Page 1







JUNE 2020


7 16 37

news covid

feature op-ed








EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Daisy Finefrock Phoebe Stein


BUSINESS MANAGERS Julia Guglielmo Paige Levinson Madison Kirk

CREATIVE DIRECTORS Mia Humberd-Hilf Emma Raith WEB & MEDIA EDITOR Nafisah Fathima

PHOTO EDITOR Katherine Monroy

LAYOUT MANAGER Amara Murphy WEB DIRECTOR Nafisah Fathima WEB MANAGING EDITOR Zane Zemeckis Keenan Surber NEWS EDITOR Ian Brown OPINION EDITOR Madeleine Nicks FEATURE EDITOR Frances Carlson A&E EDITOR Violet Zhou COPY EDITOR

Elizabeth Bisno


EDITORS Boning Zhang Patrick Otte

SPORTS EDITORS Christian Branch Macy Christal INDEPEDENT ARTISTS Claire Tolles Olivia Davenport STAFF Cody Busch-Weiss Dare Fitzpatrick Andreas Jackson Wesley Schulz Jacob Self Elli Westmacott Lancelot Mabon Hanna Masri FACULTY ADVISER Trish McHale, MJE

Letter from the Editors H

ello Laguna! It’s been a while. We can’t express how hard it is to not be on campus every day and feel sure that all of you are feeling the same way. Uncertainty is at the forefront of our minds, and during these past few months, we have tried our best to figure out a way to honor our seniors while also recognizing the changes our world and our community are experiencing. Usually, our fifth and final issue of The Fourth Estate is an ode to our graduating class, and we wanted this one to be no different. The class of 2020 has been through so much during their time at Laguna — a mudslide, the Thomas Fire, and now, a global pandemic. None of us expected the year to end like this. Our staff, in isolation like the rest of the world, initially struggled to decide how to properly recognize this class. We grappled with the idea of releasing our magazine online, but decided that our goal should not be to do what is easiest but to do what is right. We decided, unanimously, that this issue would be no different from the rest — a 52page magazine that the graduating class can keep for years to come. Another group of students may not have been able to pull this Senior Issue together, but the 32 students on the staff of The Fourth Estate are no ordinary group of high school journalists. We had to completely change the way we wrote, designed and organized this magazine, all from behind screens. It’s impossible to describe how challenging it was to take one of Laguna’s most interactive classes and move it to Zoom, emails and texts, but this letter you are reading proves that we accomplished what we set out to do, and for that, we are immensely proud of our staff. So many senior staff members are leaving us this year, including both of our Creative Directors. The loss of our peers weighs heavily on us at this time, and it’s hard to imagine returning to Kalfas Computer Lab in the Fall without the presence of so many of our talented staffers. The Senior issue is here to honor those staff members, along with the rest of the class of 2020. We applaud you for the hard work you have put in for four years. We celebrate you, even if it isn’t in person. We are so proud of each and every one of you.

Editors-in-Chief Phoebe Stein & Daisy Finefrock

• MISSION STATEMENT The Fourth Estate is an open forum created for and by journalism students of Laguna Blanca Upper School. We hope to use this space to cover events, interviews and topics of interest in greater depth. Our staff seeks to be a platform for creative expression and to report on events and ideas of importance to our readers and to focus on topics of significance and interest to inform and entertain the school community. • LETTERS TO THE EDITORS The Fourth Estate welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and must be no longer than 400 words. Editors reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and/or taste. Anonymous letters will not be published. The Fourth Estate reserves the right to reject advertising. Opinions expressed in this publication reflect the perspectives of the staff whose goal is to inform our readers with reliable information from which to base decisions and opinions. Editorials represent the voice of the staff and are voted on by the entire staff. Columns and commentaries are labeled as such and represent the opinion of the author. The Fourth Estate publishes four issues per year with a senior insert in the last issue. • BYLINE POLICY When two or three people work on a story, all names will be listed. If an editor rewrites a majority of a story, the editor’s name will be listed. • CORRECTION POLICY The staff strives for accuracy. When factual errors occur, mistakes are found or brought to the attention of the staff, corrections will be printed in a corrections box in the next issue. • COLOPHON This is the final issue of the 2019-2020 school year for The Fourth Estate the high school magazine of Laguna Blanca School, 4125 Paloma Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93110. Contacts are available at, (805) 687-2461 x0317 or Laguna Blanca School is an EK through 12th program with a student population of approximately 350, with 166 students in the Upper School, and a faculty of approximately 60. The Fourth Estate is an 8.5 by 11 general magazine, created on Mac computers on Adobe InDesign CC2020, using FreightNeo Pro and Big Caslon font families and printed on glossy paper free for students and $30 for annual subscriptions. The magazine is distributed to all Upper School faculty and to all high school students through the school’s advisory program and sent by mail to subscribers with 300 copies printed per issue. We are associated with NSPA, CSPA and JEA.

4 • NEWS

College and the Coronavirus While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Laguna students in all grades, this year’s seniors have the added task of navigating the transition to college despite these uncertain times.


t’s safe to say that few people ever thought the situation with COVID-19 would become this extreme. The economy has ground to a halt, people are isolated in their homes in self-enforced quarantine, and, most notably for many Laguna students, school has switched to an “online learning” model for at least the foreseeable future. However, this change, extends to higher learning as well as high school, leaving many seniors worried about whether or not they will be leaving for college come August. The class of 2020 gained admittance to a wide variety of colleges from all across the nation, with some considering international institutions as well. The coronavirus can impact all of these plans in a variety of ways, and with such an uncertain future regarding the status of the global economy, it looks as though there may be a delay in a number of our seniors’ schedules. One of the most notable changes to the fourth quarter for this year’s seniors is a inability to visit schools that have accepted them. When asked about this lack of communication, senior Peter Smith said, “There are a number of communication delays between me and the college, but the most significant change for me is the lack of an “admitted student’s day” where incoming freshmen can meet each other before the year begins.” In the past, these events have been a crucial element of the college selection process, one which usually involved a number of trips to a variety of schools across the country to determine which was the right option for each student. However, in lieu of this outbreak, many prominent institutions closed their doors to visitors, opting instead for “online welcome sessions” usually hosted over the Zoom platform.

It is commendable that colleges are taking such strides to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but, as with many other facets of ordinary life, this change will drastically affect the way seniors will select their future home. Without the ability to get an in-person look at how their college options differ in personality and academics, the choice will have to rely much more heavily on numbers and rankings as opposed to whether or not a college “feels right.” Much remains up in the air and is heavily dependent on the next few months in relation to the pandemic, leaving many seniors questioning whether or not they will actually be departing for college in a few months. For students like Peter, who are attending schools with unique schedules such as a “block system” of classes (where students focus on one class at a time rather than taking several classes), this can be particularly complicated. “There are sort of three options for the school right now: the first is to delay the start of college and just move the block system back, we could do the first blocks at home, which are three weeks each, or we can go in the fall. In the end, I really don’t know what they’ll do. There’s also the possibility we will have to leave again part-way through the year.” Many colleges are hesitant to say what their plans are for the 2020-2021 school year, with a vast swath of them simply saying that they will “continue to

monitor” the progression of the pandemic and will “follow CDC guidelines” to the best of their ability. This adds another layer of uncertainty for seniors. Furthermore, there is the issue of international travel for students attending colleges outside of the U.S... along with the uncertainty of when their school will actually begin. These students must rely on international travel restrictions being lifted before their move-in date. While lock-down protocols may be called off in time for school to start domestically, there is no telling as to whether or not the U.S.. will permit international travel at this time as well. This leaves those select few students with a particularly difficult predicament in an already highly unpredictable time. WORDS by IAN BROWN ART by MIA HUMBERD-HILF NEWS • 5

Democrats, Republicans and the Coronavirus: Coming Out on Top During a Time of Crisis

The Hoarding Mentality

In times of crisis, people hoard every-day household items. What instigates the panic, and why do we normalize this behavior?


The Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on the Political Front


n extremely divided, diverse and self-destructive field of Democratic presidential candidates this year saw their endless media coverage brought to a permanent halt when the coronavirus began spreading exponentially across the world. The virus continues to wreak political, economic and social havoc in every nation it touches, kill hundreds of thousands of people and fill hospitals past capacity. With the 78-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden remaining as the final primary candidate in the field after Bernie Sander’s quiet (and life-threateningly late) withdrawal, the Democratic Party and most left-leaning media sources have fallen into line behind Biden and are preparing for a November election showdown with President Trump. The global pandemic, however, has thrown quite the wrench into this plan. With the inability to host meaningful political rallies, a 24/7 news cycle focused on the coronavirus, and a nation in which President Trump has seen his highest approval ratings to date, Biden and his supporters have a difficult path in front of them.

Throughout United States history, the most re-elected presidents were those who guided the country through a time of crisis, even if they did so poorly. Lyndon B. Johnson hit just about 50 percent during the tumultuous year of 1968, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s approval ratings during World War II and the Great Depression were so high that he was elected four times, and after 9/11 George W. Bush boasted an approval rating of just above 80 percent. Donald Trump, too, has benefited from this “wartime” support from many Americans. With an approval rating ranging from 48-52 percent depending on which poll is taken into consideration, most pollsters would say that Trump’s current approval rating is higher than Obama’s before the latter went on to win re-election. This newfound popular support of Donald Trump, as well as the problems of organizing virus-proof voting booths, on top of a collapsing economy and record-low fundraising for the DNC, has led to many doubts over what previously seemed to be an easy and assured victory against President Trump. While it remains to be seen what kind of support and unity Biden can manage to rally in this time of crisis, an overwhelming number of factors seem to have come into play against his campaign.


