NEWS, page 3
HOLIDAYS, pages 14 & 15
SPORTS, page 18
Cross country and tennis
Celebrating the holidays
All-girl programming meeting
ATHLETES OF THE MONTH
Winged Post FRIDAY, December 9, 2011
THE HARKER UPPER SCHOOL STUDENT NEWSPAPER, VOL. 13, NO.4
500 SARATOGA AVE. SAN JOSE, CA 95129
No homework to be assigned over Winter Break allison kiang reporter This winter break, students are to be homeworkfree: the administration has established a policy of having no homework over the upcoming vacation. “The break is really so that students can recharge their batteries,” said Chris Nikoloff, Head of School. “Most students take finals the week before, so the break allows them to get away from academic thinking for a while.” The policy was implemented in an ongoing effort to reduce student stress. In addition, according to history teacher Dr.
Ruth Meyer, winter break is meant for the community to “unwind.” “I feel that it is a really good decision for [the Upper School]. I think all of us need time to really, really relax and be with our families,” she said. “We become better teachers and better students as a result of just having that complete relaxation time.” Gene Wong (12) also believes homework during winter break to be “pointless.” “I think a ‘no-homework policy’ [is] nice actually, since winter break is really a time to recharge after several months of hard work,” Gene said. However, while the policy may relieve some
stress from students, the lack of assignments also poses a potential threat to classes. “I don’t know how feasible [the policy] is, with all the work we do academically,” Apurva Tandon (11) said. “Our curriculum is so intensive [...], and for some teachers, it might slow down the pace […]. We’re doing a bunch of chapters in [AP Biology and AP Chemistry and] there’s no way to reschedule things to slow it down by the AP exam, just because there’s so much information.” If teachers do have required homework, students may report assignments over break to Upper School Division Head, Butch Keller.
Gingerbread house contest results 1st Place
Construction plans approved
Major new structure to combine gymnasium and performing arts center priyanka mody & nayeon kim
kacey fang reporter
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
editor in chief & managing editor Just prior to Thanksgiving Break, the school underwent a rezoning process whereby the City of San Jose Planning Division approved the current blueprints for construction of the performing arts building and gym in the upcoming years. Head of School Chris Nikoloff said that rezoning the property allows for more flexibility with construction plans. Previously, the Upper School campus remained in a “residential” property. Residential zones pose a number of limitations on the school’s vision for the Upper School campus, one being that the height of the tallest building cannot surpass 35 feet, restricting construction to two stories. When the school was able to rezone to a status called a “plan development,” the city permitted the construction of a 50-foot building and three floors, which would allow the school to save surface area and build higher up. Additionally, the performing arts building would be able to have a flyover, a tall extension that would facilitate the changing of sets in a professional way. “We have been authorized to rezone the campus to a much more modern plan,” said Joe Rosenthal, Executive Director of Advancement. “That was a huge step.” The school first produced a plan that Rosenthal called the “best-case scenario plan,” which allowed for maximum usage of space and design while remaining realistic. Yet when the school showed this plan to the professional builders, the cost estimate exceeded expectations. “We almost fell off our chairs,” Rosenthal said. “It was very expensive.
NEW PLANS The City of San Jose Planning Division has recently approved the Upper School’s blueprints of the performing arts building and gym. According to Executive Director of Advancement Joe Rosenthal, the Master Site Plan features the theater and gym merged into one construction.
Just for the gym and the theater, [the cost] came out to be nearly $80 million.” With other financial priorities of the school in place, Rosenthal said that it was not feasible to invest all of its finances to constructing the performing arts building and gym in the Upper School. Thus, the school devised a new plan to reduce certain features in the buildings. “This is what we’ve come up with—to build just the essential features of what we absolutely need in a very nice way. It’s going to be a gorgeous facility for the theater and same thing for the gym,” he said. While original construction plans for the performing arts building included a three-wing structure attached
to the back, the revised designs consist of only the theater itself. In addition, the school is considering moving the gym to the back of the theater and merging the two buildings into one. “By having [the theater and gym] be in one big building, it’s cheaper to build actually and we would do [the construction] all at the same time,” he said. Called the “transition plan,” the process of constructing the performing arts building and gym simultaneously at the same place would cause less disruption to the students since the rest of the campus would still be open for use. With these structural modifications, Rosenthal said that the cost of building the theater and gym is now estimated to be $30 million.
The city’s approval of the school’s construction plans is especially significant, according to Rosenthal, because Upper School students will not be able to use the Middle School facilities for a secure amount of time. “The main reason we need to build the gym and the theater is that [if ] somebody else would take over the lease at Blackford, we would ultimately not be able to use the gym, the cafeteria, [and] the theater over at Blackford,” he said. Now that the city has ratified the blueprints of the buildings, Rosenthal said that the school has to undergo one more step to receive full authorization to construct the new facilities on campus.
CONSTRUCTION, page 3
Educational Manager K-12 Services Stephen McCue talks to The Winged Post
Exclusive interview with College Board representative lifestyle editor & news editor The Winged Post recently received the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Stephen McCue, College Board Educational Manager for K-12 Services, regarding the college exam company. McCue has been with the College Board for about four years. The work he does primarily serves schools and districts across California, Colorado and Wyoming that are using College Board programs or that are thinking about using those programs. The Winged Post: Why did you decide to visit our school today? Stephen McCue: Well, Derek [Kameda, Upper School Registrar,] contacted the office. I know he’s been involved with College Board for some time [as a member of the College Board’s Consultant Advisory Panel, and he just wanted to highlight some of the good things going on here; I was just looking at some of the data. I
our own internal data that confirms that there are really good things happening here, so I really would like to hear about it, and see if there’s anything we can do to really support what’s been happening here.
We do our best to ensure the utmost integrity with the test.
WP: What is your response to the recent cheating scandals in New York and the potential for such instances to occur in California or other states? SM: Obviously, we take that very seriously. We have a partner organiza-
vices (ETS), which [is] responsible for the actual administration of the test, and [they] conduct all the internal investigations about the tests, internal investigations whenever there are any improprieties. So I know they were at the lead of that effort. But obviously, it’s something we take very seriously and we do our best to ensure the utmost integrity with the test. We have a number of safeguards that we’ve put in place over tens of years, decades, so we’ll make sure that this, whatever happened here, we’ll make sure that this type of thing doesn’t happen again.
COLLEGE BOARD, page 9
STANDARDIZED TESTING In an exclusive interview with The Winged Post, College Board Educational Manager for K-12 Services Stephen McCue informed students on issues of concern: cheating scandals, an overall approach to examination procedures.
SANJANA BALDWA - THE WINGED POST
sanjana baldwa & william chang brought a little bit to share with Derek, tion called Educational Testing Ser-
Results are in for the gingerbread houses, with juniors in first, freshmen second, sophomores third, and seniors last. Additionally, the places for last week’s window painting have been determined, with juniors once again in first place, followed by sophomores, seniors, and freshmen. With the holiday season approaching, the Upper School displayed its Christmas spirit with window painting and gingerbread houses. During long lunch on December 7, classes convened to build gingerbread houses with graham crackers, frosting, and an assortment of other sweets brought by individual class members. To students like Jenny Chen (11), the activity was entertaining partly for one reason. “You get to make it all out of food, so that’s pretty fun. Making architecture with food,” she said. Her class, the winning class of 2013, made a two-story house complete with white chocolate windows, fruit roll-up topiary, and rice for an added effect of snow. Others had to overcome several challenges throughout the competition. “We’re freshmen, so we don’t really get the best spot. We had to work to accommodate a lot of people [in a tight space],” Vishal Vaidya (9) said. For Sarika Bajaj (10), the excitement of making gingerbread houses made it worth the cleanup. “It’s fun to get into this as a class, work with something with our hands, and get class spirit points. I don’t like how it’s messy, but hey, it’s a gingerbread house,” she said. According to Sarika, the plan for the sophomores’ house originated from a drawing on a napkin. Her class executed the design into a tower surrounded by tiny Christmas lights. Freshmen, in second place, produced a frosting and graham cracker replica of Hogwarts with many added decorations. Members of their class decided the design days beforehand. However, the senior class’s design changed entirely from their original idea. “We had a plan for an amusement park, but we tried it out and it didn’t really work. So we decided to make a gingerbread man,” Akshay Tangutur (12) said. The seniors created a robotlike figure with a pile of destroyed candy structures at its feet, labelled “What Apps Do To Us.”
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Cum Laude: Upper School withdraws membership meena chetty
managing editor- TalonWP As of this year, the Upper School has officially withdrawn membership from the Cum Laude Society. According to Butch Keller, Upper School Division Head and president of the school’s formerly active chapter of the Cum Laude Society, focus that would have initially been placed on Cum Laude will now be shifted to the National Honor Society (NHS), headed by Dean of Studies Evan Barth. Members of the Cum Laude Society were inducted based entirely upon their grade point average (GPA). Participation was limited to the top 10 percent of each grade, totaling to about
17 or 18 students per class. “It’s nice to have on your transcript; however, being a member of Cum Laude does not make or break whether you get into college or not,” Keller said. Often the difference between the GPA’s of students who qualify and those who do not differ by a thousandth of a point. According to Barth, NHS is more inclusive and allows a larger portion of the student population to take part. “When you look at the level of precision, it really comes down to [if ] you took an honors or not-honors class to boost your GPA,” Barth said. The process of determining those who would be eligible to join Cum
gives third of Identity: Nikoloff six-part lecture series
Laude was the only time that the school ever ranked students according to grades, aside from recognizing the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Upper School. “In the early years of the high school, it was important to recognize those that achieved at that level,” Keller said. “I think now that we have some maturity and we’re looking more towards the entire school serving its mission, that it’s not a matter of anything being wrong with Cum Laude, it’s that the National Honor Society […] better fits our mission [and] what we’re about.” NHS also has certain requirements for membership, such as a 3.7 cumulative GPA, as well as three recommendations. However Barth said that at the Upper School, those prerequisites are not nearly as exclusive as Cum Laude since a significant amount of students reach those qualifications. NHS emphasizes four main pillars as important character traits in members of the society: character, scholarship, leadership, and service. Additionally, the group follows a point system, where the total required points
each year translates to about 10 hours of serving the club. “Those extra elements embody more of the ideal Harker student, as opposed to just GPA,” Barth said. “They are being a leader by being a
It’s nice to have on your transcript; however, being a member of Cum Laude does not make or break whether you get into college or not.
Butch Keller, Upper School Division Head role model. It’s a different leader than standing in front of the school.” When Keller became president of the school’s chapter of Cum Laude, he
met with other faculty members and decided to form an active society, rather than simply having an induction ceremony. This allowed for the Cum Laude lecture series and Reflections magazine to be formed. The responsibilities of the lecture series and magazine will now be transferred to NHS. As a result, Barth and Keller both think that the termination of Cum Laude will not significantly affect students’ daily lives. Keller expects a few students who wanted to be a part of the Cum Laude Society to be disappointed about this decision, but he advises that percentage to speak with him personally. Barth said that he hopes there is a positive reaction amongst the student body due to the elimination of a “cut-off ” system. “I don’t see the mission of the school changing, and as long as NHS serves our mission the way that it does, I don’t think Cum Laude will come back,” Keller said. “Being a member of NHS is being part of a really important piece of our school […] It will give more people the opportunity to be involved in something different.”
Girls-only computer science discussion
SEMINAR Head of School Christopher Nikoloff talks about “How to be a Genuine Fake” as part of his six-part lecture series. The series, based on Alan Watts’s book On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, will continue with Nikoloff’s next talk on January 25.
trisha jani reporter
On Wednesday, December 7, Head of School Christopher Nikoloff led the third session of his six—part Cum Laude Lecture Series on “How to be a Genuine Fake.” The talk focused on the third chapter of the book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts. Nikoloff began the talk by posing the following situation: the role you play in your life is not the “real” you. The real you is something further and deeper. While society and environment can change your role, you can never change the real you. The main problem was that the real you may just be a concept; it may not be attainable because it is so far away. The more you try to be a real person, the more you turn into a genuine fake because you tend make decisions they would not normally make. Nikoloff challenged his audience to think about who they were. Throughout the course of the lecture, they came to the conclusion that one is one’s body, which is part of an en-
vironment. Because one is inseparable from everything, one technically is everything and therefore cannot conceptualize one’s role. Throughout the discussion, Nikoloff also explored topics of individuality, illusions, and ceramic models of the world. Teachers and students were given the opportunity to express their own thoughts and ideas, as well as pose new questions relating the topics discussed. Angela Singh (12), who also attended the previous lecture, found the topic as well as title of this talk to be appealing. “One can be a deliberate fake, but from the way Mr. Nikoloff presented it, you can also do it accidentally,” she said. “It was a different perspective.” Preethi Periyakoil (10), who attended all previous talks, was interested in attending this lecture because she would be able to “talk about things people would not normally talk about.” “A lot of people have been disputing about whether we exist or not,” she said. “I’m still not sure about that, but [these lectures] make us wonder what the answer to that question is.”
Vandalism continues samantha hoffman chief in training
An increase in vandalism and theft of students’ possessions over the past few weeks has left students and faculty alike concerned over campus security. Several bathrooms remain closed as a result of continuing wreckage, forcing students to have to wander from building to building to find open facilities. “People have to go further from class to go to the restroom, and it really interrupts class time and people’s schedules,” Richard Min (10) said. In addition, a wave of laptop thefts augmented students’ fears and prompted a school-wide inspection of backpacks and an opening of all Dobbins lockers in an attempt to catch the perpetrators. Several students experienced both vandalism and theft firsthand. Raghav Sehtia (11), after having his backpack stolen from in front of Dobbins, found it the next day with Gatorade poured
all over his notes and laptop. “I was just shocked to see my backpack in such a terrible condition,” he said. “It shows that Harker isn’t the safe place that everyone thought it was anymore, and that we can’t leave any valuables out in the open.” Similarly, Michelle Zhang’s (11) backpack was taken during school meeting and was later found dumped into a toilet. “I was [upset] because someone took my stuff,” she said. “Then I [thought]: ‘what if it never turns up?’ And then it was just resigning myself to whatever steps I had to take to cope and get it back.” As similar sentiment pervades the student body, teachers and faculty recommend taking precautionary measures including installing LoJack or GPS systems on laptops and keeping backpacks and laptops in lockers. They also urge students to report any information they may have. As of publication, the person or people responsible have yet to be apprehended.
ALISHA MAYOR - WINGED POST
TRISHA JANI - WINGED POST
Stanford undergraduate speaks with students
EXPERIENCE Sophia Westwood, a Computer science major at Stanford, talks to 21 female students about the computer
alisha mayor & apoorva rangan lifestyle editor & reporter
Sophia Westwood, computer science major at Stanford University, spoke to 21 female students at a girlsonly meeting on Tuesday, December 6 about the breadth of the computer science field and gender issues in both classrooms and the industry. In her hour-long talk, the undergraduate described why she chose to declare her major in computer science as well as the opportunities she has come across as a result of being in the field. Westwood explained that the job market for people with computer science knowledge is vast and provides the chance to impact lives directly. “I think that it’s about realizing that myths really are just myths,” Westwood said. “People don’t really see that computer science is so much more than programming in a cubicle all day and working solely at your computer. The image deters a lot of people, when in actuality it’s so creative, and there’s so many job opportunities to make a difference in the world in things you care about.” She then talked about the increas-
ing demand for programmers in all occupational fields because technology is revolutionizing every industry. “Nothing is as hot as computer science right now,” she said. “Don’t be worried about getting a job.” According to Westwood, being female might open more doors because girls can potentially provide unique interpretations of various problems. “It’s not just a gender thing, but more that people with different experiences can bring different perspectives to a situation,” Westwood said. “Everybody wants there to be more people involved in computer science, and that doesn’t happen if only half the population is thinking about it.” However, she says that gender imbalance did not play a significant part in her decision to pursue computer science because “when you look at the industry now, some of the most powerful people in computer science are women.” Westwood also told the group how to better understand the multifaceted nature of computer science, emphasizing that the breadth of the field allows the student to customize
his or her coursework in college. She described her studies as spanning a wide spectrum of topics from human and computer interaction to artificial intelligence. Additionally, Westwood offered advice on how to improve self-esteem and recommended that students take risks in order to increase the size of their comfort zone. “The fear of looking stupid holds people back a lot,” she said. “Keep doing things you’re proud of, and keep building up your confidence.” Westwood concluded the session by inviting all of the students to share their thoughts about computer science as a field and rewarded them with stuffed animals provided by her current employer, Google. Computer Science teachers Susan King and Richard Page called the lecture “empowering” for containing “great kernels of wisdom.” Both King and Page have noticed a decline in the number of female students taking advanced computer science courses at the Upper School, and, beginning with this talk, they are hoping to reverse that trend.
Hudkins sees potential for tablet use at the Upper School nikhil dilip reporter
Earlier this week, Daniel Hudkins, Director of Instructional Technology, attended a focus group in North Carolina administered by Lenovo, a computer company. There, the teachers discussed ways to incorporate tablets in the high school curriculum, an advancement with which the school’s Instructional Technology department has experimented. Lenovo, which unveiled potential models for future tablets, asked educators about the capabilities that they wanted in tablet-style devices. Lower School students were issued iPads earlier this year, and Hudkins hopes to see a similar situation in the Upper School, but students will
be asked to bring their own tablets to school. “Students [will] want to use these as note-taking devices or as etext readers in classes where they don’t need a full-function laptop that day,” Hudkins said. “I can easily envision a situation where if a student were comfortable using a pad-style device for casual communication that they could be using the pad-style device the same way that they would be using the laptop.” Many students were in favor of using tablets in class. “I think it’s pretty cool as long as I learn to use it well. It’s smaller and [more] portable,” Daniela Lee (9) said. Another benefit of using tablets
as opposed to computers is that since tablets are often placed flat on the table, they will be less distracting for students. “It’s a good idea because it’s a good way to organize notes and class lectures,” Christopher Chang (11) said. “It would increase the student’s efficiency in studying for classes. It’s also good because it’s more portable, and backpacks [would] become less of a burden.” The school began integrating laptops into the curriculum twelve years ago and hopes for similar successes with the use of tablets. The Upper School does not endorse a particular laptop brand; similarly, it will be “tablet agnostic,” according to Hudkins.
Construction CONTINUED FROM FRONT “We’ve already got the permission to build the buildings at the right height and the right places. […] All we need is a building permit, which is much, much quicker to get [than the master site approval],” he said. While the conceptual design presented to the city was only recently approved, the entire process started nearly two years ago. Over 600 members of the community, including parents, students, alumni, and faculty had gathered throughout the course of multiple meetings and online surveys to provide input for this construction project. Architect David Takamoto was present at these meetings to ensure that the ideas were incorporated into the final Master Site Plan. “I also had my architectural classes design “dream” solutions to some of the buildings on campus,” Takamoto said. At the time, the school was undergoing its self-study for the re-accredita-
tion period and from the process, four financial priorities for the school surfaced. The first priority is “Ongoing Program Excellence,” which supports current academic and extracurricular courses. “We need to make sure we put our money where our mission is,” Rosenthal said. Most of the money that funds this subset of financial requirements is from tuition and Annual Giving, which comes from additional contributions from individual families. The second priority is to purchase a third campus; at present, the school is looking at a location on Union Avenue, about four miles away from the Upper School, which they will bid on in January. Constructing the buildings necessary for the Upper School is the third priority. When the topic of renovation became a prevalent topic, Rosenthal said, “We don’t have a theater for heaven’s
sake. What high school doesn’t have a theater?” The school places the fourth priority on increasing endowment and reserves. Some private high schools have endowments that exceed $50 million; Rosenthal said that a large endowment helps keep the tuition as low as possible. “We can use the interest [from the money in the bank] to help pay for the operations, so that parents don’t have to pay so much in tuition,” he said. The school will continue to review and employ its four financial priorities, one of which has made major progress with the approval of two Upper School buildings’ construction plans. Currently, in terms of fundraising, the capital campaign is undergoing its “quiet phase,” whereby initial investors are contributing. As of publication, Rosenthal said that approximately seven million dollars PERFORMING ARTS Current blueprints reveal the vision for the new have been raised. addition of a high school performing arts building on campus. Additionally,
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Former Assistant to Director of Advancement is new Director of Alumni Relations priyanka mody
Last month, Mary Ellis Deacon, previously known as the Assistant to the Director of Advancement, was promoted to the new Director of Alumni Relations, increasing her role among students within the community. Her work with the school in her former position along with her current involvement as a member of the alumni board of her high school alma mater have given her the insight to adapt to this new role on campus. As the Director of Alumni Relations, Deacon hopes to increase her visibility among students across all grade levels, but especially the Class of 2012 before she accompanies them on the senior trip. Deacon said she is looking forward to “really interacting with the students a lot more and cultivating those relationships.” Since she has started out in this present role, she has participated in many of the student-based events such
PRIYANKA MODY - WINGED POST
editor in chief
ALUMNI DIRECTOR Mary Ellis Deacon hopes to increase her visibility among students across all grades through her new role on campus.
as the Pie Eating Contest and the Homecoming Parade. One of the biggest challenges that Deacon hopes to overcome is motivating the senior class toward the end of the year and toward their Senior Gift and time capsule that they will leave
behind. “Everyone’s thinking about college, graduation, and prom dates. There’s so much going on that [the gift] becomes like a puzzle piece, and you want to make sure that it still fits,” Deacon said. “We don’t really have a
two-course meal around here. It’s like a full buffet where everybody does everything.” As a means of familiarizing herself with students from the multiple grade levels, Deacon is working on meeting with each of the class treasurers. In addition to her commitment to the students on campus, Deacon works with a full spectrum of alumni, from recent high-school graduates to those who are now parents. On the alumni side, Deacon has helped arrange the Keller college-tour, regional gatherings, Easter-egg hunts, along with a myriad of other events. In order to ensure that alumni remain connected, the school has created multiple “circles” to which alumni are associated; they are tied to their class, region, and “affinity groups,” based on their interests throughout high school. In addition, the class agents, elected during the senior year, are responsible for organizing reunions, and now, Deacon is working on creating a solely-alumni newsletter to keep them constantly updated on current school
events. “It’s hard for students who have been here and have been so active to come back as a visitor and not know what’s going on,” Deacon said. “So I think that [the newsletter] will help them not feel like a stranger when they visit back.” For next year’s Thanksgiving Break, Deacon is putting together a sporting event to continue the school’s motto, “K through life.” In a discussion with girls’ soccer coach Jason Berry and boys’ water polo coach Dr. Victor Adler, Deacon brought up the idea of having the high school athletes play against alumni teammates. Additionally, a new holiday gettogether that Deacon just started this year is the Winter Wonderland for alumni, where their children can partake in arts and crafts and also receive a surprise visit from Santa himself. The event will take place at Bucknall at the beginning of the upcoming break, on December 17.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
“A new year full of adventure and growth...”
