, work together, and learn how to bond with people like them.”

March 2019



Kevin Durant: the game-changing decision

Warriors player searches for other opportunities in the NBA Lizzy Hall

The score is tied 89-89. There is only 1:51 left in the final game of the series, winner takes all. Andre Iguodala has a fast break, he’s dribbling towards the basket, avoiding defenders, jumping to release the shot, attempting to break the tie. But something unexpected occurs — the shot is blocked. Lebron James is the culprit. In an instant James has shifted the game’s momentum. Shortly thereafter Mike Breen, lead commentator for ESPN, exclaims over the broadcast, “It’s over, it’s over. Cleveland is a city of champions once again.” The Warriors had lost the 2016 NBA Championship, surrendering their 3-1 lead in the series. Despite their historic 73-9 win season, the greatest regular season record in NBA history, and having the 2015-2016 MVP Stephen Curry, the first unanimous MVP in the league’s history, they had lost the title. However, this loss would prove essential in the creation of a dynasty. It was this loss that would inspire the Warriors to target Kevin Durant, from the Oklahoma City Thunder, during the 2016 free agency. The cap space increased dramatically that year, from $70 million to $94 million, due to the NBA’s new nine-year $24 billion television deal. This gave many teams the salary cap space to sign a major free agent. Durant met with the Thunder, Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, Celtics, and Heat before signing a twoyear contract with the Warriors, just over $54 million, with a player option after the first season. “I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth,” Durant said at the time. Durant came to the Bay Area eager to grow as a player, learn a

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new style of basketball, and win his first NBA Championship. While the Warriors may have lost the 2016 championship, they have benefitted in the long run. Since acquiring Durant the they have won two consecutive rings over James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant has been the Finals MVP both times. The last three seasons have felt like a fantasy for Warriors fans. They have witnessed Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant play spectacular basketball. The all-stars share the ball, support younger players, create little drama, and shut out their opponents. Everything seems perfect and Oracle Arena, or should I say Chase Center, could be the forever home for this iconic quad. However, Durant, the only one of the group to not be drafted by the Warriors, may be on his way out of the Bay. In 2017, Durant signed a $61.5 million two year contract, 2019 player option. Durant could opt

out of his contract this off season and look for new opportunities. It appears that Durant depart ed from the team due to problems that go beyond the court. These include personality conflicts with teammates and a desire to be the star of a team once again. This argument was highlighted by a fight that occurred between Durant and Green in November 2018. On Nov. 12, the Warriors were playing the Clippers without Curry. In the final seconds Green refused to pass the ball to Durant, leading to a turnover and an eventual loss. The incident sparked a fight between the two in the locker room postgame. Green remarked following the incident, “I’m never going to change who I am.” As the emotional heart of the team, and the team’s strongest defender, Green isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He knows when his teammates aren’t reaching their fullest potential and will willingly remind them of it. Green’s intense and competi-

tive nature is what makes him an all-star caliber player, but it is also what makes him controversial. Durant may feel overwhelmed by Green’s presence because Green challenges him as a player. Due to his sensitive nature, Durant has struggled to overcome conflict and maintain his composure with the media as well. Durant has been rumored to be going to the Knicks this offseason. The Knicks have the salary cap for two maximum contracts, so Durant could play alongside Kyrie Irving. Irving, a six time allstar, was a part of the 2016 Cavalier team that beat the Warriors and currently plays for the Boston Celtics. On Feb. 6, Durant was asked about these rumors in a postgame interview. He immediately lost his composure and starting attacking the media. “Y’all come in here every day, ask me about free agency — ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball, that’s all I’m saying,” Durant said.

Durant’s reaction to the speculation regarding his free agency made him seem more suspicious. Why would he have such an exaggerated reaction if the rumors were completely false? His inability to deal with media secruntinty makes his move to New York seem less likely. New York, historically known for having a strong media presence, doesn’t seem like the place for a sensitive and thin skinned athlete. If Durant can’t cope with Draymond’s strong personality how could he deal with the ruthless New York press? As for the argument that Durant is feeling “stuck in Curry’s shadow” it seems possible, but also relatively unlikely. Durant chose to come to the Warriors because he wanted to play with Curry and he wanted to grow as a player. If he had wanted to be a franchise star he could have gone to a non title contender like the Heat. However, Durant chose the opportunity to win and to learn. Also, Durant is averaging 27.4 points and 5.7 assists per game this season, which both exceed his career averages. As a Warrior, his star presence may have diminished but he has grown as a passer and a defender. Curry isn’t restricting Durant or lowering his point averages but is instead allowing him to explore other parts of his game. Durant never blocked shots or had many assists when he was forced to be the number one option on offense. As a whole, Durant came to the Warriors because he wanted to a win a championship and he wanted to play alongside high caliber players. Despite his incidents with Green, and his less-prevalent role on offense, it seems unlikely that he will leave the team this off season. As a Warrior, Durant has become a strong two-way player, a better communicator, and a two time champion. If he wants to continue to improve, he need to remain in Golden State.



March 2019

Women are dominating the rap industry Briana McDonald ScotCenter Editor-In-Cheif

With three Billboard Hot 100 number one songs, over one billion streams across both Apple Music and Spotify, and Time’s number one best album of 2018, this rapper has become one of the newest names in rap culture, as well as one of the most influential. She beat out Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Pusha-T, and Nipsey Hussle for her Grammy Award in 2019. Her accomplishment in this year’s Grammy Awards made Cardi B become the first female solo artist to win the Award for Best Rap Album. The growth of women such as Cardi B seen at the forefront of the rap industry has influenced the culture of rap music along with its audience. “I grew up listening to rap, my mom influenced my music taste at a young age, and as I’ve grown older I’ve explored different types of rap music. I like to listen to female rappers because I feel like they represent how I act,” Jeremiah Latu, a senior, said. Female rappers such as Cardi B, City Girls, Saweetie, Rico Nasty, Cuban Doll, and Young M.A have been put in the spotlight

of the rap scene in recent years, many of whom started on social media, and their presence has only started to grow. “Social media definitely plays a big role in the music industry. It helps people who want to become rappers put themselves out there and become known because they can promote themselves on social media and post their music through SoundCloud,” Nika Furgan, a senior, said. In such a male-dominated industry as the rap scene, female rappers are bringing a new sound to the underrepresented. A sound that is raunchy, glamorous, eye-catching, and outspoken. “I like that they don’t care about what others think of them and that they are working in a male-dominated industry to pur-

sue their careers. What draws me to them is that the majority of them don’t care about how society perceives them,” Ashley Marchi, a senior, said Female rappers are attracting audiences largely due to the new

What defines a movie? Ry Lei Social Media Director

For nearly a century, it seemed as if the Academy had a tight grip on the film industry. Good movies were defined largely by nominations, awards, and proximity to them. Then the internet happened. And, a little later, streaming entered the scene. Perhaps the better word would be “disrupted.” Streaming has changed the film and TV industry on a cellular level. According to Pew Research Center, 61 percent of Americans from age 18 to 29 are streaming instead of having pay-TV and cable subscriptions. Because streaming has made content more accessible and widespread, it seems like consumer reaction matters more. The masses drive site traffic, either by word of mouth or through internet mentions. But streaming platforms are changing more than just the way people get their content. Over the past two years, a debate between some of Hollywood’s most beloved directors and streaming companies has raised the question of what actually qualifies as film — especially when it comes to qualifying for awards and festivals. It seems simple: films are films. Where they come from, who produced them, or where they are released should have little influence on whether or not a film qualifies for the title, but some film festivals, critics, and even some directors say otherwise. “You’re a TV-movie. If it’s a good show, you certainly deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” said Steven Spielberg, in an interview with ITV News. With that in mind, other film lovers tend to agree on a fairly simple principle: a movie is a movie. TV-movie or not. “There are certain conventions that have in a way defined film, but I think what really made a difference earlier on was this

process of designing media for the television screen or for the big screen,” said Erik Migdail, the Classic Films Club adviser. “But nowadays it’s pretty much indistinguishable.” If there was still a distinguishable factor, it seems like it would be something more tangible and obvious like length or size, but it’s not: it’s about theatrical release. Netflix’s original films were put out of the running for the Palme d’Or award from the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018 because they didn’t have much theatrical release. The rule was announced earlier in 2017, but took about a year to take effect. “I think their heart is in the right place. A film is best seen on the big screen, and in the streaming age we need to do as much as we can to keep the movie theater industry alive,” said William Yonts, President of Classic Films Club. “But we shouldn’t delegitimize films because they aren’t released in theaters first.” As the Academy ponders over the legitimacy of films without theatrical release, it’s up to the everyday consumer to figure out how much they listen to the award ceremonies, and how much they listen to the consumers around them. Netflix’s best shot at Oscar glory to date, “Roma” directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is perhaps best example of how the internet and everyday consumers factor into award choices. Which is, to say, not much at all. “‘Green Book” — and four-time Oscar winner “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for that matter — may have been divisive on social media, but the internet doesn’t get a vote,” Variety Award Editor Kristopher Tapley said. While the disagreement between Hollywood and the streaming Titan continues, and while it’s certainly one that is already altering the path of the film industry as we know it, most people are just trying to watch their movies without the noise.

and unseen perspectives they are bringing to rap fans’ attention and allow listeners to relate more. “Experiences women have are completely different from the experiences men have, and women have something new to rap about that men aren’t able to speak on. It’s also good to hear women express what they enjoy separate from a man’s point of view,” Latu Molly Donaldson said. One of the newest upcoming rap duo are the City Girls. They are signed with Quality Control, released their charting first two albums with Period and Girl Code, and contributed to Drake’s number one pop hit “In My Feel-

ings.” The City Girls mirror many recent female artists in the aspect that they make their music for having fun and showcasing their personality as their main goal. “I can see how people may not like female rappers because of the ‘I don’t care’ vibe that they give off. I think that a lot of girls like them because they’re empowering and they give female representation in rap music,” Marchi said. Having representation in the rap industry uplifts the female rap audience and allows girls to connect to new music that is being put out. “I can definitely relate to female rappers more. Female rappers talk about more topics that I experience in my life, even if it’s just doing makeup, having fun, and partying,” Furgan said. Now, the City Girls are the first new female rap act to chart inside the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 since Cardi B in 2017, but probably not the last. Marchi said, “I think it’s really cool that females are becoming more mainstream and seen at the forefront of rap music now. It’s been male-dominated for so long and I’m happy that I get to be in this generation where I see so many women empowering other women through music.”

