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The Nueva Current

Vol. 1 Issue 2


Absence of color

page 8 BY WILLOW C. Y.

Why are there so few minority-identifying students enrolled in private schools? How did this come to be? And what can we do about it?

INSIDE Japan Trip Culture and language immersion for Nueva students. CONTINUED, PAGE 3

News .......................................02 Culture ...................................04 Features .................................06 Opinion.....................................11 Sports ......................................13 Entertainment.......................15

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After Intersession, students pursue new interests New offerings this year expanded range of student experiences BY JORDAN M.


his year’s Intersession had the highest number of sessions and presenters, setting a new record for the number of classes offered. Intersession 2018 comprised over 190

classes and over 110 presenters, each bringing a different topic to teach Nueva’s upper school students. There were many popular offerings this year, ranging from succulent planting to learning about the life of a district attorney. As a freshman, Julie R. had her first Intersession experi-

ence. “The most valuable thing that I learned was how to step out of my comfort zone a little bit, or even a lot,” said Julie. Her most memorable seminar was Intro to Self Defense, where students learned how to react in certain situations. She also signed up for The Life of a DA because of her interest

in law studies, but she learned that it was even more interesting than just looking at “crime things.” She now believes that being a district attorney also pushes critical thinking about the evidence given and the evidence that isn’t given. CONTINUED, PAGE 6

3/9/18 8:31 AM

Page 2 • News

Discussions of Masculinity

Students, faculty, and staff piled into the gym on Wednesday, Jan. 31 for an all-school meeting themed “Exploring Masculinity.” Alegria Barclay, the school’s Equity and Social Justice Coordinator, opened the meeting with a reflection on the numerous social justice events the school has held over the course of the year, which has thus far included a Making Peace panel, a wall of stories from the LGBT community, and a religious panel on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “The theme for this year is storytelling,” she said. To continue with the theme, a panel of five community members would share personal stories about their own experience with masculinity. The first to speak was Design Engineering teacher Rob Zomber, who works in the I-Lab. He described his childhood, his father, and the pressure he had always felt to be more masculine than he was. As a solution to this problem, he ended up going into the male-dominated industry: fabrication. He explained that the environment was

“Male friendship and socialization need not be defined by showing off or by putting others down or by closing off your emotions.”

rough and the other men were often aggressive—he gave an example of hitting each other with tools—but that he adjusted to it because he wanted to become a part of it so badly. Zomber said that one time, when one woman came to work in the shop and was appalled by how she was treated, he had thought she was a radical feminist. Now, looking back on that experience, he said she was “someone with a sense of self-respect and combat boots.”

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018


Next was Michael B. (12), who introduced the role of race into the discussion of masculinity. He said that part of masculinity in America was whiteness and “getting white girls” and that he recalled googling as a child, “Why don’t white girls like Asian guys?” Michael said that one of the things he thinks is most important to note about masculinity is that it changes based on who you are and where you are, making a joke that successful masculinity at Nueva was “being good at Civ [a strategy video game].” He said that while he didn’t enjoy his experiences with masculinity over the course of his childhood, he was “glad that they challenged my masculinity because they made me notice masculinity and the effect that it had on my life.” Following Michael, English teacher Allen Frost explained that while he had had mostly female friends in high school, his college life had revolved around an all-male a cappella group that he joined in freshman year. He shared an anecdote about a camping trip he had gone on with the two other freshmen in the group. The story was lighthearted and Frost poked fun at one of his friends on the trip, a former Boy Scout who claimed to know a good camping spot that he “didn’t need a map to find” (only to get horribly lost searching for it). However, after finding their campsite, Frost said that the boys had sat with each other and stared up at the stars, discussing the problems in their lives with each other in an intimate way that Frost had not experienced before with male friends. He said that social intimacy between men was different than that between men and women and that, on that trip, he learned that “Male friendship and socialization need not be defined by showing off or by putting

“He described his childhood, his father, and the pressure he had always felt to be more masculine than he was.

Illustration by Amalia K.

others down or by closing off your emotions.” Frost finished with the sentiment that his experience of masculinity revolved around vulnerability and “care.” After Frost, Admission’s Davion Fleming spoke, beginning with a sad story in which he was told, as a child, that he could not be president because he was black. He followed this story with the main message of his experience with masculinity—that black men in America have not been able to form an image of masculinity for themselves, instead having to exist in a society that subscribes to ideas of black masculinity created by white America. He followed this assertion with another story from his childhood, this time involving his father forcing him to do baseball drills until he broke down as punishment for crying in public. He said his father told him not to cry, gestured at the world, and said, “They don’t care.” Fleming said, “The lesson he taught me that day was not untrue. I had to be more than human to succeed in this world.” Society expected him, as a black man, to be bestial, not emotional. He said that masculinity, as he understood it, was about courage, but that “oftentimes the most courageous of us are those who are vulnerable.” Om G. (12), the final member of the

panel, began with an emotional story from his childhood detailing his lack of understanding and therefore lack of emotion when his mother died. He explained that he had used this lack of emotion to form a part of his identity throughout his childhood—Om was “the kid that didn’t cry,” didn’t feel pain, and didn’t truly feel emotions. He said that this lack of emotion made it difficult to say “I love you” to friends and family. “My experience of masculinity has been a celebration of casting aside the things that make us human,” said Om. The masculinity panel was intended to make students think about something they don’t often consider—the impacts of sexism and patriarchy on the male population. A mother had raised concerns with Barclay in the early fall that her son did not feel seen or heard at Nueva. “We tend to focus on women because they’re the primary victims,” Barclay said, “but men are also impacted in a lot of ways.” She said that a lot of issues, including sexism, were being understood as “black and white” rather than more complex and that she wanted to do something to challenge that. In the future, Barclay hopes to hold other storytelling events on sexism from women’s perspective, on environmental justice, and on political beliefs here at Nueva.


Memories of St. Patrick’s Day Past Saint Patrick’s Day will take place on March 17, 2018. How have students and faculty celebrated in the past?

“If I remembered St. Patrick’s Day, I might wear green?”

“In Chicago they used to dye the river green. And it looked horrifying.”

“Forget about it, and make weird jokes about wearing green socks that no one can see.”

Daniel H. (9)

Lee Holtzmann, Faculty

Julia R. (12)

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“I used to make very elaborate leprechaun traps. My mom would make tiny little garments for the leprechauns.” Caleb D. (11)

“When I lived on the East Coast [near Boston] during college, there was a stronger IrishAmerican influence. I learned to appreciate it.” Arta Khakpour, Faculty

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The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

News • Page 3

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day Annual MLK Day observance explores different faiths BY ANNA C. His deep voice thundered and echoed around the large gym, the spaces in between his words filled with powerful silence. Reverend Dr. Amos C. Brown, civil right activist, pastor, and one of eight students who took the only college class taught by Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to the school on Jan. 17 as part of a broader program celebrating Martin Luther King Junior Day. MLK Appreciation Day took place the week after Intersession concluded. Like the year before, it was a chance for the community to come together to celebrate the Baptist minister, activist, and civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. The national holiday had occurred two days earlier, always taking place on the last Monday of January, and the school decided to take an extra day for special programming related to MLK. Alegria Barclay, PreK–12 Equity & Social Justice Coordinator, and Brian Cropper, upper school history teacher, worked together to develop the day’s events. They decided to focus on the theme of faith, which was so central to Dr. King’s identity. “We wanted to focus on faith because it’s often the case that people forget MLK was first and foremost a religious leader, and that’s out of which all his activism sprung,” Cropper said.

“We wanted to focus on faith because people forget MLK was first and foremost a religious leader, and that’s out of which all his activism sprung.”

Six representatives of different faiths speak about their religions during the Religion Panel after the communal lunch.

The day began with an introduction to silent worship from the Quaker religion. In this worship, there was complete silence until one person would stand up and speak up about something he or she wanted to share. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine,” sang Julietta Bekker, upper school Spanish teacher. Voice after voice from the audience touched upon unscripted various topics. Nehmat V. (11) said, “I realized how many students want-

Reverend Dr. Amos C. Brown delivered a rousing talk, followed by an audience Q&A session. (Photos by Jim Morrison)

ed to talk about faith and religion, including my own friends, and I think that was made evident during that time.” After this exercise, Dr. Brown took the stage to deliver a rousing speech with all the emotional appeal and strength of a sermon. He did not shy away from discussing the current state of political affairs in the country and other sensitive issues that students considered relevant and important for discussion. Merix G. (9) said, “I agreed with everything that was said—it was really powerful to hear as a black student. It reminded me of the stories I was told by my grandparents about the Civil Rights Movement.” Lunch took place in the other half of the gym, and it was a communal affair that began with several faculty members sharing before-meal rituals and traditions from their individual faiths. After lunch, a religion panel featured speakers who believed in Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Unitarian Universalism. Each speaker explained his or her religion’s beliefs and customs. They described some core tenets of their religions and what they really enjoyed about practicing their faiths. At times, they touched upon the seeming disparity between their different faiths. “I loved being able to experience all of the different perspectives that were represented. As a Muslim student, I was so excited to have other students learn about my religion, something that isn’t talked about frequently,” Mariya V. (9) said.