12 resolutions for 2012
2010-2011 Gold Crown 2009-2010 Silver Crown 2007-2008 Pacemaker Award 2010-2011 Silver Crown: TalonWP 2009-2010 Gold Crown: Talon WP
Editor in Chief Priyanka Mody
Assistant Editor in Chief Michelle Deng
Editor in Chief in Training Samantha Hoffman
Managing Editor (Business & Design) Kevin Lin
Managing Editor (Copy) Nayeon Kim
Sanjana Baldwa & Alisha Mayor
Global Editor Shilpa Nataraj
Aditi Ashok & Priyanka Sharma
TalonWP Editor in Chief Jackie Jin
Reporters Anishka Agrawal
Cartoonist: Megan Prakash
Visit The Winged Post Online at www.talonwp.com Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/talonwp The Winged Post is published every four to six weeks except during vacations by the Journalism and Advanced Journalism Newspaper Concentration courses of Harker Upper School, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129. The Winged Post staff will publish features, editorials, news, and sports in an unbiased and professional manner and serve as a public forum for the students of The Harker School. Editorials are the official opinions of The Winged Post. Opinions and letters are the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Winged Post. All content decisions are made by student editors, and the content of The Winged Post in no way reflects the official policy of The Harker School. The opinions expressed in this publication reflect those of the student writers and not the Harker board, administration, faculty, or advisor. Advertisements are accepted in the Post. However, The Winged Post reserves the right to deny any ad. Letters to the Editor may be submitted to Manzanita 70 or emailed to email@example.com and must be signed, legible, and concise. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to Post style. Baseless accusations, insults, libelous statements, obscenities, and letters which call for a disruption of the school day will not be considered for publication. Letters sent to the Post will be published at the discretion of the editorial staff. Mast eagle courtesy of photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen. The Winged Post is the official student newspaper, and
matter what stress faces you, time will go on and you will be finished with that paper/college applications/drama/feeling under the weather before long. Keep the grand scale in perspective, and be unafraid to seek help if it seems that “this” will not pass–it’s okay to not know the solutions to every problem. 5. Pride in The Edge. Why not pick up a piece of someone else’s trash after lunch and take it in? Let’s work together to amend our collective faults.
6. Prioritize sleep. It will truly make you happier, healthier, and a better student. You won’t believe it until you see it, so we triple-dog-dare you to. 7. Get to know someone in real life. Funnily enough, we all have that person on our chat list whom we talk to for hours online but never speak to at school. A simple “hi” in the hallway could be the first step to a great, real friendship. 8. Have fun weekends. Life is boring: eat,
Embracing the name of “Little Pavitra” vasudha rengarajan
it is distributed free of cost to students.
Three… two… one… “Happy New Year’s!” As 2012 approaches, we would like to propose some New Year’s resolutions for our school community to try out. Here they are, from the lighthearted to the serious: 1. Practice positivity. Each thought is a choice, so why not pick the optimistic thought over the pessimistic one? Here’s one practical, simple idea: each day, before you go to sleep, make a list of ten things you are grateful for. Later looking over notes like “the best inside jokes” or “touchdown!!” will definitely make you smile. 2. Support each other. To be honest, many of us are stressed for great portions of the school year, but let us avoid complete complacency. Maybe once a week, make it a mission to chat with a friend and see how they’re feeling about things. Just remind him or her that you are there for support and a quick, stress-relieving Starbucks run. It can make all the difference to someone feeling the pressure. 3. Stay vigilant. If you see an act of vandalism or suspect someone of vandalism, report it immediately. Don’t worry–if your suspect isn’t guilty, they’ll emerge unscathed and with no hard feelings, because they’ll have read this editorial and understood what needs to be done. 4. This, too, shall pass. Remember that, no
7:30. August 22. My first day of high school, and I already had a nickname: “Pavitra’s sister.” With a three-year age difference, my sister and I share one year at the Upper School together, I as a freshman and she as a senior. People often ask, “Are you close?” Entirely devoid of doubt, I say yes, not only because I feel obliged to say so, but also because we are as close as sibling relationships get. The cliché phrase “my sister is my best friend” rings true with our relationship. We share everything, from secrets to jewelry, to the occasional pair of socks. As people do not fail to point out, we even share the same mannerisms and speech, creating the names “Little Pavitra” and the more proper reference “Second Rengarajan,” for those who can handle saying our last name. Though many siblings may find similar titles bothersome, the perks of having a sibling in school far outweigh the negative. The common misconception about having an older sister in school is that her character will detract from my individuality, but the truth is that having her in school just means additional insight, helping me balance my workload between her advice and the contrasting interests I explore on my own. Numerous students and teachers believe the fallacy that common interests are often regarded as the gray area in which it is harder for the younger sibling to “be her own person.” On the contrary, my sibling’s advice makes it easier to find my voice in the field. I remember walking into Shah and feeling right at home and fingering the digits on Pavitra’s silver bottom locker. I stepped into my French class in Main, extremely self-satisfied with the two words I had learned from my sister: “le poisson,” the fish, and “la boisson,” the drink. Our
mealtime discussions had just graduated from two languages to three. Having a sibling also dissolves the barriers of social stratification between the grades. The Upper School’s community has always been one of the most appealing aspects of school, and blending between grades, encouraged by siblings, has played a large role in school-wide community at the Upper School. My sister and I are in constant contact during the day. As I walk around school like the stereotypical naïve freshman, occasionally seeing Pavitra around campus offers the opportunity to exchange advice during the day, share funny stories, make evening plans, and coordinate extracurricular commitments. Even the occasional “hi” in the halls is a comfort.
Even the occasional ‘hi’ in the halls is a comfort.
The impact of having a sibling in school is not always drastic. We clearly do not spend our free time or extra help periods together, but we will always have each other around when the going gets tough. Being at the same school just warrants twice the number of inside jokes. Granted, life is not always unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes, it’s peevish being known simply as Pavitra’s sister, a title overriding the obligation of people to learn my own name. By this time I have reluctantly grown accustomed to initially being identified as “Pavitra’s sister,” but at the end of the day, however, it is a part of me that I am proud of. Between the countless preconceived notions and fresh expectations, I distinctly remember confidently walking into school on my first day with my first friend in school: my sister.
Senior year: Perfectly chaotic aditi ashok
sports editor Senior year. After three years of anticipation, it was finally here. I decided with determination at the beginning that this year was going to resemble all the Facebook photo albums of upperclassmen I had previously viewed. Everything was going to be perfect. And so it was… for about two weeks. But then, suddenly, before I could blink, I was piled in applications, class work, and extracurricular commitments. Well, okay, I rationalized. This is normal. Everyone says senior year is stressful, right? But I have to remember that I’m the one in control. However, the next few months brought in a series of events that definitely were not in my control. A modified lockdown at school, the death of one of my classmates, one of my favorite teachers taking a leave of absence for the semester, our well-thought-out Homecoming plans having to be changed because of the rain—it was all too much to handle. Everywhere I looked, students were turning to each other and asking, “What’s going on with this year?” I realized abruptly that many of the traditions and routines that I’ve come to take for granted over the last four years have been disrupted this semester, and all of us have had to take them into stride. With every
curveball that’s been thrown our way, our community has had to adapt and move forward as best as we can while trying to cling to any normalcy that is left over. With all the external circumstances affecting our community, I began to experience a slight feeling of despair. When would everything end so my perfect senior year could start? But I began to realize how flawed my mentality was. I could not let factors that I wasn’t capable of controlling affect me to such a large extent. It was time for a change. Now, granted, I didn’t make any life altering decisions or embark upon an Eat, Pray, Love type journey to find contentment. I do not have the time or resources Elizabeth Gilbert had to fund her trip around the world, so I turned to a simpler solution. I resolved to appreciate the value in passing moments. How clichéd, how overused, how trite! Appreciating the little things in life is probably one of the most often given pieces of advice; I’d heard that phrase at least a hundred times in my 17 years. But considering the circumstances, I decided to really, truly, give it a try. For my English class this semester, we are required to keep a journal and write about whatever we want. I decided to start jotting down little moments that made me smile in
that journal or on my computer. I wrote about some of the moments that made my day better and gave me the strength to keep going. Soon enough, the list began to grow rapidly. The memories I wrote about weren’t life altering or awe-inspiring; rather, I listed items such as getting ice cream with friends after school, dancing the Hokey Pokey in AP Psychology class, successfully completing a dissection of a chicken wing, and talking to someone interesting for the first time. Soon enough, my mood did begin to shift. I was still bogged down by completing college applications and dealing with confusing and slightly troubling events, but by listing out the things in my life that caused me happiness, I began to appreciate these smaller moments. Making these lists also helped me live more in the present, rather than continuously looking forward and assuring myself that perfection lay in the path in front of me. The truth is, there really is no such thing as the perfect senior year. Life happens, and we have two choices: to let ourselves become overwhelmed by events we cannot control or to move past the turmoil and embrace the good times. It may have taken the better part of a semester to realize, but I choose option two.
sleep, study, Facebook. Not! From just painting your nails a bright color to playing a new video game, exert the energy to plan for fun. If you’re really adventurous, browse local event listings online and gather up a few friends for an outing. Effort pays off. 9. Spirit. Drag your feet. Join the crowd for five minutes. Feel the contagion. Rinse and repeat until you find yourself leading a team of crazy people in Spirit Week competitions. 10. Unstick yourself. A wise person once said, “If you feel stuck in one part of your life, change something in a totally different part of your life.” What can you change? 11. Appreciate your seniors. If you’ve been dying to ask a 2012-er for advice, go for it. Facebook stalking them when they’re at college won’t be quite the same. Second semester will fly by, so get on it! 12. Make your own resolutions. Start out by entertaining the notion of “what if.” For example, “What if I wrote an e-mail to President Obama every day until I got an internship?” See which ones strike your fancy, and resolve to do them. You have nothing to lose, so here’s to a new year full of adventure and growth for our entire community. May all your wishes come true.
Musicality nayeon kim
managing editor A surge of exhilaration and ecstasy swelled inside my heart as I watched the Miró Quartet perform the last movement of Dvorak’s American String Quartet. With his eyes closed and a slight frown across his forehead, the first violinist gracefully swayed back and forth to the pulse of the music, keenly vibrating the highest note on his E string. Sitting further behind the first violinist, the second violinist almost stood up from her chair to play her solo part and twisted her body in all kinds of motions to be heard by the audience. A deep and rich sound exploded from her small frame. Then the cellist, unable to control his rousing emotions, hugged his instrument and danced with it, moving right to left while stomping his feet on the ground. And finally the violist, who had been carefully watching all the cues given by the other members of the quartet, suddenly wheeled around his chair and turning directly towards the audience, started to crank out his once-in-a-lifetime solo part with utmost conviction. Zealously observing every single breath and gesture of the musicians, I sat at the very edge of my seat, stunned by the emotionally overwhelming performance and unbelievably thrilled at the thought of soon entering this new enchanting world of music. The summer of 2010 marked the beginning of my chamber music journey. For three weeks, I attended a local chamber music festival called Music@Menlo, watching numerous concerts of famous professionals such as the Miró Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet and playing with fellow musicians at the camp. As a violist myself, I was especially inspired by the splendid performance of professional violists. During my own concerts, I tried emulating not only their rich sound but also their way of communicating with other members of the quartet and using expressive body language to convey musical ideas. Amidst all the learning and performing, I found myself falling in love with playing chamber music. I liked performing as a chamber group that was small enough so that each member’s part was crucial to the music yet big enough so that there was less pressure weighed on each player. After spending hours in the rehearsal room trying to fix a small section in the piece, it was pure bliss to hear the splitsecond perfection of four separate voices coming together in complete harmony and matching tone. Most of all, however, I really began to appreciate chamber music because it taught me more about interpersonal relationships. Chamber music is much more than just a group of people reading a sheet of music at the same tempo and same dynamic; it is an interaction, a conversation, between different characters. Like playing in a sports team, performing chamber music is a collaborative effort. Even if the first violinist is a winner of the most prestigious music competition and plays exceptionally well, the quartet collapses when not all four musicians are playing together. Instead of competing with one another to dominate the stage, we support each other’s sounds with our own, and let certain members of the quartet shine when they have their solo moments. This sense of unity and cooperation that overshadow excessive individualism and egoism is what makes chamber music truly beautiful to me. I am certain that the lessons I have gained are not simply limited to the music world, and I would love to hear from students who might have had similar experiences. firstname.lastname@example.org
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
in the spirit of giving something up priyanka mody
editor in chief In fifth grade, I was introduced to the concept of Lent by Ms. Shanahan, my English teacher. She explained to us Lower School children the idea of sacrificing something for an extended period of time. I’m not Catholic in the least, but I somehow felt compelled to partake in the 40-day act of selflessness. I gave up candy for those few weeks–a task which, at the time, seemed completely impossible. To my surprise, I survived. Lent takes place in April, and you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about it now. Since that life-changing day six years ago, I took the idea of giving up something for a certain period of time and expanded it. So, for the past three years, I’ve declared a four-month moratorium on some tempting delectable, from January 1 up until my birthday in May. For the first year since I started this tradition, I gave up sweets entirely. 124 days without any sort of artificial sugar seemed an insurmountable feat. I
can remember that on New Year’s Eve, just before midnight, I stuffed a huge chunk of chocolate cake in my mouth, savoring those last moments of confectionary heaven. I was preparing for the difficult weeks soon to come. At birthday parties, I had to refuse my favorite: ice cream cake. I would constantly gravitate toward the fridge in my natural impulse to eat a tiny bit of cookie dough (one of my mother’s pet peeves as a pediatrician: “You’ll get salmonella!”). In fact, I remember accidentally eating a piece of chocolate and realizing it halfway through digestion. I panicked. Immediately, I thought of the many creative ways in which I could reverse the situation, but my imagination had failed me that time. The following year, I became vegetarian. Perhaps it was an attempt to reduce my impact on global warming for a third of the year. But come May, my carbon footprint would resemble that of Bigfoot. Nonetheless, I subsisted on bean burgers, tofu, and soy-based anything (it’s quite the universal substitute)—don’t get me wrong, I love my veggies, but sometimes you can’t help but crave certain foods. My primal instincts made being strictly green a daunting task. I have friends ask me all the time: why? And until recently, I couldn’t articulate the true reason behind why I do this unnecessary exploit. First, I used to say that it was a mini birthday gift to myself, so that on the day that this Lent-type thing ended, I’d have something with which to celebrate. Yet, this
talk around campus
seemed all too superficial a reason. Then, I used to say that it teaches me resolve and determination and tests my indulgence. How soon would it be before I caved? Would I be able to keep this promise that I had made to myself ? Sure, it’s a testament to my own strength, but there are other more meaningful ways of determining that. The more I thought about it, the more I was confused. Last week, though, it struck me as I was thinking about the spirit of the holiday season. We always talk about giving, but here I was, giving something up. Truly, giving up my favorite foods hasn’t given me enormous strength or confidence to conquer some lifetime goal, but it has provided me with the ability to live temporarily in moderation. When, in the very near future, I no longer live in the confines of my comfortable house with home-cooked food and parents to attend to me at every want and need, I’ll remember these four months. And when I am forced to downsize and squeeze into a much smaller room with limited space, other college students, and dorm food, perhaps the little bit of willpower I have acquired will help me pull through. When classroom sizes are no longer capped at 18 students, and my teachers barely recognize my face in a lecture hall of hundreds of freshmen, I will have gleaned some insight into this new stage of life that calls for some sacrifices. So, in a few weeks, I’ll be keeping with tradition as I brave through four months without yet another one of my vices: caffeine.
What does the holiday season mean to you? meena chetty
managing editor - TalonWP “I love the holiday season. It means a lot of things to me: Christmas lights, being close to the community–and varsity dance does Secret Santa. It’s just really getting together and being thankful for what we have.”
“I think it’s a time of perpetual joy and it’s a time when families can reunite and be happy.”
- Sarika Asthana (12)
“It means finally taking a break from school and then also spending time with family. Being in performing arts, I really like performing for other people, especially on our Downbeat tour that we just went on.”
- Rohan Chandra (11)
Travel, family, and really, really good food. My dad’s parents realize that most of the grandkids have other sets of grandparents that they want to visit during the holidays. Instead of having Christmas with them on Christmas day, we always have it the Saturday before...after that, we go usually to the East Coast to visit my mother’s parents.
- Avinash Nayak (10)
“I think that it’s a fun time to spend with your family and friends and reflect on the [past] year.”
- Leon Chin (9) “The holidays mean getting to spend time with family and friends over break. We don’t have school and we get to have fun, and that means Christmas and presents and holiday cheer.”
- Madhuri Nori (9)
- Christophe Pellissier (12)
“Usually, I get to see my family who is out of town during the holiday season. With my friends, we always have a little Secret Santa sort of thing, and it’s really fun. ”
“I think that the holidays are when you get together with your family. It is the time for bonding and it is time to reminisce with the things you’ve done with your family, especially if they’re far away from you.”