March 2019



Jewish teens find identity through study abroad Rachel Matatyaou

Less than one percent of students participate in a semester abroad during their high school years. While so few students engage in this opportunity, those who do encounter different forms of education both in and outside the classroom that lead to personal development, changes in perspective, and a cultural experience that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred. The North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) allows for Jewish teenagers to take part in this unique experience. NFTY offers several trips to Israel, the longest being Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Heller High, a semester trip abroad for high school students to explore Israel and the Jewish peoples’ roots. Throughout the semester, students connect with their Jewish identity, do “tikkun olam,” or community service, and grow as Reform Jews. This personal growth develops through a multitude of activities which include hiking Masada, floating in the Dead Sea, praying at the Western Wall, and visiting Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. “Students spend upwards of three days to a week on field trips and cultural excursions, visiting the historical sites they are learning about in their classes. Highlights also include a week in the south of Israel, a ‘Sea to Sea’ hike in the north, and Gadna — an Israeli Army simulation experience,” said Casey Wright, the recruitment and marketing director for Heller High.

Jessica Klein Carlmont sophomore Jessica Klein is one of 76 students currently in Israel, who represent 15 different states, 40 URJ congregations, and 11 URJ camps. Klein felt that her sophomore year was the perfect time to participate in URJ Heller High, as the semester would help her develop as a person and would not impact her academics. “I felt like I needed a change of pace from regular school and to try to see what it would be like to learn so far away from home,” Klein said. Klein has noticed multiple factors that set life in Israel apart from America, with the language, Hebrew, being the most obvious. Israelis also tend to be more direct and move at a faster pace. While she took some time to adjust, Klein continues to immerse herself in that lifestyle.

Sara Raubvogel Woodside sophomore

Sara Raubvogel is also currently enrolled in URJ Heller High. She has attended URJ Camp Newman, a Jewish summer camp, for eight years where the camp and her peers spoke highly of URJ Heller High. In the six weeks she has been on her trip, Raubvogel has grown to prefer her education in Israel to her normal school routine. Beyond an overall enjoyment of her schooling in Israel, Raubvogel feels a deeper and more individual connection with her teachers. “In Israel the class sizes are much smaller, the teachers are much more engaged, and the students are more motivated. These things make classes so much more fun and they go by faster. Also, I’m surrounded by my best friends all day, which makes it all one hundred times better,” Raubvogel said. She begins her day at 8:15 a.m. with a two-hour Hebrew class, followed by three hours of Jewish history. Raubvogel then attends the same classes that she would be taking at home until 7:15 p.m. Once classes are over, she has dinner, a group meeting, and free time to do homework and spend time with friends or roommates. While the program includes many field trips during the school day, the classwork continues to be rigorous and challenging. The nine-hour time difference is another factor that impacts the daily life of the teens in the URJ Heller High program, as it disconnects them from their parents and friends back home. “The time difference is hard at times because I do get homesick, but it has taught me a lot of independence. I’ve learned to work myself through many tough situations that I have relied on family or friends for in the past,” Raubvogel said. For Raubvogel, the initial transition to the time difference and new environment was challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

Sophie Saddik Burlingame sophomore Sophie Saddik recognized that participating in a semester abroad during her high school years was a once in a lifetime experience that she couldn’t pass up. As an active member in URJ Camp Newman and Peninsula Temple Sholom’s (PTS) congregation, Saddik has already immersed herself in Jewish culture, history, and language. Saddik was one of the many women who participated alongside the Women of the Wall, a Reform Jewish Organization, who peacefully exhibit their belief for women’s equality within the Jewish religion.

“The most impactful part for me was when Women of the Wall [took] a torah on their side which is not allowed. What really stuck out to me was the turnout of Orthodox Jews who [came] to protest it. They spat and yelled at us in hopes to discourage women from advocating for equality in the religion,” Saddik said. “Even though my impact on the movement was little to none, it means so much that I can say I participated.” Another experience that impacted Saddik was Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. This holiday recognizes all fallen soldiers and any victims of terrorism. During the day, a siren rings for one minute, signaling everyone to stop what they’re doing and pay their respects. “During Yom Hazikaron, I experienced the immense toll that having everybody in your country go to the army has on a whole nation. Everybody knows somebody who has died because of the army which created one of the saddest environments I have ever been in, but also one of the most unified,” Saddik said. Her experience was a mixture of solemn, joyful, and spiritual moments. Saddik said, “Obviously going anywhere and experiencing a new place is so exciting and incredibly special, but the being able to live in a new place for a semester and understand the culture at such a young age was so incredibly special.

her a new outlook on her life at home. She also believes that her four months abroad helped to prepare her for college. “I had to take on a lot of responsibility while living there, as well as being responsible for my own grades and having roommates,” Saul said. “All of these elements definitely prepared me for life in college and has made me confident for going off to college next year.” Saul not only refers to these four months as a period of growth, but also the most amazing experience of her life.

Students visit a site on a field trip.

Phoebe Saul Carlmont Senior Growing up, Phoebe Saul fell in love with idea of spending a semester abroad during her high school years. She looked forward to immersing herself in the Israeli culture, creating strong friendships while learning to be independent, and especially the week-long trip to Poland. During the excursion to Poland, the teens visit the cities of Krakow, Lublin, and Warsaw, along with the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek concentration camps, and the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto. “One of the most impactful parts of my trip was visiting concentration camps in Poland. Walking around the camps and seeing the furnaces where millions of Jews were murdered was an experience that will stick with me the rest of my life,” Saul said. “Learning about the Holocaust in the places it occurred really opened my eyes to the past and the strength of the Jewish people.” Now a senior, Saul reflects on her experiences and acknowledges that her perspective on the world has changed. Living in and learning about Israeli cultural, religious, and political challenges has given

Trip members ride camels during an excursion.

Trip members climb on a sculpture and bond.

Students swim in the Dead Sea.



March 2019

What’s on the outside matters Clothing and cognition are interwoven Kylie Lin Scotlight Editor-in-Chief

Consider the phrase, “dress to impress.” It is fairly common knowledge that people judge one another based on the way they dress. Formal business outfits make others look more impressive, while sweatpants and hoodies are generally associated with feelings of laziness. However, clothing can affect not only the way other people see a person, but also how that person sees themself. “If someone feels confident and feels good about how they look, then that plays a role in how they think about themselves,” psychology teacher Michelle McKee said. “That’s all cognition. The feeling and the thinking is cognition.” Furthermore, the types of outfits people wear can be linked to shifts in how they behave. A study from the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal discovered that formal clothing is associated with enhanced social distance, and therefore, wearing formal clothing can amplify abstract cognitive processing. Essentially, findings were that the way people dress can influence the way they think. According to McKee, differences in how one thinks about their clothing choice can be linked to the decisions available for the individual to make. People who feel like they can affect the outcome of a situation have what is called an internal locus of control, while people who feel otherwise have an external locus of control. “You have control over what you wear,” McKee said. “There’s an aspect of internal locus of control. But then, internal and external locus of control can be related to optimism and pessimism.” Therefore, people who feel confident about their outfit choices are likely to be more optimistic in general, while dissatisfied individuals may trend on the pessimistic side. In several aspects of society, clothing can

be seen affecting individuals’ thought processes. One stage is that of theaters and musicals. According to Angelica Fields, a parent volunteer in costume design for Ralston Middle School musicals in collaboration with the San Carlos Children’s Theater, getting into a new outfit often helps the children she works with feel in-tune with their characters. “My whole goal is for each actor to embrace their role,” Fields said. “The costume helps them get into character, enjoy their role, and feel like they’re part of the production — and an important part of the production. It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re one of the principle actors or part of the ensemble.” Additionally, a particularly on-point costume often sparks an actor’s confidence. That confidence can lead to a more indepth and enthusiastic performance during shows. “For kids who haven’t done theater before, when they get into their costume, it just becomes awesome and magical,” Fields said. “Even for the kids who have done it often, the costumes add a kind of professional level to the experience.” A similar effect from clothing is also present in the field of athletics. Trade in “costume” for “uniform” and “accessories” for “equipment,” and the rest of the comparison jumps out fairly quickly. Competitive swimmers use different types of swimsuits when either training or racing competitively. There are practice suits, “drag suits,” and technical (tech) suits for competition. “Practice suits are what you wear for practice. There’s no special technology with them or anything,” said Karen Li, a senior on the Carlmont varsity swim team. “Guys wear drag suits, which are suits that have a lot more material so it creates drag in the water. For racing, we wear kneeskins and fastskins, which are suits designed to repel water and help make you more dynamic in the water.” The impact of tech suits on competitive swimming was notably on display during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China when a total of

25 new world records were set. Out of all the swimmers who set those 25 records, only one did not wear the Speedo LZR Racer supersuit, one of the newest and most high-tech suits at the time. And while the Olympians earned their world records through their own hard work and skill, Li notes how the swimming community overall is in agreement that the psychological effects of tech suits cannot be ignored when looking at races and times. “I definitely don’t think that just putting on one suit versus another is going to make you five seconds faster,” Li said. “I think that, overall, all swimmers generally agree that they just feel a lot faster. It’s not an actual, physical thing.” For swimming, the only time when more world records had been set in a single Olympic Games was in 1976, when goggles had been permitted for use. And to be fair, when the example of introducing goggles comes into play, how important clothing and accessories are in cognition becomes more elementary than newfangled tech suits and equipment. Part one of goggles improving performance is that they improve the level of visibility underwater (basically from almost none to near-perfect). Part two is, once again, confidence. Feeling physically prepared to take on a race or task can make the task easier to accomplish. Li said, “The first time that I invested in a kneeskin and put it on, I felt so different. I think that was one of the best races I’ve ever had. It changed my mental state a little bit.” In addition to athletics, the effects of clothing on thoughts and actions can be ones seen in everyday life. Alyssa Nguyen, a senior, enjoys experimenting with different types of outfits. For her, fashion and clothing choice help her feel more confident and at ease. “New clothing is always something I’m confident in,” Nguyen said. “I notice in other people too,

Our confidence is directly affected by our clothing. The more formally we dress, the more confident and competent we feel.

that people always look good in something new. When you see someone wearing something that they don’t normally wear or a color you haven’t seen them in, it’s noticeable most of the time, and that makes me confident when I wear something more new to my usual style.” That confidence, according to Nguyen, actually manifests itself in the way she carries herself throughout the day. Nguyen said, “Sometimes a really good outfit causes me to change my mannerisms a bit. I’ll start making movements that are unnaturally elegant, and my posture straightens a lot because even if the eyes aren’t on me, a good outfit makes you feel like you’re at the center of attention.” These feelings go both ways — either to make a person feel more secure about themselves or make them uncharacteristically nervous. Once people understand that their outfits can shape the way they think and act, they can begin to dress like the person they want to be. Whether the scene is a musical production, an athletic event, or the average school day, it is up to the person in question to understand how what they wear affects how they act.