6 • NEWS


he spread of COVID-19 has dramatically altered our way of life, with people spending most of their time at home. Clearly, the virus is terrifying in itself, but people’s responses to this pandemic can make the problem even worse. Many have taken to storming their local grocery stores in a frantic rush to buy excess amounts of paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and especially toilet paper. As the pandemic continues, the focus of hoarding has shifted to nonessentials such as hair products and the new shopping norm is now similar to a Black Friday rush, except that people want an abundance of personal necessities instead of TVs. Why? Three principles may explain the hoarding behavior and resulting shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. The first principle involves basic economic supply and demand. Reduction in supply without a change in demand can cause shortages and rationing, as was the case during World War II with consumer goods such as sugar and coffee.


However, the current shortages are the result of not a lack of supply, but rather an excess of demand. A significant portion of people under stay-at-home orders across the U.S. are “Doomsday-prepping”— stocking up on everything they deem “necessary” to live in complete isolation for weeks on end. Toilet paper, being one of the basic necessities to maintain proper hygiene, has shown an increase in demand but no change in supply. The consequence of this imbalance is a major shortage that has caused distress to shoppers and their families across the [country or globe]. A second perspective on the shortages is another principle of economics — game theory. Game theory involves understanding people’s behavior based on how they think other people will behave. If everyone acted rationally and bought supplies when they needed them we would all be able to get what we need. However, when a few paranoid individuals overcome by fear start buying more than they could possibly need, their actions cause a snowball effect, and more and more people follow suit. Other people who buy not out of fear of the pandemic itself, but out of fear of running out of supplies due to the original hoarders. “Secondary” hoarders continue to worsen the problem, and eventually the stores’ toilet paper shelves are left bare.

A final explanation for the hoarding behavior centers on the psychology of the consumers. Most threats humans have faced in evolutionary history have been simple, single, external threats, such as a dangerous animal or a lack of food — events that we have some form of control over: we can run from the animal or forage for more food. However, a global pandemic is a situation impossible for any individual to control. This sense of helplessness —that we are at the mercy of the virus and those investigating it—is terrifying, and tasks like shopping can help people retain a sense of control over their life. Regardless of the reasons for hoarding during the coronavirus pandemic, we should all try to remain reasonable. We should buy only what we need. Although having a few extra necessities on hand may be a good idea, joining the thousands of frantic shoppers to scramble for the last items on the shelf is neither thoughtful nor effective. As long as we remain calm and be cognizant of ourselves and others, people will be able to get what they need for the duration of this pandemic.

How To Avoid Cabin Fever

During this age of lockdown orders and self-isolation, it may be hard to find activities to keep yourself busy through the long days. Here are a few tips and ideas to stay active, healthy and entertained.








After weeks of being around only your family, it’s easy to fall into a rhythm of skipping showers, wearing the same pair of sweatpants for several days straight, and forgetting what shoes are all together. However, despite how relaxed you may feel at home, it’s important to avoid these tempting habits. Instead, try appointing a daily time to take a shower as well as ditching the pajamas, brushing your hair, and starting a thorough skincare regimen. By making an effort with your self-care and building a routine separate from schoolwork, you can achieve some sense of structure in your life.

As easy as it is to forget to shower consistently, it’s also easy to give up hope of getting good exercise. Whether you rely on school sports or the local gym, the options for your daily activity have been severely hurt. It’s more important than ever to take care of your body by working out. New and virus-free options include a range of online Zoom classes, Instagram-live sessions or group FaceTimes with friends. Now, you can take the Zumba class you never wanted to pay for or experiment with a kickboxing challenge, all from the comfort of your embarrassment-free home. Coordinate your friends to exercise together so that it turns into something you all can look forward to. And, of course, it’s also important to go outside! Go on a walk on the beach, a run in your neighborhood, or a bike ride on your favorite trail.

Until recently, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s all too common for someone to give up on an instrument after just a couple of weeks of trying it out. Now that your daily life has changed in a hundred different ways, use this instrument to ground yourself. So tune your dad’s only guitar and break out your mom’s old piano books and get to work. Order a ukulele on Amazon for under 50 bucks and learn a few chords. Pick a song you want to learn on any instrument, and there will be hundreds of YouTube videos at the ready to guide you through the process. By putting in a small amount of time and effort, you will leave quarantine feeling accomplished and talented even if you only learn one song, one bridge or one chord.

This is, with no doubt, a dark time. Reading the latest coronavirus-related articles or news can easily bring your mood down, so try to use some of your screen time for something uplifting. And there is no better way to pass the time than Netflix… and Hulu… and DisneyPlus... and HBO…. and Prime Video. The options can get overwhelming. In the absence of late-night talk shows and SNL, we suggest turning to stand up comedy specials. Netflix has an entire section dedicated solely to comedy, and with so many options there is something for everybody. And if you’re looking for something a little more developed, Amazon Prime’s wide selection of original shows and movies are amazing, especially the multi-award winning show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Take advantage of this period of self-isolation to throw yourself into some new projects and hobbies. The possibilities are endless—take out that puzzle, bring some old art supplies back to life, get your family together for a game night, make playlists, redecorate your room or coordinate group FaceTimes. Make something fun out of these spare moments so that you can come out of quarantine feeling accomplished in both work and personal life. Give yourself the gift of exploring the things you always wished you had time for.

If you have watched “The Sisterhood Of Traveling Pants,” you would know that this 2000s movie follows four teenage girls as they go their separate ways over the summer. To stay connected, they decided to rotate one pair of jeans between themselves. A similar method can be applied to a book. Coordinate with a group of friends and pick a book that everyone would enjoy. Send this book around your group until you have all completed it. Of course, you will need to remember to sanitize (!) the book before sending it and upon receiving it. Write funny notes in the margins for the next member to read, and hold debates and discussions about the content. This will be a perfect way not only to pass the time but also to engage in a unique and collaborative experience with your friends.

8 • COVID-19 COVID-19 • 9

Creating Calm in Chaos During this trying time, as we all attempt to navigate uncharted territory, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or simply terrified by the constant stream of news and statistics; and therefore it becomes even more important to take a few moments a day to disconnect and create calm in the chaotic world we are all living in.


s of May 26, the U.S. had 1.7 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in more than 99, 500 deaths. The numbers alone are enough to leave anyone at a loss for words, and that doesn’t include the endless stream of news broadcasting, which displays not only the statistics, but also stories, pictures, and videos of the horror caused by this virus. However, what truly drives people to panic is the fact that despite your geographic or demographic circumstances, no one is safe from this virus; it does not discriminate. It is quick to spread, highly contagious, and — as was recently discovered — aerosolized, meaning it can travel 27 feet through the air. These facts have not only caused panic on a worldwide level but also led governments to issue stay-at-home orders in an effort to halt the spread of the virus and slow the rising number of cases and deaths. Staying at home brings a variety of changes to our lives, the most obvious being social isolation. According to the National Institute on Aging, in an article about social isolation, lack of social interaction has many adverse effects on one’s mental state, for instance, posing a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression. While the article was written in 2019, the information it provides is very relevant to the current situation of the world, as some people have not left their houses in well over a month.

This state of isolation, combined with the perpetual panic around us, brings chaos to a place many would typically go to for peace and solace: the home. Not only does a chaotic home environment have negative health consequences, but it makes it difficult for a family or group of people isolating together to remain civil toward one another and so it becomes even more pertinent that we take time to slow down, unplug, and create a moment of calm for ourselves amid the madness. “This is definitely a time of great concern for many families and the world as a whole,” sophomore Zoë King said. “It feels as though we are constantly being inundated with the news, which fosters many emotions, including grief, for families I don’t even know, but I think it is important that we all take time to step back and reserve a little time for ourselves. I work out once or twice every day and listen to music, which helps me take my mind off the current situation.” Physical exercise is one of the many ways we can take care of both our minds and our bodies during a time when being healthy is crucial. Taking time to mentally “exercise” is also beneficial to remaining calm during this turbulent time. Activities such as reading, doing art, and listening to music all work as an alternative source on which to exert our mental energy. Practicing mindfulness, specifically in the form of meditation, has also been shown to help alleviate stress by calming nerves and rejuvenating the spirit.

Apps such as Headspace and Calm are designed to deliver an at-home meditation experience similar to that which you would have at a yoga studio. Headspace is particularly well suited for situations like self-isolation as it provides a plethora of information that goes beyond just meditation. Sleep, diet, and exercise guidance is also on the app, making Headspace not just a “mindfulness” app but a platform that promotes the health of the mind as well as the body. And while these apps help people to set health-related goals and stick to them, it is entirely possible to reap the same benefits of mindfulness without the use of a device. Developing habits such as setting daily goals to form practices that promote a positive mindset as well as writing down affirmations or gratitudes promote a slightly less stressful and more positive and focused outlook on the day. It remains impossible to escape this pandemic and its emotional, social, and economic effects, so it becomes increasingly vital for us to take these mental “breaks” and create calm in a world currently filled with havoc and uncertainty. It is within all of our powers to remain mentally fit and well, if not for ourselves, then for the sake of those around us. WORDS and ART by AMARA MURPHY COVID-19 • 11

Q: What has been some of your most memorable moments while working at Laguna?

A: Probably seeing the three MS CSI Days unfold: collaborating with my colleagues, arranging the Sheriff’s detective and Bomb Squad team to visit, taking the students to the National Search Dog Foundation to watch the rescue dogs being trained to find missing people, and seeing my fellow teachers dressed as zombies during the zombie apocalypse crime. I wish we didn’t have to cancel our 7th Grade CSI Day this year.

Q: Is there a colleague or student from Laguna who has inspired you? A: Two for the ‘price’ of one: Brooke Green and Blake Dorfman, both former students and current colleagues.

Q: What will you miss most about working at Laguna?

A: I will miss being a part of such a close community. The teachers are great; the students are inspiring; the administration is supportive.

Q: How have you evolved as a person during your time at Laguna? A: I think I have become stronger in that I have learned to let some things go that used to worry me as a newer teacher. I have learned what’s really important about teaching and learning.