- Misael Fisico, Math Teacher
- Michelle Zhang (11)
The mysterious snobby stereotype Finger paint: The life lesson samantha hoffman chief in training I’ve never understood the tendency to stereotype, to confine others into whatever tiny, myopic prison of misunderstanding the mind can build. We look at one aspect of a person and suddenly, it becomes his or her entire being: she wears black, so she must be emo; he’s a jock, so he must be stupid; and she goes to Harker, so she must be spoiled, rich, some type of Asian, and unbelievably nerdy. You would think that after being teased about my acne and anxiety, I would have become inured to such statements. Yet, somehow, I always find myself cringing when I hear that Harker stereotype. One Saturday morning, I arrived at a local community center to complete my first shift at the healthcare clinic with other student volunteers. “Hi, my name is Sam, and I’m a junior at Harker,” I said. Almost immediately, somebody whispered: “Harker? Isn’t that the school with all the snobby rich kids? Aren’t they all super nerdy and Asian?” Slightly taken aback, I found myself struggling to come up with a response. Personally, I had never thought of myself as the supercilious Harker student they described. Hell, I never thought of myself in terms of the school I attended before; it was something to put on my college applications, not to brand in big letters across my forehead. I felt like shaking all of those people and screaming, “Look at me, that’s not who I am!” But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I ended up not saying anything. For several weeks afterwards, I found myself replaying that moment in my head. Snobby rich nerds? Nerd I may be; I have always been proud of my pedantry. But stuck-up? I did not think that I flaunted any sort of wealth or perceived superiority; I hoped I was not doing so unwittingly. And Asian? So a lot of us have an Asian heritage in
some shape or form – so what? The more I reflected, the more frustrated I became. How was I supposed to reply? It would take me another week and eight chapters of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter for me to reach my epiphany. As most juniors here could tell you, chapter eight depicts Hester Prynne’s experience with her scarlet letter “A.” These passages began to take on new meaning. The Puritans’ prejudice towards Hester, “fortified in themselves by an iron framework of reasoning,” resembled the “Harker stereotype” in that it would be difficult for people to let go of such misconceptions. For Hester, however, the community’s mindset began to change as they noted her remarkable altruism. At that point, I put the book down and started thinking. Those kids were right in some respects: we as a community are privileged. Our tuition costs about the average income for a family of four in the Berkeley area. We have access to some of the best education in the country, many of us are Asian, and most of us love learning. As I thought, I began to realize that the question was not how to eliminate the typecast but instead how to overcome its negativity. The answer lay in Hawthorne’s novel: we had to take the cards we were dealt and make the most of them. Feeling sorry for ourselves because we have been labeled this way will accomplish nothing. Our school and all of our parents’ effort had afforded us not only practically unlimited opportunities for us to succeed and but also for us to make a difference. By giving back with the sole intention of helping those less fortunate than us, whether through scientific progress or everyday community service, people will begin to look past the label of “rich and haughty” and begin to see us as contributing members of the community. So I don’t know about all of you, but from now on I’ll be wearing my “H” on my chest with pride.
reporter My mother has never failed to remind me of the time when I was in preschool and my teacher called home saying that I wouldn’t finger paint. When I got home and she asked me why, I replied saying I didn’t know how to do it right. In response to this, we set up a table, paper, and paint and began finger-painting everything. She proved to me that there is no “perfect” way to finger paint. Yes, even at age four I was a perfectionist. I laugh at all of this now, but it has also taught me a valuable lesson: perfection is not something that can be reached, and I shouldn’t stress out or miss out on fun things just because they may not be completely superlative. It’s not hard to feel like you have to be perfect all the time, in everything that you do. Despite what the expectations of society can feel like, nobody’s perfect. In fact, who even defines perfection? If you ask the media, then the definition would be unhealthily looking, skinny girls and super muscular guys who have a lot of money and are generally shallow minded and overly concerned with looks. If you ask me, that doesn’t sound perfect at all. Everyone is so different that to have one ideal standard and call it “perfection” would be impossible. No one can be considered absolutely, one hundred percent exemplary. Everyone has flaws; it’s human nature, so desiring flawlessness is impossible and merely futile. Suppose you have two equally well-rounded, moral people who have very different interests and talents. The first is good at something
the second isn’t; the second is good at something the first isn’t. If your ideal “perfect” person was good at everything, then neither of these people are “perfect”--but does that make either of them any worse of a person? No. In this sense everyone is perfect in their own way, but that does not necessarily mean that they are flawless at everything. Aside from being unreachable, perfectionism is also a sheer waste of time. You could spend hours trying to perfect something that is already great—trying to fix things no one else would notice are wrong—when you could be spending your time doing other more important things or enjoying yourself while doing something fun. Additionally, you often become unnecessarily more stressed.
She proved to me that there is no ‘perfect’ way to finger paint.
Being a perfectionist only begins to make one notice their faults more and more. Aspiring to be the best you can be is beneficial, but the line between that and not settling for anything less than perfection can be easily and sometimes unintentionally crossed. That is the point where beneficial can become detrimental. There’s a saying that goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It’s important to aspire for perfection, because it causes you to bring out the best in yourself, but it’s even more important to know when you’ve done all you can reasonably do and when it’s time to be content with what you’ve done.
daniela lapidous opinion editor
Today, Friday, is what I have affectionately (or ironically?) been calling ‘Judgment Day.’ I submitted an early-action application four score and seven years ago, and the time has most likely come to receive my decision. Today is supposed to be one of the most life-changing days of my school year– or of my actual life. But I am working hard to convince myself of that not being true at all. Some readers may relate to my plight. Maybe you are also anxiously awaiting an e-mail today or shivering at the thought of April; perhaps you have survived this agonizing first decision already. Most readers are not at this stage yet, simply observing the process like we seniors are the tired animals in a zoo, longing for hibernation. In any case, I am comforted by the universality of the experience, even for a group of people who I haven’t mentioned yet: the seniors who are secretly calm, cool, and collected. You, whoever you are, are whom I would like to emulate. You know that it is not the college that makes your life; it is you who makes your life. You know that there are slackers in the Ivy League and ambitious, driven students in the “average” schools, and that the brand name of an institution is no guarantee of success. No, Harvard will not grant you a refund if you don’t end up with a sixfigure salary. You, or perhaps my idealized version of “you,” know that there is simply no point in worrying about what will happen today or in a few months. The grades and scores are final, the applications are in the readers’ hands, and there is nothing you can do about it. Boo-hoo. Wringing your hands about how you’re “never going to get in anywhere” will not change your fate or endear you to your friends. In fact, it will just ensure that the lunch-table conversation is the same on every single day. Scintillating. You are someone who can look back on high school and assess yourself from a certain distance. Sure, you see that you could have slept more than four hours a night and spent less time on Facebook. But you also recognize that you made the best decisions you could in each moment. No matter how “right” or “wrong” they seem now, your choices led you to the present, to being slightly older and wiser. What matters more than the past is how you want to shape your future from this second on–not only for college apps, eh? I must admit that it’s hard to believe that such a mythical “you” exists at all. Sometimes, I’d like to think that I am you: calm, logical, and entirely unruffled by whatever results are sent my way. But that wouldn’t be honest of me. As I write this, I am nervous. If I don’t get in today, this column will seem to be a foolish perspective; I should have been more “realistic.” If I do get in, I don’t want to have seemed cocky. Truly, I don’t mean to seem like anything. I’m just musing out loud about my latest shocking conclusion, that I know nothing and that it’s okay. In Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” this one line always catches my attention: “Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes.” That’s exactly where I am, where many of us are. In that precarious space, we can make our own safety nets by forcefully accepting that failure will be inevitable in some way, and that it hits all of us hard. Not only that, but that failure will be survivable. There will be supportive e-mails and pep talks and hugs and sympathy, as well as equally heartfelt congratulations when we succeed. Everything, together. In a slightly strange way, I savor this gap in which I can imagine that anything is possible. It’s like a rollercoaster: we can experience the adrenaline of risk yet know everything will be alright in the end. We’ll step off a little bit shaken but laughing and saying that was a hell of a ride.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Holidays celebrated around the world
global journalism project
Each year, countries around the world celebrate an array of holidays. Although holidays have distinct origins, the meaning of the holiday and the celebrations at times differ for students and faculty. By collaborating with students from sister schools at the Taipei American School in
Taiwan, Saint Stephen’s College in Australia, and at Ebenezer International School in India, we hope to present perspectives about the most widely celebrated holidays of the countries we represent: Australia Day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, and Navratri.
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 necessarily those of The Winged Post.
Saint Stephen’s College, Coomera, Australia anneke meehl reporter for Saint Stephen’s College
As school students in Australia turn their attention to the fastapproaching Holiday Season, another well-celebrated holiday starts to emerge: Australia Day. Celebrated on the 26th of January each year since 1935, it commemorates the arrival of Captain Arthur Philip at Sydney Cove in 1788 and therefore marks the beginning of European settlement in Australia. Of late, however, its reception has been mixed, and with Australia fast becoming known as a cultural “melting
pot”, the meaning of being “Australian” is evolving. One would be hard-pressed to find an Australian that does not head down to the beach for a surf, a barbeque and a beer to celebrate Australia Day. As a celebration of the care-free and larrikin spirit often associated with the stereotypical Australian, the aforementioned activities seem pretty generic. Year 11 Student Beth Scott, originally from Adelaide, ack n ow l e d ge s this.
“Australia Day is a time for the nation to come together and celebrate
I love Australia Day and can’t wait to celebrate it and be proud of my new nationality.
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
Arnaud Bogaerdt (11)
AUSTRALIA DAY Year 11 students from Saint Stephen’s College in Coomera, Australia celebrate Australia Day by going for a swim. Although Australia Day marks the beginning of European settlement in Australia, it has become a holiday to celebrate the Australian nationality.
what Australia is all about: drinking beer and going to the beach are both significant parts of this.” But, just as the divergent cultural and ethnic backgrounds of those who call Australia home differ, so does the way in which they celebrate Australia Day. Arnaud Bogaerdt, a Year 11 International Student at Saint Stephen’s College from Belgium, has mixed emotions about Australia Day. “I think it’s amazing how Australians celebrate a day for their coun-
Chinese New Year
try and are proud of their nationality, but I think the young people party a bit too hard on Australia Day. The Belgian Day isn’t as impressive as the Australia one. But, I love Australia Day and can’t wait to celebrate it and be proud of my new nationality.” Events leading up to the 2005 Australia Day Celebrations showed that the divergent cultures within Australia do conflict. Occurring only weeks before Australia Day, a series of sectarian clashes occurred after 5000 people gathered at Cronulla Beach in Sydney to protest against recent violence against locals. The situation turned when a man of “Middle Eastern appearance” was spotted in the crowd. A week before, a group of Volunteer Beach Life Savers were assaulted by a group of men of “Middle Eastern appearance”. A stabbing and attacks against ambulance and police officers ensued as a direct result. Two years to the day after this event, the then Prime Minister of Australia Day, Kevin Rudd, announced his planed apology to the Aboriginals displaced between the years of 1869 and 1969.
In an effort to quell fears about future racially motivated violence, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia organises special celebra-
[J]ust as the divergent cultural and ethnic backgrounds [...] differ, so does the way in which people celebrate Australia Day. tions for Australia Day. Australia Day organisers also go to additional efforts to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples of Australia on Australia Day. It is hoped that these measures will ensure more harmonious celebrations of Australia Day in order to unite all Australians.
Taipei American School, Taiwan
editor of The Blue & Gold Fifteen days of red envelopes, dragon dances, firecrackers and feast. Top that. Chinese New Year is the most important holiday celebrated in Chinese culture. The high-intensity festival traditionally starts on the first day of the first month on the Chinese calendar. Families reunite, celebrate and make up for lost time. For fifteen days and nights, you can hear the crackling of firecrackers fill the streets, drumming and clanging of dragon-dancers meander through the cities and the cries of enthusiastic mahjong players as they swirl tiles on their tables. “There are just so many aspects of
Chinese New Year that make it awesome, even the smallest thought of infants parading around the neighborhood in their new clothes can get me in a good mood,” said Maxine Tu (11). However, the importance of Chinese New Year is different for each person. “I think the best part of Chinese New Year is the red envelopes, it’s like Christmas but instead of presents, you get cash,” said Robert Tu (12). Traditionally, relatives distribute red envelopes filled with money to children. Red envelops symbolize good luck and are a charm to fend off bad spirits and omens. However, children rarely see past the physical significance of red
envelopes. Even as an American school, TAS is an institute that acknowledges the large percentage of students who are of Chinese heritage. Nearly two weeks of vacation are given to the students to celebrate Chinese New Year. “I find it preferable that TAS splits up its breaks based on the American and Chinese holidays despite the shorter lengths, it allows me to connect with both my American and Chinese culture,” said Andrew Hsieh (12). Students at TAS are in an American setting yet still have the opportunity to express and celebrate their Chinese cultural values.
ARTWORK BY KACEY FANG - WINGED POST
The Winged Post
shilpa nataraj global editor
SHILPA NATARAJ - WINGED POST
Ornaments, colorful lights, and candy canes adorn evergreens, carols and holiday music play on radio stations, and nutcracker figurines greet customers as gifts in the mall. Although Christmas in America typically conjures such images, several among our community celebrate this holiday with a variety of traditions, at times incorporating elements from their heritages. On Christmas Eve, David Fang (12) attends a church service, which, he said, consists of singing songs of worship and celebrating the birth of Jesus. “The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from Christmas is the importance of giving,” David said. “Because God made the ultimate sacrifice by giving us his son, it’s up to us to show God’s love and our love through our actions by giving to others.” Taylor Mahal (10) said that though she celebrates Christmas because of her Christian faith, she has come to view Christmas as a holiday rather than a religious ceremony. Her
family goes up to Canada each year to spend Christmas with relatives living there. “My favorite part of Christmas is the moment you wake up, and you realize you get to open presents with all of your family,” she said. With an Indian heritage, Sankalp Raju (12) and his family do not have a biblical reason to celebrate Christmas, but they still set up a tree, put up lights, exchange presents, and have dinner together. “I think Christmas is more of a reason to celebrate—because there are never enough reasons to celebrate— and I like to spend it with my family,” Sankalp said. Tiphaine Delepine (11) and her extended family usually travel to Hawaii for Christmas, because one set of her grandparents live there. “Christmas is a low-key holiday [for our family],” Tiphaine said. “I guess, it’s like Hawaiian culture—family-oriented.” Having emigrated here from
England, math teacher Mary Mortlock “incorporates all the best of English” in her Christmas celebrations. For example, she and her family continue the English tradition of purchasing crackers, which, when open, have a little toy, a joke, and a paper hat. “A lot of my friends have said, ‘Now, I know why in all your Christmas photographs, everybody’s wearing paper hats,’” she said, laughing. Mortlock said that although she does not like the commercial aspect of Christmas (“What shall I give to Great Aunt Bessie?”), she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family. Growing up in Los Angeles, Dean of Studies Evan Barth had a Christmas tradition of walking with his family on the beach where he would take “an annual plunge into the waters.” “Now, with my own family living up here, it’s more of just a walk around the neighborhood,” he said. Barth noted that because Christmas happens during the two-week Winter Break, he enjoys his children’s
energy when they are out of school. Additionally, to celebrate Christmas with members of the school community, the journalism program, the dance program, certain advisories, and other groups, hold Secret Santa exchanges in which students draw a name out of a hat and secretly buy that person presents. “It’s really fun and exciting to see what presents you’re going to get,” said Laya Indukuri (9), who is participating in Secret Santa with the soccer team. “In our Secret Santa bios, we have to write a little bit about ourselves, so you get to learn a little bit more about others.” SHIL PA N ATAR As DecemAJ WING ED P ber 25 approaches closOST er, preparations to celebrate Christmas are currently underway.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Captain speaks about deployment in Afghanistan
Foreign language teachers from Taipei visit campus
shilpa nataraj global editor
shilpa nataraj global editor Having taught at the Upper School until 2008, Taipei American School (TAS) Spanish teacher Susana Hartzell returned here with French and Japanese teachers for a visit two days last month. “Everyone was so welcoming,” Hartzell said in a phone interview. “It felt as though time had not passed in terms of friendships [with my former colleagues] and how comfortable I was at [the Upper School].” The primary purpose of the visit, Hartzell said, was to exchange ideas about the high school foreign lanAFGHANISTAN DEPLOYMENT After spending six months in Afghanistan this year, Rebecca Murga spoke to students guage curriculum. and faculty about her experiences. She had worked with cultural support teams to educate the women in Afghanistan. “Because we’re a little isolated as an American school in Taiwan, we A native of Chicago, Murga Murga, as she is directing a play about focus on the people of Afghanistan. wanted to compare notes with the Upgraduated with a degree in Electronic war. “I enjoyed the presentation,” Ishper School,” she said. “We visited more Media and felt compelled to serve her “As I was listening to Rebecca, I anya said. “When you think of Muslim schools in the area and did some PR country after the September 11 attacks. heard lines from some of the mono- countries, you just think of terrorists. for the school too.” She was deployed in 2007 in support logues in my show,” she said. “Because But [Murga’s presentation] showed During the visit, she and her colof Operation Iraqi Freedom, in Af- [Rebecca] has seen so many different how bad the conditions are for the leagues toured the campus, observed ghanistan during 2009 to 2010, and in people’s perspectives, she captures a lot people who aren’t a part of the Taliban classes, and met with Upper School March of this year. more than just her own experiences.” and the pressures they experience.” foreign language teachers. “Had 9/11 not happened, I wonAfter the assembly, Erik Ander“When I met with Señor Olivas der where I would be now?” Murga said, sen (11) said he began to view the U.S. and Señora Moss, we talked about at a lunch event held for WiSTEM Army in a positive light. which books to use for Spanish classes, (Women in Science, Technology, Engi“I thought [the presentation] was the sequence of courses, which units to neering, and Mathematics) and GEO really moving,” Erik said. “I had a kind study per semester, etc.,” she said. “We (Global Empowerment & Outreach) of bad opinion of the U.S. army prior asked concrete questions about the Officers. to that. But after I heard [Murga], I alprogram and curriculum.” Combined with her passion for most felt like I wanted to go [support According to Hartzell, both the service, Murga is interested in docuAfghanistan] myself.” TAS students and the Upper School menting her experiences with photogMurga was pleased with the Upstudents have high academic standards raphy and videography. per School audience and was interested and participate in various extracurric“People are tired of a 10-year war, by the questions asked. ular activities and clubs. and they don’t understand what we’re “You guys were just really listen“It wasn’t a big culture shock,” she doing over there,” she said. “I want ing, and I didn’t have juice thrown at said, of her transition to life in Taiwan. to give people this understanding. [. . me or anything,” she said, with a smile. Rebecca Murga “I was a little apprehensive initially, .] I think with photography and with “You asked some really great questions but some things are in your blood. I video, it doesn’t lie. It’s a very honest too.” love traveling, being exposed to diff erway to visually see what’s going on over Ishanya Anthapur (9) said that This April, Murga will begin there. It brings that connection that having volunteered in homeless shel- shooting a documentary about Af- ent cultures. Hartzell hopes that further stumost people don’t get.” ters in India, she was able to relate to ghanistan women and the female soldent and faculty exchanges will take Student Showcase Director Tina Murga’s service of educating others. diers who are working with them. place between the Upper School and Crnko (12) said she felt inspired by Additionally, she appreciated Murga’s the Taipei American School. MERCEDES CHIEN - WINGED POST
Sharing her Afghanistan deployment experiences, U.S. Army Captain Rebecca Murga spoke to students and faculty and presented her 10-minute documentary on December 2 in the first student-driven assembly of this year arranged by ASB (Associated Student Body). “After six months in Afghanistan, I’m left with more questions,” she said. “Was it worth it? What now? Did we win?” Murga serves as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Army Reserve, supporting the SEAL teams and Special Forces. During her latest deployment in Afghanistan in March 2011, she worked with cultural support teams to talk to Afghan women about healthcare and education, and she documented her experiences with photographs and videos. “The [Afghan women] were excited that people wanted to talk to them, that people cared about what they had to say,” she said. Performing Arts Department Chair Laura Lang-Ree invited Murga to speak at the Upper School after hearing Murga’s presentation at a mother-daughter National Charity League meeting. “Rebecca had me mesmerized since she started speaking,” Lang-Ree said. “I’ve heard of several different people speak about the war, but Rebecca had an interesting take—the Afghan women, children, photography. I just felt really strongly that she would connect so well with [the Upper School].” ASB followed through with the project, and ASB Secretary Max Isenberg (12) believes it was a success. “From the ASB perspective, I think this was a great start to our project,” Max said. “[Murga’s presentation] really went above and beyond; she was really an engaging speaker. She talked about things like war that’s relevant to our country and that we as students might have in our consciences but really don’t think about on a daily basis.”
The [Afghan women] were excited that people [...] cared about what they had to say.
19 students take the JLPT
Japanese Language Proficiency Test measures skill level emily lin On December 4, 19 students from Honors Japanese IV, Honors Japanese III, and Japanese III traveled to San Francisco State University to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test ( JLPT), the results of which will be coming out early next year. According to its website, the JLPT is currently the most widespread Japanese language exam in the world, with over 770,000 examinees across 53 countries. The exam’s levels range from N1 to N5, with N1 being the highest and N5 being the lowest. Examinees are judged by a pass or fail system. “One [of the purposes of the exam] is to measure the students’ achievement based on what we learn in class,” Japanese teacher Masako Onakado said. “Another one is to give the students a sense of achievement because the students don’t really have the chance to measure what they’ve acquired in class.” To prepare, students reviewed material and took practice tests in class in addition to exploring web resources on their own time. “Sometimes, it’s not enough just to study in class because we don’t have all the time needed to study for it, so we have to take our own initiative and study at home if we want to do well,” Kilian Burke (10) said. Because the JLPT differs from tests based on the Upper School Japanese curriculum, the preparation process introduced new challenges of its own. Upper School tests assess students’ skills chapter by chapter, while the standardized test evaluates their general knowledge of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and native speaking patterns. In many ways, the JLPT is similar to the AP Japanese Language and Culture test, but with more emphasis on language than culture. “In the listening portion, they expose us to a lot of colloquialism [as well as] male a n d female listening styles, which is something we don’t usually learn,” Kimberly Ma (10) said.
SHILPA NATARAJ - WINGED POST
JLPT At the picnic tables in San Francisco State University, students clarify questions with Japanese teacher Keiko Irino prior to the exam.
Since some of the content of the JLPT exam is new and unpredictable, Onakado encourages students to watch Japanese dramas in order to sharpen their skills for the listening portion of the exam. “[By doing this,] they are able to acquire a more natural language or wording,” Onakado said. “[And] by improving listening comprehension skills, they can also improve their speaking skills.” For many students, frequent exposure proved to be a helpful technique in the studying process. “When I’m taking a test and there’s an unfamiliar grammar pattern, I try to read it and sound it out in my head,” Crystal Chen (12) said. “Some of the phrases jump out, and watching dramas adds to that unconscious knowledge.” After completing the JLPT, the students felt that it evaluated their abilities in all aspects of the Japanese language well. “[The exam] was well-rounded [...] in grammar, vocabulary, and listening,” Daniel Pak (10) said. The freshmen, who took the JLPT for the first time, thought that it was efficient and similar to questions practiced in class. “I think the questions in the exam were straightforward and the time allotted was accurate to what was necessary,” Zoe Woehrmann (9) said. The JLPT has been offered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services since 1984 as a reliable method to evaluate and certify Japanese proficiency of nonnative speakers.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Moveable Feast: Food trucks offer fast and unique meals jackie jin
editor in chief - TalonWP Stepping into the vicinity of San Jose’s Moveable Feast (or, as the signs read, “MVBL Feast”), the atmosphere is the first thing one notices: loud music, wafting aromas, a mingling crowd, and most importantly, food. Lots of food. The small square of parking lot off Saratoga Avenue is enclosed on three sides by six brightly colored food trucks. Around 50 patrons lounge about, checking out the various menus, sitting in the sun or under a canopy with food, or simply enjoying the music and the company of fellow food truck lovers. Though the lineup of trucks changes usually weekly, this past Saturday featured Louisiana Territory, Treatbot, Sanguchou Food Truck, House of Siam on Wheels, Rice Rockit, and Hiyaaa! House of Siam on Wheels (4.5 stars) Originally a traditional Thai restaurant, House of Siam on Wheels brings all the flavor and quality of the restau-
rant to a food truck. Selections include Thai tacos, Pad Thai noodles, and various curries as well as sweet mango sticky rice and whole coconuts. At eight dollars for Pad Thai, House of Siam on Wheels, while not exorbitant, is also not inexpensive. However, the restaurant quality comes through clearly in the flavor and presentation of the food, making it well worth the price. The story of House of Siam on Wheels is an apt reflection of the food truck trend as a whole. Matty Diesal, the owner of the truck, operated the House of Siam restaurant for 18 years with his wife before moving into the mobile food business. “[We] started the truck when the restaurant started slowing down,” Diesal said.
“Since then, it’s been really busy; the truck has been doing well. We’ve got a big following on Twitter.” The truck’s success is enough so that Diesal can focus almost entirely on the food truck business, leaving the original House of Siam to be run separately. In addition to events such as MVBL Feast, Diesal caters to many private corporate events. Louisiana Territory (4 stars) Averaging between five and seven dollars a dish, Louisiana Territory is a bit less expensive than House of Siam on Wheels, but no less flavorful. The selection of Cajun food is wide, including traditional favorites such as jambalaya, gumbo, and catfish po boy. The four-dollar New Orleans
Treatbot the Karaoke Ice Cream Truck (4.5 stars) Treatbot the Karaoke Ice Cream Truck is both the organizer of the MVBL Feast events as well as the only dessert truck in the venue. Prices are comparable with traditional ice cream parlors such as Baskin Robbins or Coldstone, and the quality is as good if not better. Ice cream can be served in a cup, a waffle bowl, a cone, or sandwiched between cookies. The blackberry marble flavor is rich, fruity, and creamy, while the truck’s popular original flavor “408” (a shout-
MOBILE RESTAURANT San Jose food truck event MVBL Feast occurs every Saturday on Saratoga Avenue. House of Siam on Wheels is one of the rare trucks whose owners left their traditional restaurant venture to operate the truck full-time.
Senior creates website to spark debates emily chu reporter Govi Dasu (12) says he has a “baby.” But his baby is unlike any human infant, incoherently gurgling and crying. Instead, his baby, his War of Word website, is full of various arguments and opinions on controversial problems. War of Word is an online domain for anyone to debate and vote on political resolutions. As Mayor of the Golden State Region in Junior State of America ( JSA) and JSA National Technology Director, Govi enjoys “embracing democracy” as much as possible, especially through voting and debating. While he was planning conventions for JSA, he noticed that some students had trouble attending, so he created warofword.com to address that issue. “Even if students can’t afford or don’t have time for conference, they can still participate in democracy through War of Word,” Govi said. Through his website, Govi attempts to raise awareness for not only school-related issues but also national problems, drawing ideas for debate topics from the various news medias. Currently, over 300 resolutions have been debated amongst the website’s users. “I noticed that the Internet, particularly Facebook, allows people to connect on social matters, no matter how rich or poor they are,” Govi said. “In that way, the Internet is a democratizing tool. I thought, maybe I could channel that Facebook energy toward a specific cause: promoting argument and discussion through a war of words.” Several of the website’s participants join the debates hoping to engage in logical arguments over controversial topics and sway people’s views on the resolutions. For some, such as Cobi Ashkenazi (11), reading others’ posts on the website also gives “food for thought.” Mathematics Department Chair Bradley Stoll concurred, even adding that he “learn[s] about topics that [he] otherwise would not.” Others
point out areas of improvement. “The topics are usually black and white, and I usually see only one or two that genuinely interest me,” Lydia Werthen (11) said.
The Internet is a democratizing tool. I thought, maybe I could channel that Facebook energy toward a specific cause. Govi Dasu (12)
jambalaya is rich and flavorful, though moderately portioned and not completely filling. The berry lemonade is a popular drink of choice among many at MVBL Feast. Unlike some of the other food trucks, Louisiana Territory is operated by a catering company: PSRT Food Trucks. The company also runs taco truck No Way Jose, and is set to unveil a gourmet third truck: Garnish 44. Nicole Dali has worked on both No Way Jose and Louisiana Territory for about three months. “The trucks are doing pretty good, [we have] a lot of booked events,” Dali said. “They’re growing pretty fast. We recently started something with Groupon, so that’s helped.” PSRT Food Trucks demonstrates the importance of social media and web presence in the food truck business. Their website has a frequently-updated calendar listing the appearances of their trucks, and the trucks each have their own Twitter accounts giving live updates on their locations and events.
Govi is working on increasing the number of participants and cleaning up the “messy code.” He has to “protect the good name of [his] child – [War of Word] - while promoting it.” Hoping to attract more users, he began making videos, which can be found on YouTube, that discuss resolutions with particular people. “I chose to incorporate video interviews because video captures two senses that a comment does not: sound and sight,” Govi said. “The more senses, the more truth revealed: how a person says something can have a dramatic effect on the meaning of what they are saying.” Although the new code and emailing system that was implemented “seems to be going well,” he still aspires to make his website “more [legitimate].” “I want the site to have a purpose and be somewhere where people would go naturally,” Govi said. After reading blogs, Govi realized that “quality content and interesting subjects are what make for a successful site.” Thus, he plans on writing more comments on debate threads and encouraging others to do so as well.
EMILY CHU -- WINGED POST
WAR OF WORD Govi Dasu (12) debates with Math Department Chair Bradley Stoll for one of his War of Word YouTube videos. Govi incorporated interview videos hoping to attract more users to his website.
out to San Jose) is the perfect blend of fudge, caramel, and Oreo. Tuna Ta has worked on food trucks for a little over two years, and has worked with Treatbot since its inception about a year ago.
Most of these trucks are better than a restaurant now. It’s a gourmet, genuine food.
Tuna Ta, Treatbot employee
Though at first it may seem counterintuitive to gather competing food trucks to the same area, Ta explains there is sound business logic behind it. “As a collective, trucks make more than any one of them could just driving around and trying to sell alone in parking lots,” Ta said. “Its harder to make money alone […] than in a stable event that people know about.” Furthermore, as the organizer of the event, Treatbot is sensitive to both its customers and the food trucks that attend. “We try to help each other out. If we have two Korean trucks, we will never schedule them together,” she said. “It’s not fair to the patrons, who come for the variety, or for the trucks.” Though Treatbot started out as a food truck, its success has allowed it to begin plans for opening a stable restaurant in San Francisco’s trendy San Pedro Square. Ta commented on the meteoric rise of the food truck. “Before, when you thought of a food truck, you just saw some crappy sandwich,” she said. “But most of these trucks are better than a restaurant now. It’s a gourmet, genuine food made by people who know what they’re doing.”
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
College Board Exclusive Interview CONTINUED FROM FRONT
WP: As seniors, we’ve seen that a lot of colleges don’t take into account the writing score, so do you think that this is an indicator that writing isn’t as much of a factor in what colleges think is important to their application process? Do you think writing will be phased out in the future? SM: I’m not speaking on behalf of our senior leadership, but for myself, I don’t anticipate that writing will be phased out at all. I think we, in 2005, made a real decisive action here to make sure that writing is featured prominently in the test, so that we would encourage the schools to focus more on writing as more of the curriculum. And that’s exactly what seems to have been happening to schools all across the country. Now, your question about colleges using the writing example, there are some that do and some that don’t. But, actually when we introduced the section we were a little concerned that it may not possibly be as much of a predictor of freshman year success as some of the other tried and true sections. Quite honestly, the opposite was true; however, that the writing section was the most predictive of the three sections in terms of freshman year GPA in college. So, it’s actually a very useful part of the test for college admissions officers. Some have just not yet changed their policies and embraced writing. Others have taken a more active role and done so, but I would actually, based on that kind of information, suspect that when given real consideration, I think that many colleges would probably eventually come around that writing is something they’d want to consider in their process.
WP: How do you justify that the College Board tests have an accurate measurement of education or mental aptitude? SM: Well, we don’t really call them aptitude tests, but we do, through our standardized tests, have a clear objective, and that is to try to identify the specific college readiness skills that students need to know and do when they’re incoming freshmen. So what we’re trying to do throughout those assessments, and we have an eighth grade assessment called ReadiStep, we have the PSAT, which is typically taken in 10th and 11th grade, and then we have the SAT, eleventh and twelfth grade,
primarily, and what we’re trying to do throughout that series, what we call the College Readiness Pathway, a three step process starting in middle school, is we try to introduce those skills that students should be responsible for, and when they’re struggling on a particular skill, we try to identify opportunities
First explore all of the options that are available via the College Board for free[...]before test prep. Stephen McCue
for them to grow, to master those skills through practice material. Our research shows that students who do prepare through [...] those early assessments have a better average overall than those who don’t. I was looking at some of the data here at Harker for example, that’s why when Derek mentioned that the policy was that all sophomores and juniors take the PSAT, I noticed that there were some who only took the PSAT as juniors. I wasn’t sure if that was policy or not, but the reason I mention that is that those who took the PSAT as juniors only compared to those who took it as sophomores and juniors, there was about a 90 point difference on the SAT scores, which could certainly put you over a threshold at certain schools. WP: But just in terms of financial needs, or those who can’t go through the three step process (many of us at Harker have the opportunity to go to outside test prep courses).
SM: I personally have my reservations about outside test prep. I think there’s certainly some merit to it, but one of things I certainly suggest when I’m talking to a group of students at a school site is to first explore all of the options that are available to them via the College Board that we make available for free, before you start spending what could be a considerable sum in test prep. That’s something I really think can have dividends in the end, because we make available practice questions, practice tests for the SAT. There’s a lot of good material there, especially if you’ve taken the PSAT; we’ve made a tremendous amount available to you in terms of your own improvement, and that’s the place to start. Now when it comes to low income students for example as you were referring to, one of the proudest things I feel about my company is that we spend a considerable amount of resources to support low income students. If memory serves, the figure was about $50 million last year in all of our programs on fee reductions and fee waivers, in that ballpark, at least. So it’s pretty considerable, and it’s the kind of thing when we deal with students, who are on free or reduced lunch for example, we try to provide those waivers for the PSAT. It may not be a very expensive test, a $14 test, but for some families that might just be enough that they’re just not going to do it so we want to make sure that cost, whenever possible, is not a factor. WP: For some of the tests you charge from $45 to $50, where does all the money
SM: It goes into the program, primarily, to the development of the program. It’s a very expensive operation, actually, to administer the SAT. There’s quite a lot of research that goes into it, there’s quite a lot of overhead that’s involved, so there’s quite a lot of expense in just administering the SAT on a national basis, like it’s done several times a year. It’s my understanding that the SAT is not a real revenue generator for the company. It’s something that’s quite expensive to operate, and that’s
I would remind the concerned student that the SAT is just one of several factors considered in college admissions. Stephen McCue
why the cost is as it is. It’s a necessity. I think if we could lower that cost, we’ll be much inclined to do so. We’re a notfor-profit organization, and as I mentioned with the fee waivers, we try to take into account the struggling families that are out there that want to have access to these resources but have trouble dealing with them, and we try to be cognizant of the fact that we’re setting price for a year that we try to keep it as reasonable as we can. I think every effort is given to that process. WP: What do you think would happen if there wasn’t a College Board to standardize tests for all students to take and have this test for college to look at. SM: Well we had that once actually, prior to the establish-
SAMAR MALIK -- THE WINGED POST
ment of the College Board back in the late 1800’s. The College Board was started in 1900, believe it or not, we’ve been around for a very long time. But back in the late 1800’s, we had different entrance exams in for different colleges and it was that process which led to the establishment of the College Board, which was founded by leaders at various universities who decided that having students sit down and take, what was at that time a very lengthy entrance exam several times to apply to several different colleges, was really not the best process, or the best use of people’s time. They tried to come up with a streamlined or standardized test for those students to take to be utilized by more than one school, and that’s what led to the establishment of the College Board. So I think if we didn’t have this sort of standardized opportunity, it would be very difficult for students to have a true representation of themselves when applying to multiple schools, because each individual school would have its own standard that would have to be met. That’s a very expensive proposition and also a very [time-consuming] proposition as well. So that was a long time ago, but I think we recognized at the time that there was a need for such a service, and I think we’ve tried to fill that need in every sense, so I think we’ve done a good job of it. WP: What, if anything, would you say to a student that worries about the influence of the SAT and other such related exams on their chances of getting into college? SM: I would remind the concerned student that the SAT is just one of several factors considered during college admissions. I’d also remind them that the SAT emphasizes the same skills that they likely encounter in class on a regular basis. For those who are still concerned, I would refer them to our new website entitled ‘You Can Go’ where they can see that there are many college options available to them simply by graduating high school and still more options become available once they take the SAT. It’s worth noting that during the college admissions process each student should focus on finding the right school for them.
Students share experiences playing exotic instruments nayeon kim & vasudha rengarajan
of jazz band is actively involved in the Upper School musical community. “Tabla is where I developed my rhythm, and I was able to apply everything I learned musically in tabla to what I do with my guitar. Tabla was first for me,” he said. While Vishesh has not been taking lessons or performing recently, he hopes to dedicate more time to playing the tabla after his college application process. “Music is a really huge part of my life,” he said. “I hope once I’m done with [applications], I’ll be able to play; I’d like to get back into it more NA f u l l YE ON time.” KI
Tabla Ten quick fingers whipped at the dark circles in the center of the instrument. No black and white keys, no bow and string, and no reed. Just pure, r a w rhythm generM -ated from TH E W IN V ishesh GE D PO Gupta (12)’s ST tabla as he acDidgeridoo companied his A deep, low drone sister’s singreverberated throughout ing in an imthe Bistro cafeteria as Anna promptu perKendall (10) vibrated her formance. lips and blew hot air into “I thought the didgeridoo. Playing [the perforat the Upmance] was DIDGERIDOO Anna Kendall (10) has been per School playing her didgeridoo since she discovered the pretty cool instrument on Amazon.com. As a member of Improv when I was Tri-M, she hopes to perform for more occasions C o f f e e seven,” Vishesh in the future. house on said. November Since he was six years old, Vishesh 18 marked Anna’s first performance has been playing the tabla, an Indian with her new instrument. percussion instrument traditionally “It was interesting. I had remade of wood and goat or cow skin. ally great responses; the audience kept With over 12 basic strokes, the tabla clapping along [and] it was really fun,” is a complex instrument to learn and she said. TABLA Vishesh has provided a link between Indian and A n n a Gupta (12) attributes American cultures for generations. started play- his sense of rhythm to the tabla. Looking “Something different [about the ing the didg- up to tabla star Zakir tabla] is just the quality of it being rare. eridoo in Hussain, Vishesh has I haven’t met that many people who June after been playing the play tabla, even in a school full of In- spotting the Indian drum-like dians,” he said. i n s t r u m e n t instrument since he was six years Apart from the tabla, Vishesh on Amazon old. also plays the guitar, and as a member one day and
managing editor & reporter listening to its recordings online. “I just really liked the sound. When I was searching it, I found out it was pretty easy to play, and I wanted to try it,” she said. The didgeridoo is a traditional Australian wind instrument, and according to Anna, its most remarkable feature is that it produces only one note. “It’s more relaxing than reading music and focusing on [my] fingers,” she said. “I can do pretty much whatever I want, and I don’t have to worry about what note am I playing, is the pitch right, and all that kind of stuff.” Because she does not take lessons from a teacher, Anna learns the basic techniques of playing the didgeridoo from watching YouTube videos of Australian professionals and practices at her own leisure. “It’s pretty much my stressreliever. If I’m doing a lot of homework and I need a break, I go play the didgerid o o and do something fun,” she said. Anna hopes to find ways to incorporate the didgeridoo with other instruments and perform for more occasions includi n g Up-
per School Tri-M club’s gigs.
pedal harp with Linda Wood Rollo. While she typically spends a greater amount of time practicing the American harp, Callie said that she enjoys playing the Chinese harp more. “The Chinese harp has a more metal-y sound. You can do more tricks with it, and it’s a lot more versatile,” she said. Although Callie does not participate in harp conventions and competitions as extensively as she used to a few years
Harp As her fingers brushed gently against the strings, the ringing notes were translated onto television screens all around the nation. It was 2007, and Callie Ding (10) was playing the harp on a Chinese television music show for a panel of judges. “[It was the first time] I was on TV. I freaked out,” she said. Although she did not advance to the finals round, Callie said competing on a TV show was one of her most memorable performance experiences. Callie has traveled not only to China but also to other parts of the world including Indiana and Vancouver to showcase her musical skills in competitions and conven- HARP Callie Ding (10) has been playing the pedal harp for about a year, and the Chinese harp since she was seven. tions. “It’s not Callie has played all over the world, from Indiana to China. all just competition. It’s a lot of ago, she still finds playing the harp a times spending time with [fel- major part of her life. low musicians] too,” she said. “Now it’s just like school slowly Callie first began play- taking over and I’m getting less and less ing the Chinese harp as a time for practice, but I still wouldn’t feel seven-year-old when her right if I didn’t play music,” she said. friend’s father introduced As a member of the orchestra, her to Cui Junzhi, a re- Callie also participates in the Upper nowned harpist and School performing arts program. She teacher in China. plans to continue playing the harp When Junzhi left to throughout high school and even in China about a year college while traveling during the sumago, Callie started mers to perform at various places. playing the American
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
Exploring beyond playing conventional music, three Upper School students share their stories of falling in love with their unique instruments and pursuing a rare route in the arts.
DECEMBER 9, 2011
the Winged Post
Opera San Jose: Guest artists visit Upper School Orchestra to travel to London it’s about just giving all you have out to the audience, so maybe there’s a little magic in that,” he said. “That happens when you can combine some talented singers and them putting in their full spirit into something. It benefits the school by [making people say], ‘Wow. We just went and saw this amazing thing and we were touched, or we were inspired in some way.’” The Opera San Jose performance is only the first episode of this year’s Concert Series. Three other artists have yet to display their musical talent at Nichols Hall: Tw o - t i m e Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton, Adam Golka, and the Afiara String Quartet. They will be performing on January 20, February 4, and March 17, respectively. OST
i n that it could relate to everyday life. “[The performance] was very professional,” he said. “The experience [was] very real and close to home and helped p e o p l e enjoy it and connect a lot more.” The performance received a standing ovation from the audience. Dailey, a tenor, was very happy with the fervent reception from the crowd. “I thought the crowd was very enthusiastic and seemed to really enjoy what they heard [and] what they saw,” he said. “As a singer, there are some things that I probably could have done
better, you know, but overall, I was really happy to be here. This is a really great school.” Preceding the musical performance was the master class, an event in which Upper School students were given an opportunity to work with the singers involved in Opera San Jose. The singers listened to the students one by one and commented on their vocal ability and technique. Elash, a bass singer, believes that diligence and passion are the keys to success in the opera industry. He advised aspiring opera singers to “be ready to work very hard, to be obsessed by it, and put your all into it.” Boyer had similar advice for people pursuing performing arts. “Persevere, because sometimes it can be really hard,” he said. Elash believes that performances like Opera San Jose’s can help the school by reaching out to the student population and having an effect on the audience. “When you go up on stage,
All is silent, except for the clipclop, clip-clop of the singer’s shoes as he strides assertively on stage. The singer pauses, then spreads his arms dramatically as a grand, majestic voice erupts from his body. The audience is frozen, captivated, as the music fills the room in a sonorous manner, surrounding every figure in the room with its allure. That was the enchanting sound of local music company Opera San Jose on December 2 when the singers performed in Nichols Hall auditorium as part of the 2011-2012 Concert Series. Founded in 1983 by mezzo-soprano Irene Dalis, Opera San Jose consists of up-andcoming singers who are keen to break into the mainstream music industry. Seven of their resident artists performed at the school - Alexander Boyer, Evan Brummel, Betany Coffland, Michael Dailey, Silas Elash, Jasmina Halimic and Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste. Pianist Veronika Agranov-Dafoe provided the accompaniment for the show.