A study by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that combat fighters wearing red were more likely to win than fighters wearing blue. Wearing red also increased physical performance in tasks like weightlifting.

Nisha Marino (650) 368-6565

1003 Alemeda de las Pulgas Belmont, CA (650) 610-9927


March 2019


Passion for music cues future careers Alena Ruhstaller

Leslie Jin rises to her alarm at 8 a.m. She crams in studying before leaving for school, dreading her day of tests. Jin carries out her school day as regularly as any junior with a schedule packed with Advanced Placement and Honors classes would. After a day filled with exams and assignments, Jin rushes home with one thing on her mind: music. Unlike most students, in addition to two to five hours of homework a day, Jin practices the piano for up to four hours. “I started playing piano at the age of four and started competing at six,” Jin said. “When I was eight, I decided that I wanted to do music as a career.” This early realization made Jin shape her life and her school years to be focused on achieving her goal. “My parents have supported me in challenging myself, especially regarding the competitions and music programs that I apply to. They try to create an equal balance in my life between music and academics,” Jin said. “There is a belief that immigrant parents tend to put a lot of pressure on their kids in terms of college and careers, but my parents follow the goals that I set for myself instead of their goals for me.” Throughout the years, Jin has jumped at every opportunity

Geoff Sheil

Leslie Jin performs at a 2018 Music@Menlo concert. The 2018 program marked her tenth year as a participant. to improve her musical skills by collaborating with others, including participating in Music@Menlo, an annual summer chamber music festival in Atherton. “It has been really nice for me to spend three weeks straight solely on music with people who I enjoy being around” Jin said. “I can develop the most as a musician during this time and learn from the professional artists. It is also very nice to meet people from around the world who have common interests with me.”

Lucas Courtney, a junior in Middle College, also started experimenting with music at a young age. “I started playing the drums when I was five years old and started to get into music production and audio engineering in eighth grade. Music is kind of in me and I’ve been playing for as long as I can remember,” Courtney said. When producing a new song, Courtney starts by developing either the melody or chords. After creating a strong foundation, he

adds bass and layers the chorus on top. “The process takes a lot of work and patience,” Courtney said. “Usually, a song can take me anywhere from three days to multiple months to finish and release. It really depends on my creative flow.” Courtney hopes to follow his father’s footsteps as a professional musician. “My parents always help me look for bands to play in and help me pay for music production software,” Courtney said. “I hope

to major in music in a school in Los Angeles because it opens up a lot of opportunities for music.” Unlike Jin and Courtney, Valentina Baehrle, a junior, doesn’t aspire to pursue a career in music. Baehrle views music and her love for it as an essential part of who she is. After starting piano and violin as a child, Baehrle took up the ukulele and guitar in high school. “I started playing piano when I was seven and violin when I was nine,” Baehrle said. “It was much easier for me to branch out to other instruments, and gives me a broader perspective on how people express themselves.” Baehrle also views music as a source to de-stress and recognizes all of the elements that go into it. “Music is an outlet for me and when I hear a song on the radio, I can hear the notes and progressions and appreciate the complexity and work that went into a song,” Baehrle said. Despite the stereotype around musical careers, Courtney believes that succeeding in the world of music is possible. “I think that anybody could do anything if they just fully believe. There are people who have your dream job and you might wonder ‘I could never do that’ but at the end of the day, they are a person just like you are,” Courtney said. “If you put in the hard work like they did, you can be them one day.”

Generation Z is growing up and becoming relevant Anna Feng

Move over millennials, a new generation is in town. Generation Z is growing up, and this has never been more apparent than in the upcoming 2020 election. For the first time, kids born after the year 2000 are voting in a presidential election. David Talgo, a junior, looks forward to voting in the 2020 election. “I think the 2020 election is a great chance to see how Americans have responded to Trump’s time in the White House,” Talgo said. “Senate and House elections are going to be vital in deciding how our government will function for the next four years, and how effective the President will be. For Carlmont students who will be 18 by the time of the election, it’s a chance to show politicians what our generation cares about.” Although there are multiple interpretations of what age group makes up Gen Z, Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as children born from 1996 to 2012. As the next adult generation, Generation Z will become America’s future. However, their ideals don’t often reflect America’s current political climate. According to Pew, Generation Z is on track to be most diverse and educated generation yet. And while this generation shares many similarities with millennials, Generation Z is more progressive than previous generations. In this study, 59 percent of Generation Z reported that they would advocate for the inclusion of non-binary

genders, compared to roughly 50 percent of millennials. Gen Z is also more likely to push for racial diversity, solutions to climate change, and government intervention, regardless of political party. For Gen Z, many of these ideals stem from the specific issues their generation faces. “Generation Z faces a lot of obstacles relating to an uncertain future; automation and climate change are changing the future of the planet and our country, and the youngest voters will be experiencing these shifts for decades to come,” Talgo said. However, according to Marcie Merriman, an executive director at Ernst & Young LLP, Gen Z and millennials have another differentiating factor other than political opinions: self-awareness. Merriman wrote in a report regarding generational spending, “[Millennials] looked to others, such as the companies they did business with, for solutions, whereas the younger people naturally sought to create their own solutions.” And a new generation, tentatively named Generation Alpha, are beginning to enter the American school system. While experts often disagree on the specific timeframe for each generation, most agree that each generation is shaped by certain phenomena. Gen Z grew up with the war on terror under the shadow of 9/11. Millennials witnessed the exponential growth of the internet. Baby Boomers lived through the anxiety of the Cold War as well as the expansion of television. Roberta Scott, a Baby Boomer, said, “Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of technology. And yet, the people skills

we developed were global and world wide. Today’s students are so screen driven, and students today are not learning people skills or relationship skills for the workplace, which is something that’s really lacking.” As time goes by, older generations, such as Baby Boomers, are beginning to make fewer decisions for America. According to a study by Pew, millennials are set to overtake Boomers as America’s largest voting generation. Tiffany Jay, a millennial, said, “With more voter engagement, there will be more empowerment. Apathy is a danger to politics.” A separate study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that by 2030 millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. Many of the oldest Boomers, such as those around ages 60 to 65, are nearing retirement in the upcoming years. “Retirement for me will mean doing things that I love but not for money,” Scott said. “I hope that other Baby Boomers will also work to better the world for the younger generations because we have really ruined the world in terms of politics and climate change.” Among other things, Baby Boomers are notorious for their conservative stance on climate change, gun control, abortion, and politics. However, the younger generation are determined to change the current worldview America is projecting and hope to change previous generations’ wrongdoings. “Generation Z will have a profound effect on the world,” Talgo said. “We are the world’s future politicians, activists, scientists, doctors, and CEOs.”

Scot Scoop's Broadcast News Team

: ScotCenter News


The Psycholo

Veronica R “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” In the bestseller Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D., this inquiry serves as a vital turning point in the story. At this moment, one of the main characters is deciding whether he will let his future be determined by fate. He resolves that if he weren’t afraid, he would take control of the problem at hand before it takes control of him. Although the story revolves around four mice searching for cheese in a maze, the overarching takeaway is that fear inhibits adaptation. The same is true in real life. When a problem arises, one must be willing to take a risk for the greater good and make the change necessary to combat such a problem. There is no doubt that one of the most prominent problems of today is gun violence. Nearly 40,000 people lost their lives to gun violence in 2017 alone, the highest number recorded in 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, what is particularly concerning is the growing number of suicides by firearm, even locally. According to the San Mateo County coroner’s office, there were nine homicides by firearm in 2018 alone. In comparison, 27 people died of suicide by firearm. Realizing that the problem will only get worse unless something is done to counteract the issue, Danielle Lacampagne, a social worker and political activist, decided to take action and put on a gun buyback. “I wrote to Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and we developed a group called Citizens for a San Mateo County Gun Buyback,” Lacampagne said. “He insisted that if we were to put on a buyback, he’d need the funds raised from our group to give back to participants. So, we were able to raise $140,000 through galvanizing our local city councils and seeking contributions from them.”