When alumni return to campus and are asked how Laguna prepared them for college, they frequently credit Carol Nordgaarden with teaching them how to write. Her roles are many including Modes of Writing teacher, English Department Chair, International Student Coordinator and Writing Center Supervisor. 12 • FEATURE

Q: Can you describe your time working at Laguna in one word?

Q: What are your most noteworthy achievements at Laguna?

A: Three awards (not bragging!): Service to the Board, Teacher of the Year, and Faculty Excellence Award; Four-time Chair of Steering Committee of Laguna’s Accreditation processes; and contributing what I did for as long as I did. As one of my former students wrote when I told her I was retiring: Thank you for getting those of us who went into the communication field started!”

Q: What are your plans for retirement? What are you most looking forward to? A: don’t have any specific things planned yet, but I hope to maybe still teach a class or keep the Writing Center open. I look forward to sleeping in a bit later (no more 4:30 mornings - yay!- ) going for my long sunrise hikes, and taking care of my husband and cats!

Q: How have you evolved as a person during your time at Laguna? A: think I have become stronger in that I have learned to let some things go that used to worry me as a newer teacher. I have learned what’s really important about teaching and learning.

Q: If you had the power to implement something new at Laguna, what would that be?

A: Keep the Writing Center running. It has been the most productive for students and most fulfilling for me.

A: Rewarding.

Third Grade Instructor Brooke Green ‘97

Director of Student Life Blake Dorfman ‘02

“When I reflect on what I gained from being a student at Laguna, one of the first teachers I think about is Ms. Nordgaarden. I distinctly remember receiving my writing back covered in corrections. However, Ms. Nordgaarden never made me feel like my work was of poor quality. Instead, she encouraged me and made me feel like I could always do better. Because of her attention to detail, rigorous assignments, high expectations, and compassionate guidance, I am the confident writer I am today because of her. When I returned to Laguna Blanca School as Ms. Nordgaarden’s colleague, I was thrilled to be able to work together with her on an extraordinary collaborative writing project that we developed for our ninth-grade and thirdgrade students. Collaborating with Ms. Nordgaarden was an experience I will always treasure throughout my teaching career. I am appreciative of her continued mentorship, encouragement, and friendship. Not only has she made me a better writer (because she knew I could be), but she has continued to help me develop and grow as an educator, collaborator.”

“Students typically leave Laguna as competent and clean writers who have a “leg-up” as they head into college. For 35 years, Ms. Nordgaarden’s work has played a crucial role in providing that advantage. She has worked tirelessly to take all of her students through the intricacies of grammar while journeying through immensely meaningful literature. I’ll never forget watching “Roots” in her 8th grade class while reading “The Glory Field” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Making connections between these key works that look at some of the darkest aspects of American history, we learned to create valid thesis statements and present them effectively using her “Perfect Paragraph.” The scaffolding she provided us allowed us to succeed as writers and critical thinkers in future years. She is always at school before the sun rises, planning ahead and grading thoughtfully. Forever humble, she is as reliable a colleague as there is and she seeks no credit or recognition, although she deserves it. Thank you, Carol, for teaching hundreds (thousands?) of Laguna students to be thoughtful, clear writers.” FEATURE • 13

TEDx Testimonials

After three years in the TEDxLagunaBlancaSchool program, seniors Kiki Tolles, Emma Raith, and Paige Levinson reflect on their experiences across all three events.

An Interview with Retiring History Instructor Richard Nathan WORDS by IAN BROWN

Throughout your time at Laguna, what is one thing that has stayed the same, and what has changed? “I would say it has certainly become more structured. In my view, this is generally a good thing, although it may have inhibited the creativity of certain individuals. But overall, the number of people who “fall through the cracks” has greatly diminished. When I first started, it could be difficult to organize students as a teacher, but over time, things have become significantly more structured. Shall we say, we are a more “professional” school than when I started.” What has been a favorite memory from your time teaching? “There are many wonderful memories I could name here, of course. For me, though, the opportunity to teach a very high-level class to outstanding students is highly enjoyable. I also loved my time in the middle school teaching 7th Grade World Geography. I absolutely loved it! I was able to design my own curriculum, and I enjoyed incorporating my own stories and footage from the BBC that I was able to pick myself.”

If you could do something over in your time teaching, what would it be? “I’m thinking back to the very beginning during my first years of teaching when I taught middle school American history. I realized that, by the end of the year, we hadn’t even got to the Civil War. So yes, I would probably restructure that class so that I didn’t go into too much depth in things that were interesting, but perhaps not as essential as learning about the modern era. On a daily basis, the class was fine, but the year’s curriculum was a bit skewed.” What have you learned from teaching at Laguna? Who/what taught you this? “I’ve certainly learned to be much more patient than my natural inclination. I realized after a few years that, yes, this is a high-powered prep school, but it is still wrong of me to assume that everyone “gets it.” It was certainly a struggle, especially with more general 9th grade Civ classes. But in general, I was able to learn how to accommodate a wide range of abilities in my teaching much better than when I started.”

What is special about Laguna? “I’d say the thing I’ve liked about Laguna in my time there is that because it is relatively small compared to its major rivals, no one really falls through the cracks. Everyone is an individual, and you get to have a friendly relationship with the faculty. Particularly, if you have been involved since 9th grade, as I have for quite a few years, you get to watch them grow up and mature through high school. So, to some degree, you get to know them all, and that is very rewarding.” What will you miss most about teaching? “I’ll miss the regular contact with both adults and teenagers, which I have found stimulating through the years. However, I will also miss what I have always strived to work for, which is my own professional improvement. I am of the opinion that there is always more to learn, and I have had the opportunity to teach quite a number of subjects, which I believe has allowed me to continue learning a variety of subjects, and this has kept me going through the years. I’m grateful that I have taught a wide range of classes and with a wide range of age groups, and that’s very rewarding.


KIKI TOLLES My time with the TEDx production class over the past three years has been the highlight of my high school experience. In this class I’ve formed relationships with people I otherwise wouldn’t have met and I’ve developed skills I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered. I’m proud to have been apart of our school’s TEDx movement—and the positive impact it’s had on our local and global community. As a member of this unique team, I’ve not only honed my leadership style but I’ve also honed the reasons why I love to lead. My time with the TEDx production class has been a gift; it has gifted me insight into business, artistic, and philanthropic worlds. In the end, it’s shown me the worlds that I want to pursue, in college and beyond.

Emma Raith Over the past three years, my experience in TEDx has largely shaped me into the person I am today. As an Executive Producer, I learned about the foundations of business, design, and collaboration—all things I look forward to pursing in college. I can’t express how thankful I am to have been apart of something so special. Watching TEDx transform into the program that it is today is truly humbling, and I am sad to leave it behind. I will truly miss being apart of such a vibrant, creative, and driven team of students and faculty. Moving forward, I’m excited to see how TEDx continues to impact our community in the years ahead.

Paige Levinson I was placed into the TEDx elective by chance because it was the only class that fit my schedule and I could not be more grateful for my time spent working on that team. Not only did I gain useful insight into the working world beyond Laguna, but I also learned how to be a valuable contributor to a team of brilliant other people. Getting to collaborate with the rest of the TEDxLagunaBlancaSchool family was probably the greatest takeaway of my three years in the program, and it’s gratifying to leave TEDx knowing that future students will get to have a similar experience.


When textbooks write about the early 21st century, will you be able to tell your children you were part of the fight or part of the resistance to change?



hanting, pink shirts and colorful signs. This is the norm at any rally or protest you might attend. You’re filled with excitement and pride as you stand among like-minded people fighting for the same cause you are. I remember attending my first Women’s March in 2018 and being so proud to be a part of something so amazing that will go down in history. As I walked out, a woman from Planned Parenthood said: “Thank you for being on the right side of history at such a young age.” I took this as a compliment and forgot about it — until I found myself in AP U.S. History class learning about the different political sides during the Civil War. There was the Union (North) and Confederacy (South). The Union represented a new America and advocated for abolition whilst the Confederacy was ready to die for their rights to own slaves as their ancestors had. Looking objectively at the two, it is clear that the North represented change and the South represented stagnation. In the history books, you’ll notice that the people attempting to change the status quo are shoved away before the public was ready to accept it and then the change is instituted. In the 1800s, the thought of a woman voting was foolish and only the most radical reformers would support such a thing. However, history does tend to repeat itself. Eventually, all sides including the conservatives began to rally for this cause. Modern Republicans emphasize continuity, I live in a fully conservative home. We have Fox News on at all family events and family dinners which can lead to a lively rival party debate. I’ve lived like this my whole life and don’t fault any of my beloved family members for their personal beliefs. However, what rightists do have wrong is their point of view. I look at the world with a futuristic sense because I want to be able to tell my children that I fought for causes that weren’t widely accepted at the time and that I supported them because I knew it was the right thing to do. Change is constant and it’s up to us to recognize this and fight the fight even if it isn’t yet normalized by all of America. Today it’s quite common for gay people to host talk shows and for openly trans people to walk the runway, but they were shunned until less than 20 years ago.