They performed a total of 20 pieces, including Mozart’s “Trio,” Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” and three songs from Gounod’s famed opera “Faust.” Tenor vocalist Boyer thought that the performance went very smoothly overall. He appeared in six songs during the evening. “I think [the performance] went extremely [well],” he said. “It was a good chunk of music there, [and] it was a very good cross-section, especially to expose young people to, and I hope everybody enjoyed it.” Charles Levine (12) thought that the performance was very good
U -- T ELIX W
Dancing Through Life: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future
Student choreographers create routines for the dance show manthra panchapakesan & sheridan tobin reporters On January 27 and 28, Upper School dancers will be twirling back into the past, doing chassées through the present, and leaping into the future, with the guidance of carefully selected student choreographers. Yes, this year’s theme is “Dancing Through Life: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future.” The show will be split into two acts, each displaying a different era of music. “All of the dances [in the first act] will be choreographed to music from the past. A lot of fun songs, crowd favorites,” said Upper School Dance CoDirector Karl Kuehn. “The second act is [...] more present day, […] [it has] fun, upbeat, contemporary songs that reflect our current culture.” In addition to routines choreographed by dance instructors, the show will also feature student choreographers: juniors Tiphaine Delepine, Michaela Kastelman, and Molly Wolfe, and seniors Sarika Asthana, Molly Ellenberg, Sonya Chalaka, and Margaret Krackeler. These students have been working
to perfect the dance moves and teach them to the dancers in their routines. They are chosen through a summer application process that consists of
All those times I would hear a song and dance crazy - I can actually put that into a dance now.
Margaret Krackeler (12)
questions about the songs and style of dance that the student is interested in choreographing, and why they want to be a choreographer. The selected students are experienced dancers who do not have too many other obligations, so they can be fully committed to the Dance Show. They then proceed to
take a choreography course during the school year. Student choreographers are responsible not only for planning their routines but also for selecting the music, costuming the dancers, being leaders during practices, and in general making everything come together. Margaret, who is choreographing a mash-up cover of “Born this Way” and “Express Yourself ” by Ariana Grande, is looking forward to working on a peppy routine that is different from what she has done before. “The most fun is definitely being able to just come up with stuff. Like, all those times I would hear a song and dance crazy - I can actually put that into a dance now,” she said. Likewise, Molly is a co-choreographer along with Sarika, and they are putting together a mixed lyrical and jazz routine to the song “Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot. Her favorite part of the experience is the feeling of accomplishment that comes after all the hard work. “I’m really excited for the last show because my choreography partner is a senior. […] It will be exciting to perform what we’ve been working
on for so long as her last dance show,” Molly said. Along with the benefits, there are also difficulties that the choreographers face. “It’s fun to be able to teach people, but at the same time, for me that was the hardest part. […] You have to be strict, but not,” Margaret said. Not only do the choreographers enjoy their jobs, but the dancers also enjoy being taught by their peers. “It’s a different experience. I think it’s really cool to see how different the student choreography is. […] They’re a lot more laid back and they relate to you more,” said Darby Millard (9). “They pick a lot more modern songs and they come up with really creative ideas.” As they work to come up with dance moves, adjust the counts to fit the music, and add in new ideas, these selected students begin to see their routines go from being visions on paper and in their heads to a reality. “The choreographers have been working very hard,” Kuehn said. “[There will be] lots of talented dancers performing in it. […] It’ll be a blast!”
and die. From the original group of 74 eggs, two died, two have been given away to the science department, and four have escaped through a hole in the mesh of Irvine’s container into Irvine’s house, yet he still does not know where they are. He is hoping to keep three or four until they mature, and he plans to sell the rest or give them away to his friends. Irvine hopes to buy panther chameleons in the future, but because of
their extremely fickle behavior, he decided he is not ready to raise them quite yet. “Panther chameleons display the most vivid colors and are the coolest [of the chameleons] but will stop eating and starve themselves if they are not under the perfect [conditions],” Irvine said. Irvine’s chameleons are currently being kept in a small habitat in his room and are occasionally being shown off to his chemistry classes.
darian edvalson reporter
Chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine’s chameleon hatched a group of 74 baby veiled chameleons, native to Yemen, and he is now caring for the 66 he still has. A self-dubbed avid critter lover, Irvine has raised other small animals and lizards before he decided to hatch the large group of chameleon eggs. Irvine bought the mother of his baby chameleons here in the Bay Area about three years ago and raised her until maturity. Once she had matured, he bought the father, another veiled chameleon, from a chameleon raiser in San Diego. “The father displayed very unique traits, [such as] this spot on his head where there is no pigment. A completely albino chameleon is extremely rare and can be very expensive,” Irvine
Irvine was extremely excited to breed his chameleon with another that had such rare characteristics, and he was even more pleased that many of his baby chameleons displayed the same characteristics as their father. Although he thinks the baby chameleons are very interesting creatures and fun to raise, they also require an abundance of time and work to look after. The chameleons have strange eating and drinking habits; they eat only crickets and drink water off the surface of plants. “They are a step up [for me] because they are very hard to raise and take care of,” Irvine said. “It’s a good thing I quickly found out they didn’t drink out of a bowl!” The chameleons must also be kept under certain temperatures and light levels so they do not become sedentary
RAISING CRITTERS Newly hatched chameleons explore their new habitat at
DARIAN EDVALSON -- THE WINGED POST
Irvine brings pet baby chameleons to school
pavitra rengarajan & kacey fang features editor & reporter
New Year’s Day, London, England, Queen Elizabeth II, and the 2012 Olympics. Recently, another name has found its way into the list: the Upper School Orchestra. The orchestra will be traveling to London from December 26 to January 2, with two performances on the 29th and the 31st, both at Cadogan Hall, the home of the Royal Philharmonic. At these concerts, the orchestra will be performing “William Tell Overture,” “Overture to Candide,” and an English piece, “Norfolk Rhapsody,” by Vaughan Williams. “The William Tell Overture is my favorite piece. Although it’s challenging, the trumpet part is pretty iconic, like everyone knows the trumpet part. So there’s kind of a pressure to have to play the part that everyone knows,” said Dwight Payne (12), who is in jazz band but is standing in as first trumpet chair for this trip. “We’re also participating in the parade on New Year’s Day,” Orchestra Director Chris Florio said. “We’ll be in a group that’s carrying all the flags of the nations in the Olympics.” Other highlights include a tour of the Tower of London, a visit to Trinity College in Oxford, a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, and a group dinner at a pub. In the school’s largest-ever international trip, a total of 78 students and 7 faculty members are traveling to London. In addition, the year 2012 marks not only the Olympic year but also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, her 60th year reigning. “This trip is special. It’s such a big year in London, so that makes it feel bigger, plus they invited us, which is great,” Florio said. “The orchestra has been growing ever since I got here, and this year is such a pinnacle year for us.” The invitation was formally presented last year on October 29 during a school assembly. A delegation of British officials and various other dignitaries arrived for the presentation and enjoyed an orchestra performance as well as a student-led tour of the school. Since then, many students have positively anticipated the experience. “I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends, and I guess just exploring the place because I’ve never been to Europe before,” Jessica Shen (12) said. The trip will be an opportunity for students to experience life as traveling musicians. “I’m glad I will get to travel somewhere new. It’s great that our talented orchestra has the chance to showcase itself beyond the Harker community through this trip,” Tara Rezvani (11) said. During orchestra’s routine first period rehearsals, Florio has been recording the group’s practice sessions to better perfect and review the nuances in their performance. “We’ve basically just been looking through all our pieces and finding mistakes early [to see] that we play well,” Thyne Boonmark (9) said. Chaperones on the trip include Florio and his wife, Head of Upper School Butch Keller and math teacher Jane Keller, journalism teacher Chris Daren, and Middle School music teacher Dr. David Hart and his wife Leslie Hart. Florio has high hopes for what the orchestra members will gain from the trip. “The ultimate goal is that they have the time of their lives,” he said. “That’s always what you hope from this kind of trip. I’d hope they create memories of a lifetime.” Upon their return, the orchestra will prepare for their next concert on January 13, which for the first time is being held at a hall off-site at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
A Glimpse into Depression QUICK TAKES depression is extremely treatable:
80% to 90% of those treated eventually find relief2
of US adolescents between 13 and 18 have developed depression at some point1
of teens who exhibited major depressive episodes received treatment3
suicide is the
leading cause of death among those between 10 and 245
females between 13 and 17 are nearly
likelier than male counterparts to be diagnosed1
of US adolescents between 13 and 18 have experienced “severely debilitating” depression1
121 million individuals worldwide4
of depressed teens face another mood disorder as well2
4 out of 5
people who attempt suicide demonstrate clear warning signs2
The National Institute of Mental Health 2 Psych Central 3 ChildStats.gov 4 ScienceDaily 5 Depression: Out of the Shadows - PBS
Teen resources and hotlines are available on the back of your student ID card.
priyanka mody, michelle deng, & dora tzeng editor in chief, asst. editor in chief, & reporter Depression (n.) – Severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. Depression. It is a heavy word, a scary word. For many people, it may seem like a remote evil, transitory, and mysterious darkness that shakes life once in a long while and passes. For others, it
is a shadow that lingers in the background. And for far too many others, it is the demon that torments them day and night, that makes living in this world a colorless hell. In the past several weeks, the school has taken on a campaign against teenage depression. To help students cope with academic and emotional stress, strict no-homework
Onset Like many psychiatric disorders, depression is often linked to a number of triggers, not just one simple cause. Change is, in the counselors’ words, a “key” catalyst. Changes in the family, such as divorce, remarriage, job loss, illness, or death; social changes such as a harrowing breakup or estrangement with a friend; or academic changes such as plummeting grades or a college rejection—any of those experiences can potentially tip an adolescent further into a dark mood.
Signs and Symptoms There exist many different manifestations of depression. Major depression, often dubbed clinical depression, is the more severe, long-term type of depression. According to Dr. Agharkar, the most significant signs and symptoms of depression are simply “depressed feelings,” which include but are not limited to stress, irritability, aggression, and increased agitation. However, she distinguished depression from normal dips in mood: she said that the morning grumpiness and irritability that people often wake up feeling may not actually be indicative of serious depression. Moreover, any “normal” person experiences fluctuations in mood with good and bad days and exhibits these symptoms from time to time. Other potential signs include losing interest in activities that were once enjoyed, dropping grades, changing sleeping and eating patterns—either a sudden weight gain or loss. These feelings may manifest into thoughts of “hopelessness” and low self-esteem, and eventually even spark the onset of “suicidal thoughts”. To distinguish major depression from “healthy” ups and downs in mood, Colletti and Kohan said that the red flag for depression appears when a handful of these symptoms appears “on a consistent basis for two or more weeks.” The counselors outlined the feelings of a healthy teen, claiming “resiliency” as a key factor in these periodical ups and downs. “It’s like a trampoline, where you go down and are able to come back up again,” Kohan said. Colletti compared moods to an EKG machine: “Big highs and lows aren’t good,” he said. However, he noted that people do go through “mini-depressions,” and that it is important for a healthy person to have a built-in support systemt—that is, the ability for that person to recognize a shift in mood and obtain any external help if needed. Dr. Agharkar stressed the context of the dark emotions. “[The time] has to be proportional to the stresser,” she said. For example, if someone is still depressed a year after the death of a loved one, “that’s out of proportion,” she said.
All of a sudden I would just feel like there would be no way to deal with my life, and there was no way to cope.
Kaitlin Halloran (12)
For seniors, leaving home for college can be a difficult transition. At college, with new foods, new living conditions, new friends, and new academic environments, “there’s nothing familiar about where you are, and it can be a really tough time—yet you’re supposed to be happy,” Colletti said. But major shocks are not the only potential factors in depression. According to the counselors, depression is at its base a biological disease, marked by neurochemical imbalances and abnormal functional activity in the brain. Hence, teens may grow depressed even without a concrete catalyst. In some cases, the mere surge of hormones during adolescence may be enough to “throw you off balance.” For Kaitlin, her depression would sometimes appear “out of nowhere,” even when she felt fine. “All of a sudden I would just feel like there would be no way to deal with my life, and there was no way to cope,” she said. “I think that’s what depression sort of is. Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it can just take you out.” Other students suffer from what he called a more subtle, “existential” depressiont—depression characterized by the sense of a lack of purpose in the world. “Students may be like, ‘Okay. The Holy Grail is me getting to Harker, doing really well at Harker. I did that—now, what’s next? What’s the point?’” Colletti said. Those who feel that way often show no external signs of depression. With exceptional grades, strong familial ties, tight-knit friend circles, and possibly flourishing relationships, from an outsider’s perspective, these students may seem to have it all; yet, inside, they feel overwhelmed and lost. “I think that’s sometimes even worse,” Kohan said. “There’s nothing pointing to [the depression…] and when it hits you early, it can really catch you off guard.”
It’s rare that I’ve seen a person who’s depressed that can’t be treated.
Dr. Ujwala S. Agharkar
Situational depression is marked by some of the same symptoms as major depression but is brought about by a specific external stimulus and lasts for a shorter period of time, usually less than six months, after which the situational depression generally lessens and leaves.
Coping with Depression Depression, especially for teenagers, can be difficult to handle or even admit. “I always think that your generation has it more difficult,” Colletti said. “Everyone expects you to be kind of a perfect generation. Like you’re not allowed to be sad.”
policies during breaks and a two-week ban of punishment for uncompleted assignments were implemented. In addition, to raise awareness and increase support for those who may be affected, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists have spoken about depression to students, parents, and faculty. The Winged Post joins this effort as well. Having spoken with Upper
School Counselors Chris Colletti and Lori Kohan, Kaiser Permanente adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Ujwala S. Agharkar, and Kaitlin Halloran (12), who has experienced clinical depression, The Winged Post presents here an overview of possible triggers and symptoms of depression as well as the process of seeking help and what the treatment may entail.
DSM-IV: Official Symptoms of Depression According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which physicians, psychologists, and many more consult as the official diagnostic guide for mental disorders, the following are the nine key symptoms of major depression. According to the DSM, those who exhibit at least five of the symptoms for two consecutive weeks are considered clinically depressed.
1. Depressed mood 2. Significant decreases in interest in activities 3. Rapid, marked changes in weight 4. Insomnia or excessive sleep 5. Psychomotor (conscious motor) agitation 6. Excessive fatigue 7. Excessive guilt and worthlessness 8. Inability to focus or make decisions 9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide Upon hearing peers express similar comments, students who actually need to talk to a psychologist or therapist may often feel pressured to resist the idea of getting help. One of the biggest problems with depression is that “it breeds secrecy and isolation,” Kohan said. “Depression doesn’t like to be exposed. It likes to hide under a rock.” Additionally, some parents believe that “depression is a secret that should be contained within the family and that the family will take care of it,” Kohan said. However, depression is a medical condition that requires treatment from professionals. From Kaitlin’s perspective, seeking help from a professional is vital because they “have the training and expertise to help with some problems—they talk about ways to deal with feeling bad or ways to not feel bad anymore.” Colletti encourages students to be proactive and seek help themselves even if they want to feel like they are in control. “We all need support in life,” he said. “It does not make you weak; it does not make you [less than others]. In fact, it’s courageous [to ask for help].” Although it is hard for parents to face the fact that their children need help from other adults, such actions are usually necessary for the child’s well-being. At one point, Kaitlin’s family wanted her to “just stop feeling sad,” she said. However, “the biggest misconception is that you can snap out of a depression, [...] so I think it’s a lot better when you’re talking to someone who is trained,” she said. Sometimes students may feel overwhelmed by a depressed friend, and in Colletti’s words, it is “a real tough burden to carry” and “can be draining.” The counselors continue to stress that talking to an adult is essential. They recommend that students first talk to their own parents first, then contacting a friend’s parents. Many students worry that seeking help for a friend may ruin a friendship. Kohan and Colletti understand that friendships are “deeply affected” and even “sacrificed” at times. “It’s okay as long as the priority for them is to get the help that they need,” Kohan said. When Kaitlin told some of her friends what she was going through, they told the school counselors who then required her to go into treatment.
“I was not happy about it at the time, but it was actually a really good thing and very helpful—it ended up being good in the long run,” she said. Colletti assures students that depression is not something they should be ashamed or secretive of since it is not their fault.
Depression breeds secrecy and isolation. Depression doesn’t like to be exposed. It likes to hide under a rock. Lori Kohan
Treatment Options Treatment for depression typically consists of talk therapy, medication, or both, depending on the severity of the illness. Dr. Agharkar highlighted how important it is to solicit help and encouraged people to do so because depression itself is very treatable. “It’s rare that I’ve seen a person who’s depressed that can’t be treated,” she said. According to WebMD, it is widely accepted that low levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin cause depression; medications raise the amounts of these chemicals back to normal. However, experts actually have insufficient knowledge about the way antidepressants work. Even though medication can increase serotonin levels within hours, it takes weeks or even months before patients typically see a difference. Aside from individual counseling, group therapy and family therapy are also available options. “I think there’s a tendency to feel very alone in being depressed and that’s really not true,” Kaitlin said. Group therapy allows patients to interact with each other and learn additional ways of coping through sharing personal stories and experiences. Families with a depressed member can also be heavily affected. With professional-guided therapy sessions, families can feel more comfortable talking about the topic and learn how to support a loved one.
12 Lifestyle safely during the holiday season in the Traveling to efficiently bay How navigate security DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Watch The Throne: Jay-Z and Kanye West Concert 7:30 PM HP Pavilion
Star 101.3’s Jingle Ball 2011 Concert 8 PM Masonic Auditorium, SF $35-90 Wild Jam 2011 Concert
11:45 PM - 2:30 AM HP Pavilion $110-495
Giving Back Days 10 AM - 5 PM Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose FREE
30 31 31
Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco | A Walking Tour 11 AM Huntington Park, SF FREE San Francisco New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show 11:59 PM Embarcadero FREE Desi Rock: New Year’s Eve 2012 7:30 PM - 12 AM onward Marriott Hotel, Fremont $60
Tackling finals week sindhu ravuri reporter Books spread across from one end of the desk to the other. It is already 1 a.m. and you still have to study for math, English, and science. Finals are finally here. For the last few days before the week ahead, The Winged Post and Upper School Academic Counselor, Lori Kohan advise on how to de-stress. * Have confidence in yourself. If you have studied to your best abilities, just have confidence in them instead of bringing yourself down with numerous “what-ifs.” * Study in a calm environment. Avoid people or things that cause stress or distraction. Remember, time management is precious when it comes to finals preparation. “Turn off [laptops], [cellphones], unplug [everything,] so that you are truly dedicated to the time you are studying for your finals,” Kohan said. * Resources, resources, resources! Go over tests and notes, and if a teacher has provided study resources, extra help sessions, or hints, use them! * Sleep and eat food. Without sleep, you lose the ability to fully comprehend the various questions on the exam the next day. Also, eat healthily and well on the day of the final to have energy and focus. * Do not procrastinate. Start studying for finals early. It is impractical and stressful to study a semester’s worth of material for four to five subjects in just one week. “Make a schedule that’s realistic,” Kohan said. “Backtracking from the 13th to now and allotting time for yourself each day will be extremely beneficial in the long run. [Finals] are a marathon, not a sprint.” * Stay calm before, during, and after the exam. “Most importantly, [do not] get stuck if your first exam did not go as well as you hoped,” Kohan said. “[Recuperate] and focus on the next final.”
lifestyle editor & TalonWP lead
The holiday season is always one of the busiest for travelers, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) takes extra measures to enforce airline security and promote streamlined travel. Immediately after the September 11 attacks, the TSA was founded with an attempt to ensure flights are safer, instituting regulations on all planes flying into, out of, or within the United States. However, many of the TSA’s procedures, including extended lines at security checks and prohibition of certain substances on the flight, frustrate travelers. “Sometimes I feel like [taking off shoes] and how they still make us do that 10 years later is like they’re trying to prevent a situation that already passed,” Andrew Lee (12) said. “I don’t feel like it’s necessary anymore.”
quick travel tips
Dress in items that are easily removable. Be ready to take off jackets, shoes, belts, and any other accessories that may set off the metal detectors.
a press release online on the situation of airport security and highlighted some updates on ways to get through airport security much faster. One such rule that is being implemented is the new screening procedure for all passengers under 12 years old. “TSA has implemented new procedures that reduce, though not eliminate, pat-downs of passengers 12 and under that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve alarms while also ensuring effective security measures,” a press release stated. It also mentioned that these children would no longer have to remove their footwear before going through security. The TSA has recommended not traveling with wrapped packages. Though it may be tempting to keep that holiday gift at hand, an officer may need to unwrap and inspect the item in order to check the safety of the package. Snow globes of any size are not permitted due to liquid regulations. The TSA also reminds travelers to be vigilant during this busy season by reporting any suspicious airport activity: “If You See Something, Say Something.”
Remember the 3-1-1 rule for non-exempt liquids: 3 ounce bottle or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols placed in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Only 1 bag per passenger is allowed to be placed in the screening bin.
Be prepared to separate all electronic items from your carry-on baggage during the security screening.
The Office star’s humor hits the shelves
Restaurant review of the Kaling’s new book a hit Food: So Gong Dong Tofu House aditi ashok sports editor With the perfect balance of humor, sincerity, and insight, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), written by television series The Office’s Mindy Kaling, is an ideal read for adolescent girls everywhere. When celebrities decide to put pen to paper, their books usually become famous either because of the big name attached to it or original, excellent content (or, occasionally, some combination of the two). Although Kaling is still a rising star, her new book is a keeper for the second reason. Her apt use of humor throughout the memoir is reminiscent of Tina Fey in Bossypants, although Kaling is quick to acknowledge Fey’s superiority in the opening pages of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. In her book, Kaling chronicles the significant events in her life and how they led her to where she is now in the form of short essays. She writes about being an overweight child, not peaking in high school, blossoming in college, embarking upon her career, and facing the challenges posed by Hollywood. Kaling delves into cringe-worthy moments with unparalleled honesty, and by doing so, paints a very realistic, likeable portrait of herself. She holds nothing back from the reader, detailing accounts of unrequited crushes, fashion disasters, awkward interviews, and much more. Kaling not only recounts her trials and tribulations, but she also talks about her amazing triumphs, like landing her job as a writer for The Office, finally meeting a great guy, and embracing her friends and family for support along the way. Her success provides inspiration for girls all over who have struggled with their self-confidence. In fact, Kaling offers some sound advice: “Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. […] What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also a big star later in
MEMOIR Mindy Kaling has written a book addressing many issues in the life of a girl, providing an ideal, relatable read for women of all ages.
life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so won-
derfully fair.” The Queen Bees may take offense at her statement, but for the rest of us, her words offer a beacon of solace and reassurance. However, despite its many strong points, at some places Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? feels disjointed and underdeveloped. Kaling sometimes jumps between instances in her life hurriedly without much transition, leaving the reader disoriented and wanting for more detail. Her abruptness detracts from the sweetness and insight provided throughout the content of the novel. Although this book may be too blunt for an adult audience, it is sure to resonate with most teenage and young adult females. There is just something about Kaling’s character that is universally likeable and relatable. Whatever the draw may be, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is as charming and irresistible as Kaling herself.
managing editor After opening the door and taking the first step into the restaurant across the street from the Upper School, I walk into a pleasant aroma that is reminiscent of home cooking. The experience is almost like strolling into a candy shop, except this time, the candy shop is a Korean tofu restaurant. So Gong Dong Tofu House is homey and large enough to serve around ten groups. The waitress then promptly sits us down and gives us a menu. Easy to read and brightly colored, the menu itself is simple to use for the Korean food novice. About four minutes after ordering, eight side dishes arrive at the table, positioned in a floral shape in the center. The arrangement is a “family style” dinner, allowing everyone at the table to grab food at the same time. Highlights of the side dishes include the cooked potatoes, glass noodles and even the sour cucumber. Other side dishes consist of bean sprouts, fish cake, kimchi and raw eggs (used for cracking into the boiling soup entrée). The potatoes are cooked perfectly: hard to the touch, but not raw. A sweet sauce that tastes similar to teriyaki flavoring is infused
sprouts seem unfamiliar, both are surprisingly delicious. The sour cucumber, for one, is covered in a delectable spicy sauce. After biting into the vegetable, I am met with a slight crunchy sound and a splash of flavor gushing into my mouth. After enjoying the side dishes, sounds similar to “pssssssssttrrkkkkrrssssttt, kkkrrrsssttt, kkkrrrsssstt” made by Korean dishware will hit the ear, letting the diner know the main dish, Dolsot Bibimbap, is ready to enjoy. Dolsot Bibimbap translates into “mixed meal in stone bowl” and consists of white rice topped with a fried egg and assorted ingredients, such as beef and various sliced vegetables. While the stone plate keeps the food warm, little pops and sizzles of the entrée make the experience thrilling. All five senses – hearing, touch, sight, smell, and taste – are in- c o r porated into the dining experience, mak-
ing it memorable and incomparable. The dish itself is one of a kind, packed full of flavor with a unique texture – slightly crunchy from the rice. Complimentary green tea is served with the food, refreshing the diner’s palate and leaving it ready to taste new throughflavors. The service is out the potato also prompt; the waitpieces, leaving ress never leaves tea the diner wanting KE VI and water cups empty N more. LIN - WINGED and is always ready to Even the experienced chopstick holder may have trouble with the take orders. Although the variety of foods slippery glass noodles. Good enough to be an entrée size portion, the noo- may intimidate the Korean cuisine dles with mixed sweet peppers are ex- novice, fear not. For only 15 dollars, try a new cultural experience at So tremely tasty. Although many ethnic dishes Gong Dong Tofu House, where delilike the sour cucumber and the bean cious food and swift service await. ST
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sanjana baldwa & nikhil dilip
It upgraded Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units at airports nationwide with new software to further enhance privacy protections by eliminating the image of an actual passenger and replacing it with a generic outline of the person. According to a press release by the TSA, this technology increases the efficiency of the screening process, ensures safety for all travelers, and allows passengers to view the same outline that the TSA officer sees. Katie Marcus-Reker (12) has recently gone through these new machines. “The first time I had to go through the new machine, I was a bit bothered by it, because it still was new and they didn’t really know how much radiation there was,” she said. “But the next few times I had to do it, I wasn’t as bothered because I do think it is just a safety precaution, and, in the end, it’s keeping all of us safe.” With all these safety measures, the TSA recently published
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lines at airports
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Sreyas Misra (10) says that because fewer security precautions exist for minors, the TSA’s procedures do not affect him as much. “Sometimes it’s pretty invasive, but it’s manageable and is not that big a price to pay for general safety,” he said. On the other hand, some appreciate the TSA’s precautions, which ensure that a situation similar to the September 11 attacks does not happen again. “I think that the increased security is definitely necessary, even though it’s inconvenient,” said Akshay Jagadeesh (12), who travels often for debate. “I feel like the benefits of increased security far outweigh the costs to personal privacy.” Though it is trying to maximize national security, the TSA has also kept in mind the privacy of those who go through the scans and has recently implemented new privacy protection software on all millimeter wave machines.
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Winter Fashion managing editor & reporter
Wonderful & Worthwhile
This winter, fashion is both functional and trendy. Magazines, personal shoppers and school style have inspired six versatile winter fashion trends that have not only been seen on the runways but are also wearable for school. These trends can be adapted in many ways to meet everyday students’ needs. Even though winter clothing may be fashion forward, it needs to be functional as well and keep you cozy when the temperatures begin to drop. Meredith Cranston, Upper School Librar-
ian, described how during the winter, her style is defined by warmth. “I like the cowl neck sweaters because […] it increases warmth and I think it’s […] way more fashionable than a turtle neck, but it […] has that turtle neck-like warmth effect,” Cranston said. At school, however, students have been sporting UGG Australia boots and The North Face jackets to be comfortable and to remain warm. “I’d have to say [winter fashion includes] high socks
WORK AND OUTERWEAR Charles Levine (12) presents the “work and outerwear” trend that allows a fashion forward
Work and Outerwear Charles Levine (12)
A major trend this winter is bright colors in both clothing and accessories. Adding a pop of color to your outfit by wearing a vivid watch, pants, or shoes, is a great way to cheer up a gloomy winter day. “Color is definitely very important,” said George Wicke, a Personal Shopper at the J. Crew store at Westfield Valley Fair Mall. He went on to say that jewel tones and vibrant colors are also very big this season. “Red and orange [are] definitely the ‘it’ color[s],” said Mayu Kaiea, the Store Manager and Senior Visual Merchandiser of the De Masqe store at Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
FAUX FUR Victoria Lin Cozy and comfortable, faux fur is a (11), wearing a trend that will keep you warm through the icy win- fur-lined jacket, ter months. Megan Irvine, a Retail Salesperson at Ma- exhibits the warm textures cy’s, described this trend as “hats with the fur around
Seen in belts, jackets and shoes, leather is an ideal material to wear this winter season. Practical and stylish, this style keeps you dry and warm during the cold and rainy part of the year. It is often seen in fashionable clothing such as jackets, which allow for layering. Perfect over a checkered or striped shirt, leather jackets go well with blue jeans and abide by the dress code. However, be sure to protect your leather articles of clothing by using water-repellent spray.
Present in many aspects of winter clothing, “argyle [...] is a timeless style,” George Wicke (introduced in the “bright colors” trend) said. It can be seen in various aspects of clothing, ranging from socks to sweater vests and everything in between. The pattern is versatile, ready to be dressed up for formal wear or down for casual wear, depending on the occasion. For this winter, try donning an argyle sweater over a plain white shirt with jeans for an everyday school look.
it and of course the thick jackets with all the fuzz around the collar.” The faux fur trend is found in not only the linings of jackets, vests and boots, but also in accessories such as ear muffs, gloves, hats and purses. Luxurious but without the heavy price tag or a guilty conscience attached, faux fur does not endanger animals.
Ethnic prints are a unique way to add a bold pattern to a simple outfit. Many varieties of ethnic prints are readily available at many stores, and the pattern can be showcased in a subtle or a daring way. “[The] poncho top is really in but not [the traditional] Native American poncho, [...] more like a fashion [poncho],” Mayu Kaiea (introduced in the “Bright Colors” trend) said. Headbands, tops, hats, scarves and belts are all vehicles to display the ethnic print trend.
(10) k n i F a i Jul
ARGYLE Jeffrey Hsu (9) demonstrates how to include the timeless argyle print into an everyday pattern can be found on socks, sweaters and
Beanies are accessories in everyone’s winter wardrobe. They offer a rugged piece to enhance a basic outfit. This winter especially, cable knit beanies with tassels and animal style beanies are fashionable yet cozy.
Jeffrey Hsu (9)
ni (10) a d n a h C Krish
LEATHER Krish Chandani (10), in a leather jacket and argyle sweater, incorporates two practical winter trends in his
with boots. I’ve never done that before, but I think that’s really cute,” Julia Fink (10) said. Additionally around campus, students have donned unique hats. “A lot of people have started to wear animal hats. […] They’ll have those cover their ears and they’ll have a little [...] panda or a bear,” Sahithya Prakash (10) said. From classic styles to trends brought back from previous decades and to functional items, this winter’s fashion includes something for everyone.
BRIGHT COLORS Sarika Asthana (12) shows off winter’s
Boots can utilize the trends of bright colors, ethnic prints, fur lining and leather. A classic winter staple, boots can be added to dress up any outfit and your winter style.
Casual and functional, “work and outerwear” is sturdy but comfortable enough for those with a packed day. Besides the usual jean and shirt look, this style includes different types of pants, allowing for variation in everyday wear. “One of the key things for men and what men want to seek more and more these days is flexibility and the ability to wear the same piece in many different ways,” said Susan Mathews, a Designer Specialist at Nordstrom. Included in the “work and outerwear” style are messenger bags, perfect for students to carry their laptops.
ETHNIC PRINTS Julia Fink (10) models an ethnic print that incorporates a modern tribal bright and detailed pattern adds interest to
in jackets but also in vests, hats and boots, faux fur keeps students snug during the cold
Victoria Lin (11)
Color blocking, in which loud and bold hues are combined, is a fun way to add a summer spin to a winter day. “Everything is coming back from the 70s,” Susan Mathews (introduced in “Work and Outerwear”) said. “Color blocking is fun because anything goes.”
kevin lin & monica thukral
a (12) n a h t s A a Sarik
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
One of the most versatile accessories, scarves are available in many styles and colors, adding a touch of pattern to any outfit. This winter season, try the trend of the infinity scarf to be fashion forward and warm. Doubling as a scarf and occasionally with long paw attachments, animal hats are also seen trending around school. DESIGNED BY KEVIN LIN -- WINGED POST ALL PHOTOS AND GRAPHICS KEVIN LIN AND MONICA THUKRAL -- WINGED POST
the Winged Post
managing editor It’s that time of year again! Holiday music is playing on the radio during the car ride to school. Starbucks reveals its holiday drinks menu that you dream about every night. You are home alone and are petrified that a fat, old man will break into your house through the chimney. Around this time, you will usually see stores having holiday sales and people giving or receiving gifts. In “shopping lingo,” that means markdowns and money saved to buy presents for family and friends. According to Commandment Number 52 from The Top 100 Tips to Being a Successful Shopper by Imade Thisup (she received a Masters Degree in Shopping Engineering), you must give before you get. Therefore, I have compiled a list of shopping tips when you do step number one: Give. 1. Set a budget and shop early. Planning out how much you are willing to spend maximum is a smart thing to do for every holiday season. This goes well with buying early because lastminute shopping only adds frustration and risk of going “budget overboard.” 2. Inspect your item closely before purchasing. Who knows what it may have been through? Perhaps intense breakage from little children or “wear and tear” from repeated changing room sessions. 3. Keep in mind the actual sale price. If shops have storewide sales going on, remember to subtract money based on the promotion. All of a sudden, that 30-dollar gift falls into the “I am willing to pay up to 25 dollars for this person” range. 4. Note: Disregard this statement if you shop with your boyfriend or father. Warm up your arm muscles right before you go shopping. This prevents cramping when you walk around holding several shopping bags. I personally suggest doing hammer-bicep curls. Leg lifts would not hurt either right before going shopping, if you plan on not being carried around in stores. And of course, 5. Use gift cards and coupons. Don’t forget that you can save money at a store by buying discounted gift cards and using promotion codes that you can find online. Refer to my column from Issue 2 (promotion codes) and Issue 3 (gift cards) for more information and tips. Now that you have finished the giving part of Commandment Number 52, I assume that you have experienced the getting, perhaps even acquiring money. So what do you do with that money after receiving it? Threeand-a-half words. Spend, save. or give (back). Blowing off money is selfexplanatory. Basically shop until you drop or until you reach a debt that is only surpassed by that of our country (15 trillion and growing. That’s 000,000,000,000 zeros!). Saving is easily done by opening a bank account and earning interest. Refer to Issue 1 to learn how to open a bank account. See how the holidays tie in everything together nicely? I surely see it in my columns. No such thing as self-promotion during the holiday spirit. If you are content or want to spread more cheer, try giving back this holiday season. Consider giving to charity organizations such as Toys for Tots or Make-AWish Foundation, which help less fortunate children in your community receive gifts.
Take a break this winter holiday with movies Eco-friendly holidays Local movie theaters provide genres this holiday ranging from action and drama to comedy and horror
After countless hours of study- and forget about school work. Inallison sun ing for finals or the hectic rush of stead, go to a local movie theater and TalonWP Lead college applications, take a breather treat yourself to a variety of winter Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows cover Moriarty’s dark secrets, the puzzles December 16 lead him and his sidekick Dr. Watson The intense adventure of the dy- ( Jude Law) on a trail spanning all over namic detective duo returns with the Europe. On their journey, they are aided thriller sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of by a gypsy fortune teller, Sim (Noomi Shadows, directed by Guy Ritchie. Rapace). The trio must outwit and stop This time, however, Detective Sher- Moriarty before his destructive plot unlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) faces ravels. the infamous Professor James Moriarty The action-packed film features ( Jared Harris), the mastermind behind explosions, combats, and other scenes the deadly plots. When he tries to un- similar to the first Sherlock Holmes film. Mission: Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol December 21 After being MIA for over five years, the iconic Mission: Impossible returns with its action-packed fourth installment of the series. Directed by Brad Bird, Mission: Impossible 4 incorporates mind-blowing stunts, such as spy agent Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) jump from the 2,716 high feet Burj Khalifa in Dubai and impressive special effects of an engulfing sandstorm, explosions and fancy gadgets.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close December 25 (Limited) January 20 (Wide) After the heartbreaking death of his father in the September 11 attacks, intellect eleven-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) discovers a key that his father, Thomas Schell Jr. (Tom Hanks), left behind. Oskar embarks on a journey wandering all over New York in
search of the lockbox that matches the mysterious key. On the voyage to find his father’s final message, Oskar meets a series of individuals who each have their own survival story; their accounts ultimately lead to Oskar’s own self-discovery and a new perspective of the world around him. Based on a novel, the poignant film, Extremely Loud and Incred-
New Year’s Eve December 9 From the director of Valentine’s Day Garry Marshall, New Year’s Eve is a romantic comedy film that portrays a similar plot as Valentine’s Day but with a different holiday. The film tells the love stories of several intertwined
We Bought A Zoo December 23 Based on a true story, We Bought a Zoo is a heartfelt comedy-drama about a single dad who wants a fresh start for him and his two children. After quitting his newspa-
When the President activates an operation dubbed “Ghost Protocol,” a terrorist bombing occurs in Russia, and the organization Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is blamed for the act. After the shutdown of IMF, Hunt and his team go undercover on a new mission without outside help to revive the organization and prevent any further destruction or possible wars. Could this mission be any more impossible? ibly Close, explores the experiences of not only loss but also revelation.
people celebrating the holiday season and the countdown to the midnight before New Year’s. Set in New York City, the film features an all-star cast of Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Zac Efron, Hilary Swank, Josh Duhamel, and Lea Michele, among many others.
per job, Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) decides to buy and move into a rural, rundown local zoo with a house. With the help of the zoo’s small team of staff, Mee tries to restore the zoo to its previous glory. With bits of humor and a
movies from action-packed thrillers to heartfelt comedies.
From a man searching for his lost love, to a woman trying to check off her resolutions list before she dies, to a television producer trying to pull off the perfect Times Square celebration, the film is all about fresh starts and the new year.
heartwarming cast of animals including lions and bears, the film portrays the bonding of a fractured family and the developing relationship between Mee and Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson), one of the zookeepers.
reporter The temperature is dropping, starting the season of hot chocolate, peppermint, and Christmas trees. But then, there is always a decision to make when you go to put up your tree: real or artificial? For some people, there is something about real trees that make the holiday season even more majestic, whether it be just the smell or the feel of the leaves. According to the University of Illinois, the first decorated Christmas tree was in Latvia in 1510, although evergreen trees have been used to celebrate the winter season before Christmas began. Even for environmentally conscious celebrators, a real tree is not entirely out of the question. “Treecycling” programs take real trees and turn them into usable products such as fertilizer and tanbark for playgrounds. Additionally, one acre of Christmas trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people, according to the University of Illinois. Some disadvantages, however, include the mess the needles make and their need to be replaced every year, costing more money and effort than fake trees. “I love the smell of having a real Christmas tree in my house. Every time I enter it’s like I’m walking into the Christmas season,” Sabrina Sidhu (9) said. Others prefer an artificial tree that can be re-
used every year. It is a way to save some money, especially in this economy. There is also no need to water the tree, and there are fewer needles to clean up when Christmas is over. “I prefer [fake trees] because they are cleaner and easier to clean up than real ones. The only downside is that they sometimes don’t smell like a fresh tree,“ Michelle Douglas (11) said. Artificial trees have their disadvantages as well. According to the University of Illinois, they can hurt the environment if not disposed of properly, and they take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. Everyone celebrates the holidays differently, some with Christmas trees, real or fake, and others with completely different holiday traditions. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, Happy Holidays!
reporter A pile of wrapping paper, strings of lights everywhere, and presents to be shared. The holidays are a time for giving, so this season, give back to the planet with The Winged Post’s eco-friendly tips.
Reuse papers for wrapping:
Accumulated newspapers and magazines can be creatively used as gift wrappers. Instead of buying new wrapping paper that will merely be torn off a present after it is opened, use old comics or photo spreads in magazines to cover gifts. Colorful and creative, wrapping a gift in newspaper or magazine pages is an environmentally friendly way to celebrate the holidays.
Make use of the tree after the holidays:
Choice: real or fake trees for holidays alyssa amick
DECORATION While not everyone celebrates Christmas, those who do often decorate real or fake evergreen trees with festive lights and ornaments to brighten up the holiday season. Around this time of year, Christmas trees appear almost everywhere one looks.
Cutting down a tree to use for the short holiday season and then throwing it away afterwards is wasteful. Rather than simply giving the tree to the landfill, chop it up for use as firewood, or put it in a compost pile so it can turn to rich soil for planting.
Decorate with eco-friendly lights:
Replace old holiday lights with energy-efficient lights to decrease the amount of electricity used. Energy efficient lights like those recognized as “Energy Star” can be just as festive as average holiday lights, so switching will not damp down holiday spirit. To be a better friend to the planet, set the lights on a timer so they only turn on when they are needed.
Send cards through the Internet:
Rather than sending holiday greeting cards by mail, send notes online. Using websites to make greeting cards saves paper and lessens the need for mailing services. This method is not only environmentally friendly, but also much faster than using the mail. Though it may not seem to be a very personal method, many websites allow customization of the cards to make them unique. Stay eco-friendly throughout the holidays, and to keep up the habit, make these tips a New Year’s resolution. The environment will be thankful for the present through the upcoming year. ALL ARTICLE GRAPHICS AND PHOTOS SARAH BEAN -- THE WINGED POST
SPEND, AND SAVE
20TH CENTURY FOX
“Stuff:” it is the pernicious and vague too thoughtful. Thus, it should be eliminated ries” brain space than extra room in the dusty word describing any of the holiday pres- from gift-giving vocabulary. Instead, give confines of a closet. Here are some wonderful opinion editor ents that are unwanted, useless, or just not presents that will take up more “good memo- “non-stuff ” gift ideas: Gift certificates: What could Infinite possibiliExperience gifts: The probGive a skill: Everyone conDIY: So, yes. be unique about such a ubiqties: Besides all of lem with stuff is that no one stantly says, “I wish I could DIY gifts are uitous choice? Making it an these categories, knows what to do with it. It ______.” Give your recipitechnically experience by customizing there is a huge, vast stares longingly at its owner, ent a boost of confidence physical objects an adventure for your recipiuniverse of things saying “Play with me!” Inand something fun to octhat could be ent through Giftly.com. Essentially, a stead, give an experience that the cupy his or her time by buying sup- unwanted or not useful, you could get out there that Giftly is a gift card you can customize recipient cannot wait to partake plies or class certificates. It would be especially since they do are not actually things! Why online in dollar amount, appearance, in. Concert tickets are good, but simple to put together a basket for a not always turn out too not a magazine subscripand the selection of retailers. It can tickets to a comedy show are often beginning baker – wrap a cookbook well. Happily, there is tion? Book an appointment be sent by email, Facebook, or even as more unexpected and less expensive: and some starter tools like a cookie Design*Sponge, which with a psychic for your suregular mail. For example: why not set ComedySportz San Jose has weekly sheet and oven mitts in a bow. In- describes projects that perstitious mother! How your best friend up with a day of fun shows that structive books also make good gifts could pass for profes- about a spa treatment for by getting her a Giftly for a session at are family for aspiring artists, as do certificates sional. Try your hand her instead? The possibilities Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge, lunch friendly and to local art or ceramic-painting stu- at making a gadget are endless and often even at a restaurant, and a sweet treat at charitable: as one example, completely dios. On the flip side, give the gift Powell’s Sweet Shoppe? If she really the World Wildlife Founh i l a r i o u s of your skill. Are you a great phowants to, she will be able to use her (comedysportz.com). Buy an art lover tographer? Gift a pretty frame and a dation (wwf.org) allows you Giftly money at a store of her own a pair of tickets to the Renaissance certificate promising a photo-shoot to symbolically adopt an enchoice, too. Essentially, she would Exhibit at the De Young Museum in her cutest outfit or with his famdangered species and sends pay normally with her own money in San Francisco and make a day of ily. Do you do make-up? Buy a basic organizer housed in an you a stuffed animal in reat one of these businesses and later it. For the slightly more adventure- palette from Target and promise to antique book cover, or turn (Giant Panda, anyone?). check in on Giftly.com on her phone some, check out iFly in Union City: come over for movies and tutorials. browse other projects Heck, you can even name a or computer. The amount that you it is the gift of a skydiving simula- Believe in your own ability to make at designsponge.com/ star after some lucky person paid for would be transferred to her tion in a wind tunnel. Keep track of p e o p l e category/DIY-projects. in your life (starregistry.com). credit card. peoples’ hobbies and try to support h a p p y . If crafts are not your Good luck, and may the Clever, huh? them. Maybe a round of golf with Your time thing, a popular DIY non-stuff gods be with you. And definiteyour dad on you? Of course, keep and love gift would be to bake ly good for an eye on experience deals through are more something tasty and last-minute, sites like Groupon and LivingSocial; v a l u a b l e put it in a nice box with personalized another is Goldstar.com, which spethan most some tissue paper and a presents. cializes in discounted event tickets. trinkets. cute note. Yum!
ALYSSA AMICK -- THE WINGED POST
Avoid the perils of “stuff ” for this winter season
DECEMBER 9, 2011
15 Simply scrumptious: A holiday meal guide special section
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
anishka agarwal & shannon su
Fruit & Caramel Brie
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The savoriness of warm butternut squash, sweetness of melted caramel, richness of fresh
tomato sauce, and crispness of ground peppermint are just a few of the flavors that will mingle and form a delicious winter meal. If you try these recipes out, please email us with feedback at email@example.com.
fruit & caramel brie
butternut squash soup
Butternut Squash Soup
classic cheese lasagna
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ALL PHOTOS ANISHKA AGARWAL & SHANNON SU -- WINGED POST
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Justinâ€™s new R&B style Holiday traditions BIEBER: shows in holiday album Students relate how they celebrate the annual winter festivities managing editor - TalonWP & reporter As school winds down and winter break approaches, students often rejoice in the festive spirit of the holidays with families and friends. Several celebrations take place during this time; three students shared their holiday traditions and ways to embrace the upcoming New Year.
I was raised [to value] family ties and bonds, so everyone makes an effort to get together for holidays.
Reena Sandhu (9)
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SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
Hanukkah: Tanya Piskun (12) and Claudia Tischler (10) 0,35 3,5 /,#(!5 #.",5 )0'7 ,5 ),5 ',65 *)*&5 ) 5 ."5 1#-"5 #."5 *,.##*.5 #(5 (5 #!".735 &)(!5 &,.#)(5 &&5 (/%%"65 '(7 #(!5^#.#)(_5#(5,185Äť 5 5 -.#0&5 )'''),.-5."#,5-. -.5&&!#(5 (5#.#)(5.)5."#,5,&#!#)/-5&# -5 -5 ."35 ,&&5 !#(-.5 ')(,"-5 1")5 *,)"##.5 /#-'5 (./,#-5 !)85 Äť 5 #-5 3,65(/%%"5!#(-5.5-/(-.5)(57 ',5hf5(5(-5)(5',5hn8 -5 5 *,.5 ) 5 (/%%"65 &,7 .),-5 ) .(5 &#!".5 5 '(),"65 5 ,("5 (&-.#%51#."5#!".5-.#)(-5B)(5 ),5 "5 3C65 (5 )(5 (.,&5 (&1#%85 .5 "-5 (5 .)&5 .".5 (#(.5 -0#),-5 ) 5 ."5 1#-"5 ,&#!#)(5 1#.(--5 5 !,.5 '#,&95."#,5'(),"651"#"5"5)(&35 ()/!"5 )#&5 .)5 /,(5 )(5 (&5 ),5 )(5 (#!".65&-.51#."5&&5#!".5,("-5&#.85 )365'(),"-5,5&#.5-5,'#(,-5) 5 .".5'#,&8 ^D #!".#(!5."5(&-E5#-55135.)5 ',5)/,5,&#!#)(5(5#-5$/-.5/-.)'7 ,36_5(35#-%/(5BghC5-#85 &.")/!"5 -"5 1-5 ,#-5 ,5 ,)'5 ",5 *,(.-]5 ")'&(5 ) 5 /--#65(35 -.#&&5 .%-5 *,.5 #(5 (/%%"5 .,#.#)(-5 1#."5 ",5 '#&35 35 &#!".#(!5 5 '(),"65 -.#(!65(52"(!#(!5!# .-8 &/#5 #-"&,5 BgfC5 -*(-5 ."5 ")# 1#."5 ",5 '#&35 35 -#(!#(!5 ."5
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FAMILY Freshman Reena Sandhu poses with her cousins at a Christmas party. She celebrates every year with her family; though she is not religious, she sees the holiday season as a time to reunite with her relatives.
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alisha mayor lifestyle editor
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Bieber has taken his artistic license and reinterpreted [the classics].
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meena chetty & samar malik
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DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Students and teachers alike utilize various electronic learning tools on varied subjects including calculus. “I don’t lecture nearly as much as I used to, [and] the students are working more in groups,” Stoll said. “[But] I don’t ever want to go completely online. I’m just trying to get them out of the textbook; the homework I give is notebooks that I create.” As of yet, the Upper School still stands by the traditional classroom model and does not offer online courses. Having been an online course instructor previously, King sees that while online coursework provides students with convenience and flexibility, traditional classroom teaching better serves individuals’ needs. “I have a lot more choices in the moment [for] what I feel the kids need. If the lesson doesn’t go particularly well one day, I can redesign my lesson for the next day and I’m ready to go and try and attack it from another point of view,” she said. While she does make use of Athena and online history databases in her classroom, History Department Chair Donna Gilbert views herself as “more old-school,” favoring the use of notebooks and textbooks.
william chang & apoorva rangan news editor & reporter The classroom experience has expanded from traditional note-taking to include learning exercises on the Internet. From online worksheets and ebooks to video lectures, the use of educational technology has become a normal part of the classroom experience across a range of academic subjects. Computer Science teacher Susan King uses online exercises called Javabats to help her students practice coding in Java, building on their programming skills overtime. “I joke around and say it lets them build muscles in a gym,” she said. Mathematics Department Chair Bradley Stoll uses iPad apps as well as online resources and computer applications to supplement his lectures and help make the curriculum “more relaxing” for his AP Calculus students. Stoll uses the iPad application ShowMe, an interactive whiteboard that also records the instructor’s voice, to email solutions to homework problems to students. Earlier this year, he also employed the website Khan Academy, which includes thousands of lectures
“Personally, I think students need face-to-face interaction for education to be effective,” Gilbert said. “But I think that [online courses are] more useful for adults who are studying for degrees.” Both Stoll and King agree with this perspective. “For most people, you [...] lose people skills when you start just interacting with your computer all the time,” Stoll said. King adds a word of caution about online courses, as they fit a “conscious or unconscious vision of education as this factory where you are ‘creating’ educated people,” she said. “I think there is tremendous amount of danger as seeing people as widgets that are produced by a factory.” Students who have taken online courses see both the good and the bad of education on the Internet. Shivani Gillon (10) believes that online courses are simply less effective than face-to-face instruction for educating students. “I don’t think you retain the information as much as you would in an in class presentation, so I would prefer inclass [teaching],” she said.
WILLIAM CHANG - WINGED POST
Technology becoming more integral in classroom environments
ONLINE Increasingly, teachers and students alike are using tech. Still, teachers are wary of relying too heavily on technology, as they prefer personal interaction.
Michael Wu (12), who took an online driver’s education course, believes that learning through online coursework can be effective as long as the student has a desire to learn the material. “If it’s a course that you do not want to take online, you have so many opportunities just to either ignore the lecture or go on Facebook,” he said. “Thus, it’s very easy to procrastinate or not pay attention.”
Previously homeschooled student Jacob Hoffman (11) took basic math and English courses online during elementary school. While he thinks that his online education was “very helpful,” Hoffman nevertheless appreciates the depth of understanding demanded by classroom education. He said, “though convenient, online courses do not demand the same level of attentiveness as a real class.”
to their interests, according to McNealy. Members can also connect with other users and share their own images and questions. “If you’re into fashion, you can follow the fashion magazines on there. If you’re into sports, you can follow sports,” McNealy said. “If you get your family on it, it’s a fun way to share pictures and thoughts with your family. There are lots of different, fun, and interesting people to follow,” Corporations can then use the data collected from polls to determine consumers’ likes and dislikes, thus allowing them to adjust their products accordingly. The Colorado-based company has already joined with a variety of partners, such as the San Jose Sharks, vari-
ous TV shows, Hertz, the PGA Tour, and many more. Wayin also has apps for the iPhone and Android and can connect to Twitter and Facebook so that users can pose questions to their friends on other networking sites. “A lot of people are actually using Twitter to create interest and volume in their channels,” McNealy said. “I don’t think [they’re] competition; I think it’s opportunity.” As for the future of Wayin, he said, “We want to make it psychotically addictive.” The company plans to move into education, hoping “one day [students] will be doing their homework on Wayin,” and plan to have celebrities use Wayin to communicate with their fans to garner publicity and increase their membership base.
chief in training Look out, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus: a new social networking site has hit the scene. Wayin, developed by Scott Mc-
Parent Scott McNealy develops social network Wayin that appeals to corporations Nealy, founder of Sun Microsystems and father of students Maverick (11), Dakota, Colt, and Scout, uses polls and photos to “spark humorous, passionate and lively debate among the global Wayin community,” according to their website. The idea for Wayin arose from one of McNealy’s friend’s proposal for a new game show, to be called “Game On America,” in which groups of people from a variety of demographics would compete against each other. People watching could also help their demographic group by participating in the show via cell phone. “We went down to L.A., and as I was learning about it I said, ‘You know what? You have the new next wave of the Internet […],
and I think we should go make a business out of it. Let’s go make a new web experience,’” McNealy said in a phone interview with The Winged Post. Unlike other social networking sites, Wayin is a client-engagement or one-to-many conversation service; in other words, it uses a model in which someone can post content and have an open dialogue with his or her followers. According to McNealy, this type of experience appeals to corporations. “Interestingly enough, very few social mobile enterprises really appeal to corporations,” he said. “We’ve changed the make-up of what we’re offering to the enterprise to be something that is of value to them. “ Users of all demographic groups can find content to follow that appeals
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DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Inkling digital pen innovative but flawed Rating: 3.5/5 Despite its convenience, ease of use, and incredible layer features, the Inkling’s inaccuracy when converting the physical image into digital form renders it ultimately unnecessary as a tool for artists. michelle deng assistant editor in chief For those of you who don’t know me, I like to draw; in fact, I’ve often cartooned for this dear newspaper here. Like many artists, each time I finished drawing, I’d dust my hands off with a smile and then groan: I still had to face the incredibly grating task of converting my artwork into a digital file. But then, in September, I heard of Wacom’s Inkling—and it sounded like a cure-all, a miracle. According to Wacom’s product descriptions and press release, the Inkling is a $199 bundle of fancy technology “designed for rough concepting and creative brainstorming.” It consists of a digital ballpoint pen, a motionsensitive receiver, and a carrying case for holding and charging the pen and receiver. You simply clip the receiver onto any sheet of paper or surface and draw away, while the receiver records the movement of the pen. You can even make new layers in the drawing. Once you’re finished, you sync the receiver with the computer—either by plugging it directly into the computer or by placing it into the carrying case and then plugging the carrying case into the computer—and voilà! Your sketch is now a vector image on the computer. In other words, physical drawings converted into digital images cleanly, quickly, and easily, without the hassle of scanning or photographing. No more darkened backgrounds and no more contaminating dust specks, glares, or wrinkles, all in very little time. I couldn’t have been more excited when the Inkling finally was released in midN o v e m b e r. As soon as it arrived, I tore the package open, skimmed the quick start guide, sighed and twiddled my thumbs for three hours while the Inkling charged to
completion, and finally got to test it out. I should have known that miracles don’t exist. I hate to say it, but the Inkling let me down. I guess part of it is my fault. I didn’t stop to think about what Wacom meant by “rough concepting and creative brainstorming.” I’ll make it clear now: the Inkling isn’t something you’d want to use to draw anything close to a final image. It is for rough, rough, rough concepting only. For one thing, the pen is a ballpoint—a rather thick, top-heavy, and very high-quality ballpoint. When you press lightly, the stroke is thin and light; when you press heavily, the stroke is thick and dark. According to Wacom’s description, the pen can sense 1024 different levels of pressure, so you’d expect the digital image to capture these subtleties of stroke width and darkness. Unfortunately, the Inkling is far less sensitive than its description makes it out to be. Strokes made by the Inkling are rendered mostly in one solid color; the 1024 levels of pressure correspond primarily to levels of digital stroke width. Only dust-thin strokes show up in a lighter shade. Therefore, much of the gradient and texture of the physical image is lost in translation; the digital image ends up looking more like a drawing by a liquid ink pen. I wonder if Wacom could have made it as an ink pen to begin with? That way, users can actually see on paper what their images would look like digitally. As it stands, they can only guess. This flaw isn’t fatal, but it limits the pen to line drawings, and I suppose it’s not really a problem if you’re only using the Inkling for rough sketches. What truly ruined the Inkling for me is its inaccurate judging of pen location. Even when the pen is
held correctly (fingers clamped on the grip of the pen, not at its tip, so as not to block the signal between pen and receiver), digital strokes are far shakier than their physical counterparts and are frequently stretched or translated one or two millimeters. The farther they are from the receiver, the heavier their distortion. Though numerically these distortions sound minor, when placed together in a whole picture, the small mutations build up on one another and end up creating an image that roughly echoes but is most definitely not what is on the paper. It’s problematic when you draw a face, and the nose shifts below the left eye.
Thankfully, some of this aggravating translation can be remedied through the Inkling’s support of image layers. Even though strokes on different layers are more likely to be misaligned than those on the same layer, once the image has been transferred to the computer, you can simply drag the misbehaving layer back to its rightful location. In fact, the Inkling’s support of drawing in layers is easily one of its best features. Layers allow you to selectively edit parts of the drawing without even touching the rest. So in addition to moving certain layers around as mentioned, you can also lighten, darken, change the hue of, blur, or even delete specific layers. It’s like a readymade edit and undo function. And you don’t even need to split the layers while you’re working. The Inkling remembers the order in which strokes were drawn. Using the playback option in the Inkling Sketch Manager (the comput-
COMPARISON The picture on the left was drawn with the Inkling pen and photographed; the version on the right is the same drawing digitized using Wacom’s software. The strokes are smoother in the photographed version, and those on the cup’s bottom and handle are obviously misplaced in the Inkling’s image.
er software you use to open and export images), you can watch your sketch being drawn on the screen (!), pause at any time, and split layers. You can also go back and merge layers if you’d like. The Inkling has other significant merits as well. From the start, it is easy to use. It comes with a pithy quick start manual that well conveys how to install, set up, and use the Inkling, as well as a lengthy digital user manual that delineates more subtleties. In addition, Wacom’s website provides five brief tutorial videos that animate the process of getting started. Likewise, using the pen is ridiculously convenient. All the purported benefits that drew me to the Inkling in the first place are true: it takes less than 30 seconds to set up the Inkling on the paper and to transfer it onto the computer, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of scanning and then color-correcting drawings. Moreover, the battery lives of the both pen and the receiver are quite long (according to Wacom, they are 15 and eight hours, respectively, and I have no evidence to the contrary), and the carrying case, which doubles as a charger for the pen and receiver, is sleek and portable. And finally, the pen has an awesome little dual function: when the receiver is plugged into the computer, the pen enters “on-line” mode and can act as a mouse. Granted, using the pen this way is a waste of ink, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. Given all these excellent qualities, it’s really a shame that the Inkling fails to accomplish the most important task of all: to faithfully convert physical drawing into digital form. In the end, why use a drawing utensil if it doesn’t obey the hand? In the same press release, Wacom states that the Inkling gives users “a way to rough-out ideas with real ink on paper and capture their concepts digitally so that they can be later refined on their computer.” But if you’re willing to have your digital image be so rough, if you’re willing to spend ages refining your ideas on the computer, wouldn’t an old-fashioned pen and scanner/ camera combination suffice as well? So for now, artists, save your $199 and stick with what you’ve got already. But don’t forget to cross your fingers and hope that an Inkling 2.0 with improved distance judgment is released soon. That device would truly be a miracle.
ALL GRAPHICS - MICHELLE DENG
Headphones: Loud music poses hearing risk allison sun
reporter As you start to work on homework, you plug in your headphones and select your favorite song. Then, you unconsciously turn up the volume a couple notches until the blasting music tunes out the rest of the world. Just by increasing the volume level or by listening with headphones for long durations, one risk for potential hearing loss increases. The number one cause for any sort of hearing damage in adolescents is loud sound, and the primary cause of noise-induced hearing loss is the overuse of headphones. “We can assume very easily that 10 percent of the U.S. population about 30 million people, - need help hearing,” said Dr. Brian Fligor, Director of Diagnostic Audiology at Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School. “It’s probably
roughly double that who [don’t require] a hearing aid yet, but their hearing isn’t as good as it should be.” Over the past decade, the number of teenagers with damaged hearing has gradually escalated. According to Dr. Fligor, the ear has the ability to hear subtle sounds like twigs snapping, which tend to have a soft and high pitch. If the sound is too loud, the sensory hair cells of the ear that connect the nerve cells to the brain are overworked and become exhausted. Once the cells are permanently damaged, they die and cannot be regrown, thus impairing hearing. In order to prevent hearing loss, listeners should moderate the volume level and the listening period. To fully enjoy music without considerably increasing the risk of hearing loss, Dr. Fligor suggests following the 80 for 90 rule: listeners can turn the volume up to 80% of the maximum and listen for 90 minutes a day. If the duration is longer, however, then the volume control should be set lower, and vice versa. “I actually do consider the amount of damage I might be causing my ears
[since] I already have some minimal hearing loss,” said Vivian Li (12), who limits the volume level to 60%. Investing in a good pair of head-
We can assume very easily that 10 percent of the U.S. population [...] need help hearing.
Dr. Brian Fligor, Children’s Hospital Boston
phones can also lower the risk of hearing impairment. “The headphones that block out background noise, either the active noise-cancelling or the kind of headphones that fit deeply inside your ear canal to block out background noise, are what I call passive sound-isolating headphones,” Dr. Fligor said. “Those headphones, we know, allow a person to listen at much lower levels.”
