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Winged Post FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013





Senior named as 2013 Intel STS finalist New club schedule

nikhil dilip & priscilla pan


EIT & reporter

MY OH MYELOMA Paulomi Bhattacharya (12) explains the application of NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) to her project, which earned her the distinction of becoming one of 40 finalists in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search. Paulomi was the only one of six semifinalists at the Upper School to earn the title of finalist this year. SAMANTHA HOFFMAN - THE WINGED POST

mercedes chien lifestyle editor

IN BRIEF Music auditions workshop Katya Roemer, experienced opera singer, will be holding an audition workshop for aspiring performing artists today. Topics covered in the workshop include audition ettiquete, procedure, and other useful tips and tricks. The workshop will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and will be held in Nichols Auditorium. Conservatory students may attend to receive workshop credit, but the event is open to any and all interested students.

Journalism impact survey In the weeks following the release of this issue, The Winged Post will be issuing an anonymous survey to the student body via email looking to determine the impact that the newspaper has on campus. We, The Winged Post staff, want to know what you think about the newspaper so that we can do our best to ensure that we offer content that appeals to the entire school population. We hope to collect as much input as possible in order to put out a publication that reflects our school, so responses will be greatly appreciated. Feedback from our readers is welcome at any time at

SEMIFINALISTS STARS From left: seniors Payal Modi, Jenny Chen, Paulomi Bhattacharya, Ashvin Swaminathan, Deniz Celik. These five, along with Andrew Luo (not pictured), were named as Semifinalists in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search.

lomi was named an Intel STS Semifinalist along with five other seniors: Deniz Celik, Jenny Chen, Andrew Luo, Payal Modi, and Ashvin Swaminathan, making Harker home to the most semifinalists in California for the

second year running. For the past couple of years, such prestige came with a lavish assembly filled with blue and white balloons, facsimiles of the money prize, and a mini-show put on by the Intel Public

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College counseling begins

Juniors meet with their counselors for the first time trisha jani

taking the SAT or ACT, and also urged students plan out a testing calendar to determine when to take Subject Tests. The counselors encouraged the juniors to explore the ACT as an option instead of limiting themselves to only pursuing the SAT. Another major topic of discussion was college visits. Counselors suggested that students visit local colleges over February and more distant colleges, such as those on the East Coast, over Spring Break. Walsh suggested students to have a wide range of colleges to apply to; he also told students to have an open mind during their visits. “Don’t fall in love with a school,” he said.

features editor This week, the junior class had its first of 12 college counseling sessions of the school year. The class split into four groups to meet with their respective college counselors Kevin Lum Lung, Martin Walsh, Sandy Padgett, and Nicole Burrell, who will serve as mentors to guide students through the college application process. Juniors split according to their college counselor and met in their assigned places, which included Nichols auditorium, the college counseling office, and the Edge. The counselors began the session by talking about basic prerequisites, such as standardized testing. They discussed the option of either

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Around 5:15 p.m., she got the call. Astonished, surprised, and proud— a myriad of emotions brought her to tears. On Wednesday, January 23, Paulomi Bhattacharya (12) was named an Intel Science Talent Search (STS) Finalist. “At this point, it’s already incredible,” she said, still in disbelief of her accomplishment. She will travel to Washington D.C. from March 7 to 13 as one of the 40 finalists in the nation. There, she will present her project to various audiences and will be individually assessed and interviewed by the judges. In the beginning of January, Pau-

Relations Team to recognize our winners. This year was different. Due to changes in Intel’s PR staff, the traditional assembly was taken out of the agenda unbeknownst to Harker staff. Despite the last-minute cancellation, the six Intel award winners’ names were projected on the campus televisions the next day for recognition. “I see these competitions as a way to share my work, so being recognized is a huge honor for us not only as individuals but also as a school,” Paulomi said, just after describing her initial response upon hearing about her award. Entering her project under the chemistry and biophysics category, Paulomi, under the guidance of her

The school experimented with a new “club schedule” this Wednesday, which allotted a special halfhour period only for clubs to meet. Teachers are not allowed to assign students to meet with them during this period; it is designed to allow students to attend all of their club meetings, since meetings often conflict during lunch. The administration had recognized that the current time allotted to clubs during the school week was not efficient. “[Upper School Head Butch] Keller and I have been noticing a need for more time for extracurricular activities, and we were trying to find out a way to not impact the class schedule and still allow students to meet for clubs during the school day,” said Kevin Williamson, Dean of Students. While some students appreciate the time, others believe that the club days are unnecessary because the long-lunch meetings suffice. “I just don’t see the point of having a club day,” Alan Soetikno (12) said. “Since its such a small time period, it doesn’t really give any opportunity for people to try different things. These club days happen only once a month, so really there’s no point in having it.” Student council plans to implement this alternate schedule one Wednesday every month for the rest of the academic year. According to ASB Vice President Maverick McNealy (12), student council has tried to make club times that do not cut into lunch time, and if the club time is not utilized, it will not be offered in the future.

INTERNET, I AM YOUR FATHER Vint Cerf, also known as the “father of the internet,” speaks to students and faculty about his invention and its evolution in recent years.

Going green: Sustainability committee formed meena chetty & samar malik managing editor & copy editor Following last year’s government run Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation, members of the faculty and administration have decided to start a green committee in a schoolwide effort to improve sustainability on all three campuses. Upper School biology teachers Dr. Kate Schafer and Jeff Sutton approached Head of School Christopher Nikoloff after last year’s accreditation with the idea to promote a more environmentally friendly campus.


“We reflected on what we want our priorities to be moving forward,” Dr. Schafer said. “One of the things that came out of that [was that] Mr. Nikoloff and the people involved came up with this idea of wanting sustainability to be part of a set of goals in the next six years.” The committee will be a crosscampus entity and, according to Schafer, about 30 teachers have already expressed interest in being a part of it. “Sustainability is something that we should all try to achieve,” said Isha Patnaik (12), Brilliant Organizers of Student Sustainability (BOSS) club president. “I know last year the librar-

never cheat




twice or more

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ians took interest and that’s why we have PaperCut. I think it’s great that the faculty are involved.” However, the committee is still in its beginning stages and has not yet laid out definitive goals for the upcoming years. “We’ve come up with a list of things that we’re doing already and we’re going to come up with a list of things that we could do,” Sutton said. “As a green committee, we’ll pick some and then we’ll work on those. We’re trying to make a couple of those every year that we’ll work on.” As the heads of the committee, Dr. Schafer and Sutton have been working


towards compiling research about what sustainability means for the three campuses. “One of the things that we’ve learned is that at a lot of other schools, the entity that has become the green committee has involved parents and teachers and students and administration. It’s really a multi-dimensional committee that’s trying to address the needs of all the different components of the school, which is hard to do,” Dr. Schafer said. The committee hopes to eventually encourage students to join once they establish what their long-term goals are.




“I [connected] a lot of concepts that I had already learned or I had just learned [through this project],” she said, when asked about the best aspect of her journey. “[Researchers] have to be open and receptive to new ideas since it’s easy to get frustrated and caught up in the little details.” For Jenny Chen, her summer did not entail the typical university setting research. Instead, her research was done entirely at school, as she “examined the issue of crop pathogens and how fungicides are becoming less effective.” Although doing her research at school was convenient due to its location and availability during academic hours, she mentioned a setback in the lack of high-level equipment and resources that other researchers had access to at universities. The consequences did not stop her, however. Admitting that research can be at times disappointing, Jenny advises future Intel applicants to motivate themselves to do the research, regardless of the location. “Mr. Spenner and Intel helped me realize that it isn’t really about the re-

sults; it’s about the process and the research,” she said. For Ashvin Swaminathan, however, it was all about the results. Working on his project for over a year, Ashvin created calculus for surreal numbers, which are used to analyze games like chess. He conducted his research at Stanford University with a mentor whom he had met while attending a mathematics camp there the summer before. “Research in mathematics is hard because you don’t know if you’re going to get anything,” he said. “At least in science, you could report if you didn’t find X-planet, so it was really scary if I would even find something or not.” Despite the uncertainty, Ashvin’s persistence proved to be worthwhile. When asked about his initial response upon hearing of his Intel award, he stated that the award was “more of a milestone than it is the end goal.” Each semifinalist won $1000 for themselves and an additional $1000 for the school. Each finalist wins at least $7500, and potentially more depending on how they place in Washington D.C.

Obama speaks of past and present at re-inauguration

quires the user to pick up the actual device, thus not fitting under the definition of “hands-free.” Therefore, the new law is only a small revision. “It’d be safe, considering we already have hands-free calling,” Anish Velagapudi (9) said. “But I wouldn’t use it; why wouldn’t you just call someone?” Social Media [SB 1349 & AB 1844] Two new laws ban employers and educational institutions from requiring login credentials of applicants’ social media accounts, such as Facebook. The general reception of the law has been favorable. “[Universities/employers] could ask you to show them your profile; but not necessarily know your credentials,” stated Akshay Battu (9). “It’s kind of intruding on privacy, and people deserve to keep their [login information] private.” Although this makes it illegal for universities or companies to de-






SEMIFINALISTS Top: a slide from Ashvin Swaminathan’s (12) project on “An Analogue of Real Analysis of Surreal Numbers.” Bottom: Andrew Luo (12), semifinalist, presents his research findings at UC Santa Cruz, where he worked on his project.

This new law allows Californians to LOL, ROFL, and text their BFFLs while they are driving, as long as they do so hands-free. Drivers are now allowed to use voice-operated, hands-free methods to dictate, send, and receive text messages. This law partially overturns the ban on texting while driving, which was instated in 2009. Controversy has arisen; there have been arguments that the change promotes distracted driving. However, this does not legalize texting with a system such as Siri on Apple’s iPhone. Activating services such as Siri r e -

Autonomous vehicles are now legal on public roads for testing purposes. Safety precautions have been taken into account, as these vehicles have to be subject to certification and require a human driver sitting behind the wheel in case anything goes wrong. Google has been a major proponent of these self-driving cars and have been testing them on public roads since 2011. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill in Google Headquarters after arriving in an autonomous Toyota Prius last September. Although these automobiles were not explicitly illegal, there have never been laws concerning autonomous vehicles in the state before. Opinion is mixed on whether driverless cars should be allowed on public streets. “Robots are prone to failure,” Suraj Jagadeesh (9) said, adding that he views these vehicles as a potential hazard. However, others such as Dr. Eric Nelson, the faculty head of the Robotics program, have a much more optimistic view of the future. “It is feasible [for these vehicles to be accessible to the general public],” Dr. Nelson said. “I would love to have one personally once the bugs [are removed] and the accident rate ends up being lower than what we would have with human drivers, which won’t take long.” Dr. Nelson believes the most significant hurdle for these vehicles to reach the masses will be legal aspects, rather than the actual technology involved enabling the car to drive itself. Today’s high end cars pave the way for the reality of driverless vehicles with features such as radar guided cruise control and lane-departure systems. -T

Hands-Free Texting [AB 1536]

Driverless Vehicles [SB 1298]


With over 800 laws passed by the California legislature for 2013, questions arise for students as to how the future will be affected.


features editor & reporter

mand login information to online social networking accounts, organizations can still view applicants’ public profiles to make more informed decisions.


trisha jani & shay lari-hosain


mentor, found “a new drug lead for blood cancer using computational modeling and wetlab screening.” She spent her entire summer at UCSF in the Quantitative Biosciences Department. Being a high school student in a university laboratory posed problems as her research progressed. Paulomi found her mentor busy throughout most of the summer, leaving her to conduct her research entirely on her own. Other issues involving research equipment also hindered her progress. “I had to use a lot of equipment, like the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), which is fairly expensive and uncommon,” she said. “Over the summer, all the NMR machines shut down, so my project was postponed for a month.” Similarly, Deniz Celik noted some difficulties that arose during his project. “The software required a lot of memory to be able to run and our simulation was so big that it actually outran all the memory on all of our computers,” he said. Deniz spent his summer at Ozone Engineering, creating a “3D head model and a cellphone” that enables him to analyze the effects of cellphone radiation on the brain. The software he created briefly obstructed his research before he and his mentor were able to change the settings of the computers to cater to the immense amount of memory. Likewise, Andrew Luo also experienced some programming issues. Studying diffused ionized gas and the velocities of how the Andromeda Galaxy rotates, Andrew was drawn to the project’s aspect of kinematics and astrophysics. Halfway into his internship at UCSC, Andrew and his mentor realized they made the “wrong assumption” of one of the programs his mentor coded, and therefore, had to recode an entirely new one. “Even though I had to scrap the program after four weeks, it all worked out in the end,” he said. “To be an Intel Semifinalist, you need to work hard and search for results, but you don’t need the best results [to win].” Also at UCSC, Payal Modi “created an algorithm to analyze the chemistry of stars.” Throughout her research, Payal found herself consistently rethinking ways to approach her problem as she tested about 27 clusters of stars, only two of which worked.

New laws for the new year


Continued from page 1

Three laws that may affect students


Intel Finalists and Semifinalists named





January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Eagle Express to

LOGO STORE: open in late Janurary elizabeth edwards



SWORN IN President Obama is renews his oath for his second term of office on January 20. The ceremony was followed by a public inauguration the following day.

sonia sidhu & kavya ramakrishnan sports editor & reporter The 57th presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. on January 21 marked the beginning of another four years under Democratic president Barack Obama. Moments after being sworn in, the president signed nomination papers for four new appointees to his Cabinet, Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state, White House chief of staff Jacob Lew to be treasury secretary, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and White House adviser John Brennan to head the CIA. Opening with the service summit to honor community service, the inauguration moved to the official swearing-in of Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama in the Blue Room of the White House on Sunday. On Monday, the ceremonial swearing-in, which was open to the public, took place followed by inauguration speeches and the ball.

According to CNN, Obama began sending out invitations to various politicians, influential people and some students a few weeks after his reelection. Students are typically invited to the inauguration if they are playing in a band during the parade or are part of a leadership program. Festivities were scaled back this year, with around 1,000,000 people in attendance. The majority of the ticket holders viewed the inauguration from the National Mall, rather than from the seats closer to the swearing-in podium, which were typically reserved for senators. Obama also expressed his support of the gay rights movement and his hopes for the next four years of his presidency in his second inaugural address. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” said the president.

Also included was Obama’s unity plea to politicians and the nation at large, Obama called for “collective action” to confront challenges and said, “Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.” Like many students, Brenna Jensen (9) expressed interest over the president’s reelection, but she did not feel that the inauguration would be as pivotal of a day as the day the election results came out. “Since it’s the same person, it’s not really a big deal,” she said. “If it was a different person, that would be the day they implement their new policies.” Similarly, junior Mabel Luo (11) agreed that the inauguration was not as important as the reelection day. “I’m sure he will make changes during his term but the inauguration itself isn’t probably going to be all that monumental,” she said. The next election will take place in 2016.

As you peer through the glass of the new Eagle Express logo store located in the Edge, you’ll see everything from Harker shirts to hats to pencils. Although the store was originally supposed to open at the beginning of semester two, the slow delivery of some of the products caused a delay. A major difference between the old store and the new one is the change in merchandise. Eagle Express will not carry books, instead focusing on Harker apparel and school supplies. The store has also changed location, from the back corner of Patil Wing, to a small room in the Edge. Now the store is in a former storeroom, accessible through the main cafeteria in the Edge. The new location, at the center of student life and activities, is well received by many students. “Having the [Eagle Express] in the Edge makes it much more convenient. Now you can just wander in and look at lunch. The old location was really out of the way, so I almost never went to it,” Maneesha Panja (11) said. “Hopefully the new location will bring in more students for Spirit-wear.” Another new aspect of the store is the name. Student Council held a contest in November asking students to submit their ideas. The naming contest was a way of trying to get the word out. Even with the

contest and the announcements that ran in the Daily Bulletin in November, however, quite a few students are still uninformed about the new store. Sarah Bean (10) won the naming contest with her submission of Eagle Express. Kerry Enzensperger, the Upper School Activities Director, assures students that the store will open as soon as possible. “The store was set to open at the beginning of the second semester, but due to the delay, we will have to wait a little while. The store will be open as soon as possible,” she said. Janet Lee (9) looks forward to having such an easy way of getting Harker logo wear. “I am excited for the store. I think having Harker logo wear and pencils is a great way to show school spirit. It is easy as just putting on a hat,” she said. “I’d love to see more people sporting Harker logo wear.” The opening of the new store may be anticipated, but many students are still uninformed about the specifics of the new store, even big details like the location. “I don’t actually know where [the Eagle Express] is going to be,” Said Freshman Nikita Ramoji, “I think a lot of people are pretty unclear about the store. I didn’t even know we had a logo store in the first place.” Students like Nikita are hoping that the store carries specific products, such as Eagle “hoodies, hats, shirts, pencils, and bags.”

January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Oklahoma!: Musical’s cast set

Tenth annual fashion show kicks off

anokhi saklecha

manthra panchapakesan & vedant thyagaraj




On January 8, Upper school actors and actresses auditioned for the Spring Musical, Oklahoma!. First written in 1931 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the classical musical revolves around farm girl Laurey Williams and her two rivaling lovers, Curly McClain and Jud Fry. Famous for its unique book-driven plot, Oklahoma!, touches upon various ideas, including those of love, hope, settlement, and social division. As a family-oriented musical, Oklahoma! is a fun, light-hearted musical, contrasting with the sullen, dark moods of previous musicals including Les Miserables and Pippin . “I try, in the four years of the students at Harker, to give them a variety of different musical styles,” K-12 Performing Arts department chair, as well as Spring Musical director, Laura Lang-Ree said. “This year, I needed to go to a traditional, straight-up musical theater piece, and for me, it doesn’t get any better than Oklahoma!.” Oklahoma! auditions were held by the performing arts department after school and during lunches. Students were required to sing prepared tunes, read monologues, and act out certain parts of the script. Unlike in musicals of previous years, dance and movement are heavily emphasized in Oklahoma!. Thus, dance auditions were held, during which students learned a short number consisting of a traditional western routine. Participants were then evaluated based on performance in groups of five or less. Senior Cristina Jerney, former Student Directed Showcase director, as well as three-time Spring Musical participant, enjoyed her last year of being involved in this auditioning process. “I think [my auditions] went nicely. Having been a director, I’m a lot more zen about the whole process because I know how it works. I think I really put myself out there this year, and I’m really happy about that,” she said. “[Oklahoma!] is a cute story. It’s definitely one where you walk out with a smile on your face.”

AUDITIONS Sean Knudsen (11) prepares for his audition for the upcoming musical Oklahoma! with other performing arts hopefuls. Almost 40 students were cast for this year’s show, which will open sometime this spring.

On the other hand, freshmen who auditioned experienced mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement, as the process marked the beginning of their Upper School Musical debut. “I expected [the auditions] to be really scary. And although it was easier than I expected, it was still very intimidating because there were seniors in the room, and they were really good,” Janet Lee (9) said. This year, students came fully prepared to the auditions and consequently impressed the directors and production team. “In auditions, everybody did so well. They sang, acted, and danced, and really made the [decision process] hard for us. This was the best year of auditions we’ve ever had in that way. But, it was the person who could do all of those things, and convey it really strongly, so that they could express very largely what they were feeling inside,” Lang-Ree said.


Following the initial auditions, selected students were invited to callbacks in order to further evaluate their capabilities. During callbacks, students were not only assessed on the quality of their dancing, acting and singing, but also on their ability to establish and showcase relationships and chemistry as a group. After the auditioning process was complete, the cast list was released on the Conservatory page on Athena2. Playing the lead roles of Laurey, Curly, and Jud, are Cecilia Lang-Ree (12), Ian Richardson (11), and Justin Gerard (12), respectively. The entire cast spans almost 40 members, ranging from freshmen to seniors, and including characters, an ensemble, and featured dancers. The first all-cast rehearsal is scheduled to begin on January 30, during long lunch.

