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Winged Post Thursday, April 25, 2013





TEDx: Students organize second annual conference sheridan tobin & stephanie chen

global editor & reporter The second annual TEDxHarker conference, which aims to inspire students interested in business and technology by connecting them with current entrepreneurs, will be held at the Upper School this Saturday. Co-curators Neeraj Baid (12) and Neel Bhoopalam (12) first proposed the idea of hosting a TEDx conference to the administration last year, and since its beginning, the conference has been

primarily student-run, with faculty advising from Joe Rosenthal, Executive Director of Advancement. Hoping that the event will become an annual tradition after they graduate, Neeraj and Neel recruited the team of curator-in-training Brian Tuan (11), director of marketing Glenn Reddy (10), and director of logistics Sophia Shatas (10) to help with the organization process. At TEDx, “an independently organized Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference,” ap-

proximately 200 students from around the Bay Area will have the chance to listen to entrepreneurs share business advice and talk about their own experiences. “Our theme is ‘Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship,’ and we cater exclusively to high school and college students,” Brian said. “We want to take their business-minded assets and inspire them to make something out of that.” The event will feature four keynote speakers, all successful entrepreneurs:

Charles Huang, co-founder of the Guitar Hero games; Jeff Jordan, managing partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz; Jeff Rothschild, former Vice President of infrastructure engineering at Facebook; and Salim Ali, cofounder of LoYakk. “We wanted people that were experienced in entrepreneurship, experienced in technology, and able to communicate their ideas to students,” Neeraj said. The process of recruiting such distinguished speakers was one of the

more difficult parts of the preparations. “These people are very high-caliber people and they have a lot of stuff to do, so if we don’t have personal connections and are just emailing them, we get shot down 95 percent of the time,” Glenn said. “It takes a lot of effort and persistence and also just knowing the right people.” Along with listening to the keynote speakers, students will also have the opportunity to watch videos of

Remembering Sandy Padgett

Continued page 2

IN BRIEF Volleyball Senior Night Coached by Athletic Director Dan Molin, the Varsity boys volleyball team will host their senior night tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. at the Blackford gymnasium. The seniors being honored are Rohit Agarwal, Bobby Kahlon, David Lindars, Ryan Mui, Raghav Selvaraj, Joshua Tien, and Andre Tran. Following the ceremony, the team will play Homestead High School.


Class Council Elections

IMPARTING WISDOM Sandra Padgett speaks to juniors regarding the college admission process. Padgett passed away on Sunday, April 21 due to a shooting in her home in Redwood City.

samantha hoffman & meena chetty

Upper School Division Head Butch Keller shocked and saddened the community this Monday with the news that college counselor Sandra Padgett had died. After a brief meeting where the teachers were informed of the tragedy, Keller told the student body that Padgett passed away on Sunday after a shooting incident in her home in Redwood City. A solemn silence pervaded the entire gym following the announcement. As Harker’s first college counselor, Padgett had been a member of the faculty since the start of the Upper School in 1998. Students have expressed their grief about the community’s loss both online and in person throughout the


editor in chief & managing editor

BELOVED COUNSELOR Sandra Padgett (RIGHT) smiles along with the other college counselors. She had been a part of the faculty at the Upper School since its inception in 1998.

week. Prior to learning of Padgett’s passing, senior Lori Berenberg had brought flowers and a card to school on Monday to thank her college counselor for all of her help. “She changed my life. She is the reason that I am now going to my

dream school,” Lori said in a Facebook post on Monday. “She showed me how my talents are just as important as anyone else’s. She was a kind, smart, hilarious woman who has played a huge role in my life this past year and has inspired me to do things that I could’ve never imagined.”

In his community announcement email, Head of School Christopher Nikoloff offered several resources including grief counselors and organizations to help students cope. The email also stated that, to the school’s knowledge, “the circumstances around her death are currently uncertain.” Police have not identified motivation for the shooting. Nikoloff added that Padgett “was known for her deep knowledge of college counseling as well as her affection for the students.” A brief assembly was held Tuesday in lieu of college counseling class for Padgett’s junior mentees, who will now work with one of the three other college counselors: Kevin Lum Lung, Martin Walsh, or Nicole Burrell. Messages for Padgett’s family can be sent through Nicole Hall at nicoleh@

2013-2014 positions announced

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can vote for their chosen class council candidates today during lunch in the journalism room. After having listened to speeches on Tuesday and Wednesday, students will elect peers to fill the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Spirit Coordinator for each grade. The sophomores will also have the opportunity to vote for their two elected Honor Council representatives, while the third will be appointed by the faculty who serve on the council.

Spirit Rally Preparations Tomorrow marks the last day of Spirit Week. This year, the Spring Rally, which traditionally concludes the festivities, will feature a dance by each grade rather than a skit. Each class themed their choreography on a certain decade and genre of music and will perform their creations in front of the rest of the school tomorrow. In addition to wearing white to honor the seniors, be sure to don your class t-shirts and colors at the rally to show your spirit.


apoorva rangan opinion editor

Running on a ballot sparser than usual, all four members of 2014’s class council were elected last Friday to serve on next year’s ASB. The 2013-14 ASB President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer will be juniors Arjun Goyal, Sahithya Prakash, Vincent Lin, and Rohith Bhethanabotla, respectively. Sahithya, Vincent, and Rohith all ran unopposed, citing their group unity as a reason for the minimal number of candidates. “We communicate well,” Vincent said. “Our class believes in us.” “It’s really easy for us to get things done because we listen to each other,” Sahithya added.

Arjun and Sarah Bean (10) were the two candidates running for the office of ASB President. While campaigning was “almost nonexistent” in comparison to previous ASB elections, according to Vincent, Arjun still put effort into publicity videos and posters. “Having opposition definitely made the race more serious,” Arjun said, who focused on getting his message out to the underclassmen. “It made me get up and talk to people.” As a sophomore, Sarah admitted that it was a “stretch” to picture herself winning, though her motivations were strong. “I’ve been at Harker since first grade, so I wanted a way to give back to the community on a larger scale,” said Sarah, who plans to run for the office again next year. Due to the small number of candidates,

only 47 percent of the eligible freshmen, sophomores, and juniors voted. “I feel like fewer people would have showed up, since only the people really invested in the [office of ] president would vote,” Alana Shamlou (11) said. However, even without opposition, the candidates managed to offer several ideas for improving the upcoming school year through their campaign speeches. Proposed projects included the creation of a “student union” in the Edge complete with sofas and music, as well as implementing parking-space and ebook sharing programs. “With the class, you can just focus on one group of people,” Arjun said. “For ASB, you need to bring it for the whole school.”


Junior class council elected to Associated Student Body

ARM IN ARM Decked in similar outfits for Twin Day, freshmen Allison Wang and Emily Pan take part in a threelegged race during lunch on Tuesday, April 23.


AP SPREAD, 10-11




Recent bombing tragedy shocks communities jonathan ma & elizabeth edwards reporters

PICTURE BY Vjeran Pavic

When surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in nearby Watertown, Mass., Harker alumna Aditi Ashok ’12 was still on lockdown at Tufts University. “At first I was kind of skeptical but then once I realized it was legitimate I was overjoyed. We could hear people screaming outside the window- everyone was so happy!” said Ashok, who was listening to a police scanner. “Boston transitioned from a ghost town to full-scale pandemonium COMMUNITY SUPPORT Letters, flowers, and trinklets are left on the street to and happiness in the course of a honored the injured and deceased due to the bombing on April 15. The police few minutes. It was insane.” now has the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in custody. With three dead and more than 100 injured by the two and couldn’t really do much except Delaney Martin (10) was rebombs detonated near the race’s stay in the dorms or go to the dinlieved that they caught the bomber, finish line, a MIT police officer ing hall,” Ashok said. but she still wishes that the attack in adjacent Cambridge killed in The bombings stunned the could have been prevented in the a firefight, and the city of Boston world and the Harker community. first place. and its environs locked down, the The bombings were “a terrible “The fact that authorities will unfolding drama riveted the world thing to have happened, and it was spend ridiculous amounts of effort, and left people shaken far from the very unfortunate,” Aumesh Misra time, and money putting an entire scene of carnage. (9) said. city on lockdown, yet they can“Early Friday morning [we Like many Harker students, not spend an extra few minutes on received] a notification from Tufts Junior Christine Lee’s first reaction background checks to prevent these saying that the MBTA (The T, bus, was “worry for the people that were sort of horrific incidents appalls and subway) had been closed down hurt.” me,” Delaney said. and the school and the city were Students also likened the Meanwhile, Dzhokhar Tsaressentially on lockdown,” Ashok event to other recent incidents naev remains in a hospital, where said. of violence, like the 2012 school he has reportedly begun respondShe and her classmates, as well shooting in Newtown, Connectiing to investigators’ questions. as other Boston residents, were recut. quired to stay on lockdown for the “It was definitely a really sad majority of the day. The lockdown incident especially following after was lifted later Friday night. the Newtown shooting, since so “On Friday we basically many people were injured.” Daphne stayed inside/on campus all day Liang (9) said.

Future Problem Solvers tackle issue of littering at State Bowl


OCEAN SOUP Each team created a sculpture out of recyclable materials and shared it with the rest of the Future Problem Solvers. This year’s State Bowl was held at the Upper School, and Harker’s team of Pooja Shah (12), Ria Desai (12), Joy Li (12), and Nikhil Dilip (11) placed first for their booklet.

been at other schools for the past three years,” FPS co-president Maya Sathaye (12) said. “To encourage people to be more environmentally friendly, we labeled all trashcans, compost bins, and recycle bins with signs that told everyone what should go in each bin.” Members competed either as individuals or in teams of four to take the written portion of the test before performing a skit regarding their team’s action plan. This year, members tried to come up with solutions for a hypothetical situation involving

cleaning up waste in the ocean. “I think that Ocean Soup is a real problem that needs to be dealt with soon. It’s a great topic and I learned a lot from researching organizations and solutions,” FPS member Michael Zhao (9) said. “The FPS process allows people to think in a very different way than how we normal think.” Students and teams that placed in the top four of their respective divisions will be able to attend the International Conference in early June at Indiana University.


Students organize second annual TEDxHarker conference

previously recorded TED Talks and eat lunch in small mentoring groups led by entrepreneurs from around the area. According to Neeraj, the lunch arrangements allow for “valuable interactions” between the students and the entrepreneurs. These informal mentor sessions were first introduced at last year’s conference and were well received by attendees. One of the team’s primary goals was for attending students to recognize that entrepreneurship does not have to be limited by age. “Around the United States, there are very few or it’s non-existent that there’s an entrepreneurship conference geared towards high school students specifically,” Neel said. “Our belief is that entrepreneurship is for anyone of any age. We believe that it’s a misconception that [...] only after college can you start your own business” In an effort to improve the event from last year, the team is focusing on enhancing the content to better appeal to the audience.


It is lunchtime, but many students are not racing to the Edge for their precious meals. Instead, students line up outside the Journalism room to vote. Last Friday, sophomores voted for their three Honor Council representatives, who will serve on the Honor Council until 2015 when they graduate.

Honor is really important, and it’s something I want to share with the community and I feel that we can do even better than we do now.

Samyu Yagati (10)

This year, a total of seventeen people ran for Honor Council, a record-setting amount. Their speeches were split into two sessions, with nine candidates speaking during the first session and eight at a second session during the advisory period. Students read a 250-word speech about their plans to promote honor in the Harker community. “The administration and the faculty of Honor Council, myself


PLANNING Neeraj Baid (12), Neel Bhoopalam (12), Brian Tuan (11), and Sophia Shatas (10) work with Joe Rosenthal to plan the second annual TEDx conference. The event will take place on Saturday April 27.

“We had a larger crowd than we expected last year, so now we’re adapting,” Sophia said. “We wanted to improve the quality of the speakers and the interactions between the students and the mentors and speakers.” Because of the focus on entrepreneurship, the TEDx conference is part

of a growing business focus on campus. “I’m most looking forward to the continuation of the establishment of the Harker business and entrepreneurship program,” Rosenthal said. “I think it’s going to be a program that will be among the finest high school programs in the country.”

and Mr. Manjoine, decided it would be prudent to disallow some students from giving their speeches, because in our view, they didn’t properly address the prompt,” said Mark Brada, one of the advisors for the Honor Council. “Later, we were approached by the vice-president for the sophomore class, and she asked that we allow the other students to read their statements.” The preliminary voting took place last Friday during both lunch periods, at the same time as ASB elections. Out of the 183 sophomores, 109 voted, a little under sixty percent of the class. Students looked for someone who was honest and driven to make a difference in the community. “I would look for someone who can undoubtedly be trusted and seems like they have a plan to set about fixing the honor at our school,” said Matthew Huang (10). The top eight candidates were selected from the initial list: sophomores Shreya Basu, Billy Bloomquist, Neil Movva, Apoorva Rangan, Sahana Rangarajan, Vivek Sriram, Vedant Thyagaraj, and Samyu Yagati. “Personally, honor is really important, and it’s something I want to share with the community and I feel that we can do even better than we do now,” Samyu said. The second round of voting will be during long lunch today, when sophomores will vote for both their Class and Honor Council representatives.

Students travel to Anaheim for DECA conference


news editor


karen tu

emily lin

emily chu Harker hosted the Future Problem Solvers (FPS) State Bowl, themed “Ocean Plastic Soup,” at the Upper School campus this past weekend, sending a total of 30 Upper School student teams to the competition. The Upper Division team of Ria Desai (12), Pooja Shah (12), Joy Li (12), and Nikhil Dilip (11) won first place for their booklet and is eligible to compete in the International Conference. “The feedback from attendees is that the State Bowl was positive in terms of how organized it was, the beautiful facilities, the fantastic support from the Harker volunteer parents, and fun activities throughout the day,” FPS advisor and computer science teacher Susan King said. Upper School FPS officers, along with the two other FPS Middle School social science teacher Cyrus Merrill and Middle School mathematics teacher Margaret Huntley, organized the activities and decorated the campus in preparation for the 20 visiting schools. “I was really excited to have the State Bowl at our school, since it’s

Honor council election

Nineteen HBC (Harker Business Club) students travelled to Anaheim on April 24-27 to present business plans and engage in leadership workshops at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC). On Wednesday, the first day of the conference, competitors arrived and attended the Grand Opening Session. A “DECA Day” was also held at Universal Studios Hollywood to allow students to participate in recreational activities before the competitions commenced. Because the students are staying at the Disneyland hotel, they could also visit the theme park when there was downtime. Today the testing portions of competitive events will be completed, and the preliminary oral presentations are held. Finalists who perform well during Friday’s preliminary events will qualify to compete in the Final Competition on Saturday. The conference will close with a Grand Awards Session to recognize students who achieved high rankings in the Final Competition. Leadership workshops and seminars are held throughout the conference for students who attend ICDC through an alternative non-competitive track. Three slots were offered at the Upper School for students who did not qualify competitively but were interested in attending ICDC for senior management, leadership, and chapter development. Freshman Sophia Luo, who is Secretary and Treasurer of the Silicon Valley DECA District Action Team, will be attending ICDC through the leadership track. “I want to improve my leadership skills so that I can be a more well rounded person later and meet new people while learning,” she said. HBC Vice President Andre Jia (12) will be attending ICDC for his third consecutive year. “My favorite part is the vast variety of people that attend - meeting new people from around the world [and] bonding with [those] within our state,” he said. “ICDC is where the crème de la crème of DECA come to meet, and being able to network and connect with these individuals is truly what ICDC is all about.” To qualify competitively for ICDC, students had to place in the

top four of a written or a role-play event at the States Career Development Conference (SCDC) in early March. In previous years, California participants had to place in the top three for written events, but an extra spot was added this year due to the substantial expansion of California’s

ICDC is where the crème de la crème of DECA come to meet, and being able to network and connect with these individuals is truly what ICDC is all about.”

Boston bombing’s ripple effects


April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Andre Jia (12), HBC Vice President

DECA branch. After the state conference, competitors who qualified for ICDC were given a week to decide whether or not they would attend the conference in April. If a top-4 qualifying team chose not to attend ICDC, their spot would be available for other competitors who did not place in the top four. This made it possible for teams to attend ICDC even if they hadn’t originally qualified by being bumped up in rank to fill the empty spots. Several Upper School students opted not to compete at ICDC due to external circumstances that conflicted with the conference. If one or more members of a team chose not to attend ICDC, the other students on the team were still allowed to attend ICDC as long as at least one original member of the group was present. Participants could choose to either compete without some of their original partners or choose new partner(s) to team with. ICDC is the last DECA conference that will be held during the 2012-2013 school year.