Photo of Jacqueline McGuiness

The Citizens for Gun Buyback have successful buyback ing, one in May an 2018. “People were ve have a place to sur that they didn’t wa arms surrendered t handguns, 468 wh guns, and 40 were Lacampagne said. The group plans buyback in 2019 o $75,000 to ensure ceive compensation Ultimately, Lac that if they hadn’t lence, the problem “I wouldn’t be s those guns hadn’t and safely destroyed gotten into the wron body who is feeling possibly use it to Lacampagne said. However, not all change is necessary or death. This past year, th tion of Schools and came to Carlmon overall performanc cal areas of need th investigate further. The three critica were identified revo to improve academ underperforming s preparation of stu ondary life career bilities, and impro mental health. Though the first addressed in WASC tal health is a fairly n “I think the th need is there becau a very prominent to stress of society,” P me said. “There’s ju on students, wheth

ogy of Change


San Mateo County e put on two largely ks since their foundnd one in December

ery appreciative to rrender the firearms ant. Of the 867 firethere were 359 were here rifles and shote assault weapons,”

to host yet another once they can raise each donor will ren for their firearm. campagne believes addressed gun viowould only worsen. surprised if one of t been surrendered d, that it could have ng hands, like someg fragile and would harm themselves,”

l scenarios in which y are matters of life

he Western Associad Colleges (WASC) nt to evaluate their ce and bring up critihat the school should

al areas of need that olved around a need mic achievement for subgroups, improve udents for postsecand adult responsiove overall student

two are commonly C evaluations, mennew area of concern. hird critical area of use mental health is opic, but it’s also the Principal Ralph Craust a lot of pressure her that’s peer pres-

sure, self pressure, parent pressure, or societal pressure and we want to ensure that they have a clear mind to learn and to be ready for the future.” According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the number of individuals ranging from age 12 to 18 with depression-like symptoms has risen 52 percent since 2005. Up until now, Carlmont has tossed around the idea of a new bell schedule, but never committed to anything. Now, it is evident that change must be made to the school’s foundation, not just superficially in order to effectively combat this startling increase. “This time, [Crame] and I didn’t want to just have a conversation to have a conversation because it never goes anywhere. So, we felt the best thing to do was to commit to a pilot and if after we actually try it and feel that it doesn’t work for us, then we can put that conversation to rest,” Instructional Vice Principal Jennifer Cho said. Not all attempts at change are successful, but in order to move forward, Cho recognizes the need to start somewhere. “There’s a lot of things to take into consideration that we can only hypothetically discuss and we can’t really make good decisions unless we try,” Cho said. In the story Who Moved My Cheese?, there are four mice searching for cheese in a maze. When they find it, two of them think instinctively and when there cheese runs out, they don’t hesitate to find more. However, the other two that think like humans are quick to overanalyze the situation and believe that the cheese will come back if they wait for it, that the problem will solve itself. It never does. No one has control over societal change nor problems that arise as a result, so the choice is up to each individual: overcome fear of the unknown to pursue a solution or do nothing and suffer the consequences.

Photography and Page Design by Francesca D’Urzo



March 2019

Internships become more popular than jobs Nihal Karim As summer approaches, students start to think about how they can spend their summer break in a useful way. According to Pew Research, approximately 20 percent of high school students had a job in 2014, a significant decrease from past years. While the percentage of working teens is higher during the summer, the number of students who get summer jobs has decreased in recent years. One of the reasons for this decline is an increase in schoolwork. The percentage of high school students who take summer classes has tripled over the past 20 years. In addition, around 70 percent of 2015 high school graduates were enrolled in college, according to The Atlantic. Since more and more students are attending college, many of them decide to spend their summer vacation preparing for the future through internships, rather than jobs. “Internships can provide you with valuable life experience and better experience in the field you’re working in,” Zach Burgos, a senior, said. “It also looks good

Weekly Calendar MON 18

TUE 19

WED 20

• 8 a.m. 3 p.m. – school

• 8 a.m. 3 p.m. – school

• 8 a.m. 3 p.m. – school

• 5-7 Practice 4-8 p.m. work

• 4-6 Tutoring 4-8 p.m. work

• 5-7 Practice 4-8 p.m. work

on your college applications.” Due to the pressure teens face to get into a college, many use summer break as an opportunity to increase their skills and knowledge in their preferred field. Furthermore, high school students who are interested in fields such as medicine or computer science may find it hard to find jobs due to their lack of experience or training.

THU 21

• 8 a.m. 3 p.m. – school

FRI 22

SAT 23

• 8 a.m. 3 p.m. – school

• 12 4p.m. do homework

• 5-7 Practice 4-8 p.m. work

• 5-8 p.m. hang out with friends 4-8 p.m. work

“Personally, I would rather participate in an internship. I think that, as a teen, it allows you to work in a field that you are interested in,” said Danny Kholodenko, a junior who interned in IT services over the summer. “Overall, I think that internships can provide you with experiences, as well as help you realize what you do and don’t like early on in your life.”

SUN 24

• 12 4p.m. do homework

Nihal Karim

However, while some teens prefer to get a summer internship, others think that having either a summer or long-term job will be more beneficial in the future. “I think that having a job has more of a work environment. It teaches you valuable life lessons and gives you insights about the world, as well as teaching you how to be responsible,” Anna Jedrzejek, a junior, said. “I also think

that since internships usually take place over the summer, you don’t have enough time to make connections with other people.” While some students decide to apply for internships because they want to get experience in a field they are interested in, some find paying jobs that provide experience as well. “I will be working as a Decathlon Sports Counselor over the summer,” Burgos said. “I feel like if you’re someone who likes sports, something like this could be good for you because you get to do what you like and get the experience of working in an organized establishment at the same time.” High school students may choose whether to participate in an internship or apply for a job. The two share similarities and differences that may or may not appeal to certain students. For example, some internships typically don’t pay their interns money. “I think that if you have an internship that pays you money, it’s sort of like having the best of both worlds,” David Bedrosian, a senior, said. “You get to be an intern, but you also get to earn money for yourself.”

Outdoor Ed brings new experiences to students Rachel Hunter

“For the last two years I have been wanting to go to become a counselor at Outdoor Ed but I never had the opportunity because of my scheduling with spring sports,” Cook said. Our memories from childhood will always hold a special place in our hearts. For many, “But considering it’s my senior year and this is a once in a lifetime experience, I decided their favorite childhood memory was of Outdoor Ed. The time when we got to skip a week to do it because of how fun it would be to spend time and develop relationships with the of school to go out in the forest and sing campfire songs under the starry sky. kids.” According to the San Mateo County Office of Education, San Mateo Outdoor EducaBecoming an Outdoor Ed counselor is quite different from when tion is an opportunity for fifth and sixth graders to spend a week at the high school students were younger. Instead of just reliving old YMCA Camp Jones Gulch. These students get to learn about and memories, high schoolers are able to create new memories experience nature while learning social development skills such and bonds with each of the elementary school students. as communication and independence with the help of coun“I remember the night when I brought my students selors. on the night hike,” Tiara Testa, a senior, said. “In the Now there is an opportunity for high schoolers to remiddle of our hike, one of the kids came up to me live their past and be the counselor that they looked up and asked if I could walk with her because she was to as kids. too afraid to walk alone. And so, I did. She had the “High schoolers get to be counselors for Outdoor biggest smile on her face and was glad she wasn’t Ed and help lead a group of elementary schoolers for alone.” the week,” said Greta Foehr, a junior and a member Even though Outdoor Ed has had a huge impact of the ASB Do Something commission. “They make on Testa’s life, it is also just a way for high school sure the kids are always supervised and behaved. They students to take a short break from of their busy Kinsey Cook also lead activities and act as mentors for the elementary school schedules. school kids and work to make their Outdoor Ed experiOutdoor Ed does not allow students to be Senior ence.” stressed over tests and schoolwork, but rather to be Counselors give the fifth and sixth grade students free in nature. someone to admire during the whole week at Outdoor Ed, “To sign up, there is an Outdoor Ed window right outand make their experience more memorable. High school students who previside of the ASB room with all of the directions, or you can go to the ously went to Outdoor Ed, still remember their counselors and how much they Carlmont website under the ASB tab where there should be a section on Outdoor were able to make the trip never be forgotten. Ed and all of the specific instructions are there,” Foehr said. "Since there is an op“The one thing that I remember from Outdoor Ed was when we did the night portunity for high schoolers to sign up for Outdoor Ed, high school students can hike,” Kinsey Cook, a senior, said. “At first I was terrified, but then it was not as experience new relationships with elementary school students while still having scary as I thought and in the end, the counselors made that hike so fun. During a fun time." that week, I looked up to my counselors since they made the trip more exciting “I would definitely encourage other people to become Outdoor Ed counseland memorable.” ors because it was a great opportunity for me to take me back considering the Because of Cook’s experience at Outdoor Ed, she has decided to become a last time I went was more than five years ago,” Testa said. “I made many new counselor to influence and share her own experiences to the elementary stufriendships and memories along this trip that I will never forget." dents.

“I decided to become a counselor because of how fun it would be to spend time and develop relationships with the kids.”

March 2019

Samantha Chu Rejection is already bad enough, but rejection after having spent $300 is even worse. Every year, around the end of March, promposal videos go viral. Promposals first started in the early 2000s, and since then, they have become increasingly popular. “Promposals are popular because they’re cute and make people happy. They also get people excited to go to prom because it’s the first step to prepare for prom,” Seema Wadhwa, a senior, said. At Carlmont, ASB puts on a competition for the cutest promposal. The competition takes place in a Facebook group, where those who want to participate post a video of their promposal. The first place winners get two free tickets to the dance, while the second place winners get a free Lifetouch photo package. However, very few people prompose just for the sake of winning the competition. In fact, many do it to show the other person that they care. “I think that promposals are a way for people to show that they love them and how creative they are, and that is something that I think appeals to a lot of people,” Brian Olivares, a junior, said. But the cost of doing a promposal often discourages students from doing them. According to the University of Illinois, the average cost of a promposal in the U.S. is around $319. This money pays for all of the components that go into the promposal. For instance, one boy bought six pairs of Lululemon pants to prompose to a girl; just one pair costs at least $90. Many, however, are not willing to spend as much money as this boy did. “A lot of people think that by spending money, the person will appreciate the time and effort and say yes. But, for me at least, it’s scary to spend so much money when the person can just flat out say no,” Olivares said. In addition to the cost, many students find that promposals also cause a lot of stress. For example, fear of rejection may stop a student from promposing altogether. “If I really liked a girl, I would prompose to her. Otherwise, I wouldn’t prompose because I wouldn’t like to get rejected by a girl I didn’t like very much, and I wouldn’t want to waste all that money I spent for the promposal,” Brendan Boone, a junior, said.


