The Kinkaid Falcon - Issue 3, Vol.74

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FALCON Despite these unprecedented times, reasons to celebrate remain during this holiday season.

The Kinkaid School Student Magazine Volume 74, Issue 3 | December 4, 2020


FALCON

THE

CAMPUS 4 - A reimagined campus

FEATURES 10 - Student makes her voice heard

TECHNOLOGY 12 - Battle of the consoles

OPINION 16 - For now, no more Interim Term

LIFESTYLES

18 - Top gifts for high schoolers

ARTS 22 - Dancing during COVID-19

SPORTS 26 - Fall sports by the numbers


The Falcon’s mission is to be an accurate and reliable source of information for the Kinkaid School community by informing readers about topics that are interesting, thought-provoking, and impactful for the school, Houston area and Texas, as well as other parts of the world.

Questions or comments?

We welcome your voice and feedback in the form of email, letters and guest articles. Please email student.publications@kinkaid.org or call (713) 243-6591 or use the form at thefalcon.kinkaid.org.

A Delicious Holiday Dear Reader, Whenever I think of Christmas, one thing always comes to mind: my mother’s monkey bread. If you have never had monkey bread before, it is a bundt shaped pull-apart loaf soaked in cinnamon, sugar, and butter then baked until golden brown. (Sounds amazing, right?) The smell of flakey goodness always fills our house on Christmas morning and is the perfect treat to eat while unwrapping presents. Traditions with families and friends are what hold the holiday season and are now more important than ever. During these unprecedented times, we must cherish the little things that radiate the reason for the season. Whether it’s family traditions, shopping for gifts with friends, or delivering cookies to neighbors, I urge you and your family to continue to embrace the holiday season. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and everything in between, I hope your family has a wonderful break and that you continue to practice family traditions or even start a new one. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Nicole Fernandez, Editor in Chief

Please direct advertising inquires to nicole.fernandez@kinkaid.org. The opinions expressed in The Falcon belong solely to the writer and are not a reflection or representation of the opinions of the school or its administrators.

NICOLE FERNANDEZ

Editor-in-Chief, Features Editor

JAISAL KALAPATAPU

Deputy Editor, Digital Executive Editor

CHARLIE SOLÉ

Campus Editor, Sports Editor

ETHAN JETT Photo Editor

STAFF WRITERS

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An imperfect season A look at how celebrating holiday traditions on campus changed this year

Inside Kinkaid

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Alum golfs at US Open Read the online story by Charlie Solé

Letters can be sent to: The Kinkaid School 201 Kinkaid School Dr. Houston, TX 77024

Photo courtesy of Ed Harris

Mr. Ed Harris, history chair and teacher, in his Festivus “ugly” sweater with his son TX Harris, ‘18.

Correction: The cover story, “Non stop service,” featured in the Nov. 6, 2020, magazine was written by staff writer Trace St. Julian.

Will Anderson Camron Baldwin Cooper Buck Madison Burba Elliott Crantz Matthew Godinich Tali Kalmans George Kinder Jack Klosek Richie Klosek Harrison Lawrence Stockton Lord Eshaan Mani

Dylan Marcus Carter Pitts Sam Pitts Mia Price Trace St. Julian Sarah Xu

ADVISER

Dr. Kimetris Baltrip The Falcon is published six times a school year. The paper is distributed to 613 Upper School students, There are 700 free print copies made available in addition to copies mailed to subscribers. The Falcon is a member of CSPA and NSPA.


CAMPUS

Facilities team makes herculean ac By Elliott Crantz, staff writer

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n the first day of inperson learning for this school year, students were greeted by smiling teachers, old friends, and many changes to the campus to fit COVID-19 protocol. Mr. Carter Metclaf, project coordinator, spent a lot of time crafting a safe campus for learning and teaching. He helped make changes to the classrooms, library, cafeteria, hallways and gyms. Planning for returning

students to campus during a pandemic was no easy task. In fact, preparations took place over several months leading to the reopening. “Ed Jordan, director of facilities, and I met in the middle of January 2020 and discussed the possibility of COVID-19 becoming a major problem,” Mr. Metclaf said. “We decided at that time to start stocking up on disinfectants and PPE. We were glad we did, so as those products became very difficult to get by the middle