The biggest school event and fundraiser of the year, the tenth annual Fashion Show is just around the corner. With a record number of students participating, this year’s show will be directed by Tere Aceves, Director of K-8 Volunteer Programs and Event Fundraising, instead of Sue Prutton, who has directed the previous shows. Themed Mission Possible, the show will take place on February 22 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The theme was selected based on a subject representational of the school community. It will involve models as spies, as well as a showcase of different cultures, reflecting the school’s wide range of ethnicities. “The theme is a strong message that talks about the Harker community,” Tere Aceves said. “It’s about dreams, accomplishments, trying new things, conquering, and not being defeated.” Tryouts for the show were held in late October for students of all grades as well as faculty and parents. Of those who auditioned, seventy from the Upper School made the cut, setting a new record for high school models. “Building community and having a strong statement [that] everybody can attain things in many different ways – we want to set a precedent in that,” Aceves said. This year, the Fashion Show committee worked directly with the class councils to exchange ideas and raise the interest level among students. They tried to reduce the amount of mandatory dates and parent volunteer hours so that students would not be hindered from participation. In attempt to increase student participation, there will be a new party bus shuttling students from

The Upper School to the convention center, possibly including decorations and a DJ. In order to encourage students to attend, the class with the most involvement will receive a grand prize. Modeling in the fashion show for the first time, Caroline Howells (10) is excited to participate in this highly-anticipated event. “I have heard from many people what a great experience it has been to be a model in the fashion show so I decided to give it a shot and try out,” Caroline said, “It’s my first time modeling in the fashion show but I have previously been a performer.” Although the show itself is mostly comprised of modeling, many other students play important roles as well. Students can host the event and perform various tasks to make attendees more comfortable, while raising money for their respective student groups. They might also simply attend the show, just to cheer their friends and fellow students on. The school’s Performing Arts groups also play a key role in the show. Groups including Downbeat, Jazz Band and Varsity Dance are set to perform as they have in previous years. Junior Sean Knudsen looks forward to getting involved. “The Fashion show is actually my favorite performance of the year because we get the opportunity to use a really unique performance space – the runway – and sing and dance the most challenging and fun songs we do in the year,” Sean said. Apart from modeling and music, the fashion show will also include a live auction, with unique items in line. According to Aceves, “[auction items have] been upgraded and bumped up to the next level.” With only a month remaining, students, faculty, and parents alike have become involved in the Fashion Show, which has become an inherent component of the school tradition.

Winter concerts:

Choir and orchestra perform for audiences Silicon Valley Career Development hosts DECA event

DECA Almost 80 students, accompanied by five chaperones, attended the Silicon Valley DECA Career Development Conference (CDC) in downton San Jose. 50 of the Upper School competitors earned awards at this year’s CDC, beating out fellow attendees from other high schools from around Silicon Valley.

allison sun

TalonWP features editor On Friday, January 4, a group of 77 members from the Harker Business Club (HBC) traveled to downtown San Jose to participate in the three-day Silicon Valley Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Career Development Conference. Overall, 50 students were called to the stage at the awards ceremony, 26 of whom were finalists and eight of whom finished in the top three. “I think we’re really creating a name for Harker in Silicon Valley through DECA,” said HBC President Tiphaine Delepine (12), who placed third overall with partner Rachel Yanovsky (12) in Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making. Led by club advisor Mary Mortlock and chaperones Misael Fisico, Joe Rosenthal, Jaap Bongers, and Hui Hui Chang, students competed with several local schools including Monta Vista High School, Lynbrook High School, Mission San Jose High School, and Los Altos High School. They took part in events ranging from role-plays to written events. Typical role-plays consisted of a written exam and a ten to 20 minute impromptu presentation,

whereas written events required business plans that ranged from five to 30 pages in addition to a 10 to 20 minute presentation. “I think role-plays are a fantastic way to practice real-time critical thinking and apply what you’ve learned,” said Brian Tuan (11), who placed first overall with partner HBC Vice President Andre Jia (12). “Many of the specific performance indicators in role-plays require you to bring in outside knowledge and present a cogent, organized plan to the judge with a limited amount of preparation time.” Most students took written exams on Friday afternoon and presented their business plans or cases to judges throughout the day on Saturday. While HBC members spent the majority of the time preparing for their events, they were also able to stroll in the downtown area, simply relax in their rooms, or party at the DECA dance on Saturday night. The conference concluded with the awards ceremony on Sunday morning where finalists and the top three individuals in each category were given pins, medals, or glass plaques. In contrast to previous years, there were significantly more participants in this

year’s competition. “Overall, I think the conference went very well. We had very good attendance this year in comparison to past years, and we had very good results,” Andre said. Many of the participants believed that the conference was a fun and refreshing learning environment in contrast to typical classroom settings. “I thought the entire experience was very educational, and I had a lot of fun. I’m proud of myself since I was an overall finalist,” said first-time member Ryan Pachauri (10), who competed in Entrepreneurship Participating-Franchising. Mortlock also praised the students’ hard work over the past few months and their spirit as a club. “A lot of other schools take DECA as lessons,” she said. “[At Harker], this is all done purely in their spare time, yet we did very well. I think that’s very important.” Having completed the district competitions, DECA competitors are now preparing for the upcoming states competition in Santa Clara from February 28 to March 3. Top qualifiers at the states division will advance to the international level in April.



Students compete in local business conference

A NIGHT OF MUSIC David Hart conducts the Lab Band during the Winter Concert on January 11. Both our orchestral and vocal groups held concerts this month to showcase their hard work.

stephanie chen reporter

The Upper School Orchestra, Lab Band, and Jazz Band, conducted by Chris Florio and David Hart, held their annual Winter Concert on January 11 at the Mexican Heritage Theater. The Lab Band, comprised entirely of freshmen, opened the concert with three bluesy pieces. The Jazz Band followed up and were then joined by vocalist Nina Sabharwal (12) in “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “Jumpin’ East of Java.” Many of the instrumentalists in Lab Band and Jazz Band performed short solos during the pieces, showing off the looseness and creativity of jazz. With the jazz program split in two, neither band had enough members to cover all the parts in the music. To compensate, Hart and Florio joined in, playing trumpets alongside their students. The Orchestra then concluded with what Florio described as “the hardest repertoire [they had] ever done.” Afterwards, members of the audience could be heard expressing their enjoyment of the concert and their admiration for the performers. “It was really great to see my friends playing their instruments in synchrony,” Kenny Zhang (11) said. Many of the instrumentalists also felt that they had played well, especially with the difficult repertoire.

“These were probably the hardest pieces we’ve played—definitely the most complex, with really fast trills and scales,” clarinet player Alan Soetikno (12) said. “I think we did pretty well, and I think everyone worked really hard to accomplish that.” The following week, Bel Canto held its annual “WinterSong” concert in Nichols Hall, featuring performances from Cantilena, Camerata, and Conservatory Certificate candidates. Directed by Jennifer Sandusky, Bel Canto performed several Baroque pieces as well as more modern songs. During one song, “Riawanna,” each member of the choir sang a unique part, forming what Sandusky described as a “wall of sound.” Throughout that piece, Sid Krishnamurthi (10) kept the singers on the beat by playing a drum. “Battle of Jericho,” the closing piece, was freshman Ayla Ekici’s favorite “because it was upbeat and [she] really liked how it sounded with the whole group.” Camerata, directed by Susan Nace, suffered multiple absences caused by this winter’s flu outbreak and had to reprise a piece from the fall concert. Nace also directed Cantilena, which was faced with similar issues, in a reprise of “The Cuckoo” and “The Winter’s Night.” The rest of the concert consisted of solos by Certificate candidates, including Justin Gerard (12), Shenel Ekici (11), Shazdeh Hussain (11), and Gwen Howard (9).


January 25, 2013


the Winged Post

editor in chief & reporter A laptop lies charging unattended on a lunch table, the rest of its owner’s belongings strewn on the chair below it. Backpacks with smartphones and wallets nestled in their pockets litter the hallways of Dobbins and Main Hall, and calculators sit forgotten amidst piles of homework abandoned for the arrival of lunchtime. Such sights are not unusual when walking around campus, as security can often seem a minor concern on the relatively safe Upper School campus. Students leave their possessions in the hallways during lunch, many of which contain valuables. During a Monday lunch period, a stroll through Main Hall revealed 64 backpacks, 31 sports bags, 11 laptop cases, and 20 exposed textbooks completely unattended. But leaving personal belongings unattended can prove dangerous, as the members of the Varsity boys soccer team learned in December; several players had their notion of security shattered when many of their unattended personal belongings, such as laptops and a cell phone, were stolen from the locker room. “Everybody started checking their backpacks for their laptops. Turns out most of them were missing. After most people found their laptops were missing, first we contacted Coach Forbes, but he said he didn’t see anybody go in,” said member of the boys’

soccer team Sanil Rajput (9). “I believe that we could have had more personnel on site. Honestly, this has apparently happened before in the locker room, so I think we need to do something better to keep our locker room safe,” he said. The perpetrators left the boys’ locker room before anyone found them, and approximately seven laptops and an iPhone were taken during the incident. According to members of the team, the security officer on-site summoned the police, who were unable to follow through and arrive on site due to a “large volume of calls.” Despite the soccer players’ locker room experience, several students persist in leaving their personal belongings exposed and unattended in public places, a fact easily confirmed by the sheer number of backpacks in front of Dobbins Hall during lunch periods. “I leave mine by the bushes,” Zareen Choudhury (11) said. “[I do this because] my locker is all the way in Shah, and I don’t want to walk back and forth there every single time.” Students like Zareen simply find it more convenient to leave their backpacks outside. Having dealt with other campus thefts in the past, Campus Security Coordinator Tor Warmdahl attributed this locker room incident and those in previous years to “opportunities” that students open up by leaving their personal belongings unguarded. “If someone has an opportunity to make a personal gain, and they

think at the time the risk is low, they might act upon that opportunity,” Warmdahl said. “Don’t give them the opportunity to steal it. If we eliminate the opportunity, then obviously, there will be diminished accounts of theft.” Although Warmdahl did not disclose details, he suspects the individuals responsible may have entered from off campus. Which raises the question: how protected do students feel from off-campus intruders? “I feel that security is moderately good. I see the security guard in the booth even when I come late in the morning, and just today walking back from the school meeting, I saw the security guard there,” Michael Kling (11) said. “I have heard of incidents in the past of laptops being stolen from outside kids, so maybe there could be things to ramp it up, but overall it seems pretty safe.” Felix Wu (10), a member of the Junior Varsity soccer team whose laptop was not taken in the incident, shares Kling’s perception of a generally safe campus, but cites the locker room incident as an impetus for better campus safety. “I feel like I don’t want too much security though, as I feel that would just make the atmosphere very uncomfortable,” Felix said. To keep the campus safe from intruders, security officers monitor the front entrance throughout the school day. Upper School security officer Emily Manigo’s responsibilities include keeping guard from the security kiosk

HBC: Business club hosts study sessions emily lin reporter

The Harker Business Club (HBC) will be holding weekly study sessions in January and February to help its members prepare for the DECA State Career Development Conference (State CDC) on February 28. At these study sessions, members can get useful feedback on their events from officers and other club members. “The purpose is to train members who would like extra training on how to do DECA, [like] how to speak and prepare for role plays and what to do [or] change in a written plan,” said Vice President of HBC Andre Jia (12). Each year, the club increases the amount of study sessions that they hold. “We found a convenient location this year, the Edge, and we are trying to consistently have study sessions on Friday afternoons. We hope that with more study sessions, members will feel like they have more than enough time

to prepare,” HBC president Tiphaine Delepine (12) said. First time member Michael Zhao (9) has found that the study sessions help his team to “concentrate on working on our project [and] forget about everything else and just focus on DECA. [They are] also good for groups who do team events because coordinating meeting times can be a hassle, and these study sessions just make everything easier.” Experienced members also benefit from attending the study sessions. “Study sessions and the officers’ input help me flesh out many of my event ideas,” said fourth-year member Albert Chen (12). Everyone participating in a roleplay event is required to practice the oral portion of their roleplay at least once before the state competition. “[We do this] so that we know that [members] are prepared before they compete. It’s a competition after all,” Andre said. According to Andre, it is vital that members are well prepared for the

state conference because a strong performance at State CDC could qualify students for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in April. To be eligible to attend ICDC, the team or individual must place in the top four for roleplay events and the top three for written events at the states conference. A special study session will be held at the Upper School on January 26 with several other schools, including Fremont High, Milpitas High, Los Altos High, Saratoga High, and Piedmont Hills High. “It’s about fostering a positive relationship with other schools and their DECA chapters to fight the Harker stereotype and show cooperation,” Andre said. The last study session will be held on February 23 to serve as a “mock competition day.” At this study session, parents will act as mock judges, watching oral presentations and giving feedback on written plans.

Celebration of research Party held for students who conducted research projects this year reporters Participants in the Research Symposium were recognized for their hard work by their peers and mentors in a small gathering in Nichols Hall on January 17. “Due to the fact that the ‘prize patrol’ decided not to come to Harker this year to celebrate our winners, [the science department] decided to have a party of our own to celebrate our students,” Anita Chetty, Science Department Chair and science mentor said. The function was a way for the department to appreciate and reward not only the students who reached semifinals and beyond, but also those who did not place. “I think it is a really great opportunity to acknowledge not only the people who won, but also the people that participated,” one of the Siemens finalists, Rohan Chandra (12) said. The gathering allowed students, parents, and teachers from all grade levels to mingle and celebrate the accomplishments of the students. Refreshments were also served. “Regardless of the outcome, I think that hard work should be recognized and valued. As the organizer of the event, I also sent out evites instead of a regular email so that the event would be less casual and more of a cel-


ashwini iyer & monica thukral

RESEARCH Students and faculty gather around the pendulum in Nichols Hall during a celebration of research at the Upper School. Those who attended heralded the “party” as a way to commemorate all student researchers, not just those who win or participate in research competitions.

ebration,” Chetty said. One of the students commemorated was Paulomi Bhattacharya (12), who has been a research student for several years. “I think it is a great opportunity to be able to interact with faculty that all have helped this to become possible all these years that we have been at Harker,” she said. “It is overall a great experience to kind of give back to those who

have helped us get where we are today.” Many teachers also attended the event, including chemistry teacher Dr. Smriti Koodanjeri, who attended the Research celebration for the first time. Having taught about half of the students in the room, Dr. Koodanjeri expressed her pride. “I really am enjoying this and the interaction with the kids,” she said. “It warms my heart.”

SAFETY CONCERNS Backpacks left unopened outside are vulnerable to theft. Security officers have been trying their best to monitor visitors as well as unguarded backpacks but still recommends storing valuables in lockers.

near the front of campus. “Well, most of the time we, [the security officers], are up in the kiosk, and we keep an eye on the front entrance. If we notice someone coming in and going down the back that we’ve never seen before, then we go and question them. When we get visitors coming in, we read them, ask them why they’re here, and direct them where to go,” Manigo, who has been part of security personnel on the Upper School campus for eight years, said. After the school day, security officers close Shah Hall, Dobbins Hall, and Nichols Hall by 7 p.m., but generally allow more access to the Main Building due to its size. However, according to Warmdahl, this system still

leaves small gaps in security. “I’ve encountered situations where I’ve secured areas like Nichols Hall, and when I came back, the door was ajar. Now, I don’t know who left it like that, but obviously someone came after me and opened the door, and they left it open, for whatever reason,” Warmdahl said. “I’m very confident that we do have a very secure facility, but when you add in the element of people leaving doors open or leaving locker rooms unlocked, that’s when we do have exposures.” To mitigate the risk of theft, Warmdahl recommends storing valuables in lockers or locked cars and reducing the amount of valuable items brought to school.

Love Letters program

Key Club is first high school chapter


samantha hoffman & vivek bharadwaj


Locker room theft raises campus security concerns

LETTERS Members of Key Club and assorted members of the student body write letters outside the Edge to people in need of encouragement and love.

emily lin reporter

“Love. Pure, old-fashioned, never goes out of style” is the motto of community service organization “The World Needs More Love Letters,” with which Key Club has teamed up during club meetings to write letters to strangers in need of encouragement, motivation, and, of course, love. Last December, the Upper School became the first high school “CampusCursive Chapter” in California, serving as an ambassador to carry out the organization’s vision. So far, Key Club members have helped to write and send over 150 letters to those in need. Connie Li (11) introduced “The World Needs More Love Letters” to Key Club and helped the club become a Campus Cursive Chapter. She coordinates letter writing activities during club meetings. “I wanted to bring [the organization] to Harker to show other people what good a little thought for others can do for all of us,” Connie said. “I already enjoyed handmaking cards for others, so putting it to such a simple yet profound use in terms of the love people can give to complete strangers really inspired me.” Key Club president Alan Soetikno (12) believes that working with this organization has helped further the club’s mission, epitomized in its motto: “Caring: Our Way of Life.” “We want to provide everyone in the community, whether that be local or global, with love and care. These letters help us provide this care by showing the recipients that they are truly appreciated and respected,” he said. “By writing these letters, the club is teaching the youth not only that it is possible to help people we don’t know, but that its extremely easy to do

so, [as you] only need a pen and paper. Each month, “The World Needs More Love Letters” mails love letters to people in need, providing them with much-needed hope and love. “The World Needs More Love Letters” has now been featured in The Wall Street Journal,, and Yahoo! Shine. According to its website, the mission of “The World Needs More Love Letters” is to remind people to live their best lives, and to give letter writers the opportunity to inspire others. Anyone can request love letters to be written for their friends and loved ones in need; recipients have ranged from ex-soldiers to women in Kenya to an ordinary person going through a rough patch in his or her life. Alan and Connie agreed that the most memorable letter they wrote was to a woman in her sixties named Barbara. “She had battled cancer, arthritis, and had to take care of her 40 year old daughter and 30 to 40 dogs and cats which she adopted. By simply sending her letters for the holidays, we were able to cheer her spirits up,” Alan said. “That’s the difference these letters make. ” For Connie, seeing Barbara’s situation gave her an entirely new perspective. “The fact that an old woman in her sixties is going out and doing more of what makes her happy than I am despite suffering like three major conditions made me just think ‘wow’ and reconsider myself a bit,” she said. In the future, Connie hopes to see even more letters being written and potentially the formation of a club entirely dedicated to writing more love letters.

OPINION 2012-2013 CSPA Crown finalist 2010-2011 Gold Crown-winning publication 2009-2010 Silver Crown-winning publication 2007-2008 Pacemaker Award-winning publication 2010-2011 Silver Crown-winning 2009-2010 Gold Crown-winning

Editor in Chief

Samantha Hoffman

EIC in Training & Tech Editor Nikhil Dilip

Managing Editor Meena Chetty

Copy Editors

Kacey Fang & Samar Malik

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Opinion Editor

Apoorva Rangan

Features Editor Trisha Jani

Lifestyle Editor

January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Ethics Survey 2012: What went wrong? The bar graphs were simple: simple, yet shocking. Months after taking the Ethics of American Youth survey, our attitudes towards honor and ethics were finally revealed to a chorus of audible gasps. The statistics posed to us during school meeting and advisory reignited a necessary discussion about the perception of increasing pressures caused by our parents and community. In advisory groups, we all tried to understand. How was it that within two years, our school seemed to have changed so drastically? Some blamed a faulty test, others claimed the results were a reflection of the emotionally stressful events of 2012. The truth is hard to perceive. In reality, there is probably a mosaic of reasons that three-fourths of our school’s population felt that success justifies dishonest means. Somewhere along the way, we seemed to have lost the meaning of learning for the sake of pursuing knowledge and instead are focused on how we can boost our grades or

circumvent the system. Claiming that the real world or our parents want us to cheat in order to succeed offers a meager excuse for participating in something we all know is wrong. It’s almost as if we’ve developed an immunity to feeling guilty for moral wrongdoing by creating this defensive shield. It’s not my fault, we say. Other people said it was okay. In fact, colleges want me to succeed even if it means I need to be dishonorable. To be clear, the survey doesn’t necessarily report the facts in their entirety; instead, it might perhaps reflect what we, the student body, perceive as the reality of our culture. We don’t think that any parents would really want their kids to have a “whatever it takes” mentality. We seem to have a perception that others want us to compromise our integrity for the sake of success, and unfortunately strive to fulfill that perception. Instead of our opinions

being formed by reality, they seem to be formed around an alternate, improbable world. One potential extrapolation from the results of the survey suggests that a conversation between parents and their students isn’t really happening. That in and of itself has devastating consequences. We’re compromising our ethical selves in order to achieve what we think parents and colleges want from us, which is more often than not removed from reality. Perhaps a comparison between the released results and the same questions as answered by parents would support this hypothesis. And even if they don’t, we need to keep searching for reasons behind why a shockingly large percentage of our student body believes they study in a Machiavellian environment. The real world may require test scores and accolades, but it also demands individuals who can contrib-

ute selflessly to their communities. And if we’re cutting corners to reach a material goal, we’re threatening our strength as a community. Like the game Jenga, we are continually pulling blocks out of the centers of our moral structures and adding levels on top. While the tower does grow taller, it’s unstable without a solid core. We seem to believe that an innate part of success is to be underhanded, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Being successful has more than one dimension. It’s often about measuring up to yourself. But we have now twisted success into being correlated with comparisons and competitions. And that’s the most harmful thing we can do to ourselves. With our contorted perception comes harmful side-effects: stress, self-deprecation, and ethical wrongdoing. We need to get over our cynical mindsets and realize that the world can be more honorable. It’s our duty to do right by ourselves. Let’s fill in the holes in our ethics.



Mercedes Chien

Agree or disagree: My parents/guardians would rather I cheat than get bad grades.