But if someone does decide to do a promposal, the person they ask often feels a significant amount of pressure. “Promposals tend to make the person being asked to feel a little awkward and confused, as they might not know what is going on when it is happening,” Wadhwa said. “If they do end up accepting the proposal, both people are usually pretty happy. If not, again, it’s a little awkward, and the person who is asked may feel bad about turning someone down.” Even when the promposal is accepted, some may worry that their date only said yes because they would feel guilty if they said no. “If I asked a girl to prom, she might feel obligated to go with me because it’s a lot of pressure to say no in front of a lot of people. But I don’t want her to just go with me just because she feels like she has to,” Boone said. Despite any potential downsides of promposing, students still choose to do it, but they often try to find ways to avoid any possible complications. “I just think that the person promposing should double check with the person they are asking and make sure that they actually want to go. A lot of people already do this, but many try to make the promposal a surprise and that’s when all of this pressure is built up,” said Tasneem Khalak, a junior. Most of the general obstacles of promposing scare students into not wanting to prompose. However, there tends to be a general stereotype that makes people automatically decide to not prompose. “Most people think that the guy always has to ask the girl out and that it’s wrong for a girl to prompose to a guy, but that’s just not right,” Olivares said. “I think that the stigma comes from people thinking that the guy has to most everything, especially the romantic stuff.” Even though this stereotype is still prevalent in society, most students at Carlmont disagree with it. “I think that the stigma is odd and that it shouldn’t be relevant. Anybody can ask anybody out,” Rafael Montalvo, a junior, said. With so many conflicting ideas around promposals, many are left wondering whether promposals are worth the time and cost. Olivares said, “Promposals are sweet when they go well, but they also take so much effort and energy, and in the end, it’s all just to get a date for prom.”


Emma Romanowsky

Kaija Villagrand

Emma Romanowsky

Emma Romanowsky

Glammface M AK EUP






March 2019

Isabel Mitchell

Isabel Mitchell

Sojourn Project inspires students to take action

how to take direct action 1. Identify issues within your school or community Make sure to consider all sides of the issue and create a clear goal that you can refer back to 2. Develop your message Identify quotes, actions, or examples related to your issue 3. Raise awareness Identify ways in which your groups can spread a positive message 4. Implementation Make a list of responsibilities, a timeline, and a list of tasks to be completed 5. Reflection Reflect on your direct action plan and what went well and what can be improved upon

What are other schools doing? South San Francisco High School and El Camino High School were inspired by the lessons they learned on Sojourn. Students conducted antibullying and nonviolence workshops to present to their peers and middle schoolers. They also organized voter registration drives and gave presentations about the stories they learned about on Sojourn. Follow Carlmont Journalism on social media!

Maya Benjamin On March 14, 2018, hundreds of Carlmont students gathered in the quad to demand government action against gun control and to mourn the lives of 17 students. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School a month prior had become a call to action. The students who planned the walkout had recently taken a life-altering trip. Sojourn Project, formerly known as Sojourn to the Past has taken thousands of high schoolers on a journey to the South for the past 19 years. From visiting Central Rock High School where the Little Rock Nine became the first to integrate a United States high school, to walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge where Bloody Sunday took place, Sojourn teaches students the stories of the people who were not mentioned in history textbooks. Every year, the seven-day trek culminates in a meeting with all the other participants from student’s home campuses to discuss taking direct action in your community. During the 2018 trip, Carlmont students decided to address the several mass shootings that have occurred over the past several years and called for government action. In conjunction with other student activists, “Sojourners” began planning several activities in addition to the walkout, like voter registration booths and letter writing stations to local representatives and senators. Senior Kelly Moroney has gone on Sojourn for the past two years. “Sojourn has changed my life and shown me the importance of activism and fighting for issues that are bigger than myself,” she said. Moroney and the 30 other students who went on the trip this past February are currently working on several direct action plans. “One group is working on a museum in the upper quad that will feature different booths on different events that happened during the Civil Rights Movement, another group is working on social justice art, and the last group is working on making presentations to present to teachers about various topics,” Adrian Harris, a senior, said. Carlmont is not the only school working on a direct action plan. Sequoia, Homestead, and South San Francisco are also working on social justice initiatives. One of the biggest obstacles for students to attend Sojourn is the cost. Sequoia students recognized this barrier and wanted to create a foundation to make the trip accessible for more students. “Sojourn costs $3,200, and we know a lot of students want to go but can’t afford. Our thought is if we make a presentation about the impact of Sojourn to present it to local businesses they will donate money for students to go on Sojourn,” Cassandra Lea, a junior, said. Many students, including Moroney, consider Sojourn a start to their career path in social justice work and take their work on direct action plans seriously. Marjory said, “I will keep everything I learned on Sojourn with me for the rest of my life and continue the work of social justice that I learned throughout my career.”

@scot.scoop @scotscoop @scotscoop Carlmont Highlander


March 2019


Regardless of action, change will happen Talia Fine

Evolution. Progress. Charles Darwin hesitated to connect such optimism to his theories of survival. He feared calling the development of the human race “evolution” because the word implies positivity progress. Darwin himself did not think humans were always going to be capable of that. Thus reveals the true nature of change: not so much that we need it or build it because we are smart or capable. We as humans are not always smart and/or capable, but change happens anyway. Change is both merely and essentially inevitable. It will come whether or not we aim for it; whether or not we are ready for it or want it, and whether or not it is for a greater good. On one hand, this could yield a society of complacency — a society that waits for the inevitability of change. I would point towards the person who discovered fire and the development of language as examples of such. Both events were relatively accidental, but also monumental changes that were developed over time. Relatively dispassionate change. On another hand, this could create a so-

ciety that always pushes to create its own change. Consider the French revolutions. The people had a few main stages of revolution — most famously 1789-1799 — alongside multiple uprisings over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. They simply could not wait and observe how their situation could change or improve given time for the systems in place. They chose to just break things down and build new things up over and over again, illustrating incredibly active change. These are two extremes, and it does not quite feel as if we are accidentally changing the world or continuously cracking ours in half to start over. Nestled between action and observation, we have a reality that rocks back and forth with the current. In the age of social justice and identity politics, it seems that we have finally understood the everlasting entropy of change. So, we try to affect it by taking action marching in protest, writing letters to representatives, signing petitions, and voting. A pivotal example of taking action for our generation is Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). The Supreme Court case gave same-sex couples the right to marry. Although many of us were young teens, we were able to at least observe the result of decades of people taking action and fight-

ing for the government to change. According to CNN, the first gay rights organization emerged as early as 1924. After years of more organizations and pushing from activists, the first federal legislation to address discrimination based on sexual orientation emerged in 1975. A few marches, some legislation, entertainment developments, and about four Supreme Court cases decriminalizing aspects of LGBTQ+ behavior later, it all came down to a point in our adolescence. It’s doubtful that many of us realized the full effects, but it’s undeniable that the nation felt the change. But when we were a little older we saw the effects of people affecting change by not taking action. In 2017 when the United Kingdom began the withdrawal process from the European Union (#BREXIT), we quickly became privy to the pitfalls of the recall referendum. According to Statista, both males and females over the age of 25 voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. Additionally, BBC stated that only about 40 percent of people younger than 25 compared to almost 80 percent of those older than 65. The young people who neglected to vote greatly affected the outcome of the election by not voting, by not taking action.

These examples of affecting change feel important to remember a year after the height of the March For Our Lives Movement. Each stage — from the meteoric rise, to our local touch, then to the gradual plateau — has influenced the present. The meteoric rise was the 1-2 million people participating in the protest across the United States. The local touch was the branch of the march in Redwood City that some Carlmont students helped plan, and it attracted thousands of people. The gradual plateau is not that there has been little development in any direction, but that the conversation has stalled. There have been various states to take initiative, but questions are not being asked about the effectiveness or progress. Representatives claim the wheels are turning on national initiatives, but the process is not under a microscope. No matter what side you are on, we can learn from the past: change can come even when we don’t act. So this is a cautionary tale. We don’t need change, nor do we create it. Change will come whether we want it or not. Our actions, or lack thereof, merely affect the direction.

Andrea Butler

An explanation of the exploitation of current victimization Joseph Gomez

“Don’t be a victim.” Those were the last words in the first article I wrote. It was a feature about the state of social justice, and I poured as much of my soul into it as a puny-little Media Arts English student possibly could. Of course, it was still an objectively bad article, but don’t you dare tell my sophomore self that! No, he’s much too stubborn and probably won’t believe you. The truth is he has a sort of anti-victim complex at times. He can’t stand being pitied, looked down upon, and coddled like a previously-abused puppy. But he lived and still does live, in today’s cult of victimization, where your value as a human is based solely on the status of your daily oppression, you’re powerless to put an end to your struggles, and the grass is always promised to be greener on your neighbors’ lawns. Welcome to your new forever home, you sweet abused thing, and get comfortable. You won’t be leaving any time soon. It goes without saying that there are real victims of real oppression, exploitation, and prejudice. I would even go so far as to say that there always will be oppressed peoples, as humans are petty, self-conscious little demiapes willing to kill each other based on such nonsensical discriminants as skin color, gender,

or nipple shape, like in that one episode of "Rick and Morty." The problem is how we react to such inevitabilities; we glorify the oppressed, and despicable individuals are taking advantage of that. A recent example is an actor who infamously played Terry Hall in "The Mighty Ducks," the same character who exasperated, “We can’t even win when we cheat!” I speak of none other than Jussie Smollett. For those who aren’t already aware, Smollett’s acting career took a proverbial baseball bat to the kneecaps when he allegedly decided to pay a couple of his gym buddies to fake a hate crime against him. This “modern-day lynching,” as noted Uncharismatic Wet Napkin and Senator of California Kamala Harris prematurely dubbed it, was quite the ordeal. Smollett began by describing his attackers as the minstrel show equivalents of Trump supporters. As the Chicago Tribune documented his encounter, “Two men walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, declared ‘This is MAGA country,’ hit him, and wrapped a noose around his neck.” Oh, I didn’t explicitly mention that this apparently happened in Chicago. Chicago, the city known for its bright red inhabitants. The epitome of MAGA country. If sarcasm had a font, I would use it