of March 2020.” There were many hours of advanced planning and focus on the details when, for instance, Mr. Metclaf and his team decided to use 74 trucks to move furniture off campus and into storage. “It is easy to remove the furniture, but without planning and details bringing the furniture back to campus and getting it in the right locations would be next to impossible,” he said. The facilities team worked relentlessly throughout July

and August to get the campus ready for the students and faculty to return. Many of the workers went weeks without a day off and worked 12 hours or more each day. Mr. Metclaf and his team of hard workers were able to pull it off. “I am very happy to know that I can go to school and learn while being safe,” sophomore Kemper Hicks said. Here are some of the changes they made to campus by the numbers.

Photo by Jaisal Kalapatapu, deputy editor

To combat the lack of seating, the workers set up tents to provide shade and a place to sit and work.

8,700 square feet of tent space

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Six big tents were set up outside around the campus for students who were studying, eating lunch, going to class on Zoom, or just wanting fresh air. Because the library only has a limited number of seats due to social distancing measures, the tents were even valuable as a hangout space.

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hallway markers Yellow dots were placed in the hallways. Faculty members wanted to keep students safe, so many of them reminded students to stay to the right side and walk in a single line. During off periods, Mr. Josh Ramey, dean of students, and the library staff made sure students were not leisuring around in the halls and library.


an achievements to ensure safety

Photo courtesy of Kimetris Baltrip

Julia Burris-Richardson, security manager, prepares desk shields alongside Olga Gomez, facilities support staff, and Carter Metclaf, project coordinator. The facilities department made heroic achievements to ensure that the campus could reopen safely.

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desk shields

Each classroom had seats distanced from one another and every student had to sanitize their seats when they entered the classroom. In addition, teachers were given a desk shield.

I am very happy to know that I can go to school and learn while being safe. - Kemper Hicks, sophomore

Chronology of coversions In addition to thousands of significant purchases and hundreds of hours of labor, the facilities department converted several areas of campus, including: • the Black Box Theatre into an art classroom to allow for up to 14 students • the Commons to a middle school overflow space with a seating capacity of 50 • the Ogilvie Lobby to a cafeteria with a seating capacity of 108 • the Doggett Gym to a cafeteria and overflow space with a seating capacity of 116 • the Dining and Learning Center from a seating capacity of 480 to 140 with 250 feet of divider wall

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CAMPUS

HONDURAS Population: 9.6 million (2018) Non-Spanish Speaking Population: 297,000 Languages Spoken: 10

GUATEMALA Population: 17.25 million (2018) Non-Spanish Speaking Population: 4.9 million Languages Spoken: 25 Sources: World Bank Worldometer.com Worldatlas.com

Leyendo al Mundo Audiobook Recording Upper School students were invited to record voice memos while their read books in Spanish. Student volunteers read 7 to 10 books each and their recordings were burned onto CDs to be sent with the books to children in Guatemala and Honduras this winter.

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Letting service speak for itself Student volunteers team to record audiobooks in Spanish for children in Central America By Madison Burba, staff writer

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inkaid students across Houston selected a book from a tall stack they had taken home with them. They flipped through the pages, diligently making sure they read and pronounced each word correctly as they recorded themselves reading in Spanish. For many, this service project was a first-time experience. After the pandemic eliminated in-person requirements for community service, service projects such as Leyendo al Mundo were conducted virtually, which allowed for non-club members to participate. The project’s focus was to get Upper School students to read books in Spanish for children in Guatemala and Honduras. “Having audio recordings of the books is so important because it mimics what a parent would typically do for a child,” junior Grace Beilstein said. “It models the pronunciation of words and encourages fluency and a quicker learning curve towards becoming literate.” In addition, learning Spanish can help the children to be able to receive better job opportunities and a better life. This year, because of guidelines to maintain social distancing and to avoid unnecessary contact, the service project was opened to all students. This change allowed senior Maddie Harrell to participate virtually for the first time. “A pandemic presents its challenges, so I thought this was a really cool idea,” Harrell said. “I also enjoy learning Spanish and knew I could help with this initiative.”