April 25, 2013 the Winged Post



Spirit Week jumpstarts with sleeping bag and three-legged races reporter

The last months of every school year are filled with stress from SATs, APs, and finals and anticipation of summer vacation. Spirit Week at the end of April provides an ideal way for students to relax during a hectic period. This year’s spirit days are Pajama Day, Twin Day, Mathletes and Athletes Day, “Would you be my friend if I wore this every day” Day, and Class T-shirt Day. During Wednesday long lunch, Spirit Club will host a Powderpuff football game where girls play football and boys act as cheerleaders. Other spirit activities will be dispersed through the week. Students anticipated dressing up with a relaxed dress code. “I am excited [to wear] shirts that are not collared,” Gaurav Kumar (11) said. Unique to this year, there is no central theme with activities planned around it, but rather, Spirit Club chose a variety of events that all students would enjoy. In addition, there will be a dance competition rather than a skit competition. “I heard a lot of feedback and a lot of the dancers enjoy doing the

dance and but not the skit because they are not actors,” said Andre Tran, President of the Spirit Club. So far, the seniors are in first place, followed by the juniors, sophomores and freshmen. Spirit Week Preparations Each class began to prepare for spirit week far in advance with hopes of earning a first place. Freshman Spirit Coordinator Eesha Chona (9) led her class in spirit preparations over spring break. “We’re hoping for a comeback from Homecoming week and that’s what we’ll get!” she said. “I think overall our spirit has improved ten times [since] November and that’s really really great!” With dance teacher Karl Kuehn as an advisor, the freshman class is utilizing its resources to create a dance routine. “We have everyone in one part to show our unity!” Eesha said. Kenneth Zhang (11), Junior Spirit Coordinator, described the junior class preparations. “We’ve been preparing hard!” Kenny said. “We’ve decided to dedicate certain juniors to take charge of certain

events so we could avoid the situation of ‘too many cooks’ while still allowing the class to decide how they want to see things.” First Two Days of Spirit Week Recap Spirit week began with Monday’s Pajama Day, on which most of the students and many teachers sported their sleepwear. Pajama day is held each year in honor of Dr. Cheryl Cavanaugh, a Harker teacher who passed away due to pancreatic cancer. “It was her favorite spirit day. She used to get really excited about it and dress up every year. It was a big deal to her,” Kerry Enzensperger, Director of Upper School Community Service and Student Activities Coordinator. During both lunches, Spirit Club held a sleeping bag race in the gym. Relay teams of six had to drag one member of the team in a sleeping bag through cones and back to the next pair. The seniors won during sixth lunch. On Tuesday, students dressed up as twins, triplets, or larger groups with matching outfits. A three-legged race was held during each lunch; the seniors won during fifth lunch and the juniors won during sixth lunch.


monica thukral

GET READY, GET SET, GO! (TOP) Seniors Sarina Vij and Sylvie Dobrota are tied together at the thighs as they struggle to maintiain the lead in the three-legged race. (LEFT) Justin Gerald (12) and Simon Orr (12) reach for the midway point in the three-legged race that took place during lunch on Tuesday. (RIGHT) Race participants line up at the start for the event.

Symposium: Students and professors share their passion for research with the community more about it and immune dysfunction.” For the second keynote, the symposium invited Dr. David Baltimore, a Nobel Laureate in Physiology and CalTech Biology professor, to speak about using genes in humans to fight viruses. “It was a little bit of a let down compared to what they hyped it up as. I think he misjudged the intelligence level of Harker students, so I think he dumbed it down too much,” Andy Wang (11) said. The symposium included students sharing their interesting science experiments, showcasing heat sensitive pads, cones that rolled up a slope, and paintings that could be made by mixing colors with shaving cream. At the same time, students presented PowerPoint presentations of science experiments they performed and research they had done. “Given all the hard work that we put into our research, we thought that it would benefit the student community, both in showing them what we have done and what can be done, and also encourage further participation in such events,” Chris Fu, (11) a pre-

senter, said. The students and teachers attending appreciated the fun of the science products as well as the scientific explanations the presenters, who included both Upper and Middle School students, gave for why the experiments worked. “I had never seen the chemistry magic show, and Brandon [Stoll], who’s coming here next year in ninth grade – chemistry’s his favorite subject – came here to see that,” math teacher Bradley Stoll said. “I think it’s a great idea to have students here showcasing their work.” Outside companies such as Google came to the symposium to display their technology related products and explain how their inRAINING SUNSHINE First Lego League team Raining Sunshine presented its novations can help students. “We have an online research creation at the Symposium. Many outside groups and companies presented their ideas to students and parents. team tool [at SurfMark], where people can capture, organize, and collabAfterwards, students presented ence research and cap off a good year,” orate with online research whenever research on posters arranged around Areej Hassan (11) said. they are writing a research paper. One the gym. They described their projects At the end of the day, a panel, inof our partner’s sons goes here, and to parents, teachers, and students in- cluding teachers, parents, and students, they invited us because Harker is all terested in the projects. was held to talk about the overall role about research, and we believe we have “My project is about things that of the Upper School’s science research one of the best research tools,” Surf- affect C. elegans, the small worms. This program. Mark employee Patrick Carroll said. is a good way for me to present my sci-


TalonWP EIT Parents, teachers, and students from all grades came to the Upper School to listen to budding scientists present their research projects at the Upper School symposium on Saturday, April 13. The symposium included two keynote speakers, the first of whom was Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon, the Elliot Assistant Professor of Biology at Hampden-Sydney College. He began his speech by talking about being a high school and college student-athlete and the benefits playing basketball provided him, before discussing the cancer research he is currently working on. “When I was five years old, my grandmother passed away from multiple myeloma, actually a different cancer from what I’m working on. But, from a very early age, I saw her awful battle, and I thought it would be great to have a cure for cancer. So, as I got interested in science, that was always at the forefront of my thoughts,” he said. “There are always new questions to ask, so I want to continue on this path of cancer research and understanding

Final orchestra concert of the year

Orchestras from three campuses unite on stage for Spring Concert kavya ramakrishnan & jonathan ma

vivek bharadwaj



The Lower, Middle, and Upper School orchestras performed at the Mexican Heritage Theater on April 12 in the Spring Concert, which was bittersweet for seniors, since it was their last concert at Harker. The Lower School orchestra was conducted by Toni Woodruff and Louis Hoffman. David Hart conducted the middle school orchestras along with guest conductor Paul Woodruff, while the Upper School orchestra was conducted by Christopher Florio. The orchestras played a variety of music from many different genres. For example, pieces played included the following: the Lower School Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; the sixth grade strings played the song “Clocks,” written by Coldplay; the grade 7-8 orchestra played a selection from The Lord of the Rings; and the Upper School Orchestra played “Orpheus in the Underworld.” The Upper School orchestra spent the second semester practicing its pieces in preparation for this Spring Concert. Florio said that they have become much better since their January performance, the Winter Concert. “We’ve improved a lot; [the orchestra members are] a lot more confident; everyone knows each other much better, which helps a lot,” Florio said. “There’s much more of a sense of community.” Florio also said that he liked seeing orchestras from all three


Music Honor Society plays for the elderly

STRINGING ALONG Upper School’s orchestra, directed by Christopher Florio, shares the stage with Lower and Middle school orchestras for the Spring Concert. Seniors took a final bow on the Mexican Heritage Theater stage with their fellow Upper School musicians for their last Harker performance.

campuses performing together in one concert, and audience member Adrienne Mendel (12) agreed. “I like to see the progression of the music: how the elementary school kids play easier pieces and the high school kids play more intricate pieces,” she said. “It was cool to see how the students grow as musicians.” Freshman Kevin Ke, who plays the violin for the Upper School orchestra, also said that he thought that all three orchestras performing together made the concert more interesting. “[The concert is] fun; it wouldn’t be as good if it was just the high

school [orchestra]. It creates a larger show with more variety,” Kevin said. The Spring Concert was especially significant for the current seniors in the Upper School Orchestra because it was their last concert as Upper School students before they moved on to college and beyond. “I’m mostly feeling sad,” Katherine Woodruff, a senior who plays the clarinet for the Upper School Orchestra, said. “I’ve been here since I was five and this is the last time I’ll ever play with Mr. Florio.” The concert was the last performance by the Upper School orchestra this year.

reporter The 90 Upper School members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society combine their love of music with community service by performing for charity, simultaneously encouraging musical creativity and bringing joy to others. The Upper School chapter of Tri-M (Modern Music Masters) allows students to cultivate their passion for music and earn community service hours. This year, members performed at a home for the elderly in the Bay Area, and according to members, the senior citizens appreciated Tri-M’s performance. “It was really nice to see [the seniors] smiling and telling us how good we are. They’re all super happy,” Tri-M member Victoria Ding (9) said. The Upper School’s chapter has few requirements for induction and has shown increased participation in the past year, according to Tri-M secretary Sahana Rangarajan (10). She believes Tri-M can make a positive difference in people’s lives. “Music can be very invigorating, yet calming and healing. By spreading music to others who might have an otherwise uneventful daily life at the moment, we would like to instill some hope and joy in them,” said Sahana. But Tri-M also serves as a venue for students to express themselves by experimenting with unique arrangements of music. The club promotes all genres of music, but the members commonly play instrumental classical music. “I believe our performances carry significant meaning. We encourage


darian edvalson

members to arrange their favorite pop songs for instruments or sing with a live accompaniment,” said Dennis Moon (11), the president of the Upper School’s Tri-M chapter. Next year, the chapter hopes to turn to another form of community service: mentoring younger music students. “We’re going to have a music mentorship program between the Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School. The older high school kids are going to, maybe once a week, meet with the Lower School kids and helping them with their music,” Jason Jeong (10) said, vice-president of the chapter. Dennis, Sahana, and Jason hope to increase the events and participation in Tri-M next year. The society has no upcoming events due to senior AP testing but hopes to have a productive year starting next fall.



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

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

Editor in Chief

Samantha Hoffman

EIC in Training & Tech Editor Nikhil Dilip

Managing Editor Meena Chetty

Copy Editors

Kacey Fang & Samar Malik

News Editor

EDITORIAL THE OFFICIAL OPINION OF THE WINGED POST It’s crunch time. Go to the Shah office and look at the lengthy scrolls of students requesting their grade reports, and it’s easy to see that as the year comes to a close, our classes begin to consume our time and our motivation at everhigher rates. At this time of year, it’s important to remember that you are more than your grade. And the administration is trying to move us away from a GPA-obsessed culture by removing the end-ofyear awards assembly and replacing it with three non-academic awards received by multiple students per grade. Adding the non-academic awards is a wonderful step. The Love of Learning, Leadership, and Mission of the School awards are ways of recognizing students for the other aspects of their education, which should be applauded and implemented. But that’s where we as an editorial board disagreed. We just don’t share a consensus on the idea of getting rid of academic awards, so we’re presenting two sides of the issue. Let us know what you think at!

Apoorva Rangan

Features Editor Trisha Jani

Lifestyle Editor Mercedes Chien

Global Editor

Sheridan Tobin

Sports Editor Sonia Sidhu

Business Editor Sindhu Ravuri


Mariah Bush Dr. Chris Vaughan

TalonWP Editor in Chief Nayeon Kim

TalonWP Contributors Alyssa Amick

Vasudha Rengarajan

Darian Edvalson

Shannon Su

Juhi Gupta

Allison Sun


Anishka Agarwal

Manthra Panchapakesan

Vivek Bharadwaj

Roshni Pankhaniya

Tiara Bhatacharya

Kavya Ramakrishnan

Stephanie Chen

Anokhi Saklecha

Elizabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Siegel

Apurva Gorti

Natalie Simonian

Ashwini Iyer

Mariam Sulakian

Rahul Jayaraman

Monica Thukral

Vineet Kosaraju

Vedant Thyagaraj

Shay Lari-Hosain

Karen Tu

Emily Lin

Dora Tzeng

Jonathan Ma

Stanley Zhao

Priscilla Pan

Visit The Winged Post Online at Follow us on Twitter 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 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 it is distributed free of cost to students.

academic awards wrongfully stimulate competition

Academic awards recognize the achievements of only a few of the of the exceptionally gifted students on campus. How can honoring only a select few out of the entire sea of our brilliant school population properly reflect everyone’s accomplishments? Instead of encouraging and motivating students, these awards generate excessive competition and fail to reward everyone who is worthy. Although eliminating these awards may not be a perfect solution, it is important that we remember that grades should not be our sole focus. As cliché as it sounds, we should be motivated by our own desire to learn, instead of by the need to receive a high grade or award. And getting rid of academic awards sends the right message. Each one of us has the right to define our own success without the arbitrary nature of awards. We deserve to reach our full potential without having departments tell us what kind of person or work ethic defines success. We don’t need academic awards to set a standard or deem others as more successful than ourselves.

department awards rightfully recognize excellence Personal growth is often stimulated by competition; in fact, the word “competition” is closely related to “competence.” The people who won academic awards had clearly reached a level of competence and deserved to be recognized as such. We agree that there was a level of subjectivity to the academic awards process. It’s hard to imagine a department making a holistic decision about a student that they hadn’t all taught. That isn’t to say that the people who did get the awards were undeserving: most of the time, they were paragons of the model work ethic. The assembly simply isn’t long enough to acknowledge the work of every deserving student. But that isn’t an excuse to snub the hardworking students who do get recognized. Wouldn’t a better alternative be to expand the number of academic awards? If there are six students who truly deserve a department award, then let them have it! Let the quantity of awards be flexible to allow for a broader commendation of quality.

Keeping options open allows for variety sheridan tobin

Emily Chu

Opinion Editor


New awards system: progressive or ineffective?

global editor With college decisions and career paths being two of the most common topics of conversation on campus, it seems only fitting, and yet slightly terrifying, that I have come to the daunting realization that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. My lower school self was absolutely certain that I was going to be a marine biologist. This, however, didn’t last long and was replaced by brief stints favoring becoming a singer and then a teacher. Neither of those stuck, leaving me, once again, confused. Don’t get me wrong. I do have passions, but I have yet to discover the one thing I can see myself pursuing for the rest of my life. I know that I want to be happy, have a positive impact on others, and be my own

con fessions the

harm the way we look at our school

version of a success, but unfortunately for me, that doesn’t exactly narrow my search, as there are a plethora of careers that fall into that category. Constantly hearing my peers talk about what they hope to pursue in college, dreams that they’ve had, oftentimes since they could barely even walk, doesn’t ease my worries either. I have friends who want to become doctors, actors, and scientists, and it seems like almost everyone I know has some precisely crafted plan for the rest of his or her life. Fortunately, the more I’ve pondered my predicament, the more I’ve started to accept the fact that maybe my utter confusion is okay after all. I definitely still do envy the people who are so clearly passionate about one particular subject, but I can’t help but feel like maybe they’re missing out. I understand how find-

harker confessions we confess there are differing opinions!

Walking around campus, I’ve heard the business editor words “Harker Confessions” several times, listening to my peers discuss amidst roaring laughter how they want to post yet another fatuous statement for a couple of laughs. A confession is a sincere, intimate revelation about an individual’s private life. It’s an admission that requires utmost courage and maturity to make and relies on a foundation of support from everyone surrounding the confessor. But on the Harker Confessions web page, the core definition of confessions itself is utterly challenged, not to mention disrespected. Despite the heavy weight that several of these posts have carried with them, ranging from sexual assault to deep personal insecurities, I sometimes found myself reading unsettling comments and responses from our own comrades that trivialize or mock the admission or sentiment. And if we are just going to ridicule or neglect them on a public forum, then why have this page at all? In addition to demeaning other impactful confessions on this page, Harker Confessions ultimately degrades our school’s reputation, which we have collectively worked so hard to maintain. Personally, I felt repulsed when I heard of the unspeakable acts committed in the water fountains, and, apparently, on top of the Dobbins roof. The confessions make you see our campus differently. They make you uncomfortable being in the place that should encourage openness with each other. What fame or pride are we seeking by becoming comedians whose main target of derision is our own school? By releasing such statements out on a website as undeniably popular and integral as Facebook, we are gradually transforming the name of honor, unity, and loyalty that automatically arises with the sound of our school. As a cohesive community of peers, we all deserve a space where we can reach out to each other and feel mutually safe, expressive, and simply, well, free. Free to not worry about what other schools think of us. It’s still valid to understand and appreciate the motivations of the people who write on the page. We all hope to find solace and comfort within the very people who we see walking our campus every day, the very people who must share our experiences. But judging from some of the comments on Harker Confessions, that may be too much to ask. We would be better off contacting counselors or adults who know what they’re talking about, instead of seeking the words of strangers. Harker Confessions doesn’t let us get to the root of the cause. We’re just popping the pimple. We’re not changing our diet and refraining from chocolate or seeking the advice of a dermatologist. I thoroughly agree that we should all be able to voice our opinions, sentiments, and experiences to each other on a forum like Harker Confessions, which started with pure intentions. But the page has turned into something malicious that prevents us from trusting our community.

sindhu ravuri

ing a perfect path can be love at first sight, but it’s also important to avoid blinding yourself from all other opportunities that may confront you. What if the goal you set has become more of a habit than a dream? What if your true passion is still out there, unbeknownst to you? I realize now that this is probably the best possible path for me. Because I’ve never been focused on one ultimate goal, I’ve discovered and come to love things I may have otherwise disregarded. Despite this revelation, while I was recently touring colleges, I was still profoundly reassured when I discovered that at many undergraduate universities, the majority of freshmen matriculates with an undeclared major. Adding a few more years to the ticking time bomb that is my search for the path I’m truly passionate

about was comforting, for about ten minutes. I soon remembered that although I may have extended my deadline, I’m still not any closer to my desired outcome. All things considered, I now face the next three to four years with another goal: to step out of my comfort zone, to take classes I may have previously dismissed, and to experience new things I may have never even imagined. Now, even though it feels like I don’t know what I’m searching for, I can rest assured, knowing that the best is yet to come. Had I been a kid who had decided my life’s plan at age three, I might have saved myself from my current state of confusion, but I also might have missed out on what I know is still to come. I may have chosen a longer path, but I’m glad I did.

pro fessions the

are issues we need to be aware of

It’s late at night. shay lari-hosain You take a break from reporter studying and log on to Facebook, the glare of the laptop screen shining on your face as you scroll through your news feed. Suddenly, one post captures your attention. It’s another post on Harker Confessions, the controversial new Facebook page. This situation is now a familiar one to students with a Facebook account; the page has garnered much attention, some of it negative, but I believe Harker Confessions is not harmful to our school community; rather, it helps out students in tough situations. Our society teaches us to be self-reliant and self-sufficient, making it difficult to share our troubles. The anonymity of posts makes the page an outlet for those going through stressful times to tell their stories without the fear and unease of being judged by their peers. While it may not be nearly as beneficial as a discussion with a parent or session with a counselor, speaking out is the first step for many people that helps them find the courage to talk. Without submitting a confession to the page, even anonymously, and viewing all the positive replies flooding in, someone in distress may not ever seek help. And yes, the submissions are actually anonymous. Confessions are submitted through a secure online service called SurveyMonkey and are not traceable. Sure, anything posted on public Facebook pages will most likely be around for all to see a month, a year, or a decade later. But does it really matter to a student posting about the burden of five APs or college applications? Students are not confessing to heinous crimes; they are merely communicating their feelings. All that will remain regarding the information of the poster will be “Harker Confessions.” For anyone trying to pinpoint the identity of the poster, that narrows it down to, well, about 700 people. Good luck. We always need to be vigilant with what we post; repercussions for mistakes are large. I agree that any flagrant, libelous, or just plain vulgar sentiments should not be posted at all. These are detrimental to the school’s reputation and have absolutely no point. Humor is a way to lighten the mood on the page, but it doesn’t have to be crude. As the moderators of the page posted themselves, “keep it civil, keep it clean.” But students sharing their honest feelings? Even if it does slightly tarnish the schools’ reputation, isn’t the students’ well-being a higher priority? The responses on posts let people know they’re not alone in their struggles. We need to understand that Harker Confessions is, er, a confessions page; it needs to be realized that the majority of the posts portray solely the negative sides of Harker. I hardly think other schools’ confessions pages would be much more uplifting. What is uplifting is the almost immediate outpouring of genuine support on the darkest of posts. I don’t know about you, but that would make me feel pretty good.


apoorva rangan opinion editor I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Still, running is a part of my legacy. My dad’s been running long-distance since college, and though the genes clearly didn’t get passed on to me, protein bars and Gatorade have always been in full stock at my house. Long-distance runners are a special breed. They’re wiry and wily, and they’ve spent years getting to know their bodies and how they work at peak performance. As one of those runners, my dad is fast. Years of training have made him

fast and strong enough to run a marathon in three hours and thirty minutes, the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. And as such, the marathon has punctuated my life for the past three years. As one of the most prestigious races in the world, it was an honor for my dad to register three years in a row. (To me, it served as an inconvenient day-trip that shipped my dad off to the East Coast for a weekend.) But I had to admire his fortitude. He’s repeatedly told me that running is more of a brain game than a physical one, more akin to mental chess than physical stress. Unfortunately, even if the marathoners were thinking four steps ahead of their fatigue, none of them could have predicted the terror that the Tsarnaev brothers wreaked last Monday. Boston’s over 3000 miles away, but the explosions felt too close to home.