Global Editor

Sheridan Tobin

Sports Editor Sonia Sidhu


Harker 2012

Harker 2010

Megan Prakash


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People who arewho willing totolie, cheat, or People are willing break theCHEAT, rules or are moreTHE likely to succeed LIE, BREAK RULES than people who are not. are more likely to SUCCEED


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the Winged Post

samantha hoffman editor in chief

“Why do we have to do this?” The timeworn battle cry of many a high school student escapes my lips as I look at the requirements for our AP Microeconomics Personal Finance project. Normally, I wouldn’t even waste time complaining, but in a week already filled with tests and quizzes, not even the prospect of soon becoming a “second semester

senior” can quell my groaning. Throughout that week, we had learned about the different types of savings accounts, investing options, credit-building activities, and various other financial ventures. In order to personalize our lessons, we had been assigned a project in which we mapped out present and future budgets, stock purchases, and retirement plans. At first, it became yet another item on my overflowing to-do list, falling somewhere between “Study for the Psych cumulative exam” and “Read 21 pages of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” I continually put it off, guiltily rationalizing that my upcoming calculus test merited more of my attention and that Friday was still a long way away.

FREAKS&GEEKS juhi gupta TALONWP photo editor “The city that practically invented gay.” The official San Francisco Travel Association put it best. Listed on its website with a photo of two smiling blue-haired women, this is just one of the taglines meant to entice tourists into visiting our beloved city. Although it may not be so apparent, our surroundings directly foster the kind of forward thinking that pushes us to accept concepts such as same-sex marriage and varying sexualities. In my life, I have never encountered anyone that followed a different set of beliefs about LGBTQ rights than I, or even disagreed with my understanding of these rights and their ethical backing. Here in the Bay Area, it’s a little harder to understand differing mentalities concerning the notion of LGBTQ and the degrees of acceptance that accompany them. Some things that attest to our liberal-leaning environs and openminded upbringing? Consistent character assassination of anti-gay bigots, the media’s focus on the next level of equality, and the inherently condescending attitude we assume towards people who don’t approve of LGBTQ rights. Many participate in a categorization of said supremacists as ignorant and naïve, believing that any argument against an egalitarian society must be undeniably absurd. This past summer at band camp in Oakland, I met a girl from Tennessee. As we became more acquainted, she revealed that she loved our whole area more than where she lived because of its ‘acceptance’. Jumping to the conclusion that she was referring to the prevalence of underground subcultures (it was band camp, after all), I joked “What, there isn’t any music over there?” The following conversation, though, made clear that her statement came specifically from her appreciation of our universal welcome of LGBTQ lifestyles - despite being straight. She complained of her small, conventional hometown that maintained devout adherence to traditionally accepted views: excluding the acknowledgement of sexuality as a trait and not a choice. Although her overall high school life was decent, almost every day brought some sort of conflict or bullying. Due to differing opinions on many sensitive topics, this friction gradually

worsened a developing schism at her school between struggling, progressive-minded individuals looking for major societal change and oldfashioned conservatives trying desperately to cling to an earlier mindset. Her criticism of the treatment of LGBTQ members of her school struck me as an extraordinary culture clash. Many people I know, including me, whine about the time-honored ‘adolescent experience’ that we’re being robbed of in such a competitive private-school morgue. The quintessential suburbia that so many yearn for could very well be wrought with additional baggage -- including a steadfast attachment to custom that conflicts with our paradigm for reality. This, in essence, served as a major shock as

My clichéd complaints about my surroundings seem petty when compared to these overarching issues. I realized the parallel yet entirely different environments across the country. My model for my relatively avant-garde stances on issues that I believed couldn’t possibly have tenable opposition immediately came crashing down. This firsthand account detailing the resistance against sui generis lifestyles fell in direct contrast to San Francisco’s connotation as a sanctuary for political and social equality. Being exposed to a different outlook that I was previously sheltered from resulted in a greater, more immediate sense of community for me; I felt incredibly proud of our entire area, and distinctly closer to those who shared my point of view. My clichéd complaints about my surroundings seem petty when compared to these overarching issues in regional characterization. Living in the Bay Area and in such close proximity to San Francisco definitely plays a large role in influencing our outlooks and even our upbringings. Shaking our heads at the latest news regarding the Westboro Baptist Church and laughing at Russell Brand’s pointed satire of gay marriage protesters, the reality of such an obviously discriminatory attitude seems distant. When was the last time you went to San Francisco and saw someone challenging the legitimacy of LGBTQ rights? Acquainting myself with the other end of the spectrum was both an eye-opening and unsettling notion, revealing a separate, locally unpopular, and usually unsupported perspective on a major and current topic.

MY FEMINIST MANIFESTO apoorva rangan opinion editor

We’ve all had history teachers or news anchors or political analysts tell us that “history is happening right now.” But I’ve always been incredulous that I could live through real, groundbreaking, game-changing, world-shattering changes during my lifetime. By golly, I didn’t really see a need for huge societal change. I was comfortable enough with our world. Bad news always looked like isolated events from my sheltered, naive per-

Thursday night came too quickly with only a skeletal Excel budget to assuage my guilt and remorse for procrastinating. With the thought of “one day more of first semester,” a la Les Miserables, I steeled myself and dove in... ...Only to quickly become lost. How do I figure out which mutual funds future me should invest in? What are the utilities rates for my future city of residence? How do I calculate retirement savings? Why does the online mortgage calculator not let me enter in a property value under $5 million? With the help of some ice cream and a very patient boyfriend who showed me how to use, I gradually began to find my footing. Slowly, mercifully, bud-


January 25, 2013

spective. I was always optimistic that at some point, all the bad guys would evaporate into puffs of smoke. But I’ve had my eyes opened. The past two months have been full of some of the worst news I’ve ever read. On December 16, I read about the tragic rape of a 23 year old female college student on a Delhi bus that same day. Hopefully, you all know enough about the events in India to feel as nauseated as I did. I just wanted to understand. Often, horrible events like this one cause me to shut my ears in disgust, but this one

gets and investment plans emerged in beautiful colored structures from the gray Excel sheets like beacons of hope in the darkness of 10 p.m. Somewhere in the midst of those four long hours of work, it hit me -this wasn’t just some project assigned to fill some grading category. All of the numbers, calculations, planning, research -- it would all someday become inherent to my existence, something necessary for my survival. I had drawn the map my parents must have done to build our lives, the map that could one day be my life. I know now, just as I realized that night, that the Personal Finance was never anything to bemoan in the first place; it was arguably one of the most practical, applicable assignments I had ever received in my high

school career. I knew what a mutual fund was, how to differentiate between traditional and Roth IRAs, how to read a stock page, and how to build and maintain a high credit score. Perhaps even more importantly, I had come to appreciate the value of money and the hard work and planning my parents continue to go through to provide me with the opportunities and privileges I enjoy today. The project has long since been handed in, graded, and returned, but it has by no means faded from my memory; rather, it lies safely in my “college essentials kit” as a constant reminder of how I arrived at where I am today and how I can pave my life through similar planning, industry, and commitment to my future.

’ ‘ ‘ ’

“what can we do talk around to prevent further campus gun violence?” vasudha rengarajan TalonWP sports editor

“One major improvement is stricter control on who has access to guns.” -Karen Qi (9)

“We need to create and enforce more gun control to protect our schools and communities.” -Karl Kuehn, Dance Teacher

“I think we need to focus on mental health and make sure that people who are mentally ill stay off the streets.” -Ashwath Thirumalai (10)

“I don’t understand why such violent weapons need to be in our hands at all.” -Anita Chetty, Biology Teacher

“Remember that being able to defend yourself is still a fundamental human right.” -Nik Datuashvili (12) “We need to be more strict about issuing gun liscences to make sure guns dont get into the wrong hands.” -Eric Holt (10)

made me hunt for more information. I wanted to do my duty to the thousands of women forced into the sex trade every year, for human trafficking unfortunately continues to be one of the most underreported crimes in the world. In my parents’ homeland, talking about brothels and rapes and the sex trade is considered a taboo. My parents talked about the Delhi gang rape in such generalities as “that event” or “that thing that happened to that girl.” The country’s uniform discomfort is just part of their culture, albeit a stupid one. And as a consequence of their mindset, only one in every fifty rapes is reported. While large parts of the Hindu religious pantheon are female, feminism is actually a relatively new idea in India, and extremely unpopular amongst some men. Unfortunately, several of these men hold prominent positions in the Indian government and police force, both of which are extremely cor-

rupt. In fact, some men blame the victim of a rape, citing their loose morals and tight clothing as invitations for trouble. India is a country full of light; it has some of the most beautiful cultural traditions, and I’m proud of many aspects of my heritage. But it’s sad that India’s dark side is so dark indeed. Only a quarter of rape cases in India result in convictions of the rapists, according to India’s National Crimes Record Bureau. That means that for every rapist put in jail, three walk free back onto the streets of India. The bad guys aren’t evaporating into puffs of smoke. They’re walking the streets of India. Fear then proceeds to constrict these women, choking their freedom. It’s uncomfortable to talk about rape and brothels, but unless India’s attitude towards women changes, they’re imposing a limitation on their growth. Women are expected to have less education than their prospective husbands in order to be attractive prospects for

arranged marriages. Here’s what an Indian police officer declares in an article by undercover reporters for the magazine Tehelka: “If girls don’t stay within their boundaries, if they don’t wear appropriate clothes, then naturally there is attraction. This attraction makes men aggressive, prompting them to just do it.” So, according to a sub-inspector in a Delhi police station, rape is the victim’s fault. How does a country in this state hope to get ahead economically when half of their potential workforce is trapped under social constraints, scared of the officers who are supposed to be protecting them? In India, news rolls in and out like a wave. But no matter how big the wave, it never seems to be able to change the shape of the shoreline. I fear that putting a Band-Aid on this problem isn’t enough. I’m waking up to the fact that I want real change to happen right now.


reporter When I checked the local newspaper one Saturday morning, the first thing that caught my eye was the score 90-56 in favor of Fremont High over Harker. For a minute I thought that maybe the basketball season had started, but then it struck me that it was still too early, and it had to be a football game. I did a double take as I read that Fremont went for a two-point conversion with the score at 81-56 just to break the record for the most points scored in a CCS football game, the previous record set at 82. Was it really necessary for Fremont to pour on those points? So, what happened to the notion of good sportsmanship? Instead of trying to score points and break records, couldn’t they have run out the clock? Even after breaking the record, was it necessary to score another touchdown and break the etiquette of being humble? I decided to check the dictionary to make sure I really understood what sportsmanship meant. And, sure enough, my understanding was not off base. Sportsmanship is all about behaving appropriately on a playing field and demonstrating good conduct. It is not a set of hard and fast rules

but rather an unwritten code athletes at all levels are encouraged to follow. Good sportsmanship can be applied to any game at any time. After a play in football, for example, opposing players might help lift each other up off the turf. But then, what is showmanship? It is athletes showing off after scoring or belittling the other team, completely ignoring the idea of good sportsmanship. Even professional teams lack humility and display unnecessary showmanship, such as in football where players perform complex touchdown routines. Some players lose sight of the fact that they need to have respect for the opposing team. One might think that the choice between sportsmanship and showmanship is applicable to only sports. In reality this choice can have much larger relevance to all venues of life. For example, sportsmanship can be applicable in academics: rather than comparing our grades with our peers’, we should focus on doing our best for ourselves, while encouraging collaboration and a helpful environment in our classes. Additionally, sportsmanship can teach us to practice humility and success with class in our professional lives. In the workplace, we

should remember not to flaunt success, such as a raise or promotion. On the flip side, we should also handle failure graciously and remember that being passed over for such a reward is not a personal attack but rather indicates that there is room for improvement. If we do not change our ways regarding sportsmanship and showmanship on the playing field, then this same lack of respect can manifest itself in our behavior outside of sports. Why should this conduct be tolerated in athletics? Rather than being taught the mentality of a disrespectful, rude person, it is possible to pick up the ethics of honor and loyalty from sports and apply these principles to our daily values and general life. No matter the occasion, people should always demonstrate proper conduct and respect any opponents rather than embarrassing themselves with the social image of a show-off or a sore loser. The danger of these bad values practiced in sports being carried over to real life merits a change on our whole disposition towards sportsmanship and showmanship. If we can change our perception of conduct in sports, then we can carry over these principles of integrity and respect to real life.

The high school rat race reporter A 2380 on the SAT, a 4.6 GPA, six extraordinary extra-curricular activities, and 217 hours of volunteer work, and yet, that’s still not enough. Over the years, whether in academics or extra curricular activities, competition has become a defining element of our school. For some, high school has turned into a continuous rat race in which students are willing to make any sacrifice in order to reach the top. But is it really worth it? When I moved to California from Ohio two years ago, I was instantly overwhelmed by the excessively competitive nature of the Bay Area. Coming from a place where homework lasted 20 minutes and receiving a B on a report card was genuinely commended, I was taken aback by the number of eighth and ninth graders enrolled in AP classes and midnight study sessions necessary to ace a test. Recently, the goal of becoming valedictorian or receiving admission into an Ivy League has become the focus of high schools. While this sort of rivalry may motivate some to try harder and challenge themselves, too often I see it lead to stress, isolation, and even various levels of cheating and dishonesty. Not only can an overly competitive environment cause betrayal and backstabbing between close friends,

but it can also result in a contagious outbreak of the “numbers game.” In order to achieve a higher spot in academic rankings, individuals work to outsmart their educational systems in order to increase their test scores, grades, and GPA. For example, some students may opt to take a free period instead of an enjoyable, interesting, non-honors level elective. Why? Because it will raise their GPA by onetenth of a point. It is partly because of this sly manipulation that academic environments have changed from a setting of passionate learning to a cutthroat competition to achieve the winning spot. Unfortunately, it does not just end there. Students take this dishonesty to the next level by cheating on assessments and assignments in order to receive higher marks. Consequently, at extreme quantities, competition can go so far as to alter one’s self integrity and true character. When I moved to the area, I could not keep myself from being genuinely shocked at the number of sacrifices, including a loss of friends, sleep, and personality, that students made just to add an extra point to their GPA. While competition is inevitable in our place and time, I often ask myself “When will it end?” What is the point of getting involved in competition so early in life?” In my opinion, this competition is initially sparked by the notorious college application process. So early on in our academic lives we begin gearing up

Just knowing that the holidays exist makes the rest of the year so much better. elisabeth siegel

Unnecessary over-competition anokhi saklecha

Holidays: Still relevant even in the modern day

with extra curricular activities and AP classes just to make us seem better than the rest. However, I have personally witnessed students being accepted into top universities while undergoing less than half of the stress and competition that many of us undergo, simply because they do what they truly want. So, then, why is it that many of us are so caught up in getting to the top without taking time to explore what we enjoy? Don’t get me wrong, however. I will not deny that I, along with everyone else, am also involved in this “race to nowhere”. Competition has its benefits as well. As small amounts are necessary for success, achievement will never happen without competition. Yet, as someone who has experienced the numerous pressures that we must undergo, I truly believe that a sense of excessive rivalry can be detrimental to our personal and academic lives and can be mitigated. Although high scores may seem important, passion and character are the true keys to long-term success. In perspective, high school is only a small aspect of life, and we will all reach the same place in the end. So, this semester, take some time for yourself and do what you enjoy without letting competition rule your life.


vineet kosaraju


Sportsmanship vs. showmanship

January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

reporter Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Halloween. Easter. The Fourth of July. I only need to say the name of a holiday, and you would be temporarily overcome by mental images of fireworks, sparkly lawn decorations, or a measure or two of the catchy music that seems to be everywhere during the month of said holiday. The meaning of all of these holidays has evolved rapidly throughout the years as old traditions become defunct and new traditions are ushered in to replace them, just as we have stopped prohibiting work on holidays and it has now become custom to tweet about our gifts shortly after receiving them. So, as some cease to dress up on October 31 either from age or lack of interest and others stop decorating eggs on Easter, people begin to wonder: “Are holidays even important anymore?” The answer is still yes, even if it isn’t solely because of visiting relatives or upholding tradition, which are the answers commonly thought of in response to such a question. I am certain that a holiday is the most important thing in the world today that doesn’t tangibly exist. A few years ago, I sat in an airport on Christmas Eve, waiting for a flight that would take me home to my extended family. The airplane would depart in 20 minutes, and I was understandably excited to be heading home for Christmas. The flight in the gate next to ours, however, was delayed for a staggering five hours. Some of the older adults looked understandably miffed, but the younger adults

and children were chatting animatedly about their plans for the rest of the holidays and what they expected to see under the tree. I looked up from my book to my dad, confused, and asked him how people with a flight delayed for five hours could be so happy. He shrugged noncommittally and replied with a simple, “It’s Christmas.” He had managed to grasp the simple truth that had insofar eluded me, but I still had a hard time understanding. So, I thought. These people are still excited by the prospect of a holiday even if they have to wait for five hours in a crowded airport? Sometimes, people celebrate holidays without even realizing it, because holidays can be both much more and much less than “season’s greetings” and spending time with friends and family. The “meaning” of the holidays is so different for each specific person that they’re almost impossible to define, each dictionary making vague mentions of “festivity” and “no work” and nothing more definite. In this day and age, holidays have become nothing more than ideals that pervade everyone’s every day lifestyle, whether they have eight lit candles in a menorah or a decorated fir tree in their living room—and there’s nothing wrong with that. So my answer to the question of importance is a resounding yes, if only for the psychological benefits and not for the physical act of opening presents on Christmas day or dressing up for Halloween. Just knowing that they exist makes the rest of the year so much better.

Self-deprecation does not have any justification managing editor “I am going to fail.” If only I had a penny for every time I’ve heard this ominous declaration. I’m definitely not excluded from the population of people that engage in self-deprecation, however, and it seems to have become a force of habit. As I was walking out of one of my classes during the last week of the semester just a couple of weeks ago, a friend was expressing concern about one of her grades to me. The conversation went something along the lines of: “I’m doing terribly in this class,” to which my response was “Don’t worry, I probably got a worse grade than you did.” This exchange was not necessarily out of the ordinary, but upon reflection, I realized that it was pretty ridiculous and that I needed to seriously adjust my approach to self-

deprecation. First of all, “terribly” has a varying connotation and cannot accu-

There is no point stating what the problem is without trying to fix it.

meena chetty

rately be applied to a grade. It’s also completely unfair to anyone who didn’t perform as well as the people condemning their own grade. Secondly, how do such con-

versations result in a productive outcome? There is no point stating what the problem is without trying to fix it. Yet, in this situation, we seemed to have given up and helplessly accepted the fact that we didn’t understand the content we were learning about in class just because we didn’t like the grade we received. Granted, the class we were referring to wasn’t one with which I felt particularly comfortable, so I guess my lack of self-confidence prompted me to justify my grades by underestimating my abilities in the class. Self-deprecation appears to be pervasive among high school students, at least from what I have noticed. It could be a mode of comforting ourselves because we think it will make us feel better if the outcome is more positive than we expect. I can understand why it’s not totally unwarranted. With the pressure of academics and extracur-

riculars, self-deprecation may offer some sort of escape to lower expectations. We’re constantly surrounded by success, whether it’s others’ or our own. Putting ourselves down could alleviate this pressure. As I write this, I’m staring at these words and racking my brain for a legitimate reason as to why we criticize ourselves to this extent, all to no avail. So my question remains: What positive benefit does self-deprecation present? We could argue that it offers motivation to improve oneself or reflects modesty, but I think that both of those points are unjustified. Inspiration to succeed can be found from literally anywhere when you really push yourself to look for it; insults, on the other hand, only counter the effects of motivation. And in regard to modesty- there are definitely ways to strive for humility other than subjecting ourselves to our own harsh criticism. The way I see

it, being humble means not being excessively proud rather than hating on yourself. As narcissistic as it sounds, an appreciation of ourselves could foster more individual improvement than deprecation can. I’m starting to realize that selfdeprecation is probably one of the worst forms of coping with stress. In addition to lowering self-esteem, it probably only worsens stress levels, a universally undesirable consequence. The start of the new year is the perfect time to try and correct this unfortunate habit. I plan to keep in mind that self-deprecation is counterproductive and does nothing but hinder goals. I am going to try harder to embrace the journey towards the outcome, instead of the outcome itself, as a form of motivation. Despite all my contrary dramatic assertions, we will get through today, this week, this month, and even this year just fine.



