Page 1

The Highlander October / November 2017 Vol IX Issue II


Carlmont High School — Belmont, California


Millennials Are Killing EVERYTHING

Younger generations’ large influence leads to negative misconceptions Kaylee George Staff Writer

In this issue, our definition of millennials includes individuals born between the years 1983 and 1998. We have decided to focus on the concept of millennials because of the misconception that our generation is grouped in with them. However, contrary to the negative reputation that millennials are given, we want to explore the truth of these claims. Millennials have their pros and cons, much like each generation that has come before them and the future generations that will come after them.

Photo Illustration by Jordan Hanlon

They have already shunned McDonald’s. They have destroyed the golf industry. They are murdering bar soaps. They are literal cereal-killers. Millennials are killing everything. And there’s nothing we can do about it. They shy away from fast food chains in favor of the all-organic, Instagrammable food crazes, from avocado toast to quinoa. They are forcing industries to be driven out of business. But it’s not that they are killing off industries one by one. They are changing the world and the way we think. Instead of branding them with labels and pinning the blame, society needs to adjust and adapt to their changing environments. Although it may be different from the past, it’s not necessarily bad change, but it seems other generations are reluctant to face the fact that millennials are shaping society. English teacher Tiffany Jay, a millennial herself, said, “Millennials kill everything apparently. I think it’s definitely biased and one-sided. The articles are written clearly not necessarily by millennials but sometimes they are, by those who share that perception.” This idea of millennials being branded as one of the worst generations yet has also been transformed into a matter of mockery. There is an endless number of headlines beginning with the phrase “Millennials Are Killing,” highlighting their murderous lifestyle.

Continued on P. 13

The devastation of fires lingers for years While many Californians have been victimized by the recent fires, one journalism student has decided to share a similar experience. Now that the fires have been contained, thousands of Californians will now face the aftermath of it all.

Zana Lunsford Staff Writer While the smoke begins to clear and the ashes start to settle, Californians still feel the despair and loss caused by the Northern California wildfires. Even though the flames have ended, the reconstruction and aftermath of such a disaster have just started. In late February of 2012, my house was engulfed in flames, leaving my family homeless, with nothing but the clothes on our backs and the cars we were driving in. While my brother ran home and attempted to put out the flames, but our house was engulfed; there was nothing left to do but wait for help. Firetrucks, ambulances, and police cars showed up and saved the pieces of our home that they could. “I think in the initial moment I was just awestruck. I had only two things on my mind; to put out the fire

and to get all of our stuff inside the house out,” said my brother, Jack Lunsford. And then the flames were out. But what we were left with was an array of soaking wet debris, asbestos-infested housing, and nowhere to go. The problems were just starting. Similar to my experience with losing my home to fire, the thousands of people that have lost everything in the Northern California Wildfires are just starting the depressing process. Can they rebuild their home, do they have the funds to do so? How much will insurance cover their loss? Where are they going to sleep tonight? What are the lasting effects? What are the scars that won’t be easy to heal? Relocation and displacement are one of the major issues that victims will have to face in the aftermath of the wildfires. “Our first thought was is everyone okay? Is everyone safe? But then I thought, where are you guys going to go, where are you going to stay? I think almost immediately I told your mom that you could stay with us until you guys got back on your feet,” said our neighbor, Jordan Sher. The traumatizing effects that come with leaving and

losing your home can be detrimental. Much of what people have lost in the fires is all that they’ve known their whole lives, just like my family did. “Hands down the most stressful part of the whole experience was having to pick up and move. I felt like I was losing all that I knew. That was my home, where I grew up, where I felt centered and surrounded by the things I loved. There really was no packing a bag and leaving, I felt like I was just kicked out,” said Lunsford. Along with my family suffering from loss of what we knew, losing our home was starting to take a toll on our group dynamic. Feelings of depression and sorrow blanketed the rental house and left us argumentative and bitter. “[Relocating] changed the family, and brought out the worst in us. It was just a very dull and grim time period because of such major changes and stress,” said Lunsford. The victims of the Northern California fires are facing the stress and anxiety that come with relocation and displacement from their homes, a battle that will last for months and possibly years. Much of what they knew is gone, and at such a large

Continued on P. 13

In This Issue

Isabel Mitchell

Younger generations share political

Carlmont’s New Football Team Varsity football reasserts dominance

P. 6

P. 12

Millennial Fashion Inspiration values through clothing

on the field

Social Media Trends If it’s posted on snapchat, students will eat there

P. 16

Campus News Lifestyle Hand-holding generation Features Sports Opinion Social media trends

2-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12 13-15 16



October/November 2017

WASC assures students’ success

Accreditation process flies under the radar Talia Fine Staff Writer

According to USA Today, grades are the most important factor in a college application. But what if the grades that Carlmont students received didn’t count? Thanks to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Carlmont is recognized as a legitimate, advanced school where students get credit for their grades, sports, independent studies, and other school functions in the eyes of colleges. WASC is an organization that works to accredit schools based on how well they are serving the needs of their student population. “It’s important for Carlmont to be accredited, and the WASC process is a vital part. Without the accreditation, a diploma from Carlmont wouldn’t really mean anything to colleges,” said Felix Chen, a senior and a participant in WASC. WASC accreditation happens at every public high school on the West Coast, and even at private schools in some form. “For example, if you apply to UCLA you submit your transcript and your transcripts reflect classes from any non-accredited school, they don’t necessarily accept those applicants, so we need to be accredited ,” said Denise Steward, an AS English and AVID teacher, as well as a Focus On Learning (FOL) group leader at Carlmont. The accreditation comes from feedback from the schools in a written review after months of reflection by the school’s WASC board and a physical walk-through of the facility over a three-day period in the spring. This process is repeated every few years depending on how good the review and accreditation is. For Carlmont, the accreditation comes every six years because it has been considered a strong school during previous reviews. “It’s like a self-evaluation for the school. Everybody in the school needs to look at what we’re doing, decide how well we’re doing it and how well we’re meeting the needs of the students, the community, the teachers, everybody, and [figure out] what we need to improve,” said Steward. Participants in Carlmont’s WASC community are led by two coordinators: Stephen Lucia and Kelly Redmon, English teachers at Carlmont. Everyone is put into one of five FOL groups and the groups evalu-

WASC Chair, Lucia. The various voices also talk about where Carlmont does not meet the needs of students. “[WASC accreditors] list some of the areas of weakness that were identified not only in the report but also from them walking around and then those areas become our school goals. They get worked into our individual department action plans and they are addressed over the next six years,” said Steward. In the last WASC cycle, the school identified three critical areas of need. “One [of the needs] was to improve the measurable writing component in each department, [also] to close the achievement gap, and to provide more strategic academic intervention for students,” said Instructional Vice Principal Jennifer Cho. Since then, they have implemented various programs and action plans to address these shortcomings. “One of the programs we created was the Carlmont Intervention Team, so that’s a whole program or process that provides support to students that are struggling in a variety of different ways,” said Cho. “We also revamped the entire counseling department. We used to have six counselors and one college and career counselor or advisor, and now we have seven counselors, effectively decreasing the caseload of every counselor and we have hired a college and career adviser, Nina Rasor. We identify areas of need and then implement programs as a result and as our response.” WASC has been around for decades and the school will continue to adapt and meet the future demands of students. “It’s an ongoing cycle because our school is always changing. Teachers come and go, administration come and go, the clientele we serve change, your needs change. What you need in 2017 may not be what they need in 2030 so we need to continue looking at a school to see where we can change and make it better. You’re never done,” said Steward. “It’s somebody else’s turn next time, but I’m glad I did it.” WASC representatives will be coming by this year in April to reevaluate Carlmont, but the average student will just see people wandering in and out of classes. Any student interested in having their voice heard this year in order to get their needs met by the school in this WASC cycle, they can still join a FOL group. All they have to do is ask Lucia and come to the meetings on Wednesday mornings. Rachel Borshchenko “WASC is for the students. We are student-centered,” said Lucia.

ate a school’s assessment, culture, curriculum, instruction, and organization in order to get accredited as a legitimate school. “We have representatives from every single group we can think of, and they all participate in these meetings. They all have their say as we go through very specific criteria and say ‘Did Carlmont meet this need? Yes? No? Why? How?’” said Steward. Participants include teachers, administrators, administrative aides, custodians, faculty, an a.m. parent group, a p.m. parent group, students on sports teams, students in AP classes, students not in AP classes, students in ASB, and more. “Since people who share my idea of school don’t typically get involved in ASB or other leadership positions, I felt the need to step up and represent people like me. It’s an excellent way to provide information and input directly to the administration,” said Sol Mitnik, also a senior and a WASC student representative. Including about 40 student participants, there are over 200 people coming together to provide feedback on the school. “I think in WASC it’s important to get all stakeholders involved. It’s important for everybody to have a voice,” said



October/November 2017

Substitute teachers have varied impact

Carlmont classrooms affected by absences of teachers Sarah Cheung Staff Writer

When teachers have a day off, so do many students. Substitutes act as placeholders on days when teachers are absent, often resulting in classrooms of students missing out on a day or more of learning. Teachers are absent for a variety of reasons, including sick days, emergencies, meetings, and staff collaboration days. Substitutes must be prepared to enter a classroom, take authority in front of students they are unfamiliar with, and potentially have to provide assistance on a subject they do not know well. “Carlmont is lucky to have a pool of committed substitute teachers who are willing to show up with little notice and work with an unknown population,” said Instructional Vice Principal Jennifer Cho. “Substitute teaching requires an adult who is comfortable walking into a situation with a lot of unknown variables.” According to Matthew Goulart, a long-term substitute at Carlmont, applicants for the position are required to have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, complete a background check from the district, and receive training in mandatory reporting. “We go through most of the training that teachers go through but are not required to have gone through a threeyear credential program. Long-term subs take a condensed credential program, which is a 45-minute course online,” said Goulart. While subs are required to supervise classrooms, they are not always as helpful to students as their actual teachers are. Some students find that substitutes can have varying levels of impact depending on what task the teacher has designated them. Kyla Parks, a junior, said, “I don’t think it’s the substitutes that are effective or ineffective—it’s the lesson plans that teachers provide. The teachers don’t usually trust

the subs to actually teach the class new material, so they end up playing a movie or assigning busywork. To me, it seems wasteful of our time and that being present in class is pointless.” While an occasional day off may appear harmless, advanced classes that progress at an accelerated pace in order to be prepared for AP tests can be set back by teachers’ absences or substitutes who are not sufficiently knowledgeable on the subject. “I think that in high school, especially in AP classes, it’s helpful to have a sub who has knowledge in the subject. That way, we aren’t missing a day of learning that could have prepared us for the AP test,” said Parks. However, some teachers argue that they have no choice but to provide an easy lesson plan. History teacher David Gomez said, “You usually have to plan something that’s straightforward, like a film or quiet work that the students can do themselves. I would not want to leave a lecture for the sub to cover because it’s not realistic to expect that they will be able to actually teach it correctly.” Not only do many subs lack specific knowledge on the subject they are filling in for, but they may encounter issues with keeping the class focused. Goulart said, “Of course students don’t take you as seriously because you are not their real teacher, so you have to encourage them to stay on task, sometimes by offering incentives. They can be a little bitter at the fact that they still have to sit there and work even though they aren’t learning anything new.” However, in some cases substitutes have the ability to help students grow. “A positive impact of subs is that sometimes they can provide a different outlook on a topic, even if they are not experts in the subject of the class. A sub may be able to better explain something to you that the teacher is not able to explain, or share insight on why the subject is important,” said Goulart. It can be unclear how effective substitutes truly are

because different circumstances exist in the classrooms, based on their abilities, tasks, and the students’ cooperation. “I think it largely depends on the substitute teacher and the lesson plans a teacher leaves as to whether that sub has the opportunity to have an impact on students or not. Teachers are responsible for setting up their substitutes with whatever information and materials they may need,” said Cho.