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In the past, volunteers were only from Kinkaid’s Viva la Raza club. Club members recorded themselves reading the books for two club meetings and then sent the books and materials on their way. However, now any student who wanted to help out was able to take the books home with them and complete the recordings on their own time. Each volunteer read from up to 10 different books, each one around 10- to 20-minutes long. The audio was burned onto CDs, which were then sent to Guatemala and Honduras. “I was interested in this project because I love to read, and I used to read books in Spanish with my dad as a kid,” senior Jason Boué said.“This project was a return to my childhood, which made it fun.” While reading 10 different books in a non-native language may seem challenging, students said reading in Spanish was not as hard as it seemed. “It was not difficult to read the books in Spanish. For words I did not recognize, I could easily look them up in the Spanish dictionary. The videos did not take multiple attempts, and voice memo features made it easy to fix any mistakes,” Harrell said. Boué agreed. “Given my background in Spanish, reading the books was pretty easy and I was able to record all of them in one take,” he said. Going virtual allowed different students the opportunity to join the goal of serving others in need. “I decided to join this service project because I thought it was a really great way to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” Harrell said.

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CAMPUS

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is the season to be jolly – at least that’s how the saying goes. While the holiday season may be filled with great joy, 15% of Americans experience some degree of what is known as seasonal affective disorder, the literal wintertime blues. And due to the unfortunate presence of Covid-19, this winter may be darker than usual for many. Depression is the single biggest source of global disability, according to the WHO, and while depression and its seasonal variety can be some of the greatest weights on everyday Americans, the coronavirus has made one of the most unspoken ills even worse than it was before. A 2020 study by Boston University’s School of Public Health states that depression symptoms among adults have risen from 8.5% in mid-April this year to 27.8% in September. The Boston study is the first national study in the U.S. to assess the change in depression prevalence before and during COVID. The virus has also caused challenges among high schoolers. One August study, which surveyed 1,500 teenagers, found that seven out of 10 of them reported struggling with their mental health throughout the pandemic. As this is such a pressing issue, US psychologist, Dr. Laura Lomax-Bream, shared how students can deal with the winter this year.

Q: What is seasonal affective disorder? Dr. Lomax-Bream: “Well, seasonal affective disorder, also called S.A.D, pops up during the wintertime, primarily due to the lack of sunlight that comes with the season. The symptoms are the same as typical depression: low mood and energy, irritability, loss of interest in activities, and a lack of sleep among other things, with the catch being that it pops up in the winter.”

Q: How has S.A.D typically affected Kinkaid and our students? Dr. Lomax-Bream: “In a way we’re actually lucky here in Houston. Depression and it’s seasonal variety hit hardest in regions with longer winters and less light in places like Chicago, Alaska or New England. But, because of our milder winters, we don’t suffer as much from losing light. This doesn’t mean winter isn’t especially difficult, however.”

Q: What do you see coming out of this whole Covid winter? Dr. Lomax-Bream: “Obviously, this pandemic’s been incredibly difficult for so many people, teenagers especially. For high schoolers, it’s hard not to struggle with social distancing and its effects on their friend groups or activities. Your brain’s just wired to only really register emotions over reason at that point, so even if you know that your best friend can’t come hang out because their dad has pre-existing conditions, there’s nothing you can do about feeling betrayed. With winter, things are likely to continue as they’ve gone, with all the same struggles, just with the added weight of what always comes with winter: the stress and isolation. On the bright side, midterms have been replaced for the year, which should help out...”

Q: What kind of advice do you have for our students on how to cope this holiday season? Dr. Lomax-Bream: “Just take care of yourself. Try and stay in touch with your friends, ideally try and go hang out outside with one or two if you can. Indulge in the Christmas cheer; if your family can’t do what they usually do, find something new to do. Make sure to keep some kind of schedule and some time to exercise. Having an hour of working out with the addition of eating moderately healthy actually helps your gut produce serotonin, which keeps your mood stable. Things may be unusual right now, but try and find whatever keeps you happy and sane.”