The bombing, at which my dad was luckily not present, elicited several metaphysical questions in my mind. He qualified for the marathon again this year, was about to register, and decided not to on a whim. Was it fate that he should have watched the chaos on television instead of living it out himself ? Should I count my lucky stars? That’s the same question that people have been asking for years. Do coincidences exist? It’s hard, probably impossible, to determine logically one way or another. Though coincidences may not exist, it certainly feels like they do. As NPR called them on This American Life, coincidences are often an answer to our subconscious prayers. Sarah Koenig, the narrator of the show, called a coincidence “a surprising concurrence of events, perceived as meaningfully related, with no apparent causal connection. It’s that middle part, ‘meaningfully re-

Sahiti Avula (10)

“They should be approachable and easy to talk to.”

Alexandra Rosenboom, English Teacher

juhi gupta

TalonWP video/photo editor To complete the Certificate requirement of teching a production (and to delve deeper into the mystical and arcane world of theater), I signed up to be on stage crew for this year’s spring musical Oklahoma! From April 12th to April 21st, I immersed myself in the elusive thespian milieu that is so often speculated upon. It’s easier said than done. Although I didn’t try as hard as I could have to integrate with the cast, it was surprisingly simple to assimilate into the social sphere of the crew -- if you could even call it that. It was more an eccentric

amalgam of completely different people, thrown together with one common goal: making the production aesthetically astounding. Even through my unfamiliarity with technical theater, crewing was an exhilarating escapade into a formerly unknown realm. I became good friends with some incisive and visionary people I’d never have guessed I’d have things in common with. In these misfits, I stumbled upon the forgotten values of piercing honesty and refreshingly comforting nihilism. Within a couple days, we were talking about the universe, existential crises and the validity of sex changes, high school stereotypes and the barbarity of mass homicide. Add those to a daily presummer sunset (with a shred of teenage angst) and you’ve got the definition of an Arcadian adolescent paradise. We all started off with invisible masks, keeping us hidden, vague, and aloof. It only took a couple bizarre, shared experiences, though, to create a bond -- one that shattered the facades we’d worked so hard to construct. And

wp W P LETTER TO THE EDITOR “So, tell me: if you could do anything after graduating from Harker, what would it be?” Ms. Padgett shut her door as I continued to nibble at my lip, still unable to envision that there could even be life beyond 500 Saratoga. ‘You can tell me anything,” she said, as we continued to sit in silence. “This isn’t about your parents. This is about you.” And so, I told her everything. I told her about not feeling smart enough. I told her about the first week of English class freshman year, when the girl sitting next to me stole a glance at the grade on my test and smirked in my face. I told her about always getting detention for breaking the dress code. “Will I still get into college, Ms. Padgett?” I whispered, as if the answer she ut-

lated,’ that people seem to get stuck on, because when events line up just so, you can’t help it. You can’t help but wonder if there’s a message in that.” The coincidence of my dad skipping the marathon this year was substantial to me. It had an impact on my life that made me feel grateful for my dad more than I had for a long time. And I do wonder if there’s a message in that. You can’t help but wonder if there’s some metaphysical connective tissue that flexes and bends its fingers together to shape your life when your family is intact after a tragedy like last Monday, when the outcome could have been so different. Then again, it’s not valid to let the hypothetical universal puppetmaster control our actions. Next year, my dad will probably go to Boston again, and I’ll support all 26.2 miles of it.

“When they know the school and what’s best for it.”

“They should also be reliable, responsible, “Somebody who punctual, and caring.” actually has time to be Kayla Kim (9) committed to the job.”


April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

tered would loudly smack me in the face. Sometimes, her honest answers did feel like a wet slap on the cheek. For many Harker students, Ms. Padgett was privy to both our insecurities and dreams. She knew which classes we had struggled in. She knew if we were good at meeting deadlines—that is, which of us were brilliant procrastinators and which of us color-coded our planners. Most importantly, Ms. Padgett, who understood our vulnerabilities all too well, knew that the number of acceptance letters we received had nothing to do with our self-worth as individuals, as friends, as students, and as sons and daughters. None of us really believed that in high school, though. We still gawked over the college decisions

shortening this distance that we put between ourselves and other people created an opportunity for complete solace. I woke up Sunday afternoon convinced that the entire past week had been a dream. Seeing a text about the cast party the previous night, I came to the startling realization that the two separate realities I’d been in were, in fact, the same. 7 AM to 3 PM and 4 PM to 10 PM every day fell in different weather, different company, and a different location, but they were always within the same 24 hours. It’s been a few days but I still find it hard to connect faces: the people I see in my classes or in the hallways don’t seem like the same people that were part of rice grain sweeping, car climbing, or constant Starbucks drinking. Someone from the show will materialize in front of me and it takes a second to realize that I know their name and that we’re friends now. I can’t imagine how I shuffled between these two wildly different planets every day the same way cast and crew do; taking a week-long trip was unset-

Karan Kurbur (11)

“The ability to do something and take action, I suppose.”

Tyler Yeats (12)

tling enough. Despite my derealized sense of joy, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a relatively incompetent crew member. It took me about three days before I realized the difference between “striking” and “spiking,” and downstage scene shifts make me so anxious I have to delegate them to freshmen. (Not to mention my outspoken opposition to dressing up in farmhand costumes.) In the end, though, it didn’t matter that we were lazy and generally inefficient, or that, in the words of our stage manager, it took us “three minutes to do anything that [he] said was urgent.” What was important was jumping headfirst into a new experience, without any qualms about deficiencies or judgment. At the end of each show, we as the more brazen members of the crew would stand on the wings, singing and dancing (more like screaming and flailing) to the last song: “...and when we saa-ay YEOW! Ay-yip-ayo-ee-ay! We’re only sayin’ you’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma: Oklahoma, OK!”

From Noel Duan (‘09): Remembering Ms. Padgett map printed in The Winged Post. We barely knew anything about Ms. Padgett, even as we rambled on for hours about ourselves. She vouched for our futures while we complained—or not so humbly bragged—about our SAT scores. Ms. Padgett was known for her blunt honesty—an honesty that isn’t always appreciated with adolescents. As a snotty 17-year-old, I remember leaving her office and thinking, “Why doesn’t Ms. Padgett think I’m the shit? Why doesn’t she believe in me? Why doesn’t she understand that my life is over if I don’t get into XYZ school?” And then, last night, as I drank champagne with my graduating class at Columbia, it occurred to me: Ms. Padgett was blunt to the point that it sometimes hurt—not because she thought that we were going nowhere in life, but because she knew, through her years of being

alive, that we were going places because of the people who supported and nurtured us. To the Harker Class of 2013: You’re going to feel special for graduating from Harker—but as you walk down the stage with cap and gown, take a moment to remember the support system that got you up there. Thank your parents. Thank your teachers. Thank your college counselors. Thank your mentors. I hate to break it to you right before your big day, but you got lucky—you are “special” because of the people sitting at your graduation. Most of your future classmates in college can only dream of the opportunities— and support—you have at Harker. Rest in peace, Ms. Padgett. The Harker Class of 2009 is donning cap and gown for the second time this May—and many of us have you to thank for that.


Finding strength together samantha hoffman editor in chief Seventh period on Monday found me in my AP English Literature class finishing up a discussion of Robert Frost’s poetry. With around a minute left in the period, the beep proceeding the bell sounded from the phone, triggering our conditioned response of packing up our belongings. We all expected a cheery pop song, courtesy of the Spirit Club, to play next; what blared from the speakers instead stopped us all cold. “All students and faculty are to report to the gym for a meeting at 2:45.” I looked around at my all-senior classmates, and a quick glance at their faces confirmed that I wasn’t the only one whose heart had sunk into her stomach, whose spine was racked with chills, and whose mind had instantly flashed back to last winter. We knew something had gone wrong; the only question was what it was. Everyone filed into the gym shortly thereafter, moving quickly to their friends and performing mental headcounts. Speculation abounded, but each new posited scenario and each passing minute only worsened the collective anxiety. Finally, Upper School Division Head Butch Keller took the stage, and a deep, tense silence filled the room. With a quiet solemnity, he delivered the news that Sandy Padgett had died the night before as a result of a shooting incident, then said that school was to be dismissed for the day. An early school dismissal would usually be followed with a loud, boisterous departure en masse, but an eternity passed before anyone moved or spoke. People began to stand, but only to hug each other at first, as no words could fully express the tempest of emotions swelling within us. Silently, we filed out of the gym and went our separate ways, trying to absorb what we had just been told. I went back to the journalism room and pulled out our two remembrance articles from last year. As I sat there staring at the newsprint, I realized that no matter how many times we experience loss, coping with it never gets easier. We can spend hours trying to find an explanation, a motivation, anything to rationalize our loss, as though finding one would somehow provide a source of comfort. Sadly, there often are no answers to our questions, and we are thus left lost, confused, and hurting. So if we can never truly reach resolution, how, then, are we supposed to carry on? The answer lies in the stalwart bonds of our community. Our instincts tell us to find solace in our friends because only by comforting each other can we as a community begin the healing process, painful though it might be. From our friends, we see that the love and hope that seems to have been drained from the world still lives on in our memories and our shared experiences. Advice-giving isn’t something we need to take on alone, however; professional counselors are available to help us learn how to better understand our emotions and how to deal with them, too, which can only help us with the grieving process. The events of the past two weeks may have many of us believing in George Gerbner’s “Mean world syndrome,” or that our exposure to violence makes us believe that the world has become increasingly more dangerous. Instead of focusing solely on the violence, however, we must endeavor to remember the powerful, benevolent influence people like Ms. Padgett had on our lives and draw peace from those memories.


Features Students showcase Oklahoma! for Spring Musical April 25, 2013

the Winged Post

meena chetty & apurva gorti


managing editor & reporter Square dancing, cowboy hats, and the box social? Welcome to Oklahoma! Featuring an ensemble cast from the Upper School as well as a few Lower School students, this year’s Spring Musical offered a combination of comedy, romance, and conflict from April 18-20. Director Laura Lang-Ree chose Oklahoma! because it provided a contrast in musical style to school musicals of past few years. “ T h e current class of 2013 was in Les Miserables, which was s sung u n g

through light opera, and then they were in Pippin, which was funky and rock and roll and very modern, and The Drowsy Chaperone was a little strange in the sense that it was modern and old fashioned,” she said. “Oklahoma! Oklahoma! is a traditional older musical. It requires some significant acting. It’s very dark even though there’s a lot of fun in the show itself. And we have some wonderful performers who could handle that challenge.” Lang-Ree emphasized that a main goal of the musical was to depict each character uniquely and to portray the complexity of relationships between characters. “ I think w h e n you first hear O k l a h o m a ! , you don’t know what it is. You think it’s kind of a yeehaw kick-your-feet-up-in-the-air kind of dumb show musical,” she said. “It’s very evident from the very beginning of the play the depth and richness of the people forming this land and their relationships. I hope the audience walks away singing some great songs and also really moved and touched by the intensity of the love triangle and the depth of the sadness of the character Judd and how he was misunderstood.” Kevin Moss (11) played the role of Will Parker, a “rough and tumble cowboy.” “Oklahoma! is from a different period. You really have to get engaged with the time period and embrace what life was like in like the 1850s,” he said. For Kevin, one of the main challenges was building his accent. The performers worked with a voice coach to emulate western diction in the 1800s. They also learned about square dancing from a special

Flat Abs by Prom

Strength with a side of abs

choreographer. Meanwhile, Avinash Nayak (11) found the responsibility of “figuring out [his] role” to be the hardest aspect of the musical experience. “I have a fair amount of lines, but I don’t have as many lines as some of the main characters. The thing that most people don’t realize is that if you have more lines, it’s easier to adapt to your character because you know better what to say,” he said. “If you have fewer lines, you have to create a character for yourself.” Avinash played Slim, a guiding figure to Curly, the protagonist. “[Slim’s] personality is pretty general, but it’s kind of like passionately encouraging people and getting the audience prepared for big events,” he said. “I kind of had to work on not breaking the fourth wall and speaking more to the characters on stage. I had to work on not communicating with the audience like what we do in Downbeat.”

anokhi saklecha reporter

reporter Cardio, stretch, abs, legs, abs, stretch, abs, cardio, cool down: this intense set is the routine used in senior Michaela Kastel man’s Flat Abs by Prom class held every Tuesday from 3:30 to 4:00 in the dance room from April 9th to May 14th. Michaela started the class during her sophomore year as a way to not only gain leadership skills and experience teaching a class, but also to provide dancers the opportunity to gain the strength and athleticism needed. Since then, the class has become a tradition. Part of her inspiration to begin a strength building class came from a similar class she was taking outside of school. “I thought that was the most helpful dance class I have ever taken because it made me realize how much strength dancers need in order to get to the next level,” Michaela said. While some may believe that the name portrays the idea that being skinny is ideal, that is not what the class is about; rather, the class is about building strength. The class started off being an hour long and consisted of students already involved in dance, but over the years, Michaela has changed the structure in a way that would encourage more students to come. Students from all grades can at-

tend the class however frequently they would like and do not have to sign up or notify Michaela in advance. In addition, the class is now only 30 minutes long and every other class will have a fun theme, such as 80s-wear or superheroes. Currently most of the students attending are seniors but Michaela strongly encourages students from other grades and different sports to try the class out because it is a “fun class to build up your strength and cardio.” The buzz about the class has increased over the years, and Kastleman believes this is especially so due to the Facebook page she created which currently has 59 likes. Michaela describes the feedback she has received from students as “lovingly negative.” “It is really exhausting and it is really intense, but it is a really good work out actually, works out your abs really well,” Vincent Yao (12) said. Michaela believes that if she does not hear her students complaining the next day then she has not done her job. Michaela plans on minoring in dance at Northwestern next year and choreographing as a part of its dance group, but she would also love to have the opportunity to hold a similar class there as well.

Michael, Vincent, and Kevin Lin Kevin Lin (12), Vincent Lin (11), and Michael Lin (10), commonly referred to as the “Lin Dynasty,” are among one of the few three-sibling families that has shared their high school experiences together. However, as all three of them agreed, their high school experience is no different from any other student’s at the Upper School. “It’s not very different going to school with my brothers because we don’t see each other often,” Michael said. “But it is beneficial sometimes because when I need help, I can go to them, and they can console me.” Each sibling just a year apart in age, the brothers are frequently able to



anishka agarwal

make-up to the sloping set design, the props represent Oklahoma in the 1800s. “What’s interesting about Oklahoma! is because of its history and its connection to Americana, it’s a very realistic musical. The set design has to reflect being outside, so there are a lot of curves and a lot of things that look like erosion has happened,” he said. “Humans are into symmetry and right angles, but nature has to be gradual a n d [have] rounded edges.” A c c o r d ing to people who watched the show, it was more than just “Oklahoma! OK”. Overall the show received a positive reaction from the audience. “I really liked Justin Gerard (12) as Jud Fry, because that was probably a really hard character to place and he has a really good voice,” Shreya Basu (10) said after seeing the show. “I also enjoyed Anna Kendall’s (11) dream sequence dance because she is a really good dancer.” Students especially enjoyed seeing their friends and classmates perform on stage. The show sold out for its Friday and Saturday night shows.