Looking back through centuries of history in the United States, progressives were the ones who fought for abolitionism, for women’s suffrage, for gay rights, for education, for environmentalism, for civil rights, for antiwar activism, for gun reform. You name it, and at one point liberals were fighting for these radical ideas. That’s why I look deep into the roots of the labels themselves. For instance, to be a liberal means to be forward-looking, progressive, and adjusted to contemporary times. Aren’t those the traits we should be proud of and hope that future generations possess? Why would we want our society to have a mindset of a conservative, with an orthodox, old-fashioned and cautious mindset? These are traits that politicians and members of our society have embodied throughout history, causing movement after movement to be shut down and forgotten. Only, it’s forgotten about until it becomes useful ploy to a politician’s plan for reelection when they want to get ahead and please the people with a couple of token progressive ideas when it’s been the true democrats who’ve been fighting the plight for years prior. The fight for progressives wasn’t just glamorized when it fit the societal quo but fought for because they knew it was morally right. This creates the Democratic stereotype of being emotional, sensitive, America-hating and ignorant hypocrites. When I hear these words, I understand there is a grain of truth within some of these insults. As a liberal democrat myself, I’m not offended when people hone in on the “emotional” insult. I certainly find myself getting emotional over issues in the news and in the world. And is that such a bad thing? Is it such a horrendous thought for someone to want to take action after over 400 mass shootings in the U.S. this year? I find it to be the most heroic and altruistic thing anyone can want to do: to take positive action in response to injustices happening around them. I can rest easy knowing that when I look back through my life with my future children and grandchildren, I will be proud and not embarrassed of my beliefs and the issues I unapologetically stood for. That is why I am a Liberal.


16 • OP-ED

No Longer Silenced The #MeToo movement changed the fundamental pillars of Hollywood; however, the movie industry was not the only thing to feel the impacts of this social media revolution.


ith a single tweet, Alyssa Milano started a chain of events that would bring down some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Milano’s message, coming a decade after the first-ever tweet of “Me too,” encouraged survivors of sexual abuse to tell their stories. The #MeToo movement took away the stigma of coming forward after suffering from sexual assault. Overtaking social media, this hashtag gave victims an opportunity to expose their abusers, and, almost at once, many prolific people were thrust into the limelight. Actors like Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and Morgan Freeman were suddenly the center of public spectacle, leaving everyone to wonder: how did this go without being addressed for so long, and what’s to stop things from going back to the way they were before? This movement, however, is not a moment in our country’s history that will

soon be forgotten. Three years after the initial accusation, we are still feeling the shock waves in the form of better education on consent, stricter boundaries in the workplace and a legal system that is fundamentally changed. There has been a pattern of leniency when people in power get in trouble; having authority and a following has allowed for those in the wrong to escape rightful punishments, just because they are rich and powerful. It seemed like, even when justice was served, the accused managed to quickly gain back public favor. This is no longer the case, and court cases with celebrity defendants no longer are the exception to fair and just trials. Harvey Weinstein, a producer and the co-founder of the Weinstein Company, showed exactly how far the legal system has come in February of 2020 when the verdict of the case against him was announced to the public.

18 • OP-ED

Accused of sexually assaulting over 80 women, Weinstein was one of the first people exposed publicly, with actress Ashley Judd’s exposé in the “New York Times” acting as a catalyst for the movement. Three years later, Weinstein faces a lengthy prison sentence — although he wasn’t charged on every allegation, this case is monumental in changing the culture surrounding sexual assault allegations.

[There isn’t] a predictable pattern for how and when a victim may report abuse.” One can understand how revolutionary this case is by examining charges that Weinstein faces. According to CNN journalist Caroline Polisi, the juror’s methods in approaching this case were different. Rather than rely on the black and white of the legal system, jurors examined every piece of evidence, taking each victim’s accusation as a case of its own, examining individual evidence and testimonies as if they weren’t decades old. Polisi claimed the jurors must have realized “that victims of sexual assault might behave differently than one might expect” and that there isn’t “a predictable pattern for how and when a victim may report abuse.” Many of the stories of assault were decades old. Some victims had multiple encounters with the defendant, but only had a dangerous encounter at one of the meetings. It’s pieces of evidence like this that demonstrate just how remarkable this case is. It seems almost unheard of for a jury to observe a case from the perspective of

someone listening to the victim rather than to the law. It makes sense why, in the past, cases have been let go due to the amount of time that passed since the offense was committed. “Over the passage of time, memories fade, witnesses move or pass away, and documents are lost or destroyed,” according to Russel Suzuki, Hawaii’s Attorney General. Suzuki’s explanation goes to show just how monumental jury rulings are. Polisi explained the change in the legal system, claiming that “The landscape in which law enforcement and prosecutors can investigate and try sexually violent crimes has fundamentally changed.” Following this with the claim that

“The landscape in which law enforcement... investigate[s] and [tries] sexually violent crimes has fundamentally changed.” “There is demonstrative proof that juries can convict even in cases with no physical evidence.” Bryce Corvet, writer for The Society, commented that “Weinstein’s verdict, then, could be an indication that the justice system is ready to accept these more nuanced, but no less true, stories of abuse.”

200,000 people tweeted #MeToo on the first day of the movement. Almost 4000 people have gotten justice through the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. 50 percent of polled voters considered the power imbalance of men and women in government. 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men have experienced harassment in their lifetime. 101 people working in the Arts & Entertainment industry have been accused. Almost every state has instated legislature surrounding unwanted sexual behavior. Statistics from Wikipedia,, PerryUndem,, and P.E.W.


Weinstein’s case, as well as the impact on society through the #MeToo movement, proves that people can make fundamental changes because of the courage they got from an online trend. OPINION • 19

senior confessions


20 • THEME

stance of the staff Our world centers around making connections. It’s normal to live every day surrounded by friends, by peers, by acquaintances who we learn from, and change because of. It is human nature to yearn to be surrounded by like-minded people, and conversation is something that so many take advantage of. We are living in a new world now. It’s harder to make connections, and it’s harder to have conversations when separation is at the forefront of our minds. It’s a universal experience, despite how isolating the feeling may be. Learning to exist in this new world is one of the hardest things any of us have had to do. Figuring out how to live with everything we looked forward to a distant memory, grappling with the unfairness of the situation — quarantine seems suffocating. It is in times like these, however, that we must pay attention to the smaller things that make isolation easier. We have technology; what once was seen as a burden and danger has become the only way to truly communicate with each other, and for that, we must be thankful. We have a community within our school that is unwavering, despite the separation. Our seniors are missing their graduation, the event that they have worked tirelessly for. Our juniors are missing their first Prom. Our sophomores are missing class with some of the best teachers at our school. Our freshmen are missing their first year of high school. We have all suffered losses in the past few months, and it is integral for the community to remain strong despite all we missed out on. We must continue to make these connections, to speak with each other, to see each other’s faces, even if they are behind the screen. And, most importantly, we must honor the class of 2020, who may not have been celebrated in person yet, but who should be celebrated for the incredible work they have done. It’s no simple feat to graduate high school, and for that, we are proud of you all. We don’t know when our world is going to go back to the way it was before, or if it will ever truly be the same. In all honesty, we probably will be dealing with the repercussions of these past few months forever. That is why we must learn how to adapt, how to make connections even if all the odds are stacked against us. Being strong, supporting those who succeed, celebrating those who have worked tirelessly, that is what makes us a community, and in these times, we need our community — now, more than ever. THEME • 23



brighten your day

be featured in Architectural Digest




be named “Sexiest Man Alive” DANTE CHRISTIE


become a SoundCloud rapper ELLA DELWICHE

be on “Jeopardy”

hack for the CIA

have her own reality show

become John Mulaney’s assistant






be on the cover of Vogue

become a celebrity plastic surgeon

raise her family abroad

get ID’d when she’s 30

lead a women’s empowerment march






live in the castle at Disneyland

host a nationwide spikeball tourney

become a mobster

win an Olympic medal

win the Tour de France






win the lottery

invent a shade darker than black


be on “Love Island” and win

live on a boat in the Pacific Ocean

replace Steve Jobs




win an Oscar

host her kids’ high school parties

become the CEO of Supreme






have the highest Snapchat score

star in her own Broadway show

run for president

save the turtles

be your boss






be the world’s best EDM DJ

become a billionaire

run a dog shelter

compete on “Chopped”

marry into the royal family




race in Formula One

become a famous fitness influencer

be an investor on “Shark Tank”

start her own designer brand WESLEY SCHULZ

become a stand up comedian JAKE SELF


open her own yoga studio

start a famous AgTech company




win a Nobel Prize

laugh at a sad movie



photograph your wedding

24 • THEME

become an airline pilot

write the next bestselling novel



Vincent was my first friend at Laguna, and has always been there for me. He is an all-around great guy and is fun to have by your side on the football field. Brian




Grace is a poem of a few words with infinite meaning. Anyone who knows her, understands how profoundly she feels the world, and anyone who is known by Grace understands that they are truly seen. Authentic through and through, Grace is exactly the type of person we wish to count as a friend. I will miss her deeply and hope that she finds the time to visit this sad old man from time to time. Mr. Faust

Rhami joined the Laguna family in third grade, and we have been friends since; from working on science projects together in middle school, to revising college essays our senior year. I joined him on the soccer team for two years, until he became our team manager. Rhami has always put loads of effort in his classes and schoolwork, and I’ve always been impressed by how smart he is.