Rachel Borshchenko

Community college becomes a more viable option Maya Benjamin Staff Writer Thirty-five percent of students who began attending a college or university during the fall of 2017 are attending a twoyear college. Tori Miranda, a Carlmont graduate, is one of them. After not getting into her first choice college, UCLA, Miranda decided she did not want to attend a four-year university which would not be the right fit for her, and instead choose an option that several students are taking instead, community college. “After not getting into my top choice when I applied last fall, I decided I didn’t want to settle for a college that I felt wasn’t the right fit for me socially and intellectually,” said Miranda. College of San Mateo (CSM), located right next to Highway 92 is one of two local community colleges that are sometimes an overlooked choice among Carlmont graduates. According to the 2016-2017 Carlmont profile, 30 percent of graduating Carlmont seniors during the 2016-2017 school year choose to attend a two year college. Despite community college becom-

ing more of a popular choice among high school seniors, some feel that they’re not being recognized at Carlmont. Every year, Carlmont’s Associated Student Body (ASB) has a “college day.” On the yearly spirit day, ASB also holds an activity where seniors can see their college flag on a map and wear the gear of the college they will be attending that fall. While ASB tries to include everyone with this activity, some students who will be attending community college the next year may feel left out. College freshman at Cañada Community College in Redwood City, Estella Lippi, was one of the several students who felt excluded from the event. Lippi said, “I did feel left out during the college day activity last year because there wasn’t even a flag for me to hang up on the poster for Cañada.” Spirit commissioner Kayla Gustafson, one of the several students who helps plans the event, says ASB strives for inclusivity but understands how some students could feel left out due to the stigma surrounding community college. “I can see how some students who plan to attend community college may feel excluded but I feel that more and more stu-

Brilliant Beauty Bar Sulie Rosales

Lash Extensions & More 328 N. San Mateo Dr Ste. B. San Mateo CA, 94401


(650) 438-6942

dents are deciding to go to community college, so hopefully the stigma surrounding community college will change,” said Gustafson. Lippi said that it is frustrating to constantly try to explain to people why she choose to attend community college: “Sometimes I feel like people look at me differently because I go to community college and I feel the need to explain myself about why I chose that route and how I plan on transferring to a state school in two years.” While some feel frustrated by the negativity surrounding community college it does not stop them from participating in the programs their community college offers. Students like Miranda have the ability to take full advantage of CSM’s varied programs. “I am extremely interested in taking a semester abroad through CSM. It is a great opportunity and way cheaper than if it were to do it through a four-year college,” said Miranda. Students are also choosing to attend community college due to the increase in free time they might receive. Lippi is enjoying the extra time to work to offset college costs in the future.

Take control of your health • Personal coaching by phone, video chat and text

• Mobile app is fun and easy to use

• Expert coaches provide virtual feedback based on your app activity

Get started at kurbo.com

“While in community college, I’ve been working four days a week in the evenings as a nanny. I will be saving part of the money I make so that I don’t have to take out a lot of student loans when I transfer to a four year.” The high costs of paying for a four-year university either in state or out of state continues to be a prolonged issue for students. According to Forbes, the average community college student paid $2,713 in tuition per year, a tenth of the tuition expense paid by students at private four-year universities. Students at community colleges also received, on average, $1700 in Pell Grant financial aid to help with the cost of tuition. The Pell Grant is money the government provides for students who need help to pay for college. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid. Despite the negative connotations that come with attending community college, Lippi says she would not change her decision: “It’s nice going to community college because I am able to spend two more years with my sister and I can hang out with my friends because they all go to community college too.”



October/November 2017

Younger generations: not the best or the worst

Millennials prove to be no different from generations before them Hanalei Pham Staff Writer

Millennials are lazy. Millennials are irresponsible. Millennials are hands down the worst generation. But that’s not the whole story. Millennials are not the worst, nor are they the best. Millennials are just like everyone else. Yes, millennials have a bad reputation, but not all of it is true. Math teacher Andy Ramroth, a millennial, said, “I think each older generation finds ways to criticize younger generations. My grandpa was part of the World War II era ‘Greatest Generation,’ and he remembers being a little kid and his parents and teachers labeling that generation as lazy and entitled.” Still, there is a lot of data that supports the idea that millennials are lagging behind the generations before them. Many people, especially from previous generations, argue that millennials postpone important life decisions. A study done by Goldman Sachs Investment Research shows that millennials are slow to move out of their parents’ home and wait longer to marry and have kids. In the 2010s, the median marriage age is 30 compared to 23 in the 1970s, according to the study. But by far, one of the greatest complaints against millennials is that they are narcissistic and entitled. So much so that millennials have been dubbed “Generation Me.” This complaint is not completely unwarranted. In his article “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation,” Joel Stein, a contributor to TIME magazine, wrote, “Fifty-eight percent more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982. Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40 percent believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.”

Many people place part of the blame tered, or rather young people in general on the parents, who in their effort to boost who are narcissistic. their children’s self-esteem, have ingrained Elspeth Reeve, a writer for the Atlantic, in their children a belief that they are counters Stein’s article: “Basically, it’s not special. that people born after 1980 are narcisIn fact, in his speech to the 2012 gradu- sists, it’s that young people are narcissists, ating class, Wellesley High School teacher and they get over themselves as they get David McCullough reminded the students older. It’s like doing a study of toddlers and that they are not special. The speech has declaring those born since 2010 are Gensince been part of the English curriculum eration Sociopath: Kids These Days Will for Carlmont freshmen and is commonly Pull Your Hair, Pee On Walls, Throw Full referred to by students as the “You Are Not Bowls of Cereal Without Even Thinking of Special” speech. the Consequences.” Edison Bai, a senior, said, “[The speech] The often unrecognized side of milmade me realize just how much we’ve been lennials is that, in some aspects, they are coddled. We’ve always been assured of our doing better than expected. importance and guaranteed success. Yes, Millennials have been more generous we are all different, but that doesn’t make than many people give them credit for. us all special. We need According to the Milto work to achieve.” lennial Impact Report Another common by the research group Millennials are not a belief is that technology Achieve, 84 percent different breed of human of millennials made a and social media have exacerbated millencharitable contribution beings; they have just nials’ self-importance in 2014. been raised with more and that millennials Millennials also take are a generation of screens in front of them, initiative. Oftentimes, instant gratification, and disregard tradiand of course, addictions they screen-obsessed people. tional job pathways and will occur. However, it’s hard conventions in order to to determine whether open opportunities for previous generations themselves. Andy Ramroth wouldn’t have acted like Millennials are Math teacher millennials if they had starting businesses at smartphones when they younger ages than their grew up. counterparts in previ“Previous generations would be just as ous generations, according to the 2016 addicted [to phones] as millennials and Global Entrepreneur Report by banking younger generations. Millennials are not a group BNP Paribas. Millennials start their different breed of human beings; they have first business around age 27 compared to just been raised with more screens in front 35 for Baby Boomers, the generation born of them, and of course, addictions will after World War II. occur. I always find it odd when parents Jane Buckingham, who studies workcomplain about their kids being spoiled place changes, said to TIMES, “I hear and addicted to their phones. Who spoiled story after story of people high up in an them? Who paid for the phone plan?” said organization saying, ‘Well, this person just Ramroth. emailed me and asked me for an hour of In response to the criticism that millen- my time, and for whatever reason, I gave it nials are conceited, many people question to them.’ So the great thing is that [millenwhether it’s millennials who are self-cennials] feel entitled to all of this, so they’ll

SCOTLIGHT magazine

Vo l u m e I I C o m i n g N ov e m b e r 2 0 1 7

be more innovative and more willing to try new things, and they’ll do all this cool stuff.” Despite claims that millennials are job-hoppers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that today’s 22 to 29 year-olds are no more likely than their peers in previous generations to quit their jobs. “The facts and figures in favor of millennials aren’t mind-blowing. Millennials and future generations, including us, are lacking in many areas and doing well in only a few. So while I wouldn’t say we are the worst generation to ever walk the earth, we are far from the best. I think the best descriptor of millennials is a shoulder shrug and a ‘meh,’” said Andrew Luna, a senior. Millennials right now are in their 20s and 30s; they are growing up and entering the workforce. As time passes and Generation Z takes the spotlight, it will become clearer who millennials are, not as children and teens, but as adults in society. Ramroth said, “When we were kids, we were called lazy, spoiled, and self-centered. That’s because we were kids. Now, most of the older part of the millennial generation I know are educated, employed, and moving on with their lives and participating in society and the economy just like every generation before them.” Carlmont students represent the end of the millennials and the beginning of Generation Z. Raised in the “Information Age,” current teens are exposed to all the influences and more than older generations say make millennials a disappointing generation. Bai said, “I think we need to be aware of our faults and willing to address them. It would be so easy for us to be just a narcissistic and entitled as the stereotype portrays us as. But if we continue to do what we are doing right, even if it’s not conventional, and learn and avoid what we’re doing wrong, I think this generation could be pretty great.”