Relatively close: Families on campus As students of a closely-knit community we often hear talk of the universal “Harker family.” However, for some families, including the following five, this expression plays a more literal role.

CRUNCH TIME Students attend Michaela Kastelman’s Flat Abs by Prom class, which is held every Tuesday from 3:30 to 4:00. Students from all grades can attend the class, which will run until May 14th.

Participating in a high school musical for the first time, freshman Aashika Balaji was a member of the ensemble. “It’s a lot bigger and a lot more commitment [than Middle School musicals], but it has a better end result as well,” she said. For Ashley Duraiswamy (5) and six other Lower School students, this year marked their first time taking part in an Upper School production as well. “I wasn’t sure before if I really wanted to do Performing Arts,” Ashley said. “Now I know that Performing Arts is really fun. Now I know what I want to do later.” To cast the elementary schoolers, Lang-Ree auctioned one slot at the annual family picnic. She then chose the rest of the students with the help of the Student Directed Showcase directors. “They loved working with the older kids, and they’re just a joy to work with. The older kids love it [too]. They get to be mentors,” Lang-Ree said. “They have these interesting relationships onstage that aren’t just between peers. It’s one of those neat things we can do as a community at Harkerit connects us.” A c cording to Technical Director Brian Larsen, this year the musical is much more “realistic” and “naturalistic.” From the simpler costumes and minimal

MOTHER AND SON Spanish teacher Diana Moss and her son Kevin are one of the several mother-son pairs on campus. Moss believes that having her son at the same school makes her feel more tuned into student life.

relate to one another, and therefore, have inevitably tightened their relationship. “We all have very different personalities, but we still get along somehow. It’s nice knowing that they’re there, but at the same time, that they don’t need me because we’re so close in age,” Kevin said. Akarsha and Srivarsha Gulukota Senior Akarsha Gulukota and freshman Srivarsha Gulukota are not only sisters on campus; they are also best friends. “Having a sister on campus is just like having a best friend on campus,” Akarsha said. “Whenever I see her on campus, I always run over and hug her. She’s just always there for me whenever I need her.” As a freshman, Srivarsha also finds it especially helpful having an older sister who can guide and advise her along the way. “She gives me advice, tells me what’s up on campus, and tells me what to do when I’m confused,” Srivarsha said. The siblings both believe that attending the same high school has had a significant impact in bringing them closer and strengthening their sisterly bond. “We drive to school together, and we drive home from school together,” Akarsha said. “We’ve definitely gotten a lot closer, mostly because of the car rides, where we spend a lot of one-onone time together.” Shreya and Shikhar Dixit Two peas in a pod, two socks in a pair, and two sophomore Dixits on campus. Twins Shreya Dixit (10) and Shikhar Dixit (10) have attended the same school for as long as they can remember. “Having a sibling on campus is very interesting,” Shikhar said. “You walk around knowing that you have a companion on campus at all times.” In addition to attending the same school, Shreya and Shikhar are also in the same grade. “It’s nice to have a brother in the same grade because he knows everything that’s going on,” Shreya said. “Sometimes we can study together.” As twins, the two siblings often receive shocked responses to their vastly differing personalities. “Although we are twin siblings, we are completely opposite people. We get

compared a lot,” Shikhar said. Shreya also agreed with Shikhar in terms of their dissimilar characters. “We are very different, but because of this, it’s interesting to know what different perspectives we have about school-related stuff like elections and spirit,” Shreya said. Diana and Kevin Moss Spanish teacher, Diana Moss, and junior, Kevin Moss, share a unique mother-son relationship on campus. “When you have kids here, you become much more invested in what happens at school, because you see things from a student’s perspective as well,” Moss said. “[Working here] makes me feel more tuned in to student life.” Kevin, on the other hand, has a different opinion. “It’s not that big of a change. One of the biggest differences is just transportation is a lot easier.” According to Moss, although their interactions are quite limited on school grounds, attending the same campus as her children has brought her family closer as a unit. “It definitely creates more of a bond, because we have that common activity that we’re both a part of,” she said. The Keller Family “For over 20 years, I have been at the same school with some number of my children or Mrs. Keller, and it has been wonderful,” head of Upper School, Butch Keller said. Butch Keller, math teacher Jane Keller, and daughter and director of Alumni relations Mary Ellis Deacon, form one of the few families consisting solely of faculty members. All three family members have expressed positivity in regards to working with each other on the same campus. “Working here has given us all more respect for each other,” Deacon said. “I now get to see how much Mr. and Mrs. Keller care for the students.” The family rarely encounters any difficulties or obstacles that have arose from working with his family in a professional environment. “One disadvantage is that neither of us can come home from work and talk about many aspects of our day,” Jane Keller said. “Mr. Keller is technically my boss so there are many things that I would like to talk through with my husband, but cannot because it isn’t appropriate.”


Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore discusses career, challenges, and future

kacey fang & trisha jani

vasudha rengarajan reporter

In the Upper School, many consider LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer/Questioning) rights a given. With the assemblies, safe space signs, and bulletin board near the entryway to Main Hall, it seems apparent that faculty, staff, and students are generally accepting of the LGBTQ community. Yet, as evidenced by the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases currently under the eye of the Supreme Court, the general consensus in school is not representative of the outside world. “The passing of Prop 8 was one of my lowest points in life, at least during my middle school years. I knew that my mom voted to ban my own ability to marry within California,” said Eric Swenson (12), an LGBTQ member who relates firsthand. Eric had confidence in the growing generation that by the time he and his fellow students reach adulthood, gay marriage will be legalized. At the Upper School, students and faculty alike show their support in a variety of ways, be it by practicing compassion to friends who are LGBTQ, or by pinning small rainbow “safe space” signs in the classroom. The latest movement regarding the subject was triggered by the Supreme Court cases regarding equal rights and marriage equality, and was propagated by the rapid sharing of the red equals sign, a symbol for marriage equality. “I was pretty surprised and, to be honest, kind of ashamed when California passed Prop 8 in 2008,” Pranav Sharma (12) said. “So when it reached the Supreme Court I thought it was a great chance for California’s wrong to be righted. This, I felt, was an easy way

to show support for equal rights.” Like several other Upper School students, Pranav chose to set his profile pictures to the red graphic. Surprise about the cases was a common sentiment among students, particularly because the Upper School has been considered a tolerant atmosphere. “Harker has a very tolerant and accepting atmosphere, and that is unique for a school. Our school community is made up of open-minded, intelligent teachers, parents, and students,” Krishan Kumar (11) said. “Further, many of our respected faculty are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and their presence plays a huge role in dispelling any bigotry and ignorance that people may have.” Some students admitted to the grim reality that the outside world was less tolerant. At the Upper School, they could take acceptance for granted, but outside the cocoon, it is a controversial topic with avid supporters on either side of the debate. Another strong proponent of LGBTQ rights, Melina Nakos (9), admitted that it was difficult to establish a relationship with those with opposing views on the subject. “I have met a few people who are not supporters of equal marriage rights or even the entire LGBTQ community,” she said. “Although I tried to not distance myself from them, it did change my opinion of them. Little things did change between us, but not great enough for me to stop associating with them.” Although the overwhelming consensus at the Upper School is not typical of many views outside the school community, students agreed that a tolerant atmosphere was beneficial rather than reflecting the external difficulties that LGBTQ members face.

Culture and religion in student lives

Beliefs help achieve balance reporter A melting pot of cultures, the United States has long been considered a place for people to come together, identify with others, and embrace differences. Because of the demographics of the Upper School, students often make off-hand jokes about their cultures or stereotypes attached to them. Behind the playful use of cultural jargon, a number of students take pride in their cultures and religious beliefs. “Religious practices give you balance in life. They prevent you from going overboard: becoming too arrogant, too self-absorbed, or depressed,” said Hindu Sriram Somasundaram (10). He likens his religious spirituality to a confidant to talk to. Although many agreed that religious customs were important to uphold, some found it somewhat difficult to find time with heavy workloads or time-swallowing extra-curriculars. “Praying 5 times a day at specific time intervals is difficult at school because of the conflicts with classes,” Zabin Bashar (10) said. “On the other hand, following the core tenets and beliefs of Islam are definitely feasible. I try to balance my time by making up for any shortcomings over the weekends.” As hectic as life may get, students didn’t regard cultural practices as a burden. Many found it important to make time for observing rituals or educating themselves on their cultures. “I don’t really see religion as blind faith, but more as a source of guidance

through self reflection. ” said Savi Joshi (10). “I think it’s important to remain culturally intact because it’s important to know where you came from, why your parents do certain practices, and your heritage.”

Religious practices give you balance in life. Sriram Somasundaram (10)

vasudha rengarajan

Savi, like a few others, expressed the notion that culture is the product of influences from many generations, and for that reason, was important to uphold. “I think it’s important to keep doing your cultural practices because it’s a time when you get together with your family and to share those moments. I think it’s important to have something that you believe in,” said Catalina Mihailide (12). While it may be difficult, many students found the time to do what they felt was important to them and would help them achieve balance in life.

Nobel Prize laureate Dr. David Baltimore, a current professor of biology at Caltech, was the keynote speaker at the annual Research Symposium this year. In this exclusive interview with The Winged Post, he discusses his interest in biology, challenges in his career, and vision of science in the upcoming decade. The Winged Post: What were your views on science and research as a high school student? David Baltimore: I had the very rare, for that time, opportunity to work in a research lab in Bar Harbor, Maine, in between my junior and senior year. I started that summer with no idea that it would be possible for a high school student to do research. It was a laboratory of mouse genetics, and we were studying aspects of mouse biology. I finished that summer thinking that a high school student could do research because the frontier of knowledge was not very far away from the intellectual capacity of a high school student. That is, we didn’t know a tremendous amount. I have been amazed over a career of 50 years how many things there are to learn, and how easy it is if you are focused on the important questions to make discoveries. WP: What factors in your life have played a major role in bringing you to where you are today? DB: One of the big factors was my mother, who introduced me to the laboratory in Maine. She was an academic in psychology, and that was a tremendous influence. I grew up with the idea of experimentation as part of my life. Another one of the great factors in my life was choosing to go to a liberal arts college, not a science college. I went to Swarthmore College. I had exposure to many students who were not interested

in science, good teachers in English and history, and other areas. Also, we learned a lot in seminars, not in lecture courses, and so I learned to ascend my own ideas, and to intellectually engage with my peers and faculty. I think that has helped me in my career. WP: What was the idea that got you started with your work with tumor viruses and genes? DB: I started with an interest in the molecular biology of higher organisms: humans and other mammals. That came from my experience in high school with mice. I started in the 1960s, and at that time, there were very limited things you could do with molecular biology. I chose to work with viruses, because they were the simplest biological material that you could get a handle on genetically and chemically. One of the viruses that struck me as the most interesting was the class of cancer-inducing viruses. I learned how they worked, and that’s how I got the Nobel Prize. WP: How did it feel to win the Nobel Prize? DB: The amazing thing about the ceremony is that Stockholm has a functioning royalty. The royalty lends itself to the Nobel Prize. You have dinner with the king and queen in the palace. It is all like stepping into a fairyland. WP: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges that you have had to face in your career, and how have you overcome them? DB: In some ways, the biggest question I had was whether to go into administration. I loved working in science: I worked on the bench for many years. Then I had the opportunity to start a research institute. I had to decide if I wanted to take a wholly different role as a director. I decided to do it, and it changed my life. From that period around, in 1980, I was both an administrator of science and a do-er of

NOBEL PRIZE Dr. David Baltimore, current professor at Caltech, brought his experience in research and Nobel Prize-winning work to the Research Symposium.

science. I ran a laboratory, but I also started running institutions. I found that very satisfying, and I guess I did reasonably well, and ended up as president of Caltech. WP: What do you feel is the most gratifying moment or aspect of your career? DB: The most gratifying aspect is discovery. I still look forward to sitting down with the people in my laboratory and talking about new ideas, new data, new discoveries. That is the essence of science, and to have spent fifty years doing that is to me a great joy. WP: What do you think are the areas in science that will allow for the greatest advancement in the future? DB: At least from the point of view of biology, I think we will see more and more of synthetic biology. Using the principles of what we have learned about biological systems to improve our lives, our health, and function as human beings. I think that is going to be one of the great challenges over the next decade.

Chasing musical passions

Gwen Howard finds her voice through composition and performance dora tzeng reporter It was just another HOSCARS performance when Gwen Howard (9) walked out on stage to sing “Who You Are” by Jessie J. But when she opened her mouth, a soulful voice filled the room, and it was as if everyone in the gym were watching an American Idol performance. Gwen began singing and taking music classes when she was about two or three years old and started voice lessons in second grade. By the age of twelve, she could play the piano, guitar, violin, viola, and trombone. “I’ve been singing my entire life,” Gwen said. “I’ve always loved it.” Music is often a medium that people use to express their feelings and emotions, but for Gwen, it is much more than that. “It just feels right, and there’s something about it,” she said. “It’s more than self-expression; it’s become a part of my identity.” In fourth grade, Gwen joined a choir, Cantabile Youth Singers, which she is still a part of today. She has grown close to her choir friends, and songs that she sings in choir “just stick with [her].” One song that holds special significance for Gwen is “How to Save a Life,” by The Fray. “It’s one of those songs that always makes me cry,” she said. “It’s one of those songs that pulls at my heart.” Gwen has recently begun to dedicate more time to her music career. She is starting to write more songs after picking up songwriting in fourth grade. Just last month, Gwen entered a local songwriting chapter competition and won first place for her original song, “A Little Shame.” “A Little Shame’ is about fighting inner demons and wars that can go on in your own head,” she said. “Especially as teenagers, the world gets more complicated, and with that, so do our own minds and experiences.” Although mainly an alternative indie chick, Gwen tries to experiment with other genres, including classical and theater. Her songs cover a wide variety of topics ranging from personal



copy editor & features editor

SUPPORT One of the many ways students show support for the LGBTQ community is through the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club’s bulletin board in the Main building.




Differing opinions on LGBTQ rights

April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

MUSIC Strumming on her guitar, Gwen Howard (9) sings for an audience. She is part of the band Human Parallel and plans to pursue music professionally by landing a recording contract.

experiences to love. A singer songwriter who influences Gwen musically is James Vincent McMorrow because he has a similar writing style. Vocally, she looks up to Alicia Keys and other singers with powerful voices. “I just try to learn from [anyone] and take something from that,” she said. Gwen also uses her talents to raise money for the Roadway Safety Foundation in honor of several family members who were killed in a car accident about two years ago. “I’ve always been interested [in street shows] since I’ve seen other people doing it,” Gwen said. “I just went out one Saturday morning and performed.” Her first street show made enough money to make her go back again and continue performing. Gwen usually tries to perform at least once a week in downtown Palo Alto, and all profits go to the Roadway Safety Foundation. Like all singers, Gwen always dreads getting sick, but she also faces a different challenge: competing against other musicians. “Competition can be very taxing,” she said. “Now, I’m trying to perform more so it’s definitely a different kind of environment to be in, and it gets really competitive which I don’t like so much.” Despite this downside of the music industry, Gwen still thinks it is

worth it and hopes to pursue music professionally. “Ideally, I’d like to get a recording contract,” she said. “If not, I’d definitely like to do it in college.” Last year, Gwen joined a band called Human Parallel as the lead singer and the youngest member. She was originally working with a band member who wanted to take their work live, so they found other musicians on Craigslist and through mutual friends to create the band. “We’re getting gigs at places like Santana Row, county fairs, and coffee shops, so I’m really excited to be getting the performance experience with a group,” Gwen said. “We’re all at different stages in our life, and we play different types of music as solo artists, so it’s really awesome to be working with them all.” Although being in a band is completely different from being a solo artist, Gwen loves how there are more perspectives and combinations of sounds to make. “Overall, it’s been an amazing experience,” she said. “Even though we represent so many different ages, we’ve already formed a pretty strong bond, and I’ve found it to be really rewarding.” Human Parallel’s website is www. and the band has several shows coming up in June. Gwen’s website is


Autism Awareness Month

Sciences vs. Humanities

Link between class type and happiness

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vivek bharadwaj & natalie simonian