When I went on the Catalina trip as a sophomore JZ was one of the first friends I made. We talked on and on about “Game of Thrones,” and before long one conversation led to another. Now he is one of the best friends I have ever had. He is positive, hardworking, funny and I can’t imagine a Laguna experience without him. Patrick

I’ve known Julia since third grade, and we’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember. From competing together in the show ring to playing soccer throughout high school, Julia has always been such a supportive, honest, and compassionate friend to be around. I’m sad we’ll be apart in college but I can’t wait to see what amazing things Julia does next! Emma Anyone who knows Maddie knows how lucky they are to have her in their life. Her contagious smile will make you laugh when you most need it. I know that I can count on her for anything. Thank you for always offering to pick me up and also for teaching me the importance of punctuality. If you ever need a good movie to watch, a restaurant buddy, or just want to have a good time, Maddie has got you covered. I can’t wait to make even more memories in the years to come! Love you, Maddie! Nina

Caetano came as a sophomore and took the school by storm. A thespian, poetry reciter, scholar, orator, writer, runner, our Swoop mascot entertainer, Caetano apparently likes robotics and engineering the most. You are beloved, Caetano, and will be missed greatly! You give every milligram of your being to the causes and people you care about. May you always follow your own bliss. Ms. Hill


Jack has been a great friend, teammate, and classmate ever since he came as a freshman. Getting to play basketball alongside him this year really showed me how much he cares about things he commits himself to and also how well he can lead by example. Christian


Summer is a great friend. She’s someone you can rely on no matter what. With a charismatic personality and a kind heart. Summer played an important role in my life. I wish her the best in college. I’m thankful for the good times we’ve spent together. Cicy

26 • THEME

Audrey is truly a friend to all. She’s always upbeat and looking for the next adventure whether it be car rides, evac esqua, or six flags. She completes every athletic team with her leadership, music, love for the sport, and willingness to help others. I know I found a friend that I will never let go of. Audrey, you truly are a ray of sunshine that fills people with so much warmth. I love you! Bea


Although we’ve known each other since grade school, it wasn’t until we co-produced TEDx in 10th grade that Emma and I became close friends. She’s loyal, witty and driven; her digital design skills are absolutely off-the-charts. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without my best friend by my side. Kiki

John Henry


Kai: a resilient researcher, a questioning biologist, a knowledgeable physicist, an intrepid engineer, a humorous computer scientist, an enthusiastic mathematician, and a dedicated athlete. But above all else, Kai Nakamura is a true friend. People recognize your inspiring skills in STEM as much as your compassion, thoughtfulness, and humility. Ok ko, bud. Caetano

No matter what he’s doing or who he’s with, people around him are smiling. His kindness and sense of humor make him someone who can lift others up when they’re around him. He has given me countless memories that I will have forever. He has been making me laugh since freshman year and I’m thankful to be ending my senior with him. Xiaxia


Wesley is one of the most self-motivated and independent people I know. I greatly admire his ability to be himself in any scenario, without exception. Such a trait is something everyone should strive for, and Wesley personifies it. This makes him smart, witty and remarkably strong-willed. I have no doubt such a trait will serve him well in college. Ian


I’ve known Sangay for over 10 years. In all of those years he has been one of the most consistently loyal and dependable people I’ve met. When he wants to accomplish something, whether it be academic, athletic or personal, he lets nothing get in the way. My experience at Laguna would’ve been lacking had I not met Sangay. Rhami


Cicy and I became best friends late junior year, and we bonded tightly right away. She is one of the sassiest yet most warm hearted people I know. I get to be my true self around her, and I am so proud of what she has accomplished thus far! We may be apart in the future, but our hearts are closely together. Summer


I feel so lucky to able to call Melissa my best friend. She is sassy, chill, creative, smart, and hilarious—she never fails to make me laugh. She makes a perfect lunch date and a great study buddy. She also gives good advice because she is always brutally honest about what she says. Lucy

Juliana has been a stalwart member of Laguna Theater, appearing in every production since her Freshman Year! From Toby in “Sweeney Todd,” Chris Gorman in “Rumors,”Daria Chase in “The Game’s Afoot,” Queen Aggravain in “Once Upon a Mattress,” to Maggie in “Anatomy of Gray,” she has brought passion and commitment to every role she’s played. Her presence is profound and she has truly left her mark on the Laguna stage. Mrs. Caldwell






Bella was my first friend at Laguna and remains the most intelligent, funny, no-nonsense, honest person I know. Here’s to all the volleyball bus rides, spa days, Canadian TV shows, bio playlists, and tents outside of the circle. St. Andrews is SO lucky to get you next year! Paige

Ian has been one of my best friends at Laguna. He is always of good humor, which makes him a great friend and ally. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know him throughout four years in high school, and I hope to keep in touch with him after. Peter




I’m grateful that I can call someone as compassionate, ambitious, and wild, my very best friend! Whether we are eating sushi every other day, listening to music at full volume, or spending way too much money shopping, Nina’s adventurous and witty spirit is one that stands out above all others. Julia



Kat is one of the sweetest yet fiery people you will ever meet. She has the ability to befriend anyone with her contagious laugh. Not only is she a phenomenal tennis player and photographer but she makes for a brilliant attorney. Pisci


Patrick is an easy-going person who always tends to assume the best in others. You can count on telling him and reliving whatever stress you may have. From being friends with him for almost three years, I’ve rarely seen him get heated or lose his cool. He has a super creative mind that is best shown by his passion toward fantasy stories. It’s been a good ride this is only the beginning. JZ THEME • 27


Pisci is one of the most driven and inspiring people I’ve ever met. She’s fiery and compassionate simultaneously, and anyone who knows her is beyond confident that she will change the world with her heart that is extended to those she does and doesn’t know. This heart of hers makes me feel so lucky to call her my best friend. Mia



Giovanna’s mind is a whole other dimension. She has the rare skill of transforming a wisp of inquiry into a thrilling creative journey. We could go on about her humility, intellect, and integrity, that’s for her teachers to gush about. We haven’t yet accepted that we’ll have to spend next year without her. Seeing her makes us feel happy— she brightens the joys of life. Elizabeth & Violet

Suli and I have made some great memories between driving to and from school everyday and the soccer field. Suli is one of the people who made my time here a lot better. I can’t wait to watch him play on a collegiate level and hopefully professional. Brian


Macy is remarkable in everything she sets her mind to, she’s an amazing sister, a fiercely competitive volleyball player, and a loyal loving friend. Macy, quite literally, sees above it all and isn’t bout dat drama because she’s just THAT AWESOME. We’ll miss her absurd comments, kooky movements (running), and 10/10 hugs. She’s my rock and I love her to death. Grace


Ella is someone I want in my life forever! I am blessed to have her become one of my best friends. She is funny, kind, generous, smart and a good driver. I will never forget our volleyball nights, long car drives and Mexico. I thank her for years of friendship—and can’t wait for more. I love you Ella! Macy



Intelligent, versatile, dedicated and hardworking, Lucy is the definition of these words and so much more. She is encouraging as a classmate, motivational as a leader, and most thankfully, loving as a friend. It has been my great pleasure and honor to be her friend. I heartily believe that she will keep shining, and for those who are fortunate enough to get to know this lovely young lady, their life will be illuminated too. Lucas

Christian, a good buddy, he has always been someone who has greatly influenced people, myself included. His bubbly persona and “why not?” attitude makes it effortless to have a fun time when with him. I am very blessed to have met such a talented role-model that I call my friend. Kevin


Peter is well known for his unbridled gregariousness and humor. Ready to jump into any conversation with anyone on any subject — whether it’s his proclamation of various political philosophies, friendly banter or unexpected buffoonery—Mr. Smith is sure to take a prominent place in our memories of his classmates. Jacob


Brian was the first person that I really got to know well in Santa Barbara. He took me surfing and introduced me to all of his friends at Laguna and also around Santa Barbara. He made moving to Santa Barbara a lot easier. I will miss him next year, but hopefully he has a great time at college. Lachlan




Dante is an amazing friend. Whether we are building capacitors, playing games, performing on stage, building derby cars, or just hanging out, Dante adds his unique personality and interesting ideas to whatever we are doing. I think that Dante will do great things at A&M, no matter what he pursues. Simon

Sydney and I became friends during “Once Upon a Mattress.” We immediately clicked. I have since depended on her for valuable high school advice, help with Latin and chai lattes. She is a constant source of support, is always there to calm me down before shows or scream-sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with. I will miss you like crazy Syd. Madeleine



Whether it’s making up impov slam poetry, creating hilarious stories, or “frolicking” through campus, Beau knows how to make the people around her smile, and has been an incredible friend to me. School without her next year will feel a little less bright. Phoebe

A woman who sparkles with love and gratitude. She has an extraordinary gift for bridging divides, making people feel comfortable and taking care of others. Being around her wakes me up and keeps me going. Her eyes dance, and her heart sings—she lights up spaces, places and people. I don’t know what I’ll do without her next year. Ms. Tidey


Fatta is one of my closest friends. Both of us formed an instant bond which later flourished into an unbreakable friendship that I know will continue to grow years after high school. Fatta’s quiet and kind personality is humbling. I have no doubt that he will thrive in college and beyond. Luca


Vivian is one of my closest friends, and it’s been great getting to know her. I remember when we first met on the Santa Cruz Island trip, we were slackers on the hike. She pulled out her six iPhones and told me how most of them were broken. She is the type of friend who’s always there for you someone to talk to. She makes me laugh, and I couldn’t imagine the past six years without her. Charlie


Charlie is an incredible person with a loving heart. The beautiful memories I’ve formed with Charlie through these years will never be forgotten. I am truly blessed to be able to call Charlie my best friend. I will miss him, but hope to continue to go on adventures with him regardless of where we end up. Katherine



My brother is insane but in a good way. I mean, I genuinely think he has a few screws loose. But, in the end that’s what makes him a great brother. Scott

28 • THEME

Ainsley always puts a smile on my face, whether she means to or not. She has a sense of humor much like mine and that’s one of the things I appreciate about her. I am proud of how hard she’s worked throughout high school and can’t wait to see where college takes her. Good luck at NYU Ains! Ella


Besides being an outstanding human being and an all-around super star, Natalie is kind of like the Dos Equis most interesting person in the world commercials. Every time you talk to her you wonder: How is there enough time in the day for her to accomplish all these amazing things? and Why am I so lazy in comparison? Mr. Moore



Sophomore year was when I really got to know Xiaxia. The more we hung out, the more I realized how sweet and caring she is. She’s the person I’m closest with in my life right now and I’m glad it’s her. Xiaxia always brings a smile to my face. She changed my whole experience at Laguna Blanca and I can’t thank her enough for it. John Henry


Paige is the best person someone could know. Her taste in music is impeccable, her laugh is contagious and her car rides are famous. She has an incomparable ability to see the positive side of life, and she’s wickedly smart. Paige is the most caring friend, sister, daughter and teammate, and she is loved dearly by everyone that knows her. Audrey