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WINTER BLUES

When seasons change, moods might alter, too By Stockton Lord, Staff Writer Design by Sarah Xu

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FEATURES

REVERSING

The Narrative Sophomore owns her voice in anthology that seeks to support black girls

by Eshaan Mani, staff writer

“I learned that my personality isn’t defined by my hair or race, no matter what others say.” Katie Quander, sophomore

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Sophomore Katie Quander with “Black Girl White School,” an anthology in which she has a published an article. Photo courtesy of Katie Quander

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ne sophomore found a way to combat racism through writing. Sophomore Katie Quander took a chance to use her voice to speak about her experiences as an African American student at Kinkaid when her English I class wrote personal narratives in her freshman year. The class channeled its literary voices during a unit on the autobiographical comedy "Born a Crime," which discusses comedian Trevor Noah's childhood as a biracial boy in apartheid South Africa. “At first, I wrote a story about my childhood,” Quander said. “The night before I had to submit my piece, actually, I decided to completely rewrite my whole thing.” After hearing a fellow classmate speak about a close relationship with a grandparent, Quander was inspired to change her story idea. She realized that to create an impactful story, she needed to dig deeper into her emotions. Quander wrote about an instance in the eighth grade when a friend of hers did not realize that his comments were hurtful microaggressions and about how she dealt with the situation. “Throughout the school year, we had become closer, but he started to make fun of what I liked, what I talked about, and my hair,” Quander said. “I have especially struggled with my hair not being ‘white enough’ since I was a little girl.” Quander’s piece was selected for an anthology titled “Black Girl White School: Thriving, Surviving, and No, You Can’t Touch My Hair,” a collection of personal narratives edited by diversity, equity, and inclusion activist and teen author Olivia V.G. Clarke.

When Quander was writing her piece, it struck her that she had only ever gone to predominantly white schools. “It was kind of a different experience for me, and it made the events of the personal narrative more shocking to me,” she said. “I realized that I’m mostly surrounded by people who are not of color, and it affected my behavior… I sometimes felt like I had to act white, or be ashamed of being black.” Quander said that her writing process was one of selfdiscovery and great realization. “Through this experience, I learned that my personality isn’t defined by my hair or race, no matter what others say. I hope to relay this message to young girls of color who may go through a similar experience,” she said. Mrs. Kate Lambert, her ninth-grade English teacher, was awed by Quander’s accomplishments. “I knew early in my class that Katie was a gifted thinker and writer. But it was her personal essay that awed me most,” Mrs. Lambert said. “Not only was it beautifully written and crafted, but it was also enormously brave. She wrote poignantly and honestly about her own insecurities surrounding her blackness and the ways our American ‘norms,’ our Kinkaid ‘norms’ have instilled those insecurities in her.” Her piece might strike an emotional chord for many African American students. Alumn Lydia Patterson, ‘20, and junior Soraya Patterson also shared their voices in “Black Girl White School.” “Unless we have tough cownversations, unless we speak honestly about past hurts and unless we work to change these patterns, we won’t grow as a school or as a nation,” Mrs. Lambert said. “And until we grow, young Black women and men may not feel whole in the halls of Kinkaid.” 11///Features


TECHNOLOGY

Xbox or PS5

Xbox Series X

Playstation 5

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Photos courtesy of Microsoft

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Sizing up the year’s hottest new releases BY GAMERS FOR GAMERS By Sam Pitts, staff writer

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he holiday season is a cherished time for gamers and this year has been especially rewarding. In the months of November and December, dozens of games are released on different platforms, some of the more popular being Xbox, Playstation and PC. And the most notable releases in November 2020 have been the PlayStation 5 and Xbox series X. The PlayStation 5, released on Nov. 12, 2020, hit the market seven years after its predecessor. According to Gamespot. com, the PlayStation 5 has been longawaited and upon its release, it sold out across stores in the nation within minutes. Within one week of its release an estimated 2.1 million systems have been sold to consumers across the world. The PS5 started at a base price of $499.99 at the date of release, but now is being resold on bidding websites for upwards of $1,000. The PS5 is a significant advancement in gaming from the previous generation of the PlayStation Console. With faster load screens, backward compatibility, thousands of gaming titles in its library, and a built-in 4K Blu-ray player, the new playstation has been worth the waited for millions of consumers. The Xbox Series X and S are the other notable releases in November 2020. The previous generation of Xbox was released seven years ago in November 2013. Though Xbox has less active users, which means the amount of people that play daily, it did not fail on launch day. On Nov. 10, 2020, the Xbox series