After the panel, students split into small groups of Justice, Compassion, Love, Peace, Equality, Commitment, Honesty, Service, Humility, Restraint, Gratitude, Interdependence, Forgiveness, and Sacrifice—a value that each student had chosen before the day of the panel. In these groups, small councils were held in which students were given a prompt and were free to share whatever story came to mind. Anika K. (12) said, “I really think these councils improved our community, and the theme of storytelling made it really personal and easy to relate more than just talking about it in a broad thing. It was also intergrade, and I thought that was helpful so people weren’t just talking with their friends.” The day ended with a “Peace be with you” activity led by Aleeha B. (10). Aleeha recited a blessing and then the students were let out of school. For many, this was a new experience, and several students felt it was something that should be offered at all schools. “It was helpful for the community to shed light on something [religion] that is not always talked about and noticed, but at the same time I wish it was more interactive because, besides the last part, we just sat in the gym all day,” said Julie R. (9). Cropper said that the feedback from the day was enthusiastic from students and their parents. “We heard that it was unifying and positive,” Cropper said. “This is just the beginning to making the conversation about faith a bigger part of our community, to making space for people who want to talk about or relate to faith on our campus.”


Linguistic, cultural immersion in Japan BY WILLOW C. Y. At the start of the February break, 10 students boarded an 11-hour flight to Japan with Chris Scott, upper school Japanese teacher, and Hillary Freeman, ninth-grade dean. They would spend two weeks traveling between Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo, immersing themselves in the Japanese language and culture. Their trip was part of an exchange program with three Doshisha high schools; later this month, Nueva will host 12 Doshisha students at the Upper School. The group practiced their language skills, sampled local cuisine, gained hands-on experience with traditional Japanese arts like a tea ceremony and calligraphy, and lived with homestay families. In Osaka, they studied social justice issues. Later, in Tokyo, they visited the Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Sky Tree, and the statue of Hachikō (an Akita dog remembered for its loyalty). Even though Scott has led students on this trip before­and lived in Tokyo as a high school student, he still found surprises and new experiences. “I’ve never done ikebana (the art of flower arrangement in my life. I’m a Japanese teacher, but I’ve never done ikebana.” What was that experience like? “Flower arranging is really, really difficult.”

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sweet dishes at Ginkakuji Cafe; students and Chris with their final flower arrangements; at the top of the Ghibli Museum—home to the famous animation company, Studio Ghibli; Will K. (11) with a class at Kori. (Photos by Chris Scott)

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Page 4 • Culture

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Santa Ramen: Flavors of tradition and modernity Santa Ramen’s noodles are sure to keep you going back for more BY VIRAJ G.

Santa Ramen is a small, lightly furnished ramen bar off El Camino across from Nijiya Market. The menu is based on three main flavors: pork cheek meat, stewed pork belly, and the namesake “Santa Ramen” flavor. Each flavor has tarē or subflavors: soy sauce, miso, pork flavor (tonkotsu), and garlic pork flavor. In addition to these flavors, patrons can pick from a multitude of toppings to garnish their ramen and soup base, including extra meat, quail eggs, and fried onions. I’ve gone to Santa Ramen multiple times over the past year, and I constantly find myself returning to the garlic tonkotsu ramen. The rich and fatty flavor of the pork broth is balanced by the astringent flavor of the garlic oil, and while most of the protein options are good, I highly recommend the stewed pork belly. It’s cooked in a flavorful stock overnight until it’s fork-tender, and as the slab of pork slowly breaks down it adds decadent slivers of meat to every bite. That being said, the other flavors that Santa Ramen offers are also excellent. The miso flavor balances the trademark sweetness of yellow miso with spice while the soy flavor is a tried and true ramen staple that pro-

vides unmistakable notes of saltiness and umami. (I’ve also heard that combining the shoyu [soy sauce] and tonkotsu ramen leads to a truly heavenly experience.) The menu also features a short list of classic appetizers like takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and gyoza (Japanese dumplings). But I highly recommend ordering the karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and for “I’ve gone to Santa more adventurous Ramen multiple eaters the takoyaki, which are times over the flour-based, sapast year and I vory, fried dough balls that contain constantly find pieces of chopped myself returning to octopus topped off the garlic tonkotsu with a variety of Japanese sauces ramen.” and condiments. Overall, Santa Ramen is a must for any ramen fan, and the perfect way to introduce inexperienced eaters to the world of Japanese cuisine.

The garlic tonkotsu ramen is rich and flavorful—the deep, savory broth and fragrant garlic are a winning combination.

Tasting the Bay: Three restaurants to try in 2018 BY JULIANNA G. The Bay Area is a cultural food hub, full of new and innovative branches of cuisine. These three restaurants vary in price and cuisine, but they’re all delicious and well worth a visit.

Koja Kitchen $ Just a 10-minute drive from the Bay Meadows campus, in the heart of San Mateo, sits Koja Kitchen. The foodtruck-turned-franchise is small but immediately sets a vibrant scene. While it may be the offshoot branch of a chain restaurant, you can see the care that went in to making the location its own. The Korean-Japanese fusion cuisine matches its modern décor, which is eclectic and oddly soothing at the same time. The innovative food has been gracing the Bay Area to rave reviews since 2011, and its enthusiastic fan base continues to grow. Diverse offerings range from kojas (“it’s like a burger, but better,” the restaurant boasts) to tacos and salads and fries. Try the “original koja” (Korean BBQ short rib, sesame vinaigrette lettuce, katsu aioli, sesame seeds) and decide for yourself.

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Roam $$ In the world of hamburgers, you have three options. You have the fast burger, with cheap, metallic cheese and thin patty that just barely satisfies. Then there’s the overly fancy burger, arugula, a deluxe patty…topped with gold flakes, to justify its price. But then, you have the moderate burger, the best of both worlds, which you can find at Roam. Oozing with taste, perfectly framed in buns that are baked fresh daily. Hearty, but not overwhelming, using quality ingredients that won’t break the bank. Roam crafts artisanal burgers for anyone, ranging from “The Classic” to various seasonal burgers that make the most of seasonal produce sourced from California farmers. In fact, that’s a big part of how they distinguish themselves from other burger joints: Roam is dedicated to supporting their community and the planet, seeking to use ingredients from local sustainable agricultural farmers and making all their sodas by hand using fresh juice. Make sure to order your burger with the truffle parmesan fries.

All Spice $$$ With entrées averaging around $30, All Spice isn’t going to be a casual lunch stop. The restaurant features a menu that refreshes classic foods and gives them an exotic bent and a spin of cultural influences. The Victorian house, with its brightly colored interior and lively atmosphere, is both elegant yet homey, an aesthetic that is carefully cultivated by the husband-and-wife team, Sachin and Shoshana Chopra. Few chefs have the talent to earn a Michelin Star for their first restaurant, but chef Chopra did just that. The French-trained, Indian chef brilliantly blends styles from all over the globe. And the menu is constantly changing, so you’ll never get tired of going back for the new offerings. Right now, try the ratatouille with a Thai twist or garnet yam-sage gnocchi. Dishes are beautifully presented and well worth the price.

3/9/18 8:36 AM

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Culture • Page 5


Ryan G., pianist Sophomore performs at high level BY ANAM T.

Ryan G. (10) has dedicated hundreds of hours to learning and mastering the art of playing the piano. He first started plunking on the keys before he turned 4. By age 6, his love for piano had transitioned from a hobby to a passion.

“I love music because it’s a way to reach out to the community; it’s a way to express yourself.”

“I love music because it’s a way to reach out to the community; it’s a way to express yourself,” Ryan says. As an aspiring musician, sharing his passion and dedication with his peers, teachers, and community was crucial: as an 8-year-old, he raised money to buy a piano for his local public school, hoping to spark the same love he had for music in his fellow students. Now in high school, Ryan has continued to find and create new ways to share music with the broader community. He created the Musical Outreach Club in the Nueva Upper School, where members meet and rehearse for a variety of small performances they stage around the Bay Area. The next performance they are participating in will take place in March at a senior home. Over time, Ryan began studying pieces of varying complexity and technical difficulty, such as “La Campan ella,” one of Franz Liszt’s six Grand


Art is all around

Ryan G. performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He will return there for his seventh performance later this spring.

Paganini Études, which is a brisk and spirited piece requiring accuracy and dexterity on the piano. As he learned and rehearsed increasingly challenging pieces, playing the piano became a greater commitment. Ryan was practicing two to three hours a day, every day, swimming competitively at the same time, and striving to keep up with a heavy academic workload. With difficulty managing all three, Ryan sacrificed swimming and fully committed to music. But after fully committing to music, Ryan admits that there

were times where finding motivation was difficult. As of 2018, Ryan has played at Carnegie Hall in New York City six times and will be returning in June for his seventh performance. Currently, he is in the process of submitting his recordings to the Pacific Musical Society and preparing for the Chopin competition in Poland, a showcase for accomplished young pianists, which will feature an hour and a half of Chopin repertoire.

To walk through the halls of the Bay Meadows campus is to stroll through a gallery of diverse art. Before the current pieces on display are rotated out, make sure you take a closer look at these projects.



Around the Fireplace Student Work from Summer


The art by the fireplace was created by several students who attended summer art programs. Natalie L. (12) and Leona D. (11) both went to the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program. Nat chose to focus mostly on textile design, and her works featured are a charcoal self-portrait and silkscreen print. Leona majored in illustration, creating two self-portraits with acrylic paint and crayon. Another artist, Maddie W. (12), attended the California Summer School of the Arts, and her figure drawings from this program are on display as well.

Self-portraits Drawing 1

The self-portraits located near the café were a final project for the Drawing 1 class in the fall semester. There were two parts to the assignment: literal and figurative self-portraits. The drawings on display are the literal ones. Students chose or took photos of themselves that in some way embodied who they are. From these photographs, they created realistic drawings of themselves. The figurative portraits aren’t on display, but the students could choose any means of representation for these portraits. Some examples of this would be through abstract art, or as an animal or landscape. One student, Vienna G. (9), drew herself as a guava.

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2 3

Additional Art

Mixed Media & Photography 2

The Mixed Media 1 class from the fall created collages with 3-dimensional components. Their assignment was to photograph flat surfaces around the Bay Meadows campus and to print out only two of the photos. Students used these images and a foundation for their collages— the idea being to play with different dimensions and textures in the images.

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Page 6 • Features

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

So you wrote 50,000 words. Now what? Nueva writers tackle post-NaNoWriMo months BY ELIZABETH B-P.


ongregating over copious quantities of caffeine, carbohydrates, and creative constructions, a group of Nueva writers typed their way to 50,000 words in November’s annual major writing challenge, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). So what are they doing with their stories now? When NaNoWriMo’s founder, Berkeley-based teacher Chris Baty, originally established NaNoWriMo in 1999, the challenge was to take place in July. But the apparently dreary aspects of November–bad weather and between-holiday exhaustion, for example–brought about the change in date to November in order to provide motivation to brighten days by writing. NaNoWriMo’s set goal for anyone to take on is to write 50,000 words during the month. At a steady pace, it requires participants to write 1,667 words (or more) per day–about three pages single-spaced in standard font. Notes are allowed pre-November, but the actual body of the novel can only be begun on the first of the month, and the goal is to finish 50,000 words, roughly the length of fiction manuscripts, by November 30. That’s about 200 pages, or the length of The Great Gatsby. Audrey C. (11), first-time Wrimo, said, “I really enjoyed surprising myself with what I could accomplish on such a short timescale. I don’t usually write long-form creative writing, so NaNoWriMo was really just an exploration, a way to challenge myself and expand my horizons as a writer. I participated to the extent

that I felt comfortable and enthusiastic about, so it was overall a very positive experience.” On NaNoWriMo’s challenges, English teacher, writer of magical realism, and fifth-time Wrimo Jamie Biondi shared that his least favorite part was how his participation makes him antisocial. “Adding about ninety minutes of writing to an already fairly busy schedule means that something has to go, and for me this time around that something that went was going out to dinner and generally being a social person,” said Biondi. “So I felt like I had a highly productive month, and I was impressed with myself that I could get NaNoWriMo done while teaching full time, but I also felt a bit like a hermit teacher that month.” His favorite part, however, is the moments—“Maybe ten of them over the course of the month”—when he vacillates between feeling down about his story to excited, especially when those moments occur between writing sessions. “I tend to be very self-critical, so any time that I’m actually psyched about my own work is both rare and encouraging,” Biondi said. December, January, and February are known as the “Now What?” months, when the organization reconnects with its participants to discuss next steps, whether it is revision and pitching for publication, or moving on to another idea. If the writer is looking to publish his or her manuscript, NaNoWriMo offers a lot of resources and information, including connecting the author with editors and agents through various competitions conducted during January and February. Winners are based upon both

professional and reader voting and have the chance to go before a literary agent. Both Biondi and Audrey have future plans for their post-NaNoWriMo writing. “I’m not sure about what I plan to do with my NaNo work specifically,” Audrey said. “However, creative writing in

“I think lots of people feel that they have stories bursting out of them, so my advice to those folks would be to write!”

general is a favorite pastime of mine and I will definitely continue to write and develop my voice.” Biondi, meanwhile, isn’t quite done with his 2017 NaNoWriMo novel. “I’ve intentionally gone cold turkey on writing, wanting to give it a few months to breathe before I pick it back up, but I’m hoping to complete the story over February break,” Biondi said. “At that point, I’ll give it a read in its complete first draft stage, then probably allow a loved one or two to read it, and then

it will fade off into the ether of writing projects of mine that intentionally go nowhere.” For writers interested in taking on NaNoWriMo in the future, Biondi said, “I’ve always tried to follow Bukowski’s advice from his poem ‘so you want to be a writer?’: if it doesn’t come bursting out of you, in spite of everything, don’t do it.’ I think lots of people feel that they have stories bursting out of them, so my advice to those folks would be to write! I love having structure to my writing process, and have found that a deadline of some sort is the only thing that has ever worked for me productivity-wise. Simply put, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t feel that I had some external pressure forcing me to write. So I recommend using others to hold yourself accountable, or at least getting into the habit of writing at the same time every day.”

LEFT: Sophomores Nikhil P., Christopher M., and Alex N. in Digital Music Composition. CENTER: Seniors Sonali S. and Devon H. in a suturing class. RIGHT: Grace L. (10) in a blacksmithing class. (Photos by Sinead C.)

After Intersession, students pursue new interests New offerings this year expanded student experiences CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

After stepping out of her comfort zone in two different seminars, Julie said, “Intersession really taught me that the only limitation that you have is when you tell yourself you can or can’t do something.” Another freshman, Amanda W., was really happy and felt that she made the absolute right decision to attend the Running Away to the Circus class. “We learned aerial silks, basic gymnastic skills, and a form of martial arts,” said Amanda. For her first experience, she “really enjoyed the offerings and look for-

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ward to even more in the years to come.” She is a ballet dancer and said that what she does already really helped her pick up the skills that were taught during the class. Linda Yates, the director of Intersession, said that the team is already working on Intersession 2019, something students should definitely be looking forward to. “Next year we want to make the catalog fully digitally searchable and give students more time to…make really well-informed choices,” said Yates. Because of where New Year’s Day fell this year, “Field Trip Friday,” where


students leave campus to go to places for them to explore, was not offered. Yates said that she hopes to bring it back in the future for students to enjoy. “This year was the first year where we landed on what we think is the perfect format and tried the same format two years in a row,” said Yates. Because Intersession opportunities are curated based on students’ interests, the Intersession team really depends on the feedback they get to decide what changes to make for the next year. “We really depend on the student feedback to plan every Intersession so we appreciate

students answering the survey,” said Yates. The core focus of Intersession is to give students a feast of opportunities that are not usually offered as classes or electives during the regular school year. “Once we get student input we start curating the presenters for next year starting in March. Yes, Intersession takes all year to plan and execute but we love it,” said Yates. The Intersession team works hard throughout the whole year to bring an amazing program full of unique opportunities to students.

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The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Features • Page 7

The growing garden on the Bay Meadows skywalk Once unused and barren, the skywalk is now a flourishing garden for students and faculty to enjoy BY JORDAN M.


or the first three years after opening the Bay Meadows campus, there was an unused space that was closed off and could not be accessed by students. The skywalk on the second floor, linking the classroom wing to the gym, was a desolate and isolated part of the school that had a lot of potential, but no one saw it—until two students decided to bring life to it. Once home to dry grasses and weeds, over the past two years, the skywalk has been transformed into a thriving and growing garden home to fruits and vegetables, and an

The main goal is to “let the space evolve with student needs and be a visual representation of Nueva values and commitments, particularly to wellness, curiosity, community, and safe space creation.”

expanding collection of succulents and flowers. In his freshman year at Nueva, Michael B. (12) dreamt of creating a garden for his Quest project, but was unable to—until last year when he sowed California poppy seeds into the dirt. Before this major milestone, the skywalk was unavailable for use by students, which is what prevented Michael from getting his envisioned project off the ground. “This year Celia M. restarted the Environmental Stewardship Club and we decided to work on the garden together,” Michael said. “It’s an educational opportunity that most people don’t get, and it is a chance to see where food comes from.” Celia (11) says she got her inspiration from seeing blank and empty spaces where the plants

now live, and she wanted to make the skywalk a place where students could go outside and take a break from technology, while giving them the opportunity to interact with lively spaces. As the two students unpacked boxes full of plants and potted them into the planters on the outdoor space, they created a more lively and dynamic environment to give students a chance “to look at plants and see food growing.” With all the potential that could be unlocked on the skywalk, Celia and Michael wanted to make a contribution that every student and faculty member could benefit from. These days, the skywalk is a place where many students go out during the day to enjoy their lunches or take in the surrounding Bay Meadows landscape and watch the nearby construction projects unfold. Hillary Freeman, the NinthGrade Dean, encourages students to take time to observe and celebrate the garden. She often sits in her office and finds herself staring out the window at the garden. Freeman said, “The garden adds a significant aesthetic and mindset to our community that many of us see but don’t take the time to reflect on.” She recommends students and visitors to campus spend some time on the skywalk. “Try to be mindful and present when you’re walking across, and take the couple of seconds or minutes that you can to look at the plants and realize where they come from, how they’re growing, and that there are students in our community that have nurtured them,” Freeman suggests. Although the garden is a relatively new space and still has empty planters, it is constantly growing and expanding. “[At] different times of the year, there could be different harvests and events,” Freeman added. “I think things that kids are doing to help the garden are a great way to encourage [and inspire] the community.”

The garden is home to succulents, vegetables, and flowers. Some Nueva students have admitted to munching on some of the vegetables that have sprouted there. (Photos by Jordan M.)

7 Features Gardens.indd 1

3/9/18 8:44 AM

Page 8 • Features

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

wealthy Hilla Internsh Grade D Nueva’s pointed migratio of the ci the influ the said why pub student afford to private people w access m school s pens to Grow Freema dilemma “[My fight for public s had] to Educati porting I could g had pro they we me into without man sai Furth she has racism i identify had noti iting sig instance too talk student these be deemed than a b ing the The Afr may find plinary student the gifte Ther reasons elite pri list inclu limited cations, mutes in without the unfo lent rac applican Addit ing tests controve to race. to the p talented biased a icans, th passed a dents ju to take t was dem law to p number student and rem pared to of Africa But inst the test federal j for any C to admi African though six year changed can Ame state, m still beli to be bia certain “The mistrus people o or seeki

of color Let’s face it: There are very few students of color in private schools. Why is that the case? And what can we do to fix it?



ducation has always been racially charged. From the denial of education with slavery and colonialism, to the “separate but equal” laws of the Jim Crow era, to Brown versus Board of Education, to today with the underfunding of majority-minority districts, educational segregation in American history has never been hard to find. And one can surely say that now, over 50 years after the Supreme Court case that ruled racially segregated schools unconstitutional, an equal-access America—where this discriminative history is far behind in both the past and in thought—is surely in our sights. Right? Try as we might, this new generation of students just isn’t reaping the benefits. That is to say, students of color aren’t getting into their fair share of elite private schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), stu-

Data Here’s what the disparity looks like by the numbers.

Data from “Education by the Numbers” (New York Times)

8-9 DT Features.indd 2

dents of color make up over half of the population of public schoolers, while they only hold 24 percent of spaces in private institutions. That number is less than half of the total percentage of school-age children of color in the U.S. today. And in the top twenty private high schools in the country, only 16 percent are African American or Latinx. So this highlights the question: why are certain groups of students of color so drastically underrepresented in elite private education? Davion Fleming, Associate Director of Admissions and Assistant Dean of College Counseling, has some ideas. “I think private education came about through one vein of elitism but also in the vein [of] public education failing students in a lot of ways,” he said. One of the subcategories of that elitism is the financial burden of private school tuition. While Nueva does provide financial aid and scholarships

Only 16% of the students of the top 20 private schools are African American, Latinx, or Hispanic.

African American and Latinx students make up only 24% of all private schools.

with outside organizations, he noted, many families who could benefit from these programs don’t understand how to get it, or simply don’t know about it. Although, in addition to finances and income, another challenge is the income-segregated neighborhoods and areas. “The hardest thing for [Nueva] is the physical location of our school, because you can look at the breakdown of where in the Bay Area the black and Latinx communities are. Those huge pockets of them aren’t close to San Mateo,” Fleming said. “Or, it’s very difficult to get here [from those areas], and that plays such a big factor in kids’ deciding to come here. And then you also add that extra layer of socioeconomic status.” The Economic Policy Institute supported Fleming with the facts: children in the lowest socioeconomic quintile of their study were much more likely to do worse academically than their more

By 2025, students of color are expected to be a majority of high school graduates. Fewer than 3 in 10 students in gifted-andtalented programs are black or Latinx. Just 1/3 of public high schools with high black and Latinx enrollment offer calculus.


Children from lowsocioeconomic-status families enter high school five years behind highincome students in average literacy skills.

Children from lowincome families are almost six times more likely to drop out of school.

3/9/18 8:45 AM

The Nueva School • Volume 1, Issue 2

wealthy counterparts. Hillary Freeman, Director of Internship Programs, NinthGrade Dean and Director of Nueva’s Internship Programs, pointed to “white flight,” the migration of white people out of the cities into suburbs due to the influx of people of color into the said cities, as a reason for why public schools were failing students. People who could afford to send their children to private schools did so, and “if people with money, voice, and access move out of the public school system, then what happens to the public schools?” Growing up in Philadelphia, Freeman encountered this dilemma. “[My mother] really had to fight for me to go to the best public schools available. [She had] to go down to the Board of Education, armed with supporting paperwork, just so that I could go to the schools that had programs for gifted kids— they weren’t going to place me into those gifted programs without a huge, big fight,” Freeman said. Furthermore, Freeman said, she has more recently observed racism in the choosing and identifying of gifted kids. She had noticed that, when exhibiting signs of “giftedness”—for instance, being bored, or being too talkative in class—a white student who demonstrates these behaviors would be deemed “gifted” more often than a black student manifesting the potential “giftedness.” The African American student may find their way to a disciplinary action where the white student may find their way to the gifted classroom. There is a plethora of reasons for the segregation of elite private education. The list includes, but is in no way limited to, English-only applications, meetings and commutes inaccessible to families without personal vehicles, and the unfortunately still-prevalent racism against minority applicants. Additionally, academic-gauging tests have been historically controversial when it comes to race. In 1986, in response to the problematic gifted and talented I.Q. test being deemed biased against African Americans, the State of California passed a law that black students just wouldn’t be allowed to take the test at all. The test was demonstrated in a court of law to place a disproportionate number of African American students in the special needs and remedial classes as compared to the total population of African American children. But instead of “just changing the test,” as Freeman said, a federal judge ruled it illegal for any California public school to administer the I.Q. test to African American students. Although the ruling was reversed six years later and the test changed after a group of African American families sued the state, many black communities still believe the assessment to be biased and restricted for certain minorities. “There is a long history of mistrust that still precludes people of color from requesting or seeking the I.Q. test. There

8-9 DT Features.indd 3


MARCH 7, 2018: “Black and Latino students made up only 10 percent of those offered spots for next fall at the eight high schools that administer the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, a percentage that has been essentially unchanged for years.”

The New York Times, “Elite Schools Make Few Offers to Black and Latino Students”

Features • Page 9

also may be teachers who still understand the law erroneously,” Freeman said. Because of these deterrents, a socioeconomic—and, by extension, racial—divide was formed and has kept growing. As the NCES reported, schools with 50 percent or more students of color tended to be over 75 percent minority, and schools with 50 percent or more white students were more likely to be all-white (rather than a more balanced ratio, like 55 to 45 percent). These numbers indicate that the gap between majority-students-of-color schools and majority-white schools is huge, and schools with a relatively even mix of both don’t tend to happen or exist. This academic gap, in addition to keeping students from going to private schools, also reinforces racial stereotypes about the wealth of the African American and Latinx people of all ages. Freeman, a former Palo Alto City Council member, recalled that one of the emotionally laden, rather than position based, reasons she decided to run for the office was because, when approached at Whole Foods, a then–Palo Alto City Council member racially profiled her. Freeman recalled the City Council member saying, “‘Honey, you need to ask that question to your representative in East Palo Alto.’ I live here [in Palo Alto]. She just assumed I lived in East Palo Alto because of my race.” Freeman went on to win the election, placing first, based on political positions that resonated with the community, not her race; a testament to the people of Palo Alto. Although the Council member may not have thought much of the offhand comment, the exchange was telling. It showed that the elected leaders of our communities have racial biases; it shows that the divide between two areas, so close to one another, are vastly different because of gap in wealth and education; and it shows that racism directed at the black and Latinx communities still perseveres through adulthood. It should come as no surprise that the gap created in childhood with private and public education has effects in the future. As Liz King, Director of Education Policy for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, neatly summed up, “[P]rivate education can play a role in undermining civil rights efforts.” Of course, it isn’t enough to know about the problem; it is imperative for communities to develop a solution. But race and socioeconomic status—even without the added controversy of private versus public schools—is such a hard-to-navigate maze of politically incorrect landmines and dead-ends of cursory racist commentary. Thus, proposed solutions have mostly been tentative at best and elusively bush-beating at worst, with few exceptions. Freeman, however, has worked hard to be an exception. She believes that in order to close these gaps, the government and the American people need to keep placing significant emphasis on public education,

or, in her words, “education of the masses.” She said that people need to think, “I want to improve the public school system.” Fleming echoed this idea, saying that if society cared more—or at least valued education more than it does now— then our public school system would drastically improve; he also said that children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, “wouldn’t want to say, ‘I want to be the CEO of Pepsi.’ They wouldn’t say, ‘I want to a hedge funder.’ They wouldn’t say those things. They would say, ‘I want to be a teacher because that’s one of the most valued things in our community.’” Fleming has a lot of thoughts on this topic. Reflecting further on the question, he gave a quiet, but long and burdened sigh. “I think there is a lot of low-hanging fruit that we can grab. And by low-hanging fruit I mean there are things that we can do that don’t use up a lot of resources.” He went on, “You see this thing in college a lot where you get these kids who literally have come from nothing or they have a really hard background, and then you put them around a bunch of kids who get five hundred dollars a week for their allowance. And they’re like, ‘I’ve never even seen five hundred dollars in my life!’ And then they fall through the cracks and they don’t do well and then they end up dropping out or they take seven years to graduate or they do x, y, or z.” He thought that the most important thing to do for these underprivileged students of color—who are often in this situation—is to expose them early and frequently to private school environments, and to have “systematic check-ins” with the family and the student about what would appropriately challenge and push the student to achieve, as well as making sure they’re mentally coping with what could be, he said, a drastically different situation. “Just being seen and being heard goes a long way.” But even if we do implement these changes immediately, according to Fleming, the positive impacts would take at least a generation. The potent mix of institutionalized and systematic racism and ever-increasing gaps in socioeconomic disparity is the cause of these rifts in the first place—and, what with year-old developments in our political scene, it doesn’t seem as though the poison will dissipate on its own. But we have ideas, we have plans, and we have people in education and within our school who are dedicated to forging a better education system. And the percentage of African Americans and Latinx students in private institutions has risen over the past decade. The percentage of African Americans and Latinx families in the upper quintiles of that study by NCES has increased. We’re making progress. Then, history—with its overt and institutionalized racism, incredible human rights struggles, and countless other scars—may not be emblematic of the future.

Private schools are more likely than public schools to be virtually all-white, defined as a school where 90% or more of students are white. 43% of the nation’s privateschool students attended virtually all-white schools, compared to 27% of public-school students.

The Washington Post, “The overwhelming whiteness of U.S. private schools”


3/9/18 8:45 AM

Page 10 • Features

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Q&A: Conversations in STEM Conversations in STEM is a new column that aims to explore through interviews the latest scientific research across a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to medicine, neuroscience, engineering, physics, and mathematics. The purpose of this column is threefold: 1) to trigger students’ interest in science and scientific research, 2) to inform students about cutting-edge developments in scientific research that are usually confined to scholarly circles and journals, and 3) to provide students with valuable, practical information relating to common problems seen in both individuals and the community.

Talking teenage anxiety with Dr. Singh BY ANNA K.

What are some coping mechanisms that you have for stress, anxiety, or depression?

Depression is a challenge that millions of teenagers and adults face every day. To learn more about the research and treatments in adolescent depression, I spoke to Dr. Manpreet K. Singh, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She grew up the oldest of three children in an immigrant family, and had “a lot of challenges.” Her sister, who has Down Syndrome, faced struggles with how she moved through the stages of development, and her doctors were very pessimistic about her life outlook, which was very stressful for Dr. Singh’s family. Because of this experience, she developed early on a passion that if she was going to become a doctor one day, she would “give families hope.” As Director of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Program in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford, Dr. Singh offered her insight on this problem through practical information and her own research. To read the complete interview, please visit




According to a speech you gave to Women’s International Forum, girls tend to be more vulnerable and less resilient in terms of mood disorders than boys. Can you explain why? What we discovered in this work is that children, when they develop psychiatric symptoms, are clearly divided in terms of the kinds of psychiatric disorders they experience based on sex. Girls tend to have more anxiety and depression, while boys tend to have more ADHD and other behavioral symptoms. Epidemiological studies and other observational studies have managed to show that boys and girls tend to process information differently cognitively, and they also tend to process emotions differently.



So, according to your research findings, how do we raise resilient students and people? There are a number of actions that can be taken to improve one’s capacity for resilience when facing stressful reactions to life events, or stress in general. Teenagers actually need more sleep than most children and adults do, mainly because the brain is making some amazing shifts during adolescence and when you sleep, you are actually facilitating that process. In order to protect your brain, optimally you want to make sure you give it as much rest as possible. Diet is really important, too. To eat a healthy diet every day and not skip any meals (three square meals a day) is absolutely critical. These are some general findings, however, If you have a family member with a psychiatric disorder, you may be more vulnerable than the general population, so it is critical to understand family factors that might contribute to general vulnerability to symptoms of depression. And so, having a conversation with your doctor about that, or reaching out to our program about that is not a bad idea, as support can be really helpful. Another thing that we highly recommend and we think might be contributing to stress (a researcher has yet to establish causality, but we certainly think it is playing a role) is interaction

10 Features Interview.indd 1



with social media and media in general. Limiting screen time is actually a good way to promote resilience.

“Teenagers actually need more sleep than most children and adults do, mainly because the brain is making some amazing shifts during adolescence and when you sleep, you are actually facilitating that process.”

What factors have influenced the direction of your research? There is a growing need for [hope] doctors like me. We are few and far between and there are increasing demands for specialists in the area of pediatric behavioral health. Specifically, we have been seeing high rates of depression, not just in the Bay Area, but around the world, and the global health burden of depression is increasing as a WHO report suggests. As a result, it becomes even more necessary to have doctors trained to be able to help people who struggle with depression. That reinforced my desire to do work in the field and continue to toil and develop better ways of understanding how depression occurs and how we can use advanced neuroscience tools to better understand the origins of brain dysfunction associated with depression.


What do you think is the most exciting emerging area in the field of adolescent psychiatry? One of the things we are really excited about here at Stanford is the ability to use risk calculators and neuroimaging markers to help predict who will have a positive versus a negative response to treatment. That should hopefully help us personalize treatments for kids, so that they do not have to go through five or six trials of different types of medication before they get to the right one. I am also excited about new drug developments and treatments based on what we’ve newly discovered about how depression occurs in the brain, which should allow for the creation of better treatment targets.

I was interested to learn about your mindfulness research. What did your research show? There are some neuroimaging findings that actually suggest that mindfulness is not only helpful to reduce stress, but it can actually increase your brain’s ability to regulate stress and emotions around stress.


You also mentioned teenagers’ chaotic schedules. What would you say to a teen who has such a schedule on how to manage anxiety? I think that knowing yourself, knowing what your limits are, and also understanding what the source of that anxiety might be is really important… Charting what are the things that trigger the anxiety the most is necessary, and if your schedule is part of that, then it is not unreasonable to have a serious conversation with your guidance counselors, your teachers, and your parents to find out if there are things that can be done to help facilitate your learning. It does take some time to figure stress out together, collaboratively and as a family, [and change things] so that you can have not just a good balance in terms of your achievement needs, but also feel in control of your own success. I think it is really important to reach out to your parents and teacher, but also to talk to your pediatrician or psychiatrist, which can be potentially very helpful too (your stress could be ameliorated by talking to someone who might have a different perspective).

Gaelen C. (9)

“I would say playing a sport is a good one, because I need to get out onto the field and not think about work. I play soccer and really like track, and both of those are good opportunities for me to just kind of de-stress.”

Cal W. (9)

“I turn the project into something I want to do, something that aligns with my interests.”

Can you share some advice for when we encounter difficult times or failures?

Maya M. (10)

I think that everyone will experience failure during the course of their career, and sometimes that can be extremely challenging. I think failures are really important sources of growth. I think that multitasking and learning how to balance work and life can be a really important part of challenges that people experience as they age.

“I like to draw—that relaxes me. Or reading. This year, I specifically chose my Quest to be stress-relieving.”

3/9/18 8:46 AM

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Opinion • Page 11

This is how the Oscars should be After 90 years, a welcome change has come to Hollywood’s most prestigious event BY ISABEL C.

Dear Academy Members and Host Jimmy Kimmel, Thank you for not thrusting this past year’s sexual assault scandal into the spotlight again in a way that would continue to damage the movie industry. Your use of jokes to lighten the mood yet turn the show over to the organizations that should be recognized such as the #MeToo and the #TimesUp movements was a perfect way to start the awards as an indication that Hollywood is moving forward, and so should we. Within a two-month span at the end of 2017, over 50 well-known men were accused of sexual assault; at least 10 of them figure prominently within the movie industry: Roy Price, former head of Amazon Studios, Kevin Spacey, former lead in the popular Netflix original House of Cards, and actor/director Casey Affleck, who was awarded Best Actor at last year’s Oscars and invited to present an award at this year, before he eventually bowed out. With the #MeToo movement featuring prominently at all award ceremonies this season, it’s good that the Oscars have been purposeful in focusing more on the women of the industry than they did before. Women in the film industry are often pushed aside, less often then in the past, but still today. Let’s look at the Best Director. Only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director—Greta Gerwig, with her coming-of-age movie Ladybird, is the first female to be nominated in the Best Director category in eight years—and only one has ever won (Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 with The Hurt Locker). Despite the ris-

ing number of females in Hollywood, women still aren’t getting the nominations. The main problem is that there aren’t many films that are directed by women. “Only 11 percent of movies are directed by women,” Jimmy Kimmel said in his monologue, “And that is nuts.” Women just aren’t hired as much to helm big budget studio movies. Most female-directed films are smaller-budget independents, and not as aimed at what the Oscars is known for—mainstream pictures with enormous budgets for production and marketing. Fortunately, female representation at the Oscars has started to change. This year, it was evident that the Academy looked to not only represent females more in Hollywood in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but to serve as a platform for empowerment. Not only were more women nominated, but more people of color were as well. (Jordan Peele and his highly-rated psychological thriller Get Out for Best Picture, and winning Best Original Screenplay!). And while Greta Gerwig didn’t win, Frances McDormand’s powerful Oscar acceptance speech was the highlight of the night. Stating that she wanted to “get some perspective,” McDormand asked all the female nominees in every category—the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers—to rise. “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said. The drive for real diversity is one step forward, but we can still do more.

The Oscars and the Academy should do everything they can to pull away from the toxic realm of abuse and power within its own industry both now and in the future. The inclusion rider for diversity that McDormand called for in her speech is one route. Affleck’s decision to step down from delivering the award for the Best Actress was a good one. It sets the bar higher for what it means to be an actor or actress in the competitive world of movies. It underscores for us the responsibilities and privileges of fame and celebrity. It shows us that there are consequences to inappropriate behavior, that it won’t just be forgotten. The Oscars this year moved decisively away from the scandals of the past year, in a way that didn’t sweep them aside as if they never happened. This needs to continue into the future if we want to create a better community within the world of movies, which holds such a position of influence in the ways we define and identify pop culture. How can they accomplish this? Start by rejecting pictures that promote actors/directors/producers accused of sexual assault. Drive home the consequences. Please continue to celebrate, acknowledge, and empower diversity in the movie industry like you did this year for the next century of movies. The only way to pave way for a better and safer community within the movie industry is by starting today, the day after Hollywood’s biggest night. Today is a step toward the future of a better workplace. Illustration by Annie Zhang


Students, our time to enact change is now

When the adults in our government have stalled, we need to keep pushing Dear Students, By now we know that on February 14, 2018, a gunman shot and killed 17 students in Parkland, Florida. In the following days, we have seen students from Stoneman Douglas protest, appear on talk shows, and hold a town hall in order to pressure Congress to tighten gun control, making attacks with an AR-15 like the one used in the Parkland shooting much more unlikely in the future. Yet, rather than actually doing anything about the issue, senators and the president offered up “thoughts and prayers,” saying that now was not the time to make things political. We know this script, too. We have seen it play out before. Since Parkland, there

been a shooting, the others being terrorist bombings or vehicular/knife attacks. At some point, the U.S. needs to acknowledge that one individual’s right to life will always supersede another individual’s right to own a weapon. We know that this type of legislation works. Now we need to implement it in this country. The adults in our government have failed us, so it falls to us, students, to continue our protest, to participate in walk-outs and marches, to show the federal government that they answer to us, not the NRA. We need to continue to speak up and prevent another tragedy like Parkland.

have been four more school shootings (defined here as any shooting in which someone was shot on school grounds) in the U.S. for a total of 12 school shootings in 2018. Still, nothing has been done by the federal government to ensure the safety of students and teachers and the general American public by making guns more difficult to obtain legally. Following mass shootings in Australia and Britain, each country’s legislature moved for stricter gun regulations. As a result, each country has had fewer shootings over the past decade than the U.S. has had over the past two months. Of the five mass killings since Britain tightened its gun regulations in 1996, only one has Illustrations by Nat L.


11 Op-Ed.indd 1

Questions or comments? We welcome your voices. Please email Editor-in-Chief scobras@ or the Newspaper Adviser; corrections will be addressed on our website and published in the subsequent issue.

The opinions expressed in The Nueva Current belong solely to the writer and are not a reflection or representation of the opinions of the school or its administrators.

The Nueva Current Newspaper 131 E. 28th Ave. San Mateo, CA 94403 Press run is 1,000 copies by JASK Digital Print & Copy Solutions.

STAFF Editor-in-Chief Scott B. Assistant Editor Willow C.Y. News Aliya G. Features Anam T. Opinion Elizabeth B-P

Sports Aiden H. Culture Isabel C. Entertainment Anna C. Staff Julianna G., Jordan M. Adviser LiAnn Yim

3/9/18 8:48 AM

Page 12 • Opinion

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018


“Nueva Students and Design”


“Wouldn’t It Be Nice If He Was a Real Boy?” BY JULIANNA G.



12 Op-Ed.indd 1

“How We All Feel Sometimes” BY ELIZABETH B-P

Interested in contributing to the The Nueva Current? The Current seeks to be a forum for student writing, art, and opinion. The opinions and staff editorials contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Head of School or the Board of Trustees of The Nueva School. Letters to the editor and guest columnists are encouraged but are subject


to editing for reasons of clarity, space, accuracy, and good taste. Please email letters and guest columns to Editor-inChief Scott B. at or Opinions Editor Elizabeth B-P at, or Advisor LiAnn Yim at lyim@nuevaschool.orgl Letters can also be mailed to The Nueva Current, 131 E. 28th Ave., San Mateo,

CA 94403. If you are interested in providing editorial illustrations for The Current, please email Editor-in-Chief Scott B. at scobras@, and you will be added to our contributors mailing list from which we may put out occasional calls for submission.

3/9/18 8:50 AM

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Sports • Page 13


Wrapping up winter sports

Girls: 7–11 Boys: Varsity: 14–7 Junior Varsity: 7–4


Girls’ Basketball

Four years in, with only 11 players on the roster, the girls’ basketball team reached 4th place in the Private School Athletic League (PSAL) this year. (Their toughest rival, Alma Heights, placed 1st.) Team captains Elaine W. (12), Sophie P. (12), and Anjali S. (11) led the team through a fun and productive season. They were hoping to do well at CCS this year, where they faced the team from Castilleja, whom they felt they were more evenly matched with. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out in the first round, though point guard Julie R. (9) was named to the all-league team.

Boys’ Basketball VARSITY: The boys’ basketball varsity team placed in the league PSAL runner-up. Coaches Chris Brandin and Barry Treseler led the team through 3:30–7:10 pm practices every day. “The team had a terrific season, finishing with a flourish and taking last year’s NorCal champions to overtime in the playoffs was a high point to end on,” said Treseler. “The team worked hard and that effort made our great improvement over the course of the season possible.” They made it to quarterfinal game where they lost in overtime by one point to the number one seed, St. Francis. Two athletes placed onto the PSAL all-league team including MVP Kyle McGraw (11), who also impressively reached 1,000 career points. JUNIOR VARSITY: The boys’ JV basketball team, consisting mostly of freshmen and sophomores, has performed well in the league. They practiced five days a week, with the goal of improving their technical skills but also trying to defeat their biggest competitor, Alma Heights, whom they ended up beating in overtime. Captains revolved every game, but players recognized Ryan C. (9) and Pranav R. (10) for working hard with coaches Paul Gallagher and Jan Van der Kooji to improve the team over the course of the season.


Boys’ Soccer

This season, the boys’ soccer team finished with their best record in Nueva program history, ending with a 2nd-place standing in the PSAL. This was the soccer team’s third year of existence. “By far our best season,” Coach Ben Chang said. “Record-wise, it was the first time we finished over 500. It was our best finish in the standings.” After their 4–0 loss to the eventual league champions, Latino College Preparatory Academy, on Jan. 18, the Mavericks went undefeated in the last eight games of their season (winning five games and tying three). “It was the hardest game of the year,” Chang said about the earlier 4–0 loss. “But we showed a lot of character and maintained the intensity, and we finished the year strong.” The coaches led 21 players on the team in practices four to five times a week after school until 5:45 pm. Five members of the team were named to the PSAL all-league team. Though they will lose strong senior players to graduation, the team is excited for next season.


goals Steven D. (12)

69 points

Alice E. (10)

Girls’ Soccer With a fresh 16-player team of mostly novices, the girls’ soccer team had a successful first year. They finished a brief season—just under two months—undefeated, with a final record of two wins and two tense and closely matched ties. Their first-ever competitive game came after only three practices, mostly at Hillsborough and Los Prados fields. Nevertheless, they still had fun and were able to work out their struggles during the season. Even with such a short season, the team had improved vastly by the last game; Hanna Z. (10), who has never played soccer before, ended up making two goals in that game. Their closest game was a tie against D-Tech. It was a tough one, but everyone committed their energy through the game and overtime.

Girls: 2-2-0 Boys: 9-4-3

34 three-

pointers Kyle M. (11)




Upcoming Games Swimming

Saturday, March 10


Tuesday, March 13 vs. SHP


Tuesday, March 13 WBAL Meet #1 @ SH

13 Sports Nueva.indd 1


Thursday, March 15 vs. CSUS


Friday, March 16 4:00PM @ Menlo


Thursday, March 15 3:45PM @ SH



Wednesday, March 21

Monday, March 19 4:00PM @ KA



Saturday, March 17 St. Francis Invitational @ SFHSI


Tuesday, March 20 @ Pinewood

Thursday, March 22 vs. Harker


Thursday, March 22 @ Kehillah

3/9/18 9:06 AM

Page 14 • Sports

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Another Gold Rush for Bay Area football?

The 6–10 49ers may have missed the playoffs in 2017, but there are numerous reasons for a turnaround in 2018 BY AIDEN H. Another football season has come and gone. Super Bowl LII is a quickly fading memory. The endless trades, contracts, and speculations of the offseason are in full swing. For the average team, going 6–10 on the season is disappointin. Fans would normally be calling for a reshuffling of the staff, or an overhaul to the roster. But the San Francisco 49ers were never even close to an average team this season. In what could very well be an NFL first, the 49ers spent time

on both sides of the spectrum; that is to say, the first half of the season a bottom-tier, struggling squad, and the closing stretch as one of the most energized, momentum-bearing teams in the NFL. The 49ers started the season with an abysmal 0–9 before grabbing their first win against a similarly barren New York Giants squad. At 1–9, the 49ers fell to the Seattle Seahawks the next week, but something happened on the back end of

that game. Third-round draft pick rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard took a big sack and was helped off the sideline. Jogging onto the field to take his place was Jimmy Garoppolo, a backup quarterback acquired from the New England Patriots earlier in the season. Garoppolo played 67 seconds in that game. He threw a touchdown pass. Jimmy Garoppolo earned the start next week and never looked back.

FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK + SUNNY BAY AREA = HOT FREE AGENT DESTINATION The 49ers went from a bottom feeder to having a ridiculous amount of 2018 momentum. Jimmy G has made the 49ers an incredibly enticing team, and it’s not just fans who are noticing. With a large amount of cap space and key pieces in

place, plenty of free agents will be turning an eye to the Bay Area as their next NFL stop. The 49ers have $117 million to spend, and they could easily net one or two big fish this year to build up an astounding roster.

ANDREW NORWELL Andrew Norwell is a 6'6", 316lb presence on the field that could provide a valuable, consistent veteran presence on the 49ers' offensive line


JIMMY GAROPPOLO Jimmy God-Roppolo. Jimmy Goat-Roppolo. Jimmy G-Sus. This man has cemented himself as the most prominent sports story in the Bay Area the past few months. Jimmy Garoppolo took over the team and proceeded to win five games in a row. In seven career starts, he is undefeated. And he is signed

to the 49ers for a 5-year, $137.5 million contract. He is the present and the future for this team. He’s young, he’s skilled, and he has the stats to show he deserves to be the highest paid (for now) player in the NFL. In 2017, he had a completion percentage of 67.4, with a passer rating of 96.2. For ref-


A STELLAR HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have huge contracts, and for good reason: they've proven themselves to be smart, decisive forces in rebuilding the team. They were conservative in the 2017 draft, resisting urges to pick up a quarterback, and instead pulled a brilliant trade for Jimmy Garoppolo in October. Even then, Shanahan was conservative, letting 3rd-round rookie C.J. Beathard start several times, hoping to evaluate his entire roster instead of instantly plugging in Jimmy Garoppolo. These decisions,

along with Shanahan’s abilities on the sideline during games, give great hope for the 49ers' future.

A VALUABLE DRAFT PICK Numerous incredible players are projected to land with the 49ers, including prospects Denzel Ward, a defensive back, Quenton Nelson, an offensive guard, and Tremaine Edmunds, a linebacker. The 49ers will either have the 9th overall pick in the draft. While placed unfavorably for powerhouse prospects such as running back Saquon Barkley, the 49ers have a key advantage; they have their


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Dion Lewis pushed past injuries last season to deliver an explosive performance for the Patriots. He tallied 1,110 yards running and receiving with 9 touchdowns in 2017.

erence, Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback in the league and possibly the history of the league, had a percentage of 66.3 and a rating of 102.8. This guy is the future of 49ers football, and plenty of people should be excited for this.


quarterback. In a draft where the quarterback prospects are absolutely stacked, and numerous top 10 draft picks are expected to be devoted to teams picking up their quarterback of the future, the 49ers have Jimmy G. They can take their pick of some fantastic prospects that might normally go a lot higher in the draft. The 49ers could make a splash at positions like offensive line, wide receiver, or cornerback in the 1st round.


TREY BURTON Trey Burton won a Super Bowl with the Eagles, earning fame through his "Philly Special" play. He scored 5 touchdowns as a tight end in 2017, and could bolster the 49ers' red zone efficiency.

WE HAVEN'T SEEN A GAROPPOLO-GARCON COMBO YET Wide receiver Pierre Garcon was injured for the season before Jimmy G took over. Garcon is an effective veteran who showcased his skill with a 142yard performance against the Rams back in week 3. That was done with Brian Hoyer under center. Imagine what he could do with Jimmy G at the helm. Granted, the remainder of Garcon’s season was lackluster, totaling 500 yards through 8 games before being sidelined for the year. Part of the hype behind Jimmy G is the endless combinations of QB-WR that we have yet to see in action, and Garcon could easily emerge as a favorite target for Jimmy as the only veteran in an otherwise youthful WR core. That’s not even considering possible free agent acquisitions and the 2018 draft, which could strengthen the WRs even further.



career reception yards


career touchdowns

604 12.5 receptions

average yards per reception


yards against the Rams in week 3

3/9/18 9:07 AM

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018

Oscars 2018: Breaking down the Best Picture category BY AIDEN H.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME: Call Me By Your Name captures summer romance with a poetic beauty that stems not only from its incredible actors, but also from the rich atmosphere, setting, and expertly written dialogue. AWARDS: Best Adapted Screenplay stands as the triumph for this film, as the Academy recognized its poignant themes and rich characters populating a story with a deeply affecting romance.

DARKEST HOUR: The film expertly depicts the daunting decisions faced by Winston Churchill, providing unmistakable tension and atmosphere that aids Gary Oldman in his transcendent performance in the lead role. It provides an alternate side of the war from Dunkirk, looking into the political side of a decision that changed the course of history as we know it. AWARDS: Gary Oldman rightfully won Best Actor in a performance that convincingly and expertly merged man and role. The film also took home the award for Makeup and Hair, which also played a potent role in Oldman’s transformation.

Entertainment • Page 15 The 2018 Academy Awards have come and gone, and Hollywood’s highest honors have been given out. Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water took home the top prize of Best Picture, but all the nominees this year were worth watching. Despite what some critics have said, in my view, it was a competitive race this year without a clear winner. We saw titan performances from actors and actresses clash: the final performance from Daniel Day Lewis; a hardened and complex Frances McDormand; and a powerhouse Gary Oldman, who blurs the line between actor and role more convincingly than anyone in recent memory. Right alongside these veterans were younger, fresher talents: Jordan Peele, in his writing and directing debut, and took the world by storm (and the Best Original Screenplay award) with Get Out, while Saorise Ronan and Timothée Chalamet were youthful standouts in the pool for Best Actor/Actress. Now that award season is over and many of these films will soon be available for rental streaming/purchase, read on for what to look forward to when you sit down for one of these films.

LADY BIRD: An intimate, blunt, and heartfelt exploration of its teenage protagonist as she journeys through high school. Every moviegoer should find emotional resonance with one part or another. AWARDS: Unfortunately, Lady Bird failed to net any awards, though it received nominations for Greta Gerwig as the only female nominee for Best Director, along with multiple nominations for the masterful female cast who helmed the film.

DUNKIRK: Providing a more visceral approach to World War II than the other war film on this list, Dunkirk explores the raw desperation and terror that can come from the perspective of a soldier. Acting like a more abstract, unspooling version of Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk delivers pure, unparalleled tension and atmosphere in its sequences. AWARDS: Dunkirk took home Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Film Editing, pointing to the masterful technical elements that bring its battle sequences to life.

GET OUT: A smart, sharp, funny psychological thriller that has something to say on the state of race in horror films. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut shines as a perfectly paced, well-written, and engaging entry to push the boundaries on what we can expect from the horror genre. What will Mr. Peele do next? AWARDS: Jordan Peele deservedly netted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Everything just came together so well in this film. It’s available for streaming on HBO.

THE POST: Pretty much what’s expected by a film carrying the talents of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg. A workmanlike professionalism provides a nondistracting backdrop for a film that chooses to bring its story to life rather than utilize the story to bring itself to life. AWARDS: The Post failed to net any major awards, and came up plenty short in the nominations category. This reinforces the film’s status as good but never great.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI: A character-driven, darkly comic exploration of a fiery conflict that blurs the line between what’s good and what’s bad. It refuses to give viewers a clear definition of right and wrong, and is rendered by an expert professionalism in its filmmaking, screenwriting, and acting. AWARDS: Three Billboards netted acting wins for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, and a nomination for Woody Harrelson. This underscores how potent the film’s roles and character-driven story were, creating rich and nuanced roles for its stars to step into.