now. Anyway, Smollett went further into his feelings during his interview with ABC News: “I feel like if I had said it was a Muslim or Mexican, or someone Black, the doubters would’ve supported me a lot much more. The fact that we have these fear mongrels, these people that are trying to separate us, and it’s just not okay.” Victimizing yourself so you can preach your alliance with actual victims of bigotry while taking advantage of the spotlight to further your political agenda is rather immoral, yes, but it’s also incredibly stupid. Why would you want to make yourself a victim? The Wall Street Journal claims that it was because he was dissatisfied with his salary. It’s like what the Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having a greater salary due to faking hate crimes,” or something like that. Speaking of the Stoics, the antidote to our oppressed state is through this ancient branch of philosophy. A primary focus of Stoicism is the belief that the obstacles and challenges that test us make us who we are. To bring up the sickly slaveturned-philosopher who walked with a limp after being beaten by his master, Epictetus, yet again: “What would have become of Hercules, do you think, if there

had been no lion, hydra, stag, or boar — and no savage criminals to rid the world of? What would he have done in the absence of such challenges?” Epictetus believed that Hercules would’ve just gone straight back to bed, wasting his potential and relevance, “What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul, without crises or conditions to stir into him action?” Political movements are already sprouting from both sides of the dichotomy. The Progressive Left’s enforcement of calling every minority oppressed has its polar opposite in Conservative Commentator Candace Owen’s rallying for a “Victor Mentality” for African Americans. Granted, it’s always possible for virtue to be found in the Aristotelian mean. Do people deserve to be exploited and treated unjustly? No, nobody really deserves anything. Life is unpredictable in its suckiness. One second you’re petting your cat, the next she attacks you. Will victimization happen regardless? Yes. There is no such thing as a utopia. In a world where the only thing

Andrea Butler

you can control is yourself, your choice is to either avoid your cat entirely out of fear of her claws or take your risks and take the scratches as they come. (Brief sidenote, wouldn’t it be stupid if you pretended to be scratched by your cat, just so you could get some sympathy points from dogpeople?) Nevertheless, I believe the answer is clear. “Don’t be a victim.”



March 2019

Turns out sugar water doesn’t cure cancer Sam Hosmer In 1803, a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann published a dissertation claiming that coffee was the cause of all disease. He then abandoned this hypothesis and went on to invent a school of alternative medicine called homeopathy. Among the core tenets of his new clinical philosophy: that all ailments are caused by “miasms,” which are abstract predispositions to disease. Miasms disrupt a person’s vital force, which as far as I can tell is a sort of metaphysical explanation for life itself, but homeopathic literature is a bit evasive about it. That all might sound a bit precolonial (and I suppose it is, actually), but homeopathy is anything but obscure. Upwards of 6 million people in the U.S. currently use it as a primary or secondary source of treatment, according to the National Center for Integrative Health. That’s 6 million people going to their naturopaths at the first symptoms of the flu — or worse — and 6 million people walking away with a neutral and ineffective vial of sugar. The laws of homeopathy instruct homeopaths to profile their patients in full, which means they must probe the patient’s personal life for not just clinically relevant information, but also other qualities, like your hair color and whether the dulcet tones of a Kenny G. holiday album make you weepy. From these details they can prescribe targeted remedies from “repertories,” which are giant databases (formerly books) of symptoms and their recommended treatments. Creating your first homeopathic remedy: Extract a clinically irrelevant mineral/toxin/herb/spice in an exceedingly low dose. St. Ignatius beans, venom from a bushmaster snake, tree bark, etc. Or capture sunlight or x-rays (“imponderables”) in a lactose solution. Mix water with sugar or alcohol. Place a drop of the substance in the water and tap it against a leather-bound book. Shake vigorously. Congratulations. You have just “succused” your first homeopath-

ic remedy. Now that the treatment has been diluted beyond molecular recognition — there are no chemically traceable amounts left in the solution — it has reached effective potency. The more dilute the remedy, the stronger its remedial effect on the “vital energy,” and the more effective it becomes. The core of homeopathy is basically the somewhat ancient Greek idea that “like cures like.” Substances that cause symptoms also exhibited by a miasm should be used to treat said miasm. Some diseases and malaises are homeopathically treated using something called a “nosode,” which is essentially an excretion caused by the disease, like pus or feces. It would be disgusting were it not diluted unrecognizably and administered in sugar water. Also predicating homeopathy is the completely backwards “law of minimum dose,” which states that doses administered in the smallest quantity have the highest effectiveness. I guess that may have made some sense in an era before germs were discovered. Predictably, no empirical evidence has to date been found to suggest homeopathy is an effective treatment for… anything. It has never outperformed a placebo. In 2010 a bunch of skeptics chugged absurd doses of homeopathic remedies in an attempt to overdose and nothing happened. Why homeopathy exists with such widespread and enduring popularity is a complex and inscrutable issue. Of the 6 million people in the U.S. currently consulting homeopathy, 1 million are children. We must also bear in mind that those being treated by homeopathy are probably consulting it in lieu of traditional medicine, which is also a frightening idea, seeing as homeopathic vaccines are completely inert substances that do not prevent illness. But the homeopathic community seems to be somewhat divided over whether their treatments are pharmacologically active. One website I found makes two gallish claims: that clinical studies have begun to provide “evidence of the efficacy of homeopathic medicines,” but yet that overdosing — that is to say, for example, chugging a bottle of Colocynthis

(a preparation made of squirting cucumber, used to treat diarrhea) — will not cause overdose “given the small amounts of highly diluted active ingredients.” You, dear reader, aren’t stupid — and can recognize that, if a dosage has enough pharmacological activity to alleviate symptoms, but cannot cause adverse effects when more of it is administered, it was not potent or effective or anything more than a placebo in the first place. Our understanding of modern medicine is partially conjecture, sure; I don’t know how my Tylenol works and neither do the people who make it, really. But Tylenol and the entire canon of western pharmacology are unique in that they make different effects when administered in high doses. If I chug a bottle of Tylenol, I will screw up my liver. If I chug a bottle of Colocynthis, I’ll probably feel a sugar high, and if I took it to relieve symptoms I probably won’t stop crapping my brains out. The uncharacteristically sassy Wikipedia entry for homeopathy contains the following charming excerpt as of March 14, 2019: “A popular homeopathic treatment for the flu is a 200C dilution of duck liver, marketed under the name Oscillococcinum. As there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire observable universe, a dilution of one molecule in the observable universe would be about 40C. Oscillococcinum would thus require 10320 more universes to simply have one molecule in the final substance. The high dilutions characteristically used are often considered to be the most controversial and implausible aspect of homeopathy.” I’ll remind you that homeopaths are, in large part, licensed physicians; they make salaries on par with actual doctors after having undertaken years of training in order to practice, and are prescribing duck-liver-distillate in order to cure your flu. Seeing as the flu tends to be self-treatable, there isn’t anything inherently criminal about using naturopathic treatment to attempt to get rid of it, even if it isn’t effective. But what about cancer? Malaria? Diseases that are treatable by modern medicine but have ho-

meopathic and alternative treatments which do no good? By this measure, homeopathy isn’t only a scam, but an epidemic — one which does damage by existing at the expense of actual treatment. And that isn’t even to broach the subject of vaccinated diseases. Hypothetically, if an unvaccinated child were to contract smallpox, and the negligent parent were to attempt to treat that child by consulting a naturopath or a homeopath who irresponsibly prescribes (in 2003, the Connecticut Homeopathic Examining Board decided that, among other things, those with smallpox should be treated with Smallpox Nosodes, which contain according to the label such miracle cures as starch, sugar, water, lactose…) something even dumber like Variolinum, that child would be a danger to those around them because they are both untreated and under the delusion of treatment. It’s fun to rag on cultish herbal pseudoscience. But this all is more of a reflection on the tepid and fragile state of Western medicine, and maybe knowledge altogether: that world citizens are raised to be or have otherwise become so jaded to the insensitivities of scientific practice that they turn against science altogether. Perhaps it’s time to better regulate the medical industry — or else ensure the safety of our practices — or even just implement better education as to the proper and improper ways to cure sickness — lest more and more people turn to fake medicine that will only placebo their concerns and leave them untreated. I suppose there’s nothing inherently wrong with consulting homeopathy in addition to proven Western medicine, and if

r tle Bu a dre An

you’ve been sufficiently sold as to the merits of it as a non-science that you want to try to cure your terminal illness with it, then more power to you. Soon you’ll be walking into your homeopath’s office, bleeding from every orifice in your body from some untreated but entirely curable malady contracted on your African safari, and they will jauntily prescribe you sunlight and X-rays in the form of lactose pills. But make no mistake. The homeopath — who likely received traditional medical training and is more than aware of the bunkness of their science — is a criminal. An alchemical bioterrorist who deals in lactose and sugar water. That we let them do their criminal proto-herbalistic scam uninterrupted means it’s about time we consider regulating not just the harmful, but the harmless.

The real culprits of climate change aren’t individuals Jenna Teterin Guest Writer

Climate change is all your fault. At least that’s what the media wants you to believe. Everywhere you look, there’s pressure to “go green.” Get an electric car, switch to solar power, you name it. News of animal species going extinct, or populations dying out, all because you aren’t energy-efficient. However, individual people changing cars would barely scratch the surface; according to The Carbon Majors Report by the CDP, “Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. [...] The scale of historical emissions associated with these fossil fuel producers is large enough to have contributed significantly to climate change.”