X and S were released to the public and also sold out across all stores in nearly minutes. With two versions being released, the Series X comes with a price of $499.99 and the series S comes with a price of $299.99. There is a difference that comes with the prices. The series X has more storage space, a faster processor, a physical disc slot, and a 4K Blu-ray drive. Within a week of its release the new Xbox series sold over 1 million systems. The Xbox series X and the PS5 are well respected consoles in the gaming community, and the differences between the two are limited. The only differences are the PS5 has a greater push-through data speed, which sits at 5.5 GigaBytes per second, whereas the Xbox X has a push-through data speed at 2.4 GigaBytes per second. Other than that, the primary differences that remain are console and controller design, along with the preference of players. “I have been playing Xbox since the 360 came out,” said junior Clay Cameron. “I am actually really excited for the new one to come out... Yea, I do prefer Xbox over Playstation just because that’s what I’ve always had.”

Xbox Series S WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE? SCAN THE CODE AND TAKE OUR POLL ON THE BOTTOM OF THE HOMEPAGE FOR THE FALCON ONLINE

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COVER STORY

Year’s challenges not a total wra

Photo by David Shutts

The 2017 Margaret Kinkaid Holiday Concert is shown above. The concert won’t be staged this year because of COVID protocols on campus, but the Fine Arts Leadership Board elected to hold a smaller event followed by a movie screening.

Celebration Timeline

Though some events had to be canceled, holiday cheer still filled the atmosphere.

DEC. 2-4

Photo by Jaisal Kalapatapu

MeeMee Lee, US registrar, in her office. The annual poinsettia pick-up serves as a fundraiser and a source of decoration, with floral displays all over campus during the holiday season.

DEC. 11

Photo courtesy of Russell Vogt

CANCELED

Mr. Russell Vogt, US and MS band director, poses in one of his past ugly sweater outfits. Luckily, he can join students, faculty and staff and don one of his new outfits for December 2020’s ugly sweater day.


wrap for holiday traditions

vid Shutts

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Community creates novel ways to still spread seasonal cheer By Camron Baldwin staff writer

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o challenge has dampened the community’s holiday spirit, with traditions both new and old adapting to a novel environment to spread seasonal cheer. Mr. Scott Lambert, director of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Fine Arts Leadership Board, are usually behind the planning of the Margaret Kinkaid Holiday Concert, but they have had to opt for a different approach. “This year, we have to lean into other methods, such as online dissemination, to get our content out there,” Mr. Lambert said. Included in this year’s festivities were smaller-scale

performances by the choir, band, orchestra and dance followed by a screening of the movie “Home Alone” in the Brown Auditorium. The event will be by reservation only and participants must be socially distanced and masked. While events such as the holiday concert have had major adjustments, others remained largely unchanged. The annual poinsettia pickup, organized by the parents of freshmen, only had to make slight modifications to ensure safety, such as placing the flowers in the trunk of cars to maintain social distance. The decades-old tradition, while primarily a fundraiser for the ninth-grade class, also serves as a gift-giving

opportunity. “Students can give poinsettias to teachers and school staff,” said Ms. Rita Morico, parent liaison and volunteer coordinator. “We also partner with Memorial Villages first responders to donate poinsettias to police and fire departments.” Another annual tradition, ugly sweater day, also stuck for this year. Some occasions, however, weren’t as lucky. Holiday Village was nixed this season, shuttering the three-year-old event that usually preceded a creative writing reading. “There was no way we could do it since we share materials and are in very close proximity to each other,” Mr. Lambert said.

CANCELED

DEC. 12

Photo by Danyale Williams

Senior ArtemisMelania Postolos dances in the campus garage in a fall show. She and other dancers will perform for the arts department’s holiday event with selections from the band, choir and orchestra followed by the film “Home Alone” in the Brown Auditorium.

Photo by Kimetris Baltrip

Martin Ibarra decorates a gingerbread house during Holiday Village 2019. The tradition was dropped this year out of concerns about sharing materials and little physical distancing.


OPINION

MEMORIES FROM A FEW OF THE 2020 ON-CAMPUS INTERIM TERM CLASSES These images capture diffferent courses offered during the Interim Term last year. From top left, clockwise: Adele Johnson, now a sophomore, reads to a Lower School student in the “Booky Fun: Children’s Books” course; Emilia Lam, who is now a senior, in the public art course; Mrs. Betsy Durning, English teacher, assists Blake Pou, now a senior, in “Sewing for Beginners; students perform a routine in “Let’s Dance Around the World” taught by dance teacher Mrs. Danyale Williams. Photos by Trinity Curry 16///Opinion


Cancellation of Interim Term unwelcome, but vital decision By Dylan Marcus, staff writer

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chedule changes to the 2020-21 school year continue their relevance, as the 2021 Interim Term period was canceled due to a lack of leftover, usable school days in the year. The decision was a shocking one, leaving Upper School students disappointed, knowing they won’t be able to take advantage of all the fun, exciting unconventional courses and opportunities usually offered during Interim Term. Senior Patrick Iglesias said he was saddened because he had been looking forward to an internship in the oil and gas industry for the better part of a year. “It’s a business that greatly interests me, and I’d love to live in Texas all my life,” Iglesias said. “It’s a shame my classmates and I won’t have this privilege, as recent alumni have shared the memorable experiences they took away from the opportunity.” Iglesias highlighted the benefits of having a winter Interim Term, stating “this Interim Term would’ve been a great self-starter for not only the senior class but everyone that would have been able to narrow down their interests and passions, and discover something new about themselves and their own talents.” The beautiful thing about Interim Term is the chance it gives students to blow off steam, provide a tranquil transition from winter break to the start of the second half of the year, and to explore a different way to learn about unique

and unfamiliar subjects. Unlike in traditional core subjects such as mathematics, social studies and language arts, students are able to apply ideas and themes from these routine courses into more recreational and stimulating subjects, such as law and pop culture, Star Wars, puzzles, math problems, and a historical tour around Houston. Interim Term is also a time for students to travel and physically explore the geography of the world. Multiple trips are offered for students to join their classmates and faculty chaperones in traveling to distant foreign countries and experience a new culturistic environment, see foreign tourist attractions, practice their foreign languages, and sometimes even stay on a native homestead. Although Interim Term will be dearly missed and seniors will not have another opportunity to experience all the great utilities that the threeweek period has had to offer, canceling Interim Term was a necessary modification to the schedule. Because of the fact that each class has only met as a collective class twice a week during this fall semester, the administration must maintain a certain number of school days, leaving no extra room for an Interim Term. It’s an unfortunate adaptation to this pandemic indeed, but a vital one to stay on pace for the year from an academic standpoint.

“It’s an unfortunate adaptation to this pandemic indeed, but a vital one to stay on pace for the year from an academic standpoint.”

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LIFESTYLES

Gift ideas make shopping easy 1. iPad Apple’s new iPad Air, released on Oct. 23, can be paired with the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard to practically become a computer. It allows its users to store notes in one place, which is beneficial for students.

2. Shoes

Shoe trends are always changing. The Jordan 4s are on sophomore Mason Thenor’s wish list.

3. Jewelry

A great piece of jewelry can tie together any outfit. Nearby boutiques, such as Lily Rain, are places to start shopping.

4. PS-5

After seven years, PlayStation has come out with its fifth game console. With faster speeds and backward compatibility, it is definitely a hot gift for gamers.

5. Sweatshirts/T-shirts

The Wish List By Mia Price and Tali Kalmans, staff writers

With the school’s dress code, college T-shirts and sweatshirts are must-haves for all high school students.

6. AirPods

Since students are using their computers even more, Apple’s AirPods are a helpful gift. When learning in a flex space, their noise-canceling abilities help students focus during their class.

7. Leggings

Leggings are the perfect gift for students since the dress code has been changed this year. Our favorite are the Lululemon Align leggings, which are comfortable and long-lasting.

8. iPhone 12

With better internet speed, camera quality and drop performance, the new iPhone 12 is a great choice for technology lovers.

9. Blankets

After working and studying hard, it is important to get good sleep, and a comfortable blanket can make that happen. If you’re looking to get someone a high-quality blanket, we recommend looking at Barefoot Dreams.

10. Money Cash is always a safe bet. 18///Lifestyles

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By Cooper Buck, staff writer and Ethan Jett, Photo Editor

ARTS

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“Dependable, Reliable, Hard Worker” Mr. Mark Harris, executive chef and food service director

quintessential

Art center’s building operator makes invaluable contributions year after year By Cooper Buck, staff writer and Ethan Jett, photo editor

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r. Felipe Castro, building operator in the Katz Performing Arts Center, plays a key role in maintaining the building for the school community and its guests. Mr. Castro has worked at Kinkaid for the past 30 years. His day starts bright and early at 5 a.m. and he gets to the school at around 6:30 to begin his day of cleaning tables, wiping down door handles, and keeping the Katz building together. He usually leaves the school between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. While Mr. Castro’s contributions may seem very routine, his job duties are quintessential to a working school day. “The staff at Kinkaid are undervalued and underappreciated,” said senior Antonio Melendez. Many of Castro’s peers have kind words to describe him. “Dependable, reliable, hard worker,” said Mr. Mark Harris, executive chef and food service

Mr. Felipe Castro, building operator, has worked at Kinkaid for 30 years and counting. He works primarily in the Katz Performing Arts Center.

Photos by Will Anderson

director. “That is how I would describe him.” Castro is loved by many students as well. One of Castro’s favorite memories during his career at Kinkaid is the ISAS arts festival, where he stayed at the school until 11:30 pm. “I love my job,” Castro said. “I especially enjoy interacting with the kids, and I miss them when they are on their breaks.” Kinkaid would not be the same without him either.

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Arts

Dancers move performances outdoors, turn By Matthew Godnich, staff writer

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he dance program has gone through a lot to make sure students are healthy and maintaining all the protocols set by Kinkaid’s COVID task force. Students received dance kits over the summer to prepare them for distant learning in dance. The kits contained a Marley dance floor, ankle weights, tripod, earbuds, a yoga mat, TheraBands of various strengths and an Under Armour athletic mask. This aided in the safety of dancers at home while they were focused on strength and flexibility training. When dancers finally came onto campus, their classes were outside for about two weeks. Then, each dancer had her or his own 10x10 square of space (which is more than most people are using) to dance in. “We have to stay in our assigned squares the entire time while dancing, which makes it hard to execute the moves full out,” said Alice Ma, a sophomore and dance company officer. “However, I love that the teachers try to make the classes as normal as possible, and they continue to come up with fun classes that work our technique.” Their dance production had to be reconceived over the summer. The dance concert went from being titled a “Sampler

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of Suites” to “Nature, Space, Rhythm and Time: A Dance Exploration.” The final dance concert was produced in spaces that dictated what dance genre fit the space. For instance, a wooded field became the backdrop for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the dance company went on with its imaginations around campus from there. The “Midsummer” dance started rehearsals first and they were completely in the distant learning mode. So, they had several rehearsals online together at home. The entire “Midsummer” choreography was learned via zoom. “I am amazed at how well the students did with learning everything via instructional videos and through Zoom,” said Ms. Kirsten McKinney, the dance director. Students appreciated being to perform. “Dance was definitely different this year,” said senior Ella DuCharme. “It was a little tough to dance in a mask, but I am thankful to be able to dance at all.” Mrs. McKinney said this year’s concert was special. “The dancer’s resilience, determination and love for dance is what makes this concert something incredibly special,” said Ms. McKinney. “Kinkaid has never done a dance show like this before and, thus, we are making history.”