October/November 2017

Equifax hack leaves millions unsafe

Recent ‘hacking’ calls cybersecurity into question Ben Blaster Staff Writer

A recent cyberattack on Equifax left a large portion of the population questioning the security of online data storage and exposed the private information of half of America’s population. The recent hack against the massive credit-information storing company was discovered on July 29. The consequences of the attack are still unfolding, but current estimates suggest that around 145 million people were affected by the security breach. In a public statement, Equifax said, “The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers […] and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information […] were accessed.” Using the compromised Social Security numbers, the hackers are able to impersonate affected individuals and amass debt under the stolen name. Because of the debt, the afflicted individual can appear fiscally irresponsible and develop a reputation of having unsettled debts — bad credit. With bad credit, loans for housing, vehicles, medical care, college tuition, and other major purchases will be given reluctantly and at higher interest rates. While freezing or locking an account prevents it from being accessed, including the 145 million Social Security numbers stolen from Equifax, these services are overwhelmed by the surplus in requests to freeze and lock various accounts. Shortly after the company announced the attack on Sept. 7, Richard F. Smith, Equifax’s Chief Executive, retired. Despite his departure, Smith was the sole representative from Equifax to testify at the congressional hearings in early October, where he pointed to a single individual as the cause for Equifax’s vulnerability. According to the New York Times, Smith said, “An individual did not ensure communication got to the right person to manually patch the application.” Many blame technology for cybersecurity failures, but for most successful hacks, the key is human error and is usually the consequence of negligence or ignorance. The Equifax hack is no different; the technological failure, although enabling the attack, was not the reason for the hackers’ success. Apache Struts, the software toolkit used by Equifax to process consumer complaint messages, discovered a vulnerability in its structure that allowed for unwanted parameters to be passed to the server -- parameters which

include the malicious code and a virus, that gave hackers access to Equifax’s database. When the Apache Software Foundation found the bug in March, an update was released to patch the software. According to the documentation of the patch, the old parameter-checking method did not properly exclude all unwanted code-patterns. However, the March update added two interfaces — acting as a whitelist and a blacklist — to safeguard against the insertion of viral code. Unfortunately, an Equifax employee did not dutifully patch the code, enabling the hack to occur two months after the Apache Struts update was released. “It was a human error kind of thing,” said Luke Adams, a junior. “They found the bug in March and had two months to correct it and there were probably guidelines to avoid this. But even then, the company became relaxed with security at the personal level. It wouldn’t have been hacked if everyone followed security guidelines.” If it weren’t for human error, major cyberattacks would be non-existent, but with the nature of human error being unpredictable, broad preventative measures are limited by individuals’ security efforts. Recently, another exploitable flaw called the Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK) in cybersecurity was found, which targets Wi-Fi communicating processes. Mathy Vanhoef, a researcher in computer security at KU Leuven in Belgium who discovered the flaw, said, “The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected.” With every Wi-Fi network at risk, the WPA2 flaw threatens more secured data than the Apache Struts bug. Sophomore Vernon Luk said, “The vulnerability is in the process of how Wi-Fi communication works; it’s not human error, it’s part of the technology in this case.” However, patches for the bug have already come out from Windows, Google, Intel, and other software companies. Unlike with Equifax, the WPA2 issue was addressed as soon as it was discovered, preventing any major cybersecurity breaches. “Patches are already out for many software systems, so people should download them. Once all the patches are out, it should be safe,” said Luk. Being up to date with security and wary of potential cybersecurity threats has become increasingly necessary as more and more personal information is being stored online. “Vulnerabilities are more common than you think,” said Luk. “All it takes for valuable information to be compromised is one weak link.”

Isabel Mitchell Even if the majority of people can’t directly address any technological flaws themselves, leaving important information open to hackers is still avoidable with basic precautions. “Over 95 percent of hacks are preventable according to IBM. If you leave data vulnerable, there are a lot of hackers that would love to get their hands on that information, but this can be prevented by taking a few simple steps [to secure their information],” said Adams. Updating security patches, avoiding untrustworthy emails and websites, and ensuring that any information given out is going to the right place are all basic methods to avoid human error and defend against cybersecurity hacks. “The reason why hacking is an issue is that the vast majority of Americans using the internet aren’t taking any precautions. People are not taking cybersecurity threats as a serious issue,” said Adams.

Fifty Shades of terrorism in the media Adrian Cunningham Staff Writer

White people are “lone wolves” and minorities are terrorists. This is how many see that the media describe mass murders, for example, the most recent being the Las Vegas shooting. On Sept. 28, Stephen Paddock checked into a suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel with an unimpeded view of the Las Vegas strip and festival area. According to the New York Times, the next four days saw Paddock bring a total of ten suitcases up to his room—each carrying an array of weapons. On Oct. 1, Paddock began his assault on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music concert. Firing his first shots at 10:05 p.m., Paddock injured 527 festival goers and killed 59 over the next 50 minutes. “We believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolftype actor,” said Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff who heads police in Las Vegas immediately after the shooting. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a terrorist is someone who uses terror as a means of coercion. In Paddock’s case, terror was used solely for the goal of harming innocent civilians. However, beyond a dictionary definition lays the truth

on modern day terrorism. After the bombing of the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, many people developed the notion that only Muslims who committed acts of violence were terrorists. Nowadays, whenever attacks such as the ones in the Orlando nightclub or in Nice, France occur, it is easy for people to point to the assumption that the attacker was Muslim and automatically assume terrorism. Stephen Paddock was a white man from the small town of Clinton, Iowa. He did not fit the dictionary mold of a terrorist. However, it is not so much the label of these criminals that angers people, but rather the images that the words terrorist and lone wolf conjure to mind. “I think a terrorist is often used by the media to portray Muslims who commit acts of terror,” said Hunter Hawkes, a junior. “It is not really used to describe any other group.” To some, the lone wolf may seem insensitive to the severity of the shooting. “I feel that someone who is described as a lone wolf for a horrific act is not only sugar-coated, but the action is almost labeled as heroic,” said Earl Kwofie, a senior. Lone wolf or terrorist aside, the events of Oct. 1 were incredibly tragic, especially for Carlmont students who knew people

who had attended the concert. “I have a friend who went down to Las Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday. She decided to go to the Brett Eldredge concert that was happening the night of the attack,” said Jonathan Palmer*. “She has been going to therapy and rehab to try and cope with this traumatic experience. I hope she gets better.” 59 concert goers are dead because of the Las Vegas massacre, and 527 attendees are injured according to Quartz Media. Over 22,000 concertgoers will have to live with this traumatic experience for the rest of their lives. Although Palmer’s friend was not injured, she was still affected by the tragedy. Palmer will have to live knowing that his friend escaped a perilous situation—something no person should ever have to go through. To the people who lived through the horrors of the tragedy, the label assigned to the criminal is insignificant. Lone wolf or terrorist, these people are still murderers who took their anger out on innocent civilians. For some groups, these labels do matter. “I believe that the media is being insensitive by calling a white person a lone wolf because there have been many cases where minorities act in the same manner as these

white murderers, but are immediately called terrorists,” said Zaina Abdelrahman, a junior. “Headlines buzz with that word as soon as the suspect is identified as a nonwhite person.” Abdelrahman is the president of the Muslim Fellowship Club at Carlmont, a club that educates people about Islam as well, as creating a community for Muslim students. “There is no difference between a lone wolf or a terrorist,” said Abdelrahman. “They both blindly kill people. However, the media tends to resort to describing white terrorists as lone wolves because it does not seem so harsh of a word. Minorities are generally described as terrorists.” This notion that calling a white person a lone wolf allows the media to let the attac them off easily is popular, especially among students at Carlmont. “I often see that the crimes the white people commit are often associated with the fact that they are insane and disconnected from the world,” said Kwofie. “This continues to allow groups such as the Ku Klux Klan to exist.”

*Due to the delicacy of this topic the names of students have been changed.



October/November 2017

You are what you wear

The fashion industry caters to millennials Celine Yang Staff Writer

“Girl Power.” With her friends, Emma Vanoncini, a senior, wore this message on her shirt to her senior class photo. “We wanted everyone to feel inclusive; there was even a guy who wore the shirt. I don’t mind expressing my views on feminism since that’s something I stand for, and I didn’t see the shirt as something that was just for girls, but for everybody,” said Vanoncini. “Girl Power” is not the only message that’s graced a shirt. At the 2017 New York Fashion Week runway, there were models walking and wearing shirts stating “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World,” along with statements like “I Am An Immigrant” and “Feminist AF.” Shirts were not the only clothing items with a message: there were hats proclaiming “Make America New York” and pink buttons emblazoned with “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood.” Wearing clothes to express one’s social and political views is a trend distinct to the millennial generation. Pew Research Center defined the millennial personality as “confident, self-expressive, liberal, and open to change.” This personality extends to clothes, as many millennials want to showcase both their style and social stances. According to a study conducted by LIM College professors Robert Conrad and Kenneth Kambara, some millennials see themselves as a “brand of one.” That “brand of one” not only includes

color or style preference, but also a type of activism—expressing statements or beliefs through clothes. This type of personality has led the fashion industry to cater to millennials, whether it means politicizing their clothes, featuring issue-oriented statements, or increasing their brand style to include body and racial diversity. This allows millennials to portray aspects of their personalities onto what they wear, such as shirts branding the word “feminist.” Millennial fashion features stances on trends in addition to activist statements: Forever 21 produced sweatshirts featuring the word “kale.” Many millennials who make statements through their clothes are influenced by what they see on social media. Vanoncini said, “I think that previous generations didn’t feel comfortable expressing all of their views. There were more social norms for everyone, but now people are able to express who they are and how they’re unique. That’s what celebrities are doing too, which makes it more acceptable for everybody to show what they truly are.” Brands pay millennial influencers like fashion YouTubers, Snapchatters, and Instagrammers to feature their products in videos. This has changed what the definition of a “celebrity” is—a fashion icon to a millennial could be a movie star but could also be a popular user on Instagram or Snapchat. Social media affects how many millennials shop, whether it be online, in-store, through an app, or by clicking on an Instagram post link. Miya Okumura, a senior, said, “People tend to think that dressing a certain way is

fashionable or cool, but it depends on the person. It feels like more people tend to care more about what they wear nowadays, but some people don’t dress exactly how they want to due to societal influences such as social media and pressures.” However, social or political statements extend beyond explicit messages. Pop star Rihanna made her stance on diversity in fashion clear when she released the Fenty Beauty makeup line, which exploded in popularity with its 40 foundation shades. When the line was released, their 12 darkest shades sold out in many stores, causing many millennials to tweet, “This is for all makeup brands who think the dark shades won’t sell well.” However, while there’s been increasing calls to advocate diversity—whether body type, race, or gender—some brands don’t subscribe to the diversity perspective. Christine Kang, a senior, said, “Some brands are trying to market toward body diversity, but other brands, like Brandy Melville, still offer one-size-fits-all clothes that don’t fit everyone. Many of the models also tend to fit a certain standard and look.” Despite conflicting brand visions, some labels are making an effort to advocate diversity—a far call from fashion’s previous standards. By marketing to teens and people in their 20s, the fashion industry is offering a history and profile of the millennial generation—in textile format. According to Pew Research Center, millennials are the most diverse generation out of all generations in terms of race. In terms of fashion, they’re showcasing their diversity as well—brands like Supreme cater to hip-hop fans, while countless others reach for past generations’ trends recreated by

Forever 21 and H&M. Millennials are changing the fashion industry and what it means to make a first impression through clothes. Vanoncini said, “In a way, people do want to fit in with a certain standard [like you see on social media], but now, fitting in is so much broader than before. The millennial generation is so much more accepting to different identities. Being a certain race or being LGBT—that wasn’t accepted as much, but now that’s normal, and people accept it as something that people are.”

Kylie Lin

For Enrollment Info:



Imagine yourself behind the wheel in one of our safe and modern vehicles with a patient and professional driving coach at your side, as they create a positive and comfortable learning environment tailored to your learning style. This is the Bay Area Driving Academy experience! We offer: convenient online driver’s education, comprehensive 6-hour teen training program, and highly skilled and educated instructors!