Simon and I have known each other for almost 9 years, and he’s been one of my best friends throughout high school. He’s super smart, witty and incredibly reliable. We get along really well, and share a lot of interests and experiences. Working together in the theatre is one of my favorite memories. I am so thankful that we became close friends! Sydney


Kiki is a remarkable person in every sense. She is a standout leader, student, friend and family member. I’m so lucky to call her my best friend. I’m so proud of the impact she’s made on our Laguna community, and I can’t wait to see Kiki succeed at her next endeavors at USC. Good luck Kiki, love ya! Emma

I’ve known Luca for 3 years and in that time I’ve seen him evolve to someone who can score from outside the box with ease. Beyond soccer, his dedication and work ethic can be seen in all aspects of his life, from silly competitions of ‘Last to the car is a rotten egg’ to playing through injury. I wish him all the best at Claremont-McKenna. Oscar


Keyhan, I am so incredibly thankful to have you as my older brother and to have you in my life. Your humor is classic and you are such a kind person. I know you will do great things in your life because of your determination, artistic style and way of life. Thank you for being such a great role model and an amazing brother. Nicole THEME • 29

30 • THEME THEME • 31

#seniorinstagrams PAGE by ELLI WESTMACOTT

32 • THEME THEME • 33

New York Columbia University — Mia Humberd-Hilf Eastman School of Music — Simon Lea New York University — Beau Glazier, Ainsley McGovern, Cicy Niu

Oregon Reed College — Giovanna Alvarez

Tufts University — Melissa Zhang Worcester Polytechnic Institute — Wesley Schulz

California California Institute of Technology — Kai Nakamura

California Institute of the Arts — Charlie Jacobs California State University Dominguez Hills — Sulli Bah Chapman University — Katherine Monroy Claremont McKenna College — Luca Wahlberg Harvey Mudd College — Caetano Perez-Marchant Santa Barbara City College — John Henry Schulz, Kevin Khodabandelou, Xiaxia Taylor, Vincent Vestergaard Santa Clara University — Paige Levinson Scripps College — Pisci Abrego University of California, Berkeley — Summer Wang University of California, Davis — Vivian Hu University of California, Irvine — Sangay Sherpa University of California, Los Angeles — Lucy Cao, Nina Wolff University of Southern California — Julia Guglielmo, Jack Morouse, Audrey Murphy, Kiki Tolles Westmont College — Patrick Otte

Massachusetts Boston College — Emma Raith, Jacob Self Vermont

University of Vermont — Grace Fitzpatrick

Missouri Washington University in St. Louis — Sydney Hlavaty

Colorado Colorado College

Virginia Washington and Lee University — Natalie McCaffery University of Richmond — Boning Zhang

— Peter Smith

North Carolina Wake Forest University —


Ian Brown

Arizona State University — Christian Branch

The College Map

Texas Southern Methodist

University — Macy Christal, Ella Delwiche, Madison Kirk Texas A&M University — Dante Christie


Scotland University of St. Andrews —

Tulane University — Julianna Slater

Florida Eckerd College — Brian McClintock University of Miami — Rhami Zeini

34 • THEME

Isabella Woodhouse


Concert Cancellations Due to COVID-19 The highly dangerous and ever-changing coronavirus has infiltrated our society and changed our daily lives in too many ways to count. Large social gatherings of all kinds have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Concerts and festivals, in particular, have been canceled, leaving people everywhere upset and disappointed and causing a multitude of negative effects.


long with the closing of schools, restaurants, and other massive public spaces due to COVID-19, many famous music festivals are also postponed or canceled. People from all around the world make it a tradition and custom to come to these festivals annually. Although these sudden changes are not out of the ordinary during this time, they bring unexpected consequences. Music festivals bring people together from around the world and along with them comes a massive influx of profits for the venues. The universally well-known music festival Coachella, for example, welcomed 99,000 attendees per day during the total six days of the event in 2019. Attendees spent a total of $403 million injecting $106 million into the surrounding city of Indio, California. The city also benefited from a $3.8 million tax revenue from the event’s ticket sales, a figure that accounts for 5 percent of the city’s general fund, according to GQ. But Coachella is not alone in providing for these areas. Austin’s South by South-

west festival was canceled as well — its “economic impact was estimated to be $356 million” in 2019 according to Billboard. Among these postponements are also cancellations such as the cancellation of Shania Twain’s Las Vegas performances, Alabama’s Hangout Fest, and the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival according to Billboard. These postponements may seem insignificant but are just another added factor to the ever-worsening economy of today because people in these areas depend on the events for their income. Cities depend on festivals to further their economies. The events not only provide for the surrounding cities but also give new artists a chance to rise to fame. Many attendees look forward to these events as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and are devastated that they are canceled or postponed. Many Laguna students who were planning on attending Coachella are devastated about its postponement. Some seniors have been attending Coachella throughout high school.

Senior Grace Fitzpatrick was planning on attending Coachella this year. “Senior year was the last year I was going to go to Coachella because it just doesn’t make sense for me to fly across the country only to spend three days in California. Next year, I’m going to school in Vermont, so I won’t have the option to go. I was really looking forward to [Coachella] as one of the last big events that I would be participating in with my friends, but now I feel like I’m missing out.” Many other Laguna students share the same disappointment about Coachella’s cancellation, but understand that it is for the safety of the public. Despite certain negative repercussions, however, postponing large gatherings is a necessary, precautionary step in limiting the spread of COVID-19 that is worsening daily in the United States. If steps such as these weren’t taken to prevent the spread of this fatal disease, the United States would not be able to recover from COVID-19. WORDS by DARE FITZPATRICK and HANNA MASRI ART by MIA HUMBERD-HILF

A & E • 37

The Changing Faces of Hollywood The timeless faces of Hollywood, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio are being replaced by a new, younger group of actors, like Timothée Chalamet, who that are taking the movie scene by storm.


ith the awards season drawing to a close, the public got a look at the up and coming actors of Hollywood. We get to see most of these budding actors grow into more fame. These new faces are taking over the spotlight from well-known and wellloved actors that we still idolize today, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who was once a novice in the industry as well. Comparing them to some of the most admired young actors of today, for example, Timothée Chalamet, we can see similar and different trends between these two generations and the undeniable influence they have over Hollywood, Chalamet is one of the most “fallen for” and loved actors of his, and our, generation. Not only are his talents and accomplishments unquestionable, but a considerable number of fans also share a special kind of admiration for him. “Everyone, regardless of age or gender, has fallen hard for Timothée Chalamet,” said Guy Kelley of The Telegraph in an article dedicated to the actor himself. Chalamet grew up in Manhattan and attended LaGuardia High School, a public performing arts school where he excelled. He went on to make appearances in smaller movies and shows but made his feature film debut in 2014 in Men, Women, and Children. He attended Columbia University for only a year due to his acting schedule, and then went on to attend NYU and even designed his own major. In the past few years, Chalamet has

38 • A & E

risen the Hollywood ranks and starred in several more well-known films such as “Call Me By Your Name” (2017), “Lady Bird” (2017), “Beautiful Boy” (2018), “The King” (2019), and “Little Women” (2019). Many of which have earned him nominations for Golden Globes and Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor categories respectively. In 2017, Chalamet won the Virtuosos Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his performance in the Oscar award-winning “Call Me by Your Name” (2017). Chalamet has also starred alongside notable seasoned Hollywood veterans such as Armie Hammer, Steve Carrel, Joel Edgarton, and Elle Fanning. Chalamet is not only taking the awards-world by storm, but he is also winning the hearts of many Laguna students. Sophomore Paloma McKean is a Chalamet fan, saying “I think that the reason we all love Timothee so much is because of how genuine of a person he is. He’s an amazing actor, but he’s not getting caught up in acting like someone else.” Several upcoming projects are in store for the 24-year-old including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” (2020) and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” (2020) where he stars alongside prominent Hollywood actors Bill Murray and Zendaya. His rise to fame as a young actor in Hollywood is similar to that of the iconic Leonardo DiCaprio who started his acting career as a child, but his breakthrough came in 1992 with the film “This Boy’s Life” alongside Robert DeNiro.

DiCaprio was involved in several other films throughout the 90s including “Romeo and Juliet” (1996) followed by “Titanic” (1997), both brought lots of recognition and fame to the young actor in his early 20s. People often viewed him as a “teen heartthrob” as he continued to attract a larger audience of fans. Other than contributing greatly to the world of cinema, he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in hopes of preserving wildlife and taking on other environmental issues in 1998. Since then, he has grown his foundation to deal with all aspects of environmental well-being from animal rights to climate change and building ecosystems, all for the cause of saving all forms of life on Earth, including the Earth itself. DiCaprio created a successful and inspiring legacy in acting and in environmental activism all before the age of 45. DiCaprio’s young career was much like that of Chalamet’s current one. How will Chalamet’s career continue to grow? What kinds of movies can we expect from him in the future? And will his legacy of a “teenage heartthrob” follow him throughout his career? As Hollywood evolves along with our ever-changing society, the actors and actresses that grace our screens will change as well. The television and movie industry will keep on cultivating new talent that will captivate audiences. As these now young, beloved actors and actresses age, they too will be replaced with their younger equals. WORDS and ART by DARE FITZPATRICK and HANNA MASRI

A & E • 39

Delving into art is a journey that few synesthetes regret—it brings the rest of us closer than ever to understanding how they see the world.


“A Sunday Night” by synesthetic artist Melissa McCracken


tevie Wonder may be blind, but this doesn’t stop him from seeing vivid colors. When music enters his ears, it produces colorful visions in his mind, making him part of the 4 percent of the world’s population who have synesthesia. “Synesthesia,” or “union of the senses,” describes a fascinating neurological phenomenon: when encountering a stimulus, a second stimulus nonexistent in the outside world occurs in a synesthete’s mind, likely due to their greater neural crossovers in different sensory regions than the rest of us. Through various combinations of the senses, there have been cases of 80 different types of synesthesia. Grapheme-color, seeing certain letters in certain inherent colors, is the most common type.