Rather than the American, or world, population being at fault for the consequences of climate change on the environment, the real culprits have been staring us in the face this whole time. Every time you pass a Chevron gas station, you’re looking at “the biggest individual company contributor to the rise in global mean surface temperature,” according to a paper published in the Climate Change academic journal in September 2017. It’s the wrongdoing of corporations that have caused the extent of global climate change, but we still think it’s our fault. The problem is, we’ve come to blame each other for the negative effects on the world. "You still don’t drive an electric car? You don’t care about the environment." While some people may not have the luxury of purchasing a new car just for the

environmental benefits, or can’t afford to pay the difference in their electric bill, the stigma continues to rise. Even worse, the media is often the main source of news for people in our generation. Because we are so accustomed to getting all the information we need by one Google search or through one article, we often don’t pause to think about whether what we quickly learned has any merit, or even any sense to it. People who haven’t been introduced to climate change, whether due to a lack of education or an anti-climate change political stance in their community, are therefore instantly bombarded with guilt-inducing accusations of how they’re ruining the world without any background of the issue. They feel the fault on themselves, bearing what companies who really cause the majority of

climate change actually deserve. Yes, we should recycle, use less electricity, and do a myriad of other environmentally-friendly changes. But to truly make an impact on the world and its climate, we have to look past just our own actions. Instead of using the media and internet to throw the blame of the deteriorating environment onto someone else, we should reach out to the enormous audience we have at our fingertips, encouraging them to step up and advocate for the real culprits of climate change to accept the blame and change their ways. As stated by Elliott Negin, member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Yes, we’re all part of the problem. But it’s no cop-out to call out the biggest offenders, especially when they’re standing in the way of viable solutions.”

March 2019


The Editorial Highlander Journalism isn’t dead, Editor-in-Chief but newspapers are Sophie Lynd Managing Editor Kathryn Stratz ScotCenter Editor-in-Chief Briana McDonald Scotlight Editor-in-Chief Kylie Lin Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief Kaylee George Social Media Director Ry Lei Faculty Adviser Justin Raisner

Editors Andrea Butler Molly Donaldson Francesca D’Urzo Nisha Marino Emma Romanowsky Sean Vanderaa Staff Writers Ben Balster Maya Benjamin Samantha Chu Sarah Cheung Samantha Dahlberg Anna Feng Talia Fine Nina Heller Joseph Gomez Lizzy Hall Sam Hanlon Mandy Hitchcock Sam Hosmer Rachel Hunter Nihal Karim Ailee Lim Rachel Matatyaou Charlie McBrian Kimberly Mitchell Julia Rhodie Veronica Roseborough Alena Ruhstaller Andrew Shen Taisiia Yakovenko Victoria Valle Remond The Highlander is a newspaper dedicated to providing Carlmont students, staff, and the community with high-quality news, features, and opinion articles. We want to keep our readers informed on important issues ranging from events at Carlmont to international news, and want to engage them with unique stories and images. The Highlander is a publication completely run by the students of the journalism classes at Carlmont High School. Story ideas are generated by the students and the published content is up to the discretion of the editorial staff. This month’s editorial was written by Sophie Lynd. The editorial cartoon was drawn by Kimberly Mitchell, and Ask Monty was written by Sam Hanlon.

Paper just isn’t for news anymore. Before The Highlander, Carlmont’s newspaper was known as The Scots Express, but it was shutdown after a column was published describing the “sexy” nature of one Express staff member. Carlmont’s principal at the time then deemed “non sufficient supervision” was in place for the journalism club. The following year, it was time for a change within the program. In the fall of 2009, journalism evolved from a club into a class under the leadership of the new adviser, Justin Raisner. The Highlander, as the Carlmont community knows the newspaper today, was piloted by this new adviser and became the flagship publication of the new program. The twelve-page black and white newspaper covered news, opinions, and sports, and featured a center spread campus section called “Scots Scoop” that debriefed events around campus in color. In addition to the printed publication, the journalism staff began posting online blogs about more time-sensitive topics and created a Facebook page to introduce its presence online. As The Highlander continued to establish itself, the program recognized the need for multiple platforms to distribute its news. The Scots Scoop section of the newspaper developed into Carlmont’s official online news medium: Scot Scoop News. Due to the timely nature of the stories being published online, The Highlander’s content grew to 16 pages of more in-depth feature stories covering political, social, and local topics. Meanwhile, as Scot Scoop was establishing itself, the next addition to the journalism program burst onto the scene: Scot Center News. Scot Center became the journalism YouTube channel allowing stories to be told across a third platform; this platform enables viewers to access news in a more three-di-

mensional way through broadcast journalism. As the new online platforms gained traction, The Highlander entered the national scene of high school journalism by becoming a Pacemaker Award finalist in 2012. Since 2012, The Highlander has seen many staffs, editors, and Editors-in-Chief throughout its pages, but the high-level content has remained. That said, in today’s technology-driven society, there are faster, more efficient ways to get information and keep up with current events. Two hundred eighty-character news stories can be accessed in seconds to ensure that readers don’t a miss a beat. Consumers today have a variety of choices at which to access news at their fingertips throughout all hours of the day. It’s no mystery as to why print publications are becoming a thing of the past. In March of 2019 the last edition of The Highlander newspaper was distributed across campus. But paper has not lost its place in journalism. Journalism is a form of storytelling. Some stories require an instant news break, and others provide readers with a fuller understanding of the world around them. Following this final issue, the all-new Highlander Newsmagazine will become the sole print publication of the program. The 32-page, all-color publication will continue to cover in-depth topics, but wrapped in a rich visual package for readers. As the final Editor-in-Chief of The Highlander, I am sad to admit that the world of printed news is changing, and even more sad to see The Highlander go. But change is our only constant and as journalists, we must adapt. This change is the first step of many in the journey of this journalism program and I couldn’t be more excited to turn the page onto the next story.

17 Samantha’s Story

Samantha Dahlberg

“Don’t forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

- Charles de Lint

Living with Celiac Disease There is no “cheat day” when you have Celiac Disease. Ever since 5th grade, I have had this disease which forced me to cut gluten out of my diet. It was a difficult change because wheat is in almost everything we eat. Everyday, at every meal, I have to know what’s in the food that I’m going to eat and how it was prepared. The weirdest thing is that I’m the only one in my family with Celiac. The only connection I have as to how I got Celiac disease, is that on my dad’s side of the family, there is a history of diabetes, which is another autoimmune disease. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “1 in 100 people worldwide have Celiac Disease.” As years went by, birthday parties and sports team celebrations were no longer as fun as they used to be for me. I couldn’t eat any of the foods served at these events. It was embarrassing to have to ask if there was any gluten-free food that I could eat. Most of the time, no one had any idea as to what that meant since it is unusual for a kid to live with this. When I first got diagnosed, my friends did not realize how serious I had to be on my diet at such a young age. So for me, not adhering to a gluten free diet wasn’t a choice or preference, but required. If I did not follow it, I would get really sick. When I went out to dinner, I had to learn to speak up and request that the food I ordered was not cross-contaminated with any gluten. Many restaurants will serve glutenfree food but not guarantee that the gluten-free food was prepared on surfaces without any traces of gluten. According to Dr. Sheila Crowe, a professor in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the department of medicine at the University of Virginia, “One needs to be ever vigilant and read every label on every processed food item purchased. It is difficult when there are look-alike versions of a gluten-containing and a gluten-free product.” I have definitely had some problems with figuring out what is gluten free and what is not. Sometimes, food companies are not completely clear on their packages. Luckily, I found a few other people that I can talk to about this with. Whenever I’d talk to any of them about it, we would share stories that would make each other laugh, instead of dwelling on how we can’t get rid of this disease. I met two people in my sophomore year who were in the same situation as me. One of them had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease when they were really young. My other friend, at the time, told me that they thought they had Celiac because they were dealing with some of the symptoms. Last year, she officially got diagnosed with Celiac Disease. But at the same time, not every person who has Celiac Disease has the same exact symptoms as everyone else. According to Schär, a food company that produces gluten-free products, “The effects of accidentally consuming gluten will vary from person to person and depend upon how much gluten has been eaten, how sensitive you are and also how long you have been on a gluten-free diet.” I have been on this gluten free diet since fifth grade and I have never wanted to eat something with wheat because it is not worth it in the long run. Even though I felt as if no one would understand as to what I was going through, my mom has always been by my side and sometimes, she would eat like me, so I wouldn’t feel lone all of the time. There will always be times where I want to go back to when my stomach was able to process wheat and I could eat whatever I wanted. In order for me to get through this, I always need to keep a positive mindset. I know that I will never grow out of my Celiac Disease, but at least I know how to handle it, and that is better than anything else. Over the years, I have started to figure out how I wanted to live my life with this since it is a part of me that I will always have to live with, but I am not letting it hold me back from being myself.

18 Ask Monty


March 2019

Hey Monty,

Prom is coming up in the next two weeks. I’m stressed out about finding the perfect dress and what I’m going to do with my hair and makeup. On top of all of that, I’ve been single for a while, which has made it really hard for me to be excited for prom as most of my friends have dates. I don’t think anyone has plans on taking me as a date. Seeing all my friends being asked to prom makes me feel so lonely, any tips on how to not feel so down about being single? And do I have to bring a date to prom? Please help!

-Lonely junior

Hey, lonely junior!