Besides the occasional donation jar or impressions from news articles, how much do we as a public know about autism? April, Autism Awareness Month, is dedicated to educating society of the realities of the disorder and recognizing the trials and individuality of those affected. Through the years, autism has been subject to many public misconceptions. One such belief was that the disorder was caused by measles vaccines for young children. Students who volunteer with autism organizations, however, believe most people are not even aware of what they think is the most common misconception. “Autism is growing as something that has a spectrum,” said Joseph Wang (12), a volunteer with Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). “There are many different spectrums of autism, and someone may not look like they have autism, but they might, and it just varies between people.” Autism, officially known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, is characterized as a whole by a lack of social intuition and ability to communicate emotionally. In addition, people with autism may not understand figurative language or emotional cues and often display an attachment to routine. Living with Autism History teacher Damon Halback’s son was diagnosed with autism at around two years old. Months before that, his parents had noticed behavioral traits, or the absence thereof, such as lack of peer interaction, eye contact, or the use of pointing to communicate. Even so, the signs were fuzzy. “For a first-time parent like we were, these cues might not be as apparent. When you have a neurotypical child, you become more familiar with developmental expectations than you would with your first where those aren’t as clear,” Halback said. Another trait typical to children with autism is sensitivity to sensory stimuli, as Halback learned with his son. “He wouldn’t walk on the beach; he would cry hysterically if he saw sand. If we gave him shaving cream, he would look like we had just introduced the worst-smelling thing on the planet in front of him,” he said. “But at the same time, if there was something that he really liked, he would squeeze it, and he had a blanket that was really soft, but it had kind of a fibrous quality, and he would run his fingers over it repeatedly for an extended period of time.” Halback’s son currently attends therapy to help guide his behavior and communication skills. Parents also experience a sense of duty in reinforcing such treatments. “You know that if you’re not active in doing these things, your kid’s fallback is to inwardly withdraw and not develop, and so you feel really a personal responsibility that if you are not actively engaged all the time, your kid basically will not actively engage on their own. And there’s a depressing component to that,” he said. In addition, having a child with autism involves everyday sacrifices, such as curbing travel and social plans. The biggest struggle for Halback, however, is not knowing what to expect for his child. “One of the hard parts about being a parent of an autistic kid, especially one who’s young— my son is under five years old—is you don’t get to see the future,” he said. “At this age, you just don’t know what the future is going to hold.” Volunteering Students who interact or volunteer with children with autism testify to it being a completely different experience from what they had originally thought. Archana Podury (10) works one-on-one with a child every Saturday at the Organization of Special Needs Families. Volunteers assist children experiencing a range of disorders with occupational therapy, music and reading, computers, and physical activities. Archana first helped at one of the organization’s summer camps before freshman year and never stopped going back. “There are actually lots of autistic kids you can have conversations with,” she said. “They are able to learn things. If you’re patient enough, then you can teach even really disabled kids to learn to use a computer.” More and more organizations assist these children into being independent in social situations. Madelyn Wang (10) volunteers with one such place. Autism Social Connection focuses on helping children feel comfortable socializing by

AUTISM April is Autism Awareness Month, a cause near and dear to the hearts of several members of our community.

having volunteers of similar ages act as “peers” as well as assistants. As a group, the children devise, film, and act in skits or short movies each week. “I like seeing them improvise sometimes, and when we have breaks, we have a lot of fun,” Madelyn said. “When you’re actually looking at [the children], you get to see what they’re really like instead of having an image of them.” Volunteers get to know each child’s unique traits and the best method of individual help. “These symptoms [of autism] can come in different ways, and I think that people don’t realize that each child with autism is different,” said freshman Adele Li, who works closely with children with autism at ELCA, a therapeutical clinic and learning group, and serves on the Youth Leadership Committee (YLC) of PACE. Archana said the best part of volunteering is when a normally asocial child gradually begins to recognize and interact with her. “There’s one kid—he’s this really cute sixyear-old—and he doesn’t ever respond to anything people say, but I went to the summer camp, and I was assigned to him, and whenever I put out my hand, he would take it.” Research Through new knowledge and technologies, scientists work to better understand and help those with autism. Freshmen Mary Najibi and Namitha Vellian took their own steps to researching the treatments that parents found most effective for their children. “We could save time and money for other parents whose children just got diagnosed with autism because the quicker you diagnose it and treat it, the faster and the better it’s going to be,” Namitha said. The girls researched a total of 42 possible treatments and posted a survey in online forums for parents. Their responses revealed that occupational therapy, applied behavioral analysis, and speech therapy are the most helpful for parents. Drugs such as antipsychotics and antidepressants produce the least effect. Through this project, both Mary and Namitha gained a new perspective on autism themselves. “We learned that a lot of children are diagnosed with autism, and we also know that a lot of parents said that after they used treatments, their child improved by a lot,” Mary said. “Some parent marked their child as ‘Cannot Function’ before and now they have a case of ‘Very Mild.’” Awareness Whether for alerting families of services, allowing for earlier diagnoses, or educating the public to understand and embrace autism, awareness is an important part of helping autism’s cause. Often, it is simply a matter of respect, like when Joseph learned to say “people with autism” instead of “autistic people.” “The word itself is not what defines a certain person. It’s not fair to simply say that someone is ‘autistic,’” he said. “I think that we have a lot of different aspects that we should be proud of.” Joseph and Adele carry out projects to advocate for autism awareness as a part of being on PACE’s youth board. The group holds events such as marketing marches where they call sponsors and organize venues to spread awareness and raise money. She emphasized that everyone is encouraged to support or learn about autism as it is increasingly becoming something that “affects people all around.”

reporters Allison Wang (9) works quickly to solve the latest round of problems in a math contest. Right next door, Glenn Reddy (10) transforms from a sophomore to a plotting, scheming, singing cowboy on the set of Oklahoma! Elsewhere, Connie Li (11) writes an essay that has been judged the best in the world. The Upper School is a place of incredible diversity, and students pursue a variety of passions. With that in mind, Simon Orr (12) set out to answer an abstract question in his statistics class: Who is happier? Those who take classes in the hard sciences, or those who take liberal arts classes? Simon sent out an online survey earlier in the school year which used a “happiness scale” to find correlations between the types of classes taken and happiness of those who take them. Sixty-seven people participated in Simon’s survey, the results of which show very little relationship between the types of classes taken and the students’ “happiness rating.” “I thought it was very interesting,” Statistics teacher Mary Mortlock said. “It was a great idea, and it is just as important to find there is no association between happiness and how many humanities and sciences classes overall. I think we’ve all got individual feelings [on the subject].” The consensus among several Harker students is that happiness does not depend upon one’s course register, a fact that Simon’s study backs up. “I take more hard sciences. I think it’s about whatever you like, go do that,” Jonathan Lee (10) said. “If you’re happy taking sciences, then that’s great. If you like taking liberal arts classes, that’s fine

too.” Jonathan prefers hard science because of the problem-solving challenges it offers him. Pooja Shah (12) believes that a balance of both liberal arts and hard science classes is necessary. “I’d say I take an equal number of hard science and liberal arts classes,” Pooja said. “I feel that if you take either too much of the liberal arts or too much of the hard sciences, you will be unbalanced, and you won’t be as happy, and I think you need to be balanced to be happy.” Studies similar to Simon’s have been performed on a larger scale. In 2012, Cornell University asked students on campus how satisfied they were with their college majors. The results showed little difference between those who majored in the liberal arts and those who majored in the sciences; out of 1,519 people surveyed, the results showed that an average of 36 percent of science majors were satisfied with their choice, and 35 percent of liberal arts majors were satisfied with theirs. On the other hand, Eric Zhang (12) factored in the competitiveness of the sciences in his opinion. “I’d say that the arts people are happier, because science is very competitive, focused who can get the highest grade,” Eric said, who generally takes more classes in the hard sciences than in the liberal arts. Main office receptionist Luanne Stanley offered her opinion as to why people feel happier in some courses than others. “If you take a student who’s into performing arts and dancing and say, ‘You’re going to do the sciences,’ of course they’re going to be unhappy,” Stanley said. Simon’s study suggests that neither liberal arts classes nor hard science classes guarantee satisfaction. Instead, it depends completely on a person’s passion and interest in pursuing a field.

Happiness vs. Types of Classes 35

STATS This graph represents the findings of Simon Orr’s (12) statistics project in which he set out to determine whether or not a correlation exists between types of classes taken and happiness levels.

30 25 20 15 10 5 More Science Courses

More Liberal Arts Courses


kacey fang

Happiness Rating


April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Going Green:


Students celebrate Earth Day

April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

of year exams Testing: End around the world sindhu ravuri


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#FACEOFCLIMATE In order to promote Earth Day, which was celebrated on April 22, the EDN collected images of people, animals, and places that are being affected by climate change.

TalonWP online editor Earth Day, an annual worldwide holiday, was celebrated on April 22, with the theme “The Face of Climate Change.” The Earth Day Network (EDN) has been collecting images of places, animals, and people that are being affected by climate change through social media such as Twitter and Instagram through the hashtag feature. These pictures will be displayed at various events throughout the world as “The Face of Climate Change.” “I think Earth Day is a great way to raise awareness about all environmental issues,” Vice President of the Brilliant Organizers of Student Sustainability (BOSS) club Sabrina Sidhu (10) said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an environmentalist or just another student, the day allows us to come together as a community, reminds us to address some important issues, and makes us think about what we can do to resolve them.” Much of Costa Rica’s tourism revolves around the natural environment including fresh fruit, tropical rainforests, clean beaches, and unofficial motto “pura vida,” meaning pure life. High school students there celebrate Earth Day in a similar

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fashion to those here in the United States. “Here we celebrate pretty similarly,” said Nataly Alfaro, a high school student from Grecia, Costa Rica. “We do an acto civico (civic act) which is like a school presentation about Earth Day, and some schools plant trees and do some sort of collaboration to the Earth.”

Earth Day is a great way to raise awareness about all environmental issues.

alyssa amick

Sabrina Sidhu (10) Created in 1970, Earth Day ushered in a new era of global awareness leading to the government passing acts such as the Clean Air Act, Clean

Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, according to the EDN. Sabrina also offered some suggestions to students who are interested in making a difference in reducing the effects of climate change both on Earth Day and in everyday life. She emphasized that small actions such as switching to fluorescent light bulbs, carrying a reusable water bottle, and unplugging a cell phone charger when not in use can make a significant difference in reducing the amount of trash and electricity wasted. AP Environmental Studies teacher Kate Schafer believes Earth Day is the perfect time for academic reflection. To her, it is an ideal time to assess one’s actions and the impact they have on the environment. “I think it’s a great opportunity especially in a teaching an academic environment to reflect on what the biggest problems are that are facing the earth,” she said. “I think as we at Harker are looking to try to be more green I think it would be great for the Harker community to sort of celebrate Earth Day in a bigger way.” While Earth Day is only officially recognized once a year, the Earth Day Network encourages people to act as if everyday is Earth Day in order to help create a cleaner planet.


With end of year exams quickly approaching, let’s take a look at how students around the world are working diligently to prepare for their own types international tests. The United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, end of the year exams for upper schools vastly differ from ours in terms of variety and grading. Towards the end of their compulsory education, Year 11 (similar to sophomore year), UK students must take the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examination. The GCSE assesses students in core subjects, such as English, Mathematics, Welsh, and Science. Moreover, students can opt to take multiple GCSEs for the same subject, such as both physics and biology for science. In addition to these core subjects, students can also choose other topics on which to be tested, ranging from religion to technology. Along with the GCSE, UK students may choose the option of pursuing the sixth form of their high school careers (the equivalent of junior or senior year), at the end of which they must take their A level exams. These A level exams are also on specific subjects. Both of these forms of testing in the United Kingdom are awarded on an eight point grading system, the highest grade being A*, and the lowest being G, like the possible scores of one to five on our APs. Pakistan Finals in the United States are no different from the national examination of Pakistani high school students half way across the world. This exam is formulated by the regional Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (or BISE). The standardized tests evaluate the students’ knowledge of the academic subjects they have learned about in the first two years of high school. The syllabus on the BISE involves Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, English, Pakistani Studies, and Urdu. If both of these annual exams are passed, high school students

obtain a Secondary School Certificate (SSC). Following their junior and senior years, students are once again required to take standardized tests, upon which completing they receive the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC). The topic of these tests rely far more on the students’ choice of subjects to study, whether they pertain to topics of the pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities, or business field. Additionally, they are tested on the four mandatory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiyat, and Pakistani studies. India On the other hand, schools in India require their students to take more than one exam. Following their tenth grade year, Indian high school students attending public schools must take the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE), which take place between March and April. For tenth graders specifically, the examination process is slightly more complex. According to Meghana Trishna, a sophomore attending the Sri Chaitanya Inter College in Hyderabad, there are three different types of tests that only sophomores must take, depending on what type of school they attend. The State Board Examination, which amounts to 20 points, is not only the “easiest,” according to Meghana, but also the test which “you can succeed despite mucking up on.” The second type of examination is known as the CBSE, or the Central Board of Secondary Education, which tests education, sports (cricket, basketball, etc.) and extracurricular achievements. Lastly, is the ICSE, or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. “For this exam, you have to understand, and write articulately, or you don’t get marks,” Meghana said. “You get 80 points for your written test, and 20 marks for your contribution towards the school, meaning projects and behavior.” Similarly to Pakistan, the AISSE rewards students a Statement of Marks and a Migration Certificate, signaling their entrance into the eleventh grade.

Global get-together: International leisure activities 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. For this issue, we exchanged articles with

Singapore American School (SAS) comparing social events and how students enjoy spending their free time.

Days in the Bay Socializing in Singapore monica chritton & kat hyslop

SAVE ME, SAN FRANCISCO The Bay Area provides students with many opportunities for enjoyable day trips to pass their free time.

sheridan tobin global editor After hours of hard work and studying, weekends and free time gift students opportunities to unwind however they please. Be it relaxing, taking day trips, or spending time with friends, students can be found relaxing in their favorite ways. As the change in season brings warmer weather, more opportunities to engage in outdoor activities will present themselves. Some popular destinations that make for enjoyable day trips this time of year include the beach, an amusement park, and the San Francisco area. A short 45 minute drive south is all it takes to begin a day in Santa Cruz full of sun, surf, and sand. Popular beaches include Capitola, Natural Bridges, and the Beach Boardwalk. Because the area is a quasi beach town, there are also opportunities to explore the local shops and restaurants. For thrill-seekers, amusement parks such as Great America, Six Flags, and Raging Waters are perfect opportunities for a day filled with roller coasters, games, and screams. Because of the multitude of different parks in the area, this type of at-

traction is accessible to all ages. A more touristy outing is a day in San Francisco. An hour drive north gives way to a bustling city with highlights including Chinatown, Union Square, The Museum of Modern Art, and Ghirardelli Square. Taking the trolley as transportation adds even more to the city experience. For days with less free time, some local leisure outings include shopping, playing sports, and just hanging out with friends. Going to the movies is also a popular activity among students. For some, however, it has some drawbacks due to the lack of interaction with friends. Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari (10) prefers outings that have greater opportunities to socialize. “I think having dinner in a casual restaurant is the best activity,” he said. “Seeing a movie isn’t as great because all you do is sit side by side staring at a screen for two hours.” For those who like jamming their free time with action packed activities and for others who simply prefer laying low, the arrival of warmer weather provides students with a plethora of ways to destress and enjoy themselves.

April 21 - The bell rings. School is out for the week. Senior Jake Derksen walks home, invites a few friends over, and after an hour or so they jump in a taxi headed to downtown Singapore. They arrive at the gym, workout for a few more hours and jump in the shower before making any further plans. Post-workout plans vary, but by midnight Derksen and his friends may have gone to one of the many places students go to hang out: outdoor food courts (called hawker centers), movie theaters, friends’ houses and even nightclubs. With the drinking age at 18, the range of evening activities, especially for seniors, increases. Because most student do not drive, safe travelling in Singapore is almost guaranteed. Getting around Singapore independently means taking taxis or public transportation; cars in Singapore are a luxury as vehicles are heavily taxed and the driving age is 18. The main modes of public transportation include the subway-like MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), and public busses. For seniors, though, life changes soon. Derksen, like the majority of SAS graduates, will attend university in America. He said he thinks he will drink less in college. “I think there will be less drinking because it’s the US and the drinking age is 21,” Derksen said. “I am [of legal drinking age] in Singapore, and I barely drink here.” For freshmen, weekends are usually much milder. Freshman Matthew Langlois said his group of friends usually just “hangs out” in Woodlands, the



Singapore American School

CLOUDS OF CONFETTI Because the legal drinking age is 18, night clubs are popular hang out spot for SAS seniors on the weekend.

neighborhood adjacent to SAS and popular with school families and other expatriates. On some weekends, Langlois and his friends venture beyond the neighborhood. “Sometimes we go to Orchard [Road],” Langlois said. “We just walk around Ion and eat dinner at Din Tai Fung.” Orchard Road is Singapore’s main shopping district, and the newest largest mall, Ion, is a popular destination. Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant is also popular not only among locals, but also in the SAS community. Senior Katie Lewis said she also frequents Ion and other Orchard Road shopping centers on most weekends. After dinner at the Ion food court with bubble tea to top it off, Lewis and her friends either window shop or meet up with other seniors. Students spend Saturdays and Sundays catching up with homework, going to sports practice. Junior Miles Smith reserves Saturday as his homework day. Like most juniors hoping to attend American

colleges, Smith said he spends about 2 hours every weekend at SAT prep. Smith said most of his friends also dedicate several hours of their weekends to preparing for the ACT or SAT. Smith does not start his homework until he does a ten kilometer run. A varsity cross country athlete, Smith is not alone in dedicating part of his weekend to sports. Junior Jacob Sanchez moved from Chicago, and said academics at SAS are roughly the same as his last school, but that the biggest difference between his former high school and SAS is in sports. “Sports at my old school were much bigger, like American football, and it was more of a community thing. Here, football is like a secondary sport and the main sport is soccer.” While Sanchez said there is less of an emphasis on sports at SAS than his old school in Chicago, the school gyms, fields and pools are always in use on the weekends. For most students, however, nothing beats a weekend of relaxation.