40 • A & E

“Composition VIII” (1923) by Wassily Kandinsky

Someone with this type may claim that the letter “J” is, in fact, a Tahitian sunset orange, or that “E” has always been Versailles gold. Laguna art instructor Dug Uyesaka recalls a former student who exhibited this type of synesthesia: “She was a creative and talented artist from the get-go but I think for her this just added another layer to her work.” Abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky had another relatively common type, chromesthesia—sounds of music triggered visions of color in his mind, and vice versa. Though some say it can be a sensory overload, a disorder and a curse, many synesthetes throughout history have taken advantage of their unique cross-sensory experiences as artistic inspiration. “Synesthesia is seven times more common among artists, novelists and poets, and creative people in general,” said neuroscientist Dr. Ramachandran. “Artists often have the ability to link unconnected domains, have the power of metaphor and the capability of blending realities.” This makes artistic hobbies and studies especially attractive to people who have this neurological trait. “I am just experiencing life through a heightened sense of iridescent form. It contributes to my artistry, as it does for all artists with synesthesia,” said synesthetic artist Jack Coulter. He also said he was inspired by a group of abstract expressionists. This doesn’t mean that artists with synesthesia have an unfair advantage over those who don’t, though. Uyesaka says that synesthesia “does give them a very unique perspective on the world around them, but translating that vision is the same as any artist: individual expression, giving form to the unseen or formless.” Seeing its display of a variety of bright colors and fanciful shapes, viewers may immediately associate synesthetic art with abstract art. Indeed, both share fundamental similarities in how they are created. Synesthetic experience played a major role in kick-starting abstract art,

“Unstoppable” by Melissa McCraken specifically abstract expressionism, in the 1940s. This was when Kandinsky became the father of abstract art. Whilst abstract art encourages viewers to perceive beyond the tangible, synesthetic art shares with non-

message,” if one truly exists. Kandinsky, for instance, used specific colors to evoke their corresponding emotions. He painted with shades of blue to spark spiritual speculation in his viewers and with yellow to unsettle them. Understanding the relationship between abstract and synesthetic art is pivotal to understanding and appreciating the art itself and the mental phenomena that occur to create it. Some of us already have a certain level of experience creating or observing and interpreting abstract art, but chances are most of us haven’t explored the synesthetic realm. This is because it never occurred to us that, for example, a certain taste would be unquestionably linked to a certain visual. On the other hand, passionate musical notes and haunting visuals do often send chills down our spines. These “dual-sensory experiences” provide an instant in which we can experience our surroundings and internal responses at a deeper level, building within each of us a sincere, personal connection to art. In the words of 20th century abstract painter Mark Rothko, “A painting is not about experience, it is experience.”

Synesthetic art shares with non-synesthetes another perspective of the world that has always been unknown and inconceivable to them.

synesthetes another perspective of the world that has always been unknown and inconceivable to them. Abstract art abandons the pursuit of reality, preciseness, and logic. Neither synesthetic nor abstract art insists on an explanation, clear message, or narrative. Many pieces simply intend to evoke viewers’ emotions or subconscious responses. Scattered lines, unrecognizable shapes, and discordant colors are the basic elements used to stimulate viewers’ spontaneous feelings. Rather than being given something recognizable, viewers now have the freedom to really feel the art without having to process its “intended

A & E • 41

Take Care of Your Skin and Boost Your Confidence We all need an extra boost to our confidence during these challenging times and taking care of your skin is a great place to start. WORDS by ELLI WESTMACOTT ART by MIA HUMBERD-HILF


icture this: you’re looking in the mirror and instead of feeling overwhelmed by insecurities, you can ignore those negative thoughts and feel confident about yourself on the outside and inside. Unfortunately, for many teens, this is not a reality, and confidence is something that not many experience. For most people, confidence seems relatively important. Studies have shown that students with higher confidence have better success rates than people with lower self-esteem. When one feels most confident their skin, they are more motivated to do better in all areas from school to selfcare. Ways to keep motivated include finding interest in skincare, and after a few late nights of browsing beauty blogs, many create a list of health items that they can’t live without. It has been found that keeping up a wholesome skincare routine daily can help with the practice of building that self-esteem and a positive attitude that is so valuable.

42 • A & E

Not only does having a fresh face help you maintain the health of your skin, but it can also boost motivation, confidence and drastically improve your mental health. Establishing and sticking to a skincare routine can give you a sense of control. Anxiety is a big problem for teens and, for teens who have struggled with anxiety in the past, the feeling of becoming much more confident about yourself can greatly reduce the amounts of anxiety you have to overcome, especially about surface-level insecurities. Choosing simple routines are a good way to establish creative outlets in order to feel more centered and build confidence in your abilities. Sometimes, all teens need are the right products and some consistency and they will be glowing, physically and mentally in no time. Check out a few of the recommended brands from friends that have produced satisfying results and improved their view of themselves, including the brands Glossier, Acure and Mario Badescu.

Product Reviews Acure Seriously Smoothing Day Cream “I hadn’t heard of this brand until a few months ago, and after trying just a few of their products, I’m impressed. I have very sensitive skin and I personally love Acure’s Seriously Smoothing Day Cream because it brings moisture to my skin without causing my face to become oily. “All of their [Acure] products are organic, and I have sensitive skin so it is perfect.” - Eva Davies ‘23 Laguna Blanca High School


“Mine is probably my experience with the football program and being apart of the camaraderie that the coaches foster. Through all the hard workouts and long practices, it is really rewarding to see your teammates working hard for you and vice versa.” - Sangay Sherpa ‘20

“My favorite sports memory was junior year when we won our first football game of the season and banged on the lockers in the locker room after the game chanting ‘1-0.’ It was a tradition we carried through the rest of the year.” Brian McClintock ‘20 Mario Badescu Drying Lotion “Best thing in the world. I just use it for my face because the product is super thick and refreshing and I like to use it when my skin gets cracked or stiff because it instantly smooths my skin.” - Gianna Stump, ‘23 Santa Barbara High School

“My favorite Laguna sports memory has to be our tie against Santa Ynez this soccer season. We were a heavy underdog and went down 2-0 early. But, as a team we never gave up, scoring 2 late goals and tying the game. Santa Ynez ended up finishing second in their league losing only 1-0 in the championship to a strong Santa Barbara High team who ranked as high as 10th in the nation.” - Luca Wahlberg ‘20

“Mine has to be winning the league championship for volleyball against Bishop Diego this year. A lot of Laguna fans showed up and supported us throughout the game. It was a really fun environment to play in.” - Macy Christal ‘20

Glossier Super Bounce

“Throughout high school, I have always played soccer and run cross country, but during my sophomore year, I decided to play sand volleyball! Although I was not the best, it was a great experience where I learned some new skills and got to spend time with my friends.” - Julia Guglielmo ‘20

“I love Glossier! I love the brand! Their products are made with lots of natural ingredients and from my experience, they have a positive effect on the health of your skin. ” - Romy Davies, ‘23 Santa Barbara High School

“One of my most memorable memories is when our volleyball team beat Cate in 3 at the annual Cate Tournament this past fall after losing the first game. Teachers and students came out to watch on a Saturday, and the energy and excitement we had for playing and beating Cate was the best.” - Audrey Murphy ‘20

A & E • 43

What Sports Mean

Seniors share what their experiences on Laguna’s sports teams have meant to them throughout their high school career. Pisci Abrego

Suli Bah

Christian Branch

Being a part of the Laguna sports program has had a major influence on my development as an individual and as an athlete. My high school career would not have been the same without the meaningful relationships and experiences I was able to create on the cross country and soccer teams.

Throughout my four years at Laguna, sports have taught me about communication skills and getting along with people from all different walks of life. It has also shaped me to be a good leader on and off the field, and to give everything you have on the field no matter if you’re winning or losing.

Through my four years playing for the basketball team and my two years on the football team I learned more about myself than if I had to participate in anything else. These years are definitely ones I will always want to go back and relive just because of how much I love athletics and competition.

Ian Brown

Lucy Cao

Macy Christal

High school athletics at Laguna have not only given me an opportunity to explore sports that interest me while under the instruction of talented coaches, but also to bond with my classmates in a way that does not center around academics. In a sense, it has been one of the most valuable bonding experiences of my time in high school.

I have made a lot of memories and I feel like I really bonded with my team through all the highs and lows over the course of four years. Being on the tennis team has been an important part of my high school experience.

Sports have made my experience at Laguna complete. I do not know what I would have done without the summers of double days for volleyball, racing to the beach, and then back to practice. I would honestly do anything to be able to experience my four years of athletics again. I have made the best friends and the best memories.

Ella Delwiche

Paige Levinson

Natalie McCaffery

Sports have always been an important part of my life because I am such an active person. Being on a team with all my friends at Laguna was a big part of my experience as well because I love being able to go down to the gym after school and release stress while also being with my friends and peers.

My experience on Laguna’s volleyball program has taught me not only how to play volleyball, but also how to be a supportive teammate and thoughtful person. I’ve learned so many life lessons in that gym and I’m so lucky to have been a part of such an extraordinary group of teammates and best friends for the past four years.

Brian McClintock

John Morouse

The two sports that have meant the most to me are volleyball and soccer. Being on those teams for all four years has been the highlight of my high school experience, as it has allowed me to interact with peers in different grades on a more personal level. My teammates, especially on volleyball, feel like family. I have also really enjoyed having the support of coaches who are invested in my life from both an athletic and academic standpoint.