January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

reporter For most aspiring actors in high school, performing opportunities are limited to school shows and student projects. Any chance at film work usually comes as a nonspeaking background part. Landing a starring role? Almost impossible. The key word here is almost. In auditions last month, six Upper School actors were cast as the leads of the independent feature film Family Party. They will star alongside other high school and professional actors in the movie, directed by Pari Mathur. Mathur described Family Party as a “coming-of-age romantic comedy,” with elements of drama and adventure. The story focuses on two high school seniors, Nick and Arti, played by Vishal Vaidya (10) and Apurva Tandon (12), respectively, who try to escape a family party to attend a concert with their friends. “Obviously they don’t want to be at the party—they want to hang out with their friends,” Apurva said. “They try to figure out ways to get out, but there’s a ton of little things that stop them from getting their way.” Nick, the main character, is “generally a pretty chill guy,” Vishal said. “He’s smart, friendly, popular but not cocky, and most importantly, funny.” According to Apurva, Arti is strong-willed and assertive. “She finds ways to get what she wants and further her own objectives,” she said. Arti is a childhood friend of Nick’s, and the title family party is her graduation party. Jai Ahuja (10) plays Sahil, another

one of Nick’s friends. “I’ve been friends with him throughout high school, and I’m like the sarcastic sidekick kind of guy,” he said. The main antagonist of the film is Sanjay, played by Rahul Nalamasu (12). Jealous of Nick’s friendship with Arti, Sanjay tries to sabotage their escape attempt.

We are not just tech support with accents and mustaches. Let’s showcase that.

stephanie chen

Pari Mathur, Director “His little quirk is that he’ll do whatever he can to get ahead, even if that means hurting someone else in the process,” Rahul said. Cecilia Lang-Ree (12) described her character Tanya as “a typical, pretty popular high school girl.” Although the plot seems to imply a romantic relationship between Nick and Arti, Tanya is Nick’s initial love interest. Alice Tsui (12) plays Amanda, one

of the few characters in college. “I’m the kind of girl that’s very condescending,” Alice said. “I’m one of those snarky characters, which is really interesting because I’ve never had the chance to play that role—I’m usually just the silly comedy.” Together, these six characters form the core of the film, though it has an ensemble cast with 35 speaking roles. Mathur is confident that the Upper School students will be able to deliver a solid performance. “I don’t think I’ll have that big of a challenge directing the kids,” he said. “They pretty much come already locked and loaded.” Mathur first found out about the Conservatory when a student interned at his company three years ago and invited him to watch a show at the Upper School. “The whole performing arts department just blew me away,” he said. “It was actually the best play I’d watched that year.” After watching several other performances, including this year’s fall play Hamlet, he was so impressed that he decided to cast primarily at the Upper School. Family Party is Mathur’s first fulllength feature, produced by his company Silk Road Films. As a producer at Paridym Pictures and MKSHFT/ CLLCTV, pronounced makeshift collective, Mathur creates and directs advertisements for companies like Toyota and Samsung as well as small startups in Silicon Valley. He wrote the script for Family Party in 2009 as part of a desire to accurately portray South Asian society in cinema and popular culture.


Upper School students cast as leads in independent film

MOVIE CASTING Six upper school students were cast as leads of this independent feature film, directed by Pari Mathur. The film is schedules to release in December.

“If you watch Indian-American film like Bend It Like Beckham, Outsourced, or American Desi, you have one distinct theme—cultural tension,” he said. In Family Party, he focuses on Indian-Americans in ordinary society instead of cultural stereotypes. “We are not just tech support with accents and mustaches,” he said. “Let’s showcase that.” The Upper School cast believes that Family Party succeeds at fulfilling Mathur’s purpose. “I honestly think it’s a realistic portrayal of how [Indian-Americans] are in society today,” Jai said. Rahul agreed, saying that the film showed “that [Indian-Americans] in this community are exactly the same as everyone else.” Filming is scheduled to take place during spring break in April, after the remaining roles have been cast. Mathur plans to screen Family Party at film festivals in the summer and have it open in theaters in December. He hopes to

distribute it nationally and internationally. Many members of the cast are simply excited to have the chance to act in a movie. “Film acting has always been a dream of mine,” Alice said. “[Family Party] was just such a perfect opportunity.” Family Party is also a chance for some to gain experience. “I only have limited film experience, and I’m looking for ways to improve my craft in places I haven’t tried before,” Cecilia said. “I’m expecting it to be a lot of fun.” For Vishal, even landing a role in the film was a surprise, and he hopes to make the most of the opportunity. “I’m really excited to be working on screen,” he said. “I was really happy that I got in, and I’m going to work my hardest to make the movie the best it can be.”

SDS: The students become the directors reporters

“What should we hit ‘em with: the motive, or a long discourse on the ninja of feudal Japan and how they prepare blowfish?” Detective Woolrich asked the audience. “You decide.” The audience asked them about the motive, leaving the rest of us to speculate about ninjas and blowfish. On January 4 and 5, around 50 students vivified the 2013 Student Directed Showcase (SDS) plays - The Choice is Yours, The Shadow Box, DNA, and The Madwoman of Chaillot, directed by seniors Lori Berenberg, Cecilia Lang-Ree, Hannah Prutton, and Cristina Jerney, respectively. After more than two months of extensive work, the performances enthralled the crowd with a night full of drama, laughs, and even some audience participation. The energetic crowd enjoyed Lori’s interpretation of a humorous, audience-interactive murder mystery, in which the viewers guided Detective Woolrich ( Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari Manuel) through the investigation of a sudden death of an actor during rehearsal. SDS is a semester long class offered to qualified students who are chosen in the spring based on their experience in acting classes, fall plays, spring musicals, and other SDS shows as well as their leadership skills. When choosing the four student directors from the list of candidates, Laura Lang-Ree, Performing Arts Department Chair, tries to get an idea of the applicant’s character. “There’s some little quirk that directors have where we see pictures in our head, and we visualize things,” she said. Once chosen, students immediately embark on the arduous process of staging their own show. Detective Woolrich conducts his

investigation by meeting all the actors, uncovering their possible motives, determining the poison which kills the victim (a substance derived from the gland of a blowfish, which happens to be a popular delicacy in Japan), and ultimately convicting the suspect. All with the help of the audience, of course. Erik Andersen (12) thought the audience interaction made the play interesting. “I really liked the acting in the Choice is Yours, and I thought that the audience interaction was one of the best features of it,” he said. On the other hand, The Shadow Box, Cecilia’s thought-provoking play, is a drama tracking the journey of three families’ acceptance of their loved one’s terminal illness and imminent death. The play alternates between plot lines: showing scenes with members of one family interacting, and other scenes where a patient from a different family converses with an unseen psychiatrist. The raw emotions expressed by the various patients reflect their journey through the stages of grief until the characters finally reach acceptance. “I learned a lot about how to create a believable character effectively by thinking about objectives and what’s not clearly stated in the script and allowing that to shape my character,” said Aashika Balaji (9), who played the wife of a dying man. In her play DNA, Hannah decided that she wanted a show that would make the audience think about their ethics when placed in the same precarious situation as the actors. Her show follows the decisions a high school gang must face after they accidentally killing a student in a hazing incident gone awry. Each character had a different solution to the dangerous consequences of unintentionally killing a classmate. These ideas ranged from coming clean to the police to pinning the blame on an innocent postal worker. As the pur-

acters in a café who overhear an evil prospector and a president’s plan to dig up Paris because they think oil is under it and because of all the money they think they could make off of it,” Cristina said. “And in one afternoon, the countess and her friends plot and effectively kill these evil people by sending them in a dark hole in her basement where no one comes out from.” “It’s a comedy,” she said after a moment. Justin Gerard (12), who played the evil prospector, thought working with a classmate was more relaxed than putting on a production with an adult director. “The process was generally less formal, though whenever we hit the stage or started up a scene, we snapped into our professional gear and gave it all we got,” Justin said. “I had been friends with the director already, so it was easy to talk to her as my character as the show progressed.” Surya Solanki (9), was both surprised and dazzled by the professionalism in the student directed plays. “Overall, I was impressed with all of them,” she said. “The fact that they were student directed was really cool.” Jeffrey Draper, the Director of Acting, was grateful for this opportunity which empowers student directors and actors. Despite the young age of the students, he felt that the performances were terrific and flawless. “In particular , I found the work STUDENT PERFORMERS (Above) Vishal Vaidya (10), contemplates how of the younger actors to be fantastic, to best resolve the mess he and his friends have gotten themselves in. The and that is especially interesting to purpose of the play D.N.A was to inspire audience members to test their ethics alongside the characters’. (Below) The suspects in a murder case react as Dolly me as I look to cast many of the acis identified by the audience as the killer. She nonchalantly says the “killer mono- tors I see in the spring in the fall play,” logue” that every actor had to learn in case they pronounced guilty. Draper said. “It’s great to see actors I pose was to inspire the audience to “It’s challenging in the sense that you don’t know well and see what they can deliberate on which path they would have to be incredibly specific with your do. Overall, the entire cast did great have chosen, each of the actors had to choices.” work with a short rehearsal process Cristina’s play, The Madwoman and some very challenging material.” exaggerate his or her character’s personality so the audience would have a of Chaillot, focuses on the increasingly Students participating in the next decaying state of human nature: one major performance, the spring musical, clear portrayal of the solutions. “I think the most challenging as- that has become obsessed with obtain- have already started rehearsals. They pect of the process was character de- ing money and less concerned with will soon be performing Oklahoma! in velopment,” Anna Kendall (11), who living life. May. “It is about a crazy group of charplayed a member of the gang, said. ALL PHOTOS NATALIE SIMONIAN- WINGED POST

vineet kosaraju & natalie simonian




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January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


managing editor Kimberley Wong (‘05) experienced a connection to Shakespeare similar to all of this year’s Hamlet performers when she portrayed the role of Gertrude her junior year at The Upper School. Sharing her discovery of her love for Shakespeare, Wong recalled how her high school acting career carried her into her current profession as an actress. As a musical theater certificate student, Wong was involved in several plays, musicals, and dance productions throughout her high school career; however, her experience in Hamlet changed the way she perceived theater. “I knew that I liked Shakespeare, but I think that production really opened my eyes to exactly how amazing theater is,” she said. “Shakespeare [wrote] these beautiful heightened universal stories that are just so accessible on so many levels to everyone.” Wong pointed to Performing Arts teacher Jeffrey Draper’s style of ensemble casting, in which multiple actors portrayed each character, as an enlightening moment in her theater experience. “High school theater can give a great foundation and the Harker Conservatory strives for that,” Draper said. “She played leading roles that really pushed her, and I know for a fact that she’s really grown. I think she found a love of language and the ability to handle language through some of the work we did early on.” After attending New York University, her passion for the Shakespeare’s plays and ensemble work has continued to guide her in her pro-

fessional acting career as well, inspiring her to found The Accidental Shakespeare Company with co-director Lindsay Tanner in New York. The company is comprised of an ensemble of six actors who, with the help of audience and chance, are cast into their roles only moments before they perform. Wong expresses belief that the company offers actors the opportunity to keep their performances as alive and realistic as possible. “I find that the best work that I do and the best work that the actors I know do comes when [they are] being spontaneous,” she said. “[They have to find] that balance between not knowing what happens next in an unsafe way versus not knowing what happens next in a way that makes [them] excited and interested in and invested in what’s going to happen next.” Although Wong herself does not enjoy improvisation, she says that it pushes the actors to be better and teaches them to handle accidents. Aside from co-directing her own company, Wong has been involved in productions with The American Globe Theatre in New York and the Adirondack Shakespeare Company, and she portrayed Juliet in the 2011 Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Additionally, Wong took part in educational tours over the past year during which she had the opportunity to travel to various schools to perform and hold workshops. Recently, Wong expanded her performance career to television as well with an appearance as Quinn on the show Deception. Having experienced both theater and television, she has noticed significant differences between the

Return to Upper School

Miller back from maternity leave

two forms of acting. “With TV and film and commercials, you need an agent to even get seen,” she said. She also stated that, while half of her current auditions are for television, she prefers theater. “I love the energy of live theater. It gives you this buzz, this energy that you’re sharing something with people, that you’re really talking to another person on stage and listening to them in ways that I don’t think people talk and listen to each other in real life anymore. [...] You get to have a bigger say in how the final product looks,” she said. “Whereas in TV and film, it’s really a director’s and editor’s medium. You show up, you do your thing, and then you leave.” While Wong acknowledged that theater does not necessarily provide as much consistency as other professions, she expressed that the difficulty of an actor’s lifestyle is sometimes exaggerated. “They say when you’re in school and you’re thinking about being an actor, it’s the hardest lifestyle and you choose to not have any sense of security or consistency in your life,” she said. “I’m going to say it right out: it’s totally doable. It is hard, [...] but I love what I do, and it’s totally worth it. The experience of having someone come up to you after you have put your heart and soul out there in front of them and say ‘you really touched me or changed the way I see something’, for example, is a great feeling.” Wong’s current goal in her theater career is to participate in a professional Shakespeare festival so that she can engage in an environment where others share her passion for theater.

Keeper of the Scale

Debbie Cohen, from Office of Communications, publishes debut novel tiara bhatacharya



MILLER RETURNS English teacher Brigid Miller is at home smiling with her three-month old son, August ‘Gus’ John Miller, who is her second child and whom she describes as a happy “old soul.”

apoorva rangan & sindhu ravuri opinion editor & reporter

Upper School English teacher Brigid Miller’s plate is very, very full. In addition to an English course, she now has the additional load of a newborn to care for. After giving birth to her second son, Miller returned to school from her maternity leave of approximately three months. For the second-time parent, motherhood always played an integral role in her future. “As a woman, I just knew I was going to be a mother,” Miller said. “I think it’s just instinctual. It’s visceral. It’s not something you think about, I just felt I was made to take care of people.” Miller’s newborn son, August John Miller, endearingly known as “Gus” to family and friends, was born on October 9. “He was so late that by the time I went into labor I didn’t really feel the pain, I was more relieved,” Miller said. “I heard him screaming, and I thought ‘He’s actually real, he’s a real person.’” Miller spent her maternity leave getting to know her son. She describes August, who is named after his greatgrandfather, as a joy to raise. “He’s a very good and mellow baby. With Gus, even when he’s crying, I can get him to smile,” Miller said. “People at daycare called him an ‘old soul.’ He’s got [his great-grandfather’s] name and an old soul to match.” Much of Miller’s day was centered around Gus. Though she was connected to the Upper school community through email, she focused her attention on taking care of her family and her home. “It’s a testament to the people who took my classes that I didn’t have to check in with them and micromanage.” She admits that the differences

between maternity leave and teaching school were dramatic. “It’s a huge change going from school, where I interact with 100 people a day, to home, where it’s one-onone with someone who doesn’t really talk.” While she still finds her doubly busy life “overwhelming,” Miller is glad to have returned to the Upper School. “I missed the intellectual stimulation of reading literature, discussing literature, seeing students just being engaged,” Miller said. Generally, the experiences giving birth to her two boys differed greatly for Miller. When giving birth to her first son, Harris, the process was far longer. She was in labor for over 24 hours, a process which she described as a “nightmare” that “went on and on and on.” On the other hand, when August was born, not only was the delivery much quicker, but Miller was on oxygen and IV’s so “it was kind of a blur, which was good.” Despite these vast differences, though, one part of the births never changed. “My husband. [He] was the same both times. Pacing, impatient, squeamish. I felt like I had to be there for him! He doesn’t do so well in those kinds of situations, and understandably so,” Miller said with a smile on her face. In addition to the support of her husband, Miller had the unwavering assistance of five-year old Harris as well. “He’s five, so he knows Gus is not a toy and treats him well. I’ve been very lucky to have him. Harris has been a great helper,” Miller said. While maternity leave gave Miller the opportunity to spend undivided time with her newborn son, it had to come to an end. It is up to the Upper School to welcome for Miller, and to welcome her and the newest member of her family back into our community.

ACT Kimberley Wong (‘05) plays Feste in a production by the Adirondack Shakespeare Company. She also has her own theater company in New York, called The Accidental Shakespeare Company.

Cohen also enjoyed the unique opportunity of being able to align her journalistic background with the composition of her novel, saying that she feels tremendously fortunate that her job is writing. After completing the arduous task of perfecting her story, Cohen and her agent faced several hurdles as they began sending Keeper of the Scale to numerous publishing companies. Experience in the journalism field taught her that she had “to be very willing to be rejected a lot if [she] want[ed] to be a writer,” so Cohen constantly persevered, sending her novel to over 60 publication agencies. Although the book’s earnest message held the distinct promise to fascinate readers, the publishing companies declined to take the novel on, which forced Cohen towards a sharp realization. “The publishing industry’s in a bit of a mess right now, and it’s harder and harder for new authors to break in, and I didn’t know if it was ever going to happen [for me],” she commented, elaborating that she “just decided [she] didn’t want to wait[…]and decided to” publish the book herself. Thus, Cohen embarked upon the final

portion of her novel experience – self publishing the book she had dedicated five years of her life to. She struck a deal with Amazon, and soon positive reviews of Keeper of the Scale began trickling in. “That’s what [writing a book] is all about, connecting with the reader. It’s fantastic. I think one [of the reviews] is from Yugoslavia, and[…]just wow,” Cohen said, touched at the responses from various men and women all around the world. Excited at the prospects of her debut novel, Cohen shared that she hopes to write a sequel someday. For now, however, she plans to focus on marketing Keeper of the Scale. Cohen urged young, aspiring authors to “make the time everyday to try and write, even if nothing good comes out of it.” “Do a page a day, [and] in a year you’ll have at least a first draft of a book,” she said. Reflecting back upon her experience, Cohen emphasized the significance of the constant support by Adams and her family, admitting that “for five years [that’s] really what kept [her] going.” “If I hadn’t had that, I don’t think I would have done it,” she said. Cohen believed that this support system was essential to her progress in composing the novel, and she “really felt like [she] wasn’t alone [in the writing effort].” The amount of help she received exponentially facilitated her process, and Cohen further recommended that all budding authors should simply “try and get some feedback.” Keeper of the Scale is now available on the Amazon website as an eBook.

After five years dedicated to working on her book, Debbie Cohen, a writer from the Office of Communications, published her debut novel Keeper of the Scale on November 4. The story portrays the lives of three women who initially appear to share little more than the desire to lose weight. As the novel progresses, however, along with their friendships, Rebecca, Janine, and Margarite discover that they have evolved from simple diet-buddies to lifelong companions. Cohen explained that Keeper of the Scale offers riveting social commentary upon the “societal pressure to be thin [with] the message at the end of the book [being] that [the three women] learn to really not care so much” about their weight. Furthermore, the novel depicts the immense impact and sentiment that genuine friendship can give as the three women learn to support each other through various ups and downs. On a personal level, Rebecca, Janine, and Margarite each represent the different phases of a woman’s life, and their bond transcends the boundaries of age. Inspired by authors such as Margaret Atwood and Dorothy Parker, Cohen had “been writing as long as [she] can remember.” She attended college in the hopes of pursuing journalism as a career, and prior to working for the Office of Communications, she was able to work for several eminent publications, including the Pearson Foundation, the San Francisco Chronicle, Lifestyles Magazine, Benefit Magazine, The Oakland Magazine, The Alameda Magazine, and Pregnancy Magazine. Nevertheless, as many writers do, Cohen always harbored the idea of writing her own book. Determined to face the task, she did not allow anything to deter her from fulfilling her dream. “If you have something you have always wanted to do, like a bucket list, you just keep going, and maybe it comes and goes, but you have to keep heading towards the end,” Cohen said, explaining what motivated her to persist in her book efforts, despite the fact that the writing process was extremely taxing. According to Cohen, authors often “have to rewrite [each draft of a novel] a million times,” and she herself reworked this book quite a bit. The encouragement of her friends, family, as well as constant collaboration with prestigious editor Chuck Adams of Algonquin Books, who had previously worked with authors such KEEPER OF THE SCALE Debbie Cohen published her novel on November 8, after working for five years. It is available as an eBook on Amazon. Cohen plans to as Ronald Reagan, sustained her write a sequel to her novel in the future. throughout the undertaking.


meena chetty


Kimberley Wong (‘05) shares story as professional actress

Features Cont’d Juniors begin College Counseling


Continued from page 1

COUNSELING College counselor Martin Walsh addresses his students in the first session of the year. Topics discussed in this meeting included standardized testing, college visits, and teacher recommendations.

anishka agarwal

hear their individual stories. “Part of it is not just college,” she said. “It is getting to know the kids.” Before becoming a counselor, Burrell worked in admissions. She explained that college counseling builds a relationship that she could not develop as an admissions officer. “[I was] working with applications which were representative of kids, but I didn’t exactly get to work with the kids,” she said. According to Burrell, one of her favorite aspects of college counseling is trying to help students understand their hopes and aspirations. Lum Lung, who has been a college counselor at the Upper School for eight years, explained that one of his favorite parts of counseling is

Calculus teacher’s journey through dance

reporter Derivatives, integrals, and fundamental theorems are the only kinds of things one might typically associate with a Calculus teacher. However, math teacher Gabriele Stahl does not fit that characterization, as she has been dancing for over 26 years. At the age of 14, Stahl began her journey with dance. It started in a tiny village in Germany where she began attending ballroom dancing classes. Taking dance classes was something that was expected of her and acted as a means to escape from the lack of excitement and social life in her hometown. “The classes were basically a way to get out and away from home and do something else,” Stahl said. She had always loved music, but it was during the classes that Stahl realized her love for dance. While still in Germany, Stahl danced a great deal; she competed and taught ballroom until the age of 25 when her children were born. In 1997, when she came to America, she returned to ballroom dancing and began teaching as well. It was only five years later that she started Argentine tango, the dance style she is still rigorously committed to. “I saw a group learning Argentine tango dancing, and that’s when I decided I like that much, much more than ballroom dancing,” Stahl said. Even though she no longer teaches ballroom dancing, Stahl now attends tango classes twice each weekend. When Argentine teachers are in town and give workshops however, she attends about three or four classes a week. A l though Stahl has the potential to compete in Argentine tango, she chooses not to because she believes that “the philosophy of that dance [is that] it is really for the couple.” According to Stahl, tango is not meant for an audience, unlike most dance performances of other styles, which are choreographed ahead of time. All

the steps in the Argentine tango are improvised rather than rehearsed; the man improvises and the woman follows. Stahl enjoys the relationship that is created between the couple due to this improvisation method the most. “In Argentine tango you get a connection with your partner that you don’t have in any other dance,” she said. “You don’t know what the guy is going to lead, so you really have to tune in and feel what the next move is going to be.” In fact, her favorite memories of tango are when her and her partner reach a stage of consummation through improvising. “When my partner and I hear exactly the same music and then we do moves that totally fit to the music,” Stahl said. “When the music becomes playful, we become playful.” Stahl does not have one specific partner and believes that she learns more when she dances with different partners. “You have to learn all the little subtle signs that each of them gives and each of them has a different repertoire of movements,” Stahl said. “I always feel when I dance with different partners it keeps me on my toes and I enjoy that.” For Stahl, Argentine tango has a lot more meaning and depth to it than just moving one’s body: it is an expression of her feelings as well as a way to talk to somebody on a deeper level. “You need the other person to be on a level that I think is sometimes not comparable to a level that you can create by words,” Stahl said. Stahl has also realized that her emotions and circumstances in life often reflect how she dances. “When my life sometimes falls a little bit apart, I have no balance, “ she said. “But when I am very content, I can stand very well, and I have my axis.” Over the years Stahl has also learned foxtrot, Viennese waltz, regular waltz, quickstep as well as Latin American dances such as chacha, rumba, and jive. S t a h l hopes to continue dancing until her feet can carry her. “I hope I continue this is until 80. I always have this beautiful picture of me in high heels, maybe shorter,” Stahl said. “An old lady still dancing a little bit with the people I like to dance with now.” COURTESY OF GABRIELE STAHL


“Approach this in a businesslike manner.” The first meeting’s agenda also included the discussion of recommendations. All students will need two recommendations from teachers; a counselor will write a third recommendation. According to Walsh, teacher recommendations represent “bones,” which counselor recommendations are move like “skin and flesh;” that is, they speak more to the personality of the student. Nicole Burrell, Co-Director of College Counseling, has been a counselor at the Upper School since 2002. She says that the process of starting with a new bunch of students is exciting for her, especially because she can meet new kids and

TANGO, TEACH, AND TANGO SOME MORE While teaching summer school in Seoul, Stahl attended a dance event in tango known as a milonga. Stahl has been dancing for over 26 years.

“when a student discovers a college or university that they never considered before.” Like Burrell, he looks forward to meeting and working with each junior. “Getting to know each of my students is certainly one of my favorite [aspects of college counseling,]” he said. Lum Lung also explained that transitioning to a new group of students is “a little strange” because he knows the senior class very well. “It is a bit of a transition, but I am excited,” he said. Lum Lung further mentioned that he looks forward to hearing back all of the decisions of the seniors. Many juniors have mixed feel-

ings about the start college counseling. “I feel excited but scared at the same time,” Areej Hasan (11) said. “I thought the first class was very informative.” Others cannot believe that they are starting so soon. “I can’t believe that I already started, because I feel like I just started high school,” Avinash Nayak (11), who is under Padgett, said. Juniors will meet as an entire group at the auditorium for their next college counseling session, which is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 29. They will continue meeting with their college counselors during extra help sessions on Tuesdays until the end of their first semester, senior year.

Chinese New Year

The year of the snake begins on February 10



January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

NEW YEAR One of the most significant parts of celebrating Chinese New Year is cooking traditional food. These steamed pink lotus buns are shaped like peaches, which symbolize longevity.

dora tzeng reporter A lavish table of colorful dishes. Children laughing and receiving red envelopes from their relatives. Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, will be celebrated on February 10, marking the start of the year of the snake. According to Chinese tradition, every year is named after an animal, and many people believe that a person born in a specific animal’s year will have a personality similar to that respective animal. The Chinese clean their house before new years because they believe that cleaning the house during new years is bad luck since it would be like “sweeping” away their luck. Like several other Chinese families, Kimberly Ma (11) and her relatives celebrate the new year by cleaning the house beforehand, honoring their ancestors, and cooking traditional food. Kimberly sometimes travels to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year and to celebrate with her family and relatives. “We go to pay respects to our ancestors by buying food as offerings and going to temples where our ancestors [are buried],” she said. Even if she is not in Hong Kong, Kimberly still buys food to place next to pictures of her late grandparents. One of the most important parts of Chinese New Year is the New Year’s Eve dinner. Families and friends gather to celebrate and eat traditional food such as “zhongzi,” rice stuffed with different fillings wrapped in lotus leaves, and “jiaozi,” or dumplings. Dumplings are one of the many symbolic dishes for the new year and specifically represent unity because they are round. Another popular food is “lion’s head,” a type of meatball that symbolizes strength as well as unity. “Chinese New Year has a lot of tradition hidden in the dishes that are made,” Kimberly said. “There are dishes that are puns—basically, they are named with words that sound similar to very lucky terms.” For example, the words for steamed fish in Chinese sound like the words for “bountiful” or “surplus,” so it represents wealth, while oranges and tangerines represent luck and wealth.

As soon as she was old enough to start using the stove, Kimberly learned how to cook traditional dishes from her mother. “I ended up being one to help cook partially because I’ve always had an interest in cooking, and partially because Chinese New Year means a lot to me,” she said. “Because I’m in America, there’s not much focus on Chinese New Year, but to me, it’s the remnants of my Chinese culture that I can actively participate in.” Stephanie Huang (9) also celebrates the new year with her family. She usually calls her relatives in China, but this year she is going to visit them. “We decided to go because for the first time, Chinese New Year is aligned with the February break,” Stephanie said. “I’ve never been to China during Chinese New Year, so I’m really looking forward to it.” In China, she plans to watch fireworks and exchange red envelopes with her family, as it is an annual tradition. Michael Zhao (9) and his relatives have a unique tradition they celebrate every year. “We just build a bunch of Lego stuff and have a mini war between the kids,” he said. “I do look forward to it not just for the money, but because it’s fun.” Members of the National Chinese Honor Society (NCHS) plan to hold different events throughout the week of February 4 to 8 such as relay races, distribution of red envelopes as candy grams, and a tea tasting with the Tea Club. “We started thinking about it in October, and it’s really coming together now,” said NCHS president, Michelle Zhang (12). “We have delegated jobs among the members.” During Wednesday long lunch, NCHS will pass out instructions and materials for making a dragon to each class. “We want to have [Chinese New Year] mesh with Harker culture,” said NCHS advisor and Mandarin teacher, Shaun Jahshan. “I think we can get people excited about it.” Local attractions, including the San Jose Museum of Art and San Francisco Symphony will hold several events to welcome the new year. The celebration will culminate with the televised Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, featuring giant floats, firecrackers, and a 268-foot long dragon.



January 25, 2013

the Winged Post

Students travel to exotic locations over winter break

Worldwide Friendships

shannon su & stephanie chen TalonWP news editor & reporter

jonathan ma



WINTER BREAK Left: Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort, is one of the many unique places Leon Chin (10) visited over the winter break. Top: Zoe Papakipos (11) enjoyed many activities during her time at the Pacific islands, such as swimming with dolphins. Bottom: Kathir Sundarraj (12) poses under a coral cave in Isla Mujeres during his vacation to Cancun, Mexico.

would not have gone anywhere else. “I would definitely want to go again, not to do anything differently but just do everything again since it was extremely fun,” Leon said. Some students, such as Kathir Sundarraj (12), traveled to more tropical areas. He spent a week in Mexico, visiting Isla Mujeres near Cancun and the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Like many other seniors, he took advantage of the break to relax from the “grueling six months of college apps.” “It was quite peaceful and serene,” he said. “It was like being in paradise.” During his trip, Kathir was especially struck by the differences between Mexican tourist resorts like Cancun and the poorer regions of the country. “The disparity is enormous, so if you only visit one of the poles, your perception of Mexico can be incorrectly altered,” he said. “When we visited Ciudad Juarez, right across the [U.S.Mexican] border, we had a largely different experience than when we visited Cancun.” Though he enjoyed his vacation and

the chance to relax, Kathir said that he would not visit Cancun again, because “there are so many other places to see, and Cancun doesn’t have something extremely unique that attracts you to it.” Zoe Papakipos (11) also went on a beach vacation. She visited the Pacific islands of Moorea and Tikehau with her family and got to swim with dolphins and snorkel near her resort. “We got to pet stingrays and we went snorkeling with manta rays,” she said. “They’re almost 25 feet in diameter, which is kind of crazy.” She also had the chance to talk to local Tahitians. “Most of them only speak French and Tahitian,” she said. “ I’m the best French speaker in my family so I had to translate everything, which was exciting.” For Zoe, the trip was a chance to relax and escape from schoolwork, especially since she did not bring her laptop with her. “My favorite part was probably just lying on the beach and reading, which

I never have time to do anymore,” she said. Also visiting a warm vacation spot, Rishi Narain (9) went with his family to New Zealand, and toured famous locations such as SkyTower in Auckland. Rishi’s family decided to go to New Zealand during winter break because it is actually summer there. On this trip, Rishi was able to experience many unique activities he had never done before. “I went on a Segway tour with my dad; I snorkeled with the world’s rarest dolphins, the Hector Dolphins; I went jet boating through an insanely narrow canyon; I went luge riding on the top of a mountain in Queenstown; and I also went dune buggy racing,” Rishi said. However, he was not able to take part in some activities due to his age. “When I get older, I want to go again, and I really want to go skydiving,” he said. “It seems insanely fun.” When the Presidents’ Week break comes in February, students will once again be able to go on vacations with their families.

Varsity basketball : HAWAII teams bond in Maui World Events

Student opinions on the most important issues juhi gupta

Although many students did not propose answers to the survey, those who did answered with their own unique opinions -ranging from social equality in Africa to providing for the rapidly growing population to troop safety. To further analyze the results, we have grouped the data by issue and displayed it by gender.


TalonWP photo/video editor Due to the recent influx of influential worldwide events, The Winged Post polled 143 students on what they thought was the most universally important issue concerning international politics.


ALOHA The varsity girls basketball team spent time with the Seabury Hall team after their game on the last day of the three day tournament in Maui.

alyssa amick TalonWP online editor The final buzzer sounds. With shouts of joy and congratulations, the varsity basketball teams head to the beach to relax and celebrate in the warm waters of Kihei, Maui. After coaches expressed an interest in traveling somewhere to play, the trip was planned. The teams have “taken a trip to Maui before, and that’s kind of how it started,” said Dan Molin, Upper School Athletic Director. “We went before with just the boys, so we wanted to include the girls team so it would be a fun bonding experience for both teams.” Varsity boys played and beat local schools Kamehameha Maui 69-41, Seabury Hall 71-21, and Molokai 6947. “Both the boys and girls went undefeated during the trip, defeating our opponents by large margins,” Nikhil Panu (12) said. “Each and every member of our squad got to play in all three games.” Although playing only two teams, the girls finished with a similar result beating Seabury Hall twice 45-20 and 45-22 and Kamehameha Maui 67-36. “It was definitely a different kind of experience for us,” Mishi Vachev (10) said. “It really boosted our record, and it was also a way to help us focus on being able to play basketball even if

there are different conditions.” When not on the court, the teams spent their free time playing football, boogie boarding, and building sand castles on the beach. Additionally, the teams had a chance to hang out with the Seabury Hall team for dinner one night. “Our teams clicked immediately, and we found that we had so much more in common than just our love for basketball,” Priscilla Auyeung (12) said. “While talking to them, we also got to learn some Hawaiian lingo like ‘shoots, brah,’ which apparently means the same thing as ‘okay.’” While the team members enjoyed much of the trip, they also felt constricted in terms of other activities they were allowed to do. “I felt that the girls team didn’t really get to go out like hiking or surfing,” Daniza Rodriguez (12) said. The main purpose of the trip was to foster closer friendships between both individual teams and the program as a whole. “I really saw the seniors come together and senior leadership is important beyond talent,” said Varsity boys head coach, Butch Keller. “We had a ton of fun, but the bonding within the team was the biggest advantage for us.” No plans for a trip next year have been made at the time of publication.




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Facebook is becoming an increasingly popular tool for communication around the world. Many students are taking advantage of the site’s wide range of users to connect with distant friends, including those in foreign countries. According to a statement on its website, Facebook’s goal is “to make the world more open and connected.” This includes not only users in the United States but also people around the globe. According to Facebook, “approximately 81% of [its] monthly active users are outside of the U.S. and Canada.” Using features like Timeline, Messages, and Groups, students are able to remotely connect with foreign users. “Facebook is easy to use,” said Jennifer Walrod, Director of Global Education, in an email interview. “Students don’t feel like they have to write a long letter but can keep communication flowing through a simple comment.” For example, students who have lived abroad, like Felix Wu (10), can communicate with their international friends via Facebook.

Students don’t like to feel like they have to write a long letter but can keep communication flowing through a simple comment Jennifer Walrod, Director of Global Education

Many students take advantage of winter break to travel around the world and experience different cultures and environments. One of the cooler places visited by students was the ski resort area of Lake Tahoe. Sophomore Hannah Bollar and her brother Josh Bollar (12) decided to go Lake Tahoe during break along with the rest of their family, spending four days in their grandfather’s timeshare condominium. Their family tries to go skiing there every year. Having arrived in Tahoe a day before a blizzard, Hannah and Josh were lucky to avoid getting caught in the storm on the way there. Blizzards “are really fun to ski in, but the problem is that sometimes your goggles get fogged up and you can’t see where you’re going,” Hannah said. It was also snowing in Istanbul, Turkey, where Shenel Ekici (11) traveled with her father for the first time since leaving her home there seven years ago. Her trip was mostly to relax and visit old friends and family. “We didn’t do a whole lot of touristy things, because we’re really not tourists. We just went to the places that we liked,” she said. Though she did visit some landmarks like the Grand Bazaar, Shenel enjoyed simply walking around the city more. “Our favorite thing to do was just to go to some of the nicest places to walk,” she said “just literally walk for a couple of hours and see where we ended up.” Leon Chin (10) experienced milder weather in Dubai, where he visited with his family for the first time. “We toured the city by ourselves since tour groups seem to be a bit more pessimistic and annoying because of the strict schedules that they have,” he said. “We would rather like to be flexible and sleep in.” Even though he was not in a tour group, he was able to visit many popular tourist attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2,722 feet, and Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort. Leon found the trip enjoyable and

“I used to study overseas, so I have lots of friends […] in foreign countries,” Felix said. “Mainly, [using] the stuff they post, I can see what they’re up to.” For some students, communicating with foreign friends via Facebook is so convenient that they have begun to abandon other means of keeping in touch with them. Philip Krause (9) said that he uses Facebook more than other sites. “I use Facebook more, and I barely use Gmail,” Philip said when asked how he connected with his friends from abroad. Although using Facebook to connect with foreign friends is extremely popular, it does have its drawbacks. Calvin Kocienda (9), who went on an exchange trip in eighth grade, said that he had never gotten around to contacting his partner even though he had obtained his contact information. “Often times [foreign friends] just post in their language and you don’t know what they’re saying,” Calvin said. Even if one understands foreign languages, connecting with overseas friends via Facebook can be frustrating simply because of the gap in interest. “The disadvantage is [that] those events that they are focusing on [are] sometimes not my interests,” Sandra Yin (11) said. “Their new posts and new activities popping up on my Facebook is kind of annoying when I don’t care about it.” Since the site’s founding in 2004, the number of Facebook users, especially outside of the United States, has increased to the point where many users are now making friends on Facebook whom they have never met in person before. Calvin and Philip both said they had already done this, but Felix said he thought doing so was “disconcerting.” This issue is one of the last barriers to making a large number of foreign friends. Once this is overcome, Facebook’s mission will be even closer to completion.


January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

global journalism project


APs and Honors: Reasons for taking advanced courses The articles below are a part of a continuing collaboration between The Winged Post and several other international schools in which an article topic is agreed upon and written about.

Each school writes and edits their own article, which is then published as received in our publication. Stories and views expressed below are those from contributing schools and are not neces-

The Winged Post sheridan tobin global editor

While school allows students to explore many different fields, through a variety of courses, many students pick classes based on their status, as opposed to their subject matter. A common trend amongst some students during course selection is choosing more AP and Honors classes rather than selecting those that they may find interesting or entertaining. Of the 190 courses offered this school year, 63 are AP or Honors. This gives students the opportunity to take many high-level classes, but also creates a sense of competition. Although the competitive atmosphere can be difficult for some students, for others, including Nephele Troullinos (10), it has simply become part of their high school life. “I think [it] is something that is just so ‘typically Harker’ that we don’t notice it as such a terrible thing,” she said. Aside from the desire for a competitive edge, the drive to take harder courses can also be attributed to a combination of factors: interest in the subject, a good teacher, and pressure from parents, peers, or even one-

self. “My parents still pressure me to take challenging classes, their reasoning being that other students are taking challenging classes because their parents want them to because everyone else is,” Alice Tsui (12) said. “It’s all kind of one big circle.” Freshman Shannon Hong (9) believes that the aspiration to take more AP and honors courses is justified by the need to keep up with her peers. “Of course there’s an obsession [to take high level classes], but I think it is legitimate because everyone is doing it. If we don’t do it then we are lagging behind,” she said. For junior Brian Tuan, taking AP courses is beneficial because of the extra material that he learns and the college credit that he earns. However, he also notices the obsession with taking high-level classes at our school. “It’s almost as if each AP course taken becomes something of a status symbol among your peers,” he said. “It definitely adds a massive competitive edge amongst me and my friends, though I feel taking courses not for

personal interest, but instead for accruing a higher AP count is extremely counterproductive.” The obligation to take more advanced courses that students often feel can cause an excessive amount of stress. “The school atmosphere is more academically competitive as a result of the amount of students who choose to take these challenging courses,” David Lindars (12) said. “The added stress to succeed and compete with friends is unnecessary and unhealthy.” Although AP courses can be beneficial in that they result in additional learning and enhance college applications and grade point averages (GPA), they often intensify competition and pressure among students.




sarily those of The Winged Post. For this issue we collaborated with the Taipei American School (TAS), which is located in northern Taiwan. We have chosen to write about the mo-

tivation to take a large number of AP and honors courses adds to the competitive atmosphere at school.

heyun jeong

concepts,” and more. In reality, however, all you need is a teacher’s recommendation and a minimum grade of a B+, depending on the department. On the other hand, Advanced Placement courses were introduced over half a century ago to allow gifted high school seniors to study college level material and receive college credit. Many argue for the merits of taking APs in high school as the exams themselves cost less than $100 and can allow you to graduate earlier with less debt. However, more and more colleges are beginning to limit the amount of classes one can waive with high school scores. Recently, Dartmouth College announced with the class of 2018, they will end the system of AP credits as they do not believe the College Board AP classes truly represent their college classes. And they have a point. Does AP World History truly depict a college-level course if all of the twenty five 9th graders from last year passed with a 3 or above? Honors and APs are great descriptive words that do stand out on one’s college application. But, like everything else in life, one must follow moderation. Don’t overload yourself with APs or honors because of your parents or even friends, instead, use the AP/honors system to your benefit to specialize in the subjects you actually enjoy learning in.

Taipei American School Taipei American School

Honors English 9. Honors Physics. Honors Language. AP World History. Honors Calculus A. This is the typical schedule of a freshman at Taipei American School. Freshman year is the year you adjust to high school, join clubs, and meet new people. But these days, freshmen dive right into taking more and more difficult classes. As admissions at top colleges in the United States grow more and more competitive each year, students find themselves asking, “How many [APs/honors] do I have to take to get into (insert prestigious school here)?” To stand out from the tens of thousands of other students applying to colleges every year, TAS students in particular feel pressure from all around to succeed. Yes, many of us have the “tiger mom,” but interestingly enough, there’s also our peers. Ally Seo (10) takes all honors, except one, and AP European history, yet she feels as if the honors students look at her differently when they hear she takes the regular class. “It isn’t insulting, but, to be honest, it doesn’t feel good either.” To be placed in an honors-designated course at TAS, the course catalog says one must take an “independent initiative,” demonstrate “deeper mastery of topics and

Foreign Exchange: Two Tamagawa students to visit Upper School alyssa amick TalonWP online editor In two weeks, the school will welcome, Ayako Nagashima and Akari Ito two foreign exchange students, who will be here from February 7th until

March 2nd. Both two girls will be traveling over 5,000 miles from their school in Japan, Tamagawa. They will spend five weeks with Maya Madhavan (11) and Monika Lee (11) who have both studied Japanese for numerous years.

“I decided to host a foreign student because it sounded fun,” Monika said. “I look forward to just hanging out with her.” Ayako and Akari, who similarly have been studying English for many years, are excited to practice the language, learn

about the American culture, and observe similarities and differences between the two schools. “I think the most important reason that I decided to host was that I’m very interested in different cultures, Japan’s in particular,” Maya said. “While I’m host-

ing her, I’ll get to see the contrast between the lifestyles of Americans and Japanese, and from what I can tell, there’s a pretty big gap.” Hosting a Japanese exchange student is an annual opportunity presented to any higher-level Japanese students.


January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Bay Area sandwich shops offer a variety of tasty options Ever find yourself only having a limited time to eat, but reluctant to go buy fast food? Sandwiches are perfect for you then. To help you find a great sandwich, The Winged Post has compiled a review of various local sandwich shops.

alyssa amick & elizabeth edwards TalonWP news editor & reporter

AMATO’S Claiming to have the “World’s Best Cheesesteak Sandwiches,” Amato’s Cheesesteaks, located on Saratoga Avenue, is a meat-lover’s paradise. Simple sandwiches, alongside traditional sides like French fries and onion rings, create a meal with little innovation. The mundane menu is saved by the quality of the sandwiches. Amato’s cheesesteaks are made with real steak, cut and grilled right in front of you. The restaurant offers not only cheesesteaks,

but sandwiches with sausage, chicken, and meatball, and other deli meats. The sandwiches are good overall but are rather heavy, with an overload of meat and few vegetables. The menu may be unimaginative, but the sandwiches themselves are excellent. Amato’s can get expensive, depending on the size of the sandwich. A regular seven-inch sandwich costs between seven and eight dollars while a foot-long sandwich ranges from 13 to 18 dollars. They also offer a 24 inch sandwich, a rare sight in

LEE’S SANDWICHES Lee’s Sandwiches, with locations in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino, features a wide variety of different but relatively bland sandwiches to choose from as well as other pre-made meals. The menu features over 30 different specialty sandwiches, all of which come with the same basic toppings: lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. The only major difference between the sandwiches is the type of meat and cheese used. The cold, plain sandwiches are nothing out of the ordinary, with one sav-

most sandwich shops. A lunch counter and old-fashioned upholstered stools create a retro atmosphere and a dinerlike feel. Also, being able to watch the employees grill and assemble the sandwich right in front of customers can be entertaining. The customer service is excellent, with friendly, skilled employees who know the menu and how to help a customer find the perfect sandwich. Specializing in sandwiches and cheesesteaks, Amato’s has little else to offer.

ing grace: the bread, made fresh every 30 minutes. Unlike most sandwich shops, Lee’s Sandwiches does not offer customers the option of personalizing their meal. Customers order from the wall encompassing menu, which offers no insight as to what the sandwich contains other than the meat. Like the sandwiches, the shop features no unique qualities, as it lacks decorations and themes. With only two or three employees in the shop, they often seem busy and uninterested in the customers. However, the service was fast considering the minimal staff. To make up for a lack of flavor, each sandwich is

Amato’s Cheesesteaks definitely satisfies its customers with its excellent sandwiches and top-notch service.

relatively cheap, costing anywhere from three to five dollars. Sandwiches are not the only meal available to customers. Lee’s Sandwiches also incorporates Asian influence into their products. The shop offers a wide variety of Vietnamese foods including various pastries and meat rolls. Overall, the sandwiches are nothing out of the ordinary. Nevertheless the Asian influence makes it unique from more traditional sandwich shops.

MR. PICKLE Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop offers unique delicious s a n d wiches that are creative in both contents and name. Located in busy downtown Los Gatos, the small shop features an unusual mascot of a pickle. The shop is large enough to facilitate the kitchen; however, all seating is located o u t -





The Sandwich Spot, which has shops throughout California, recently opened their newest branch in San Jose to bring their specialty sandwiches including “The

there is also a large list of choices for a customer to make their own. This list contains seven or eight choices of different meats, cheeses, breads, and condiments, as well as fifteen different sauces. The price of each sandwich ranges from seven to nine dollars, a small price to pay for these delicious sandwiches. Although the large number of choices and the quality of the sandwiches brings in many customers, it is often crowded in the small shop during the lunch rush. That being said, the quality of the sandwiches makes it perfect to grab a bite to eat and head to a more scenic location like a park for a picnic lunch.





side with the picturesque background of the bustling downtown. The specials that the shop offers ranges from “Wild Wild West” to “Kiss My Angus!!!” which consists of roast beef, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and sun-dried tomato aioli. In addition, they serve specials unique to the area, for example “Santa Cruz,” consisting of bacon, pastrami, avocado, and cream cheese. Although the ingredients may seem a little surprising, for example, cranberries and barbeque sauce, but the combinations work well together to create a delicious sandwich no matter the ingredients. While the emphasis is on the 27 unique specialty sandwiches,

Shark Tank.” The restaurant features some sandwiches that are unique to the area including “The Master Mitty,” named after Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. The sandwich is comprised of turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, and avocado, a unique combination of flavors. The fresh ingredients and creative preparation of

the sandwiches were better than other similar shops. There are a variety of different sandwiches, each featuring a distinct taste, all of which are delicious. While The Sandwich Spot offers the usual chips or French fries as side orders, they also offer a variety of salads, including macaroni, potato, and pesto salads as well as more traditional lettuce-based salads. The average price of a sandwich ranges from seven to nine dollars. The bright red and

white tiling on the floor and walls as well as the graffitilike murals on the wall bring a busy urban feel to the shop. The shop is also often crowded with lines out the door. The shop also offers kids’ menus and a combo meal featuring chips and a drink. The vegetarian options are fairly limited, however, as all of the specialty sandwiches are comprised of some type of meat. The Sandwich Spot is a great choice for someone who wants a unique, delicious sandwich.


Six quick winter drink recipes

Easy beverages to savor the holiday spirit during the school year priscilla pan & roshni pankhaniya reporters

White Chocolate Mocha Blend serves 1 s¼ cup white chocolate chips s1 cup of milk s½ cup of strong coffee


1. Put the white chocolate chips into a mug and set aside. 2. Heat the milk over a saucepan until it comes to a simmer. 3. Pour over the white chocolate chips about 3/4 way up the mug. 4. Wait about five minutes and then stir until all the chocolate has melted. The white chocolate should easily melt in the milk. 5. Pour the coffee until it fills up the mug and enjoy! Recipe from

Feeling blue now that the holiday’s are over and school’s back in session? The Winged Post has compiled a variety of winter drinks to prolong that holiday feeling even into the school year.

Gingerbread Espresso Infusion serves 1

Pumpkin Spice Crème serves 1

s½ cup of water s⅜ cups sugar s⅛ teaspoon cinnamon s⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract s1 teaspoon ground ginger s½ cup espresso s1 cup milk swhipped cream sgingerbread cookie (optional)

s2 cups milk s¼ cup espresso s2 tablespoons sugar s2 tablespoons vanilla extract s2 tablespoons pumpkin s½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice swhipped cream

***** 1. Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon,

1. Pour the milk, pumpkin, and sugar into a saucepan and heat for about five minutes until you can see steam. 2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and pumpkin spice. 3. Whisk the mixture until visible foam appears and pour into a cup. 4. Garnish with whipped cream and add some pumpkin spice on top.

vanilla, and ginger in a saucepan. Boil for seven minutes, then reduce heat and allow to simmer until a syrupy consistency has formed. 2. Heat the milk and add the espresso. 3. Add the gingerbread syrup to the mixture and whisk, then pour into a cup. 4. Top with whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie if desired.

Recipe from


Recipe from

Rich Nutella Hot Chocolate serves 1 s2 teaspoons of Nutella s1 ½ cups of milk pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg swhipped cream


1. Put a saucepan on medium heat. 2. Scoop two teaspoons of Nutella into the saucepan and pour about a quarter of the milk into the saucepan 3. Mix the Nutella until it is completely dissolved 4. Pour in the rest of the milk and wait until the milk comes to a simmer but do not allow it to boil or burn! 5. Add in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg and stir it in. 6. Pour into a mug and add as much or as little whipped cream as you would like and put a pinch of cinnamon on top! Recipe from

EGG-CELLENT NOG serves 3-4 s2 egg yolks s⅓ cup of granulated sugar s1 ¾ cups of whole milk s½ teaspoon of nutmeg s½ teaspoon of vanilla extract s⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves s¼ teaspoon of cinnamon


1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until they double in volume and become a pale color. 2. Add the milk, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. 3. Add about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, and be sure to constantly whisk so that the egg does not accidently cook. 4. Add the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining liquid and cook while stirring until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. 5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Add the vanilla and place it in the fridge to cool completely. 6. Serve it chilled with a dollop of either whipped cream or stirred-in whipped egg whites. Recipe from

Unorthodox jukebox: Bruno Mars dazzles fans once again Bruno Mars for now, rambling about girls, and the ballade has yet to boast the unorthodox jukebox that the title speaks of. Following a relatively generic opening, lead single “Locked out of Heaven” presents a high dosage of feisty 80’s rock while showcasing Mars’ classic touch: a medley of pop, retro, and funk. The song, with a surprisingly positive outlook, exposes his whims and relationships without excessive raunchy references. Mars, who is determined to create a new image, seems to be trying too hard in the next song “Gorilla.” Throwing in everything together, with sexual references, allusions to drugs, and the occasional f-bomb here and there, Mars is certainly on fire, even flaunting an

impressive falsetto, but “Gorilla” quickly becomes a chaotic, cheesy mishmash. Returning with a refreshing 80’s vibe and a touch of disco, Mars effortlessly showcases his robust vocals in contrasting songs: the upbeat “Treasure” and the mellow-paced “Moonshine.” Mars then carries the wistful tune to his next song, “When I Was Your Man.” Backed by a simple keyboard tune, the song is poignant as Mars croons, “Now I never, never get to clean up the mess I made. And it haunts me every time I close my eyes.” It is during numbers like this that Mars truly shines. He then propels the beat of the jukebox in songs about gold-diggers: the angsty “Natalie,” where he blasts a girl for running off with all his money, and the gritty “Money Make Her

Smile,” where he brags about clubbing. He is still searching for his identity, posStaying true to its name, Unortho- sibly. dox Jukebox has everything imaginable, even the unimaginable reggae. Though the new island style of “Show Me” does showcase Mars’ versatile and pretentious vocals, the Hawaiian native fails to bring out the true colors of reggae. After nine dense songs, Mars flawlessly closes the album with the soulful “If I Knew.” It is short and sweet. Overall, Unorthodox Jukebox seems to be an experimental stage for Mars: a creative but chaotic channel. Before he fully immerses himself in one genre, he hastily runs off to another. And in this attempt to free his inner bad boy, Mars’ music grows jumbled and obnoxious. UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX Pop artist His abrupt change in character has us Bruno Mars returns with his second wondering, who is the real Bruno Mars? album, released on December 6. BRUNOMARS.COM

Oh Bruno Mars, we loved you just the way you were, catching grenades and dancing with monkeys on lazy days. But alas, the fedora-loving, pompadour singer has shed his charming, gentleman persona and crafted an alterego – one that is different, bold, and dare I say it, badass. Released on December 6, Mars’ second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox, claims to reveal his true and raw disposition, one very different from the artist we have come to love. Despite singing only ten tunes, clocking in at a mere 35 minutes total, Mars gets his message out. He’s got a new edge. With a serenading melody, “Young Girls” kicks off the album as a throwback to Mars’ smash debut album DooWops & Hooligans. It’s the same old



JANUARY 25, 2012 the Winged Post

Dance show preview December movies

Record-breaking box office to watch this season

TalonWP sports editor & reporter also get to make friends with people who aren’t in your grade,” she said, adding that it has really motivated her to pursue dance seriously. An avid dancer, Jeffrey Hsu (10) joined the program in middle school after being urged to by his friends. He was captivated by the energy and movement of dance. “That’s what it’s all about,” he said. For what is dubbed “tech week,” dancers will attend rehearsals every day after school in order to properly organize the technical aspects of the show, as well as to gain additional practice. However, the week also provides the students with an opportunity to see the dance show in its entirety, allowing them to view the large-scale production they have been a part of. Sophomore Michaela Vachev is planning to attend the show to show support for her friends performing, as well as to see all the different elements coming together. “I think it’s going to be really awesome and fun!” she said. “I just like seeing them [showcasing their talents] on the stage.” Tickets will be sold in Manzanita Hall during the following weeks.


The Odyssey. Hamlet. The Scarlet Letter. Mrs. Dalloway. With all these required books, leisure reading can easily be taken off the “to-do” list. Studies by the National Endowment of Arts, however, have shown that reading among high school students throughout the nation has actually increased by at least 30 percent since 2002. In correspondence to NEA’s study titled Reading on the Rise, released in 2009, Librarian Merideth Cranston was impressed by the number of students who check out books or merely browse the library for their own enjoyment. “I’m amazed by the number of students who are just sitting here and reading,” she said. Librarian Lauri Vaughan further comments on the high number of students who utilize the library for leisure reading. “Most librarians would die to have what we have,” Vaughan said. Surprisingly, Vaughan mentioned the seven percent increase of checkouts during the week of finals compared to those of any fall week.

Les Misérables Directed by Tom Hooper, this book-to-musical-to-movie masterpiece has become an immediate boxoffice hit upon its release on Christmas Day. Based on a novel written by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables stars many familiar faces, including Hugh Jackman as Jean Val-Jean, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. This movie presents a poignant tragedy detailing the life of ex-convict Jean Val-Jean following his prison sentence of 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his family in post-revolutionary France. The musical provides heartwrenching entertainment for the audience through its beloved songs and accomplished acting. Among the performers, actresses Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks stand out for their powerful deliveries of world-renowned vocal pieces “I Dreamed a Dream” and “On My Own,” respectively. Hugh Jackman remains consistently masterful throughout the movie in its entirety, while actor Eddie Redmayne portrays a refreshingly emotional Marius. Additionally, the movie features

several extremely talented child stars: Isabelle Allen as young Cosette and Daniel Huttleston as Gavroche. Not only was their acting superb, but Allen’s rendition of “Castle on a Cloud” and Huttlestone’s “Do You Hear The People Sing,” were both heartfelt pieces with strong emotional impact. “Master of the House” Monsieur Thernadier (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his equally malevolent wife (Helena Bonham Carter) provided the audience with side-stitching laughter in between devastating scenes and giving wonderful contrast to keep the audience from growing bored of tragedy after tragedy. The duo’s skillful techniques show through as they constantly try to one-up each other and rob the other characters blind all at once. There are, however, several aspects that could be improved upon, namely the casting of the adult Cosette and the occasional dizzying cinematography. Though Amanda Seyfried proves to be a great actress, her singing voice in the musical is not on par with the other world-class cast members, some of whom are former Broadway singers. Additionally, the camera has a rather

LES MISÉRABLES Starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Les Mis opened on December 25, 2012. From opening day, this movie has grossed over $118 million globally.

irritating tendency to zoom in for an up-close-and-personal shot of each actor as they sing a solo line, especially alarming for those sitting in front row seats. Though not disastrous in extent, Russell Crowe disappointed the audience with his portrayal of Javert: he seemed so intensely concentrated on his singing that he did not do much to add to Javert’s character. Overall, Les Miserables is a stunning masterpiece sure to dazzle audiences for years to come.

Although Vaughan was uncertain whether students read during finals week or after, Cranston recounted her school days when she would read more during exam week to alleviate stress. In a study conducted by the Library Department in the fall, 50 percent of the students responded that they have read between two to ten books in the past 12 months. Vaughan emphasized the importance of reading for multiple reasons. She stated that reading will “exponentially increase [students’] vocabulary” and make students better writers more effectively than any preparation book. She then stated that it makes students better people, whether it be through their integrities or personalities. Dana Gioia, the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at University of Southern California, supported Vaughan’s belief in reading to better individuals. “Advanced literacy is a specific intellectual skill and social habit that depends on a great many educational, cultural, and economic factors,” Gioia wrote in an article titled “Why Literature Matters,” published in the Boston Globe in 2005. Reading affects students beyond their individual intellect, impacting the community and future societal endeavors. *A comprehensive version of this article will be published on shortly. READING Shreyas Parthasarathy (11) reads The Scarlet Letter for his english class. Studies by NEA have shown that reading among high school students have increased in the past six years.

Adapted from a part of the novel by fantasist J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit earns four stars as a solid fantasy movie for all ages. Only the first part of a movie trilogy, this action-packed movie was directed by Peter Jackson, featuring stars such as Ian Mckellen as Gandalf, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin. Set in Middle Earth, The Hobbit is a prequel to the much larger trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, presenting the story of Bilbo’s adventure to help the dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield reclaim the Lonely Mountain, currently inhabited by Smaug the dragon. The wizard Gandalf serves as the leader of the group and guides them while they are faced with multiple obstacles along their journey. During the especially tense scenes, Bilbo provides plenty of comic relief through his amusing remarks to loosen up the situations, making the movie more memorable. Martin Freeman is proficient and relaxed in his role, Bilbo seemingly perfectly suited to Freeman’s sunny disposition and

vulnerable acting style. Ian McKellen did not disappoint viewers once again with his reprise as Gandalf, either, but Richard Armitage failed to connect with the audience as well as the others did. However, many people who have read the book prior to seeing the movie will be disappointed in the movie’s deviation from the original storyline. The producers enrich the plot by bringing in entirely new characters, such as the enemies that the dwarves faced while traveling that were not members of the original character cast. So many new visual effects were put to use in this movie that the audience would, at times, feel overwhelmed with the many CGI battle sequences in 3D and the new technology used in the sprawling panoramic views of surrounding scenery. Perhaps this movie was aimed more at those holding other Tolkien works in esteem or hardcore Peter Jackson fans, but such excess was a turn-off for general audiences. Even though the beginning of the movie is dedicated to well-explained background of the characters and


The importance of reading lifestyle editor

The month of December heralded an impressive amount of movie releases, including Les Miserables, The Hobbit, and The Guilt Trip; some were incredible in their scope, and others were not so much.

TalonWP news editor & reporter

The HObbit

Leisure reading statistics increase mercedes chien

shannon su & elisabeth siegel

THE HOBBIT Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit came out on December 14, 2012. Since it hit theatres, this movie has earned around $600 million internationally.

events for people who were unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings and the print version of The Hobbit, the movie is somewhat long and eventually loses viewers’ attention. The producers should have it made it more concise and short while still being understandable and thorough. Overall, The Hobbit is a pleasant adaptation of a classic fantasy bestseller that keeps old material fresh in the eyes of audience members and is highly recommended to fans of the genre.

The GUILT TRIP Starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, this stereotypical road trip comedy is rather formulaic and does not do much to add original substance to its genre. Andy (Seth Rogen), an inventor, has recently come up with a wholesome cleaner now approved by the FDA. He decides that going on a road trip is the best way to advertise his new product to retailers across the nation. Having stopped to visit his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand), he makes a split-second decision to take her along on the ride across America, where they strengthen their relationship and experience an unbelievable range of misadventures. With so many familiar tropes, the movie should have been able to at least resound with less jaded moviegoers. Unfortunately, director Anne Fletcher spaces the comedic moments out too far, leaving the audience yawning in between punch lines; writer Dan Fogelman also takes some of the blame, for the characters’ dialogue did not take full advantage of the talent from the lead actors.

Additionally, Fletcher’s lackadaisical directing style diminishes even the most emotive moments of the story. Furthermore, there were moments when the mother-son relationship seemed more like that of a grandmother-grandson relationship. Joyce is supposed to play the role of Andy’s mother. Her performance fell by the wayside, as her character was too old-fashioned to be believable. The majority of her jokes was unfunny and overused waxing senility as a punchline. The Guilt Trip does include several additional redeeming qualities, however. Unlike many of the other new releases in the same genre, The Guilt Trip keeps its story concise, barely going above the 90-minute mark, making it easier for the audience to follow. Also, because so many rated R comedies were released this year, a movie that manages to keep it PG-13 yet relatively humorous is particularly refreshing. Though it does not have much plot to speak of and is instead remarkably character-driven, the great


DANCE Gaurav Kumar (11) rehearses for his number. Elements of Dance will be held on February 1 and 2.


Incorporating the vigor of fire, the grace of water, the freedom of air, and the homeliness of earth, the 2013 Upper School dance production, Elements of Dance, will be held on February 1 and 2. With a variety of styles represented in the show, participation in the production has increased significantly, totalling around 130 students and teachers. “This is a record number of dancers for the Upper School show. We’re excited to have so many students involved,” said Karl Kuehn, director of the event. “This year we also have seven fantastic faculty members participating in the show. We really think that will help with broadening the dance community here.” Senior Molly Wolfe, captain of the Varsity dance troupe, was particularly excited for the show. “I love the [manner in which] it brings together all the different grades and all the different levels of dancers because it’s much more varied than just varsity performances. It has a lot of different styles, which is very fun to watch.” Within the show, Molly will be featured not only as a dancer, but also as a student choreographer, along with fellow seniors Michaela Kastelman and Rahul Nalamasu, and junior Anna Kendall. Rahul is offering a unique twist to this year’s show, choreographing a fourteen person Bollywood routine. Both the elementary and middle school divisions prize strong dance programs as well, each having their own show during the school year, paving the path for dancers like Ankita Sharma (9), who has participated in a total of nine dance productions at Harker. “I think performing for all the different people is a lot of fun, and you


vasudha rengarajan & tiara bhatacharya

THE GUILT TRIP Starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand, The Guild Trip hit theatres December 19, 2012. This movie has grossed around $35 million globally since it hit theatres.

chemistry between Andy and Joyce helps keep the movie going. Rather than one fluid storyline, The Guilt Trip manifests as a series of disconnected skits as Andy and Joyce drive from one location to another, causing the plot to feel choppy and disjointed. In the end, the predictable sitcom finishes with a typical and slightly lackluster resolution. This disappointing movie proves to be pointless and not recommended to those who usually enjoy family comedies.


January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Healthy eating: Choosing the right cafeteria foods

HEALTH-CONSCIOUS CAFETERIA OPTIONS Sandwiches, cole slaw, fruit, and a vegetable-filled salad bar are among the many healthy options offered in the Edge for students to consume. By determining their optimal nutrition intake, students can determine what foods from the cafeteria best compliment a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

copy editor Let’s face it: we all have unhealthy cravings. Pizza, fries and burgers always sound good. Having them on the lunch menu almost everyday certainly doesn’t help us stay healthy. With the overwhelming number of cafeteria options students are offered daily, it can be difficult to maintain a balanced diet. Luckily, several of these options remain wholesome and beneficial contributions to the average teenager’s plate. Executive Chef Steve Martin explains that the cafeteria serves the foods students need to stay healthy; it’s a matter of understanding what constitutes a healthy diet. “You have to know what you need, because it’s all available here,” he said. “Everyone has likes and dislikes, but there’s so many healthy choices. Its great to eat your fruits and vegetables, but you don’t need to eat a lot of [them.] Just learn to incorporate them into your diet.” According to www.livestrong. com, teenagers need two to three cups of vegetables daily, as well as two cups of fruit. Martin explains that the cafeteria’s salad bar offers a way for stu-

dents to get in their daily requirement. “The bar always has fresh fruit and vegetables for students to eat and fill up on when they don’t want something so heavy,” he said. Additionally, it is recommended to incorporate plenty of protein in the average teenager’s diet – the cafeteria offers high-protein sources via the carving station in the Bistro, which is growing in popularity. “The Bistro is really becoming popular. I know students really like the carving station where they can add a good bit of meat to their diet.” Martin said. While eating healthy is important, however, it is not necessary to give up on old favorites. Maintaining a balanced nutritional plan is essential to a healthy lifestyle, though as Martin puts it, “[students] don’t have to give up on their favorite foods entirely.” The biggest challenge some students may face is the lack of desire to venture out and try new foods. “A lot of kids just don’t want to try new foods. They should try and acquire a taste for new things,” Martin said. “The menu changes daily, so students should discipline themselves to sample a bit of everything.” Keeping a healthy calorie goal

helps keep track of what you should and should not eat. Teenage girls who are moderately active (getting up to one hour of activity per day) should shoot for a 2,000 calorie diet, while boys need between 2,200 and 2,400 calories per day. A great way to assimilate a healthy diet into your everyday lifestyle is to establish what your body needs out of its intake and plan meals accordingly. “Students should find out what they need on a day to day basis and should do a little bit of research to find out how to balance their meals,” Martin said. The cafeteria’s Farmers’ Market and salad bar offer easy ways to incorporate healthy alternatives into your lunch meal. Rotating in fresh food daily, the Farmers’ Market offers students a great way to keep unhealthy cravings at bay, while the salad bar offers several toppings to create a delicious salad. “We have healthy salads and fresh food at the Farmers’ Market and [the salad bar] that allow students to have more balance with those side dishes,” Martin said. “The vegetarian options are also great – you don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat them!” Students can also turn to the sandwiches served daily for a quick

meal to fill up. Safia Khouja (10) opts for turkey and vegetarian sandwiches instead of reaching for heavier, unhealthy cuisine.

You have to know what you need, because it’s all available here.

samar malik

Steve Martin, Executive Chef

“The sandwiches at the cafeteria area a healthier option than the pizza of French fries, for example,” she said. “I like eating them to avoid eating other unhealthy foods everyday.” Therefore, when given the option, it is probably best to spring for whole grain bread as opposed to white bread.

White bread is poor in nutrition as opposed to whole grain, which has more vitamins, minerals and fibers. While maintaining a healthy diet is important, students should not be overly concerned with creating a meal plan. Raghav Selvaraj (12) tries his best to avoid eating unhealthy foods, but does not making it a priority. “I try and maintain a healthy diet by not having pizza or anything like that everyday,” he said. “If I want something light I’ll have a salad, but usually I just eat some meat and pasta.” Although Raghav does not have any specific restrictions on his diet, he tries to avoid “some of the excessively unhealthy items.” Maintaining a strict diet is not necessary, as Raghav suggests. However, springing for healthier alternatives can boost students’ overall energy and encourage an overall fit lifestyle. Students who wish to eat healthier should simply figure out what exactly their body needs based on time spent exercising, weight, and what they hope to achieve through a healthy meal plan. As long as students are willing to put in the effort to sustain a healthy diet, the plethora of cafeteria options allows them to do just that.


The Students as Content Creators (SACC) project is an ongoing series of articles that relate the process of young people producing their own ideas in various areas of business, science, art, music, theater, and more. Some stories also examine potential conflicts that may arise due to ownership issues.


Check out for more information.



January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Technological innovation: an opinion

Student developers market applications

With innovation and technology a defining aspect of the Upper School, many students have begun entrepreneurial ventures during their high school careers. Timothy Luong (12) and JP Doherty (12) have each created unique iPhone applications this past year. JP Doherty (12): “This is entrepreneurial business,” JP said, creator of the “Postcard” application, designed to share pictures from around the world. Postcard allows users to request photos from any country or place. When users visit one of the requested locations, they will be notified of the request and can send any photo they take to those who want it. “The idea for the app [came first]. I was actually walking out of my front door one day, and its a little cliche, but I was looking at the sunrise, and I was thinking wow it would be really cool if I could just see the sunrise right now in Hawaii,” he said. Acquiring a few thousand dollars from his dad to start up the business, he was responsible for hiring developers and determining his own entrepreneurial path. “My dad wanted me to do that independently just as an experience to have,” he said. “In the future, this would be a good experience, a learning experience.” Although the iPhone application has not yet entered the market, JP has begun to advertise his information page with Google Search. “There is a large group of people who would be really interested; people that have some sort of emotional attachment to different places,” he said. In addition to tourists, those interested in photography make up another aspect of the target market. “There is a big market for photography, just like Instagram that really caught fire really quick. This would

rahul jayaraman reporter



target a group like that that wants the social part but also wants to just get pictures,” he said. JP also plans to work with the travel agency business and companies such as Expedia. “Expedia really likes user-created content like user reviews. Potential buyers of their products are looking for user opinions,” JP said. “[I] could sell those pictures to Expedia.” Although he does not know where the business will take him in the future, JP intends to major in Entrepreneurial Business in college.

This [app] would target a group like that that wants the social part but also wants the pictures.

monica thukral

JP Doherty (12)

“Right now it is just a fun little project, but we will see where it goes,” he said. “I think it will be a good kickstarter for me before I get to college.” The Postcard application is anticipated to be completed next month. Timothy Luong (12): Timothy created “Criss Cross: Chongz’s Circuitry Challenge” during a summer internship at Timothy learned about the in-

CIRCUITRY This graphic of senior Timothy Luong’s iPhone application, “Criss Cross: Chongz’s Circuitry Challenge” displays the product of his hours of work at an internship this summer through the company, which helped him with the design.The application is currently available on the Apple App Store, and has received a standing on a top ten listing, and Timothy plans to launch a second version of the game within the next month.

ternship, run by an MIT and a UCLA student, through the school’s Tech club. It was run out of a house in Menlo in which twenty high school and college students worked on their apps. He attended the internship five days a week for about five hours each day. Before beginning the process, he signed a contract with, the company through which he interned. “They hire an artist for you, [...] they will publish the game, and will advertise within the MakeGamesWithUs brand. Then they take thirty percent of whatever you make,” he said. Timothy went on to describe how he came up with the idea for the game: a linear method of randomly choosing students to present dialogues in Japanese class. “The desire to create an application [came before the actual idea].”

Timothy was unsure about his market, but eventually guessed that he is targeting “people who like puzzle games.” Although he personally has not employed any advertising strategies for his application, he is aware that the company does some marketing for them. “Considering how many downloads I have gotten, I say, no [the current advertising methods are not effective], but depending on how good my game is, I say yes [they should be].” Timothy plans to launch a version two within the next month but doubts its success because it would not be in the recent section of the Apple store, even though he was the top ten in strategy games on iTunes in Singapore. Although Timothy does not plan to make money from this particular application, he plans to develop more applications in the near future.

CES: New products debut at trade show jonathan ma & rahul jayaraman The floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center in early January was jam-packed with attendees as companies from all around the world displayed the latest technologies that they hoped would attract consumers. In the category of television systems, one of the outstanding products was a 110-inch television made by Hisense, a Chinese company; this television also features Ultra HD resolution. This format, formerly known as 4K, has a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, which is four times as many pixels as standard 1080p high definition. This giant television and its two smaller sister models can connect to Wi-Fi and support active 3D. Hisense has not yet announced the system’s price or availability date. This year, many innovations were also made in mobile technology. Among the many new phones and tablets introduced, Yota Device’s YotaPhone stood out due to its novel integration of an e-ink screen within a smartphone. Electronic ink, long used in e-readers such as Amazon’s original Kindle, is more energyefficient than LCD screens used in phones. The YotaPhone combines both: it features a LCD screen on one side and an e-ink screen on the other. Because users can use the electronic ink screen for tasks like reading, the phone could potentially be more energy-efficient than devices like the iPhone, which only have conventional LCD screens. Both of the YotaPhone’s screens are built with Gorilla Glass 3, making them harder to scratch. Aside from its two screens, the YotaPhone comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor. It also features a 4.3-inch 720p display as well as a 13-megapixel camera and at least 32 gigabytes of storage. The YotaPhone will be available in Russia in 2013, but Yota Devices has not yet announced its U.S. availability date. One of the most revolutionary entertainment devices at CES this year was the Razer Edge. This device



NEW TELEVISION Attendees at CES marvel at the televisions displayed at the Samsung booth. This year’s CES showcased many new technologies, which included large televisions, vibrating forks, and novel gaming devices.

appeals to gamers because of its versatility: by itself it is a tablet, but combined with various docks and accessories, it can change into a laptop or a mobile console and can even connect with a television and controllers for a complete multiplayer experience. Behind the screen, the tablet is powered by a 1.9 GHz dual-core Intel i7 chip as well as a standalone NVIDIA GeForce GT graphics card. The Edge runs Windows 8 and can play touchscreen as well as PC games. However, it has a relatively low battery life of approximately five hours at most, limiting mobility. It starts at $999, which does not include the accessories such as the mobile control console which make it a versatile device. Despite such weaknesses, the Edge blurs the line between tablet, console, and computer, making it an exciting breakthrough device. A similar gaming device was the NVIDIA Project Shield gaming device. It looks like a traditional smartphone attached to a console gaming controller, but the controller is no ordinary gaming dock. The “smartphone” is, in reality, the screen, and the display and controller function as a single unit. It operates on Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android and uses NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 chip, billed as the

“World’s Fastest Mobile Processor.” The device can also access WiFi networks like any other smartphone. In addition, Project Shield takes connectivity a step further: it uses WiFi to play games stored on any computers on the network. It also has to include something for every member of the family, not just gamers, and NVIDIA has delivered on that expectation. Users can wirelessly stream movies or TV shows like on any normal handheld running Android; in addition, this device includes an HDMI output port and a microSD card reader. Pricing has not yet been announced, but NVIDIA must keep in mind its gaming competition in order to attract the masses: the Nexus 7, the iPad, and the Kindle Fire. Some students have expressed doubt over the appeal of such devices. “I don’t prefer playing games that much,” Melody Weber (9) said. “I’d prefer to buy something else that would serve my purpose. On the other side of the technology spectrum, two companies have unveiled devices that could potentially change the dining experience for restaurant-goers. Hong Kong-based HAPILABS unveiled the HAPIfork, which they claim could revolutionize the way people eat. The fork mea-

sures how fast someone eats, and if it thinks he or she is eating too fast, it vibrates and flashes to alert the user to slow down. However, some students have expressed doubt over the utility of such a device. “I don’t really see the need for an electronic fork,” Arya Kaul (10) said. HAPILABS says that the HAPIfork will help people feel full by telling them to slow down their eating; studies have demonstrated that eating too fast leads to overeating. This fork also syncs with a smartphone app that will help the user follow his or her progress. Another novel device, Moneual’s Touch Table PC, is like a computer in a restaurant table. Diners can wave farewell to waiters taking their orders, because people can order from the table, which is essentially a giant touchscreen. It can display a menu, play games, and even count down the time from when one orders to when one receives his or her food. The device operates on Windows 7 and features two USB ports for bored diners to play games from their smartphones while they wait to be served. Of course, there is one minor drawback: the tabletop, or screen, is not fingerprint-proof, so diners beware. Students thought that the broad range of technologies displayed at CES outshined technologies displayed by other companies at their respective events. “CES is a very successful event as it has introduced […] the Blu-Ray disc player, the HDTV, and many more items,” Sriram Somasundaram (10) said. “It encourages innovation and competition, unlike the other events, which all focus on a single brand.” Overall, the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show displayed many new innovations that could revolutionize the ways people use technology. If companies play their cards right, they could be looking at an enormous windfall from the sale of these products. Who knows? Maybe one of them could explode in popularity like the next Wii or iPhone.

We often see it in movies and books – the so-called “technology of the future.” This broad category includes, among other things, a time machine and a robot that responds to our every demand, yet we still have to invent this technology. How is it that we can find everything to modify, yet nothing to invent? Now, the consumer technology world is just filled with improvement. There’s nothing really new and innovative that the major tech companies are churning out. This was obviously the case with the iPhone 5, whose probable successors were parodied on social media sites such as Reddit; users posted an edited picture of an extremely elongated iPhone and dubbed it “iPhone 10.” Apple did not make any radical changes in this phone; they merely elongated it and added a faster processor. Sure, the smartphone revolution occurred, but what does our society have to show for it? Bigger and better smartphones? There’s now no such thing as a foldable smartphone or tablet that you can keep in your pocket (Samsung, take note of that one. Perhaps people will find it more useful than your flexible screen). Social media sites haven’t picked up much steam in the past year, and Facebook’s once-promising stock went into a nosedive as the tech giant made misstep after misstep in dealing with privacy issues. LinkedIn doesn’t really relate to students, Twitter is for stalking celebrities, and MySpace is for … well, nobody. New social media sites have emerged, only to fizzle away after many months of use (take Groupon, for example). Has innovation really plateaued in our society? Are we reduced to gawking at a fork that vibrates when you eat food too fast? Sure, it’s innovative, but who’s going to shell out so much money for a utensil that you could get for five to ten dollars with some modifications that the amateur engineer or programmer could perform? We see the same problem with televisions. We are able to buy televisions that are 110 inches wide, but are they that practical to keep in our dens or living rooms? To leave this innovational plateau, we must develop ideas and invent something so radical that it will change the way we live our daily lives. Something that will actually help us, not something that we fantasize about in futuristic movies like Avatar or Matrix. Technology companies shouldn’t focus on modifying. They should focus on innovating. We severely lack the drive to innovate. Furthermore, companies frequently, if not always, take the lazy way out by just adding the newest and fastest processor, lengthening the screen, or improving the screen resolution. We don’t invent a new type of processor tailored to the device or a new type of screen that will serve the purpose better. I’m not necessarily saying that companies should pander to the consumer. What I am suggesting, however, is that companies think outside the proverbial box. They should think of an invention so earth-shattering that people will be clamoring to buy it, not improving what people are already clamoring to buy (Apple, take note.) On the other hand, medical technology is improving by the day. Newer and newer surgical methods are being discovered, and these make use of the latest lasers or nanoparticles to deliver a painless surgery (or at least one with fewer possible complications). Consumer innovation should perhaps take the route of medical technology and change frequently. I’m frankly not impressed with the rate of consumer technological innovation. The last major invention was the PDA/cell phone, and the time is ripe for another one. Wake me up when the next big thing hits the market, but for now, I’ll just refrain from buying any so-called “new” technology that shows up on store shelves.



January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Taking notes: Traditional versus electronic options vivek bharadwaj reporter

“Class, remember to take notes!” About ten years ago, this phrase would have meant whipping out your notebook and pencil,

primed to write for an hour. When Shrish Dwivedi (10) hears that today, he prefers to open a different kind of “notebook” instead: his laptop.

“To use a laptop is just easier and faster when taking notes. Sometimes, it depends on the subject, but most likely, they’re just quick words, quick notes you need to


Paper and Pencil A student writes in a notebook. 46 percent of students polled find handwriting as the simplest and easiest way to take notes.

remember the subject,” Shrish said. The advent of super-portable, lightweight laptops and tablets such as the iPad has opened up new media for taking notes that, for some,

can be faster, easier, and more useful than taking notes with a paper and pencil. Each method has strengths and disadvantages that suit different needs and different people.

Tablets Using a tablet can greatly augment the electronic note-taking experience. Here, a student writes on a first generation iPad using an electronic stylus. 6 percent of students prefer using tablets.

A student types on his laptop outside. Laptop use for note-taking has grown in popularity for its high speed and efficiency, and 48 percent of students prefer laptops as the primary mode of taking notes.

While only a small percentage of students use tablets in class to

Though it may be the least technologically advanced, taking notes with a notebook and pencil is a simple, effective, and inexpensive way to get the job done.

Laptop note taking has several advantages of its own and is the most preferred method of taking notes among Upper School students.

Advantages: 1. Inexpensive: Notebooks and pencils commonly sell for less than a dollar each and are relatively cheap compared to laptops and tablets. They are widely available at stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. 2. Universal and less distracting: Many students feel more focused taking notes with a notebook instead of a laptop. “I remember better when I write things down,” said Safia Khouja (10). Studies from the University of Stavanger, Norway suggest that because handwriting is a slower, more labored process, and because people focus on the movements of their pens when they write, the brain focuses more on the task of handwriting than typing. Additionally, all teachers allow notebooks and pencils, unlike laptops and other distraction-posing electronic media, making them a universal solution that works in every classroom. 3. Failure-proof: A notebook and pencil do not have batteries to recharge or LCD displays that crack and are immune to various other electronic inconveniences. Simplicity and ease of access are appealing features as well.

Advantages: 1. Fast: For those with high typing speeds, typing notes with a laptop allows taking down large amounts of information more efficiently than handwriting. Laptops can be ideal for information-heavy classes. 2. Easy to exchange: Notes taken on a laptop facilitate the process of sharing notes with friends by eliminating the need to scan and process paper documents. Instead, users can simply send the text of their notes via email.

Advantages: 1. Highly portable: Tablets are much less bulky and more portable than laptops; a single tablet also has the storage space to replace several notebooks. 2. Customizable experience: Apple and Android tablets come bundled with simple note-taking applications, but their respective app stores offer an array of more advanced applications that can enhance the experience, such as Penultimate and Notability.

Disadvantages: 1. Not universally allowed: Several teachers, including the entire History department, do not permit the use of a laptop in class for the distractions it creates. “Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that the temptation to use Facebook and other sorts of inappropriate web surfing during class is quite great. I don’t permit it,” said Upper School Latin and World History teacher Scott Paterson. 2. Symbol and equation writing: Several students do not like using laptops in classes such as math or science because of the difficulty in typing out specific notation, such as special symbols and equations. The task of inserting equations has been made easier with tools such as the Equation Editor in Microsoft Word but is not at the point where it is as easy and simple as writing.

Disadvantages: 1. Electronic failures: A tablet has many of the same disadvantages as a laptop, such as running out of battery or cracking a screen. 2. Expensive: Most ten-inch tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface and the Apple iPad, start at around $500 for the base models, while seven-inch tablets, such as the Google Nexus 7 and iPad Mini, generally cost around $250, but their smaller screen can make typing and writing cramped without an external keyboard. 3. Touch Typing: For some, touch-typing on a tablet screen as opposed to a physical keyboard can be a strange and less than ideal experience. While purchasing an external keyboard accessory solves the problem, it adds to the already high cost of a tablet.

Disadvantages: 1. Slow: A major problem with handwriting notes is speed: for several people, handwriting is much slower than typing and wastes time.

take notes, using a tablet computer combines the worlds of both traditional and laptop note taking and offers advantages from both.

Nanoscience elective School introduces new class for next school year For the 2013 - 2014 school year, the administration has introduced a new Honors Nanoscience class that will explore the special electrical, chemical, and physical aspects of nanoscientific particles. The course will be based on hands-on laboratory experiments, according to AP Chemistry teacher Dr. Mala Raghavan, who will teach the elective. Due to the growing prominence of nanoscience in modern science research, particularly in the Silicon Valley, the Science Department decided to include the course in the Upper School curriculum. “It seems like the right time to offer the course,” Dr. Raghavan said. “We want to get everyone excited about the prospects of science, because there are a lot of fantastic applications in nanoscience.” The department is still working on creating a definitive curriculum and syllabus for the class. Since the topic is relatively new at the high school level, the administration is currently searching for textbooks that would be appropriate. Due to its novelty, the course is now undergoing the University of California (UC) approval process. Drawing from her background, Dr. Raghavan intends to explore current scientific developments from a physical chemistry perspective. “There’s been a new drive, especially in this area, as people are doing more things on the nanoscale. We will study instruments that are able to manipulate atoms at the nanoscale,” Raghavan said. The class will build upon the students’ previous knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology to create a truly interdisciplinary experience. Several students are excited about the possibility of a comprehensive course that incorporates elements of numerous scientific fields. “Nanoscience has always interested me because it has such a wide array of applications and it involves so many properties, from electrical to chemical,” Aaron Lee (11) said. “Studying objects on the molecular level is very useful.” The department has chosen to gear the course toward upperclassmen, as its prerequisites include either Honors or AP Chemistry, generally taken during sophomore year. The course will expand upon the fundamental differences between nanoscience and macroscience, stressing the chemical and physical properties of objects at a small scale and the

instruments used to to study them. While the curriculum is yet to be definitive, the department has decided to separate the course into a number of small units, each dedicated to a different property of nanoscience. In contrast to a number of other science courses already offered by the Upper School, Honors Nanoscience strives to make a connection between studied science and real-world application. In doing so, each unit will also be discussed in context of the scientific community, new developments, and new findings in the field.

Studying objects on the molecular level is very useful.

EIT & TalonWP Sports Editor

Aaron Lee (11)

The class will be one of the two science semester courses offered for honors credit, along with Honors Analytical Chemistry, which also requires Honors or AP Chemistry as a prerequisite. Both courses will receive 0.5 credit for completion. Claudia Tischler (11), after hearing Dr. Raghavan’s description of the elective, found the class to be particularly unusual. “The course syllabus is different from the rest of the sciences taught here because there’s so much new research going on at the moment. The course will be more discussion based, so I expect the class to share news and research articles related to nanoscience and make predictions about other uses of this new technology,” she said. The course is intended to be reflective of the nanoscience courses offered at the university level and preparatory for further study. A full description of the Honors Nanoscience course can be found through the student portal on the 2013-14 Course of Study document.

I think most people use social media these days, and they’re

nikhil dilip & vasudha rengarajan

Chris Nikoloff, Head of School


Nikhil Panu (12)

Nithya Vemireddy (11)

anishka agarwal reporter

Captain of the boys varsity basketball team since his sophomore year and current class president, senior Nikhil Panu is one of the Athletes of the Month. Since the season started, he has scored around 184 points total (an average of about 12.3 points per game) including 95 rebounds and 55 free throws. At the Molokai game, one of three games the team played in Hawaii, Nikhil scored 18 points ending the game with a final score of 68-47 with a repeat performance at the Crystal Springs Uplands game ending with a score of 75- 41. Nikhil has been commend-


ed by his co-captain, teammates and coaches for being not only a phenomenal player but also a superb leader. “The thing that people in the stands don’t recognize is that although he is a very skilled basketball player, his biggest contribution besides scoring points and grabbing rebounds and the obvious is his leadership,” said Head Coach Butch Keller. “He’s a true team leader.” Coach Keller believes Nikhil has an incredible work ethic and that his hard work and leadership comes through on the court during the games. “What he does is subtle leadership. A subtle leader leads





by example and quietly,” said Keller. “He is always early to practice, most of the time he is the last to leave. He sets the tone and the example.” His teammates characterize him as an intense player on the court and an inspirational leader who gets everyone motivated in his own ways. “He is very goal oriented and he is really good at setting those small step by step goals for the team,” said Team Manager Apricot Tang (12). “He sets these consistent goals and he motivates the team to strive towards them; he is a really good motivating factor of the team.”

Winter highlights

Junior Nithya Vemireddy has earned the title of Athlete of the Month for her accomplishments as one of the captains of the girls’ varsity basketball team. In this season alone, Nithya has scored 178 points and has rebounded 138 shots. She scored 18 points against San Jose High School as well as Immaculate Conception Academy leading to final score of 55-48 and 52-32 respectively. She also had 17 rebounds against Mercy High School to contribute to the win, with Harker finishing with a score of 60-36. As one of the major


shooters for the team, Nithya has helped lead the team to a successful season. Their record is currently 14-3. A member of the varsity team since freshman year, Nithya has grown to become a mature team leader according co-captain Priscilla Auyeung (12). “She was always a leader, even before receiving the title of co-captain,” said Auyeung. “I’m just so glad I can rely on her to be a strong, outspoken voice on the team.” Nithya is unique in that her teammates believe that her personality speaks for itself. “She brings a lot of energy

just with her personality,” said co-captain Daniza Rodriguez (12). “As a captain, she brings something totally different to the table [because] me and Priscilla have kind of the same mind set and then there is Nithya that adds something different.” Not only has Nithya been a superb basketball player over the years, she has always been a truly hard worker and a team player who has really stepped up to her position as captain this year. The team’s next game is a home game against Immaculate Conception Academy on January 29.

preseason workouts prevent PRESEASON: Optional injuries and build team chemistry vedant thyagaraj reporter

Weights are scattered all over the room. The only audible sound is the clink of metal bars being stacked back on the rack. Monstrous grunts, inspiring some to finish that last rep, fill the air. Preseason workouts are designed to build an

You don’t get in shape by playing sports. You get in shape to play sports.

Jim Evans, Fitness Consultant


of the

athlete’s strength and endurance during the off-season, while at the same time, focusing on injury-reduction. There are preseason workouts available for almost every sport: football, wrestling, swimming, track and field, lacrosse, volleyball and basketball, to name a few. Upcoming spring sports are currently having off-season workouts to prepare for the coming season. “Pre-season workouts are not man-

datory, and if students are not doing anything, they are encouraged to go and participate in them,“ Upper School athletic director, Dan Molin, said. These workouts, led by The Upper School’s Head of Strength and Conditioning, Ron Forbes, are typically customized exercise regimes that focus on the skills a player will need for the sport’s upcoming season. Workouts, typically an hour long, include weight lifting for muscle sports, and cardio and endurance exercises for running and stamina sports. Pre-season workouts also serve the purpose of injury-reduction, both in the short-term and the long-term. “There’s an old saying. You don’t get in shape by playing sports. You get in shape to play sports,” said Jim Evans, a 45-year veteran of the health-fitness industry and an internationally recognized fitness consultant. He added, “You have to exercise in the off-season pretty much all the time in order to condition your body so you don’t get injured.” As these athletes engage in more physical activity, they accumulate a large amount of stress on their muscles, which, according to Evans, could result in an injury, as their bodies are not capable of handling that much muscle strain. Preseason workouts target muscles that will actively be used during a particular sport, so that athletes’ bodies can handle the muscle strain once the season begins. In addition to the physical benefits, pre-season workouts can also be a great team-bonding exercise. “I think the benefits of the workouts



January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

WORKOUT Rachel Yanovsky (12) prepares for swim season by stretching muscles during a workout afterschool with Coach Ron Forbes.

are both physical and mental. You put work in and it shows on the field, [and] at the same time you develop a bond with your teammates when all of you are working hard together,” said Allen Huang (10), in regards to football workouts. Lacrosse’s open fields, for example, can be used for skill improvement as well as team bonding. Although they are not mandatory, pre-season workouts have been regarded as a norm for those who are serious and passionate about their sport.

sonia sidhu

sports editor “Newer is always better.” That’s the way the saying goes and that’s the way Jeff Martarano sees it. In this case, the new baseball field at the Blackford Middle School, which is used by the highschool team, demonstrates clear improvements over the old one. The old field had some “character” indicated by the digs made by cleats while players were running, the grass around it starting to grow evenly and the bases soiled by the dirt from a player sliding onto the base just in time. It shared the stories of seasons past. But, this year, the baseball program hopes to move forward with a newer field, boosting team morale with the upgraded safety features of the field. Martarano started coaching baseball this year and was pleased to help the school in any way possible. Come the time for baseball season, Martarano put his knowledge of baseball fields to use as he stepped into his role as assis-

tant coach by revamping the field. With the support of Head of School Christopher Nikoloff and Upper School athletic director Dan Molin, Martarano was able to make the needed updates. He worked for multiple weeks on the field with the help of Jason Martin (‘07), an Upper School alum and professional baseball player. The maintenance crew working on the project consists of Mike Bassoni, Dan Corornado, and their teams. According to Martarano, the new field will not have the bumps and holes the previous field had. The field has been “re-cut”, meaning that dead grass has been replaced and holes have been fixed. After the dirt was leveled, a layer of “brickfine” has been added to the field as well, allowing the boys to slide on the diamond more easily. By patching up the field, the players will be able to run more easily and avoid falls, becoming better at predicting the speed they need to run at to get that elusive home run. Previously if a player had been running towards

third base, he would have encountered a small hole in the sand. This hole could potentially cause him to fall, losing his balance and confidence in the process. An additional benefit will be to better prepare athletes for college baseball diamonds if they want to take that route. Martarano has been leading the work on the field and feels that the new field sets the tone for the new season. “The boys deserve a real nice field to play baseball,” he said. “ I know this will raise their confidence so they can become better baseball players.” This upgrade has been necessary for a few years and Molin is excited about the new baseball diamond. “The field is getting a much needed facelift,” he said, when voicing his anticipation about the project. Kevin Cali (12) said “the new field is great for sure, but what’s going to be even better is how we do this season.” These renovations to the field are estimated to be completed by the start of baseball season on January 28. Then,


Baseball: Blackford baseball diamond gets “facelift”

NEW FIELD The new field is at the Blackford Middle School and wil be available for the Upper School baseball team to use. The upgrades improve the safety and appearance of the field in time for the new season.

Martarano and his team will aim to fix the old batting cage along with replacing some of the base plates, especially the home plate. According to Martarano, the pitching rubber will also be upgraded.

According to Molin, the softball field will be renovated sometime in the future as well.


January 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Deviating from the norm


Students share their journeys in various unique sports including crew, karate, taekwondo, and squash kacey fang

1/26: William C. Overfelt Wrestling Classic (away) 1/31: Cupertino HS (home)

Girls Soccer:

1/29: Pinewood School (away) 1/31: Mercy High School-San Francisco (home)

Boys Soccer:

1/26: Eastide College Prep (home) 1/30: Menlo School (home)

Girls Basketball:

1/29: Immaculate Conception Academy (home) 1/31: Mercy Burlingame (away)

Boys Basketball:

1/26: Menlo School (away) 1/29: Crystal Springs Upland (away)


[It] was completely different than anything I had ever done before. Nina Sabharwal (12) ditioning workouts and can critique the other members. On the other hand, she is held responsible if a race does not go as planned. For Nina, who has been on the school golf team before, belonging to a club sport means a lot more commitment. “We travel a lot, like I went to like Florida for nationals, and you travel to SoCal, and you travel all over the place.

On weekends when you have races or regattas, your whole day is gone.” As a result of the large time commitment, Nina was forced to “take a step back” in junior year, and Maya also chose to put rowing on hold in order to allow room for other activities. Nina feels that the school could benefit from rowing as a club. “I know we have a cycling club that goes out on weekends, but as a club where you go out on the weekends and row, that would be really fun,” she said. Now that second semester is here without the pressure of college applications, Nina is considering taking the sport up again. In addition, she would like to hopefully join a rowing team in college as well. Martial Arts A typical week for Shrreya Jain (12) includes grappling, sparring with swords, and the countless other modes of self-defense encompassed by her sport of choice: martial arts. “I started out with martial arts because I was a really weak child, so my parents wanted to get me started on a sport that would kind of get me stronger,” she said.

Kicks Against Cancer games

Annual soccer fundraiser raises money to support cancer patients samar malik copy editor

On Friday, January 25, the Varsity boys and girls soccer teams will be hosting Kicks Against Cancer: an annual soccer event dedicated to raising money to send children with cancer to Camp Okizu. The boys team will face Pinewood at 3:30 p.m., while the girls team will play Eastside College Prep at 5:15 p.m. Both teams have been raising money over the past week by selling t-shirts, bracelets, hair ties, and raffle tickets. This year’s goal is to simply surpass last year’s remarkable total of $11,000 in profits. Freshman Varsity player Oisin Coveney explains how playing for a cause truly boosts the team’s performance. “It gives us something to fight for, especially [after meeting] the kids who are benefiting from the money we raise,” he said. The players met with families from Camp Okizu last week and recorded a video in which the children and their families expressed their gratitude for Camp Okizu and the event. A sanctuary for children and families affected by cancer, Okizu bills its

mission as providing “peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs” to children and families affected by childhood cancer. Okizu aims to help children and their families forget about their ailment and let loose during the span of the camp.

[Our coach] keeps reminding us that these kids with cancer deserve to have a normal life as well. Deniz Celik (12), Boys Varsity Captain Costs vary from $1000 to $5000 dollars for individual children and their families, respectively. Players agree that the effort and time spent preparing for the event is well worth the outcome; the children


11 Wins





14 Wins





CAMP OKIZU Last year, both teams met with some families from Camp Okizu and made bracelets. All the proceeds from the Kicks Against Cancer event will go towards sponsoring families to go to Camp Okizu.

sponsored are truly thankful for the Kicks Against Cancer event. “Every year when we see how happy the kids are from being sent to camp, it makes us want to keep doing everything we can to send more kids to Okizu,” Kianna Bisla (11), a player from the Varsity girls soccer team, said. The teams’ drive to perform well during the game is deep-rooted, as boys’ coach Shaun Tsakiris once struggled with cancer himself. Tsakiris struggled with testicular cancer that

4 Wins






5 Wins

then spread throughout his body, but has been able to overcome it. “[Our coach] keeps reminding us that these kids with cancer deserve to have a normal life as well,” Deniz Celik (12), boys team captain said. “It’s a motivation when he tells us and uses his own personal experiences.” Both teams hope to raise as much money as possible to send children and their families to Camp Okizu. Admission to the event requires purchasing a Kicks Against Cancer T-shirt for $10.




After starting karate at the age of four, Shrreya progressed to the point of earning a third degree black belt. Although it took 13 years of training, she is glad that she is still with the sport today. “I used to want to quit karate, but I’m glad I stuck with it because it truly paid off,” she said. “You have to practice all your material every time you advance.” In addition to having over 30 forms memorized, she also bears the responsibility of teaching younger or lower level students, an obligation that starts after one earns a first-degree black belt. Currently, she is working on handling swords and sparring without gear in a form called kumite. Squash As a fast-paced sport, squash presents an analytical dimension in addition to the physical. After playing for three and a half years, Arhum Siddiqui (12) remains hooked on the sport for its intellectual aspect. “I’m a little bit too obsessed with it, in the sense that what I love is I like to critique the different swings I see,” he said. “I like to critique the attitudes people have in terms of their game



rower to coxswain, Maya now controls the timing and fluidity of other rowers’ coordinations. According to her, being “that little person that sits at the end of the boat and screams at people,” she does not have to participate in the con-

e a gl e events

THE OPPOSITE OF MAINSTREAM Each athlete has demonstrated dedication in their respective sport despite it not being offered at the school or being a popular sport. Eric Swenson (12) performs a high kick during his second degree black belt test at West Coast Martial Arts. (left). Maya Nandakumar (10) practices with her crew team as the coxswain for the group (right).

The referee’s whistle, the thump of a ball, and the rustle of jerseys: these are sounds familiar to most school athletes and sports aficionados. But what about the gliding of oars, patter of feet hitting mats, and ricochet of racket-flung projectiles? Crew, martial arts, and squash are only three sports that demonstrate the diversity of physical activities that students pursue outside of school. Crew Coupling idyllic waters with physical exertion, crew offers a balance between work and fun. Both Maya Nandakumar (10) and Nina Sabharwal (12) became involved after signing up for a summer program after fifth grade and eighth grade, respectively. “It was really fun so I just went back every year, and then I started to do club,” Maya said. Both girls fell in love with rowing after the first few experiences. Since crew is an uncommonly offered sport, their first times on the water were refreshingly new. “[It] was completely different than anything I had ever done before,” Nina said. “It was really exciting to be on the water so early in the morning because you get to see the sunrise. It makes you feel really good when you do it. It’s hard, but it makes you feel good.” Practices include both land workouts and rowing drills. Land days consist of runs and Erg workouts on a machine that can track and simulate rowing. On the water, athletes practice rowing laps along with various other drills. The team-oriented sport also requires extensive coordination among rowers. “You just watch the strokes of the person in front of you, and keep the same rhythm as them,” Maya said. “You need to keep your blade heights at about the same height. Otherwise, the boat will tip to one side or the other. After a while, you just program yourself to be on the same level with everybody.” After recently switching roles from


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plan, their strategy, the angle of how they hit the ball for a straight drive or a cross drive. I take out what I think will be beneficial to my game and basically [use] it when it comes to playing against those types of players and use that game against them.” Arhum was first introduced to squash, a popular pastime in Pakistan, by his father. Nine years old at the time, Arhum initially did not find the sport very interesting. “I liked the sports that were mainstream,” he said. “Not until I was 13 or 14 did I really try it out, and that’s when I instantly fell in love with it, and started to take it seriously.” Now, Arhum also has the privilege of traveling nationally in tournaments, making it to the second or third rounds in most games and ranking in the top 100. On the other hand, travel has its unexpected downsides. “When it comes to going out East, you sometimes meet peculiar people, people who have a very unethical mentality.” Arhum said. “In squash, you’ll see those kids who shouldn’t be ranked so high, but they are.” Because he has involved himself seriously with the sport, Arhum practices three hours every day after school. He monitors himself in intervals, practicing a certain move for a set amount of time. For example, he may spend two minutes perfecting the rotation of his forearm, or 15 minutes “ghosting” across the court or on volley practice. At first, the intense dedication was hard to balance with his other commitments. “I used to practice, before I was serious, about an hour to an hour and a half a day for four to five days a week. When I started doing the three hours a day kind of thing, it used to be hard to have to get used to being tired when doing my homework, so one thing I’ve tried to do is be a little more conscious of what courses I’m taking,” he said. As a senior, Arhum plans to tone down the practices to two hours a day until February.   





In the December 20 match against Milpitas High School, Vincent Lin (11) got his first victory. Darian Edvalson (11) also defeated his opponent 8-0. The five person team lost to Homestead High School on January 10. Darian was also in the consolation finals during the Cupertino Tournament, going 2-2. Ethan Ma (10) went 1-2, Vincent went 1-1and Daniel Wang (12) went 0-2.

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January 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Extracurriculars are fun and there is a lot you can do, especially since Harker offers so many activities. - Mary Najibi (9)

[Activities] like sports are really fun because you can exercise and stay healthy. - Alan Guo (10)

Extracurriculars give us a chance to leave the classroom and use the critical thinking skills that we gained from classes in a more real-world setting.

Extracurricular activities are a way to keep me active, especially to keep me away from the stresses of senior year. -Shrreya Jain (12) EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES The cheerleaders lead the crowd in supporting the Varsity boys’ basketball team during their game against Woodside Priory School. Coached by Upper School Division Head Butch Keller, the team was victorious with a score of 68-45 and is now 10-5 overall.


-Andrew Wang (11)

Winged Post Vol 14 No 4  

The Winged Post Volume 14 Number 4

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