Dissecting the motivation behind AP testing used towards their college credit. “I don’t think the school should require them because I would only take the AP exams in classes that I needed credit for instead of wasting money and studying for exams that don’t have that much importance in the long run,” Apurva Tandon (12) said. Depending on their future university’s policy, students may be able to waive certain courses if they received a high grade on the AP exam, usually a 4 or a 5. This gives them the opportunity to take more advanced courses or more electives outside their major and may decrease the amount of time needed to graduate. Some students, however, opt to

sonia sidhu & ashwini iyer sports editor & reporter Some consider it dreadful, while others consider it a challenge. Regardless, each student has their own motive for taking Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. School policy requires all students enrolled in AP classes to take AP exams, which creates some dissent, especially among seniors. Because they will have committed to a certain university by the time APs occur, some believe that they should not have to take these tests if they know the scores will not

take AP classes not because of the merit that is associated with them, but simply because they enjoy the subject. The AP test allows them to display the knowledge they have gained from the course. 
“I would take it because it’s a good measure of how much you have learned in a class, but if [a senior] really doesn’t want to take it, they shouldn’t have to,” Meera Madhavan (12) said. 
 Many students take APs to enhance college applications by highlighting their ability to handle advanced coursework. 
“I think APs are not only a way for us to challenge ourselves, but they also show colleges that we go over and

above the normal curriculum which will help us when we have to apply.” Ankita Pannu (10) said. Because students who take AP exams in May do not have to take finals in June, the necessary amount of studying is more spread out. Occasionally, students who are not enrolled in certain AP classes still choose to take the exams. Richard Fan (12) took the AP Biology exam after taking Honors Biology last year and will take the AP Microeconomics exam this year. 
 In order to prep, these students may resort to online videos, prep books and AP flashcards. Richard took these exams to get college credit for these

classes, therefore waiving the prerequisites for more challenging classes that he hopes to take his freshman year. 
 On the other hand, some students choose not to take certain APs because of other conflicting commitments. 
 “I didn’t take AP Chemistry because I had to do other stuff in the summer,” Zabin Bashar (10) said. The majority of students who take AP exams do so because of college: whether it be to receive credit or to improve their applications. Some, however, take AP classes purely to learn the material, expand their knowledge, and challenge themselves. Contributing to this story: Sheridan Tobin, Global Editor

Harker APs 2012 1,415 tests administered to

492 test-takers =20 people

A stud

THE ANATOMY OF AP Courses Offered at Harker 1998 Computer Science AB French Literature

2012 Biology Calculus AB Calculus BC Chemistry Computer Science A English Literature European History French Language Latin Spanish Language Spanish Literature U.S. History

Art History Chinese Lang. and Culture Environmental Studies Government and Pol.: US Human Geography Japanese Lang. and Culture Macroeconomics Microeconomics Music Theory Physics B Physics C Psychology Statistics Studio Art: 2D Studio Art: 3D Studio Art: Drawing World History

meena c


May 6 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Prague, John day that someone ran a mile in under four minutes. The day might start of Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Spanning from Mond to students throughout the world. For many students, these two we or last-minute cramming. The AP process involves more than just share study tips, funny stories, and everything in between.

AP self-studying: for the love of the test meena chetty managing editor Given the chance, many students would opt out of the inherent pressure of Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Some students, however, choose to study for additional AP tests aside from those that they are required to take by their classes in order to potentially gain college credits. Senior Ashvin Swaminathan self-studied for multiple AP exams throughout his high school career, including AP Physics B, AP Environ-

mental Science, and AP Biology. “Either I thought I knew the material or it was easy material to selfstudy,” Ashvin said of his motivation to take extra AP exams. “The [AP Biology] material is hard, and I did not know the material ahead of time, but [with] Mr. Sutton’s Honors Biology class combined with Dr. Blickenstaff ’s outside-the-classroom help, it was easy to learn the material and do well in the exam.” His self-studying experience helped him recognize that while the AP classes offered at Harker are typically rigorous, the AP exams them-

selves do not cover as much content. According to Ashvin, “this is the biggest strength of the curriculum in our school.” On the other hand, Divya Kalidindi (11) found the self-studying process for the AP Chemistry exam last year to be a challenge in terms of the amount of motivation it required. “I originally planned to take Honors Chemistry, but then I decided that I wanted to go deeper into it so I just studied on the side. I think I definitely put a lot more energy into it because I wasn’t in the class, so it was definitely more stressful for me,” she said. “I per-

sonally would not do it again.” Brian Tuan (11) said that for certain classes, he would prefer to take the AP exam rather than dedicate an entire year to the course. He decided to prepare for this year’s AP Environmental Science and AP English Language and Composition exams. “I looked at some of the practice tests, and I thought that it was something I could do,” he said. “I also thought that it would be interesting and kind of force me to do it because otherwise I wouldn’t have studied that stuff.” AP Chemistry teacher Robbie

Korin sees no harm in self-studying for the AP Chemistry exam as long as students take a chemistry course in college. “Self-studying is fine as long as you’re just going to take it to get the score and for admissions purposes,” Korin said, urging students “not to not take the class in college, because you need the lab component.” Depending on each university’s individual policies, colleges can accept AP exam scores of a certain range to exempt students from freshman course requirements or allow them to proceed to a higher level of the subject.

rahul jayaraman reporter


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A student once wrote his essay in the shape of a hand turkey (but he didn’t do it very well). Another student wrote his essay very well, but he wrote it in a spiral beginning at the center of the page and spiraling out. It was very difficult to read, but it was a well-crafted essay.

Mark Janda, AP World History teacher

Bribe for a 5







Often, AP readers find more than just Scantrons and blue books within the packets they grade. Here are some of the stranger things your teachers have found: 5

Mary Mortlock, AP Statistics teacher

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Daniel Ajerman, AP Biology teacher

We’re not allowed to divulge too much, but once there was a question about blocking (a statistical term), and we got lots of football diagrams from people who obviously didn’t know what blocking meant.

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At the end of every grading, we always have a sort of party to celebrate the end of grading. The graders always come dressed up in a manner relevant to the subject they teach (like the environmental science graders come as trees). One year, the graders borrowed some of the Chinese graders’ costumes, and they came dressed as dragons.

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AP-palling to amusing: teachers share AP stories

So the kid writes a 3-page Batman story, which was actually pretty good. The only thing was that he put the answer to one of the questions in the middle of the Batman story, so I had to give him the point.

to get the bad taste of grading my essay out of your mouth





Chocolate chip cookies recipe


Money (real and fake)

Assorted baking recipes Save the Date

Robbie Korin, AP Chemistry teacher

Be my date?

Death threats



Prom & wedding invitations


Handy tips for creating the ultimate AP study guide stephanie chen


g editor

Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath, and the first t seem more significant, however, with the addition of six words: the day, May 6, to Friday, May 17, 34 AP exams will be administered eeks encompass impulsive page-turning, intensive problem-solving, t stress and studying, however. In this spread, students and teachers

reporter It is that time of year again, when classes turn into teacher-led study sessions, Office Depot runs out of number two pencils, and test prep books suddenly appear all over campus. To help you keep up with AP season, here are some tips on making an effective study guide. First—start early. If you are reading this article and you have not made a study guide yet, get started now! You have just over a week to condense everything you learned this year into a few pages of bullet points. The earlier you begin, the less cramming you will have to do the night before the test. Do not reread the textbook. Reading

through 800 pages is a waste of time when you have ready-made study materials in the form of notes and tests. Use notes you have taken, handouts from your teacher, and tests and quizzes to review the material. Your book probably also contains outlines at the end of each chapter with the most important points. Focus on known issues. Do not write down all the things you know by heart— when you are reviewing later, do you really need to remind yourself that George Washington was the first president? Instead, look through your old tests and quizzes and go over the questions you got wrong. Redo a few of those titration problems and copy the difficult ones into your guide so that you will remember the process. Test prep books are not that bad. When your textbook becomes an impen-

etrable wall of words, a test prep book can often provide a clean, simplified explanation of important points. Use these to check facts and add key concepts to your study guide. Prep books also usually include sample tests for even more practice. Finally, be complete. You are creating a guide that covers months and months of material, and you do not want to miss huge chunks of information. When you are done, go back and check the course syllabus or HHMS to make sure you include things like labs that might be critical to know. Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas on making or improving your study guide. Of course, a study guide is not an instant guarantee of success, but having one will definitely be helpful when studying for the test. Good luck!

DID YOU KNOW? 3,698,407

1952 A pilot program consisting of 11 advanced courses that would later become todayʼs AP Program begins.

Total number of AP exams taken in 2012

2,099,948 AP English Language was the most taken AP of 2012 with 443,835 total exams taken.

AP Italian Language and Culture was the least taken AP of 2012 with 1,806 total exams taken.

Total number of student test-takers in 2012 All information from official CollegeBoard reports



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Progression of Conflict: A timeline of recent history in North Korea 1950

The Korean War starts.



North Korea begins the development of short range missiles.


Kim Jong-un becomes the leader after his father’s death.

Kim Jong-il takes office.


The signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement marks the end of the war.


Famine devastates the country, killing millions of people.


The first nuclear bomb is tested underground.


The government threatens to utilize nuclear missiles.


For the first time, a long-range missile launches successfully. SOURCES - CNN.COM & BBC.CO.UK ALL GRAPHICS - KACEY FANG DESIGN - SHERIDAN TOBIN

Reactions to North Korea’s missile threat shay lari-hosain reporter This month, tensions have mounted once again between North Korea and the United States and its allies, a common occurrence between these nations with a history of turbulent relations. In 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement put a halt to the bloody Korean War, but the war never officially ended. Fast forward sixty years and the hostility between the two nations has all but subsided. North Korea is developing the capability to fire long-range nuclear missiles, the most potent of which could have a range of up to 2,500 miles. Musudan missiles, based on Soviet technology, can travel far enough to reach South Korea, Japan, and US military bases in the Pacific islands.

The rhetoric the North Korean state has been using, combined with missile testing, could potentially bring about fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula. Many worry that the newly instated ruler, Kim Jong-un, unlike his father and grandfather, knows no limits when it comes to warfare, leading to fear his youth and irresponsibility could potentially lead to a disastrous outcome. “My relatives in China don’t really have a political stance on issues, and yet my grandmother still thinks that North Korea is being too abusive,” said Adele Li (9), whose family is from Shanghai. Kazuma Chiba at the Tamagawa Academy in Tokyo is less troubled than before but still says he is uneasy. “I went to South Korea. Before I left I told my homeroom teacher that

I would go close to North Korea. He [was] really worried about North Korea launching a missile,” she said. “Japanese people seem afraid of the statement; however, my family was [an] exception. In fact, my mother’s friend [is in] Japan’s maritime self-defense force, according to him, we do not need to be anxious.” Kazuma pointed out that the simmering tensions have not made a noticeable impact on his daily life, adding he does not “change [his] behavior due to the problem.” Many others in neighboring countries, such as Judy Zhao (8) at the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School, are merely continuing their daily lives. Judy has noticed the escalating tension, saying her family discusses the issue. She feels there is only a small possibility that the claims are more

than empty threats, but that the situation needs to be monitored closely. Judy added that most students, including her, “do not take [the claims] that seriously,” and are not anxious about an imminent threat. Similarly, Julia Zou (8) from the same school is “not at all concerned by the statements.” “I talk about it sometimes with my family, [but] they just tell me not to worry,” she said. “I think North Korea is just asserting that they will launch nuclear missiles, but I don’t think they will actually do this.” The mother of Thomas Lee (9), Choolye Sim, is even less concerned that anything at all will occur. “I don’t think there’s any chance for North Korea to act out,” she said. “It’s only one country against the whole world. I don’t think it’s a problem.” Students at the Upper School have

a similar viewpoint. Kevin Su (10) described his family’s anxiety about a potential attack from North Korea as “not at all, next to zero.” For some, the threats from North Korea not only do not impact their lives, but are so insignificant they have no knowledge of the situation. “My family is not even particularly up to date with politics, so no,” Matthew Huang (10) said. He added that his family has probably not even heard of the missile crisis. President Barack Obama himself stated he was dubious about the claims the North has made regarding its nuclear missiles. The North Korean government has attempted to be a verbal aggressor before, but has never acted out on their words. Most likely, inhabitants of the region near North Korea have nothing to be concerned about.

April 25, 2013


the Winged Post


Blast from the past: Faculty recounts prom memories Ever wonder what your teachers’ proms were like? Upper School faculty members Evan Barth, Erin Redfern and Andrew Irvine share their high school prom memories.

samar malik & priscilla pan & manthra panchapakesan copy editor & reporters

For English teacher Erin Redfern, attending “two junior proms was enough.” Surprisingly, Redfern only attended proms at Bellarmine instead of her own high school, Presentation, during her freshman and sophomore years. She specifically remembers that the most memorable part of her prom experience was shopping for dresses. “This was in the early 90s, right before prom dresses turned into slinky cocktail affairs. They were still like big, poofy, 80s-looking,” she said. “You knew you were in a prom dress.” Her two dresses were slightly different in style. One had a “black velvet top with a large cut out back” while the other was lavender with sequins, lace, and a satin band. “My second dress was smaller because the fashion was changing, but it was so fun shopping for prom dresses. It didn’t even matter which one I bought, it was just fun to go try them on,” she said. “Absolute best part of the prom.” As far as pre-prom parties, Redfern kept things pretty simple. “My friend Kerry and her boyfriend and my boyfriend all met at my house

Andrew Irvine, Chemistry teacher and lacrosse coach, still keeps “that cheesy little candle they put in one of those champagne glass[es]” as a keepsake from his senior prom. Irvine attended both his junior prom and senior prom in 1997 and 1998 He was invited to prom during his junior year by senior Katie. They actually were not dating, but because “she knew he was a fun guy”: she asked him with the intention of purely having fun. Irvine says he “knew [he] was a popular guy” but still found it peculiar that a girl he barely knew asked him to prom. His girlfriend at the time, Jackie, approved of the idea. She was both a good friendsand lacrosse teammate with his prom date.

and went together. It wasn’t like a limo thing or anything, we just went in her car,” she said. Her date to one prom was a player

on the golf team while she attended the other with her boyfriend at the time. “I met my first boyfriend playing pickup at the central YMCA. He criticized my form, and I was smitten.” She recalls a tux store that used to

be over on Campbell Avenue, where her boyfriend, who did not have enough money for a suit, modeled in exchange for being allowed to wear one for prom

night. At the prom itself, Redfern felt nervous, stating she “definitely didn’t like the meal.” “I was so young and so socially anxious, so I didn’t have much of an appetite, and I really didn’t want to awkwardly spill

During senior year, he attended prom with his high-school sweetheart, Jackie, who was one year behind him. Even though they were still dating after he went off to college, she wanted to be independent, and they ended up having a “messy breakup.” The prom was held in a hotel in Stamford, Connecticut, and the theme was a “classic end of high school song” called “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan. He recalls that all the girls were dressed up in a “little black dress.” Mr. Irvine also recalled that prior to junior prom, he attended a pre-prom party at his friend Tim’s house, and while he was not very familiar with the others there, they all looked cool and dapper.

food down the front of my dress,” she said. Instead, she was more excited to experience the more party-oriented aspect of the prom. “I was much more happy with the dancing and talking-to-people scene. Like as soon as we could get up from the big round table, I was like ‘Yes!’” she said. In retrospect, Redfern wishes she had the opportunity to attend prom at a co-ed school instead. “I think that the ideal thing to do would be to go with a bunch of friends that you’re all relaxed and casual around and it would be a really fun night,” she said. Redfern’s final piece of advice is to “go with a bunch of friends” to make the most out of the night. “I think the lower the stakes are for the night, the more fun you can have. I would hate to go to a dance hoping to start a relationship from there. That seems like a recipe for emotional disaster,” she said. As for girls who are uneasy about their prom experience, she advises to “not worry about how you look because you’re all beautiful.”

Andrew Irvine, 1997 Greenwich, CT

TalonWP news editor It’s close to that time of the year again: prom. Although it can be associated with pre-prom parties, glamorous dresses, and a time to cherish with friends made throughout high school years, what about the stress and worries regarding the ask? As the school year is coming to an end, there is no time to worry about this and that. To make your prom experience flow that much smoother, The Winged Post presents you with some ideas ranging from easy to hard, applicable to a close friend or that special someone.

Test Questions

T-shirt Although this idea is still on the simple side, it may require some artistic expertise, so if you do not enjoy being creative, this may not be the method for you. From a craft store nearby, purchase some fabric markers and a plain white T-shirt. (Sharpies will work instead of fabric marker.) On the front side of the T-shirt near the top, write “Prom?” and two squares labeled “Yes” and “No”. Then below that, write, “Check one”. The design of the shirt can be neat and simple or ornately designed. The effort is what counts. This idea is not very time-consuming and can be easily executed within an hour.

Candles One of the more romantic approaches to asking someone to prom, this idea requires the usage of a large bag of tea candles, which can be purchased at a craft or home improvement store. An important step in this process is communicating with his or her parents so that they know what is going on the night you decide to ask. After the coordination, find one night before prom to go to his or her house and organize the candles on the driveway so that it spells out “Prom?”. Be sure that he or she is out of the house during the time you set up so that it can be a surprise upon arriving at home with lighted candles in the driveway. Also, you will need to prepare a single rose or a bouquet of flowers to use when you ask. This method is the perfect way, especially if your special someone is someone that you are in a relationship with.

960 West Hedding St San Jose, CA 95126

Los Angeles, CA

shannon su

If you do not plan on asking someone to prom with an elaborately thought out idea, here’s an idea that is simple yet cute. Find a fortune cookie. On a small slip of paper, write “Will you go to prom with me?” and slip the message inside. If you find the task to be too difficult, there are online websites where you can order customized fortune cookies. Once the fortune cookie is complete, simply give it to him or her at school after lunch, or at a Chinese restaurant at the end of the meal. No one can turn down a fortune cookie, right?

Bellarmine College Prep

Evan Barth

But how do I ask my crush to

Fortune Cookie

Erin Redfern , 1988

If you and the person you would like to ask to prom share a class together, take the next assessment as an opportunity to ask him or her to prom in a sneaky way. To begin, discuss with your teacher to see if it would be possible to add one question to the next assessment stating, “Will you go to prom with me? – Your Name”. Hopefully it is made clear enough that you are asking him or her to prom so that he or she will understand what is going on. Particularly with this method, it incorporates the element of surprise, as it is unexpected to find this question on an assessment. With the plan in action, all you need to do is hope that he or she does not look through all the questions at the beginning of the test, defeating the purpose of having the question at the end.