World Class Education &Training Follow us on Facebook and YouTube



October/November 2017

Halloween costumes: tricks or treats?

Cultural appropriation presents problems on Halloween Samantha Dahlberg Staff Writer

“ENTER IF YOU DARE,” says the sign dangling from the door. A mother roams down endless aisles to find the perfect Halloween costume. Her daughter wants to be a princess, but there are so many options. Does it matter which princess she chooses? Depends on who you talk to. And then she has to think, “Are any of them appropriate for the color of her skin? Should she even care if someone will be offended?” Cultural appropriation is when someone dresses up and imitates a racial group that they are not a part of. To go more in-depth, cultural appropriation is officially defined as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, or ideas. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. An example of this was when NBA point guard from the Brooklyn Nets, Jeremy Lin, sparked hatred for getting a new haircut: dreadlocks. He chose to get this hairstyle because he felt it could be considered as another side to his personality. However, he noticed what other people thought and sent an apology out through Instagram after also feuding with his former center, Kenyon Martin. In his post, Lin said, “I think, as minorities, the more we appreciate each other’s cultures, the more we influence mainstream society.” In addition, actress Hilary Duff and professional dancer Julianne Hough both faced similar challenges relating to cultural appropriation because they chose costumes that were associated with a particular race. These conflicts presented issues connecting how people dress to racial tensions. When people begin to think about Hal-

Kylie Lin

loween, their first thoughts are what costumes they are going to wear. It can either result in a positive impact or a negative one. At the same time, it is Halloween, and people are supposed to dress up as someone they are not. This is where problems can start. Julia Rhodie, a junior who is Jewish, believes that dressing up as another culture that’s not one’s own is a mockery. “If a little white girl is dressed up as a Native American, that’s pretty demeaning to Native Americans. It sends the wrong message. Most children dress up as some sort of mythical creature, so when your [kid] is dressed as an ethnic group, it’s saying that Native Americans are some sort of fantastic creature,” said Rhodie. Not all people share these views. For example, sport executive Steve Patterson views this with a positive outlook. “Copying is only a compliment. It’s an

acknowledgment from one human to another that, ‘Hey, this is awesome. You’re doing something right,’” said Patterson. When a child chooses to learn about other ethnicities, they start to notice the light on these different perspectives. Carlmont’s Ethnic Studies teacher, Jaime Garcia, is Hispanic and argues that diversity is a major aspect relating to this debate. “I feel that if a child found a character fascinating enough to want to make it part of a special day like Halloween, it helps build a child’s understanding and acceptance of diversity,” said Garcia. Tanner Anderson, a senior who is African American, disapproves of the messages some people think is the right way to address this topic. “I see it as a bit offensive. Why should my culture or any others be something to parade around in for one night as a joke when I’m that every day?” said Anderson. In addition, student-led protests have

occurred throughout the country where students revolted against people who approve of cultural appropriation. Although it may not seem like a huge deal near Carlmont, there have been more situations proving that this is an issue. The Students Teaching Racism in Society (STARS) at Ohio State University thoroughly stated their attitude towards this heated topic. According to the Huffington Post, “We wanted to highlight these offensive costumes because we’ve all seen them, we just wanted to say, ‘Hey, this is not cool. This is offensive and this shouldn’t be taken lightly.’ It’s offending a culture and people should be aware,” said STARS president Sarah Williams. Mixed opinions are the root cause of this debacle, especially when one racial group is being oppressed by another. However, some students do not think that dressing up as another ethnicity is that big of a deal. Sophomore Danielle Dinulos, who is Asian, perceives cultural appropriation as a way to embrace another culture. “I do not see a big problem. The child is only going to wear the costume for a day anyways, and for example, Mulan portrays a very strong female character to little girls, and it is a good concept to teach children with the meaning behind the character,” said Dinulos. In the end, there are also people who care deeply about accurately representing cultures. On the website Everyday Feminism, Kat Lazo disapproves Dinulos’ statement. “But regardless of whether your costume selection was done with innocent intentions or not, your costume can still perpetuate harmful stereotypes and stigmas, which then welcomes more aggressive racist attitudes,” said Lazo. Cultural appropriation isn’t a problem that many people are aware of. However, it is a concern for other people, and it is something worth thinking about.

Health bloggers’ advice is questionable despite followers Online medical advice is still perceived as reliable by most regardless of credibility Nicole del Cardayre Staff Writer

“Breaking news: excess amounts of sugar can lead to weight loss,” writes one of many anonymous health bloggers. Although this statement has been published on the internet, it is not necessarily a credible source to use as serious medical advice. Any person has the ability to create their own online health blog and spread their own opinionated advice. However, few alleged health bloggers are actually certified physicians or health advisers. A key example of this phenomenon is with the popular health blog The Food Babe. The Food Babe claims to provide tips on how to eat healthy by providing food reports and recipest and has acquired over three million followers all around the world. “I have actually heard of The Food Babe before and have read a couple of her articles. As a blogger, she seems pretty qualified and knows what she is talking about,” said Sarah Brown, a junior. However, the blogger, Vani Hari, does not actually have any credentials and is not officially certified to be distributing any health advice. Still, because of the massive amount of followers Hari has acquired, her advice is actually perceived as credible and has profoundly altered the way many people view their health. “Healthy Living Summit” is a health conference that is held annually but varies in location each year. In August

Julia Meredith, a junior, lives a healthy lifestyle includ2010, the conference was held at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago. Many women congregated together in order to ing daily workouts and organic foods. Meredith stated that she has read health blogs before and will adapt her routine create the “Healthy Living Summit.” The six primary health bloggers that were involved with to tips every now and then. “Personally, I love to follow health advice; I find it inorganizing the event requested that the breakfast being served not include mini croissants, muffins, and fat-free teresting and enlightening. I would never follow a diet or yogurt because of the high carbohydrate complex the foods health plan that would aim to make my body unhealthy,” said Meredith. contained. So where is it safe to find repu“We told them not to serve table health advice on the internet? that stuff,” said Caitlin Boyle of Personally, I love to follow The Society for Integrative OncolHealthy Tipping Point. health advice... I would never ogy states that to assure that health As many of the attendees at the “Healthy Living Summit” conferfollow a diet that would aim advice found online is credible, one should compare the information ence spoke out on the controversy to make my body unhealthy. found in an article with many repuof the bloggers’ health advice, it table sites to make sure the informabecame apparent that the health tion correlates together. bloggers themselves were not livJulia Meredith By checking the credentials of the ing the healthy lifestyles that they author or organization, the informathemselves promoted. Junior tion’s reliability can be further estabThe online bloggers consistentlished. ly post pictures of their healthy According to Jeffrey S. Luther, MD, director of the Fammeals along with their workout routines. But, according to Marie Claire, famous health blog- ily Medicine Residency Program at Long Beach Memorial ger Heather Pare concluded her 10-mile run with a single Medical Center, online information is found to be most credible when derived from popular science and governflourless, low-fat black-bean brownie. Boyle tweeted about her day of full meals combined ment-based organizations. “Medical and scientific organizations present more solwith a 22-mile run. However, participants at the “Healthy Living Summit” conference told Marie Claire about how id evidence and background for a condition or question,” quick Boyle was to dump her half eaten plate of breakfast. said Luther. “I am so hungry!” said Boyle in a tweet after her long day of exercise and light eating.


Brooke Chang Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief Twenty three percent of Americans are dependent and needy. At least that’s what popular culture leads us to believe. According to Pew Research Center, this 23 percent consists of 75.4 million Americans who are millennials and therefore receive the negative reputation that comes with this label. Often, this reputation stems from the views of older generations. “People my age tend to believe stereotypes like that millennials think things should just come to them; they think things like high-level jobs, housing, and money will be given to them by families or other support systems,” said Robert Tsuchiyama, the Carlmont math department chair who has taught many millennials. Despite these generalizations, some millennials claim that they don’t see themselves as needy and have proven to be self-sufficient in their adult lives. “I wouldn’t classify myself, or my friends, as needy. I moved across the country, as did most of my friends, and that takes a certain level of self-reliance and motivation,” said Greg Koberger, who was born in 1988. Researchers found that stereotypes of millennials create a bad reputation for the generation but are not supported by legitimate facts. Clark University’s Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D., researches emerging adulthood and often sees employers mismanage, misunderstand, and discriminate against millennials, according to the American Psychological Association. “There is such a negative view in our society of this age group, that they are lazy or don’t work hard, and yet there is not evidence of it whatsoever,” said Arnett. Many believe that differences between the stereotypical millennial, as seen by other generations, and the real millennial are caused by the differences in the world that millennials grew up in compared to the world that other generations grew up in. “Millennials’ struggles have to do with the circumstances that they deal with now. People who grew up in the past didn’t have to go through the same things, so they don’t see the hard work that millennials put in. For example, when I was in high school, it did not take much to get into the top colleges­—the Berkeleys and the UCLAs. You needed very little as long as you were just a good student; you didn’t need a 4.0 GPA or anything close to that. For millennial students, things might have been given to them more, but they have to earn so much more to get the same thing. To me, it evens out,” said Tsuchiyama. According to some millennials, stereotypes made by older generations are based on circumstances of the past and they unfairly judge the younger generation. “I feel like the odds are much more stacked against us than other generations. For our parents, a decent, unskilled labor job could easily support a spouse and kids. Now, many parents both work full time and barely scrape by. The housing market was ruined by the previous generation, and college is about 20 times more expensive than it was for our parents. Baby boomers are also living and working longer, which means there are fewer jobs for young people entering the job market,” said Koberger. “I don’t think millennials are necessarily needy; the rules have just changed.” Some millennials acknowledge these stereotypes about their generation and have identified possible reasons for the generalization. “I do have some friends that aren’t quite self-sufficient and still rely on their parents. However, I’m not sure if this classifies the whole generation as being dependent on others,” said Faraaz Nishtar, who was born in 1993. However, other millennials agree with Koberger and believe that much of the stereotypical millennial neediness stems from an economic deficit that is the fault of other generations. “Many millennials graduated into the worst recession since the Great Depression and were left with no choice but to get support from their parents or take loans out to go back to school. That probably played a role in being characterized as ‘needy,’” said Nishtar. Whether they’re living at home, borrowing money, or in need of a job, millennials may not be as needy as the stereotypes suggest when circumstances are taken into account. “I think older generations look down on millennials because they take our actions out of context. It’s easy for them to look down on us without realizing how different the situation is from theirs,” said Koberger.


Older generations believe millennials ride on their coattails, but their perception is masked by altered circumstances. Drawn By Hanalei Pham Design By Connor Lin



October/November 2017

Hospital food may not be healthy Financial decisions limits cafeteria options

Many would assume that hospital foods are among the healthiest to consume. Though in most cases, it isn’t much better than airplane food. In many U.S. hospitals, cheesy pizza, burgers, fries, and fried chicken are much easier to access than a basic salad. With many new nutritional studies flooding the public, it is now common knowledge that food and health are strictly related. Sophia Gunning, a senior, said, “You should always fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to feel your best, and when you’re sick, your body is really counting on getting those nutrients in order to get better as soon as possible. Fried foods and lactose can make anyone -- not only those who are sick -- feel a lot worse, because our body works extremely hard to digest them.” In past generations, it was considered a norm for doctors to smoke cigarettes in rooms full of sick patients. Just like cigarettes have been banned from hospitals after groundbreaking research, many health organizations believe that fast food should be similarly prohibited, and that healthy foods should be provided to those who are ill. Studies at University of Minnesota explain health to the general public, simply

contracts with fast-food restaurants enstating, “The food we eat gives our bodies courage patients, employees, and visitors to the ‘information’ and materials they need eat the very foods that hospitalize millions to function properly. If we don’t get the right information, our metabolic processes of Americans every year with complications from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, suffer and our health declines.” and cancer.” In many facilities, there is a lack of comLizzy Hall, a junior who has been inmunication between the doctors and nupatient after a surgery said, “I ate the hostritionists when it comes to what is being put in the patients’ bodies. In fact, some pital food because it was the only thing available, but it hospitals gain all tasted fake and commission off of bland.” contracts with fast You should always fuel your The 2015food restaurants body with the nutrients it needs 2020 Hospital Dithat are on facilto feel your best, and when you’re etary Guidelines ity grounds in exclearly state that change for adver- sick, your body is really counting on tising power that getting those nutrients in order to get a plant-based diet is healthier than is given to them. better as soon as Shilpa Ravella, a heavy meat one, an assistant proyet hospitals still possible. fessor of meditend to serve food cine at Columbia that promotes the Sophia Gunning University, said, diseases they are Senior “[In hospitals,] trying to cure in packaged and the first place. processed foods are favored over fresh Anya Levinson, a Pediatric Hematolproduce. Yet the cost of hospital food is a ogy Oncology Fellow at UCSF, said, “With fraction of the costs hospitals incur when our inpatients, we work closely with our caring for patients, and many of these panutritionists and dietitians to make sure tients have chronic conditions that can be we can get them the nutrition they need. I came from a different hospital, and I have prevented or treated with diet.” The Physicians Committee for the Rebeen very impressed in terms of selection sponsive Medicine conducted a research and nutritional emphasis at UCSF. I think that concluded that: “hospitals that have here, we make hospital food as good as it

Lily Bakour Staff Writer

can get.” However, this is a rarity. According to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, only seven percent of hospitals classify as “healthy” out of the 384 that were assessed in the United States. Similarly, about 90 percent of medical instructors expressed the need for additional nutrition instruction at their institutions. Hall said, “I think [hospitals] are aware of the food they are providing, but mostly think about their budget and the different basic diets the doctors think their patients should follow.” Doctors who are able to prescribe patients with heavy medications often do not fully understand the connection between the specific foods their patients are eating in conjunction with the treatments. Although the current state of nutrition education in many hospitals is lacking, the increase in education is leading to bigger and better things for patients. One at a time, hospitals are slowly realizing the value in nutrition and changing their menus. Although some hospitals are not meeting standards that allow them to be true healing institutions, more advances and movements are being made to ensure patients are being treated to the best of their ability.


October/November 2017


Online shopping changes typical retail Joseph Gomez Staff Writer

Cath Lei

Amazon began as a simple website for ordering books, but it has since expanded into a business juggernaut, selling everything from household appliances to musical instruments, vehicles, and zip ties. According to Business Insider, 43 percent of all online retail sales in the US went through Amazon in 2016. And while Amazon rises, larger businesses begin to fall: Macy’s, Sears, and J.C. Penney, just to name a few. Small businesses have also experienced the increase of the online market. Camille Board, an owner of Joey Rae, a small women’s clothing store on Laurel Street in San Carlos, believes that online shopping will take over the economy. “I don’t love it,” Board said. “Everything will be online and soon a lot of people won’t have jobs.” Sonia Crandall, owner of Sonia’s Apparel, on Laurel Street, doesn’t sell her products online. She believes that online shopping is the way of the future, but it probably won’t impact her personal business. “[Online shopping] doesn’t affect me because it is a specialty store,” said Crandall, “When [customers] come here they want to find something different.” Amazon’s prevalence in the market depends on the willingness of companies to sell their products on the website. Many large companies restrict the amount of their product that Amazon is able to sell online, or deny access entirely. “Amazon doesn’t have a lot of rights to clothing,” said Board. Despite Amazon having a great economic empire, small businesses have an advantage when it comes to custom merchandise of a specific niche. “I’m not really sure if you can find some of the stuff we sell on Amazon,” said Board. Some believe that Amazon lacks the ability to form legitimate relationships with their customers due to its online nature, which isn’t known for its human interaction. When it comes to small, local businesses or simple mom-and-pop stores, the sense of community in comparison to shopping online, gives in-person purchasing an edge to Amazon. “I have a very special relationship with my customers,” said Crandall. “If you give them a good service,

they will definitely come back.” According to Pew Research Center, 64 percent of Americans prefer to shop at stores when the prices are equal. However, the 65 percent of Americans compare the online price and store price, basing their final purchasing decision on the cheapest choice. Board believes that social factors are involved in a person’s choice to shop in an actual store than online. “Some people do like shopping online and some people don’t,” said Board. “Some people like to come in and try on [clothes] rather than have it be a hassle if it doesn’t work out.” Cameron Garcia Brown, a junior, is an active user of Amazon. “I browse for the necessities,” said Garcia Brown. In her case, the necessities include flea shampoo and various other things for her dog. Spencer Andersen, a sophomore, rarely goes on Amazon. “I don’t use [Amazon] that often,” said Andersen. “I mostly use it for video games.” Whether a customer is looking for a specific type of dog shampoo or the newest video game, Amazon probably sells it. The common shopping and browsing of stores can also be replicated in online markets. “Sometimes I just find myself sitting at the computer and not knowing what to do, so I’ll just pull up Amazon,” said Garcia Brown. Amazon’s ease of accessibility is a valid contributor to their growth as a company, as with the relatively cheaper price of the products they sell. “It’s cheaper and costs less,” said Andersen. Not all businesses have the same specialty advantages that many smaller businesses currently have, however. GameStop, a popular gaming store, could be in danger of Amazon’s quick and reliable grasp on the market. “I don’t rely on Amazon or any websites at all,” said Andersen, “I like going outside; it’s more relaxing.” Like all businesses, however, Amazon’s survival is dictated by their customers. And as for its growth, the future remains to be unknown. “Amazon’s growth could be a problem in the future,” said Garcia Brown, “but it’s not right now.” Many believe that the economy will always evolve into new and easier ways of producing, buying, and selling. Only time can decide the fate of Amazon’s online empire, small businesses, and the customer.

Social media platforms spread culture

Pop culture is spreading at faster rates on a global scale Cath Lei Staff Writer

Everyday, billions of people scroll through Instagram for hours; each person is greeted with different content. With the rise of internet and social media usage, anyone can do anything, and people are staying connected through it all. According to Pew Research Center, in 2016, 70 percent of Americans used social media to connect with each other. In 2011, less than 50 percent of Americans used any form of social media. But these numbers extend beyond America; Hootsuite, a social media management platform, reports that nearly half of the world’s population uses social media. “I use social media because it helps me connect with people all over the world,” said Nastasja Stahl, a junior. “I’m much more aware of what’s going on around me, as well as the events involving people in other countries too.” However, not everyone has a positive opinion regarding social media. Many believe that social media takes up too much time. After all, according to Flurry Analytics, 51 percent of the average American’s time is spent on social media applications as of early 2017. “I personally find that certain platforms are a bit frivolous,” said Viviane Lorvan, a junior who doesn’t use social media at all. “You can easily spend your time somewhere else. It’s not a necessity to have social media.” But social media is used for different reasons. Stahl uses it for connections, and others use it for creative purposes, marketing tactics, and so much more. “You can see posts from a protest in Tunisia, a war zone in Syria, a famine in Yemen, a hurricane in Puerto Rico,

an earthquake in Mexico, or a refugee camp in Burma,” said economics teacher Karen Ramroth. “You can witness events as they’re happening.” In 2013, Nielson, a research company, reported that with the rise of social media, there was a rise in different avenues and opportunities for entrepreneurship as well. At the time, Hispanic women, among other women of color, represented 87 percent of the growth in entrepreneurship. “I like that social media can serve as a platform for many creatives,” said Stahl. “Because of that, we get to see more diversity in content.” As an effect of this, pop culture has grown increasingly more diverse, in part because of the diverse users that are now able to support businesses and creators in new ways. “You may become more empathetic to others and consider political or economic ramifications of your own decisions, even if they’re posting pictures of food or a makeup tutorial,” said Ramroth. “Social media may also make you want to find out more; if you like their pictures on Instagram, it may make you curious to find out more about their culture.” Because the internet has made it so easy to share and publicize information, many new brands have emerged; social media has expanded the global market. According to a report on Nielson, brands can exponentially magnify their market for ethnic products by tapping cultural-adjacent consumers who are open to products outside their traditional comfort zones. “I think people are much more willing to buy a product or support an artist if they’ve seen it on social media before,” said Stahl. “There’s a sense of familiarity.”

Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are also beacons for representation and discussion; in 2016,

Pew Research Center reported that black social media users were 50 percent more likely to see posts about racial relations on Twitter and Instagram than white social media users. “As a person of color, I feel like I do participate in more racial discussions, and I also look for more diverse content,” said sophomore Denise Zhou. “Seeing diverse content on social media is a step towards more diverse representation in bigger media outlets.” Because social media users are so diverse and there are so many, they’re able to fully support the causes and creators they want to, which sends a signal to larger companies and outlets. “Whether something is popular or not is closely tied to economics, primarily as an indicator,” said Ramroth. “From an economic theory point of view, pop culture is considered to be one of the “determinants of demand.”

Skylar Weiss



October/November 2017

Carlmont football kicks off legacy for new season Briana McDonald Staff Writer

Carlmont history has been made. This year’s varsity football team is the first to ever have a 7-1 record at Carlmont, after loosing thier first game against Jefferson High School on Oct. 27. Jake Messina, the varsity football head coach said, “They were able to believe in the process without having a guarantee of being successful, which is a pretty big deal. It’s one thing to believe in something and have a guarantee of being successful, but there was no guaranteed success and they worked hard anyways, and now they’re seeing the benefits.” Until the 2017 season, Carlmont’s football program didn‘t have a good reputation. From 2011 to 2016, the varsity team’s best record was 5-5, with the worst record of 1-10 in 2012. The lack of organization on the team is said to be responsible for the Scots’ unsuccessful run, having a total of five different coaches over the course of six years. “From the time coach Liggett stepped down in 1993 until now has just been a series of new coaches every few years, and it has been really destructive for the team when there is no progression when the system is not the same, and they’re not developing any kind of tradition,” said Messina. The Scots earned an inadequate ranking due to a lack of progression within the program. Every year, the varsity program started from scratch with a new team, a new coach, and a new schedule, never able to truly progress. “Our coaching staff before wasn’t as intellectual as the one we have now in play calling and player personnel,” said Jason Lloyd, a senior who started playing for the Scots in 2014. With a bad ranking and a losing streak, many students felt discouraged to show support at Friday night football games. “Before our games, people at school

Isabel Mitchell

Demarii Blanks, game versus the

a senior, scored the San Mateo Bearcats.

would tell us ‘you guys are going to lose again,’ ‘try to win this time,’ or ‘don’t mess up.’ There was only a small crowd of people that would encourage us and tell us good luck,” said Jayden Kuhn, a junior and football player. Because of the substandard reputation of the team, many players did not want to affiliate themselves with the program. “What was happening, in my opinion, was that it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. When the team was known to be bad, then guys would not want to play or they would not want to be associated with the program, and it starts to build upon itself,” said Messina. A lack of talent was never a problem for the Scots, it was the management and coordination of the team that held them back from becoming championship-worthy. Every year, there have been many key players that stand out on the team and make new

final touchdown at the


records for the Scots. “There have always been many talented players on the team. When I was a freshman, we had Jake Kumamoto and Theo Chatman, now we have players like Demarii Blanks and Jason Lloyd. I think it’s their coaching that helped them improve a lot,” said Kyle Dimick, a junior and Screamin’ Scots leader. This year, the program has taken a positive turn. Over the course of one year, the team managed to turn their previously bad reputation into a record-breaking season; all thanks to the new head coach Jake Messina. “Messina definitely turned the program around. He forced us to make that commitment to become better during the offseason, and turn us into a championship-worthy program,” said Kuhn. With new regulations for the program also came a motivation from the athletes to play better than ever before. This past sea-

son, practice attendance was more consistent and players grew a true passion for the game. “Practices have become a lot more serious this year, everybody is a lot more committed to showing up because of what we all want to achieve. We want to get a championship this year, so everybody wants to put in extra work to make themselves better in the games,” said Kuhn. Messina defines a difference between a football team and a football program, with a team only showing up to practices and games, and a program being an association of people who are dedicated to the sport, train together, and devote hard work. While creating a committed football program at Carlmont, players grew a sense of community and developed a strong connection. “This year the team really built a bond. When it comes down to it, football is a team sport, not a one-man sport; we need everyone to be on the same page,” said Julian Morin, a junior and football player. The bond between the athletes is what made this season stand out from the past with a notable winning streak. Players have a sense of trust with each other when it comes to game night. Messina states the Scots’ winning streak was not easily attainable and required a difficult process. “The team has been motivated to win since January. To wake up at 6:30 a.m. to lift [weights] three days a week is very difficult, especially attending a school with such competitive academics. So for the athletes to do that and believe in the process is pretty amazing,” said Messina. The Scots are just getting started, and the varsity team has high hopes for the future. Messina said, “We’re just going to keep getting better in the next years, we do graduate some talented players but we also return a lot of athletes, and [we] will continue to improve our program.”

Sports programs increase inclusivity with practice team Practice players work to improve skills without playing games Katrina Wiebenson Staff Writer

Practice players are not all allowed to play in sports games. They practice with the team, go to games, but cannot play. These athletes are called practice players and they are part of a practice team or “squad.” In official team sports, practice squads or practice rosters are a group of players signed by a team, but not on the main roster. This idea is also used in multiple Carlmont sports. “[Practice players] either haven’t played in the past or are on varsity for the first time. It’s mostly for them to practice every day and a get an outlook to effectively practice in the season,” said Carlmont head football coach, Jake Messina. Practice squads have also been used by the National Football League (NFL) and their teams as a way to bring in and train players from outside the United States or Canada, where football is not a popular sport. This inspired various sports teams to have practice players as well to ensure that players get chances on their team with the potential to be great. At Carlmont, almost all teams have practice players to give students a chance to be part of a team. “The practice players are a part of the team in every way. They attend all practices, meetings, team building activities. On game days they provide support for the other players,” said Bernice O’Connor, the head coach of Carlmont’s water polo team. Unlike Carlmont, each NFL player may have up to 10 players on their practice squad in addition to their 53-member main roster as they may be signed because of a recent injury, lack of space, or the need for more de-

velopment. “For us, they are crucial. In other sports, they may “The pros are obviously participation in athletics and be just hanging around and then it is a personal choice, being in shape as they are doing all the same workouts as whether you want to stick around or not. For us, every guy the other guys just not necessarily playing the games. The we have is vital in terms of practice because of the sheer negative, if that individual eventually feels as he should numbers,” said Messina. play, and we don’t agree,” said Messina. Practice teams also give players the opportunity to At Carlmont, there are no limits to how many practice practice with the team and get used to the sport and what players are on each team. It is a coach’s decision to keep it is like to play with the team. these players on the team to see if there is an improve“Depending on how many roster spots you carry, may ment. differ from how practice runs. Practice players allow a full Chloe Wen, a junior, is a practice player on Carlscrimmage to occur or balance the numbers in a drill. It mont’s junior varsity water polo team.”It kind of sucks allows for more diversity within the practice agenda,” said that I don’t get to play in games because that’s basically O’Connor. There are practice players for almost all sports in Carlwhat would’ve motivated me to get better, but I still get mont, where the students adequate practice in scrimcome to practices, go mages and I still like playing I think it’s always good to be participating in only to games, but not to play at the sport,” said Wen. However, practice play- athletics whether you are playing a ton or not. all. However, coaches still ers need the drive to be part Being part of a team and practicing everyday is have the ability to put these practice players in games if of a practice team, as the beneficial. another main player is unfinal choice is made by the Jake Messina able to participate or if the practice player in order to practice player seems to be stick around and keep pracHead Football Coach showing true potential. ticing. “It was my first year, so my coaches thought it would be “My coach told me that this wasn’t something offered most beneficial if I got experience from practice but didn’t to everyone so it’s an opportunity I should take seriously,” play in the games, so I’d have enough experience if I wantsaid Wen. ed to return the following year,” said Wen. “The benefit of being a practice player is to continue to However, these players are still part of the team and are work in a team environment, learn the sport and grow as considered teammates, even though they are not on the an individual. It takes a special person to dedicate themmain roster. selves to a program, knowing they are helping the team Messina said, “I think it’s always good to be participatimprove, yet not play in the games,” said O’Connor. However, the opportunity for these players do not ing in athletics whether you are playing a ton or not. Being only benefit them, but the rest of the team. part of a team and practicing every day is beneficial.”


October/November 2017 From Millennials on P. 1 According to Know Your Memes, an internet meme database, “‘Millennials Are Killing’ is a phrasal template used to mock various think-pieces and op-ed articles on the changing consumer habits of the millennial generation and their allegedly negative impact on major industries and economic sectors that had once thrived during the latter half of the 20th century.” Many writers have also created pieces that light-heartedly make fun of this perception of millennials. In a Washington Post article, titled, “I am sorry for killing everything: A millennial’s confession,” writer Alexandra Petri pokes fun at the notion that millennials are merciless, killing machines. “I am a millennial. Destruction is all I know. I no longer care what I wipe from the face of the Earth. The paper napkin I killed for sheer sport. I watched homeownership burn while I ate an avocado, coolly, smeared on toast,” Petri wrote. Although branded as notoriously entitled, there is also positivity that millennials embody, such as their diversity and social justice efforts. These aspects are often shadowed over by millennial preconceptions, while they continue to be blamed for the 21st century American decline. “Although I think some of the millennial stereotypes From Fire Victims on P. 1 scale it’s even more important to come together as a community to help each other out. “I knew your mom was going to have to deal with so much; finding a place for you to live, figuring out the insurance fees, construction permits, food, and clothing. So when she asked if you could stay with us for the weekend, we immediately said yes. There really was no doubt about it. Ultimately, it was an act of human kindness, and you and your family needed all the kindness you could get,” said family friend Sherry Kanadjian. Even though we were lucky that it wasn’t a windy day and I had my family by my side, losing our home was a horrid experience in itself. While parents and adults are going to be working double time to get the help they need, the teenage victims of the Northern California wildfires are facing two major changes at once; losing the comfort your own home gives you and having to endure the high school experience. My brother was just transitioning into his first year of high school and I was starting my first year of middle school. “At first I didn’t realize it, but after a month or two, it was extremely tough not having my stuff and not being able to just be me around familiar things during my first half of high school. Those two years are very developmental and made things even harder under our circumstances,” said Lunsford. Imagine doing this every day and not having something familiar to go home to, or not having a constant to rely on. Whether you have strict parents, a single mother, annoying siblings, a household that’s tight on money, that’s your home. Those factors are mundane and you know how to navigate through that part of your life. Losing the one thing that


are true, like taking things for granted, I also think that they play a huge role in today’s society. Many of them have made huge strides in activism, political climates, diversity efforts, and more. We shouldn’t let their misconceived appearances define them,” said Henry Chung, a junior. Even though millennials might drive some industries out of business, they truly care about their opinions. They have a certain fixation on tailoring to millennials because they have such a large impact on brands and their image, especially because of their interactions with the media. Marketers are spending 500 percent more on millennials than any other generation, according to a new analysis performed by the advertising technology firm Turn. “I think millennials are viewed this way mainly because of how much their lives, and our lives, revolve around technology. They are social media driven, but I don’t think that necessarily means our generations are selfish and naive,” said Chloe Palarca-Wong, a sophomore. Companies pay attention to millennials becuase they are a highly influential, a driving force of society and its markets. “I think there are a lot of redeeming qualities that people seem to neglect about millennials. For the most part, I think we are pretty hardworking, but of course, everyone thinks we are obsessed with our phones and ourselves. So it mitigates those who seem to not fit in with that stereo-

is familiar caused my brother and I to over think decisions and feel lost without a sense of where we were going to go during these crucial years. We were fortunate enough to have supportive parents and friends who pushed us to keep pulling through life and to persevere. As people in society, we have an obligation to give back to our community, to be the shoulder to cry on. I know that my family is forever grateful for the support we received from our family, friends, and community. Without them, we would have been hopeless. “Losing your home is a huge life test; you either sink or swim. In a time like this, you need strength, and for the people of Northern California, they’re going to need all the strength they can get. The unfortunate truth is that some of us aren’t able to collect the pieces and put them back together, to take one day at a time, and those people will break. We need to help others out, be supportive because at the end of the day, all we have is each other,” said Lunsford. While our family was lucky enough to be back into our home in 18 months, others may not be as fortunate to have their homes restored so soon. Since the fires my family has become extremely weary around candles and other open flames. Everytime my mom smells smoke in the air her heart insantly sinks. My brother continues to struggle daily with the post tramatic stress from trying to save the house. The fire has left permanent anxiety around losing our home. Just because the flames have subsided and the news stories have fizzled out, the victims of the Northern California wildfires need our help now more than ever. To donate or volunteer for the wildfire victims in California visit the Red Cross website to volunteer or donate to a number of foundations like the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

typical pattern,” said Jay. Millennials are changing the world in several ways, including their push forward in emerging technologies and giving back to the community. For many companies, long term potential is also a driving factor. They want to ensure that their brand will thrive in the future and so brand loyalty is encouraged, according to Social Media Today. Agencies like Millennial Marketing, for example, target millennials with freshly designed websites and peer influence. Chung said, “Millennials are the next generation of people who are going to run the country. It’s important that they are educated now so that they will know how to effectively lead our society and drive our future.” According to The New York Times, there are about 80 million millennials in the U.S. alone, making them larger than any other demographic in the country. There are more millennials in the workforce than any other generation, with an expected $1.4 trillion in disposable income by the year 2020. Society and the economic climate are heavily dependent on Millennials, as they are somewhat blinded by the conceptions that plague the reputation of millennials killing everything that America has worked to create. “I am a millennial and I guess I don’t mind the negative stereotypes, but I think there are a lot of redeeming qualities that people seem to neglect about millennials,” said Jay.

Parental coddling creates generation of snowflakes

Mona Murhamer Scotlight editor-in-chief When we turn 5, we take the training wheels off of our bikes. When we turn 16, we drive on real roads with real dangers. When we turn 18, we move out into the “real world.” Wait a second, this isn’t the real world. This a world covered in cushions and safety nets. In this world, we are accused of using a different kind of training wheel on a different kind of bike. Political correctness has become a given—when we speak to each other, we are expected to not offend the person we are speaking to. According to an article in the Atlantic, comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have been quoted saying their college-age audiences have become too “politically correct” to find their acts funny anymore. Well, of course. Comedy evolves as all other societal norms do, and over time, what was funny before falls out of style. Race stereotype jokes, effeminate gay voices, and slutshaming are no longer crowd

favorites because comedy that belittles subcultural groups is no longer considered to be funny. Younger generations are now exposed to the oppression and criminalization of whole groups of people in the media, and they are becoming more aware of how unfairly some groups are treated. So, no, the Feminazi jokes aren’t funny anymore because it is 2017, and women are still struggling to get equal pay. The comedy has become not funny at all, and now Americans are offended by what used to be considered a joke. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study, 39 percent of Americans ask that people be more careful to not offend others with politically incorrect language. We have earned ourselves the stereotype of being “Snowflakes,” or, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, millennials who are convinced they are too special to face the trials of adulthood. In this case, the trials of adulthood include being exposed to racism and sexism, which is difficult to do when the

media and society shows how the “-ism’s” affect real people with real feelings. However, some may argue being politically correct recently has taken a new meaning and has actually hindered conversation and development. In the same Pew Research Study, 59 percent of Americans believe too many people are too easily offended by others’ language. And to a certain extent, it makes sense. We have gotten to a point where they censor and correct others so much that they are actually hindering their own abilities to grow. For example, Oxford University in England has started issuing trigger warnings before lectures about criminal cases involving rape or murder, but those same students may fail to realize that a lawyer learns how to do their job by attending lectures that test triggers. While being politiclly correct helps control the spread of institutionalized bias, there is a certain point where today’s Snowflakes could probably do without the training wheels.

The Highlander Editor-in-Chief


Staff Writers

Jordan Hanlon

Rachel Borshchenko

Lily Bakour

Managing Editor

Nina Heller

Connor Lin ScotCenter Editor-in-Chief Sophie Penn Scotlight Editor-in-Chief Mona Murhamer Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief Brooke Chang

Kylie Lin

Kaylee George Joseph Gomez

Ben Balster

Cath Lei

Maya Benjamin

Zana Lunsford

Adrian Cunningham

Briana McDonald

Sarah Cheung

Mackenzie O’Connell

Isabel Mitchell

Riley Collins

Hanalei Pham

Kathryn Stratz

Samantha Dahlberg

Justin Som

Sophie Lynd

Skylar Weiss Faculty Adviser Justin Raisner

Nicole del Cardayre

Sean Vanderaa

Talia Fine

Katrina Wiebenson

Daniel Friis

Celine Yang

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 Rachel Borshchenko and the editorial cartoon was drawn by Mona Murhamer.



October/November 2017

Filtering false news is ineffective Facebook’s efforts of filtering fake news will not change the opinion of readers Justin Som Staff Writer The election has been over for nine months, and people are still blaming Facebook for the enormous spread of false information that occured during that period. The pressure has already gotten to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, who had initially tried to wrestle blame away from the social media giant several months ago. “For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better,” said Zuckerberg on his personal Facebook page in September. “For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask for forgiveness and I will work to do better.” In response to the criticism of the role that Facebook played in the election, Zuckerberg denounced the spread of “fake news,” admitted Facebook’s influence may have had negative effects on the public, and promised that he would institute stricter policies that would assumedly filter the real news from the fake. Multitudes of fake Facebook accounts were created for the purpose of spreading false information via paid advertisements and direct posts. By catering these ads towards divisive political issues, these agents of false information tricked the public with subtle influences. According to Facebook, $100,000 worth of these ads had been circulating on the network in the months prior. But as far as Zuckerberg’s solution of “filtering the en-

tirety of Facebook” goes, it’s pointless. This idea would not cleanse the internet of false data; and it would by far, not prevent people from misinterpreting true stories when they do read them. We are placing too much blame onto social networks for why these false stories became so widely believed. The blame rests on the people who read them. Inherently, people are lazy. It’s a fact of life. With so many things to view on the Internet, people are much more inclined to take a person’s word as basic truth. Little if any additional research is done to compliment their knowledge. A possible explanation for why this phenomenon occurs is because the public mistakenly believes that social media is a direct information source. Generally, regular users who claim to post news are merely citing what they have heard from other users. Because a certain post may have a large amount of views and comments, the public may mistakenly believe that this popularity proves that the content of a post is valid. It doesn’t. Instead of believing the words of social media stars, it would be much wiser to hear information from the people who directly obtained it: news stations and research teams. Unlike the common social media user, these organizations are much more reliable for the public because they usually research a broader viewpoint of the news or informational topic. Likewise, they usually also provide a bit more context to issues, which prevents a large amount of unnecessary bias from straight facts. To determine whether or not a post is reliable, one must

understand where the content originated from. If the public can’t determine this information from the original post, then its content shouldn’t be trusted. On another note, it is wrong to say that social media networks did not play any role at all in the spread of false information. A change is needed in advertising policy for networks like Facebook who exposed their clients to invalid data through biased advertisements. It is understandable if users can’t trust the posts made by users, but the public shouldn’t have to worry about the credibility of sponsored advertisements, especially if large social media networks like Facebook have two billion users. Because these companies allowed for anyone with enough money to purchase and place ads onto the network, a variety of propagandist stories were allowed access to the public, in turn “interfering with the election system.” So although it is still the duty of the public to determine for themselves what news is reliable had this flaw not been exploited by outside parties, then the spread of false information and strength of election interference would have been limited. Despite this consideration, the public must reform its information gathering abilities for the accuracy. Unlike news networks, social media networks don’t pass themselves off as being reputable news sources. They’re merely platforms for people to communicate.

New generational norms create open minds and acceptance A new age means new standards and new rules for every generation Mackenzie O’Connell Staff Writer

Millennials are the ultimate game changers of society. Gay people? Accepted. Transgender people? Loved. Interracial couples? Normal. Racial diversity? Everyone is beautiful. Although Generation Z continues the trend of supporting the current social norms, millennials have set themselves apart from the generations above them. Millennials seem to accept everyone. According to Nielson, an American research database, of the 75 million millennials living in the United States, 42 percent of them have backgrounds consisting of more than one ethnicity of African-American, Hispanic and Asian American descent. Yet while the millennials change the future for generations to come, it seems that many from the generations above them are stuck in the judgemental past. Although the generations before millennials such as the baby boomers and the Silent Generation can adapt to new social standards ,they still take to calling attention to modern conventions in society. Many add positive or negative comments on what they observe in society as it is different from past generations social normalities. For many in the older generations, social diversity either causes a negative reaction or invokes a sweet remark, such as, “Aw, look at that gay couple in love.” Yes, that is a gay couple in love. That is obvious. Isn’t that supposed to be normal? Shouldn’t people be allowed to be in love with whomever they choose? Although they are not always commenting negatively on these changes, people still adjusting to today’s standards feel the need to comment on how it is unordinary. They are still greatly influenced by their upbringings, a time when newer social advances were not yet accepted.

Gay people were not accepted, interracial couples were not legal everywhere in the United States until 1967, the AfricanAmerican population was not accepted and the Civil Rights Movement was raging in a time where grandparents were most likely alive. However, many millennials believe this is the ordinary. The better ordinary. The less judgemental ordinary. The real ordinary. No intense stares or snickers at someone that is different. People of society are simply normal. This is how it should be. According to Pew Research Center, “Attitudes about race also have changed, with younger generations leading the way. While large majorities of all generations now agree that it is all right for blacks and whites to date each other, the percent who completely agree with this statement is dramatically higher among millennials and Generation xers than among Boomers and Silents, the generation between 1946-1964.” The increase of racial diversity has become a complete normality to millennials. Many are seeing beyond the stereotypes and valuing a person for their character. The increase in diversity for other generations as more interracial couples begin to start families. “About three-quarters of millennials (75 percent) and Generation xers (73 percent) completely agree with interracial dating, compared with far lower percentages of Boomers (57 percent) and Silents (37 percent).” As the number of millennials has grown, diversity increased and being different was normal. Most millennials and other generations only know diversity as a normality and adaptation are necessary. Diversity is not only normal but for the millennials, it is needed. It is what they enjoy to accept. It is what they enjoy to imprint on societies. Diversity is needed.

According to the US Census, “Millennials, or America’s youth born between 1982 and 2000, now number 83.1 million and represent more than onequarter of the nation’s population. Their size exceeds that of the 75.4 million baby boomers. Overall, millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group.” Women seem to have also gained a larger role in society because millennials are more likely to give women more opportunities and see their capabilities, something some people in older generations avoided. According to a Pew Research Center, more millennial women want to be bosses. 34 percent of women strive to be bosses compared to their male peers do at 24 percent. As a whole, millennials have altered social standards without even knowing it and continue to imprint these accepting thoughts for the generations to come. All people who were considered

“different” to older generations are now normal to current generations thanks to Millenials. Millenials don’t want to hear your thoughts on how sweet an interracial or gay couple is. Millennials don’t want to hear your negative comments on how older generations wish they still lived in the past. Millennials are typically so adjusted to these social advancements that they don’t see a reason for someone to call attention to them. Why should someone call attention to them? This is the new normal. All generations will hopefully see there is no going back, only forward. The past is now history and it is important to live in the now. Instead of living in the past, we should move forward. So, next time a teacher, a parent, a grandparent, or even stranger makes a comment about today’s normal, ask them what year it is.

What is the silent generation?

The silent generation is the gtroup of people who were born from 1925-1942.

Who are baby boomers?

Baby boomers are those who were born from 1946-1964 and came of age in the Vietnam War era

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z is the group of people born after millennials starting in 1999


October/November 2017

The Penn Perspective


Sophie Penn “I became a journalist to come as close the heart of the world as possible” -Henry Luce

Subliminal messaging manipulates humans subconsciously


Mona Murhamer

Kindness is always harder than criticism To destroy something is easy, to build something up is hard. This is the reason why most people have an easier time criticizing others rather than being nice to them. It takes a lot less effort for most people to quickly make a judgement about one’s appearance rather than to consider other aspects of their personality. When walking in the halls of Carlmont you might hear “That poster looks so stupid” or “I’m not going to Homecoming, that dance is going to be so boring.” Hardly anyone ever stops to think about what actually went into to planning those activities or making a poster to advertise an activity. Groups of people spend hours after school for weeks making posters to decorate the school for spirit weeks and assemblies. Planning a dance takes hours of coordinating on the phone, sending emails, and meeting with people. Assemblies are planned minute by minute, and students come three hours before the start of school to set everything up. Not to mention, many clubs spend hours preparing for meetings and planning activities to engage members, as well as to spread their club purpose and activities throughout the school. Most people don’t stop and think about these things, and instead can brush them off with a single, negative comment. Criticism is the easy way out. Those who are mean to others can feel more powerful or more accepted by their peers. Scientifically, there is an explanation for why humans are more likely to lean toward negativity. According to the National Institute of Health, this preference for negativity isn’t completely something society has conditioned us for; it’s something called negativity bias, inherent in the brains of humans. The simple explanation is that things that are more negative in nature have a greater influence on the human brain than more positive things. This is why people tend to recall negative experiences with ease and do not remember positive ones as well. It is very difficult to remember the exact details of a birthday, soccer tournament win, or other positive experiences, but most people who have been through an embarrassing, sad, or traumatic experience remember it vividly. This negativity can override the brains of humans. Even as early as infancy, people are more influenced by negative parts of their environment rather than positive. More focus is paid to negative things rather than to positive ones, and it is more important

for humans to avoid risks rather than to take risks for a potential reward. Unsurprisingly, the media appeals to this instinct through all the news coverage we see. The media is filled with negativity, such as natural disasters, shootings, terrorism, and scandals. News outlets have to appeal to our innate instinct to pay more attention to these types of stories. In a world of media and anonymity, giving criticism is much easier than saying something nice. Things that would never be said in person are masked behind screen names or pseudonyms online. According to the national government’s Stop Bullying website, 15 percent of high school students had been bullied in the past year. If this statistic isn’t alarming enough, 55 percent of LGBT students had been cyberbullied. Onlinemedia gives perpetrators a simple and anonymous outlet to release their negative comments. Of course there is always constructive criticism, meaning that a person is using criticism as a way to help another improve. This kind of critique is necessary and even encouraged. But criticism without encouragement creates resentment and negative opinions. In general as a society, we are becoming more divided than ever, especially due to politics. Thirty six percent of Republicans see the Democratic Party as a threat to the nation’s well being, and 27 percent of Democrats see Republicans the same way. If people just saw others for who they are, people, the world would be a much better place. Our society has the power to be much more cohesive than we are in this current climate. Instead of being divided and fragmented, with attacks coming from all sides, we have the capacity and the potential to create a more positive future, even if it starts with one compliment or positive remark. This is easier said than done, but engaging in positivity could take only one small step. Compliment someone you don’t usually talk to. Donate a can to the food drive to help someone in need. Before you give a criticism, think beyond the surface level. If positivity starts out so easily, why are we as a society not engaging in it? You may not have to agree with someone or what they are doing, but looking beyond the surface can open your eyes to a different perspective that may not have been considered. Instead of taking the easy way out, go against your genes as well as society to think more positively. If you take the time to consider another point of view, you’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

What if ads you see on TV, on your phone, and in your email inbox were covertly manipulating your subconscious into wanting their product? Well, they are. Subliminal messages are images or messaging that are undetectable to the conscious mind but are recognized unconsciously. Because people are unaware of these messages when they occur, they can be unnervingly influential. Kind of creepy, right? Major companies such as SFX Magazine, Coca-Cola, and Tostitos have all allegedly used subliminal messaging in their advertisements and products, despite the ethical implications of influencing consumers’ minds without their knowledge. In a society controlled by media and the internet, subliminal marketing can have a huge influence on the American economy and market. The first thing to understand about subliminal messages is how they work. Sure, you can transmit an idea to the consumer’s brain subconsciously, but what do you transmit? One would think companies would transmit basic messages such as “Buy our product!” or “You need this item!” but the reality is far more disturbing. We’ve all heard the phrase “sex sells,” but subliminal messaging takes this idea to a whole new level. Structured around the idea that all humans have a primal desire for sex, media ranging from Disney movies to soda commercials have all utilized this message as a subliminal marketing strategy. One can easily find stills from The Lion King, highlighting the word “sex” spelled out vaguely in the clouds or even a hazy image of a woman’s backside in a bikini hidden in the face of the lion on the poster for the movie. However, after doing some research, I determined that this instance of subliminal messaging did not, in fact, appear to be valid. Although many social media users have called out Disney for their alleged manipulation, many of the common accusations were refuted in a Huffington Post article, when a Disney animator commented on various instances of supposed subliminal messaging, and explained away pretty much all of them. However, this brush with subliminal messages led me to further examine the evidence of this phenomenon in American society. One of the biggest perpetrators of subliminal advertising is Coca-Cola. The company has been accused on multiple occasions of utilizing subliminal or hidden messages in various advertisements. One depiction of a cold, bubbly glass of coke allegedly masks outlines of the two naked female figures; another advertisement consisted of a cartoon-styled glass bottle of the soda, with the tagline “Feel the curves,” and an image hidden in an ice cube of a woman performing a sexual act. While it is impossible to prove the intent behind these alleged images, they do pose a concern of the possibility of consumers being manipulated by subtle images that are reaching the subconscious. Hidden or flashed images aren’t the only way companies are manipulating our minds though. Currently, one of the biggest perpetrators of subconscious manipulation is phones. Let’s admit it, we all get that little excited burst when we hear our text tone go off, or receive an Instagram notification. That jumpy feeling you get has a name. It’s called dopamine. Dopamine is one of the brain chemicals controlling your reward and pleasure centers. It’s a neurotransmitter that motivates you to get things, such as food. Dopamine is also the same chemical responsible for addiction, because as helpful as it is, it can also be pretty dangerous. That’s where phones come in. By associating a particular noise or vibration with incoming notifications, phones actually trick the reward center in your brain into thinking it’s time to give you a hit of dopamine. Phone can literally control your life. Think about that one. “But no,” you say, “I’m not addicted to my phone, I just use it a lot.” Hmm, sounds like something an addict would say. The proof lies in the sky high numbers of people texting and driving and going on their phones for hours and hours on end. Phone companies have gotten so good at this form of manipulation that they aren’t just subliminally controlling your purchases, but your whole life. Subliminal messaging doesn’t stop with advertisements and phones. No, it controls every aspect of your life. Social media platforms such as Instagram will actually pay people who have a high enough number of followers to post regular pictures that portray a certain lifestyle, or subtly advertise a company or product. Because so many of these paid users falsely portray a “perfect” life, many young people and teens develop an unrealistic idea of what their life should be like. These unrealistic expectations have been proven to lead to a rise in teenage depression and anxiety. So, next time you hear a buzz and suddenly have an urge to check your phone, take a minute to think about it. Maybe it’s your mind deceiving you.


Social media influence promotes food industry Sean Vanderaa Staff Writer It used to be that people would go to places that they had heard about through their phones. Now people are going places just so that they can post about it on their phones. Millennials spend over two hours a day on their phones, according to 2013 Simmons National Consumer Study. “Hearing people talk about different places on social media makes me want to go there myself, especially if they had a good time,” said sophomore Allison Davies. Although social media is not the most important deciding factor on where one wants to go for food, a quick Snapchat poll of 35 Generation Z Carlmont students, showed that 21 percent indicated that seeing places on Snapchat or Instagram is the main influence on where they consider going. “Going someplace to Snapchat it is never my sole reason for going somewhere, but it is something that I would keep in the back of my mind when deciding on a place to go. Plus it gets me out of the house and creates good memories,” said Olive Peschel, a junior. This begs the question, do restaurants and other outlets specifically cater to social media influences as a way of generating more business? The answer is yes. Companies like Museum of Ice Cream and Mints & Honey almost entirely focus on creating an aesthetic appeal which in turn attracts more customers. “Definitely anything that has a cool view or cool aesthetic would be more appealing to me and make me want to go there more. Places

that look trendy and more modernized definitely catch my eye more than your typical store,” said Peschel. The Museum of Ice Cream on Grant Avenue in San Francisco showcases many different rooms that provide an interesting experience based off of their design. These designs promote photography and creativity while specifically appealing to those who want to showcase their photography skills or simply enjoy the exhibits. “Our mission is to bring people together through art, design, and innovation. We build to provoke curiosity and imagination in both the physical and digital worlds,” stated the Museum of Ice Cream in their mission statement. This, in turn, could allow their museums to attract more attention through the posting of photos online and could attract more viewers who wish to experience the same things as their peers. The social media buzz surrounding restaurants and appealing destinations is a large appeal for many, but for some, it is not that big of a deal. “For me, the most important factor in deciding where I go is the taste. If a restaurant doesn’t have good tasting food they aren’t getting my business,” said Darian Dennler, a junior. One question that arose over whether or not social media influences one’s decisions was whether or not gender changed the likelihood of people going somewhere simply for the social media aspect. One hundred percent of those in the Snapchat poll believed that females were more likely to go to a restaurant or store to post about it online. Additionally, girls are more likely to dominate

MINTS & HONEY San Carlos, CA

Avatar by Bitmoji Photo and photoillustration by Sophie Lynd

visually-oriented social media platforms according to the Pew Research Center. Sixty-one percent of these females use Instagram and 51 percent use Snapchat. On the other hand, 44 percent of boys use Instagram and 31 percent use Snapchat. This creates biases and forces both boys and girls into different social roles to fulfill in order to create a higher social status for themselves. “I think girls are more likely to go to a restaurant solely based on social media reasons because girls are more obsessed with how their Instagram feed looks or what they put on their Snapchat story than boys. Girls care more about their social media image, and they will go to great lengths to make sure that what they are doing or eating makes them look more interesting on social media,” said sophomore Talia Schreiber. One reason why more and more restaurants and outlets are beginning to incorporate a more aesthetic appeal to their buildings and products is due to the increasing amount of time millennials and Gen Zs spend on social media, as well as the influence it could have on business. “I use my phone anywhere from two to five hours a day. The majority of the time I’m texting, snapchatting, or using Instagram. I also use my phone for school, whether for researching or studying for a test,” said Schreiber. As 77 percent of the American population has smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center, smartphones are playing a larger role than ever in the lives of all, creating a consumer society that spends hours on their phones each day.

Profile for Scot Scoop

Carlmont Highlander October/November 2017  

Carlmont High School

Carlmont Highlander October/November 2017  

Carlmont High School

Profile for scotscoop