As an avid music listener and owner of several headphones, Dr. Fligor recommends the brand Etymotic’s ER6I, HF3, HF5, MC3, or MC5. Another popular brand of headphones especially among students is Beats by Dr. Dre. According to its website, Beats headphones “will allow you to hear more details at lower volume levels than ever before.” “They’re great headphones [with] incredible bass and nice quality,” Vikram Naidu (10) said. “Compared to the other headphones I’ve had, these are by far the best. They may be a bit overpriced, but you pay for the quality.” With headphones becoming an essential of our daily lives, the primary approach to lowering the risk of hearing loss is to make conscious decisions. Look around and see how many headphone-compatible devices there are: mp3s, iPods, laptops, and cell phones. Nowadays, whether it is going out for a jog or doing homework, headphones always seem to be in the picture. So the next time you do your homework, remember to turn it down a little.
patrick yang tech editor
Competitive video gaming? Sounds like the stuff of parents’ nightmares. But that’s been rapidly changing in the past few years, as so-called “eSports” has gained both prominence, audience, and legitimacy. For example, from August 17 to 21 earlier this year, a little video game company named Valve (you might know them as the makers of Portal and Steam, among other things) ran a 16-team offline tournament to promote their upcoming video game, Dota 2. The kicker? The tournament’s prize pool was a staggering $1.6 million, with an entire $1 million to be split among the 5-man team that emerged champions (a Ukrainian team called Na’Vi). Prize pools such as this are not the only sign that eSports is on the rise. Some other big figures: According to Major League Gaming, at one of their recent events, MLG Providence, their live online stream of the tournament games peaked at over 240,000 simultaneous viewers, above major cable TV channels for males aged 18-24. In mid-November, the free game League of Legends hit 32 million registered players. On the average day, 4.2 million different people play the game; that’s more than the population of Los Angeles. Still, these player base and viewership numbers are leaps and bounds ahead of even last year’s numbers. Of League of Legends’ over 30 million accounts, over half had not even been registered just four months ago. So what has caused this explosion? There are a couple main factors. The first is the related advances in online streaming technology. In the past few years, the setting up a live stream of your computer screen has become easier and more reliable. Thus, the number of people, from casual players to well-known professionals, who stream on a regular basis skyrocketed. Since it’s as easy to watch a stream as a YouTube video, competitive gaming gained wider exposure through streams. Secondly, game producers have recently begun designing their games with eSports in mind. Two major games, StarCraft II and League of Legends, are prime examples. Spectators in StarCraft II can easily view anything from the number of upgrades each player has to the number of each player’s units destroyed. League of Legends is currently beta testing a spectator mode, which lists detailed information about the items and skills of each player. In comparison, spectators in the games’ predecessors, StarCraft: Brood War and DotA, had almost none of this valuable information. The last major factor in the growth of eSports is more corporate sponsorship. The name branding opportunities are becoming more and more attractive. Intel, who sponsors an entire global tournament series (the Intel Extreme Masters), is among the major companies investing in eSports; other big names include Coca-Cola and the image hosting site Imgur. Even so, the eSports boom is not slowing. If anything, it’s speeding up. Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, have promised an unheard-of $5 million prize pool for their upcoming competitions in the second season of their competitive circuit. Major League Gaming has stated that they are in talks with ESPN2 in attempts to obtain TV broadcasts of MLG tournaments in the United States, which would be a first for a mainstream television channel. eSports have become much more legitimate in the past year or two. The production quality is high, and viewing tournaments is often even easier than viewing sporting events. As competitive gaming grows more in the future – and it will – it will become an integral part of our culture.
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Ragini Bhattacharya (11)
agini Bhattacharya (11) has been named Female co-Athlete of the Month for her performance in league finals where she placed fourth overall out of 67 and in the Central Coast Section (CCS) championships, where she placed 16th out of 80. Ragini competed in league finals sonia sidhu & sheridan tobin on November 4 at Crystal Springs reporters High School and achieved a personal best, running 2.95 miles in 19:35. Her fourth place finish helped her qualify for the CCS meet. Ragini trains diligently throughout the year, both during season and off-season. During the off-season, she trains with coach Ron Forbes after school and runs on Davis Field often during long lunch. According to head coach Paul Nangle, she is able to adjust her workouts, take advice from her coaches and work hard to improve. “You can coach her. She is always open to new suggestions,” he said. “She is really committed [...] She is going to take [practice] seriously.” ATHLETES OF THE MONTH Ragini Bhattacharya (11), Jenny Chen (11), and Corey Gonzales (9) are November’s Athletes of This year, the cross-country team, the Month. Ragini, Corey, and Jenny received recognition for demonstrating excellence in cross country and tennis respectively. including Ragini, has emphasized According to Assistant Coach her skill, attitude, and leadership. speed rather than distance, adjusting Jane Keller, one of Jenny’s major “She’s always been good; she’s their workouts to match their new goal. umber one girls’ tennis singles strengths is not letting her opponents always had a lot of willpower and Being a team leader, Ragini is able to player Jenny Chen (11) quali- know how she feels while competing. strength, but I think this year she reinspire her teammates and set a posified for the Central Coast Instead of letting the loss of one deter ally stood out [in those categories],” cotive example by attending every pracSection (CCS) tournament after her her, she stays focused on her goal. captain Tanya Piskun (12) said. tice. strong performance in league, earning “[ Jenny] has an amazing capacAs a leader, Jenny has made a “She’s probably one of the greather the title of Female co-Athlete of ity to be emotionless when she plays. special effort in order to interact with est motivators on the team,” teammate the Month. While she’s playing in a match, you teammates, and, according to head Christophe Pellissier (12) said. “She As team co-captain, Jenny leads cannot tell if she’s happy, frustrated [or] coach Craig Pasqua, she has stepped can keep up with and push most of our the team. In the team’s match against anything. She stays very completely and up this year in terms of communicating Varsity guys.” Menlo High School on September 29, totally calm,” Keller said. “She plays ev- with others. Nangle expects Ragini to qualify Jenny was the only player who won ery point as if it’s the only point.” Pasqua said, “She sets an example for state championships next year, as her match. She defeated the Most According to her coaches and both in practice and on the court. She she was only two spots away from qualValuable Player of last year’s league in teammates, Jenny has improved drasti- is a natural leader who leads not only ifying this year when she placed 16th at matches with 6-1 and 6-2 scores. cally since the previous year in terms of by her skill, but also by her character.” the CCS meet.
ATHLETES OF THE
ALLISON SUN- WINGED POST
ADITI ASHOK- WINGED POST
ALLISON SUN - WINGED POST
Jenny Chen (11)
Crew: Students share experiences of rowing outside of school SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
in order to strengthen their bodies and cardiovascular abilities. “It’s the same sort of motion over managing editor - TalonWP and over again,” said Matt Pinschmidt, As athletes face the stern of the the Varsity women’s coach at LGRC. narrow boat using oars in a perfectly “You’ve got to keep a positive attitude synchronized motion to propel themin light of harsh times, whether it be selves, they must carefully follow the a tough workout or [since] it’s an outprecise motions of the people in front door sport, if it’s raining or windy.” of them to organize and effectively Additionally, they participate in unify the crew. Welcome to the world several drills once in the water in order of rowing. to enhance strength. Athletes also use According to student rower Anitechnology called ergometers, which sha Padwekar (10), the rigorous sport serve as a method of indoor rowing. requires commitment with practices “I think the most challenging part an overall average of six times a week about rowing is getting past the voice for three hours a day at the competiin your head that tells you to give up tive level. With crews that typically because you’re tired during a workout,” consist of a coxswain, who calls out said Silpa Karipineni (10), who also commands, and one, two, four, or eight rows at LGRC for the Varsity women’s rowers, the sport demands established team. core strength. Senior Ryan Chang, another “I definitely feel rowing is my primember of LGRC, describes rowing mary commitment, other than school to be a “pain contest” and the most of course. The coaches really look down brutal sport he has ever played. He on you if you miss a practice, especially is currently striving to qualify to race because there are nine people on a boat at the national championships in his counting on you, including a coxswain. team’s lightweight eight division and […] It kind of hurts everyone else on also hopes to continue at the collegiate the boat,” Anisha said. level next year. Freshman Ishanya Anthapur Maya has noticed that rowing currently rows at the Los Gahas allowed her to exceed tos Rowing Club her normal stamina levels because she exercises more regularly and for longer periods of time. Ishanya also realized that her diet and eating habits have become much healthier after becoming a dedicated athlete. “The [rowers] that develop the most are the ones that get kind SPECIAL TO WINGED POST of tougher. Toughness is CREW Maya Nandakumar (9), a rower on the Novice women’s team at the Los Gatos Rowing just self-confidence,” PinClub, practices with her crew at the Lexington Reservoir near Los Gatos. schmidt said.
(LGRC) at the Lexington Reservoir. She initially thought the sport would be much simpler before she began at the age of eight during a camp at Stanford where she was the physically smallest participant. “There is a lot of physical work involved and [consideration for the] angles of your stroke and blade and exactly how it needs to be placed, so it involves a lot more technical skill,” she said. Ishanya’s classmate Maya Nandakumar (9) also joined LGRC this year after “falling in love with the sport” during a summer camp. Similar to Ishanya, Maya’s expectations of rowing before she began were entirely different to what the sport required in reality. “Rowing is a very physically demanding sport, and one that engages nearly every muscle in your body,” she said. “The hardest part is tolerating the pain, which the coaches often refer to as the point beyond death.” The rowers often practice on dry land to do workouts and core building exercises
As of December 7
The most challenging part is getting past the voice in your head that tells you to give up because you’re tired.
Silpa Karipineni (10)
week, enduring the same physical punishment,” Ryan said. “During practice or at a race, I can’t ease off the pressure even for one stroke. If I did, my bros in the boat have to deal with my dead weight, and I can’t let that happen.” From rotating the oars at precisely the same rhythm as their teammates to loading the boats into the water, the sport requires every one of its members to contribute all of their efforts. To Ishanya, the most rewarding part of the sport is “when you’re going for it all, you’re so tired at the end, you can’t even pull anymore, your arms feel like lead, and then you find out you win.” The student rowers all unanimously agree that though strenuous and incredibly demanding, rowing is extremely worthwhile.
All the student rowers said that rowing is predominantly a team-based sport. “I think brotherhood is a huge component in rowing too, just like in any sport. My closest friends are my teammates – we spend an extraordinary [amount of ] time together [during the]
Corey Gonzales (9)
fter only one season of high school cross country, Corey Gonzales (9) has placed high at multiple meets, qualified for Central Coast Section (CCS) tournament, is the league’s top Division Four freshman, and has been named November’s Male Athlete of the Month. His training began before the school year even started, attending pre-season workouts that started in the middle of August. At the beginning of November, he ran 2.95 miles in 16:59 to place 10th overall at the league finals. The next week he ran the same distance in 16:53, earning him 23rd out of 103 runners in Division Four. Head coach Paul Nangle anticipates that as the highest placing freshmen in this division in all of CCS, Corey will qualify for states, if not next year then at some point in his high school career. He has made a mark on his team and the cross country program in general. “I think he’s really one of our best runners ever,” co-captain Christophe Pellissier (12) said. “He’s amazing.” Additionally, he is not only fast and a talented runner, but he is also a smart competitor, which is another quality that sets him above other runners. “You can be a good runner and not run a smart race. Corey almost always ran a smart race,” Nangle said. Another important quality he displays is his ability to be coached and to stay on point in order to improve his speed. “He has a lot of focus. He’s always paying attention to what the coaches are saying,” teammate Claudia Tischler (10) said. “He is a really good example.”
E vents December and
Boys’ Basketball 12/17: Greenfield High School 12/20: Galileo High School 1/03: Eastside College Prep 1/06: Menlo School 1/17: King’s Academy
Girls’ Basketball 12/16: Prospect High School 12/17: Branham High School 1/03: Notre Dame High School San Jose 1/11: Mercy High School Burlingame 1/17: King’s Academy 1/18: Castilleja School
Boys’ Soccer 12/16: Pioneer High School 12/20: St. Francis-Watsonville 1/06: Sacred Heart Preparatory School 1/11: Eastside College Prep 1/17: King’s Academy
Girls’ Soccer 12/10: Crystal Springs Uplands 12/20: Alumni Game (Scrimmage) 1/12: Pinewood School 1/19: Latino College Prep
Wrestling 1/05: Lynbrook High School 1/19: Wilcox High School
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
Athletes participate in early morning training before school mercedes chien
During the day? School. After school? Practice. In the evening? Homework. And the week goes on. However, the life of an athlete may not be as black and white as it seems. Several sports schedule early morning practices during their respective seasons to strengthen not only the players but also the bond between the teammates. Out of all of the fall and winter sports, the boys’ water polo and soccer teams participate in such practice schedules regularly. “The benefit for early morning practices is that studies have shown that most high-school-aged kids don’t do well early in the morning,” said Ted Ujifusa, water polo Head Coach. “Their biorhythms are such that they’re better off having a later start in the day, [so] with practices being so early, it basically gets them [ready] for the school day.” The water polo program has been requiring 6:15 a.m. practices since Ujifusa started coaching four years ago. According to him, the main purpose is to emulate the life of an athlete playing in college. Coaches and players alike stated that they strongly believe that the team will gain benefits from practicing in the morning, both physically and mentally. Despite having to wake up early, Sean Pan (10) knows that the more practice time the team has, the stron-
MERCEDES CHIEN- WINGED POST
ger their camaraderie, which correlates with their performance in the water. “The way we think about it is that while we’re in the water working hard in the morning, […] everyone individually [is getting] better, so as a team [we’re] getting better,” Sean said. During the first three weeks of the season, morning practices were mandatory for Varsity players; however, Assistant Coach Victor Adler noted that many freshmen players attended those practices, allowing them to improve their passing techniques and skills. Aside from practicing before school begins, the team also practices after school that same day. In contrast, the boys’ soccer program does not practice in the afternoon when they have morning practice. The
team has only had a few 6:30 a.m. practices so far this season. Shaun Tsakiris, boys’ soccer Head Coach, created such a schedule to avoid athletes missing training due to an overload of work. “In the beginning of the season, we focus on fitness,” Tsakiris said. “So, getting their cardio up, getting their bodies used to training on a daily basis, and getting them up to speed fitnesswise [are our main goals].” For soccer, morning and after school practices are similar in terms of drills and exercises. Often, the team members scrimmage against one another in the gym, playing indoor soccer. Defensive player David Lindars (11) said that the team’s chemistry improves because they are all working
together to become better players by motivating themselves to attend early practices. “[Practices in the morning] are beneficial because they allow the whole team to work together to overcome having to suffer waking up early and having to spend more time at school than they would normally,” he said. However, Maximilian Quertermous (12) disagrees. He finds morning practices troublesome since according to him, no breakfast is provided for the players and sometimes, there are no available showers for them to use. “The fact that we get all sweaty and tired before [the day begins] and then we have to go through the whole day [is horrible],” he said. The mixed feelings towards these
Sports injuries: Types and prevention
Football player honored
Spenser Quash (11) wins 49ers Player of the Week
riya godbole & mariam sulakian
reporters Imagine yourself at an afternoon basketball game. The athletes from volleyball to water polo to football. Eagles are up by one, the crowd is buzzing with excitement, The Winged Post spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Blue to get the and the cheerleaders are pumping the color shout. All at once, scoop on how to prevent common injuries. Dr. Blue is a spethe basketball players and cheerleaders take a knee and a cialist in sports injuries and an orthopedic doctor who works crowd of people rush onto the court, followed by a paramedic. with Upper School students by checking up on athletes and Sports injuries have been common this year affecting coming to games.
Throwing and racket sports including baseball, softball, and tennis usually result in shoulder injuries. Water polo, which combines throwing and swimming, is “kind of a double hit,” Dr. Blue said.
reporter The football team’s last game of the season could not have ended better for quarterback Spenser Quash (11), who ended up being selected by the San Francisco 49ers as their Player of the Week during the week of November 18. The Eagles won the game against Cupertino High School 3528, producing our first league win of the season. Spenser threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns, completed 12 out of his 15 passes, and rushed for an additional three touchdowns to account for all of the team’s five touchdowns. “This 49ers thing was insane. Coach K pulled me out of class one day to share with me the news, and I couldn’t focus for the rest of the day,” he said. Along with the title came a Player of the Week plaque, a 500 dollar grant to the school, three tickets to a San Francisco 49ers game, and a visit to their training facility in Santa Clara. Spenser went to the game against the Saint Louis Rams on December 4. His ticket came with a pregame pass onto the field. “It was surreal being on an NFL field, which was something I’ve only seen on TV or dreamed about. The
fans cheering for me when [the announcers] called my name was also mind-blowing,” Spenser said. Spenser met many of the 49ers’ star players during his trip to their training facility, including running back Frank Gore, wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree, tight end Vernon Davis, and quarterback Alex Smith. Spenser attributes hard work to his successes as an athlete and a leader on his team. “[My] training helped in the sense that I was able to pick people up when [my teammates] were down and help them push through all the tough times they we went through, and tell them hard work reaps rewards,” Spenser said. With the season now over, Spenser already has the next one in mind, which will be his last. “Over the off-season I plan to organize the lifts for the team for the weeks, throw with my receivers at least once a week and try to recruit more people to play because we are running short on players for next year,” Spenser said. Other players look forward to the next season as well. Varsity running back Ryan Mui said, “[Spenser] is a good, fast quarterback and I think next year he’s going to be a good asset for the team.”
High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. (U.S. Center for Disease Control)
Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students. (U.S. Center for Disease Control)
Leg, Ankle, and Foot Injuries
According to Dr. Blue, athletes whose sports require change of direction, such as basketball, soccer, and football, are at a high risk of receiving acute injuries in legs, ankles, and feet. Overuse injuries are common for athletes that do the “straight ahead repetitive stuff ”-mainly cross-country and track. “The most common injury of all sports is probably the ankle sprain,” Dr. Blue said. “[In] most sports that involve twisting, turning, stopping, cutting, decelerating and accelerating, [the] ankle sprain is number one.”
Prevention Checklist Dr. Blue provided the following steps for athletes to avoid sports injuries:
Stay in shape. Work on using proper technique while playing and practicing.
Take control over your body, especially with motions such as sliding and tackling. Make sure to follow training routines properly.
Utilize Jaron Olson and his training facilities.
MARIAM SULAKIAN- WINGED POST
SPECIAL TO THE WINGED POST
Luckily, chest injuries are not very common and usually only occur in contact sports.
practices exist among not only the players but also the parents. Betsy Lindars, David’s mother, sees both positives and negatives in such practices but concludes that the former outweigh the latter. Overall, she stated that an hour less of sleep on a Monday morning affects the players’ sleep patterns, which consequently impacts their performance for the rest of the week. “[Nevertheless], early morning practices are rare,” she said. “If the coach is willing to get there at that hour for the benefit of our athletes, then I think the boys should commit to being there.” Middle School physical education teacher and father of Jeremiah Anderson (9), an offensive player for the soccer team, Peter Anderson supports having practice before school; he said that “an occasional ‘shock’ to the system keeps athletes motivated.” He suggests that only if such practices were daily, then food and showers should be provided for players. “A change in routine is good for athletes,” Anderson said. “It invigorates the body and wakes up the mind for the day.” Besides boys’ water polo and soccer, no other team regularly partakes in early morning practices. Dan Molin, Upper School Athletic Director, believes that while some sports generally cannot practice in the morning due to scheduling conflicts, such practices are a great way for students to begin their school day.
“The back is often the most common complaint that we see,” Dr. Blue said. According to Dr. Blue, gymnasts, figure skaters, and divers should be on the lookout for chronic back injuries. Back pain and soreness are frequently seen in sports that require jumping and landing with your back arch. Tips for avoiding back injuries include practicing proper technique because the main factor of these injuries tends to be incorrect form.
Acute vs. Overuse Injuries According to Dr. Blue, “there’s two categories of injuries, those that are acute [which] occur during the playing or practice--an ankle sprain, ligament injury, the knee, just an injury [when] they’re practicing or playing. There’s also the chronic overuse. [...] Those are things like stress fractures, those are things that come up over time.”
R5Hard to prevent
R5Becoming “more and more common” in high school sports, according to Dr. Blue.
R5Measures that athletes can take to avoid them include being well-rested, strong, and ready to play. R5Poor technique is a major factor in acute injuries
R5Take time to develop R5Necessary to take extra precautions
The Back Page
DECEMBER 9, 2011 the Winged Post
I think [Winterball] is a great time to hang out [with your friends] and to just have some fun after finals. - Vedant Thyagaraj (9) I’m really excited to see all my friends dressed up for [Winterball] and [to hear what the DJ has to offer]. - Alicia Clark (10)
WINTERBALL semester is over on January 21, 2012. Members of the Spirit Club worked late in the evening midweek to create the invitations and they hope to mail them out soon. The Spirit Club coordinated with the invitation includes components besides the generic invite and envelope.
I’m looking forward to spending some time with my friends and to the [beginning] of second semester once college applications are over. - Jay Reddy (12)
MERCEDES CHIEN -- THE WINGED POST
The theme sounds really cool, so I’m excited for the design. The design is a really big [deal] for me. - Wendy Shwe (11)