A DANCE EXPLORATION The title of this year’s concert was “Nature, Space, Rhythm and Time: A Dance Exploration.” It was a dance concert in which spaces dictated the genre for each routine.

rs, turn campus into their stage

On the left, dancers perform “ReAwakening” in the campus parking garage and below, they appear in “Eclipsed,” which was in a field on campus. Both numbers were choreographed by US dance teacher Mrs. Danyale Williams.

Photos courtesy of Danyale Williams

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SPORTS

Eyeing the N

Two athletes commit to p In the Melcher gym, the sound of mumbling voices and shuffling feet echo in anticipation and excitement, as the lives of two young athletes change forever. By George Kinder, staff writer

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Julia Sanchez

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ulia Sanchez has loved the game of softball for as long as she can remember. The signing was such an exciting moment for her because it had been one of her life long dreams. Sanchez will be attending Texas A&M Commerce to continue her academic and softball career. Her signing experience was different because of the pandemic. “Although the signing this year was unique to say the least, that didn’t change the atmosphere in the room,” Sanchez said. “Everybody in the room was so proud of our accomplishments and thrilled for the journey that laid ahead.” Sanchez has put in countless hours of work to get to this point, which made the signing even more special for her. “During the signing I was thrilled because, ever since freshman year listening to previous seniors give a speech thanking their parents, coaches, friends, and teachers, I was happy that it was finally my turn to tell them how thankful and how much they are appreciated,” Sanchez said. “I was proud that I had finally made it official.”


he Next Level

mmit to playing college ball

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hase Pelter has had a love for the game of baseball since he was a child. “I remember ever since I was 4 wanting to play college ball, and to actually be able to say ‘I did it’ was truly amazing,” Pelter said. He has been looking forward to his signing day for college baseball his whole life. Pelter said that he remembers watching some of his teammates signing to play baseball at the next level, and recalling how awesome it would be when it was his turn. Pelter will be attending Texas Christian University, where he will continue his academic and baseball career. He said his signing experience was exciting, but that it was a little different from past signings due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic. “Because of COVID, I was only allowed to have a certain number of guests support me during the signing,” Pelter said. “Although I am grateful I had a signing and was even able to have a guest list, COVID definitely puts limits on the hype and the audience cheering our names.” He said he is looking forward to his new journey. “After years and years of training, no words could compare to what I felt like after signing that piece of paper. It was truly magnificent,” Pelter said.

Chase Pelter Photos by David Shutts

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SPORTS

A look back on fall sports by the numbers

11

Consecutive wins this season in varsity field hockey. Photo courtesy of David Shutts

By Trace St. Julian, staff writer

Photo courtesy of Ali Farahbod

17:14.5

237 Fastest time for Varsity Boys Cross Country at Houston Area Prep meet 5K (Connor Blake).

Total offensive yards attained by the varsity football team.

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Photo courtesy of David Shutts

3

6

Number of freshmen runners, Varsity Girls Cross Country (of 13 total varsity runners).

78 Number of seniors playing varsity girls volleyball.

Photo courtesy of Ali Farahbod

80%

Win percentage for varsity boy’s volleyball

Photo courtesy of David Shutts

Photo courtesy of David Shutts

ers

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BYG Before You Go

POP CULTURE CHART Designed by Eshaan Mani, staff writer

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? “My favorite holiday tradition is reading ‘Santa Mous’” on Christmas Eve with my family. When we can’t all be together, we use FaceTime.” - Caroline Searls, freshman

“We always go to our grandparents’ house and celebrate my grandfather’s birthday.” - Bruce Hurley, sophomore

“I always enjoy winter break and relaxing at home.” - Vedul Palavajjhala, junior

Photo by Harrison Lawrence, staff writer

Poinsettias with a purpose As an annual fundraiser for the freshman class, the 9thgrade Parent Association sells poinsettas. The poinsetta “tree” in the main lobby, recognizes the holiday season and encourages the community to support the class of 2024.

“I love baking a bunch of holiday treats! The best part is giving the sweets to my friends and teachers and seeing their big smiles.” - Arusha Mehta, senior