Cookies The night before you want to ask someone to prom, you could bake him or her a batch of cookies using a special family recipe, or if you really can’t find the time to do so, drive to your nearest bakery and purchase a batch of freshly baked cookies. It would be best if the cookies were his or her favorite kind or have a special meaning to him or her. All you need to do is arrange the cookies so that they spell out “Prom?”, which can also be written with frosting. The cookies should be presented in the morning when they are the freshest or at lunch if you prefer.

Dean of Academics and Engineering teacher Evan Barth’s best memory from prom was “hanging out and just being kids.” He still remembers the hotel ballroom in downtown Los Angeles, decorated with streamers and balloons, where both his junior and senior prom were held. The themes for the prom dances were “A Night to Remember” and “Enchanted Evening”. “I remember my senior year, afterwards there were a whole bunch of friends who went over to a friend’s house. They ramped up the heat of the swimming pool to like 90 degrees, and it was ridiculous. It was like a second jacuzzi,” Barth said. Barth went to prom with his girlfriend in both junior and

senior year in ‘91 and ‘92, but does not recall asking her in a very elaborate fashion. Instead, he asked her in a note or card. Even though he does not remember exactly what he or his date wore, he remembers trying to find a corsage and tie that would match his date’s dress. He also recalls, “My date’s mom was on the chaperoning list, and at one point, I remember looking over, she was dancing on the dance floor, and that was like ‘whoa!’” Barth advises future promgoers to “have fun and be safe,” and says the two can happen at the same time. “Don’t be standing on the side of the dance floor wishing that you were dancing. Have fun,” he concluded.

Dress for less

Prom dress shopping on a budget monica thukral reporter Knowing that you are on a budget to buy a prom dress, you may assume that your dream dress is inevitably out of the question. Cost-effective shopping, however, will actually make your shopping

experience much more efficient. Going into prom dress shopping with an open mind will allow you to explore the variety of perfect dresses in your price range. The Winged Post compiled the following list of stores to make your dress shopping experience fun and effective.

1. Rent the Runway If you want a red-carpet-worthy dress for the price of one from Macy’s, check out Rent the Runway. You can rent a designer dress for your prom night for a price significantly lower than buying it for yourself. Although this site provides only about 25 dresses for under $100, it can bring BCBG, Vera Wang and Trina Turk dresses into your budget. You’re probably not going to wear it again anyway! 2. Do It Yourself Do you think that you have to buy an expensive, new dress to go to prom this year? Try revamping an old one instead! Find an old dress that you have not worn in a while or dig up your mom’s prom dress that you can pull off as “vintage.” If you can sew, try updating the hem or experiment with sleeves. Thrift shops provide second-hand dresses for incredible bargain prices. With this option, you will not need to fear wearing the same dress as someone else! 3. Snag Department Store Deals If you become discouraged by sorting through masses of dresses and cannot find one that meets your needs, check out your favorite department store. Going to a trusted store that you are familiar with can guarantee unbeatable customer service and often, free returns. If you check back on dresses each day for about a week, you can watch dresses fall into the sale section and meet your price point. 4. Go Mainstream The conventional prom dress shop can be the ideal place to commence your search because of its endless array of dresses. Since the site allows you to refine your search through thousands of dresses by designer, color, style, price and body type, this store can be perfect for time-saving shoppers. Limiting the search to prom dresses under $100 yields over 300 dresses. Alice Tsui (12) who does not like to spend more than 100 dollars on a prom dress, found her dresses at Ross and Ebay. “Try not to look at the pretty ones [on] because they can get really tempting,” she said.



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Campus poll: Favorite foods

Four American Classics Must-read novels that you do not want to miss out on vineet kosaraju reporter

As the school year draws to an end, it is time to take your mind off of preparing for APs and finals. What better way to de-stress than to transport yourself into the world of the timeless classics?

The Winged Post invites you to delve into the following four literary works, chosen by this reporter as the best American classics in their categories.

Best Fiction Let the Great World Spin connects stories of ten people who witnessed the spectacle of a tightrope walker crossing the Twin Towers and explores the human desire to connect with others. The author includes viewpoints from the multiple protagonists who are at times

in conflict with each other. The book has won the 2009 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In a manner similar to America’s culture, the novel’s diverse set of characters find strength within themselves

by uniting with others and exploring personal connections. “Let the Great World Spin describes the web of interconnections between the multiple social, cultural, and economic groups of the nation and creates a shared narrative across these groups,” Emily Wang (12) said.

Best Drama This American crime novel written by Mario Puzo portrays the transformation of a Mafia boss’ son from a reluctant heir to the mob empire into a ruthless Mafia leader. It was made into a movie based

on the screenplay by Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola and became one of the greatest films in world cinema. For David Lin (10), The Godfather is not just entertainment but also made him think. “I think it has a really interest-

ing plot, and it was a really monumental moment for me,” he said. “To be honest it was not just fun but also thought-provoking.” The film won three Oscars in 1972 and was 1972’s top-grossing movie.

Best Fantasy Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written about students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Potter undergoes several quests in order to combat the evil forces of the wizarding world, and

eventually defeats Lord Voldemort. Sreyas Misra (11) thinks that the series is popular because of its novel approach to wizarding life. “I feel like it is the first modern book with wizards and magic,” he said. Due to its immense popular-

Best Western Written by Walter Vin Tilburg Clark, The Ox-Bow Incident follows two nomads as they watch a lynch mob hunt down three men who supposedly murdered a local man. Three years after it was published, the novel was made into a

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movie, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and was preserved by the Library of Congress due to its cultural significance. “I consider The Ox-Bow Incident a classic because its literary qualities are widely acknowledged and because it imbues a story with fine

n o i h s a t: f

vasudha rengarajan TalonWP sports editor

The thin, vermillion peels of fruit glistened under the drops of sunlight spilling into the corner stalls, where the tune of cheery folk songs sounded faintly in the distance. It did not have air conditioning, much less indoor lighting or plastic sales tags, but the amenities were hardly missed in the open air of the San Jose Flea Market. Open Wednesday through Saturday, as one of the Bay Area’s oldest markets, this flea market is a very viable alternative to the supermarket on a lazy spring afternoon. Upon entrance, the environment was more than cheery, from the children playing to the spirited shoppers.

reporter 381 students responded to a survey determining their food and drink preferences. From favorite local frozen yogurt joint to best type of ethnic food, students were asked to select the best locations for each category.

Fav Place to Grab a Drink

ity with people of all ages, the series has been converted into an eight-part movie, and has even been used for an attraction park, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” It currently holds the record for the best-selling book series in history. craftsmanship and enduring social significance,” English teacher John Heyes said. The book covers universal themes, such as desiring revenge rather than justice, and explores the concept of mob mentality.

Fav Quick-Bite Restaurant

, f u si o n, a n

The produce vendors proudly handed out free samples of obscure fruits and vegetables, while other booths are redolent of the sweet fragrance of incense. Although originally specializing in selling and exchanging old or used items, the market now sells goods ranging from kitchenware to clothing. Many of the booths ranged beyond the ordinary, selling varieties of trinkets, flavored nuts, framed paintings, piñatas, fake flowers, and other decorative elements. For an uncommon shopping experience, the San Jose Flea Market is the ideal candidate. In comparison to a supermarket or a local mall, the location has broader aisles, smaller shops, and friendlier faces. There is not much foot traffic, and the music sweeps through a variety of genres, from Spanish music

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to Beyonce’s greatest hits. Boredom is not an option, as the market is reminiscent of a pier or boardwalk in its distinct aroma of specialty foods in the fresh air. Despite the positives stacked in its favor, the market has one disadvantage. Stalls are not arranged in any particular manner, and there are no signs to direct shoppers to certain items. To some, this may add to the adventure of shopping, but it can also prove to be a hindrance to those in a rush. Regardless, the San Jose Flea Market is an unexpectedly fun place to go window-shopping (or open-air shopping, rather, since there are no windows) with friends or family, and a wonderful location to discover new foods, delicious smells, and detailed trinkets to deck the vanity counter.

Favorite Frozen Yogurt

Favorite Ethnic Food


FLEA MARKET From fruit stands to countless clothing and trinket shops, the San Jose Flea Market is peppered with everything from the essential to the unexpected and is a must visit location for a relaxing Spring morning or afternoon.


spring fashion A

Frustrated by the unrelenting allergies and glaring neon colors that are in full force this spring? Don’t fret – recycle the earthy hues of your fall wardrobe with a pair of olive-green pants, but incorporate a floral scarf to keep the outfit springappropriate.


Topshop, $36


Uniqlo, $20


H&M, $38


H&M, $20

April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Bust out your trusty blue jeans and pair them with your favorite plaid button down for a rugged but relaxed vibe. Top the look off with a pair of canvas sneakers or flip-flops. A

Abercrombie & Fitch, $39


Kohl’s, $25


Sperry Top-Sider®, $45








emily lin reporter


With prom season right around the corner, splurging on the perfect gown or tux may leave you with a maxed out credit card and a wallet void of dough. Before you make a despondent trip to Walmart, stop by stores like H&M and Uniqlo, where you can find inexpensive but trendy clothes to stock your spring wardrobe. Also, don’t be afraid to explore local thrift shops, which are gold mines for vintage apparel and one-of-a-kind pieces.



To help you gather inspiration, The Winged Post has put together a set of four affordable but fashion-forward outfits utilizing pieces under $50. Use this page as a drawing board for outfit ideas, and don’t forget to channel your inner frugalista. Happy shopping! *all outfits constructed at


Is summer not coming fast enough? Recreate a look from a J. Crew catalog without breaking the bank—sport a striped top and bright-colored shorts with your favorite boat shoes. Your nautical outfit will transport you back to drifting yachts, azure horizons, and placid waters before you can say, “It’s summer.”



A, $28


H&M, $25

C, $40


Soak up the sun and dare to bare your newly bronzed legs in a breezy skater skirt (that adheres to dress code regulations). Blush-toned hues and delicate fabrics exude a timeless elegance, while a bold statement necklace completes the look with a pop of color. A

H&M, $20

B, $36


Topshop, $40


H&M, $18

Questionable government policy Dicussion over protection of privacy reporter

Most students at the Upper School live in a “Constitution-Free” zone, at least as far as their Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure go. “How is it that simple?” one might ask. “Those are the principles the nation was founded on! That’s the Bill of Rights!” Well, apparently it is that easy, at least according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Congress. For more than a decade, the DHS has had the right to stop and search anyone passing through the United States border, intending to crack down on infractions of border policy. Since 9/11, Congress has permitted such intrusions to encroach further and further into the country, and it now extends to 100 miles within any border or coastline — which, according to the census of 2007, is where two-thirds of American citizens currently live. Recently, Congress has even extended this right to apply to electronics such as flash drives, laptops, cellphones, and cameras. “I think it is an infringement upon our rights,” Tiffany Chu (11) said. “I don’t think it’s such an effective method [of border control].” Many other students agreed that the “Constitution-Free Zone” allowing for search and seizure even without a warrant goes directly against terms of the Fourth Amendment, which states that citizens should be secure in their documents, homes, and other belongings against unnecessary searches without a properly-processed warrant. The Border Search Exception was first introduced under the George W. Bush administration but was also re-ratified under the Obama administration. Its intent was to police the borders more thoroughly concerning matters of illegal or malicious trafficking. Students are rather divided regarding the law’s efficacy, but the majority seems to agree that the terms of the legislation are unconstitutional.

Facebook: New operating system

“For efficacy, it might be effective, but it’s honestly not going to solve the problem,” Nik Datuashvili (12) said. “So that is a gradual trend towards more government power and less civilian privacy, which will lead to more and more reductions of rights, which is honestly a long-term trend that’s been happening these last few decades, and I don’t like the direction it’s taking.” According to the DHS, the Border Search Exception extends through the entire states of Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, or Rhode Island.

That is a gradual trend towards more government power and less civilian privacy.

elisabeth siegel




April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Nik Datuashvili (12) Rishabh Chandra (9) expressed concerns over the morality of such a decision as well. “From what I can tell, I feel like as a matter of protection, it might be justifiable,” he said. “That said, it can easily be abused. It’s something that could be turned into a major problem. I would say it might be more feasible to try something else.” The DHS and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have continued to debate over the constitutionality and the application of the legislation, but overall, the DHS has most of the government on its side.

ANDROID ACCESS Recently released, Facebook Home provides users with the ability to access notifications, and post pictures and statuses without opening the application. This feature is available only on select Android devices for the time being. It also synchronizes Facebook chat messages with text message for easier usage.

vedant thyagaraj reporter Using the Facebook mobile application to find out what the latest gossip is or to pick up on a conversation with a friend is last generation technology; Home, according to Facebook, is the “future of Facebook.” On April 4 at his company’s new Menlo Park office, Mark Zuckerberg revealed Home, an application exclusive for Android-powered phones and with two primary new features: Cover Feed and Chat Heads. Cover Feed replaces Android users’ home screens with updates from their friends, while Chat Heads integrates text messages with Facebook chat and allows for chatting from any application. Instead of having to launch the Facebook mobile app in order to do the above, Home is integrated with the phone’s operating system (OS) and automatically displays new notifications. In fact, once users turn on the phone, they will see a stream of notifications, letting them know what they have missed. Along with Home, Facebook also launched the HTC First, an Android-powered smartphone built specifically for Home.

“We created Home because we wanted to create an experience on people’s phones that was more oriented around people, friends and content than tasks and applications,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook Product Management Director. “We can’t speak for all of social networking, but the aspiration is to start to shift the way people organize the information on their phone to a more natural, approachable model. Our hope is that this will be helpful, that’s what we designed it to be.” Currently, many students use Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site, for a variety of purposes. “I use Facebook mainly for social interaction, especially with my German friends, with whom I can easily chat any time. Through this I also ask for homework [or] test prep as well,” Wei Wei Buchsteiner (11) said. Although they use the official Facebook website very often, many students are also dependent on the mobile Facebook application that is available for many platforms, including iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. “I can check my Facebook wherever I am using my data plan, which is really useful for chatting with people

and updating my status,” Sriram Somasundaram (10) said. Many think of Home as an enticing Android application, one that will definitely be useful in the future. It brings many new features that allow for a more personalized Facebook experience. However, some also view it as a major distraction due to the constant pinging of messages and the replacement of the home screen with Cover Feed. With notifications constantly appearing on the phone, users might find themselves swamped with alerts. The much-awaited Home started rolling out on April 12 free of charge to select Android devices, including the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The company plans to spread Home to many more Android devices in the future. Only iPhone users will be left behind with Home, as Apple does not give as much operating system flexibility as Google does with their Android platform. Facebook has been touting Home as the future of the company; whether this product truly lives up to those words remains to be seen.

President Obama funds new brain study shay lari-hosain reporter President Obama unveiled a $100 million research initiative to map the over 100 billion neurons of the human brain earlier this month, comparing it to the Human Genome Project and stating that it will spur innovation and economic growth. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative seeks to, in the President’s words, “[give] scientists the tools they need to give them a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember.” Obama revealed that the research enterprise will be financed by both the private and public sector. Contributors include the National Institute of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation. Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore stated that the mapping of the human brain will be a much more formidable undertaking compared to a project of the last decade. “When the Human Genome Project was started, we knew what it would look like; we already knew a lot of genes, we already knew a lot of DNA,” he said. “It was filling in the blanks. It was hard work, it took organization and skill, but it wasn’t a conceptual challenge. The brain represents a conceptual challenge.” The Nobel Prize winner is an ardent supporter of the research initiative, believing it will unlock the enigma of the human brain. “We don’t understand how the brain works, we don’t understand what information in the brain means, and we don’t understand how the brain integrates - the many different strands of

excitation that it gets through our different senses,” Dr. Baltimore said in an interview with the Winged Post. “If you just look at vision, the way the brain deals with a visual image is to decompose it into a lot of pieces, color, movement, and then put it all back together again. We don’t really understand how that happens.” Obama and many scientists believe in the potential for the program to predict not only debilitating neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s but also mental illness, which Dr. Baltimore believes is “one of the world’s greatest challenges today.” He, like many, believes symptomatic treatment is not enough for prevention of these illnesses. Alumna Surbhi Sarna (’03) echoed this sentiment. Surbhi studied molecular and cell biology at University of California, Berkeley, conducted clinical research at Stanford, and is the founder of startup nVision Medical. “The key to cure and prevention of any disease is to really understand the underlying disease; if you just go after symptoms without understanding the basics of what’s causing that disease, then you’re searching in the dark,” Surbhi said. “I think it is always valuable to do neuroscientific research and then out of that many applications can be drawn.” Anita Chetty, Science Department Head, expressed her belief that scientific research should be as high of a priority as other political issues. “I really think that having an understanding of how we think and how we learn can only assist our country in moving forward,” Chetty said. “I recognize that our economy needs the attention of the government, but I really believe that we really need to understand how we think and how we learn, which


Harker community shares thoughts about BRAIN, administration’s new research initiative

BRAIN IMAGING This picture shows a simple three dimensional mapping of the neural connections inside the brain. The research was funded primarily by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and hopes to map all of the brain’s neurons.

will ultimately lead to us being able to solve problems faster, quicker, and in ways that will have more meaningful impact in the long term.” Dr. Matthew Harley, who teaches Honors Biology and Biotechnology, also believes that projects such as the BRAIN initiative are of the utmost importance to society in the long term. “Basic research will lead to advances and help in so many other issues including education; there’s so much especially about the brain that we don’t know that who knows what will be unlocked and who knows what applications it has,” Dr. Harley said. “I think research should always have appropriate funding, because that’s really what drives innovation and technology and

advancement in multiple areas of our lives.” However, some question why we consider the research a priority when federal funding needs to be allocated to more pressing issues such as the national deficit as well as international affairs. “While I think that brain research is certainly fantastic in helping supplement our knowledge of the human body, I think that in today’s [situation] we don’t have [excess] money to [spend],” Abhinav Ketineni (9) said. Abhinav sees value in the research initiative but feels the federal government does not have the resources to sustain the project, citing the plummeting economy and the threat from North Korea as critical matters to be

addressed. Sarika Bajaj (11), however, feels the initiative takes precedence over political issues. “I feel like science should always have funding, no matter what it is,” she said. “It’s never a waste of money to improve our knowledge.” With today’s technology, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it is possible for researchers to detect neuron activity for up to one million neurons. However, that is insufficient for the daunting endeavor of mapping the human brain. The brain mapping project will create the impetus to develop these tools, maintaining the United States’ reputation of being on the forefront of cutting edge technology.