Your friend , Monty



1. A book by Franz Kafka

2. Cars that turn into robots

5. The place famous for the changing of the guard

3. The rise and flow of waves

6. What the cashier hands you

4. Egg, larva, caterpillar, chrysalis, _______

7. ______ forward, fall back

6. French for “to change”

9. You would exchange your American dollar for a _______ if traveling to Brazil

8. It swings but stays in place

12. What Darwin studied in the Galapagos

10. Famous plastic surgeon: Dr. _______ 11. The increase in prices

13. Spanish for “to change”

13. Minerals beloved for structure and shine

14. Lenses you use to change your eye color

Answers Across: 1. Metamorphosis 5. Buckingham 6. change 7. spring 9. real 12. evolution 13. cambiar 14. contact Down: 2. Transformers 3. tide 4. butterfly 6. changer 8. pendulum 10. Miami 11. inflation 13. crystal

In short, no, you do not need to bring a date to prom. My advice to you is just to have fun with your friends and not worry about people in relationships or that have dates. I know being single while being surrounded by people that aren’t is not an easy thing to deal with, but you are in no way required to go to prom with a date. A lot of people go to prom by themselves or with friends and it can be just as fun and sometimes even more fun. Honestly, you’re going to feel a lot less pressured into having to be with one person, your date, the whole time. If you go with friends, you’ll have more freedom throughout the night. Last year, I went to prom with a group of people and we had so much fun. I know that there is a lot of stigma around it, but keep in mind that’s all personal opinion and people basing it off personal preference, experience, and the reputation that prom has in the media. Movies and TV shows tend to show a stereotype of that “typical” high school love that is perfect. It gives high schoolers the idea that they need to be in a relationship, which really is not the case. Media creates such a high standard for high schoolers that people feel the pressure to meet that expectation just because they saw it in their favorite TV show or movie. In reality, high school is going to be what you make of it. Yes, great memories will be made, but what you see in movies and TV shows will almost never be true representations of what real life is like. Since this is your first prom, just have fun with the whole experience and don’t let going stag be a problem for you. This is a time to let go of everything going on in life for a little bit and have some fun, and it’s supposed to be one of your best high school memories. But I can relate to what you’re going through, I was worried about the same thing last year and ended up having so much fun. I stopped thinking about it and let myself enjoy the whole process of prom. I know that preparation for prom is kind of crazy, and there can be a lot of tension around finding the perfect dress or tux, having beautifully manicured nails, or getting your hair just right. Focus on how good it feels to get dressed up every once in a while, not the pressure to have every little detail be perfect. In a few decades, you’ll remember the color of your corsage less than the fun memories you made. Don’t let other people’s standards and opinions get in the way of you enjoying yourself. Sometimes, this can be used as a time to focus on you and bettering yourself. This time of year especially can feel lonely since it’s right after Valentine’s Day and then prom, but take some time for yourself and the ones you love the most. Surrounding yourself with love from friends and family is a great way to stop feeling lonely and start focusing on what matters most in your life. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you do what is best for yourself. Have fun at prom!

Jokes Q: Why did the student study in an airplane?

A: They wanted a higher education

! HaH a!

Q: Why are pirates so bad at Q: Why does the cafeteria clock run late?

reciting the alphabet?

A: They always get lost at C

Ha! Ha!

A: It always goes back four seconds

Q: What happened when the wheel was invented?

A: It started a revolution

! Ha! HaH a!

Q: What kind of car can everyone buy?

A: A-Ford

Overheard at Carlmont

Overheard at Carlmont is a section in The Highlander featuring out-of-context quotes students have heard at school. Students can anonymously submit quotes by going to

“My credit card got stolen so I can’t use Venmo.”

“I have a tooth in my tooth.”

“I don’t know anything about Lady Gaga.”

“Sorry I’m late, I just didn’t feel like coming to class.”

“You wanted a dictatorship, you’ve got a dictatorship.”

“Wait, are we still following the law?”

“The word fundamental is sexist. What about fundawomen-tal?”

“He’s like Noah Centineo but his head is bigger.”

“I don’t want to be memed for that.”

“Do you think a boat beat him up?”

“I’ve been working like so hard on my calf muscles.”

“French people be like: ‘Bonjour, let’s get this baguette.’”

“God is a hypebeast.”

“Real isopod hour is gone!”

Like reading the Highlander? Get our future issues in the mail! For more information, head over to or scan the QR code:


March 2019


A final word from...

Class of 2019 Editors

Sophie Lynd Editor-in-Chief

Kathryn Stratz Managing Editor

Sean Vanderaa Editor

English has always been my favorite subject, but I’ve never been too fond of reading lengthy texts. When deciding to take Media Arts English my sophomore year, I had no idea what I was in for, but I thought the class would be a good alternative to a regular English course. After learning how to write and publish my very first articles, I began editing my peers’ feature stories for our online publication, Scot Scoop News. Junior year, I learned to tell stories in a new way as the back page editor for The Highlander. I came intouch with my design abilities in this role while still getting to write and edit. While I didn’t learn too many new writing or editing skills this year, being Editor-in-Chief has been another entirely new experience. Being in this leadership role has taught me so much, and I’ve enjoyed every second. Although I am sad to see the end to the era of The Highlander as a newspaper, I am excited to pass the torch to next years’ leaders as they develop our very first newsmagazine.

The second I walked into D-25 freshman year, Mr. Raisner handed me a newspaper. I had never been interested in writing or news, but looking at the awards and papers lining the walls of his room convinced me otherwise. I specifically remember a few weeks into freshman year him telling me “you’re going to do this aren’t you?" This being journalism. From that moment forward, journalism became my “thing.” I was a junior editor for Scot Scoop sophomore year, a Highlander Editor junior year, and am currently the Highlander Managing Editor. Journalism has helped me figure out who I am and what I believe in through writing. I decided to shift my college and career plans because of this class and community, going from my future job as to be determined to definitely needing to be in communications. I am so excited to continue my journalism path to the University of Nevada, Reno as a pre-journalism major in the Reynolds School of Journalism. Go Scots and go Wolf Pack!

I originally joined MAS English because I thought it would be an easier class than the regular AS English course at Carlmont. Little did I know, choosing this path would lead me to experience a whole new aspect of high school that I never would have had that chance to see had I stuck with a regular English class. Through the journalism program at Carlmont I got the opportunity to explore my curiosity for design and photography and found two hobbies that I am extremely passionate about. Journalism also allowed me to meet many new people that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met and pushed me to expand my role as a student at Carlmont. The experiences that I have had in journalism will stay with me for life and have brightened my memories of high school. I will continue my education at Lewis & Clark College where I will be studying Biology and Environmental Science. I will pursue journalism while there with a focus on photography and video production.

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A treatment team approach for adolescents

For inquiries, contact Catherine Williams (650) 394-5696

Kaylee George Scot Scoop Editor in Chief You may know him as a meme. He’s the guy who sits behind signs saying “Male privilege is a myth. Change my mind.” His name is Steven Crowder. He proceeds to engage in a series of arguments against college students who are willing to challenge him. He has a major following that praises him for “destroying his opponent.” But destroying his opponent doesn’t necessarily mean that he has changed their mind. Think about it. Have you actually walked away from an argument with a different opinion than when you went into it? Did any of those Socratic seminars or school debates actually change your views? Or have you just raised your voice with the same argument? Well, we are going to look at some of the factors that can help you change someone’s mind (and tips for opening yours). Joseph Bazarsky, vice president of Mock Trial, said that in his experience, “there are two ways to approach an argument: the moral, clean way and the sordid, dirty, ‘win-at-all-costs’ way.” Bazarsky remarked that for the former method of arguing, the first thing to keep in mind is understanding. “A vital part of argumentation — that a lot of people miss these days sadly, which contributes to increasing political polarization — is the fullest possible comprehension of what the other side says and thinks,” Bazarsky said. “If you can’t actually digest what your opponent is saying, and seriously consider it as an option, then the argument is dead on arrival.” In a 2005 study done at Dartmouth College, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler observed American attitudes regarding the justifications for the Iraq war. Participants were given a news article that revealed no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) had been found. However, afterward, not only did many participants still believe WMDs were involved, they even became more convinced of their original opinions. The facts were right in front of them. So why were they not convinced? The answer lies in a TedTalk lesson by Hugo Mercier in which he outlined three main elements for crafting a convincing argument. He pointed out that you will more likely change someone’s mind when you are familiar with what they believe, who they trust, and what they value. With this in mind, some debates can’t be settled strictly by logic. When arguments are based on outside information, you must take into account what sources people use and trust. “People must be willing to not just stop short after finding the answer that they are looking for. You have to diversify your sources and be able to take into account the external views of your sources and also the sources’ agenda,” sophomore Alex Wong said. Both Wong and Bazarsky reference to an effect called confirmation bias. In the podcast “Choicology,” Charles Schwab discusses how this psychological phenomenon affects our perceptions by limiting our vision to see only what we want to see. “You’re never going to succeed in changing their mind with your army of straw men, and they’re never going to succeed in changing yours because of your unwillingness to listen,” Bazarsky said. Schwab comments that in an ideal world, we can try to push against this bias by having someone we trust adjudicate the matter. But oftentimes, we try to confront bias ourselves. “Our best bet to combat the confirmation bias in our personal lives might be to say, ‘What evidence would change your mind down the road?’” Schwab said. “There’s no changing your mind right now, but what would change your mind, what could change your mind?” Confirmation bias somewhat contributes to the fact that some arguments are simply unwinnable because some subjects aren’t found solely on objective matters and vary on personal experiences or circumstances. Arguments must appeal to their audience’s values and beliefs in order to have a chance in changing someone’s mind. “I take into account that there are many arguments based on subjective topics and therefore there might not be an answer that is most fit for both of us,” Wong said. In politics, we’ve all seen the heated debates, many of which become a stalemate and leave arguers fired up. Much of this can be attributed to mindsets we have when watching or participating in political arguments. “There’s this concept called the ‘firehose of falsehoods’ that’s commonly used in modern day post-trust politics,” Bazarsky said. “Essentially, it’s the idea that, through a blatant disregard for the truth, you establish that you wield power over reality.” When arguments aren’t even adherent to reality, it becomes near impossible to change someone’s mind because there isn’t a logical foundation. People with this kind of mindset have essentially no intentions of actually changing their views. “It’s essentially a perpetuation of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality: if each side believes that, through this firehose of falsehoods, their leading representatives are above ‘reality’ — and therefore control it,” Bazarsky said. “Then they have no reason to engage in meaningful discussion with those that disagree with them.” Regardless of the argument at hand, people need to consider everyone’s viewpoints, rather than a quick dismissal or going into the argument with a fixed perspective. “I go into arguments with the belief that even though I may be highly educated in the topic, I do not know everything. I need to treat the other person and their views with respect because no matter how polar and against their views I may be, they feel the exact same way towards my mine,” Wong said. So, go out there and change some minds. Maybe you’ll even change your own mind.

Page Design by Emma Romanowsky

Profile for Scot Scoop

The Highlander Volume 10 Issue 5  

Carlmont High School student newspaper

The Highlander Volume 10 Issue 5  

Carlmont High School student newspaper

Profile for scotscoop