PHANTOM THREAD: Phantom Thread perfectly captures the decadence of postwar London through the lens of Daniel Day Lewis’s masterfully depicted role of a man who tailors his life as precisely as he does the elegant dresses he crafts.

THE SHAPE OF WATER: This year’s big winner is poetic, pondering, and deeply affecting, and while the surface story of a romance between a mute woman and sea creature may seem off-putting at first, this film gleans more beauty from its subject matter than any conventional romance in recent memory.

AWARDS: Phantom Thread nabbed the Oscar for Costume Design and rightfully so in a film about fashion. The visual style of the film matches the period perfectly, and aided Lewis handily in bringing the world to life.

AWARDS: This film was the big winner of the night, netting Best Picture, Director, Original Score, and Production Design. These awards showcase both the power of Guillermo Del Toro’s sure-handed direction and the potency of the world people created to serve as a backdrop to this gorgeous film.

Trends to leave behind in 2017 BY JULIANNA G.

2017 was a year of many things, some good, some bad, but there were certain things which stood out as particularly absurd. Take a look at some of the trends we’re glad to be leaving behind. FIDGET SPINNERS. As they blew up, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing (and hearing) one. And let’s be honest: they’re usually more distracting than they are helpful. VAPING. To be fair, we don’t really know what the longterm health effects are, but we do know that vaping can be addictive (depending on what is in the pen), and that experimentation with vaping does lead to increased likelihood of smoking. Not cool.

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DISS TRACKS. The concept is simple: a piece of music (generally rap) with the intent of tearing someone apart. They’ve been around for a while, but when the trend began cycling on YouTube, we were faced with a barrage of bad musicians trying to wreck themselves. The sheer awkwardness of people with little to no musical talent attempting to rap is almost painful. SQUIGGLY EYEBROWS. Three makeup trends. Two about eyebrows. You get it. YouTubers must be really desperate.

TIDE PODS. The memes were funny at the start, but now with the Tide Pod challenge taking off, people are putting themselves in actual danger. This is one example of the internet taking something beyond too far. THE PAUL BROTHERS. These Vine stars turned YouTubers have been in the limelight a few times in the last year, and never for anything worth celebrating. From claims of emotional abuse and manipulation to racist videos, to a video of a hanging body in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, these two have gotten too many passes.

PUTTING MAKEUP ON ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. As YouTubers and Instagrammers have gotten more desperate for views (can I get a clickbait?), they’ve dived into some low-lows. From applying concealer using shoes to contour with fidget spinners, this has been a trend we are ready to be done with. THE UNICORN FRAPPUCCINO. A bright blue, pink, and purple drink topped with whip and edible glitter. Sure it’s cute, but Starbucks is expensive, generally not healthy, and frankly, the coffee isn’t anything special. Philz is a quite delightful alternate.

SLIME. Oobleck and Silly Putty were engines of all of our childhoods. Now the next generation of slime has come, and it’s a mess. While slime looks interesting and fun, there is only so much you can do with it, and, while recipes featuring glitter and toothpaste caught interest for some time, when a trend like this gets so big so fast, it’s just too easy to wear out all the options.

FEATHERED EYEBROWS. Dramatic makeup looks have inspired the Internet since the early days of beauty vloggers, but with this, they clearly didn’t know when to stop. Hopefully, these looks didn’t make it anywhere past camera.

3/9/18 9:08 AM

Page 16 • Entertainment

The Nueva Current • March 9, 2018


A Writer’s Dream Reviewing our most popular pens BY ISABEL C.

Everybody uses some form of a pen pretty much every day. From cheap to expensive, we use them more often than not, causing us to find a liking for certain types. Nueva is just the same. From fancy fountain pens to plastic ball-points, we all have our favorites. But which is really the best? Read The Nueva Current’s comprehensive review of five different pens, from the economical and widely available to more expensive and popular models that are commonly found within Nueva’s classrooms.

Uni-Ball Signo Impact 207: 4.5/5 Best Poster Writer

Price for 1: $8.00 Grip: Squishy grip allows for easy control of the pen, plastic rim of the rest of the pen can dig into your hand quite painfully at times Hard/Softness: Not too hard, glides smoothly on the paper, has a soft pressure on the paper Smearing: Despite the wetter ink, this pen doesn’t smear too much Leaking: Can at times leak around the tip of the pen Ink Strength: Very good, dark lines, no scratchiness Overall Score: While not my personal favorite, I really think that the Uni-Ball Signo Impact deserves this high score. The grip is good, the ink is flowy, the pen glides fluidly on the paper, and it doesn’t smear at all. The only downside is occasional leaking and the high price for a single pen, yet I think its other attributes make it worthwhile in the end. I would recommend it if you need a pen for more drawing-based things or larger projects. I don’t think it works well with taking notes, as the ink is a little thick, but because of the darkness of the ink it would work well for things like dashing off a handsome signature.

Muji Gel Pen: 4/5 Best Note Taker Price for 1: $1.50 Grip: Smooth with soft plastic, the cylindrical shape of the pen feels good in the hand, though it can hurt your palm with overuse Ink Flow: Hard enough where it writes well, soft enough for comfort Smearing: Smears with pressure Leaking: Easy to take apart for ink replacement, yet if they aren’t tight, they can be quite leaky Ink Strength: Pretty solid, ink tends to run out quickly if you use it a lot, pretty seeable ink Overall Score: Overall, these pens that can be found in almost every classroom at Bay Meadows, have to be rated at four stars. While the pressure, the price, the grip, and the ink strength of the pen are all plusses, I have to take off one star for the high chance of smearing and leaking with these pens. Otherwise, I would recommend the Muji pen if you want a nice writing instrument that works well in taking notes and drawing diagrams and comes in an array of colors (plain standard colors to fuschia) and tip sizes.




Staedtler Triplus Fineliner: 4/5

Best Diagram Drawer

Price for 1: $1.20 Grip: Triangular shape allows for maximum comfort. Can be a little slippery Hard/Softness: Harder than other pens, pen tip is more like a marker or felt-tip pen than a ballpoint Smearing: No smearing at all! Leaking: No leaking Ink Strength: Decent. Runs out of ink quickly if tip dries out, gets worn down like a marker Overall Score: Although the Staedtler Triplus is a little different from the others as it is a felt-tip rather than a ballpoint, qualities like no ink smearing or leaking, softness in the pressure, and reasonable price make it a top contender for one of the better pens. Sadly, as this a felt-tip pen, I find that the ink runs out quicker with more use. I would really recommend this pen (the set of 36 is really popular and cheap at around $12) as they come in many different colors and are a really great way to spice up your notes or a poster.


Uni-Ball Vision Needle: 3/5 Best List Writer Price for 1: $2.50 Grip: Can be painful after using for awhile, all plastic, a little slippery Hard/Softness: A little hard, tip is soft enough for quick writing Smearing: Smears easily but not drastically Leaking: No leaking Ink Strength: Smooth, works well, ink is fluid and consistent Overall Score: This pen has a nice ink flow and good response; however, the uncomfortable grip, occasional smearing, and pressure exerted for the pen to perform well detract points. While the price isn’t too bad for a pen, because of the flaws in the other areas, it seems a little high for what you’re getting. Overall, this pen isn’t the worst, but it’s far from the best. However, I do recommend this pen for simpler tasks such as jotting down lists or reminders.

Bic Round Stic Pen: 1/5 Best Pen for Quick Use Price for 1: 20 cents Grip: Hard plastic, a little uncomfortable, no grippy part, hurts part of hand sometimes Hard/Softness: Pretty soft, not much needed pressure, leaves indents in paper Smearing: No smearing Leaking: No leaking Ink Strength: Poor. Black pen comes out as dark gray. Occasional gaps in writing or letters Overall Score: This pen is not that good. Its quality is reflected in its very cheap price. Despite the few advantages for this pen (it doesn’t smear or leak at all), everything else about it is just awful. I do not recommend this pen for constant use. Good to use for quick things like signing a paper or writing a note—not for sustained writing like taking lecture notes or drawing large diagrams.


ACROSS: 1. 2017 film based on a children’s novel of the same name 7. Executed 9. Garland of objects meant to be worn 10. __ __ mode 11. City of Angels 13. The word after this one starts with a vowel 14. __ Misérables 15. Long-dist. running 16. “Fake news. ___!” 18. __ Sheeran 19. ___. Sweet. Gone DOWN: 1. “Get ___ soon!” 2. The loneliest number 3. ______ it! 4. Marvel’s rival 5. Acr. for when one should expect an arrival 6. What you’re supposed to do over break 8. Someone moving his/her limbs in an aesthetic or symbolic way 12. “__ you wish.” 14. Informal British word for “boy” 16. Como __ dicé? 17. One of the most popular filler words

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3/9/18 9:10 AM

The Nueva Current | March 2018  

Volume 1, Issue 2 of The Nueva Current. Inside: why aren't there more students of color in private schools, the garden on the skywalk, edito...

The Nueva Current | March 2018  

Volume 1, Issue 2 of The Nueva Current. Inside: why aren't there more students of color in private schools, the garden on the skywalk, edito...