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post


Program developed to instantly assess essays

EMERGING EDX This online education program, formed at MIT and Harvard, has created a program to objectively and instantaneously grade short answer and essay questions. Opposition is strong, however, as teachers and professors argue that students would lack the subjective and constructive critical feedback they would receive from traditional grading methods.

nikhil dilip EIT & tech editor After completing your in-class essay, you get up and place it on your teacher’s desk. You sit back in your seat, nervous, wondering if you forgot one of your main points or constructed your argument poorly. You will have no idea how you fared until several weeks later, when the teacher has finished grading every student’s essay and is ready to hand them back. What if there was a way to instantaneously find out your grade on a free-response section? EdX, an open, online course platform, recently introduced software that will grade students’ essays and be able to give feedback immediately. In a process similar to how

Scantron machines assess students’ responses to multiple-choice, matching, or true-false questions, the program will instantly provide results in an objective manner. To train the system, EdX has recruited a team of professors to grade 100 sample essays by hand and compare results with what the system provides. By using many machinelearning tactics, EdX expects that the system will soon develop the ability to grade free-response answers like a human teacher. Many students think that it will be a simple way to receive feedback quickly so that they can improve their writing. “It’s great to get a second opinion on your essays, and it will help you to get a better grade,” Namitha

Vellian (9) said. Others doubt it can be an effective tool because an objective program that can assess a subjective answer may be imprecise and ultimately unhelpful. “I’m not too sure how effective it will be because it’s not like someone is taking the time out to grade your essay thoroughly. The fact that it can provide results instantly is kind of discomforting because I don’t know if it would be entirely accurate,” Srikar Pyda (11) said. “Sure, it seems helpful on the surface, but I really question how correctly it would be able to score my essay or the answer to any subjective question for that matter.” A group of teachers and professors has introduced an online petition opposing automated grading systems

for free-response questions, called “Professionals against machine scoring of student essays in high-stakes assessment.” The petition, which has collected over 2,000 signatures, has yet to receive a formal response from EdX. It emphasizes that the scores for these essays are “used in life-changing decisions” and accuses computers of not being able to “read” and not being able to “measure the essentials of effective written communication.” The website has promoted the program as a way for teachers to save time and free them for other tasks. English teacher Charles Shuttleworth, however, believes that it will ultimately harm students because they do not get personal criticism. “The major benefit of a private

school is the personal attention that students get on their writing. There’s nothing more valuable in terms of their development than getting that individual feedback,” Shuttleworth said. “I’m sure it would save teachers work, but that’s not the point. That’s not what parents are paying for, and it’s not what students deserve.” EdX, which developed the software, also offers online courses for anybody to take for free, the result of a collaboration between Harvard University and MIT. EdX has teamed up with several universities to provide courses that can count towards the graduation requirements of a student enrolled in that university. Students can earn certificates of mastery for such courses under the discretion of EdX and their university. The certificates were free for the Fall 2012 semester, but EdX plans to charge “a modest fee” for them in the future. The website is still developing a model on how to use the software in these courses. EdX is planning on offering the program for free to the universities but charging for the general population to use it. Similar to existing online education platforms such as Khan Academy, iTunes U, and MIT OpenCourseWare, EdX lists over 100 university-level courses for students to take without charge. The website currently provides courses from Harvard, MIT, and University of California, Berkeley and plans to add classes from Wellesley College, Georgetown University, and University of Texas, Austin in the fall. According to the company’s website, EdX “features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web” and is trying to create “a new online-learning experience with online courses that reflect disciplinary breadth.” EdX’s program for the spring 2013 semester is underway, and the website is currently in the process of finalizing a course list for the fall semester.

Sports reporter

Kilian Burke



Captain of the tennis team Kilian Burke (11) is one of this month’s Athletes of the Month. He contributed to wins against Kings Academy and Fremont High School with 6-2,6-0 and 6-1,6-2 at Kings Academy High School and a similar victory at Fremont High School. His fellow teammates describe him as responsible and hardworking. “He’s very responsible and he plays hard at matches,” teammate Brandon Yang (11) said. “Kilian is always very focused and driven, but he also knows how to have a good time.” The boys team Central Coast Section First Round will take place on May 1.


Andrew Zhu

One of the captains of the Varsity boys volleyball team, junior Andrew Zhu is one of the Athletes of the Month. Andrew has executed 257 kills including 26 during games against Harbor High School and Westmont High School, both of which ended in wins, and 30 against Lynbrook High School. Andrew is recognized not only for his skill as a player but also for his leadership skills. “He has among the best attitudes of any kid I’ve coached. He’s an extremely hard worker, never complains, and he’s also the most skilled player on our team: best all-around,” Varsity Head Coach Dan Molin said. “He’s just setting a great example for all of our athletes.” Andrew has been on Varsity since freshman year. This year as captain, he has continued his hard work and attitude both on and off the court, whether it be cheering on his teammates, fixing their form, or keeping them focused.

Michelle Douglas


anishka agarwal

Isabelle Connell



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Michelle Douglas (12), co-captain of the Varsity girls lacrosse team, is one of the team’s top scorers. In a league game against Tamalpais High School, Michelle scored six goals, contributing to an 18-6 win. She is recognized not just for her skill on the field but also for her leadership skills and trustworthy and responsible character. “Through the years, she has been a constant source of leadership off and on the field. A lot of ladies look up to her for support,” Varsity Head Coach Andrew Irvine said. “She’s a finisher. She’s someone whom you can count on. She’s not afraid to take an opportunity. She’s someone you can trust.” Michelle is appreciated by her teammates and coaches alike.

Izzy Connell (12) goes way beyond what is required of her as co-captain of the Varsity Track team. Year-round, Izzy trains to both build strength and improve her track times. Athletic Trainer Ron Forbes began working with Izzy the fall before her sophomore year. “She trains like an elite athlete, like a high level athlete most like the athletes I’ve worked with in college: very serious, very committed to her sport,” Forbes said. “All of her decisions, everything she does, is to help her reach her goals, and so far, as you can see from her times, she has done a tremendous job.” At the CCS Top 8 meet held at San Jose City College, Izzy ran the 400 meter in 57.98 seconds and the 200 meter in 25.12 seconds, setting two school records. Izzy earned the Iron Eagle award last year and was mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News’ highlight reel. Izzy will continue running track next year at Pepperdine University.

Kevin’s Commentary Healthy Eating: Options for athletes alyssa amick

darian edvalson

TalonWP online editor

TalonWP chief in training

Breakfast: The alarm goes off and students rush to get out the door, filling themselves with a buttered piece of toast or a donut as they pass through the kitchen on the way to the car. But the most often skipped meal is actually the most important one for athletes. “I usually eat a nut and a berry bar. It’s quite a bit less than I eat for other meals because my appetite is much smaller in the morning,” Sean Knudsen (11) said. Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day and should include proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and


ANNOUNCER Kevin Mohanram (11) has started announcing at softball and baseball games this spring and hopes to expand to more sports in the future.

The players enjoyed hearing Kevin announce at the game, as it is something unique to the school and provides lighthearted support for the athletes. “It was enjoyable to hear the nicknames made up for teammates, and instilled pride in the team,” said Vivian Isenberg (10), who plays second base on the Varsity Softball team. “Other than that, it was kind of funny watching him announce the end of the game with another inning to go and pissing off the other coach.” Teammate Sarah Bean also liked hearing Kevin announce at the game. “It made having home field advantage even more special,” said Sarah Bean (10). While announcing is fun for Kevin, it does not come without challenges. “The most challenging part is paying attention the whole time. It gets kind of tough and you can’t like drift off or anything because then you miss what’s happening and then you’re kind of behind.” Kevin will continue announcing at baseball and softball games for the remainder of the year, with the possibility of adding volleyball into the mix as well. Additionally, he hopes to have fun announcing at football games next season, although he admits it may be a challenge.

BREAKFAST Enjoy an omelet in the morning to start your day out right.

Lunch: At school, sometimes it seems hard to stay healthy between the pizza, fries, and countless small desserts asking to be picked up every time you wander through Manzanita. The cafeteria offers a wide variety of healthy, filling options for athletes if they know what to look for, however. “Most of the time I try to eat healthy and get fruit, the main dish, and juice or water,” said Varsity volleyball player Shannon Richardson (9). “I also try to get a good mix of different kinds of food so that I don’t end up eating all carbs, but sometimes I get lazy. I’ll just get pizza because I have to do homework or study for a test.”

vegetables, while not having very much (if any) sugar, according to nutritionist Dr. Melanie Silverman. Rather than eating that piece of toast, opt for an omelet – complete with potatoes, chicken, broccoli, spinach, onions, and carrots – or ham and vegetables to stay healthy and be energized for your work out. “Eating breakfast is important to help fuel your body for the day’s activities both physically and mentally,” she said. “I like to counsel my student athletes to eat fresh foods as much as possible, fuel throughout the day.”

The main courses are often wholesome and provide all the nutrients needed from a meal; steak, chicken, potatoes, and broccoli are common things to see at the counter. If this meal doesn’t excite you, the salad bar always offers a wide range of healthy vegetables, salads, wraps, and soups. Ending lunch with a large glass of water will clean out athletes’ systems and prepare them for the water loss that comes with working out. If you still feel hungry after lunch, stop by the fruit bar to grab LUNCH The school cafeteria offers lots of healthy options for athletes if they opt for some melons or strawberries, or vegatables, proteins and carbs. grab a sandwich to tide you over until practice.


Amid the smacks of ball against bat and the shouts of players on the softball filed, the speakers crackled to life. “Next up to bat for your Harker Eagles is Ashley ‘Smashley’ Del Alto,” blared the speaker system as student announcer Kevin Mohanram (11) focused intently on the game at hand, careful not to miss any minor details. A few months ago, Kevin decided that announcing at various sports games would be a good way to stay involved with the sports community even though an injured shoulder keeps him off of the field. “I knew I couldn’t play anymore because my shoulder would pop out all the time, so I figured [announcing] would be fun,” he said. After a quick email to Greg Lawson, the Assistant Head of School for Student Affairs, Kevin had the permission, the speaker system, and the extension cord necessary to take on the challenge. “I was absolutely thrilled to hear of Kevin’s genuine interest in announcing games and willingness to undergo some training,” Lawson said. “I’m glad we were able to facilitate his desire to do this and add to the overall level of support for our student-athletes by having an announcer at some of the games this spring while helping Kevin get involved in something that may contribute to his own personal goals.” So far, Kevin has announced at one baseball and one softball game. Prior to his first game he was, not surprisingly, very nervous. “I was kind of nervous because I had no idea what I was doing, but it turned out okay in the end,” he said. One of his favorite things about announcing is nicknames. With the help of the both the softball team and the boys volleyball team, Kevin was able to incorporate existing and brand new nicknames into his announcing. Some of the nicknames include Ashley “Smashley” Del Alto, Sarah “Hit it to the Green” Bean, and Laura “Thackattack” Thacker. “Everyone loves nicknames,” Kevin said. “It makes everything more interesting too.”

Athletes need to build muscle and to sustain energy throughout their workouts, both of which require proper nutrition and eating habits. Here are some ways to stay healthy throughout the day.

DINNER To stay fit and grow, athletes must make sure to eat a balanced meal.

Dinner: Dinner is an important meal for athletes, as they have to replenish their bodies with nutritious food after a hard practice or before a big game. Eating a lot of protein and carbohydrates to build muscle and replace burned calories is extremely important in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. “When my family manages to all get home early enough to sit down for dinner together, my mom usually cooks some kind of meat like chicken and makes a salad or vegetable on the side,” Molly Wolfe (12)


The best idea for a reliably good dinner is one with a serving of protein from chicken, beef, or another meat, carbohydrates from potatoes or yams, needed minerals and vitamins that come with green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, and another serving of veggies like carrots. “It’s important to get your daily allotment of vegetables and protein in. Many athletes can’t build muscle because they don’t get all the nutrients that they need,” personal trainer Scott Lamb said.





“I’m pumped for the crowd on senior night.” -David Lindars (12)








“I’ve had a great time playing these past four years.” -Kevin Cali (12)








“Golf is a mental game and we’ve been improving on that.” -Coach Ie-Chen Cheng








It’s important to keep your head in the game and stay healthy.” -Richard Fan (12)

Two teachers describe their endeavors in physical fitness sonia sidhu sports editor

“This is the best season we’ve ever had.” -Tiphaine Delepine (12)








We’ve done pretty well in league meets, and I’ve gotten faster.” -Jackelyn Shen (10)








“We’ve gotten a lot closer [...] that’s helped us win games.” -Nitya Mani (10)









“[Our coach] has made the program so much better.” -Josh Bollar (12)


Key athletes include Isabelle Connell (12), Sumit Minocha (12), Corey Gonzales (10), Michael Chen (12) and Claudia Tischler (11) many of who have achieved personal and school records.

Andrew Irvine: Chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine, is known for being a unique teacher, whether it be joking constantly, setting off fire alarms, resembling Alan from The Hangover, or playing kayak water polo. Irvine started the unique sport after his wife’s landlord told him about practices at Shoreline Aquatic Center. Kayak polo is similar to water polo: the object of the game is to get the ball in the net, which resembles a basketball hoop, at the end of the water. It is played five-on-five, with a goalie who transitions to an attacker, so the defensive team is always a player down. With experience both in kayaking in college and playing JV water polo in high school, Irvine decided to give it a try. And he hated it. During his first practice, he found it extremely hard to maneuver the kayak while handling the ball and was unable to “hand roll” back upright if his kayak tipped over. He hesitantly came back for a second practice and noticed that he was slowly making some progress; today he plays on the National Mens Kayak Polo team in the B division but is looking to move up to the A division by the end of the year. His team won the silver medal in the national tournament in Austin, Texas this past fall, where Irvine played goalie in some games in the tournament. He hopes that the team can take the gold medal in the upcoming tournament on September 20 at Shoreline Aquatic Center. Irvine is coached by a Russian teammate, Sergey, whose positive attitude and calm nature has helped Irvine pick up skills quickly. Irvine has used this experience to improve his own coaching skills as well, coaching the girls’ lacrosse team. “Playing has made me a better coach,” he said. “I’ll be more clear when I give directions.” Irvine thinks that, in a certain sense, kayak polo is a metaphor for life.




Teachers stay in shape

LIVES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM Andrew Irvine (LEFT) pratices kayak water polo with his team at Shoreline Aquatic Center. Carol Zink (RIGHT) hikes in New Hampshire during the summer.

Playing has made me a better coach.



April 25, 2013 the Winged Post

Andrew Irvine, Chemistry teacher “You just have to keep on going,” he said. “People are going to try and knock you over but just ‘hand-roll’ back up.” Carol Zink: History teacher Carol Zink exercises almost every morning from Monday to Saturday to keep active, either swimming or participating in CrossFit. Zink swims at the Stanford Master’s workout on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 5:10 in the morning with her husband. She started swimming seven years ago and has loved the Stanford program from the beginning. During the morning workouts, Zink typically swims about 3500 meters in the long course pool. She enjoys the social

aspect of swimming as well as getting fit. Her primary motivator for getting up early, even when she wants to sleep in, is the satisfaction she gets from staying in shape. “I like being physically fit,” she said. “I like being able to pick up my grandson.” CrossFit, an intense 20-minute workout program with a coach, is something that helps her improve strength as opposed to the more leisurely workout swimming provides. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, she goes to a gym with a CrossFit instructor from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Recently, she has been trying to get more involved in CrossFit because it helps her increase her overall strength more than swimming. Earlier this year, Zink was deadlifting 100 pounds and now she is at 155. “CrossFit doesn’t get easier. As soon as you get comfortable, they increase the difficulty,” she said. In addition to swimming and doing CrossFit, Zink also kayaks, hikes, and bikes mainly in the summer. Her goals for the future include climbing the 48 peaks in New Hampshire that climb 4000 feet and higher, hiking chunks of the Appalachian Trail, and kayaking the length of the Connecticut River.







The Back Page

April 26, 2013 the Winged Post





Established in 1958, our current campus has undergone several renovations throughout the decades. Initially home to Mother Butler Memorial High School in the 50s and 60s, 500 Saratoga Avenue became the Harker Academy in 1972 after the Harker Day School and the Palo Alto Military Academy merged. The original campus consisted of what is currently Main and Manzanita Halls. Shown here are the past and present versions of various sites on campus. From Top: Main is now carpeted and no longer has lockers at the entrance. The former library is now the College Counseling Office. Manzanita was expanded to include the Journalism Room and a patio seating area. During the Mother Butler era, the Bistro was a chapel. For more information on the history of Harker’s campuses, visit the history section of the Harker website.

Winged Post Vol 14 No 7  

The Winged Post Volume 14 Number 7

Winged Post Vol 14 No 7  

The Winged Post Volume 14 Number 7