The reason sports have been such a big part of my high school career is because of what they taught me. They taught me discipline, strength and brotherhood, which are some of the three most important things for me personally.

Sports at Laguna have allowed me to connect with people throughout the Laguna community. I made some amazing friends in my freshman year because of the soccer team, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know underclassmen this year on the basketball team.

Sports have allowed me to disconnect and forget about all my schoolwork for a couple hours and connect with teammates and friends to form a brotherhood of trust.

Xiaxia Taylor



I joined the tennis team when I was a freshman having never played tennis in my life and would never have been able to predict how much the tennis team would mean to me by the end of my senior season. Because of my coaches and teammates, the tennis team became a huge part of my high school experience and shaped me in ways I never expected.

Sangay Sherpa

Luca Wahlberg

Boning Zhang

Besides learning to how to be a good teammate, Laguna sports taught me a number of lessons that I will be able to take with me through life. Integrity, humility, disciple and most importantly hard work are a few attributes that I’ve been able to develop through sports at Laguna. I’ve also made countless memories that I know will mean so much to me as I age.

I participated in basketball and football, and both of them provided me with an outlet to experience what it feels like to go all out. They also taught me to not avoid difficulty or pain, a process that for me was excruciating at first. All in all, they sharpened my spirit and strengthened my will. SPORTS • 45


he sports world held its breath on March 11 as news broke that a regular season NBA game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed less than ten minutes before tip-off. No one in the arena knew what was going on, but the reason for this urgent decision became evident when ESPN reported that Rudy Gobert, the starting center for the Jazz, tested positive for COVID-19. Moments later, the league notified fans and media that the rest of the 2020 season was to be postponed indefinitely in light of the pandemic, bringing to reality what many of us feared but did not believe would happen. Various major professional sports leagues and events would follow the NBA’s example, with the MLB, MLS, and Masters all deciding to postpone and March Madness deciding to cancel. This monumental day in sports history forever changed the way professional sports leagues will operate in the future. No one was prepared for an event like this, and as a result, seasons are at risk of being flat out canceled. Dozens of senior student-athletes who participated in winter and spring sports in the Laguna community and

beyond were stripped of their last opportunity to represent their respective schools on the court or field. Professional athletes, some of whom still live paycheck to paycheck, have had their busy and active lifestyles put on hold indefinitely, and many are facing doubt about what to do or where to turn. Loyal fans are no longer able to go see games, let alone watch them at home. Because of this, games without fans in attendance might be the new norm for the coming months. The UEFA Champions League held a number of games without fans in attendance, and it was eerie, to say the least. LeBron James voiced his opinion on this issue, stating that he would not enjoy doing that because he “does it for the fans,” but later stated that he will obviously do what is in the best interest of others’ safety. What this shutdown reveals, though, is just how important sports are to the world. Turning on an NBA game on a Wednesday night or watching your favorite football team play on Sundays is something that sports fans have always taken for granted, and now that it’s not possible, many would do anything to get sports up and running again.

Sports mean a great deal not only to the public, but also to the national and global economy. Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA and arguably the most widely-respected major league commissioner in the country, is pushing our government to allow sports to lead the way in the recovery of the United States economy. In 2019 alone, the NCAA March Madness tournament raked in $933 million from ad revenue and ticket sales alone. The absence of this source of profit, as well as that of the NBA, MLB, MLS, and more, has had a tremendous economic impact. It’s during events like the Olympics, the World Cup, the Masters, the NBA Finals and the Champions League when stars shine the brightest and when the most incredible moments are created. Take Tiger Woods’ win in the Masters last year, for example. For the duration of the pandemic and the resulting sports cancellations, there will be no epic victories like this.. The world cannot come together to witness the Olympics this summer. What we can look forward to is that when competition makes a return, it will be sweeter than ever.





Estimated Total Losses:

Estimated Total Losses:

Estimated Total Losses:


$827 million in marketing losses due to the cancellation of March Madness

$5.5 billion in total losses (not including the potential cancellation of the NFL season) $3.25 billion of fan spent money $371 million in wages $2.2 billion in national TV revenue


$690 million in ticket sales alone, not including playoffs


$6 billion if the season is canceled

$3.9 billion in total losses


$933 million in ticket sale losses and media rights

Division-1 Universities:

Annual payments of $600 million made by the NCAA to D-I universities will be cut to $225 million as a result of the cancellation of March Madness

$2.4 billion in total losses

$700 million of organizer money due to 700,000 young athletes unable to compete Indiana’s economy is losing $20 million per month as a result of the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana being closed.



Suli and Fatta Bid Us Farewell Sulaiman Bah and Abudul Muttalib Fatta share final thoughts on their Laguna experiences. Sulaiman Bah and Abudul Muttalib Fatta have been extraordinary additions to the Laguna soccer team, as well as contributing upbeat energy to the Laguna community. They came from Sierra Leone with full scholarships from The Right To Dream Academy, and have played on some of Santa Barbara’s top club teams competing at the highest level.

Sulaiman Bah’ 20 Q: When you came here as freshman, what were your greatest challenges adapting to the new culture of sunny Santa Barbara? A: “It was pretty challenging coming from a crowded and busy city compared

to Santa Barbara. Getting to know places was difficult because in Sierra Leone you pretty much need to drive to every place.”

family to go to college. I enjoyed every single part of Laguna, especially field day and sports season because it helps you meet and interact with people you have never talked to before at school.” Q: What’s next for you after Laguna? Where are you expecting to play college soccer? A: “I’m expecting to play at Cal State Dominguez Hill in the fall.” Q: What are your goals, and dreams after college soccer? Do you wish to play professionally? A: “My dream and goal is to play pro at the highest level of soccer.”

Q: What was one of your most memorable moments here at Laguna? A: “Went to the semi-final of CIF during my freshman year.”

Abudul Fatta’ 20 Q: When you came here as a freshmen, what were your greatest challenges adapting to the new culture of sunny Santa Barbara? A: “Everything was absolutely different, the atmosphere of Santa Barbara was warm and refreshing, the food is different, the people are loving and the community is great. One of my challenges was getting to know people, at first I was a bit shy.” Q: What have been your most iconic moments here at Laguna? A: “I think it is very difficult for me to say because I enjoyed and was grateful for every single moment here at Laguna, every moment counted and every moment made a difference in my life. Just being around amazing people greeting you with a smile every day was very iconic.”

Q: What’s next for you after Laguna? Where are you expecting to play college soccer? A: “I haven’t decided yet where I wanted to play after Laguna, because I am looking for a better community as well as playing soccer and having a better education.” Q: What are your goals, and dreams after college soccer? Do you wish to play professionally? A: “One of my goals is to get my degree in college, and be a better man than before. I want to be someone who creates something better for humanity, make a better life for my family, be able to put food on the table, be a good husband and the best father one day. Playing soccer professionally is one of the goals by the wills of God but also there is more to my life than playing professional soccer.”

Q: What do you feel as if you’ve accomplished here at Laguna? What challenges have you had to work through, and what successes have you enjoyed as you have spent four years here? A: “Being able to get help from the people I met at Laguna, both teachers and students really helped me because my challenge was writing essays. I haven’t had anything like that before in the past and I enjoyed being able to improve my English writing and speaking skills.”

Q: What do you feel as if you’ve accomplished here at Laguna? What challenges have you had to work through, and what successes have you enjoyed as you have spent four years here? A: “Going to college is the biggest accomplishment for me at Laguna because I would be the first in my WORDS by PATRICK OTTE ART by VIOLET ZHOU


Luca Commits to Claremont Q: At what age did you start playing soccer? A: I started playing when I was 6. Q: How many hours a day on average (during an active one) do you think you play soccer? A: During a day where I’m training, I will usually have 2 sessions each around an hour and a half or two hours. Q: What’s an after school schedule look like to you? A: On a training day, I will usually stay at Laguna after school to do homework instead of driving home.

Then I’ll drive out to UCSB for my first session at around 4:30 and then my second will start right after at around 6:30. I finish at around 8, get home by 8:15. If I still have homework I’ll finish that, and then I eat, shower and go to bed. Q: At what point did you know you wanted to play soccer in college? A: When I was younger I wanted to see just how good I could become and pushed myself to try and play at the highest levels that I could play at for my age. I would say the prospect of playing soccer in college emerged in my freshman year.

Q: Why Claremont? A: I chose Claremont McKenna knowing that even though soccer has always been my great passion, the incredible education and personal attention I’ll receive there will offer me great opportunities later on when it’s time to hang up my cleats. Also, the 5 college consortium offers a unique and diverse experience and made it even more interesting to me. Q: How did the college recruiting process go for you? A: It was very smooth for the most part because I started participating in identification camps at various colleges early on and started receiving good feedback and interest. This gave me options early so I never felt stressed during the process. Q: How has Laguna soccer shaped your experience? A: Laguna soccer was an amazing outlet for me. The practice atmosphere was one where I could experiment and have fun and the games gave me opportunities to apply new skills that I had worked on before that may not have been appropriate in other game situations. I’ll never forget the numberless fond memories I’ve made playing with my closest friends at Laguna.

Q: How many years have you played club? A: I started training with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club when I was 8 or 9 years old. I’ll be 18 in June so almost a full decade.

Q: How have your friends supported you? A: My friends have been great at helping me catch up on school work that I’ve missed due to camps or games. Q: Who is your favorite professional team? A: My favorite professional team to follow is Chelsea but my favorite team to watch is Barcelona. Q: Who is your biggest supporter? A: My parents without a doubt. After the countless hours driving to and from games,

numberless nights in hotels, and the resources they’ve exhausted to help me reach my goals, this is an easy answer. Together we’ve been all over California and much of the West Coast, the East Coast and all over Europe for tournaments and camps. It’s more than safe to say that we’ve been through this journey together from day one.


Profile for The Fourth Estate

Senior Issue 2020  

Senior Issue 2020  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded